Robert & Linda Malseed
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Christmas 2010
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20 December 2010  Click on the pictures to enlarge them.


Once again we bring you Christmas greetings. This time it is a little later than usual. We have been very busy since 4 July, making four trips and taking 4,375 photos. It has taken a long time to sort through the photos to choose the few that are in this newsletter. We have also been very busy with Christmas musical program rehearsals since being back at home for the winter.

We spent most of July and August on a motor home trip to the Pacific Northwest. We were going to the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) convention in Redmond, Oregon, in mid August. We left on 11 Jul and at lunch time discovered that our AC generator would not start. (That was finally fixed in November. The generator was OK, but there was a hole in the fuel line that required that our 60-gallon fuel tank be lowered.) We spent the first night at McPhee Reservoir in Colorado, and discovered that the motor home was leaking engine coolant. The next day we had the heater bypassed as its core seemed to be leaking. We had to continually monitor coolant levels and add some more coolant during the first half of our 4,314 mile trip. We had the heater repaired after we got home. Philipsburg, Montana, was our first extended stop on the trip. We visited our friends, Jay and June Kulinna, who spend their summers there. Philipsburg is June's hometown. It is also where in-laws of one of Robert's Shubert ancestors lived. Elizabeth L. Thomson was librarian at the Hearst Library in Anaconda. She was at the library from about 1901 to 1922. Her sister, Charlotte (Lottie) Thomson Irvine was Granite County school superintendant at about the same time. June's aunt remembers Lottie. Elizabeth and Lottie’s sister, Elberta McMillan lived nearby in Deer Lodge. We found documents at the county courthouse that provide data about the lives of the Thomson sisters and their families. In fact, there is a plaque in memory of Lottie on the wall just inside the front door of the court house that is shown below. Philipsburg was a delightful stop on our journey.

  Granite County Courthouse.

  Downtown Philipsburg.

Near Philipsburg we also toured the abandoned mining town of Granite.

  Linda, June, and Derry look over Granite.

  Area behind them in its heyday.

One day we searched through a bag of dirt and gravel looking for sapphires, and found 10 carats of gem-quality stones. Philipsburg is in the Sapphire Mountains.

  Finding Sapphires.

Just west of the mountains is the town of Hamilton, where our friends, John & Maria Sargent, live. Their home was our next stop. It was great to visit with them once again.

  With John and Maria.

Our next visit was with Robert's cousin, Suzanne Wicker, and her family in Maple Valley, Washington.

  Linda with Suzanne, Daron, and son, Caleb.

From Washington, we crossed the border to spend a week in Canada. Early in 2010 the Winter Olympic Games were held in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia. We had visited Vancouver briefly in the past, and we wanted to spend more time in the area so we drove up to Whistler for two nights and then Vancouver for five nights.

We had a great time in Whistler. It is a well known winter sports area, but also is a popular summer destination. The area was crowded with tourists enjoying the weather and views and summer sports opportunities. The town is overlooked by Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain. We enjoyed a busy day of activity with two adventures.

First we bought tickets for a Ziptrek Ecotour. We had read about the zipline adventure at and decided to take the five-line Bear tour. Ziplining involves wearing a harness with a pulley wheel at the top. That wheel is placed on a steel cable and you then let gravity take you from one high platform to another one a little lower. We rode five lines and the longest ride was about 25 seconds.

The ziplines criss-cross Fitzsimmons Creek between platforms placed high in the huge trees of the old growth forest of the valley. The lines are above the area where the olympic bobsled and luge competitions were held. When we arrived at the first platform, there was a reporter (Duncan McCue) and video crew from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation looking for someone to interview for a news story about the effect of the 2010 Winter Olympics on tourism. Linda said that we would agree to be the subjects. Linda was the interviewee and was outfitted with a wireless microphone. Interviewing was done as we proceeded along the tour. The Ziptrek owner was also there and he directed that we be given the CD with pictures of us for free, along with free ball caps. That is how we obtained these photos of us on the longest line. We had a lot of fun ziplining. The news article was shown on the 10 PM news show "The National" a few days later while we were staying at an RV park in Vancouver. We were able to make a video recording of it.

  Ziplines criss-cross over Fitzsimmons Creek.

  Linda ready to start.

Robert made our own HDTV recordings as he zipped over the creek.

  Robert on the long line.

  Linda steps off platform.

  Linda in mid-air.

After Zip trekking, we rode the gondola up Whistler Mountain, and then we rode the Peak-To-Peak gondola over to Blackcomb. We had spectacular views of Fitzsimmons Creek in the valley over 1,000 feet below.

  A long way down.

From the mountain tops there are breath-taking views of the other snow-capped peaks in the area.

  Inukshuk looks over Whistler.

  Snow-capped mountains.

  Linda with a wooden lion.

After enjoying the views, we rode two ski lifts back down to Whistler Village.

  Heading down on the ski lift.

  A summertime “luge” trip.

  Whistler Village.

Our next destination was Vancouver, but on the way down we stopped for lunch at Horseshoe Bay. There we met Emma Hawker Gadsby who rode the ferry over from Vancouver Island to meet us. Emma is a member of a Malseed family of Colchester, England.

  Meeting Emma at Horseshoe Bay.

We spent 5 nights in Vancouver and toured the city, the Aquarium, Stanley Park, Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge, the Museum of Vancouver, the University of British Columbia(UBC) Anthropology Museum, and the UBC Botanic Gardens.

  Vancouver from Grouse Mountain.

  A furry Grouse Mountain inhabitant.

  A feathered Grouse Mountain inhabitant.

Capilano suspension bridge and park is located over Capilano River on the road back to Vancouver. A suspension bridge has been an attraction there since 1889. The bridge is 450 feet long and is 230 feet above the river.

  Capilano Suspension Bridge.

  Walking through the trees.

  An Otter swimming in the Aquarium.

  Linda at the steam - clock in Gastown, Vancouver.

  A Stanley Park inhabitant.

  At the UBC Museum of Anthropology.

  At the UBC Botanical Gardens.

  Museum of Vancouver.

Heading south, we stopped for a night in Bellingham with Ken and Char Malseed. Ken is a cousin from a different Malseed family line. They had visited us earlier this year when they were in Albuquerque with their motor home for the FMCA winter convention. Robert's cousin, Dave Malseed and friend, Eileen, also came over to visit from his home in Anacortes, Washington, since he had never met Ken and Char.

  Linda, Ken, Char, Eileen Dave, and Robert.

We next spent 3 nights with Dave in Anacortes. While there, Karen Portzer of another Malseed family line drove up from Seattle with Robert and Dave's Shubert cousin, Betty Gard. We all took the ferry over to Lopez Island to meet Robert and Dave’s cousin, Annette Malseed Bee, and her daughters Christine and Polly. Here we are all together after having lunch. This was our second visit with Annette who is now 94 years old.

  Robert, Betty, Christine, Polly, Karen, Annette, Dave, Eileen.

  Betty, Robert, and Karen.

  Our coach parked at Dave’s place.

We paid a return visit to Mt. Saint Helens on our way to Oregon.

  Linda at Mt. Saint Helens.

Heading south into Oregon we stopped and visited Linda's college roommate, Missy Thomas in Beaverton. It turned out that their other roommate, Caryl Ann Gutheinz, was arriving the same day with her husband. It was a real college reunion for Linda.

  Caryl Ann, Missy, and Linda.

Our next stop was at Newport, Oregon, for a Safari International Chapter (of FMCA) rally prior to the convention. It had been two years since we had attended a Safari rally. It was great to once again meet many of our Safari friends and to see all the coaches with their distinctive murals. Our mural features giraffes. Newport is on the Oregon coast. As usual, we experienced foggy weather there, but were rewarded with one beautiful sunny day. The RV resort is located right on the ocean with a great view of the Yaquina Head lighthouse when it is not foggy.

  Our Safari Trek (with giraffe mural) at the Rally.

  Linda working on a craft project.

  Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.

  Yaquina Head lighthouse from the campground.

  Derry ready to eat the lighthouse.

Among our activities there we toured the Hatfield Marine Science Center and we also took a boat tour out on the Pacific Ocean. (Hoping to see whales, but they were shy and hid from us.)

  Getting a send-off on our Marine Discovery Tour.

On the way out to sea, we threw a couple crab traps out. They were recovered on the journey back in to port, and contained two crabs each.

  Linda (upper right) checks the catch from crab traps.

After leaving Newport, we met up with Safari friends in Sisters, Oregon, and caravanned together into Redmond for the convention.

  Caravan forms up.

This was our third convention in Redmond. Linda's cousin, Carolyn, and her husband, Bob, also were there. We spent a day together touring a portion of the Newberry Volcanic National Monument.

  Bob and Carolyn at Newberry.

  On top of the cinder cone volcano.

  Massive amounts of Obsidian (volcanic glass).

  Paulina Falls.

On another day, Robert and Linda toured the Lava Cast Forest and the Lava Tube features within the National Monument. The lava casts were made when lava flowed around living trees and solidified. After the trees decayed, only the casts of their trunks were left as evidence that a forest had been there.

  The lava cast of a tree trunk.

The lava tube was a long narrow lava flow that hardened on its surface and then the remaining hot liquid lava flowed out the far end after the volcano ceased erupting. This left a hollow tube over a mile long. There are no lights in the tube. You have to bring your own or rent one at the entrance. We walked in to the point near the far end where the ceiling was only about three feet above the floor. (Robert went that far, but Linda stayed back where she could almost stand up.) The air temperature remains constant at 41 F  (5 C).

  In the lava tube. Note Robert’s breath in the cold air.

  Linda beneath small lava stalactites.

  Low ceiling.

At the convention, we met friends, attended seminars, had Blue Ox refurbish our tow bar, bought some supplies at the vendor exhibits, enjoyed entertainment, and looked at coaches. The convention was held at the Deschutes County fairgrounds, shown here in an aerial photograph. The yellow line near the top points to our Trek.

  Coaches at the convention.

There were a number of new coaches on display. We usually like to look at them. That is how we discovered the Safari Trek at a 1998 convention. At a little over $2 million, this one is probably the most expensive one we have ever toured.

  Linda looking over a $2 million coach.

On the first night of the convention, Todd Fisher showed us the movie, “The Long Long Trailer”. The next night, his mother, Debbie Reynolds, entertained everyone with a talk and old home movies. Todd’s wife, Catherine, was also there. She led a seminar and later did make-up for the women.

  Linda with Catherine.

Unlike our previous trips to Redmond, the weather was not too hot. We did manage to change our reservation to a site that provided electricity so that we could use our roof air conditioning. However, when we left we discovered that our dash air conditioning was no longer working, and the weather had gotten much warmer. It was a hot drive back to Albuquerque. Along the way we stopped at Wallowa Lake near the town of Joseph, Oregon. It is a beautiful place in the mountains of northeastern Oregon. The lake is a water-filled glacial moraine. Mount Howard overlooks the lake. We rode the tram up to the top of the mountain and enjoyed the beautiful views.

  View of Wallowa Lake.

  A greeter on Mt. Howard.

  Mt. Howard view.

  Mt. Howard view.

  Mt. Howard view.

The town of Joseph is at the far end of the lake. It is named after old chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe who is buried between the town and the lake. The small town has several bronze foundries, and several sculptures are on display along Main Street.

  Joseph has old buildings and bronze sculptures.

Friendly deer roamed through the campground at the foot of the mountain.

  Deer in the campground.

We stopped next in Boise, Idaho, where we visited with Robert's Shubert cousin, Mary Finn. Mary has also done a lot of Shubert family history research, and we exchanged some information.

  Mary with Robert.

Salt Lake City was next on the itinerary, and we spent several days in the Family History Library. On a day when the library was closed we drove down to Timpanogos Cave National Monument. The cave (actually three caves) is located on the side of Mt. Timpanogos. The cave's entrance and exit are 1,200 feet above the road. You have to hike 1.5 miles to make that ascent. That was quite a hike. (Especially the altitude gain)

  We climbed up from the road in the valley.

  Another tight squeeze.

We were back home on 27 August after 7 weeks on the road.


Our next travel plans were to go to the Buhrer family reunion in Zook, Kansas. Since the motor home was having some of its problems fixed, we made that journey by car, and stayed at pet-friendly motels so Derry could go with us. We also took a thermoelectric refrigerator to keep food cold. The Buhrers are cousins of Linda.

  Linda talks to Ronnie Cauble, a Buhrer cousin.

After the reunion, we visited Linda's aunt Sue in Salina, Kansas.

  With Aunt Sue, Reese and Donna.

Since Robert had recently discovered that he had a Shubert cousin in Joplin, Missouri, we stopped there next so that we could share family information.

  With the Atkins family in Joplin.

Coming home from Missouri, we stopped in Fairview, Oklahoma, to visit some of Linda's Kliewer cousins and to check on one of her farms there.

  Meeting with Kliewer cousins.


For over a year we had been planning to visit New York City at the end of September, and then take a cruise up the coast to Canada and back to New York with a group from our church. We flew to NYC on 29 Sep and spent three nights at the Manhattan at Time Square hotel. It was a great location within walking distance of many sights. We also rode the subway to southern Manhattan twice. Times Square, on the night we arrived, was bustling with activity.

  Some of the bright lights of Times Square.

The next day we went down to the Battery and then walked to some historic locations such as the old Bowling Green, Fraunces Tavern (where George Washington said farewell to his officers), Federal Hall (where George Washington was sworn in as president), Trinity Church and Saint Paul's Church (where Robert may have McDonald ancestors buried), and the World Trade Center site across the street from St Paul's church.

  Fraunces Tavern.

  Federal Hall.

Friday was a soggy rainy day. We took the subway again and got off to see where Robert's g-g-g-grandparents owned the property at 24 West Broadway. It was near where the short white and tall brick buildings join in the photo below.

  Old Malseed property was located here.

Then we paid a return visit to St Paul's Church and Trinity Church, where church records verified that there were McDonalds buried. From Trinity we walked down to Castle Clinton to take the ferry to Liberty Island and walked around the famous statue.



Then we rode the ferry to Ellis Island. Many people immigrated through Ellis Island, but none of our ancestors arrived by that route.

  Ellis Island.

That evening we had a real treat as we walked to Radio City Music Hall to attend a Celtic Thunder concert.

On Saturday, the sun came out for a beautiful day, and we boarded our ship, The Caribbean Princess, for the cruise.

  Ready to sail.

Our first port was Newport, Rhode Island. We took an electric bicycle tour around the peninsula south of Newport. The tour took us along the shore and passed by many large estates. The electric bikes were fun to ride and saved a lot of pedaling. We also walked around and toured this old church building in Newport.

  Newport church building.

The next day we docked in Boston, and then took a bus tour through the city and across the Charles River to Cambridge. It has been nearly thirty years since we had walked around Boston. Here you see Linda ready to enter Harvard.  (Harvard yard, that is.)

  Linda at Harvard.

Of course, we also made a stop to visit inside the Old North Church.

  Linda with Deanna and Lois in the Old North Church.

The following day we arrived in Bar Harbor, Maine, where we toured Acadia National Park and walked along the seashore on another sunny day.

  Ocean view from walking tour.

  Caribbean Princess waits in the harbor.

Saint John, New Brunswick, in the Bay of Fundy was our next port. That bay is well known for having some of the world's highest tides. We got to witness that as we visited Fundy National Park near the town of Alma.

  High tide at Alma.

  A little while later.

Our final stop in Canada was at Halifax, Nova Scotia. The weather was clear as we took a bus tour to Peggy's Cove. The views of the picturesque lighthouse located there were beautiful, but the wind was very strong.

  The much photographed lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove.

  Peggy’s Cove harbor.

After a day at sea with our friends we returned to NYC and flew home.

  Dinner at sea with Bill and Katy McCulloch.


Our next trip was by motor home to the FMCA Rocky Mountain Ramble in Farmington, New Mexico. We drove up there with a group from the Chaparral Chapter of FMCA. (Linda is chapter treasurer.) Robert had a cold during part of that gathering and Linda had to make the four-wheel tour alone.

  Linda drives down the trail.

  Our coach (short one) parked with Chaparral friends.


Our choir and orchestra had been rehearsing for our Christmas musical since mid September. Since we missed four rehearsals, we had some catching up to do. It was all worth it when, on the first weekend of December, we gave five performances of the most elaborate program that we have ever done. About 7,000 people attended. Here we are in costume.

  In our Christmas musical costumes.


Robert has been a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) for 40 years and is an Associate Fellow. He has been Albuquerque section treasurer since 1991. At a meeting this year he got the opportunity to put on an Apollo 15 space suit that had belonged to astronaut James Irwin. Can you recognize Robert?

  Robert in the Apollo 15 suit.


Robert has been putting up with cataracts for over 7 years. They are dark areas in a portion in the lens of each eye. The most noticeable effect is double vision in addition to some scattering of bright light. On 3 January he will have the lens replaced in his right eye, which is the worst one. About seven years ago he found a way to see his own cataracts, and had been drawing their growth over the years. The doctors were amazed at the accuracy of the drawings, and they made a copy of them and also took a photo for comparison. The difference in orientation is due to the fact that Robert’s light source projects a shadow of the cataract on his retina. His brain then inverts that image.

  Robert’s drawing.

  Doctor’s photo.


You may have noticed that we look different than we did in our previous Christmas newsletters. We have been Weight Watchers members since September 2009, and Robert has reached his goal of losing 70 pounds. Linda is still working towards her goal.


This year we made changes in our telephones. There is a new home phone number, and our old home number is now Robert’s cell phone number. Our old cell phone number is Linda’s cell phone number. They are all listed below. Please make the changes in your contacts list or address book. Our new home number is a MagicJack number. The MagicJack is a computer USB device that provides telephone service via the internet. Wherever we travel (if we have a good broadband internet connection) we can use our home phone which is almost free. We are also available for live video calling via Windows live messenger.

(505) 990-7928 home
(505) 265-1842 Robert Cell
(505) 238-5818 Linda Cell


We continue to be thankful for the Lord's providing for us in all ways. We trust in Him, and pray that you will do likewise and enjoy a blessed Christmas season and New Year as well.

 Robert & Linda
 and Derry
 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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