Shirley and I decided that we needed to make a trip to Colorado to visit with an elderly cousin of our dad's...she's 85, and we so wanted to spend some time with her! In planning the trip, we decided that I would meet Shirley in Las Vegas, since she lives in San Diego, and I live in Oregon. We would then take off from there in her hubby's truck and drive to Salt Lake City, where we'd explore the Family History Library for a couple of days, and then take off from there to go to Colorado to see "Aunt" Edna. (We were raised to call all adult relatives and close friends by "Aunt" or "Uncle"...so even tho she's technically "Cousin Edna" we call her "Aunt")
VEGAS! GAMBLING!! I love to gamble. Didn't get to. Oh well...a little disappointing, but not the purpose of the trip...right? That first night was a bear. By the time I claimed my luggage, we got to the truck, got a bite to eat it was midnight when I got to the room. We talked a bit and got to bed, since we wanted an early start. Not only was the room at Howard Johnson's filthy, but it was noisy. We heard every door slam, people talking and yelling, car alarms right outside the room... I do NOT recommend this place for anyone staying in Vegas!!
Monday the 14th, we loaded up! What fun! Our adventure was about to start! We stuffed that truck...
We were off and running! After a long day's drive to Salt Lake City, we were exhausted, and dropped into bed after grabbing a quick bite at Subway.
Up the next morning, we headed out to take Shirley's puppy to doggy day care, and then headed for the library. We'd seen a map with a parking lot that wasn't too far to walk, just around the block and across the street from the library. Pulled in there, found a good spot and unloaded our "stuff" that we needed for our research.
The library was awe-inspiring! We sat thru a simple presentation of stuff that we already knew how to do, pretty much a "how to start" video, and then we headed straight for the books. They don't allow photos in the library itself, but they do allow photos in the main lobby. One of the Elders that was there to help direct people took the photo for us in front of the desk. (photo taken the second day)
After a long first day at the library, we looked out the window and saw snow falling. Hard. We headed for the truck, which wasn't far as the crow flies, but about a two block walk if you mind your manners and stay on the sidewalk. Neither of us had brought a coat, and I was wearing a short sleeved sweater that first day. By the time we got back to the truck, the front of my sweater was a beautiful "crystally" white! We went and picked up the puppy at day care and headed back to the motel room. As we came up on the block where the motel was, I looked off to my right. Looking up again and slightly to the left, I saw the motel. Looked back to the right. Sure enough! That was where we'd parked the truck....less than half a block from the motel!! So much for paying attention and being efficient! The next day we parked in a lot closer to the library!
If you're interested in genealogy, and have the opportunity to go, DO NOT PASS this experience up! Millions of books and microfilms...literally. And very well organized! It took us a day to kind of get the hang of things, we didn't find much...and the second day wasn't nearly long enough to find as much as we wanted! It takes some time to find your film numbers in the long rows of drawers....and the same for the books. A week wouldn't be a long enough time to stay there...two weeks wouldn't be long enough either...I think maybe I need to move to Salt Lake to live...so that I could go everyday!
Then we took off for Delta, Colorado where Aunt Edna lives. Along the way we stopped at a rest area where the maintenance man addressed us both as "gorgeous" and was just generally a nice, but slightly myopic, and a little whacked man. He told us that if we had the time, we should go five miles down the road and go to the petroglyphs just past the town of Thompson Springs. We perked up at that...both of us love that kind of stuff!
We went the five miles and took the exit for Thompson Springs, Utah. As we drove through, we discovered that it is little more than a ghost town!
As we drove, Shirley, who is more cautious than I am, asked, "What if he's a serial killer? This is pretty desolate, what if he's waiting for us?" I've lived my life in small towns where we often don't bother to lock the doors...so this never occured to me until she said something, but in this day and age, it was a point to ponder, and it was the start of lots of nervous giggles, along with a decision that if he was there when we got there, we were leaving!
He wasn't there. But the petroglyphs and pictographs were! Along with graffiti, of course...
We got into Delta at about 5 pm, and after we checked into the motel, we called Aunt Edna, who at 85, still drives, and came immediately to meet us at the motel. What a cute little woman she is! And so sweet too. We went to dinner, chatted for a bit, and then went back to the room and went to bed. Being in Delta felt like being "home".
On Friday, we went to Aunt Edna's, where she had bacon, eggs, and waffles waiting for us for breakfast. YUM! She showed us some of her treaures, things that had belonged to our great grandmother, and things that her hubby, George Ware had gotten for her. We left there and went first to the cemetery where our family is buried, and then on to Hotchkiss, Colorado, where I'd lived for 8 years. There was a bonus there, the place where I order William's Hawaiian shirts is located there, and we stopped in. I took a photo of the girls that work there, that he talks to on the phone when he orders a shirt. Picked up a couple of new shirts for him too, that he'd been drooling over in the catalog. From there, we went to Olathe, Colorado, where I lived when I first moved to Colorado with my family at age 8. Got a photo or two while we were there, and then we went to dinner and back to the motel to try to get some rest.
Didn't get much rest. Cousins from our grandmother's side of the family, Wade and Deb Isham came to see us! We were so excited to meet them...and were so grateful that they drove 6 hours and stayed in our motel just to meet us and share what they had on our family history. Talk about a trusting soul! Since it was late, Wade left us with a large box of photo albums and diaries of his grandmother's, our great grandfather's sister in law. Told us to look to our heart's content while we rested up from our day! Can you imagine leaving that kind of thing with virtual strangers? Wonderful couple! The next morning at breakfast, we shared information and then moved over to a local park to talk more. While we were at the park, my son called to let us know they were in Delta. We told them how to find us, and they were soon pulling up in their car, and a little boy bounced out of that car and ran for me with open arms, yelling "NANA!!!!!" I scooped him up and what a wonderful hug from Scotty that was! The littlest one, Garrett, didn't want much to do with me at first....but he wasn't feeling very good as he gets carsick. It didn't take him long to warm up to me tho, and we all had a grand time together. Such loving little boys...they would walk past me on their way to play and reach out and pat me, telling me, "I love you, Nana".
Shirley tells me that the youngest, Garrett, looks exactly like I did as a baby.
That evening, we went to Aunt Edna's for a little family get together. Aunt Delores was there too, these two being of a like age, are the best of friends. What cuties they are, and Delores, for all of the hard knocks life has handed her, has a wonderful sense of humor! Aunt Edna does too, but hasn't had the life that Delores has had.
Sunday morning we met the kids for breakfast, and then while they took a drive to Hotchkiss so that Ray could show the kids where he lived and went to school, Shirley and I went to Cedaredge and took photos of Mom and Dad's old house. After the kids left, we met Aunt Edna for dinner, and went back to the motel early. We were up early in the morning and headed for home.
The first day, we got as far as Twin Falls, Idaho, where we spent the night. Up early the next morning, we headed for home. It was a long nine days, and it felt so good to come home, but I wouldn't have missed this trip for anything!