I cannot remember the exact day it was, but I know I received my engagement ring on the 16th or so of June. I am pretty sure it was shortly after, that we (ZB, my sister and I) packed my brand new yellow Mazda 616 and drove out of the yard. We headed west. We drove for nearly 12 hours and got to Provo Utah. This was our first night, and we had NO idea what we were going to do. We perceived our way through the whole trip. Along our way, we had stopped at Dinosaur National Park near Vernal Utah, and arrived in Provo by evening. I showed her the BYU Campus where I had attended a semester, we found something to eat and then we had to decide where we would sleep. We drove around, looking for a likely place and finally settled on a residential street, parallel parking. We pushed back the seats of our car to lay as flat as we could, and pulled out Grandma's feather pillows covered ourselves with Grandma's heavy wool batt quilt and called it a night.
We awoke rested and proceeded to find a grocery store to purchase our breakfast.
Here I must explain that my mother was very resourceful and thrifty. Nine years earlier, our whole family traveled to the New York World's Fair in our car. We stopped each night at a motel, but instead of restaurants, she cooked our food in a park, on the Coleman stove. I remember her making eggs for breakfast, and since we didn't have a toaster, we had soft white bread. We had orange juice on the side. We were gone for a month, and the whole trip cost $400. So her advice was to cook our meals and use our spending money on something else. We took her advice going one step further, not wasting our spending money on a stupid motel.
After breakfast, we got back into the car and headed north into Idaho. I wanted to show her my other stomping grounds, Ricks College.
Ricks College is located in Rexburg, Idaho, near Idaho Falls. I loved this campus and the people and teachers I met there. Some, no ALL of my fondest memories of college took place on this campus. I think we wandered around campus and I showed her where I lived, and where my classes were, and I think we even met some of the professors. I don't remember where we spent the second night.
Then we studied our map and decided to go further north and west into Idaho, instead of traveling along the southern border. We stopped at the Crystal Ice Cave. It was run by a little man who came down with us and turned on all the lights. We were his only visitor at the time. It was hard to find, because it was located way out in the country. We drove for miles among lava rocks and sage brush, following tiny signs, and finally after thinking we were truly lost, we found it. It was amazing among all that lava and heat above that it would be so cold in this crack that there is ice there! And it stays that cold all summer. Then we headed north to Craters of the Moon.
After that we headed west towards Boise. We were so impressed with our last two tours that when we saw another cave being advertised along the road, we stopped. This was a bust. It was just one large room cave that didn't have much else to see. I cannot even remember the name of it.
I had a former roommate who lived in Melba Idaho. We found Melba and stayed with Connie and her mom for several days. Finally we got back onto the road and headed due north. We had spent too long at Connie's and I was trying to make up for lost time. But we were to meet up with some of Zeepter's friends who were somewhere in a camp in the panhandle of Idaho. We drove for three or four hours to this camp sight, and were disappointed to find out that they had gone down to Boise for the weekend. This was terrible news, and I could see that we were wasting yet another day. Being the big sister, I made the executive decision that I have regretted the rest of my life. I told sweet little Zeepter that we just couldn't go back. I remember wending our way up a hair pin curvy road out of Lewiston and just thinking I didn't want to turn around and head back to Boise. Instead my sweet little sister sat in the passenger side and cried. I felt like such a lout. As you can see, GUILT still plagues me to this day and I wish I could rewind and take her back to Boise and see all her friends. It wouldn't have made much of a difference in our vacation.
We spent the night above Lewiston in a campground. We paid the $2.00 in a little box, and pulled into a parking spot and slept.
The next morning we headed on north towards Coeur d'Alene. It was beautiful, we saw the lake which borders it but we didn't stop for long there. Instead we headed across the border to Washington. We found a Mennonite family who was related to my mom and had moved there from Kansas. The lay of the land and the wheat fields, with the exception of more rolling hills, reminded me of where my Grandma lived in Kansas. We spent the night at this house of friendly relatives, and in the morning we headed further west towards the coast. As we drove through the forests towards Seattle, we were amazed by the size of the trees growing there.
Being a native Coloradoan, I had the limited view that those Rocky Mountains were the ONLY real mountains, and the forests and streams were the best of all. But the trees that grew in these forests were so much taller and bigger around than any I had ever seen. We had to concede that there WERE other forests that were as beautiful, if not more beautiful than my own beloved Colorado Mountains.
Here I will stop, to give the reader and writer a break. I will probably come back and edit this and maybe add some links and pictures, but for now I will publish this and will continue the journey in the next blog.