Friday, September 23, 2011

Really? August was a good time to be Gone from Culpeper!

What?  Am I that far behind?  Here is my blog from August that was waiting to be published.  My next blog will catch you up on our crazy - insane life for the last few months!

Rich and I left Charlottesville, VA on July 28th and headed into West Virginia for an extended trip to parts known and unknown.  One catastrophe after another struck our little town while we gone. 

This is beautiful Yowell Park where we walk.  It has a one mile path and a two mile path.  The path is clear under water.  The town had about 7.9 inches of water in one day.


Gabe took a picture of a Virginia Black snake sunning himself on our porch.  Yuck!  I couldn't figure out how to get it off the cell phone so I sneaked this one from the Internet.  We were in Montana when Gabe sent the picture.  I told her to get the for sale side for the yard.  I wasn't going to live with any snakes.


This is downtown Culpeper.  One building had to be completely torn down due to damage.  We had a 20 x 24 picture of our family  sitting on the mantel in our family room that was tossed to the floor and shattered.  No other damage until:


This tree is about fifty feet behind the house and was toppled in the hurricane.  Sad.  It was about 100 yrs old.  Ha Ha  my guess on age.

But our trip was fun  -- needless to say!  Here are the highlights listing where we stayed each night of our  month long sojourn.

Barboursville, WV
Somewhere along the line we stopped to see the beautiful State House in Charleston, WV.  It has a gold dome.  We think West Virginia is a most beautiful state -- such beautiful mountains.

St. Louis
Visited the Cahokia Indian Mounds in Illinois - very interesting.

Nauvoo, IL
Always beautiful!  Rich is putting together a book on the building of the Washington DC Temple.  We stopped to interview the assistant superintendent who is now living in Nauvoo.  Visited the Iowa side of the Mississippi where our ancestor John Tanner had a farm in Montrose, Iowa.

Rich and John Howell

Waterloo, Iowa
Hmmmmmmmmmm.  No highlights in  Waterloo.

Fargo, ND
Drove up through Minneapolis, MN.  One of our favorite songs is a Trisha Yearwood song about St. Cloud, MN.  So we drove into St. Cloud to check it out.  Very nice area.  We actually stopped to see if we could purchase the song anywhere, but no luck.  We had to wait until we got home to hear it.

We loved North Dakota.  It is a very pretty state.  The Badlands are beautiful.  Very different from the South Dakota Badlands.  Rich hiked a little ways down, but I discovered on the day we left that I had broken my little roe and could only wear flip flops.  No hiking for me.

Glasgow, Montana
Okay, you have to know -- I am very picky about hotels.  Glasgow has no name hotels.  We stayed in a ratty hotel in the middle of the dirt pile that is Glasgow.  So, I was happy to move one.  However, we really enjoyed driving across the two lane highway (speed limit 75mph) in Northern Montana.  Rich stopped to shoot lots of pictures for a song he recorded called, "The Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore".

Kallisbell, Montana
At this point in the trip we were headed to Glacier National Park.  We stayed in Kallisbell and then drove up to the "Road to the Sun".  Let me just say it was fantastically beautiful, but a white knuckle ride all the way.  Very scary.  We drove up into Canada and back to Great Falls.  We seemed to love Montana and stayed there for four days. 

Pocatello, Idaho
My favorite place in the world.  We stayed a few days with my brother and sister-in-law, Mark and Renee.  What a great time we had.  Rich managed to embarrass Bishop Neider in Fast and Testimony Meeting.  You can always count on Rich!  We love being with Mark and Renee.  It's always fun to see our family home in Tyhee.  It has been completely remodeled and updated.  Lots of fun memories there.   Strangers are in the house, but my hand prints are still there in the cement by the driveway. 

Pocatello - I still love it!

We attended the Hansen Family Reunion in Pocatello.  Okay this is the first reunion of my mother's family that Rich has ever attended.  We really had fun seeing all of the relatives.  Hmmmm  no pictures of the relatives.  The reunion was dedicated to the World War II veterans.  My dad, Boyd Neider was in the Navy as was Uncle Dewey Farmer and Uncle Nathan Plummer was a marine and also a prisoner of war.  Uncle Nathan was the only one at the reunion and he is in his 90s.    The trolley took us around Pocatello to see Grandma and Grandpa Hansen's old house on Mapelwood, Pocatello High School, the Neider house in Tyhee and the Dad's old store, Boyd's IGA and the old Tyhee church. 

We drove by the NOP (Naval Ordinance Plant)  A huge facility I drove by almost every day of my life.  I had never been to the Gun Plant.  It was off limits.  It was very interesting to see the facility.  It was built during World War II and guns from the battleships were refurbished there.
The guy standing on the gun shows the size of the gun.  Amazing.

We spent a day with Dale and Rich Kirkham -- mostly with Dale -- had a nice lunch saw some of the restored cars and the cabin.  What fun guys they are.  They are my second family for sure. 

Salt Lake City
We spent two weeks in the Salt Lake Valley visiting family and friends.  We were feeling very western by the time we left.    Here's my sweet mother.  She is 88 this year and is still amazing.  She attends all of the FIVE GUYS openings with Darryl.  She has a uniform and everything.      

Granddaughter Lauren holding Natalie's oldest adorable son Jackson and my brother, Darryl.  Darryl another fun brother that I adore.

We left Utah and headed for Colorado to spend a night with our friends, Jack and Ruth Haight in Littleton, Colorado.  We had such a nice visit and hiked the beautiful Red Rocks there.  So after a month on the road, we headed back to Virginia.  About an hour out of Denver, Jeremy called and said, "Did you know there was a earthquake in Culpeper?"  Yikes!  We couldn't believe it.