Archive | September 2015

Roundup Reunion – Day 2 (09/15): Sandpoint Day

We were originally scheduled to choose two of three possible events for today, but the boat ride was cancelled due to some mechanical problems, so we visited two local “attractions” in Sandpoint.

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In the morning we went to Parnell Ranch. This is where the Clydesdale breed of horses has been being saved for the past 40 years of so. This had not been one of my choices, since I have been to Budweiser Clydesdale crèches in both New Hampshire and St. Louis. I am so glad to have come here. The family owned farmers are so passionate about the development and continuity of this breed. They so love their horses and their progenitors.

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The dad farmer told us what had prompted his father to start saving horses to save the breed. After the advent of motorized transport, “millions” of draft horses were loaded onto trains and taken away to be slaughtered. If it had not been for a few men like Parnell’s dad, we would have no Clydesdales today. They gave us three experiences with the horses.

First up, how they braid the horse’s main and tail when it’s being shown. We saw a lovely mare get braided up while her 4-month old baby, Jack, was taking a nap.

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Then we took a ride in a wagon drawn by two of the horses. We got to look at the farm’s two breeding stallions. The younger one was a mighty force, neck arched, nostrils flared, high knee trotting, up and down the fence. Exuberance!

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After the wagon ride, we got to spend time with the farmer wife, who is the force behind today’s breeding program. She told us all about the artificial insemination process from collecting semen to inseminating mares to following the pregnancy and attending the birth of the young horse. She also shared the technology of shipping semen to other farms.

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These folks are so passionate about the work they are doing, clearly a labor of love. The love shows in every act they take in their work and I am so glad to have been able to share a few hours with them.

In the afternoon we visited the Bird Museum of Aviation and Invention.

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While most of us loved this showy collection of the late Dr. Bird’s aircraft, automobiles, inventions and the inventions of his friends and colleagues, I found it an overwhelming muddle. I couldn’t find a focus. Just a jumbled accumulation of machines and pictures.

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Dr. Bird was surely a genius of high order and clearly contributed to the good of medicine and mankind, but this place was bizarre. On the other hand the road overlooking the private airstrip, provided the best views of Lake Pendoreille we have seen yet.

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In the evening, we received a presentation from the Girl Scout national organization addressing what they are planning to do about volunteer engagement, particularly with alumnae as are most of us old Roundup-ers. The day ended with signing – one old Regional song after another. We are such dinosaurs and we have such beautiful voices.

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Roundup Reunion Day 1 – 09/14

Extremely full day today, with programs that far exceeded expectations. Today was “Idaho Day.” The morning session included lectures by three very interesting people.

First up was a former minister, one Mike Bullard, a former minister who wrote a biography of a woman in his congregation. He decided to write about her when a selection of surprising dignitaries packed his church for her funeral. The woman was Louise Shadduck, who was responsible for bringing the Roundup to Idaho in 1965. He gave each of us a copy of the book, “Lioness of Idaho.” He was the kind of speaker that could almost make you want to go to church if he was there!

Then a terrific guy from Idaho Fish and Game. Unfortunately I didn’t get his name. But he brought a slide show and a discussion of his work as a wildlife biologist working on the restoration of grizzly bear and woodland caribou populations in the northwest. He had great tales of the grizzly and promise for their restoration. Not so much the woodland caribou, of which there are only about 1900 left and none of them resident in the U.S., all in British Columbia.

Then the best of the morning. “Solar Freaking Roadways.” Scott Brusaw has invented a solar panel which can work as a road surface. It’s printable and filled with LEDs, can be used everywhere. I’d planned to blow this off as we are already getting solar, but when they put up the graphic I remembered that I had contributed to this guy’s Indiegogo campaign a while back. Dynamite to meet someone I had backed and to hear how the project is developing first hand. Best way to find out is to check out his website and find out what’s doing. It’s incredible stuff! http://www.solarroadways.com/intro.shtml

The afternoon had a novel self-help presentation by Anne Katherine called “Your Life as a Screenplay.” She described and challenged us to a new way of journaling using the template of a screenplay.

And best of all (maybe) we went to the top of the mountain on the chairlift. And it snowed, and it rained, and it blowed, and it was cold and wet and exciting. And the last batch of us got stuck on the chairlift in the cold rain and snow-ow-ow, when the power went off. A very wet and chilly half hour, but what an adventure. We are all still nutty in our 60’s. A great discovery. Here’s a link to the pictures of the mountain:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yales5vl832u1zb/AABRx2-FI1ZbV7eGESEcTfCKa?dl=0

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Roundup is Here – Sunday, 09/13

We drove from Glacier this morning along into Idaho, through beautiful country and rolling peaks. After a very cold start at Apgar Campground, we made our way west and arrived at Schweitzer Mountain Resort about 2:00 pm local time.

I note that we are running on Pacific Time right now. I remember when we came here in 1965, I had looked at the map and determined that Idaho panhandle was in Pacific time zone. We all set our watches to that time. What I didn’t know is that (apparently) Idaho did not adopt daylight savings time in the panhandle so for the first day or so, we ran generally an hour behind the rest of the local world, and were late for everything!

The resort is at the end of a ten-mile road up a big mountain north of Lake Pend Oreille. Tiwsty, curvy, lots of switch-backs. An all-in-all exciting drive.  On arrival, the resort looks like a ski resort: Swiss Family Modern. But the rooms are stunning. Holly and I have a small suit. Bedroom with huge bed; sitting room with sofa, stuffed chair, television, dining table and four chairs, and a FIREPLACE; full kitchen with stove, fridge, microwave, toaster oven, dishes for a huge crowd. Many plush towels in the bathroom. The staff are nicer than nice. The views of the lake are divine.

We started our program with dinner and singing grace. We started with a candle ceremony, welcoming the four directions of Roundups coming to the center here. Then a program that included a recorded message from GSUSA CEO, Anna Marie Chavez, and a performance by the White Glove Singers. That performance included an hysterical rendition of the history of Girl Scouting, starting with Daisy Low’s first Girl Scout troop. Pix not so good because the light was really low. Hope you get the idea.

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On the Road West – Saturday, 9/12

We went to Glacier Park today.  Long lovely drive along the Going to the Sun Road.  I took a lot of pictures.  We’re camped in the Park for the night at Apgar Campground.  No hookups, so running on power and the hotspot from my phone.  Here’s one picture from the Continental Divide.  I’ll post a link to the whole photo album tomorrow, after we get settled in Sandpoint and have power and WiFi.

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More pictures from Glacier can be seen here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0xfn9cl22kt5s37/AAB4jbGAurJBf8LXCk5HSfDIa?dl=0

On the Road West – Friday, 9/11

I was passenger across the long width of Montana today, on the 14th anniversary of the World Trade Center bombings. I still remember vividly that day, and the endless landscapes of big sky, straight roads and rolling hills did nothing to distract me from remembering the measure of that day. I was absent from much of the trip, revisiting some of my thoughts from 2001 and the years since.

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Tonight we are camped in what might as well be a KOA right next to I-15 in Great Falls, Montana. Noisy and lumpy. We have a neighbor who rode in on this great motorcycle.

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On the Road West – Thursday, 9/10

Across the rest of North Dakota.

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We are tired from lots of driving and when we hit to badlands in western North Dakota and eastern Montana, we decided on a short day and picked out a campground at Makoshika State Park just across the Montana border. This is dino country and interesting.

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We got the best campsite ever – at the top of the bluffs looking out over mudstone deposits from the Cretaceous and before. Too bad we didn’t have time to stay here another day. . .

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And we even had a campfire and sang Girl Scout songs. Mm-mm, I’d like to linger, Mm-mm, a little longer, Mm-mm, a little longer here with you. . .

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On the Road West – Wednesday, 9/9

Across Minnesota and half way across North Dakota. Lots of flat. Lots of flat. Lots of fields of corn, soy, sunflowers and something else with yellow flowers – canola maybe?

Camped in a municipal park near Bismark. Pretty.

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Holly still hasn’t found her glasses. Linda locked her keys in the car. A bright light of the evening was the cute guy from AAA who came to open up Linda’s car.