Sunday, July 31, 2016

Baker City, OR

We visited Baker city church of the Nazarene this morning with our friends. They just finished VBS, so we got to watch all the kids perform many fun songs. 
The pastor spoke on Hebrews 12, throwing off everything that hinders. 
After church, we went to lunch with another couple at the Sumpter Junction.
I had a delicious omelet and when everyone's tummy was full, we came home and got the trailer situated for our stay.
Ky helped dig purple potatoes for tonight's meal. 

Our afternoon outing was to Sumpter, a town about 45 minutes away.

 There is an old dredge there that was used in the early to mid 1900s for mining gold.
It is huge.
Despite the fact that our friend Mr. thistle did some gold-mining with the drainage, I didn't actually understand how it worked until today. 
This dredge that we saw today floats 9 feet deep in a pond.
As it digs up the rock in front of it, the water in the pond moves forward into the new hole and the dredge processes the buckets of dirt and rocks it picks up and spits out huge piles of rocks behind it filling in the backside of the pond.
So basically there's a huge machine in a moving pond that somehow finds small bits of gold. This particular dredge actually pulled $4.5 million worth of gold out of the ground. At the lower right you can see what the ground looks like after being dredged.

Some didn't like that good pasture land was turned into piles of rocks. 
The granddaughter of the last "dredge master" was working at the visitor center and shared some fun facts and stories. It was fun to hear it from someone who had heard the stories straight from the men living them. 
After our adventure we came home to a yummy dinner of elk burgers (which our hosts hunted themselves) and
homemade potato salad - using what we dug in the garden earlier. For dessert there was fresh boysenberry-blueberry pie! Yum!
And while we were eating, a doe and her two fawns walked by through the the pasture. 
Our kids ended the night sleeping out under the stars. 
Pointing out constellations. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Roaring Springs Waterpark

This morning, Scott's mom texted us gift certificates to a waterpark. It was so funny because she texted as we were driving past the waterpark! We chose the 6-10pm "family slide night" session since it stays light forever. 
Our kids had only been to a waterpark once before about 10 years ago so this was a really special treat.

The line to get in reflected the 100* temperatures, but it moves fast and didn't feel too crowded inside. 

Slides with tubes and slides without. 

The wave pool and lazy river were all big hits with everyone. 

We even got to have dinner there. Thanks Grandma!!! (:
I don't do enclosed tubes - a bit claustrophobic. But the kids convinced me to do one really big tube with a round raft that seats 5. I screamed a lot. 

But it was fun, so then I went in the "toilet bowl one" with them, too. We rode it three times in a row and were the last ones down when the park closed. 
We all showered and jammied and got in the car for a 2hr drive to the Sohn's home in Baker City, Oregon. Back to pacific time zone. ?!?

Boise, Idaho - Capitol #7

Today we visited the state capital of Idaho!
Again we immediately recognized the marble, or so we thought. The floors are marble, although we do not know where the marble came from. We would still guess Alaska. But the columns are made of stassssss, a mixture hat includes marble dust, but is not marble. In fact, the kids thought it was plastic.

This was the first time we visited a state capital on a Saturday. Since nobody was working, many of the offices were closed. The kids were disappointed that the governor's office was closed because they thought that meant they would not receive a coin as they had at the Nevada capital. But once I reminded them that at every other governor's office they had received a pencil, they didn't feel like they were missing out on much.
View from the top
And the bottom
Since it was Saturday, there was a farmers market going on right outside the capital. They were just closing up all the booths, so we walked through and enjoyed what we could.

After the capital, we went to Julia Davis Park. It is a large park with lots to do - a zoo, museums, paddle boats, etc. But we didn't go to DO anything, we went to MEET friends!
The Denkers family just moved up to Idaho from SoCal, so it was fun to meet up and hear about their adventures getting to know their new town. 
Walking back to our car, we decided to pop in to the discovery center were  passing to see what it was. (We already had plans for the afternoon, so we were really just stopping in out of curiosity.)
As we turned to leave, we recognized someone - which was odd because we had just had lunch with the only people we know here.
It was pretty crazy to run into someone from our homeschool group and someone our kids recognized from a friend's church together at a science center in Boise! What timing! Nicole was here visiting family, and our presence was just as much a surprise to her!
After our fun surprise meeting, we had an hour before our evening activity so we checked out some places TripAdvisor recommended. We tried to visit Boise Train Depot but it turned out to be a trailer maneuvering nightmare AND it was closed to the public for a wedding, so all that driving drama for nothing. ): We decided to visit Kathryn Albertson Park instead.
It is a beautiful bird sanctuary with ponds and flowers and walking paths.

After exploring the park, it was time to head out to our next location...

Friday, July 29, 2016

Winnemucca, NV to Marsing, ID

Winnemucca is named after a Paiute chief. He adopted his name after prospectors found him by the river as a child wearing only one moccasin or one "mucca". They called him wannemucca. The keeper of the RV park told me this story. Humboldt County chamber of commerce website confirms the tale. 
Ky bought a cowgirl doll to remember the place. 
Leaving Winnemucca, we drove through more nothing.
Then the brown nothing turned to more beautiful green nothing. 
We stopped in Jordan Valley, OR 
for ice cream
in the cutest little stone house - very cool despite the heat outside 
and saw a motor home being fixed by lifting it with a forklift. 
We were planning to stay in "JV" but there was no cell signal and we just couldn't handle it ... just kidding ... there was no signal so we couldn't use our phones to find our BLM campground. 
So we decided to drive a bit more to Marsing, Idaho 
where, amidst farmland, we found a lovely place to stay right on the Snake River. 
I had my second chance to drive! /:
It was in the middle of nowhere, but then we had to turn right from a 2-lane highway onto a small road to go to the campground - ayayay - I know the truck driver behind me was not pleased with my super slow wide turn!
Although I made it, I am still not planning to drive too often!
Anyway - we put our feet in the fast-moving river. 
And relaxed
Sy found fish eggs
The kids found a little snake and brought it over to show us. 
Then we cooked and ate dinner outside again because it was super warm. 
Finally, we had a fire 
before finishing our audiobook of Johnny Tremain and heading off to bed. 
It was a great day. Doesn't feel like we're going too fast or doing to much. 
Nevada - Oregon - Idaho. 
Capitol #7 tomorrow!