May 27-29, 2022
You would think logically that the next thing would be all about happenings in a series of threes, but the title is just in reference to the third posting on our journey to three states: SLC>Idaho>Oregon but this is the extent of our threes. We continued our exploration of NPS sites by visiting Craters of the Moon National Monument Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) and explored the miles of lava that provides a eerie moon-like quality to our earth bound hiking. We walked up a trail where we had a 365 view of the area and, except for some sporadic oases that were bright green spots of living plants, was just miles and miles of lava flow. Next, we headed to Hagerman Fossil Beds and, after a bit of back and forth, we finally found the recently moved visitor center. While it was interesting to go to the site, we were underwhelmed by some of the displays. Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) It was still fun to visit and learn about some of the findings in the area, including fossils of ancient zebra-like horses that originated in North America.
After a restful night in Boise, Idaho, we headed to Nez Perce National Historic Site where we learned about the local indigenous tribes who brought so much history to the local area. The visit deepened our appreciation for the area and the local history. Learn About the Park – Nez Perce National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) We then spent the night near Walla Walla, Washington, where we took time to go to church. The sermon was a little more energetic than we normally expect and the priest “yelled” a lot. Kathy was grateful that we happened upon a mass that was exclusively in Spanish, so she had not a clue about anything he said. The mass lasted a very long hour and 45 minutes and we felt at the end that we needed some peace and quiet, so after walking the mile back to our motel in the now darkness, off to bed we went. Morning saw us get up bright and early and head to Whitman Mission, which was about a couple of missionaries who came to the area to teach about Christianity and met an untimely end when the local tribes took issue with the mission. The relationship between the Whitmans and the two local tribes started out as an amicable relationship and at some point the relationship soured. An outbreak of malaria and ever increasing homesteaders certainly did not help relations. The relevance for this mission is how cultural perspective and the interactions can cause miscommunication and “bad blood.” The visit was an interesting viewpoint after visiting the Nez Perce Historical Site. Whitman Mission National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) The last NPS site we visited was John Day Fossil Beds which was a treat to visit. The visitor center had so many displays and the science behind the evolution of the dinosaurs was fascinating. We spent quite a bit of time going through each room and learning about the fossils found in the area. Fossils of ancient rhino-like creatures, saber-toothed cats, and 3-toed horses were Dave’s favorites. John Day Fossil Beds is one of the largest areas where fossils can be found and it is reflected in the amount of displays. Well worth the visit. John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
After a nice evening’s rest, we headed off to Eugene, Oregon, to visit our daughter Jill and her husband, Shea. We got into the area towards evening and checked into the hotel and immediately went over for a visit. We had a wonderful Thai dinner from a food truck that could compete with 5 star restaurants in how fresh and delicious the meal was. The next day, bright and early (after Kathy had finished working), we headed to Jill and Shea’s again where Kathy made some homemade food. We then took off to visit the Sea Lion Cave where we were able to get up close and personal viewing some Sea Lions. We didn’t get as close as we were in the Galapagos, but it was still pretty fun. The coastline of Oregon is amazing and we enjoyed the views. It is one of the most beautiful states we have ever visited. Soon we were back to Jill and Shea’s where Kathy resumed cooking some homemade meals. Kathy, ever the critic, found fault with everything except the Key Lime Pie. Soon we headed “home” to rest at the hotel. The next day saw us go over again where we chilled and cooked some more. Again Kathy was disappointed. We then headed to visit a national wildlife refuge. Along the drive we did see several bald eagles, but the preserve was missing birds and endothermic animals. We did get to see a good-sized snake hanging out in the middle of the trail. Back at Jill and Shea’s we changed things up. Dave made his famous mac and cheese which Kathy felt was perfect. Chilling and talking for a while was on the agenda. The time with them was fun, but seemed short and we look forward to going back and seeing all of our family. The visit ended on a warm glow basking in the love of our family.