Monday, August 31, 2009

Last day of August

Feels like summer is almost over...we are heading home. Will have lots of photos to post. Here's a few from the Oregon coast taken at Cape Perpetua.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

More photos coming

Having fun with Caryn and her hubby Wayne. There is so much to see and do. Will post more photos when I'm back in the hot desert. For now=it's out and exploring. Walking on beaches, visiting lighthouses, etc. This is a real vacation-laid back and not rushing anywhere. Only cooking breakfast and lunch sometimes then eating out nightly.

Caryn is 5'2" and her hubby is 6'4," I'm 5'9" so we make an interesting pair. Luckily my hubby is 6.'

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Article #69 Ghost Towns

Tucked away in shady canyons throughout the west are deserted mining towns. (Photo on left is Silver City, Utah in its heyday.) Once prosperous communities filled with saloons, humble shacks, boarding houses, hotels, a church or two, a school and a few stores; now they are all gone. Few traces are left: an old foundation, the steps leading to a church building or a lilac bush where someone’s house once stood.

My mom was born is such a town––Silver City, Utah. Just the name of the community gives a hint of what took place in this long forgotten ghost town. Once filled with the boisterous activities of a booming mining community, now only silence reigns as the lonely wind blows through sagebrush and over deserted dirt roads. Only in the memory of its former residents does it live. My aunt Ethel remembers…Here we went to school. (Photo on right-all that is left now is the concrete stairs.) This was where our mom planted flowers to beautify our yard. A big tree stood by our house and we had a rope we loved to swing on. There was an outhouse in the back and a small shed where mom took in boarders.

To keep a community going, many different occupations were needed: store keeper, hotel manager, miner, laborer, team driver, assayer, saloon keeper, teacher, preacher and of course homemaker for those miners lucky enough to be able to marry or bring their families to live with them. Not to be forgotten were the farmers, butchers and dairymen from the surrounding communities needed to supply food. (Photo on left of Jesse Knight smelter in early times.)

Reading through a census from the prosperous times of any of these mining towns shows a vast collection of immigrants from all over the world drawn by the promise of a steady living for their families. In the 1910 U.S. census, Silver City had miners from: Serbia, Germany, England, as well as various areas of the United States: Colorado, Ohio (photo on right of my great grandfather Wm. Marion Johnson from Ohio), and California. All brought by the promise of a good job and getting rich, if they were lucky enough to stake a claim that produced. Few became rich, but it was the American dream. Many lost their lives in this dangerous profession.

The town started to go under when the mines got water in them. It couldn’t be pumped out to make mining profitable, so the workers and their families pulled up stakes and headed to the next boom town. In time everyone left the once bustling community and now it lies forgotten and empty.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Life on the Beach

By now we have been enjoying the Oregon coast by Waldport for several days.

Here's a poem I wrote. This one's been working on me since yesterday when I walked on the Oregon coast.

Watching the footprints on the sand
impressions of others' journeys 
as they wandered here and there
taking in the beauty of God's handiwork.
Listening to the sound of waves 
breaking on the soft sand
then retreating only to return again
the ebb and flow of life.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On to Oregon

Traveling from Seattle south we crossed over the great Columbia River on the Lewis and Clark bridge in the photo below. In the distance you can see commerical ships in the river and other commerce.

Think about BRIDGES for a minute. We certainly take them for granted, but they are important structures that help us get on with our journey. What are some bridges in your life? Certainly education, parents, friends and God are all influences in our life that help us reach our GOALS>

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Boat Tour

We went on a boat tour from Lake Union past UW and into Lake Washington. It was a little cool but the sun was shining and the views were perfect.

"Sleepless in Seattle" movie's houseboat. There is so much to see and do here. Each time we return we try to see something we haven't seen yet and there is much more to do on our list for our next visit.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Washington Arboretum

Had a fun walk through the University of Washington's Arboretum. Such a variety of trees and shrubs but not much wildlife except for canoers and kayakers. Nearby Lake Washington had lots of ducks and seagulls near the shore. Lots of tourists and locals enjoying the warm weather.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Farmers Market

Loved walking through the open air farmers market in Redmond. Didn't buy anthing but took lots of fun photos.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Visiting Family

My step daughter Sarah at her job as an insurance underwriter. She's doing well and has her own apartment now in Redmond with quite a view. We had a lovely lunch together then took the family to pizza later and to the park.

We were able to visit with Sarah and her family-kids Alexander (below) and Adriane plus another grand daughter Miranda who was visiting from Utah.

Then visited with my son Brook and ate at an Indian restaurant. So good to have the time to talk face to face...

Brook's new car is a Toyota Prius Hybrid. (Correction from Brook: 2009 Camry Hybrid with leather, nav and moon roof.) He's doing well at his job and seems to be happy.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Article #68 Name That Place

Do you know how your community got its name? It probably happened long before you were even born or lived in the area. Early settlers were quick to name their settlements. Sometimes new towns were called after places where they had just moved from, maybe to avoid homesickness? While living in New Harmony, Utah, we discovered it was named after Harmony, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of an early settler in our town. Many New England colonial towns were named after English villages that British immigrants left behind when they settled in America: New York, New Haven, Plymouth, etc. (Many of my ancestors sailed to America from Liverpool, England.)

Imagine the task of naming every lake, river, mountain, and canyon in a new area. (Photo of rock house built by my ancestor Francis Vernon who lived in Rockport, Utah after immigrating from England.) Many times Indian names or local early settlers’ surnames were used or an event that happened nearby. Some Indian chiefs had towns identified in their honor like Santaquin and Kanosh. Most states including Utah have mining towns called Silver City or Eureka. Early Spanish explorers here influenced the naming of the Spanish Fork area. They called the Ute Indians Yuta which later became our state’s official name.

The development of Utah counties is interesting. (Photo of Oscar Wilkins family store on the left and their house on the right in Peoa, Summit County, Utah. ) Wasatch county was named for a Ute word meaning mountain pass. Washington, Garfield and Millard (Fillmore) counties were all named after U.S. presidents. Other counties were named for famous people include Sanpete-Ute Indian leader San Pitch, and Davis for Charles C. Davis-a captain in the Mormon Battalion. Rich county was called after Charles C. Rich-an early Mormon apostle, Daggett for Ellsworth Daggett-an U.S. surveyor, Duschesne for a famous French explorer, Emery for George W. Emery-an early governor of Utah, Morgan for Jedediah Morgan Grant-an early Mormon leader, and Kane for Thomas Kane-a good friend of the Mormons.

Several counties were named after natural features: Beaver, Box Elder, Carbon, Iron, Salt Lake, and Summit. Juab was aptly identified by the Ute word for thirsty valley, Uintah, and Piute for Indian tribes. The counties of Grand, San Juan, Sevier, and Weber were named after rivers of the same name. Geographical features such as Alpine, Pleasant Valley, Willow Creek, Rock Creek, Green Valley, Glenwood, Milford, Moose Lake, and Dry Creek influenced their naming. Prominent citizens were often honored by having a street designated in their honor. We have a Brigham road named after Brigham Young (photo on right.) Ever wonder how St. George was named? Some say it was in honor of Mormon apostle George A. Smith.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Washington State

We drove all day yesterday through Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Lots of varied scenery rushing by. Now to visit family. Below scenes from Washington state: Yakima valley orchards, and the Cascade range through Snoqualmie pass. It's lovely and green here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nevada sights

Photos of Cathedral Gorge near Panacha, Nevada. Amazing sights in the desert.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Off again

Time for a late summer trip to visit family and enjoy the beautiful northwest. But first there are many miles to travel through barren desert landscapes of Nevada, Idaho and Washington before we reach our destination. Guess we could all say that about our own daily life. Routines strung between significant events. Life is the journey to our goal-whatever we have decided that it is in our life or if we have decided. I believe my goal in this life is and always has been to have an "eternal family" bound together by love and shared experiences. That becomes harder and takes more effort to create with divorces in the family, and when we don't share the same household with our offspring, thus comes the necessity of traveling either in real space and time or connecting in virtual reality through the Internet. (Photo of my Grandma Johnson center in top photo with her sisters.)

Emails are fun but...nothing is the same as looking into a family member's face and hugging them while expressing your love and interest in their lives. Too bad we don't live closer but opportunities beckon our young ones and soon they are off on their own adventures in new locations. Holidays, special occasions-marriage, deaths, etc and reunions can give us the excuse to come together as an extended family IF that's a value we have in our life. May we all realize that even with our own and other family members' imperfections, FAMILY is what it's all about. (Photo of my dad as a baby, held by his father Joseph Harold Vernon, and L-his grandmother Sarah Elizabeth Malin Vernon and R-his great grandmother Alice Melissa Smith Malin.)