Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What a Week! Part II

Breakfast was at 7:15 and then it was back to the Harms Center for presentations.

We had a presentation by Barb Netherland entitled, "Settlement of the Panhandle."

Somehow, she managed to do in two hours what 
Mom could not accomplish in a lifetime:

she caused me to be interested in genealogy.  

I don't know what it was about her presentation, but
I sat there thinking about the boxes and boxes and boxes of 
clippings, photographs and notes that Mom left behind.

I guess I can quit cussing my cousin for dying now
and leaving the #%$^#& family tree stuff.

I seriously doubt that I'll ever be into it like Mom was,
but I was intrigued enough to want to go through the boxes.

After her presentation, Lonnie showed us how he uses video clips in his classroom.
He had taken video clips of the DVD entitled "Beef State".

The third clip showed this man:

I recognized him as the kindly gentleman who bought my dog, Spotty,
every Wednesday when he came to the sale barn for the weekly sales.

He'd give me a dollar and ask me to watch her while he attended
the sale because he couldn't take her in.  I always obliged him.

I'd thank him as I snatched the dollar.
Then I'd high-tail it to Hazel's cafe and buy myself two
oatmeal raisin cookies that were as big as my head.

She made the best cookies.  I always tried to be around when
she had groceries to carry in because she would give me a cookie for helping.

 Spotty and I would head for the quonset where we would hide 
and nibble on our cookies until the sale was over and Mr. Sibbitt was gone.

He must have bought Spotty at least 
once a month while we lived at the sale barn.

I hadn't thought about that for years.

After that, we had another presentation by Lonnie
on Physical Geography of the Panhandle.

He showed us a really cool way to teach landforms.

This is Oscar, showing off his final product.
Oscar is from Spain and speaks six languages.

After this exercise, Shari gave us a box of building materials and told us to get into groups and build a house.  My group was so inspired by Barb Netherlands talk and her stories of Terry Carpenter that we felt compelled to build one of the first trailers to be put into Terry's town, now known as Terrytown.

Isn't it obvious that we were having way too much fun?!

We gathered all of the goodies that Randy 
had given us and bid the Harms Center good-bye.

Then we headed to the North Platte Valley Museum where we had a picnic lunch.

I felt compelled to buy the book that Barb had about Scottsbluff, Gering and Terrytown.
Mom is sitting somewhere laughing her ass off.

We traveled out to the Wildcat Hills Nature Center

 where we endured a lengthy spiel about geology of the Hills.

There's a reason why I didn't become a geologist.
I was doing well to keep from snoring while the speaker was talking.

Afterwards, Anne James took us on a nature hike.
Vicki and I had done the same hike during our science camp.  
It's always enjoyable to hike with Anne.
I was surprised that she didn't have us smelling trees.
She usually does.

We had taken the Germans there when they visited and did some hiking.
Fortunately we didn't meet up with the poison ivy that Anne pointed out.

After that, we spent some time perusing the Nature Center,

Then, we drove back into the hills to one of the shelters
for an "exotic" cook-out.

Tom and his wife were fixing five meats:
antelope, elk, trout, wild boar and venison chili.
He also had venison jerky available for us to try.

I discovered that I LOVE venison jerky and venison chili.
I especially enjoyed the wild boar and had to go back for more.

I had been dreading the exotic cook-out, 
not knowing what food would be served.

Tom said he usually has rattlesnake, but couldn't find it in his freezer
when he got ready to come west.

Oh, darn.

After we ate, Jedidiah Smith paid us a visit.

 He pointed out the trail that he had followed on his trek west.

 Once again, as the sun was setting, we were headed back to the dorm ---
with one big difference.  Tomorrow would start at 6:15 and we would be traveling to Wyoming and spending the night in the fine town of Wright.  

That meant we needed to pack a bag.

Of course, I hadn't even thought about packing yet.
So what else is new?

I managed to throw some things together 
and to be back in town by 6:15 a.m.

We loaded the bus

and headed for Fort Laramie.

Naturally, on our way Lonnie took advantage of our captivity
and gave us the basic background of the fort and historical
points along the way.

Once we arrived at the fort, our interpreter for the day was Ron Jones,
a history teacher from Detroit, who spends his summers at Fort Laramie and 
Scottsbluff National Monument.

He was an exceptional guide and we learned a great deal.

His stories brought the history to life and made it much more
interesting than I had ever found it to be before.

We got to see the officer's quarters

as well as various markers and monuments on the grounds.


We had a second guide who explained the fort trading post.

This gentleman was a colleague of our guide 
and was very informative about sutlers and their role throughout history.

Bedlam Hall was our last stop on the formal tour

and naturally we had to have a group photo.

 After the formal tour, Lonnie imparted more stories.

Then we had a picnic lunch on the grounds and were free to peruse the gift shop
or to patronize the saloon.  Fortunately, Vicki and I have honed our book-buying skills, so it took us no time to drop a tidy bundle of money and still partake in birch beer.

Then we loaded up the bus and drove all the way to the front entrance

Our next stop was Register Cliff, but since we seem to have a storm moving in, 
I'll continue this at a later time when the satellite signal is stronger.

1 comment:

Mardell said...

I am really poor at holding my breath waiting for your next installment....your trip thru the west isn't over yet...Time to tell all.