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Sunday, September 7, 2008
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Happy Grandparents' Day!

Photo © Sarah Steinhauer
Butterfly on Black-Eyed Susan.

Updates -

Photo © Donald Anderson
Bemidji's Paul Bunyan & his blue ox, Babe.

Update -- Dorothy and Don take a holiday
by Dorothy Dake Anderson
Alexandria, MN

Maybe it could be called a second honeymoon (like Don told his sisters), or maybe it was a chance to prove we can still do it. On this trip we were never farther than 200 miles from home; however, we traveled a greater distance than that.

We left on a drizzly day that required a tarp over my Jazzy, but at least we did not have such a fierce wind as was blowing in this area the day before we left for Sebeka. As to the driving conditions, they were great. The light rain that fell off and on the first and last days of the trip cooled off the torrid conditions that were hanging around last week. The day we visited Erskine and Fertile the weather was absolutely perfect.

As to meeting my special need, we had no problem. Even in the small town of Sebeka there was a 7-11 store (we used to call them) where the restroom was handicapped accessible. Gas was no higher than most places here in Alexandria. We checked the town out and found a "Mom and Pop restaurant," which Don checked out and determined it would work fine to entertain the Wheelers for lunch. Nice to find that their daughter and her husband were visiting from Arizona. We caught up on teasing and remembering old times ... and when we finished our lunch and our visit, we set off for farther north...

We visited Bemidji next. And though the off-season rates were not yet available in the motels, we found a very nice non-smoking room fitted out to accommodate my Jazzy ... and for a special occasion, I guess you pay without too much of a twinge!

Bemidji was something I wanted to see, as I lived a year there before I met Don. The only place I found there with ease was the Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues on Bemidji Avenue, in a park beside Bemidji Lake. We looked for the place I worked, Photo North, which is on Beltrami Avenue, but the only building on that street that I recognized was the Ben Franklin Store. (Instead of the five and dime that it used to be, it is now an arts and crafts supply store.) We hit the Tuesday night "buy one hamburger and get a second free" at The Ground Round. I must say that is ONE nice hamburger!

Our big day, we visited LeRoy and Vonnie Dake at The Pioneer Memorial Care Center at Erskine, Minnesota. We were impressed by the attractive location; the building fits into its surroundings so well. The help that we met were extremely friendly and helpful. We had a nice visit with my brother and his wife. (They send greetings to all their friends that read The Bulletin, which their granddaughter Jennie copies and sends to them.)

We were greeted at the door by their feisty dog, but when she saw we were welcome she went back to her kennel and took a nap while we were there. They have a very nice view of trees and the golf course out their picture window ... and another thing of value was being really close to the lunchroom ... where the coffee pot is on all day (I believe). It was good to see them again.

The next part of the day we visited Bergeson Nursery, which is located in the country near Fertile. I had rather hoped to meet the owner (whose blog, The Country Scribe, I read and enjoy, and mostly agree with). Don did talk to an employee, but Eric Bergeson was not home. We explored the area on the little road that went between the Bergeson Gardens display area and the nursery sales area. It is a great place if you love flowers as much as I do.

We spent the last part of the trip in Fargo and Wahpeton. We went exploring while in Fargo and found West Fargo so we called grandson Chris on his cell phone and left him a message. He called us back but we really hadn't planned that part of the trip -- it just happened. We found out that it is a lovely area of town now ... not like in our early days when the stockyards were there.

The last place on our journey was Wahpeton. We sat together around a table they had set up in Elaine's garage, where we had a nice visit with Elaine, Muriel, DeLoris, and even a bit with Meryl, who stopped by from some work putting in windows, I think they said. We had sour cream raisin pie and coffee for lunch as we sat there visiting.

We left there in good time to get the rest of the way home before dark. All went well, and we enjoyed our vacation and got in some visiting, too. (Must say it is like all of the vacation trips we ever took ... it is great to be home!)

Photo © Donald Anderson
Bergeson Gardens.

Photos © Rachel Henderson
At home in Quito, where Rachel will live this year.

Update -- Estoy en Ecuador... (I am in Ecuador)
by Rachel Henderson
Quito, Ecuador

So we headed east to the house (very lovely for Quito) in the rain, sat down for an hour of tea and fried bananas and galletinas (cookies) until I felt I could not follow one more sentence in Spanish...

This morning, after waking up with the whoa, where am I? -- I had papaya, bananas and instant coffee (yep, I was excited for the coffee...) with Yolanda...

Lunch, a trip to the University, to three surrounding cities, and supper of popcorn and an Ecuadorian cake, and here I am.

This, folks, is a summary. I'm spinning.

But all is wonderful, I miss ya'll, but hopefully things will start to feel "normal" pretty soon. Luis keeps reassuring me that they want me to feel like I am con familia. There you go, Mom. They're wonderful. I just need to figure out how to communicate with them about more than the daily issues. We'll be philosophical in a week. Just wait.

I'm becoming more comfortable here in the house. I understand a few more of the cultural expectations, can get my point across a bit more, and am learning how to get them to feed me less food. I'm going to gain weight ... agh. So it goes, all in the name of being polite.

I learned today that they have an organ and a guitar. YAY! I played the organ a bit, and really enjoyed it, although organs are light-years away from pianos. But I can make do. I'll get to play the guitar "Monday," according to Luis. The last international student broke the 6th string, but Luis wants to buy a new one. Monday is in quotes, yes, because you can't take many references to time as exact down here... And so, I'm excited to play guitar. Music calms me.

Photo © Sarah Steinhauer
Sarah's blueberries -- northern bounty.

Update -- Virginia Adair heads home
by Capt. Jack Adair
Coon Rapids, MN

Celebrations are in order! Tuesday was the six-week check-up for Virginia, and the doctor said everything is looking good. She can now put 25% weight on that leg AND go home! We'll be leaving Alexandria on Thursday, and continue her rehab therapy from home. There is a place just a few blocks from home that she can go to that she's used before, and is confident and comfortable with them. The next appointment with her doctor is in four weeks, and he said she should be walking okay by then.

Today I start the job of packing everything up for the return trip. It'll be a small challenge, as every week I've brought something up for her; now it all goes back in one trip, along with a walker and wheelchair. But we have the "stow-and-go" feature, where all the seats in back fold into the floor, leaving space from the front seats back open for cargo. Although I'll miss living with my daughters and grandchildren, it will be nice to get to live at home again, plus not having to spend $50 to fill my gas tank a couple times each trip.

Thanks to all for the cards; they were really appreciated.

Capt. Jack

Photos © Wyatt Johnson
Jolene & Wyatt, Easter Island "Moai" statue, left; Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, right.

Update -- New York, New York, it's a wonderful town...
by Wyatt Johnson
Moorhead, MN

I mentioned in part 1 of my New York trip story that our hotel was "preferably not really within walking distance of Central Park or the Museum of Natural History, but as you'll hear later, it technically really is within walking distance to both." Sunday, as it turned out, was our day to prove that.

You may recall that we had subway passes that allowed us unlimited use of the subway. Sunday morning we went to the subway station intending to head to Central Park, which was about 25 blocks northeast of our hotel. We took our half-block stroll to the 34th Street station, not really thinking about the fact that things may be different on a Sunday than they were on Friday and Saturday.

We entered the station, and didn't really notice the bars over some of the gates. Shawn and Weston made it through their gates successfully, but after Jolene and I swiped our cards, we realized that we couldn't get through, as there were locked bars in the way! We stood there looking at Weston and Shawn through the bars, realizing we were going to be doing some more walking, since our cards had been swiped, and must then be locked out for some period of time, to avoid people using one card for multiple people.

They came back through and we exited the station to head to the next one, eight blocks away. It had been hot Friday and Saturday, but the heat and humidity Sunday morning was bordering on obscene. We were all tired from all the walking we'd done the last two days, but pushed on. We got to the 42nd Street station, and went down the stairs. I'm still not exactly sure what happened in this one, but somehow Shawn got behind an elderly woman; she had some trouble and, after some confusion, Weston, Jolene, and I stood looking through the bars at a locked out Shawn.

Of course, we weren't going to leave him behind, so we left the station and kept walking northward, taking a detour to see the Fifth Avenue shopping district on our way. We finally made it to 59th Street, the south edge of Central Park. It really is amazing how big the park is. I don't know how many acres it is, but it has to be larger than my little hometown of Ashby -- the whole town!

Editor's Note: According to Central Park FAQs, it is 843 acres or 6% of Manhattan's total acreage, including: 150 acres in 7 waterbodies, 250 acres of lawns and 136 acres of woodlands. It is 2.5 miles north to south, from 110th Street to 59th Street, and .5 miles east to west from Fifth Avenue to Central Park West. It is 6 miles around the perimeter.

We walked to the American Museum of Natural History, deciding that was a perfect place to escape the heat for much of the day. We all would have spent the day looking at various types of sandpaper if they were all in an air-conditioned building, but a place containing as much history as this museum was an incredible bonus.

Luckily, we made it onto the subway to get back closer to our hotel. As we left the station, we were pestered by a guy selling tickets to a comedy show that night. We didn't have anything planned for that night, so we decided to give it a try.

The ushers at the show must put the real suckers in the front row, because that's where we ended up. Maybe it was the Minnesota accent, maybe it was the cargo shorts and polo shirts; whatever it was, we didn't know what we were getting into. We were heckled by the comedians for various things, mostly for looking like golfers in our polo shirts. Luckily we're all able to laugh at ourselves, so we didn't have any problem being props in their sets.

Next week -- the grand finale -- to be continued...

Photos © Lori Ostendorf
This is me petting the animals at the Animal Birthing Center, left, and me with Jessy and Chris, right, when we visited the largest boar in the pig barn (pew-ee!)

Update -- McKenna visits Minnesota State Fair
by McKenna Ostendorf
Rogers, MN

We went to the Minnesota State Fair with Auntie Jessy and Uncle Chris Chap this past Friday. It was my first time at the fair and I had a great time. I loved riding in my stroller and watching all the different people and seeing all the sights. I especially loved the new Animal Birthing Center, which has a lot of different baby animals.

I also liked eating corndogs with Daddy. Mommy was impressed that he shared with me ... he loves his corndogs you know. Mommy got to eat her favorite -- breaded (and, of course, deep fried) pickles with ranch dipping sauce; Jessy got her chocolate cheesecake on a stick and Chris got his pork chop on a stick. All in all, a great day had by all!

We tried one of the new food items at the fair this year: chocolate covered bacon. Yes, chocolate covered bacon. It didn't taste bad, per se, but I wouldn't say it's something I'd ever crave to eat again either. It tasted like ... well, basically, like chocolate and bacon. :)

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Kathlyn & Argyle Anderson meet a great pumpkin, 907 lbs., at the fair.

Update -- Alaska State Fair
by Miss Kitty
Anchorage, AK

It didn't matter to Mai Tai and me that the van was in the repair shop while the Alaska State Fair was in Palmer last week. We didn't want to go anyway. But Miss Jerrianne did, so she rode along with Argyle and Kathlyn. The weather was good, they said, and they had a lovely time. We stayed here and read all about the 907-lb pumpkin they saw. It wasn't a record or anything, but we were impressed.

Usually, Miss Jerrianne times her fair visit so she can watch them weigh the giant cabbages, but that doesn't happen on Thursday, so they missed it. They were pretty sure there wouldn't be any record breakers, because of our cool, damp summer. I know if there was a 100-lb. cabbage Miss Jerrianne would be mad if she missed it, but no worries ... there weren't any even close to that size this year. Maybe next year.

There was honey for sale at the fair, as usual, but the local beekeepers' association didn't even open their booth because Alaska bees weren't able to make enough honey this year. The blossoms they depend on for nectar and pollen opened late and the bees got cold and out of sorts and even had trouble navigating when the sun didn't shine.

The flowers and quilts were inspiring, we heard ... not to mention the roasted turkey legs and kettle corn and caramel apples and whatever else you can buy on a stick at the fair. And the Wild Alaska Salmon On Parade included many tributes to Alaska, the 49th state, which turned 50 years old this year. Dot Bardarson, an artist friend of Miss Jerrianne, did the patriotic salmon below.

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther; salmon by Dot Bardarson
Alaska Salmon on Parade: celebrating 49th state's 50th year of statehood.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Donna Johnson
At Camryn's first birthday, we went to Ten Mile Lake for the kids to swim. I thought this line of them crossing the road, holding hands, was rather cute.

Photos © Donna Johnson
Grandpa Beaver with birthday girl, Camryn Johnson, left; Paisley (Jessy & Chris Chap's dog) enjoying the leftovers on Jessy's corncob, right, at Camryn's party.

Photos © Donna Johnson
McKenna Ostendorf riding her first "wheels," left; Grandpa Beaver taking little Miss McKenna for a walk, or vice versa, right.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Becky's birthday meal out; with Caity, Jayce & Peggy McNeill, as well as myself. We stuffed ourselves at Old Country Buffet!

The Matriarch Speaks W
by Dorothy (Dake) Anderson
Alexandria, MN

Grandparents Day and a Sixth Anniversary

This Sunday we will observe Grandparents' Day and the 6th anniversary of the first edition of The Bulletin. Why do these two events get special mention in the Matriarch column? It is like this:

The Matriarch is the founder of this e-magazine. It started out as a way for her grandchildren to share their college experiences with one another ... and though it has become much more than the first anticipated reason for being, yet it has -- and does -- help us keep up with the grandchildren's education and careers.

Just read how Rachel is faring as she begins her year in Ecuador, going to a year of Spanish-speaking college; or consider Heidi, who is taking courses even as she is employed and keeping a home for her husband, Ryan; or look at some who have taken courses as part of their present job ... as Chris has told in his Updates; and there are still some that are not quite through with high school. So its original reason for being is still valid. So this grandma asks all her grandchildren to give us an update of their status at this time. There are a few more college students among this very extended family and we would like updates from you, too. Thank you.

Grandma Dorothy Dake Anderson
The Matriarch

Who Is This?

Let's Play a Guessing Game: Whenever it is handy to do so, we will run a picture of someone of the subscribers or staff members of our e-magazine. Tell us who you think it is -- we will let you know who was the first to guess it right -- and the correct guess -- in the following week's Bulletin.

(Send us some to run; we will line them up in our staging area to take their turn. Tom Miller supplied last week's mystery picture.

How many can you identify?

Answers to last week's mystery pictures (click here to review them):

Editors' Note: Correct guesses appear in bold face type and incorrect guesses in normal type ... generally in the order we receive them, so the first guess received is on top.

The mystery picture ... has only one mystery person ... I think ... we will see!

Aunt Gert in the back, Aunt Lois, Mom, Aunt Dorothy, Great Aunt Josephine, Arlin Pfingsten, Henrietta, Anita, Grandmother Dake, mystery person, Glenda, Grandmother Miller, Aunt Lenore, Aunt Phoebe.

What an awesome picture! That is how I remember Aunt Lenore. I remember so many happy hours spent with her. I sure miss some of those very special women in that picture ... my mom, Aunt Lenore, Grandmother Dake, Aunt Phoebe...

Thanks for publishing this picture; I hope I can get a copy.

Shari Miller Larson
Litchfield Park, AZ

Editor's comment: This picture was sent to me quite recently by Tom Miller. Earlier in the Guess series, we had run one that I had of the whole crowd that was at Blanche and Jim's that day. I was not on it so I thought it was taken after I left for Sister Kenny Hospital ... but on this one, there I am, so that makes the date of the photo somewhere in July of 1946 but before the 14th. I would guess it was taken on the 4th of July.

I will use Shari's list for my key; she went from left to right, not making rows out of them. The second names will be the one the person had at that time.

Aunt Gert [Dake] in the back, Aunt Lois [Dake], Mom [Blanche Dake], Aunt Dorothy [Dake], Great Aunt Josephine [Bredeson (Olive's sister)], Arlin Pfingsten, Henrietta [Schildt], Anita [Pfingsten], Grandmother [Amy] Dake, Rose Noonan, Glenda [Huisman], Grandmother [Olive] Miller, Aunt Lenore [Pfingsten], Aunt Phoebe [Huisman].

My picture is a copy of the original that Tom Miller sent to me ... but it is very clear and nice and I will send you a copy of the copy! --DMA

I definitely recognize my grandma, Lois Dake, on the far left. I think that is Aunt Blanche standing next to her. I also recognize Great-Grandma (Amy Dake) on the back row, third from the right.

Adriana Stahlecker Brown
Granbury, TX

The last picture sure brought back some wonderful memories. Names are Gertie Dake Pettit, Lois Dake, Blanche Dake Miller, Dorothy Dake Anderson, Josephine Bredeson, [sister to Olive Miller,] Henrietta Schildt, Amy Dake, Rose Noonan, Olive Miller, Lenore Miller Pfingsten, Phoebe Miller Huisman; the little ones in front are Arlin Pfingsten, Anita Pfingsten Weiland, and Glenda Huisman Baker.

I have a vague memory of the pictures being taken. I think it was at Uncle Jim and Auntie Blanche's farm. We had several picnics there; if I remember right, it was their first farm. Uncle Jim would remember better than I. Little did we know those days would become" The good ole days!"

Could you send just a copy of the picture to me ... if that's possible. Thank you!

Anita Pfingsten Weiland
Yankton, SD

I can't resist sending you my ID of this week's picture. I thoroughly enjoy the older pictures, especially when I can identify most of the subjects on them.

Gertrude Dake, Lois Dake, Blanche Dake, Dorothy Dake, Great Aunt Josephine Bredeson, Henrietta Schildt, Amy Dake, Rose Noonan, Grandma Olive Miller, Lenore Pfingsten, and Mom, Phoebe Huisman. In front, Arlin Pfingsten, Anita Pfingsten, and myself, Glenda Huisman.This picture was likely taken about 1945.

I really enjoy The Bulletin. Thanks for letting so many of us share in reading what was supposed to be for your family only.

Glenda Huisman Baker
Pingree, ND

Editor's comment: You are welcome to write any time, Glenda. The Bulletin started out for my grandchildren, but it didn't take it long to add parents, and then friends. Being a friend of long standing, and a relative of my brother-in-law and an identifier of old photos, you are surely considered a subscriber of good standing!

What a GREAT picture! All of the Dake and Miller ladies and some of the children! Love it! Start with Gert, Lois, Blanche, Dorothy, my Aunt Josephine, Henrietta Schildt, "Mom" Amy Dake, (can’t remember this next name), my MOM -- Olive Miller -- Lenore, and Phoebe. The youngsters in front are Arlin Pfingsten, Anita Pfingsten and Glenda Huisman.

Thanks for doing such a great job!

Tom Miller
Madera, CA

I just have to take a stab at this week's photo. From the left: Aunt Gert (partially hidden), Aunt Lois, Mom (Blanche) Aunt Dorothy, Josephine Bredeson, Arlin Pfingsten in front of her, Henrietta Schildt with Anita Pfingsten in front, Grandma Dake, Rose Noonan with Glenda Huisman in front of her, Grandma Miller, Aunt Lenore Pfingsten and Aunt Phoebe Huisman. Will write you more later!

Steve Miller
Coral Springs, FL

What fun -- all those ladies for us to guess! I will take a chance, but I doubt I can guess them all. Gert, Bill Dake's wife [Lois], Blanche, Dorothy, (?), Henrietta, Amy, LeRoy, Mrs. Miller, Lenore and Phoebe. I have to pass on the children. Can't wait now to see who I missed.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

Larry McCorkell sent us a manuscript he transcribed from his father's tape recorded memories and made it available to The Bulletin for a series of excerpts. These stories were originally tape recorded by Bruce McCorkell of his growing up days on the homestead near Effie in northern Minnesota. They were recorded from a period of the mid 1980's until the early 2000's. These are Bruce's words of happy, sad, funny, good, and hard times.


We always had a rooster. In the springtime she'd order like 50 or maybe a hundred rooster capons to raise for eating. They didn't cost much. There'd be a lot of roosters when these chickens would hatch. They'd come in a box and you'd coax them to get them to live. If you got two drops of rain on them they die.

We had an old rooster or two and that was really fun. In the evening, Ma would call, "Chick chick chick chick." She could say "chick" faster then anybody I ever saw. "Chick chick chick chick, here chick chick chick chick chick," and the chicks would come from every direction.

The old rooster would really watch over the flock. It's amazing how that is built into them. When God made everything, he sure created everything right. There seemed to be a lot of hawks in those years over there, probably still is. Most anytime you'd look 'way up in the air somewhere, almost out of sight, these hawks would be circling. They just circled and circled and circled. They'd go around and around and just circle around there for hours.

That old rooster would stand out there in the yard and he'd keep his eye on that hawk. He'd walk around the yard while the others were eating and he'd call the chicks, "Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck." He'd do his job, too. He didn't eat anything himself. He'd just scratch that corn. "Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck," and he'd scratch. Then he'd watch. He'd have his head cocked and look up in the air and when he'd see that bird up there, when that bird would get too close or come flying a little close, he'd make his big squawk and warn them, "squaaaaawk!"

Everybody would get on their toes. You ought to see all the old hens scatter. Even the little chicks would run like 60 to get under the wagon or get under the car or something. It's funny how those chickens know that warning. The old rooster would stand right out there and be watching.

Ma would go out in the yard in the evening. She always fed them a little corn from a little pail and she'd call, "Chick chick chick" and away they'd come, from every direction. Sometimes they wouldn't all be there. They'd be scattered around all over and it'd be the old rooster and maybe a couple of others and then he'd make his call, "Crrrrrkkkk." He'd make a squawk, and boy, they'd come running like everything, because that was the call for food or whatever. It was really fun to watch the old rooster out there.

Travelogue t

Photo © Sheldon Swenson
Mitzi & Kjirsten soak in Rio Pumarinri Hot Springs.

Huayhuash Trek Of Peru
by Sheldon and Mitzi Swenson
Dickinson, ND

Hot Springs

On day five of our trek, we have a special treat awaiting us. There is a hot spring about a 10 minute walk from camp. Nicol urges us to get on the trail early that morning so we can be the first ones there to enjoy fresh, clean water.

We hit camp around noon and quickly grab some clean clothes and head off for the only bath of the trip. We arrive before anyone else and observe that there is no dressing room. There is one large cement pool about 12 by 20 feet in size and then an adjacent, small pool, about 6 by 8 feet. There is hot water flowing into each pool separately.

The large pool is a pleasant, very warm hot tub type temperature of about 104 degrees. The small pool is extremely hot, I suspect around 110 degrees. Signs indicate soap and shampoo are allowed in the small pool only.

A bath and hot tub soak has never felt so good. It actually started to sleet a bit shortly after getting into the water so there was no getting out until that shower passed. We got dressed just in time and met several other trekkers hiking in as we left.

Photo © Sheldon Swenson
Campsite at Rio Pumarinri Hot Springs.

Mitzi's Journal

The 4th day we were hiking to a camping area near a hot springs. Nicol told us to start early in the morning so we would beat everyone else, who would "dirty the water." We did that and had a great soak and a biodegradable shampoo session in our sports bras and underwear. I always hike with underwear full of holes so I can throw them away, so that was the end of the first pair. My mother would not have approved; however, Sheldon has assured me that if you end up in the Emergency Room, they don't make jokes about your underwear, as long as they are appropriate for your gender.

When a mule train started down the valley, it was time to shiver out of the pool, dress in clean clothing and walk very carefully about a mile back to our tent. Because the trail was very dusty, our feet were filthy every night, and we wanted to have them clean after our soaking for a few hours. The next morning I would indulge in a clean pair of socks, but would continue to wear my dirty hiking clothes. We were only carrying two sets of clothing, except for socks, so clean clothes were a real treat.

When the sun went down, it was instantly cold. Usually, Kjirsten made dinner while it was still warm enough to eat outdoors. Every night she rehydrated several servings of vegetables and some grocery store TVP (textured vegetable soy protein), and cooked it with a 4-serving packet of Knorr soup. Just before serving, she thickened it with instant mashed potatoes and sprinkled it with Parmesan cheese. Served with a piece of bread, a small bowl filled us up and kept our tummies happy until morning. Every flavor was good but our favorites were tomato and split pea with ham.

We finished our dinner with a cup of hot chocolate, even though that would usually mean a quick trip to the bushes in the middle of the night. It was below freezing most nights and there were so many stars that it truly looked like the Milky Way. We didn't linger, however, so I still have never seen the Southern Cross constellation.

To be continued...

Photo © Sheldon Swenson

$  A Long Time Ago   !

Appalachian Trail Trek: August 1973
by Jerrianne Lowther
Anchorage, AK

With the lofty White Mountains behind us, we figured we would have no trouble hiking the rest of the distance to Mount Katahdin before winter shut us out. Then fate stepped in again. Our ride from Mount Katahdin back to Rochester, New York, fell through. We needed a new plan.

But first we had to make our way through the Mahoosuc Mountains, where New Hampshire bordered Maine. Specifically, Mahoosuc Notch, sometimes said to be the most challenging mile of the whole Appalachian Trail.

Mic described it far better than I can: "Mahoosuc Notch was a sheer-walled ravine cut a thousand feet deep between Mahoosuc and Fulling Mill mountains. Refrigerator- and box-car-sized boulders filled the floor of the narrow space, fallen from cliffs above into heaps from wall to wall.

"We descended into it. The trail led almost at once over, between, around, and under rocks of incredible size. We climbed massive rocks, crawled up angled slabs, descended from ledge to steep ledge. We edged through narrow cracks. We inched down steep pitches and drop-offs. We crawled in muddy tunnels, taking off packs, handing them through openings between boulders too high and too wide to climb. The trail twisted, rose, plunged, time after time. It led through arches, caves, and over heaped, jagged rocks in search of passage.

"We heard a creek running below. Clouds of vapor puffed from dark openings where the sun never shined. In shadows we found ice from winters before. The temperature dropped dramatically through the notch; the sun did not visit there long.

"Two hours passed, then three. We took our time and stopped often to rest and have lunch. Jerri took pictures while Kyra and I looked for the trail's next turn.

"Thick clumps of moss clung to rock faces and grew on walls to either side. Trees sprang from crevices, draping roots over rocks and ledges to find soil. Fallen trees blocked our path. We climbed, wriggled, and crawled, making our way steadily on.

"The creek broke to the surface at the end. Southbound hikers passed us there, about to enter the mile of trail that had taken us four hours.

"'Was it awful?' one woman asked. 'Was it as terrible as everyone says?'

"'It isn't a place to hurry,' Jerri said. 'Take it easy and enjoy it.'"

Photos © Jerrianne Lowther
Mic & Kyra thread their way through Mahoosuc Notch.

"I stood in the darkened phone booth in Gorham and considered the news. Heavy trucks rumbled by, making it difficult to hear, but I knew I'd made no mistake: our Rochester friends couldn't meet us at Katahdin as planned.

"'We're very disappointed,' Paul said. 'We've looked forward to this vacation for months, but my new job just ruled it out.'

"'That changes things, all right ...' I said, my voice drifting off, 'but maybe it's just as well. We'll have some trail left to do then anyway.'

"'Oh? How is that?'

"'We skipped a piece of Vermont a while ago. Having you drive twelve hundred miles round trip to drop us there was getting to be a lot to ask.'

"'We would have happily done so,' he said, 'but as it is, we can't go anywhere. We're still expecting you here when you finish, though.'

"I told him we'd work out a new plan and let him know. But Mount Katahdin wasn't exactly a stop on the subway; we would have to come up with something good.

"I told Jerri the story. Her solution didn't take long.

"'We could finish the Mahoosucs,' she said; 'that's about twenty-four miles. Then we could hitch to Katahdin and complete the AT walking south.'

"I didn't react.

"'With Katahdin behind, we wouldn't have to be concerned about winter.'

"I nodded.

"'It would be easier to get into Baxter Park now than out in October.'

"I agreed.

"'Crossing the Kennebec will be easier going south,' she went on, 'and we'll be back here at the end of Maine. Getting to Glencliff to finish Vermont will be less hassle. It makes sense, don't you think?'

"Calmly, I said yes.

"I had no arguments to counter Jerri's logic. I'd let the fragmentation begin at Bromley; turning around now hardly seemed to matter. It certainly wasn't worth another argument, particularly when Jerri had all the cards. We'd met several 'ends to the middle' hikers recently, including one whose chosen mid-point was Worthington's Bakery. None appeared overcome by any great loss.

"We would do it. We would walk south. It was okay.

"Accordingly, we bought food to last the next thirty-one days, or for all the AT north of Gorham. We loaded supplies in the pack to last to Grafton Notch in Maine, the jump-off point, and sent a box to Millinocket for the trip south from Katahdin. Boxes mailed to Monson, Caratunk, Stratton, and Rangeley in Maine would handle the remaining distance. The only problem was Katahdin to Monson, 112 miles of wilderness without a town.

"The guide book mentioned hunting and fishing camps in the region. The telephone operator found a listing for one at West Branch Ponds and put me through. An answer came after many rings, faint, distant, interrupted by scratching static.

"'... call back tomorrow ... maybe the line will be better....'

"Next day I reached the owner, C.J. Kealiher. I shouted questions and strained over noisy traffic for his replies.

"'... arrive before September 15 ... send box to Greenville ... cabin and three meals ... sixteen dollars a person....'

"'We'll be there,' I yelled. Kealiher's West Branch Ponds Camps lay just off the trail near the middle of the 112 miles." --from Walking North, by Mic Lowther.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days
September 7---Grandparents' Day

This Week's Birthdays
September 7---Brendan Aydelotte (9 years)
September 12---Lindsay Dawn Hellevang
Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
September 7---Tim and Colette Huseby (12 years)

More September Birthdays
September 2---Patty Anderson
September 2---Vicki Anderson
September 2---Stanley Wm. Dake
September 3---Jacob Mendoza Dake
September 3---Eric printz
September 3---Charles Quick
September 4---Wiley Nelson
September 5---Genelle Mogck
September 5---Lori Chap Ostendorf

September 15---Carolyn Miller Dake
September 15---Shari Miller Larson
September 19---Nathanial Kurtis Seaman
September 21---Jessica Aydelotte
September 24---Wyatt Johnson
September 25---Keith Mason
September 26---Jaxon Dwight Hill (2 years)
September 28---Donald L. Anderson
September 30---Sheldon Swenson

More September Anniversaries
September 2---Michael and Sarah Dake Steinhauer (6 years)
September 4---Ernie and Carolyn Miller Dake (37 years)

September 18---Jay and Sandy Miller Smith (9 years)

September Special Days
September 1---Labor Day
September 2---VJ Day
September 7---Grandparents' Day

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Dear Miss Hetty,

We enjoyed the anniversary e-card you sent for our 26th. We enjoyed our day by attending the University of North Dakota home opener football game in Grand Forks. After the game, Brandon and two of his teammates and their parents joined us at Applebee's. The next evening, Ken and I had barbequed ribs at one of our favorite restaurants, Famous Dave's.

Merna and Ken Hellevang
Fargo, ND

Thank you for the lovely E-card. That was a very nice one. After I watched it I sat here and remembered how many of your Bulletin readers were there to celebrate with us 37 years ago. Good memories!

Carolyn Dake
Duluth, GA

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Jennie Horne
Ethan Horne, tough soldier with a missing tooth, 6 years old.

Keep Us Posted!

Please drop Miss Hetty a line and tell us who, and what, we've missed. And how about a report (photos welcome) of YOUR special celebration?

'Many Thankse

Miss Hetty


Click here to review last week's Bulletin

I was glad to hear you were able to get to Erskine to visit Mom and Dad. I am sure they enjoyed seeing you. We are wondering if we can sneak in a quick visit to Minnesota go see them and my mom before the snow flies.

Last weekend all of the kids and grandkids were home for the holiday weekend. The house was pretty full with 11 of us but we did fine. Tomorrow night we head for Madison for the weekend. Ethan's birthday party is on Saturday. Two weeks from now, Carrie will celebrate her birthday here. We keep so busy but I just love all the family activity.

Your Bulletins are always so welcome. I love all those old pictures! The one you ran a couple weeks ago of my dad as a young boy just really tugged at my heartstrings.

Thanks again for remembering our 37th!

Carolyn Dake
Duluth, GA

Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
by Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Well, that was a "first." A horse drawn fire wagon right there on the front page of The Bulletin this time. Talk about a variety! We get it all as we see The Bulletin appear on the screen every Saturday morning, right on schedule.

What a unique picture of Niagara Falls! The colors I didn't remember being on the previous pictures of the Falls, and it is just incredible thinking of the size of it, and what the roar of the water would be. Could you even hear one another talk? Thanks, Gert for taking all those pictures to share with us. So nice your daughter wanted you with her. That is a very good sign of the kind of mother you were in her eyes. You would have loved sharing the hours and days together. Maybe that won't happen again, who knows? We got old and busy and a long trip like that would take some planning and saving.

The old historic area of Daketown and the cemetery will be a forever memory. I am sure your Mellon relations would be excited to think you had visited them.

I certainly enjoyed seeing the family picture of Printzes. I never met them, but something about them makes me think they look familiar. Then it's seldom we see one of James. The dog looks pretty content right where he is on James's lap. Dogs seem to sense safe company.

The family will all be glad for any time they could spend together with Lois. Eventually, it becomes less and less possible to do much visiting, let alone reminiscing, but memories will keep a mother ever close, no matter what the future holds.

Well, we went from the Texas Dake family to the North Dakota family belonging to the Hills and Andersons. Oh, what a historic moment when your little baby girl goes off to kindergarten! We wish we could listen in on Jazmine when she gets home from school. I know a kindergarten teacher has a major impact on a child's whole school experience.

I remember my kindergarten class of Loring School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Miss Akerson playing the piano and singing "Apple Tree" that Shirley Temple had made so popular. That was in 1935. Probably before a lot of you were even born.

Now, I think we need to give Jerrianne a big round of applause. Do you see her standing straight and tall on that Segway? At long last she finally got a chance to take a ride on one, and it sounds like it won't be the last time. I find it difficult to imagine not falling over. It didn't take long for her and her friend, Barbara, to venture farther and faster. As far as I'm concerned, the very fact she added the picture of herself is phenomenal. We have not had a closeup like that of Miss Jerrianne before, as long as I've been reading Bulletins. I tried desperately to see some likeness to my good friend, her mother, Twila Johnson. I see more of a likeness to Kyra, HER daughter.

Donna Mae, thanks for sharing pictures of Beaver in his loyalty to his country and town and the Legion. One has to really admire such a busy farmer for taking time to be active in community affairs. Like his dad, there must not be a lazy bone in his body.

I felt so touched to see the picture of Rachel hugging her mother. When she gets way down south, she will feel a longing for that moment over again. It will be wonderful if she can have enough time to send some details for The Bulletin of her experience in Ecuador. Spanish is a very valuable second language. I wonder if she visited with Connie about Ecuador? There will likely be as many plusses as minuses.

Homesteading Days is always a "down home" type story with interesting details we can instantly remember, even by just having visited the farm during the summer sometimes. People were so poor in the old days, but with their own garden and meat they fared well.

The Travelogue keeps on getting deeper and deeper and higher and higher. It seems very miraculous that no one has gotten hurt or lost or bitten or discouraged. A special type of person makes that kind of a hike and stays with it to the end. Think of what great shape the Swensons are in to endure such an exhausting experience on their bodies. I really can't tell if it's Mitzi or Kjirsten reading that book. How did that boy ever have a ziplock bag clear up there in no man's land? Maybe he's seen lots of hikers come and go.

And following close behind, right on the next page (or scrolling down a bit), there is Kyra struggling up those rocks to the feat of reaching the rocky summit. Again, I can not even dare to imagine that there is a way through all those hills and mountains and trees. As I have said before, the very fact they lived to tell about it shows they did make it all the way. The list of questions people asked was so typical, but actually funny the way Kyra just shrugged off the answers, like having hiked "since March." What a shock to that man and his two young daughters, who were probably wearing out in a short time.

Happy Anniversary, Tim and Colette!

You can't fool me -- that is a doll's leg in that picture of Kira, ha. No way she could be THAT limber.

We are going to hold you to that, Wyatt, to get part three of the New York trip written.

Callie Printz and her brother graced the first part of The Bulletin, and the last part, too, with the CHUCKLES picture of her smirking.

I wish that Quotation was true. "Every time I think I'm getting old, something else happens." Well, I have to confess that I am well aware of this getting old phase.

We are so excited that Don and Dorothy can take a vacation for a few days. To even stay overnight in a motel is a major change for them, and I do hope they enjoy it all, and that the weather makes traveling really enjoyable. Nice they plan to visit LeRoy and Vonnie.

Thanks again, Editor and Photo Editor, for undaunted dedication to produce yet another Bulletin for our fun and enjoyment and, actually, our education, too.

Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Lois Holman
Hunter Holman happily heads downstream.

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Quotation for the day: If becoming a grandmother was only a matter of choice, I should advise every one of you straight away to become one. There is no fun for old people like it. --Hannah Whithall Smith

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This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.

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