Thursday, May 03, 2007

Almost relatives (April 29-30)

Posted from West Wendover Nevada (I-80) - Thursday morning May 3 (Updated with pictures May 5)

Sunday morning I had located the Cheyenne Church of Christ using their website. They are meeting in a school auditorium because their building was in the flight path for the airport and the airport had bought it as part of an expansion plan. MAPQUEST is great for getting directions and we were able to find the location with no problems.

When we went in we spoke to one lady who was originally from North Dakota who had relatives in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Then one of the elders saw us and came over to say hello. When we told him we were from Ontario he said “Do you know anyone in Beamsville?” – I said “Sure – maybe you know my brother-in-law Art Ford?” – He said “Sure do – our daughter is married to their son”. Our response was surprised delight – “Oh, you are Jeri’s father”. Jeri is married to my nephew Craig Ford. I have mentioned Craig & Jeri before. They with their daughter Hannah are missionaries in Papua New Guinea (click HERE).

This made Phil and Ruth Bulloch “almost relatives” – my term for people that you have absolutely no earthly relationship with either by blood or “in-law” but who you share close relatives with. (The best example of this of course are the parents of your daughter-in-law or son-in-law – you share a grandchild but there (often) is no other connection.)

I had forgotten that Jeri was from Cheyenne although I had remarked to Linda as we came into Cheyenne that I thought her parents lived “somewhere around here”. As my memory got refreshed I recalled that the wedding had been in Cheyenne but unfortunately we had not been able to make it so we had never met Phil & Ruth before.

We had a great visit with them over lunch at Primo’s (Primos All-You-Can-Eat-Pizza, Corner Of Dell Range & Prairie) - a neat “cafeteria-style” pizzeria –where we learned about something we had never seen before – dessert pizza!!

Our lunch with Phil & Ruth along with their son Phillip and his wife and daughter (almost the same age as Hannah) and 2 foster daughters was a great visit . We were able to share our common bond as Christians as well as our common connection with the Ford’s. (I was really kicking myself because Phil had driven us to the restaurant since our car was “in tow” and we didn’t want to drive the whole rig around Cheyenne -- as a result my camera was in the BBB and I couldn’t get a picture)

Phil works in the funeral business and is an elder at the Cheyenne church. They have been foster parents for a number of years – in fact they are off to Washington next week as sponsored by the state of Wyoming as “delegates” to a national convention. Ruth is also working on a nursing diploma so they have full lives. We hope that God will continue to bless them and their family. It is possible that we might see Ruth this summer since Craig & Jeri are home on furlough and Jeri is expected to give birth to their second child while they are in Canada around the same time as Craig’s brother Trevor’s wedding in July.

One other fascinating thing about this visit was Monday afternoon when we arrived in Salt Lake I received this email from my brother-in-law Art (Craig’s Dad) “We received the word from PNG that you visited with the Bullocks in Cheyenne.” So in this day of the INTERNET news can travel around the world in the “blink of an eye”.

After lunch we were back on the road again. It was a long gradual uphill climb as we drove west. We crossed the highest point in Wyoming near Laramie (8650 feet) (actually highest point on the entire cross continental I-80 route) .

At the rest area there we learned that it is referred to as the “summit” and there is a historical marker describing the construction of the original “Lincoln highway” as a private endeavor to provide a continuous road from New York to San Francisco.

There is also a large marker with a bust of Abe Lincoln on top.

We had a demonstration of physics about 2 miles before we reached the summit. We were driving along when we heard a loud bang. – like a balloon bursting. I was concerned that it might have been a tire blowing out although there was no indication of any problem so we pulled over and checked. Everything looked fine so we went on. As we were driving I got to wondering if it had to do with the low pressure at this altitude and something in one of the storage bins might have ruptured.

So when we got to the rest area I checked everything in the bins but could find anything even though several plastic containers of water and washer fluid were bulged there didn’t seem to have been any signs of an “explosion” Linda discovered that several tubes of stuff in the bathroom were “oozing” materials – especially when she took the lids off but again nothing that would explain a “bang”. The next day as I was coming in from gassing up Linda said “I found it”. We had a bag of Doritos chips in a cupboard just behind the drivers seat and the bag was blown open at the top seam.
So the moral of the story is eat your chips before you start up the mountain!!! (I guess this is a science experiment for Hunter or Camdyn to see how reducing pressure outside a sealer container can cause it to explode.)

After the “summit” experience, we continued across the continental divide near Rawlins and on in to Rock Springs. We did a WALMART night there. (The picture of the sign was taken somewhere near Rawlins and the second one was in Green River)

As we pulled in to the WALMART at Rock Springs we were out walking around looking for a suitable “camping” spot and came across a couple from Ohio who were pulling a 5th wheel. They told us that they had blown a tire on their (double axle) trailer. The force of the “explosion” and maybe the debris from the tire had broken out the wheel well and made a hole right into the trailer. They had been able to get the spare on and had come in to get duct tape to try to close off the worst of the hole. Made me wonder what would happen if I ever blew one of our rear duals – I don’t even want to think about what would happen if I blew a front tire. I will try to keep a close watch on them to reduce that possibility.)

Monday morning Linda saw a “Corral West” cowboy clothing store and went shopping for a (very nice) shirt and vest . I was able to pick up INTERNET from a Quality Inn across the way and did that for a while as she shopped). We then drove on to Salt Lake City. I had thought we were through most of the mountains and it hadn’t really amounted to much but as we got towards the Utah border we started hitting very long relatively steep climbs that slowed me down to below 60 kph (35 mph). I used my 4 way blinkers a lot of the time as we climbed and occasionally forgot to shut them off (this is relevant later)

As we came into UTAH we were in “real” mountains – snow capped – much like going through the Rockies in BC. (The picture is at a rest stop just as we entered Utah -- one of the most beautiful locations we saw on the entire route)
We also got to see prairie dogs several places as we stopped and I got this picture at the Utah rest stop

Well I’ll close off this post with the text of an email I sent to family & friends Tuesday morning (May 1).

“We pulled into SLC yesterday around suppertime. We are in a very nice campground just off I-15 about 10 miles north - old apple orchard overlooking the city.We are headed downtown to check out the sights for the day -- more later.”

God Bless

1 comment:

Neva said...

Okay--this is so weird. I spoke in Cheyenne--Is Ray Ward still the preacher there?
Most of my family lives in Laramie and I was born in Rawlins. You probably saw some of my relatives.
Too funny.
Hope your trip is fun and safe