Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Next Generation

Our family has no problem with child labor. We teach them from a very young age to be productive. Here is a picture of me cracking the whip and teaching Adam the vinyl lettering "tricks of the trade". Of course I am just kidding, he is having a great time with his Nana.
Later he had an even better time with Papa.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Washington Dance Club Winterfest

This week end was the Washington Dance Club’s “Winter Fest”. It is a ballroom dance competition for all skill levels. Laura competed in the Junior I Novice category in both Standard and Latin styles. I really enjoy watching all of the dancing, there were kids that looked to be about 4 or 5 years old that could really dance! I figure those kids probably don’t have a whole lot of extra time to ride bikes. Sarah VanderHoeven competed as well. Valerie and I both forgot to bring our camera which is unbelievable since we both usually have them in our purses. I took a few pictures during the week in the studio while they were practicing. Ami Parker took some at the competition. It is hard to get a good picture because they move so fast.Laura and her partner Damien did very well in the competition, they placed First in Samba, Third in Cha-Cha (Sarah and her partner were second), First in Waltz and second in Rumba. Laura is so graceful so she has a knack for dancing. I would love to learn to dance like my kids do someday! Maybe sometime they will teach Jack and me.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Valley of Fire

The Valley of Fire is an amazing place. We were there on a beautiful sunny day and it was the perfect weather for hiking and climbing on the gorgeous rocks.

The contrast between the dark red rocks and the very blue sky makes for great lighting for pictures.

St. Thomas, Nevada

Near Logandale and Overton is what used to be the town of St. Thomas. In 1865, the Mormons established St. Thomas, at the junction of the Muddy and Virgin Rivers. The colonists farmed, raised cotton, and worked with the Southern Paiutes. In 1912, there was enough business to have a railroad branch built to St. Thomas. The town became the halfway stopping point on the Old Arrowhead Trail, having a hotel, good meals, and a reliable garage. Re-routing U.S. 91 and ceasing operations of Grand Gulch copper mine in the 1930's hurt the town's economy. Life returned more to normal with the discovery of a silica sand deposit, beginning operation of a salt mine, and the discovery of the Lost City.

Then the Hoover Dam project was started. Evacuation notices were posted on everything for five years, however no one left until rising water was spotted in the Virgin Canyon. Many of the buildings were moved to towns on higher ground. The cemetery was dug up and relocated to just outside of Overton.

This is what became St. Thomas cove in Lake Mead.

Looking out over St. Thomas now.

The last few years the area has been in a drought so the waters of lake mead have receded and St. Thomas has been uncovered. When you walk around you can see some of the old foundations. You used to be able to see where the streets were but most of that is gone now.

The family decided to explore the lake bottom to see what we could find. Mostly a lot of mud and sea shells.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

One Hundred Years on the Muddy

Our main purpose in going to Nevada in the dead of winter, besides the opportunity to see the sun, was to attend the Robison family reunion. 100 years ago on New Years day Jack’s grandparents, Joseph Robison and Nellie Hinckley Robison first entered Moapa Valley in a covered wagon. The Robison family is now estimated to have grown to over 1,000 people. Many still live in the valley where Joseph and Nellie settled. Talk about a legacy!

Jack’s mother, Josephine, was the youngest child of Joseph and Nellie, and at almost 93 is the only one that is still living. The family gave a special recognition to Grandma Walsh, she still has so much spunk
This is a picture of Grandma Walsh trying to "kick the bucket" but we would like to keep her around for a while longer.One night they had Grandma and some of her older nieces and nephews sit in front and everyone asked them questions about the old days. I love to hear the funny stories about when Grandma Walsh was a child.In conjunction with the 100th anniversary, the family erected a new beautiful headstone for Grandma and Grandpa Robison in the Logandale Cemetery. Jack's other set of grandparents as well as his father and most of his aunts and uncles are beside each other in the Logandale Cemetery.
We always enjoy going to visit “the valley.” Jack was born in Overton in a very small “hospital” and grew up in the neighboring town Logandale. It was fun for the kids to meet both cousins they have never met and get reacquainted with cousins they haven’t seen in years.Daniel kept some of the younger cousins entertained. It reminded me of stories I have heard about Jack’s father, Charles, getting the kids all worked up until their parents tell them to settle down.What would a family reunion be without everyone lining up for family pictures.

Virginia City, Nevada

On our trip we spent one night in Reno. Close by is Virginia City an old gold rush town. Virginia City, some claim, is the most haunted town in the west. For some reason some people like to go out looking for scary stuff. I am always up for adventure so we took the terrifying drive up the mountain into Virginia City. We needed to use the bathroom so we were joking around about needing to find the most haunted one in the city. It was later that we found out that there is a ladies room that will lock and unlock on its own. If there would be anything that would scare me it would be a haunted bathroom! I wonder if that is the one we used. It did seem a little creepy. It was getting dark when we got there so we weren’t able to see as much as we would have liked to. But after all isn’t that when the spirits come out to haunt?It seems that in its heyday Virginia City was mostly made up of Brothels and Saloons. It was definitely the Wild West. The town is a great place to visit; the buildings on the main street are all very old and still have the wooden sidewalk from the 1800’s. It is easy to imagine outlaws riding their horses down the streets and shooting bullets into the air. I called Pam who is pretty expert about Virginia City and asked her what we should not miss. We walked up and down mostly on the main street. Since we were there to be terrified we went to places such as The Bucket of Blood Saloon, The Suicide Table, The Old Washoe Club and other supposedly haunted locations. Those places weren’t scary enough for Daniel so he and Jack decided to take a walk (an illegal one in the dark) in the local cemetery. Those of us who were too chicken (everyone else) stayed in the car. Daniel and Jack took lots of pictures in the cemetery looking for orbs. At one point the camera just stopped working, A little creepy. We got a good picture of the cemetery gate. Could that possibly be an orb or just an incredibly large speck of dust guarding the cemetery.
I think the scariest part of the town was the ice on parts of the sidewalk, I figured I was sure to slip and break something falling. I would like to visit Virginia City again sometime when the temperature is over freezing.