After much preparation, we are on the road! Our trip officially began today at around 4pm when we left the Logan city limits. Within a half hour we were already in another state – the great state of Idaho! The first stop on our trip was at Taco Maker in Preston, Idaho, where I got some water for a bottle for Sawyer. I know, some people take a trip to Disneyland, some go to Hawaii, some even make it all the way to Europe (and South America and Africa – you know who you are, Hendersons!), but our trip led us to Taco Maker in Preston, Idaho. Hey, maybe diehard Napoleon Dynamite fans would be jealous!
While on Highway 91 in Idaho, we missed stopping at a historical marker for the Bear River Massacre. I had stopped at that one before. We did stop at a historical marker I had seen many times, but never stopped at. This is how I explained it to Tyson:
Me: “Hey, you know how there’s that one hill and a stairway leads to the top of it and there’s a monument at the top or something?”
Me: “Can we stop there?”
Tyson: “WHAT are you talking about?”
Me: “It’s a hill with stairs that lead to the top of it. It’s coming up along here somewhere and I want to stop there.”
Me: “Oh, oh, oh, here it is! Stop!”
Tyson: “Oh, it’s a LITTLE hill.”
Me: “Well, yeah, were you thinking it was going to be a stairway to heaven or something?”
We read the historical sign at the bottom of the hill, which informed us we were standing in the bed of former Lake Bonneville. Tyson briefly thought the reach of ancient Lake Bonneville extended all the way to New Orleans, until he read the sign more thoroughly and realized it said if Lake Bonneville’s shoreline was stretched into a straight line, it would reach to New Orleans.
We then hiked the stairway to heaven and found that the marker at the top was not at all related to the Lake Bonneville marker. The marker commemorated so-and-so Hunt, a commander in the Mormon Battalion and the founder of Huntsville, UT. A small cemetery resided at the bottom of the other side of the hill.
Getting on the road again, I tried to get Sawyer down for a nap in his carseat while we listened to some tunes through the stereo on my/our iPod (what’s mine is his, and what’s his is mine, but the iPod is hot pink, so I think we know whose it is, right?)
Discontinuing the travelogue for a moment, I’d like to tell about an extraordinary opportunity we had yesterday to attend a lecture by Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court. Justice Scalia visited USU as part of a conference on “Liberty and the Rule of Law”, a program put together by the Political Science department and by Dr. Tony Peacock in particular. Dr. Peacock was Tyson’s favorite professor, and even I got to attend one of his impressive lectures when I went to class with Tyson the day after his appendix surgery. (He refused to miss Tony’s class, so I was there just in case he passed out or in case his Loritab-addled brain didn’t allow him to take coherent notes.)
After two years of planning, Tony was able to bring Justice Scalia to USU as the keynote speaker for the conference – quite a coup, I think. Justice Scalia has a certain reputation, shall we say. At USU it’s a very positive one; in other places, maybe not so much. I was very interested to hear what he would have to say. His remarks mainly centered on the topic of the evolution of the world courts, particularly as related to the increasing prevalence of judicial activism within courts both in the United States and abroad. I want to say much more about the lecture and my thoughts, but maybe I’ll let Tyson cover the law/political topics on his own blog, and I’ll contribute my thoughts there. We went to the lecture with our friend Hans. Having arrived early to make sure we got seats, we had to wait a half hour for the lecture to begin. We filled the time with a lively discussion about the merits (Hans) and demerits (Tyson/me) of the McCain-Palin ticket.
***Interjection*** We are now in Blackfoot, Idaho, and we just passed the Idaho Potato Museum, signified by a potato wearing a crown. A while back, we passed a billboard on the freeway that said buyhashbrowns.com – going to check that out later when we can connect to the interworld. Tyson’s Aunt Cathy lives here in Blackfoot somewhere, but we don’t have her phone number or her address. Plus, Sawyer is asleep, and I’d like to keep it that way as long as possible.
Don’t get me started on Governor Palin. Let’s save that for another day.
For some reason, every campaign sign we saw was for one write-in candidate or another. Is no one on the ballot?
For me, the highlight of this day was a visit with Melanie G. and her husband and kids in Idaho Falls. Melanie and I worked together at the Sports Academy and Racquet Club in Logan several years ago. She and her husband moved to Idaho Falls where he has started a finish carpentry business. Melanie has three adorable little girls and another on the way. Little Sawyer was quite the novelty, especially to Melanie’s youngest, Hadley (s?) – especially when he got his diaper changed! Hadley’s second birthday is coming up, and she wanted everyone to blow up balloons for her. This amazing kid potty-trained herself months ago. Wow!
I loved catching up with Melanie. She is the cutest mom and pregnant lady you ever saw! Tyson was patient with all our jibber-jabbering, and Sawyer had fun getting into other kids’ toys. Thanks, Melanie, for letting us stop by with absolutely no notice!
Continuing north, we stopped briefly to visit my cousin Gary and his wife Becca in Rigby, ID. By this time it was already 10:00 pm, so we didn’t get to see their kids. However, I really wanted to stop, because I don’t get to see Gary and Becca often at all. They own a neat old home in the center of Rigby. The house was built in 1927, and Gary and Becca have been dedicating a lot of time, attention, and creativity to fixing it up really well.
When we left Rigby, we knew it was time for the first big challenge of our trip: getting Sawyer to sleep. We thought we could drive until he fell asleep in his seat, and then transfer him (and ourselves) to bed. Well, it was really Tyson who thought this would work, and I was willing to give it a shot. However, being the one who always puts Sawyer to bed, I knew this plan had its flaws. The kid never wants to sleep if he is aware others are awake in the vicinity. Eventually we had to give up that plan and just bed down for the night. We got everything arranged and Tyson and I got in the bed under the shell, then we put Sawyer on his bed in the extra cab. Tyson removed the window between the cab of the truck and the shell, so though Sawyer’s bed is at a slightly lower level than ours, we have easy access to bring him in and out of our sleeping area.As soon as I laid him down, he popped back up again. Tyson and I had to “fake sleep” until Sawyer got tired of trying to get our attention and went to sleep himself. I think this was around midnight. He didn’t cry or scream, really, so I count this as a pretty good effort for our first night.