Since Patty and I are making a number of trips it seems more efficient to simply set them out on an annual page as we do them. The exceptions will be regular visits such as the Pendleton Rodeo, Hawaii and Alaska cruises which have developed pages to which I can add and certain special events and activities which pages are already developed. This is a page dedicated to the various excursions done this year. Enjoy
As my responsibilities in Masonic leadership have been diminishing this year, Patty and I decided to start to take advantage of some of our accumulated time-share points. We are members of the Diamond Resorts which operates a resort in Lake Tahoe. We scheduled a few days in late May but decided it would take us away from the cat too long if we drove... so we flew into Reno, Nevada and rented a car. The drive from the Reno airport to South Lake Tahoe takes about an hour and is a good road. We arrived at the resort and got ourselves checked in. As it was a nice day and still early, we decided to do an around the lake drive. Very nice.
Lookout at Emerald Bay on the South Shore. This is the only island in the entire lake. Interestingly, Lake Tahoe is about the same size, length and breadth as our property in Belize. Just a note. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Western United States. Being an old volcano which caldera collapsed, it has resulted in an extremely deep lake. It is also very clear with vision clear to depths of over 600 feet. Otherwise, it is a beautiful deep blue color.
On the second day it rained... then snowed, quite a bit. We had several inches on the ground. Being from Hawaii, we do not, I mean NEVER, drive in the snow. So, we spent the day in the hotel and only ventured across the street where there were several eateries.
After spending a quiet day in the resort we were anxious to get out and see some of the sights. We decided to drive to Virginia City, an old mining town to enjoy a little tourista activity. Along the way we passed through Silver City, which is a few ramshackle houses, mines, a grocery store and a Masonic Temple, of course. Not much left of Silver City nowadays. However, Virginia City is a thriving tourist stop with many blocks of shops and curio stores in the original stores still left standing after the great fire of 1867. We spent the entire day exploring the shops and museums.
We started our acventure with a trolley ride and a history lesson.
We visited the mining museum in Virginia City. They say it is the best on mining. It was very informative and interesting. Here's Patty with the team.
The following day we were still in the mood for driving and touring so we drove around the North Shore again on to Squaw Valley. It was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and is still in full operation. It has much of the same feel as Whistler in B.C., lots of ski sports shops and all oriented to the 20's something group. We did see the lift in operation and wandered around the Village but it was late in the season and there were only a few die-hard skiers about. They basically close down for the summer. Drive up and back was very nice and we certainly enjoyed the California forests. Next day we got up early, attended an owner's briefing and headed for the airport. When we arrived in Portland our neighbors, the Biggerstaffs, who are also from Hawaii, picked us up. They had prepared dinner and we had a nice visit before falling into bed to dream of our next excursion.
Not really much left of Silver City but some old board buildings, etc. There is an old Masonic Temple that is still in use.
As a prelude to the sojourn to Pasadena for the annual Investiture, Patty and I decided to go first to Arizona to visit my brother Donny and wife Jo. We arrived in Phoenix midday on Tue the 18th and Donny picked us up on his new van. It is the Nissan's answer to the Sprinter with a walk-in high ceiling. We spent several days with Donny and Jo and all I remember about the visit is eating. We went to every eatery within a 30-mile radius. We also visited Harry Hall, my old college roommate. He lives out in the far west side of Phoenix in a very nice 4 bdrm Spanish style home on about a 5-acre site. He has all of his farm equipment there and keeps a stock of soil mixture, which he sells by the truckload. We had a very nice afternoon visit for several hours. Harry is doing quite well, after about 30 years of struggling. It was nice to spend time with him again.
Road Trip to Pasadena. We saddled up Friday am and headed for California. Donny drives there for his work often and actually had a small delivery this weekend. We enjoyed a great ride as Donny did all of the driving. Boy, am I glad he is familiar with that part of the world. Even with a GPS I couldn't have navigated around in that madhouse. We arrived in Buena Park, where our motel reservation had been made and fell into bed. We had planed some excursions Saturday morning but just didn't have time. We found our motel in Pasadena near the Masonic Lodge where our ceremonies were to be held.
Patty and I participated in the opening procession. I carried the flag of Canada. We wore the capes Patty made and were properly attired for the event. My son Jon from Salt Lake City was also there as a Knight. It was nice to visit what little we did. Donny sat with us at our table throughout the ceremonies and was very impressed with the event. Our friends Aaron and Stacy Jubitz from Hood River were knighted. They are great folks and we are so happy to see them ascend into our Order of Knighthood. We really enjoy the events of the imperial Order. There are so many very interesting people there with which to visit. They are all at the top of their game, are involved in such an array of different professions and activities and just plain interesting.
After the Investiture, we headed for Knotts Berry Farm. Both Patty and I had visited there in the early and mid fifties. It was a different place today, to say the least. The old Chicken Restaurant was still there and much the same. Other than that, everything had changed. Patty really enjoyed the shops and found some interesting Christmas tree decorations. In the Theme Park I was also interested to see where they had relocated the gold panning station, which originally was just in front of the restaurant. And, sure enough, there it was, in the middle of the ghost town area, much like the original. We found a few additional treasures inside the park. Knotts has developed into a major amusement park attraction but is different entirely from Disneyland. We enjoyed the memories of our youth found there.
Patty and Bob in mantals Patty made for the investiture. Patty may start producing them for other Knights.
Entry Procession of Officers and Honored Guests. I carried the flag of Canada.
Gold Panning Station from very early days of Knotts.
Patty and Donny in front of RR Engine and train