Sunday, April 24, 2011

9,000 mile journey continues! -Part Two

    The year 1994 was when gas creeped above the $1.00 per gallon mark. I can recall comments from friends and acquaintances saying "I can't believe gas is over a $1.00 a gallon now".  To think people in general were complaining then about "gas".  Can you imagine what they are thinking now?  The trip to Reno was fun but we needed once again to get moving.  As stated in part one of this journey the next stop was to be Idaho Falls, Idaho. A place that we as a family lived at for near two full years.  I can recall the name of the street we lived on and if I checked out old pictures I could verify that the number on the house was 747 (Saturn Avenue).  We lived in a small ranch style home that we rented and I can remember that there were two plum trees in the backyard.  Our school "Temple View" had a great view of the Mormon Temple that was in the center of Idaho Falls.  Thinking about the neighborhood and visiting it 31 years later was certainly going to be interesting.
   The trip from Reno to Idaho Falls was about 500 miles.  We would usually leave as early as 8 a.m. and drive the entire day unless visiting sites.  I can remember getting onto Rte. 93 north and traveling on a road that seemed to be rarely traveled. Not many cars or for that matter trucks passed us.  It was certainly a stretch of road that had no traffic issues whatsoever.  Thinking back I wonder what would have happened if we had car trouble.  In the age of no cell phones like we have today and limited travel it would have been a length wait for help.
    The potato fields of Idaho are immense. I just cheated and looked up that there are 319,000 acres of potato fields that are harvested from August through October.  The fields were flat and wide open. As we drove along I can remember my brother saying "wait to you see what's up ahead". He had traveled this route at one time and knew what lie ahead. The name does not come to my mind of what was ahead but I can describe it vividly.  It was a gorge out of nowhere.  From flat fields to this 900 to 1000 foot deep chasm with an overlook on both sides of the bridge. If and when I find the name of it I will edit this post with the correct information.  It was an unbelievable site. One that was out of the ordinary and not expected.  As the trip continued we were not too far from Idaho Falls.  The Snake River, the Mormon Temple, Temple View School and of course Saturn Avenue were our places of interest to visit.
     The road east to Idaho Falls was a major highway and an easy wide open ride to Idaho Falls. Reminiscing about the "falls" and the fishing spots we went to as children was pretty much our conversation as we drove along.  The town or small city of Idaho Falls had obviously changed but the old neighborhood wasn't much different.  Without the aid of "GPS" technology the old road map did us proud.  We arrived in front of our rented family home on Saturn Avenue in mid afternoon. We got out of the car and walked on the sidewalk in front of the house. We decided not to disturb the owners of the home.  The neighborhood school "Temple View" was a short walk away.  We decided to take a walk over to the school and low and behold the head maintenance man was in the front of the building.  My brother and I approached him and introduced ourselves. It was a great conversation and at that moment in time he said "let's go inside and see what you remember about the school"? To our surprise the school was not too much different.  The school was where we spent our K-3 years as brothers.  Myself year 2 and 3 and my brother K and 1.  What I think about as I write this portion of the "journey" I say to myself, "a total stranger, who knew nothing about either one of us, trusted us enough to allow us to walk around and about the school.  It was a pleasure to have had the opportunity once again to take a walk down memory lane so to speak to see where we had gone to school in our formative beginning years as students.  Ironically both my brother and I are teachers and perhaps that's why the maintenance man allowed us to freely look around and about the school.
     The visit at the school and the old neighborhood lasted about an hour.  We spent most of the time at the school.  It was a great experience and one as I write I can honestly say one I will always remember.  We ventured next to the Snake River and to where we had family pictures of the falls hence perhaps the name Idaho Falls.  The river area had been renovated where it was more conducive for tourists and families to visit.  It was definitely a strong and fast moving river.  We decided in the mid-afternoon that we would head for Yellowstone National Park our next major stop on the journey.  As a family in the early 1960's we had visited the park and the memories were still deep in our minds.  It was an opportunity to visit the park six years after the major fire that had occurred in 1988.  My brother had visited the park soon after the fire and could tell me what he saw first hand.  The park is an certainly worthy of it's national status. It's a place that all people should visit if given the opportunity.  (To Be Continued.....)

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