We had a sushi dinner the other night in downtown Ogden, on historic 25th Street. Back in the 20s and 30s it was called Two-Bit Street; legend has it that when Al Capone visited the city, he commented that Ogden was too wild for his tastes. (Our sushi was pretty good, but not up to the standards of our favorite sushi bar in Sumter Landing back in The Villages.)
Ogden had some interesting sculptures in the city center, such as this memorial to fallen firefighters. It reminded me that we often take firefighters, EMS techs and policemen for granted. We expect that they will be there to help when we need them, but don’t give them a lot of thought most of the time… then we are shocked when we read of firefighters killed in forest fires or arson-related warehouse fires, or policemen sitting in their cars killed by terrorists. (I would like to compliment My Wonderful Mother-in-Law Ruthie for her thoughtfulness in taking a home-made cake to her local fire house after an engine and EMS team visited her one day when an alarm went off accidentally…)
Another Ogden sculpture that caught my eye was this young baseball pitcher who was frozen in his windup… unfortunately, some vandal had stolen the bat from his opponent’s hands.
Driving back to the base from Ogden, we were treated to a spectacular sunset. Unfortunately, we were driving on the freeway and couldn’t pull over and get out of The Coach, but Suzanne got this shot out the front window.
We were able to get together with longtime sailing friends Jim and Marie for lunch on Sunday. We have known them for eight years when we crossed the Atlantic to Italy in our sailboat Liberty, plus Jim has sailed with us on several occasions. It was great to meet up again on Marie’s turf; she lives in Park City, Utah, overlooking two ski areas. Jim is a retired airline pilot and has an American Eagle similar to the one we recently traded in.
On Monday, we packed up our Coach and continued our journey westward, just like the pioneers. And like those brave souls who traveled on the Oregon Trail, we camped at Three Island Crossing (now an Idaho State Park) where in the mid-19th Century, there was a ford that the wagon trains would use to cross the Snake River. I really liked this not-very-politically-correct monument to those brave pioneers, which was erected in 1931 by Boy Scout Troop 1 from Roslyn, NY.
This Conestoga wagon is a replica of what the emigrants used to carry their food and meager belongings across the frontier to Oregon and California. They were usually drawn by oxen, less frequently by mules or horses. Many of the 400,000 men and women who completed the Oregon Trail walked most of the 2,000 mile route across plains, rivers and mountains from Kansas through Nebraska, Wyoming, and Idaho, then into Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
And what, you ask, did they eat? Well, here is a plaque listing the recommended loading of a wagon with food for a party of four. Remember, there were no grocery stores along this route… and while the menu might not appeal to many low-fat dieters in the 21st Century, it was pretty standard for hard working farmers and emigrants in 1840.
Here is a view of the Three Islands Crossing. The faint diagonal line on the hillside is the Oregon Trail itself (no longer in use, since I-84 is only a few miles to the north, paralleling the Trail for many, many miles).
I will end with a funny story about My Lovely Bride, who was near the back of The Coach while I was backing into our campsite. All was going well until a nearby rotating high volume sprinkler caught her in the back. I expected to hear Sailor Words, but then I saw her dancing with apparent glee in the spray. (Then, over dinner she perfectly described the sprinkler sound, almost making me lose my wine through my nose…)
Part Two of this story occurred when we went for a run, and she spied a lady in one of the cabins launching soap bubbles. I swear she has the enthusiasm of a six year old sometimes…