Blasts from the Past!

As I was leaving the quilt shop in Nyssa, Oregon, I spotted the White Satin sugar factory. I realized it had been the second stop in a good friend’s new career as a long-haul trucker, so I stopped to send him a picture as a reminder/souvenir of his Nyssa to Los Angeles trip. πŸ™‚

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That’s when I tripped down Memory Lane! Right there in the parking lot. Do you know what this is??

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It’s an official weather station for the National Weather Service. When I was young (6th grade), I was responsible for a station just like this in the mountains of Central Idaho. It was one of my first jobs! πŸ™‚

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Every morning I had to trudge up the hill on the ranger station where we lived and record the readings. The thermometer inside could record the high and the low temperatures each day.

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There was a rain gauge attached outside the box and I would have to measure and record any moisture. If the precipitation was in the form of snow, I had to use a ruler to measure what had fallen into the larger metal gauge (looked like a pitcher) and then take it to the house and melt the snow on the stovetop to determine who much precipitation had fallen. Light, powdery snow contains less moisture than wet, heavy snow, so sometimes 6 inches of newly fallen snow would yield less moisture than just an inch of wetter snow. All that measuring leads to average daily, monthly or annual precipitation rates you hear the weather people talking about. (Click on the photo below to enlarge and read)

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Then, before 8am, I would have to make a collect call to the National Weather Service office in Lewiston, Idaho, and report my data — high, low, current temp., precipitation, and current conditions (sunny, cloudy, snowing, etc.) πŸ™‚ I don’t remember how much I was paid, but I remember thinking it was pretty cool to see my data in the newspaper or hear it on the radio!

There may be a few stations like this still active around the country, but most have been replaced with computerized stations. I just have one question about those – ‘how does a computer melt the snow?!’ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Back on the road, returning to Boise, I found another reminder of my childhood.

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Yep! Parma, Idaho, still has a drive-in theatre and it plays new releases!

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It was always a special treat to visit a drive-in. Mom would make a grocery sack full of buttery, salty popcorn and we got cans of pop! Dressed in our pajamas, we got to play on the playground equipment below the big screen until dark when the movie started. I am sure all the movies had endings, but sometimes we fell asleep in the back of the station wagon! πŸ™‚

Yes, good times and good memories!

Until next time,
Happy Quilting!

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We Are Storm Chasers!

Having visited the Midwest many times, I can tell you if you like to watch storms then the Midwest is the place to be! This trip was no exception. πŸ™‚

Several times on our trip, Dad and I tuned into local radio stations trying to figure out if the storms ahead of us were something we should be worried about. Think tornados.

In Illinois, the tornado watches/warnings were in the county just north of us but we were safe.

In Missouri, the clouds were hanging low, but the storm warnings were south of us.

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Heading into Grand Island, Nebraska, the rains were pounding and lightning knifed all around us. I was driving, so no pictures, but the radio station kept warning to take cover if you were in certain areas. However, the names of the counties meant nothing to us and we made it to the hotel safely. πŸ˜‰

Approaching Cheyenne, Wyoming, though was a bit different. Again, the sky was dark ahead of us but it looked like we might skirt the storm. Watching lightning crash to the ground is cool, until it gets too close! Dad was driving, so I do have pictures of the storm, but the lightning would not cooperate. πŸ˜‰

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The clouds this time were really low and swirling. Like the rest of the traffic, we kept going.

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Just as the rain started, I saw a couple vehicles on a parallel road turning around. They were Storm Chasers (as in tornado hunters!) and they were now going in the opposite direction! YIKES! I noticed then the road they were on was ending, so they had to turn around.

Then came the hail and traffic slowed way down. Dad just said to keep an eye on the sky and if a funnel cloud dropped we would decide what to do then. He is so calm. πŸ™‚

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Fortunately, we could see the end of the storm and passed through quickly. Amazingly there was no hail damage to the car, despite the size of the stones.

This is what the storm looked like from the backside in Cheyenne.

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Good thing we had the quilt store in Cheyenne to relax in afterward!

Until next time,
Happy Quilting!

Road Trip Begins….

I am sitting at the Denver Airport waiting for my next flight to take me to Minneapolis to meet my Dad. I spent yesterday driving across Oregon to get to Boise. (When Dad and I drive home from Minneapolis, he is only bringing me as far as Boise so now my car is waiting for me there!)

It was a gorgeous day for a drive with varied scenery – more varied than I expect in the Midwest! Note to Hubby: I know I was driving alone – every photo was snapped while the car was not moving. πŸ™‚

The Cascade’s Santiam Pass was gorgeous. This is Mount Washington where there was a severe forest fire about 10 (?) years ago. New growth is working its way through the snag covered hillsides:

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East of Bend, road construction became the great equalizer and all those speedy cars that zipped past me had to wait, too. πŸ™‚

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You know it’s summer when you have to follow pilot cars three different times – road construction season is in full swing!

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If you look in the distance, you can see The Three Sisters and Mt. Washington – I’ve traveled quite aways. πŸ˜‰ when I started out Thursday morning I was on the other side of those mountains. Now I am in the high desert:

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Just east of Burns is a lllooooonnngg flat valley, so long you can see the curvature of the earth. Look closely down the highway and you will see the telephone poles looking like they disappear into the ground. I tried to get a picture of the antelope across the road but they were too far away to show up in my camera phone. 😦

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I timed my trip so I could stop at a quilt shop (of course!). Just before the Idaho border is Ontario and there I found the Charm Shack:

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A pleasant chat with the owner and four Fat Quarters later I was on the road. Too bad the Denver Airport doesn’t have a quilt shop! πŸ˜‰

Until next time, Happy Quilting!