Sunday, September 07, 2008

Catching up and Sadness

I sincerely apologize to everyone who keeps checking the blog to see where we are and what we are doing. We are just fine. In excellent health and just enjoying the freedom of this great lifestyle. But,,,,,, you knew there was a "but"

When I last posted, Stephanie and Erin had left Seattle and Lucy and her parents were in Florida; and we were expecting to leave Seattle around the 27th or 28th of August. The O'Byrne's arrived back in Seattle on Sunday, August 24th (Gretchen's birthday) and we had decided that we would leave on Tuesday or Wednesday, staying just long enough with Lucy to reacquaint with her, but not so long as to get back in a routine. Leaving a 2-year-old can be difficult for all concerned.

So we were making sure the webcams worked and talking about leaving when we received a call from Dan's older brother on Monday, August 25th telling us that their nephew, Scott Brogdon, Dave's forty-one year old son, was missing. Dave is Dan's younger brother. Scott had talked with some family members about ending his life. When we learned on Monday that Scott's body had been found in the Illinois River, Dan decided to fly back to Illinois to be with his brother and family. We were able to get a flight leaving on Tuesday through St. Louis and into Springfield where our wonderful neighbors picked him up at 9:55pm.

Scott ended his life by walking into the Illinois River, probably on Saturday, when he last spoke to his family. He had a long history of problems with alcohol and apparently just was not able to cope with his life as he saw it. He leaves behind a 20 year old son from a previous marriage and a current wife and her children, plus his parents, a brother and two half-sisters, and aunts, uncles and cousins. He will certainly be missed. We continue to keep his family in our prayers.

Sooo, Dan returned to Seattle on Saturday, August 30th. I spent the time while he was gone just being with Gretchen and her family. We didn't do a lot, but just hung out together.

We left Seattle on Labor Day for the southeastern part of Washington and spent several days near Pasco, WA at Hood Park, a Corps of Engineer park, near the confluence of the Yakima, Snake and Columbia Rivers. This park is one of the most beautiful parks we've been in. Since southeastern Washington doesn't get much rain, irrigation is everywhere. So the parks are just beautiful. There is a lot of space between the sites at Hood River with many large trees. We did not have satellite TV, but I was able to get on the Internet with my aircard. But I just couldn't get up the energy to bring the blog up to date. We really just chilled out and enjoyed the scenery. Went for several drives and visited Sacajawea State Park where Lewis and Clark camped and otherwise just generally hung out.

We had been pretty busy since we left home on June 2nd with a wedding, an RV rally, visiting with family in Denver and Carbondale, Co, having Erin with us all summer and spending a month at Lucy's house, plus the sadness of Scott's passing.

We then spent the last few days at Three Islands Crossing State Park near Glenns Ferry, ID. This was the site of the last and one of the worst crossings of the Snake River for the pioneers heading to Oregon. Another beautiful park with lots of space between sites. I know, I sound like I don't like neighbors, but that's not true. We both enjoy visiting with fellow RVers and go out of our way to meet people, but we have lived in a subdivision for many years and really enjoy looking at the scenery and not the side of an RV parked next to us. So, we really like COE, national forests and state parks.

We're moving to Massacre Rock State Park, close to American Falls, ID tomorrow for a few days. Plan to visit the replica of Fort Hall at Pocatello, ID. Fort Hall was one of the last opportunities for the pioneers to restock supplies. And there are some scenic drives in the area. We have really enjoyed following parts of the Mormom Trail and Oregon Trail. And we've also crossed part of the Lewis and Clark Trail. And we are really enjoying our mode of transportation as compared to those early settlers. :)

I'll post some pictures of the contrast between the farm land and mountains in this area. This part of Idaho gets very little rain and relies entirely on irrigation from the Snake river. The main crops are sugar beets, potatoes, hay and straw. The green of the irrigated fields next to the dry, sagebrush, tan/brown mountains is quite a contrast. There are huge stacks of BIG bales of straw in the fields. And since the rainfall is so scarce, they are are not covered with tarps like they would be in Illinois.

We're making our way toward Carbondale, CO to visit with Elijah and Isaac and their parents again as we make our way back toward Illinois.

Really do like this slow pace and the freedom of this lifestyle.

More later.......


Anonymous said...

Mom and Dad,
I can't tell you enough how happy it makes me to know that you two are just enjoying life together. What a blessing!

We miss you!
The Deible's

Randy and Terry said...

Dan & Gail, I am so sorry to hear of Dan's nephew's death. I have prayed for the family to be able to absorb and adjust to this sadness.

I've been following your travels and enjoy your blog. Found you through RV Dreams. I hope you can find joy in this time as this lifestyle is such a great one. Travel safely!

Froggi Donna said...

So sorry to hear the news.... not easy to deal with and my heart goes out to all his family & friends.

Keep the faith and keep on trucking!

Hugs to you both!!!