road trip!

It’s been colder than all get out here. All of three nice days so far in 2008. Last Sunday we were all the way up to 78 and I was luvin it. Then cold and nasty. And we are expecting the next two nights to be about 24 degrees and the paper said today to just kiss the cherry crop goodbye. That’s a pisser. I LOVE cherries. Fire up the smudge pots. I guess a couple of the local nurseries are planning to do just that to save their plant material. My apricot already bloomed as did the cornelian cherry. Have to wrap the fig in the big pot. The other one (which has not been planted up in a big pot) was rolled into the garage.

So, to take my mind off the fact that I can only garden between snow storms and cold fronts, I declared Wednesday to be a road trip day. We grabbed Kerry and her dog BOB, and my dog Cash, put D behind the wheel and off we went to Jordan Valley to see the grave site of John Baptiste Charbonneau, son of Sacajawea (Shoshone/Lemhi or Agadaika tribe) and her French Canadian fur trapper husband, Toussaint Charbonneau. You will remember Sacajawea was the native American woman who accompanied the Lewis and Clark expedition across the US in 1805-1807 and who, on more than one critical occasion, saved the men’s butts. I have a Sacajawea license plate…….I think it is funny: a native American female showing the way. Duh. Anyway, she not only saved the boys but she carried a baby on her back all the way from the Mandan village in South Dakota to the Pacific Ocean and back.

Jean Baptiste was adored by Captain Clark, who named him Pompey. He has a big outcropping near Billings MT named after him: Pompey’s Pillar. I wrote a paper on Pompey about a dozen years ago and always meant to go see the grave. Finally did. It was cold and windy, but the tokens of admiration were moving and I am glad we went.

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On the way back to Boise, we stopped in Jordan Valley for Basque food only to find out they were out of all things Basque save the 15 bean soup. We ate it and ordered cheeseburgers.

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We made a zig into Symms Fruit Ranch on Sunny Slope to see the cherry trees in bloom. They aren’t quite all open yet, and as I mentioned earlier in the post, and they may well be doomed tonite. It was still absolutely gorgeous and there is something so hopeful, promising, and bountiful about a fruit orchard. Some of the trees are 80 years old. Before the days of automated/mechanized herbicide spraying, we used to be allowed to go into the orchards and pick wild asparagus.

Still not getting enough flower power, I did a stealth visit to the greenhouses of the Boise State Hort program which are right next to the Idaho Botanical Garden grounds. It was warm and bright. I loved it. I needed it. I was jonesin’ for it.

And since the title of this post is Road Trip, I just had to add the photo of Clyde. Today, we went to Mike’s Stone to admire our new sandstone steps. It will be awhile before we can get them installed. And D thought he could lift them. Hardy har. I would venture that each step weighs about 500 pounds. We are talking many men and some big equipment. But, I digress. On the way home from the stone store, I thought I saw a camel walking in a parking lot. Whoa Nelly. One too many glasses of wine and it’s all caught up with me. I yelled, I think there’s a camel ! OK, those of you who REALLY know me know exactly how that was said. And by golly, there was a dromedary camel in a used car parking lot. His name was Clyde. Sweet baby Jezus in the manger!