The first weekend of April we were at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska for my 50 year college class home coming and reunion. We saw some of my classmates that we had not seen for 50 years. Funny how most of them had aged but then of course I had not Ha! It was great to renew some old friendships and see what each other has done in life.
The 2nd weekend we were at home in Jay, Oklahoma and had the sermon in church. During the week we had to get some repairs done at home. The bladder in our pressure tank had ruptured and the pressure switch had gone out for our well pump. Our washing machine had quit. There was a leak in a toilet but only when it was flushed. The air conditioner in the pickup was not functioning even though it had supposedly been repaired the year before but wasn’t. The computer had viruses. The DISH TV receiver had gone out and had to be replaced and the 3 ABN dish had to be realigned.
The third weekend we began an extended vacation down to Texas to see our son and his family then down in the hill country of Texas west of Austin which was very drought stricken but there were a few places with good blue bonnet flowers and Indian paint brush then out to Guadalupe Peak National Park then to Arizona through the Saguaro National Park. More saguaro were blooming east of Gila Bend rather than in the parks and lots of Palo Verde blooming. Then went through Joshua Tree National Park in California but the flowers were not very plentiful but some in the higher elevations. We visited Loma Linda and Riverside, California and stayed with Gloria, Dolores’ sister then on to the California Poppy Preserve by Lancaster, Calif. There were some great fields of poppies and Phacelia but it was cold with snow level down to 5500 feet with a storm that came through at the time we did. In fact almost the whole trip was cold. From there we camped one night at Trona Pinnacles which Olen and Danae can relate to and remember a few years ago. Then on to Death Valley National Park. There were several flowers at the 4-5000 ft level such as Prince’s Plume, several different cacti and others. Then on to Nevada and saw Badallet ghost town and on to Valley of Fire State Park which has many beautiful rock formations which are bright colored sandstone such as the Windstone Arch and the Elephant Arch and the Fire Wave. From there we went to Zion National Park in S W Utah but many people were there so one had to go on the shuttle to get into the main part. We spent more time on the back part at high elevation where the ground was still partly frozen. We camped by a spring on some Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands that was quite nice. From there we went on to Cedar Breaks National Park (the road was closed with snow) then on to Red Rock Canyon and Bryce Canyon National Park all in Utah. There was still some snow there but not enough to make the various rock formations more contrasty. We camped just outside the park in some national forest. We went to Capital Reef National Park and drove through and camped in a field of Primrose flowers just at the edge of the Park not a “designated campground” but a very nice secluded spot. We also went to the Devils Garden south of Escalente, Utah and drove on the Devils Backbone where the highway is on a high ridge with drop off on each side of many hundreds of feet. Then we went to the Moab, Utah area and the Arches National Park and Canyon Lands National Park. Our time was running out so we did not spend as much time as we would have liked. From there we went to Denver, Colorado to see my brother, Reggie and his family. Then we went to Winona, Kansas to see some friends (the Headleys) and camped at Monument Rock near there. Then we went to central and SE Missouri to see some of Dolores’ relatives (Aunt Carol Sharon near Sunnydale Academy and Aunt Esther Trial near Van Buren) then home having driven over 5000 miles.
We have spent time visiting with various friends and family around home including Springdale, Arkansas and Ketchum, Oklahoma churches. Time has really gone fast. Some did not get visited and we are sorry for that.
We are leaving Oklahoma on June 1 heading back to Chad but spending some time in Turkey on the way visiting the 7 churches area with Kermit and Ronnalee Netteburg as leaders of a group. We want your prayers as we go back to Chad.
Rollin and Dolores Bland
drbland@sbcglobal..net and firstname.lastname@example.org
Our blog www.weareamissionarybland.blogspot.com