Grampa Bill Index

Travel in the USA Index

First Days in SF

Street People

Going to Colorado

At My Sister's House

Going to Chicago/Michigan

East Lansing - 1

East Lansing - 2

Goodbye Michigan -
Hello Chicago & KC

January 28, 2012 Saturday, Grand Junction, CO

Dear Students,

Lots of people got off the train at the Grand Junction stop. This town has about 50,000 people now - it is the biggest town in Colorado on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. It seems to be much more prosperous than the towns we passed through in Utah.

The weather was beautiful - blue sky, no wind, no snow on the ground in the valley -

Life at my sister's house is busy. My sister, Glen her husband, Philip her son, and Addie her daughter are all very deeply involved in music.

To the surprise of many people my sister has been learning to play the bagpipes due to her interest in our Scottish and Welsh heritage. She and her friends were having a practice that afternoon and I was invited to a luncheon and to listen to them practice. So at 1:00 pm we took a dish of asparagus souffl¨¦ as our contribution and went to a beautiful home in the valley for the gathering.

The dishes were more or less traditional and the people were dressed in plaid clothing that denoted their "clan" - it was all very interesting and colorful. A traditional dish called haggis (look it up) was prepared and "piped" into the room with bagpipe music.

After lunch the pipers moved outside to warm up their bagpipes and prepare to practice. They moved out doors to play because bagpipes are, well, pretty loud and best played in the open. They formed a circle and played a dozen songs - beside the pipes, one of the ladies played the snare drums. When the music was over we visited awhile, made plans for the next meeting, and then headed back to my sisters ranch.

In the past they raised crops for cattle feed so they called it a farm at that time. Now they just feed cattle hay and straw so they call it a ranch. In years gone by they had many cows in the family operation but now they are winding down and have about 100 cows and a few horses.

For dinner we had a very large roast beef, weighing maybe 10 kg, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, home made bread, and strawberries and cake for desert. I was tired from my 24 hour train ride and went to bed early that night.

January 30, 2012 Sunday, Grand Junction, CO

Sunday Church is a big part of the Eubank family tradition and my sister's family belongs to the Grand Junction First Baptist Church. There are many people that have attended all their life and usually their parents and grandparents as well. Glen and many of his relatives provide the music for the service. Glen often plays the organ or the piano and many family members sing in the choir. Immediately after the service there was a birthday cake and coffee served so people to "fellowship" with one another. I met many friends of the family.

After the service and fellowship seven of us met at a Mexican restaurant for lunch. Again, lots of visiting, storytelling and planning took place. I had a very big plate of Mexican food that included rice, beans, beef, cheese and various vegetables. A picture is included.

In the afternoon, Philip and a potential future brother-in-law went to feed the cattle. The job takes the two men about an hour to do. They get bales of hay and some straw and put it on a pickup truck. They then deliver it along a fense row where the cattle line up to eat. They also make sure the animals have water to drink.

At 4:00 pm, Glen, Adelaide, Philip, several other relatives and friends gathered again at the church for bell choir practice. Several octaves of hand bells are laid out in two rows and music is played by ringing the bells. This group is professional enough that they are invited to play around the state of Colorado. After one and a half hours of practice we returned home for a dinned og beef and noodles.

After dinner we had a family discussion about languages. When Glen went to college he actually studied in Spain for s semester and he speaks Spanish. Adelaide has learned Welsh and has visited Wales and keeps in touch with our relatives on that side of the Atlantic. Philip has expressed an interest in Chinese so we discussed the possibility of him visiting me in China for a month - perhaps March and April.

January 31, 2012 Monday, Grand Junction, Co

On Monday Glen took me shopping at Wal-Mart. I bought some tee shirts, I never did wear them before but this winter I have felt the need t keep warmer. I bought some jeans - the typical dress in the American West for $12.95 (?78.00 RMB) and some razors.

Next Glen took me for drive in the desert to see what it is like. Most of this land is controlled by the BLM - Bureau of Land Management belonging to the Federal Government. The Currier family for generations has leased the land from the BLM to graze cattle on - when they had more cattle.

The land is rugged, with hills, rocks, bushes and brush. In the spring enough grass grows that the cattle can feed there for awhile. The white patches in the pictures I took are alkali (salt) - this area used to be the bottom of a great sea. I did taste some of the white stuff, Glen was amused that I would do that, and it was quite salty.

Later Philip and Chris picked me up so I could take some pictures of them feeding the cows. Again since there are about 100 cows it is not a long or difficult task. It does require strength since the bails are quite heavy. The ground is wet, muddy, and slippery and the truck almost got stuck as we were leaving. The cows are fattened up to be sold at auction. Some of the cows were going to give birth.
In the evening we went back to Lori's house where the bag piping took place to visit with Ed her husband about Alaska. Ed and Lori are big game hunters and Ed had hunted bear in Alaska. Since I had lived in Alaska we had lots in common to talk about.

February 1, 2012 Tuesday Grand Junction, Colorado

I spent most of the day with my sister in driving up to the Monument which is a National Park. The area is very beautiful with all kinds of rock structures. In the afternoon I packed and got everything ready to leave on Wednesday.

Glen & Adelaide Eubank Currier in Grand Junction, CO

Adelaide Eubank Currier with bagpipes

Inside the house

The Pot Luck Dinner

Outside the House

Practicing the Bagpipes

In the First Baptist Church

Fellowship Birthday Cake

Lunch at the Mexican Resturant

Eating Lunch

Bell Choir


Loading Hay Bails to Feed cattle

Throwing the Bails

Cattle Feeding

Truck and Hay

Philip (my Nephew) and Chris

Bill at my Sister's House

Bill at the Monument

Bill and Adelaide at the Monument

Bill & Adelaide saying Goodbye