Saturday, December 22, 2012

Family Heritage

Steve and I traveled to Idaho for Thanksgiving this year. We spent three days visiting with my grandma and all of the Martin relatives. What made this trip special was a visit up to the Prairie where my grandma was raised.  The prairie is a place that is often talked about amongst my family and I can't believe it took this long for me to see it with my own eyes. 

The prairie itself was just as I envisioned, but getting there is a different story. We climbed through the mountains on windy dirt roads, just wide enough for one car to pass - the same route my grandma took as a child when they made the grueling drive into town. Back then, there were portions of the road that were so dangerous my grandma's dad made the family get out of the car while he drove across, for fear that the car wouldn't make it. There are only a few homes up at the prairie, and it is hours from stores, restaurants, hospitals, and other modern day comforts that we take for granted today. 

Along the drive, I couldn't help but wonder how my family ended up in such a desolate, far away place. The story goes that a long, long, time ago, my relatives robbed a Wells Fargo horse-drawn wagon and fled deep into the Idaho mountains to the prairie. They wanted to find a place so difficult to get to that they wouldn't get caught. It is thought that someone in the family still has the Wells Fargo trunk! 

When we arrived at the Prairie, we pulled into the same house that my grandma grew up in. A tiny house where her brother Elmer and his wife Barb still live today. My grandma often talks about riding her horses to school in the snow and having to run outside in the cold, dark night to use the bathroom. And although the house has been retrofitted with an indoor bathroom, the old hut still stands to this day. And the cellar, right across from the house, my grandma says, is where her mother would store all of the canned foods. 

The land is owned by my grandmother's relatives and for miles and miles, all you can see is open land, property that will stay in the family forever. And all of that private land means a safe place to shoot guns whenever and wherever. And my step-dad came prepared! He brought his brand new rifle to try out and we all gave it a go. The gun boomed and echoed so loud, but it was fun and easy to shoot. 

 And during my turn, I managed to hit the barbed wire fence across the street, dead on. 

See the bullet flying back in the air by my mom's cheek?? 

The prairie is such a beautiful and peaceful place. An ideal homestead for cowboys, cowgirls, and those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

And I am thankful to have seen this part of my family history and learn a little bit more about my grandma's fascinating life. 

1 comment:

  1. Your pics turned out great! Im glad you finally got to visit the "prairie" and happy you & Steve came to Idaho to be with the family.


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