1992 Christmas Letter

Christmas 1992

January started out with a bang as Janus, Christopher and Jonathan participated in the Scout Klondike Derby. If you are interested you can ask the proud mother how the boys managed to win the race by a half mile!

Early in the new year Bob’s parents returned from their long stay in Florida-trying to hide out in the warm southern climes while we languished in the winter chill. Unfortunately it did not work out that way for them. Mother Crossett had pneumonia during the fall and barely started to recover by the time they returned to Vermont for the bulk of the winter.

June was a month of joy and of tears as Janus, our firstborn, graduated from high school. He and his favorite cronies really cleaned up as they received a bundle of honors and scholarships between them. Janus’s two wonderful scholarships would prove to be a real blessing when it came time to go to college. We spent the rest of the month preparing for the Crossett Adventure which was scheduled to begin in early July, dependent on the success of the knee operation which Bob’s father was scheduled to have on July 1. The operation was successful so the adventure began July 2, a once in a lifetime and never to be forgotten experience.

July 2 – Left Vermont 9:30 AM. After passing miles of New York grape vines we arrived in Geneva, Ohio at 8:30 PM where we stopped at a KOA campground and set up our tent, tarp and van mattress. It rained hard during the night which required extra time in the morning to dry out and repack.

July 3 – Hair-raising trip around Chicago with Janus driving, Pattie riding shotgun and Bob navigating from the back seat. It seemed to take forever until we crossed the mighty Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin and found the KOA in Minnesota about 300 yards from the Mississippi and about 150 yards from a major railroad crossing.

July 4 – Continued along the plains to the Badlands, and finally Mount Rushmore. Stayed at a KOA in Custer, South Dakota and went to the local fireworks display in the evening – Mother Nature provided her own lightning show and heavy thunderstorms while we tried to sleep.

July 5 – We climbed Harney peak (7242 ft – highest point east of the Rockies) as a family and looked at buffalo in Custer State Park. While in the park, we were ambushed by some �wild� donkeys looking for food from passing cars! We stopped at the Crazy Horse Memorial which was in progress.

July 6 – We drove to Victor, Idaho. The Tetons were spectacular and the climb over the continental divide was scary for non-mountain pass drivers!

July 7 – Went to Yellowstone as were awe struck by elk, geysers, hot springs, and falls.

July 8 – We gave up on expensive KOAs and went to Teton Campground (no showers) at the base of the Tetons in Wyoming. Janus, Chris, Jonathan and Bob climbed Table Mountain (11,136 ft) for a real close look at the Grand Teton!

July 9 – We went to Rexburg, Idaho to tour Ricks College with Janus and get Janus set up with a checking account and his classes for the fall.

July 10 – Went to Salt Lake City to tour Temple Square, Church Office Building, Museum of Church History and Art and an evening concert at the Assembly Hall. We camped in a KOA in the city – not very rustic camping!

July 11 – We traveled to Manti, Utah to see the Mormon Miracle Pageant at the Manti Temple grounds and camped in an adjacent fair ground.

July 12 – Went back to Salt Lake City to hear the Sunday Tabernacle Choir broadcast – we got there just in time! After this we went to Bryce Canyon and hiked down into the canyon a little. Timid people remained on the rim of the canyon and were entertained by local golden striped ground squirrels. We stayed at Kodachrome Basin campground and hiked in the red rock surrounding us.

July 13 – Went to Zion National park and camped in Coral Pink Sand Dunes which was a real change from previous camping areas – snakes and scorpions were our caution. Decided the Grand Canyon was too much to do on this end of our journey.

July 14 – We traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico and on the way stopped at Indian craft stands for jewelry and gifts. We camped outside of Santa Fe in the mountains – setting up camp after dark!

July 15 – We traveled to Los Alamos, NM to visit Aunt Julie Rossiter and needed showers before dropping Janus and Chris off at Cimarron, NM at the Philmont Scout Ranch for a ten day trek in the wilderness! The remainder of the family set up housekeeping in Las Vegas, NM at shelters on the Storrie Lake state campground.

July 16 – We took some much needed rest time to get settled into our new �home� in Las Vegas and get clothes, food, and van in order.

July 17 – We went to Santa Fe to do some shopping and taking in the sights of the old city.

July 18 – The children and Bob took a hike in the El Porvenir area near Las Vegas. There were not many good views, but it was interesting to hike down in a hail storm – the ground was white with pea-size hail.

July 19 – We went to church at a small LDS chapel near our camping area. We met many nice families and were pleased to find that our friends the Farnsworths had served their mission there recently. We took our kids to a drive-in theater that evening – which are nearly non existent in the East.

July 20 – Went to Fort Union which was a restored fort along the Santa Fe Trail and took an interesting walking tour. That evening we all took some time to walk around Storrie Lake at our camping site.

July 21 – Megan, Jonathan and Bob hiked Hermits Peak (10,212 ft) which had spectacular views and vertical faces. On the way down we met a group coming up using llamas to pack their gear! We went to Pizza Hut for Robbie’s birthday and got caught in tremendous thunder storm which were common each afternoon in New Mexico.

July 22 – This was a lazy day, but we met some former Vermonters in our campground and spent the evening with them.

July 23 – We went to Albuquerque, NM to visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. The Indian center contained much of the history of the Pueblo Indians of this area. The Museum was filled displays and hands-on activities. While there we did visit the Grand Canyon via an Dynamax big screen theater.

July 24 – We hiked up the canyon in El Porvenir which had some twenty challenging river crossings to make it interesting – everyone got wet feet at least once. We went to a wedding at the LDS chapel of a couple we had met the previous Sunday

July 25 – We went to Bandelier National Park to see the dwellings of Indians in caves along this canyon. One location was a 140 foot vertical ascent by ladders. We had an exciting snake experience which we may relate to you someday. On our return trip we stopped at Aunt Julie’s home again for a good-bye before heading to Vermont!

July 26 – Went to church again, and later began to make preparations to pick up Janus and Chris and return home.

July 27 – We drove to Cimarron to pick up Janus and Chris which made a long day to travel to Oklahoma City where we camped outside of town and set up camp in the dark.

July 28 – We drove to St. Louis to visit Aunt Marie Corwin and camped a ways north of St. Louis. This was another set-up in the dark and with lightening around. There were many herrings on the water when we arose in the morning.

July 29 – We drove to Nauvoo, Illinois to visit the historical church site restoration. We were enchanted with the buildings – the bakery, the brick makers, the gun shop, and the black smith shop. We were not able to find a camp in Indiana or Ohio that evening so we gave Chris his dream of driving all night and arrived home in the afternoon of the 30th. Janus and Bob did the late night driving and Pattie did daylight driving on the 30th. W e had traveled and camped nearly 10,000 miles!

Janus has summarized the 10-day Philmont trek with the following notes: �Philmont brought many new and exciting adventures for Janus and Chris. One of the most exciting was the reality that we would only get two showers on our whole ten day trek. Adventures ranged from rock climbing to walking into a campsite inhabited by a hungry bear (not fun!) to horseback riding. We endured many long backcountry hours as we hiked a total of nearly 120 miles., We hiked to the top of Baldy Mountain (12,441 ft). Descending Baldy we got lost and were forced to bushwhack our way via compass which proved to be a valuable learning experience. Chris and Janus went to an old gold mining cave and toward the end of the trek endured the pleasures and hassles of travel in the company of a mangy old thick headed burro.�

Late summer found Megan attending school at Thetford Academy and church Girls’ Camp at the same time. The new school schedule had the day beginning at 7:30 and ending at 2 PM. Directly after school Megan walked down to camp and enjoyed the afternoon and evening with the rest of the girls.

Family life changed forever as our firstborn went off to college. Janus traveled safely to Rexburg and set up camp in Ensign Hall. The fall term has been a series of ups and downs and even more of a learning experience than Philmont provided!! The empty spot at the table has been filled in by Robbie and people notice that now when we buy a dozen bagels there are two apiece for everyone with no one having to share. All fall we had weekly conversations with Janus via telephone as we waited anxiously for the entry of Ricks College into the world of the Internet and worldwide electronic mail.

Fall was not as scintillating as the month of July though cross country running went rather well and kept the whole family quite busy as Thetford Academy hosted the district meet, Woods Run Meet, State Meet and the New England Meet. The whole community was involved and the Crossetts with them. Robbie had his first experience playing on a soccer team, and the TA soccer team went all the way to the State Championship where they were runners-up. Pattie is particularly interested in soccer and pressured the family to attend most of the home games and all the finals. No one complained very much.

In the fall we became host family to Chunjiang Yu, a fine young man who is a PHD candidate at Dartmouth College (in the field of biology) from People’s Republic of China. We invited him to Thanksgiving dinner which we shared with Grandparents Crossett, Aunt Jessie Curtis and cousins Jeremiah, Joshua and Julius, and Uncle Lester Corwin(Aunt Alana was sick much to our disappointment and did not come), and hope to spend time with him during the Christmas holidays.

We have enjoyed contact with many of you throughout this year and wish we could have spent time with all of you. We wish you a joy filled and prosperous new year filled with growth for all.

With love,

The Crossetts