Unexpected Lessons in Unexpected Places

P1030031We have been to beautiful Lake Cascade State Park a dozen (or more) times.  It was a nice comfortable distance for a weekend trip from Boise – usually with our friends Darrell and Cindy.    During years of Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, we were all about relaxing with our friends.

fullsizeoutput_49d9Being here for the entire summer season means there is more time to explore the area.   I was surprised to find reference to the Long Valley Massacre memorial within walking distance of our site.


We almost always prepare to pick up trash when we walk.

fullsizeoutput_49daThe Long Valley Massacre happened on August 20, 1878 following a horse theft.   Four local men believed a small band of Indians were responsible and followed the Indians’ trail.  The men were ambushed at this place.   

fullsizeoutput_49cdThree of the four locals were killed.   The fourth man hid in a log jam in the river and escaped after dark.

fullsizeoutput_49cfThe bodies were found by soldiers and buried in the area.   The graves were found and marked in 1929 but we were not able to see any remains of the marking.


We did see these bones nearby! 


And on a happier note…

Randy and I have been exploring the idea of joining the Elks for a few months.  Being Elks is a common thing with full time RVers both for social connections and for member only campgrounds.

fullsizeoutput_49cbOur efforts came to fruition this week when Randy was initiated into Boise Elks Lodge #310.  Although women are welcome to be members, we didn’t want to pay the annual fee for both of us when I can do everything but attend meetings as a member spouse.

I was able to attend the orientation prior to initiation and learned a few interesting things. The group that became the Elks started with a collection of actors in New York City in 1867.  They gathered together on Sundays when they could not work because of Blue Laws. They called themselves the Jolly Corks.   

When one of their group died, the remaining Jolly Corks assisted the man’s family.  That began the  hallmark of service to others.   Wanting to become an even more substantive benevolent group, they formalized and became The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in 1868.

The Elk was chosen as their symbol because it is distinctively American and fleet of foot.   Elks live in herds and are gentle and peaceful.  Yet, they are strong and valiant in defense of self and others.

As the original actor Elks moved about, other lodges were established and denoted by number.   The Boise Lodge came into being in 1896 and was number 310.  Of the fifty two charter members in Boise, six became Governor and five became US Senators from Idaho.

All Elks lodges continue to have benevolence as a cardinal principle.  This principle is joined by justice for all, brotherly love and fidelity.     The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks just celebrated their 150th Anniversary.  

Randy was impressed with the sincerity and authenticity of the eight members who came out on a Sunday afternoon to orient and install three new members – two men and one woman.

I stayed in the lounge while the members and initiates went through the formalized process of becoming an Elk.    When it was over one of the members said she was leaving “with Enrique.”   Enrique appeared to be the statue she was carrying,  so I had to ask.

fullsizeoutput_49c7She told me that Enrique, or “Kiki”, was murdered in Mexico because of the drug trade and that his death resulted in the drug awareness effort called Red Ribbon Week.   I was a teacher – of course I knew about Red Ribbon Week.  We participated every October in this drug awareness campaign but I didn’t know it had a tragic beginning.

Google research revealed that Enrique Camarena was a US Drug Enforcement Agency undercover agent in Guadalajara, Mexico.  He was kidnapped, tortured and killed in 1985.   The Boise Elks Lodge was awarded this bust of Enrique Camarena for their nation leading efforts in drug prevention.   As I said, you can learn unexpected lessons in unexpected places.

Not unexpected was our truck odometer going over 100,000 miles.   We have always had low mileage on our vehicles but not this one.   We bought our 2012 Ford SuperDuty truck new and it has been our only vehicle since June, 2014.  Low mileage doesn’t apply.

Even though Randy has driven approximately 98,000 of those 100,000 miles, he was not in the truck when it rolled over to 100,000.   I was driving to McCall and briefly went down a side road to be out of traffic to take the pictures.     I wonder where we’ll be when it goes over 200,000?

About Serene

Former full time RVers, transitioned to homeowners and travelers. We've still got a map to finish! Home is the Phoenix area desert and a small cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona.
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5 Responses to Unexpected Lessons in Unexpected Places

  1. Teri McClelland says:

    I have never thought about how the Elks got their name. Very interesting story!

  2. Mark says:

    I’ve read where many Rv’ers join Elks simply to gain access to their RV sites. That seems a bit insincere to me, and I’m glad to hear that you are taking a deeper interest than that. It sounds like you continue to enjoy being close to home for the summer and are discovering new things in old places!

    • rightlaners says:

      We also joined Elks because we’re full timers and they permit camping in many areas that would otherwise be inaccessible to us. We don’t feel insincere at all because Elk’s is a good organization and our annual dues are helping the lodge we’re members of, and when we stay somewhere our “donation” is helping that lodge. We are not able to participate in local lodge activities because of our transient nature, but we enjoy belonging to a club where we’re welcome anywhere we go.

      • Serene says:

        We won’t likely do a lot at our home lodge either but I agree, our dues will help and we might assist where we can when we are around since it is our old home town. One thing we can do for them is send back information whenever we visit another lodge anywhere in the country. There is some kind of Idaho based competition, a floating trophy or something, where when members visit another lodge they get points. We might help them win the trophy all by ourselves year after year 🙂

        On the other hand, there are apparently some lodges that are quite sensitive to full timers joining. We had heard that the Apache Junction Lodge welcomed full timers and we contacted them when we were in AZ only to be verbally chastised and told that we should join an RV club instead. The Boise lodge knew our situation and welcomed us. We felt very good about the process and their vision.

  3. rightlaners says:

    How wonderful that you take a back and a pick-up stick with you on walks. I will need to remember that as well, because often I have seen trash on our hikes and didn’t want to hold it all the way to a trash bin. Bless you for this service! (nice article too) -Joy

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