We 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.
Being 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.
The 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.
Three of the four locals were killed. The fourth man hid in a log jam in the river and escaped after dark.
The 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.
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.
Our 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.
She 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?