Thursday, September 27, 2012

Alvord Desert - Grandma's Final Resting Place

Over Labor Day Weekend, we laid my Grandma to rest on the family property she and my Grandpa bought at Alvord Desert on Serrano Point over 20 years ago.  She and my Grandpa had been coming over to Alvord Desert for years and camping at Frog Spring and riding dirt bikes.They finally were able to purchase a piece of their paradise. After my grandpa died, a year after they bought the property, Grandma had a large 5th wheel trailer on a cement slab and a well put in. That is the white thing in the foreground.  This is just part of the gorgeous view from the spot where we buried her ashes next to Grandpa's. 

Hailey and I riding the "Grizzly". Thank you, Billy, for letting us borrow it! We spent the weekend riding around to all our favorite spots. 

Josiah rode the Murray, a go-cart. It was perfect for him since top speed was 20 miles an hour. He literally plowed his way through the alkaline pockets and sand. He had a ball! He road 42 miles one day. Michael was behind him on the dirt bike.

One of our favorite stops is Serrano Springs where there are parts of an old homestead left. It was a sod house.

Michael and my step-dad, Larry, examining the construction of the house.

Hailey sitting "inside" the house.

We found a barn owl nest in the trees. We collected owl pellets and feathers that had fallen on the ground. We plan on dissecting the owl pellets at a later date.  

Larry and Mom on the edge of the huge dry lake bed.

Josiah was lovin' the Murray. I think he liked being in control of his own vehicle.

 Partial view of Steens Mountain from the dry lake bed. I can't even describe how beautiful it is. There was a lot of smoke and dust in the air when we were there so we didn't get to see it in all its glory this time.

Alvord Hot Springs. Who says the desert isn't beautiful?

On Saturday, my Uncle Dave and his wife, Jocelyn, came over from their place in Christmas Valley in his Jeep. We all rode over on our ATVs, dirt bikes and Jeep to an old agate mine where there are still some gorgeous agates you can pick up. We gathered enough to put over the graves of Grandma, Grandpa and also for a memorial to Larry's dad who died this summer.  

Uncle Dave brought this stone up to the grave sites with his Jeep. My mom's best friend, Debbie, who visits the desert every year with my mom, had this memorial stone made. It has a dirt bike etched in the top of the stone with "Rest in Peace Upon this Land, In Remembrance of Love Ones" and had their names and birth and death dates etched on it as well. My grandma was riding her dirt bike into her 70s. I can't tell you what this meant to our family.

After we buried the ashes and covered them with agates, Uncle Dave said a prayer.

Josiah and Hailey standing behind the grave stone with Grandpa buried to the left and Grandma to the right. Their grave site has a 360 degree view that includes the dry lake bed, Serrano Point, the Pueblo Mountains and Steens Mountain. I couldn't think of a more perfect place for ashes to rest.

After we buried them, we all headed to the beloved Alvord Hot Springs where we hung out, soaked and played. It was the perfect end to the day and I know Grandma and Grandpa would have been so pleased with their dust-covered memorial service attendees, representing three generations. They would have been so pleased to know the property is being loved and enjoyed by their decedents. 

Rest in Peace, Grandma and Grandpa. We will always remember you and love you. Thank you for the living memorial you gave us as we enjoy the land. 

Your Grateful Granddaughter,


Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

A perfect ending to the final chapter in Grandma's life. Thank you for this beautiful post.

You did a great job describing it all to us.

Love you!

Jocelyn Ruppel said...

Hi Jackie, I agree, it was a beautiful Memorial for your Grandma & Grandpa, as well as for Larry's Dad. The headstone was so loving placed for them. The time spent together with each other was very nice - I really enjoyed our desert adventures. Your loving words spoken here, Jackie, can be felt by those who read them. : ) Love, Jocelyn

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

It is hard to put into words how I felt that weekend. I'm so glad you both were moved as I know you loved her too the same way. It was so wonderful to spend time with you guys, Aunt Jocelyn! I hope it works out for you guys to come next year, too.

Nancy L. Ingram said...

Thank you for sharing this heartfelt weekend trip!! Aunt Mary and Uncle Larry would be so proud!!
The headstone is such a wonderful touch and tribute to them.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Cousin Nancy!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to an amazing family.

I never would have thought of "desert" as beautiful until I saw your pics.

May the blessings continue to all the generations.

Jenn said...

Beautiful! I would have never said the desert was beautiful, but I've never actually seen one in person. Also what a beautiful way to remember your Grandma.

Camille said...

Yes, the desert is beautiful. I think each part of God's creation has a unique beauty all its own. Even the rainy, grey days we get here on the coast can be beautiful!

What a wonderful post, my friend. I'm so pleased you had that special day together with those you love. What precious memories you have made!

With Love,

mia james said...

What a memorable trip. This is a great way to remember Grandma. Its a unforgettable one. That I'm sure of.
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