Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saved by St. Gertrude

After crawling out of bed the morning after Gold Fork Hot Springs, ahhhhhhh, we took some country roads north to a "destination" in Cottonwood, St. Gertrude's monastery. Perhaps a bit misleading, the name, since the sign on the door said to step inside to request a visit to a sister. I thought Sisters were in convents. Anyway, this order is contemplative, praying three times a day until the end when they reach their goal of heaven. Based on the view, not a bad life.... And in other ways too, I am sure.

After a visit to the chapel and following the instructions of the book the last RV park host had given us, we paid a few dollars to see the museum. The book said there was an amazing art collection. A slight exaggeration, perhaps, but in a small funky way, interesting. The largest collection was memorabilia of a vaudeville organ player who came from the Camas plains near Cottonwood and donated her sequined dresses and husband's Asian import collection to this museum. I kept thinking of my childhood music teachers, formerly members of the traveling musical Jones sisters, all five of them, who together with their mother joined a convent upon their father's death. Sister Dorothy couldn't shake the show business from her toe tapping little black shoes.

On to the part about being saved by St Gertrude. Mary Kay, who worked the desk at the museum, saved us from certain death on extreme grade State Highway 13, where lumber trucks roar down and RV's quake at the sight. She drew us a map through Kamiah, where we were able to safely join Hwy 12. Phew! She also predicted we would make Lowell by the time we were ready to quit for the night, and she was right about that. We actually had to go 20 miles further to a National Forest campground on the Lochsa River. Wonderful river. Wonderful byway, one of the Lewis and Clark drives.

Thanks, St Gertrude.
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