Thursday, July 10th
Logan - day 2

Not surprisingly, my Mormon aunt and uncle don't keep coffee in the house so
upon awakening around 8 AM, Daisy and I ventured into town for coffee.

My uncle's home is situated at the base of a mountain range, and he was anxious
to take us sightseeing up into the mountains. Just about everyone in my family
(with the exception of myself) has owned a Volkswagen Beetle at one time or
another, so I was anxious to show off my 8-cylinder Passat. Alas, he was
anxious to show off his '86 Lincoln Town Car that he picked up for a song at a
charity auction, so in the end we drove into the mountains in his car. This
would not have been a big issue if I had remembered to bring my camera, but
alas it was still in my glove compartment when I realized that it would have
been nice to take a few pictures of the canyon that we drove through.

A camera would also have been nice for taking pictures when we got to Minitonka
Caves in southern Idaho. A sweater would also have been nice because the
temperature is a constant 40 degrees year-round inside the cave. While this is
an ideal temperature for keeping milk fresh, it is not an ideal temperature for
somebody wearing a t-shirt. Had we realized when we left that we were going to
be touring caves we would have brought our sweaters, but instead we had to
settle for wrapping ourselves in the towels that he had brought in case we felt
like taking a dip in Bear Lake.

To make matters worse, somebody had had the foresight to bring a crying infant
on the tour and the acoustics were ideally suited for salvaging every stray
echo and bouncing it back in our direction. Once we started hiking up and down
the steps (of which there are over 400 in each direction) though, we warmed
right up and it turned out to be quite an impressive cave with a surprising
number of limestone formations, stalagmites, and stalagtites. No comparison to
Carlsbad Caverns, but quite a bit more scenic than Mammoth Caves in Kentucky.

Driving back through the canyon we saw a guy standing at a bend in the road
with his hands raised like a referee signaling a good field goal, so my uncle
slowed down. As we rounded the curve we saw a car wreck with a bunch of other
cars lined up behind it. It looked like some kind of Chrysler sedan but it was
hard to tell since I could really only see the bottom. The guy said the
occupants were able to get out of the car and he had called for an ambulance.
About ten miles further down the road we saw a sheriff going the other way at a
high rate of speed with his lights going.

My uncle had had a second phone line activated by the phone company so that he
could have a separate line for his office, but he hadn't connected it
internally yet, so Daisy offered to make it operational for him. Upon returning
from sightseeing we picked up a two-outlet wall plate and went back to the
house to install it. Unfortunately, we got no dial tone on the second line
after hooking it up so we started troubleshooting. We determined that both
lines were good where they entered the house at the opposite end of his (big)
house, but it was no good in his office. We decided to check another wall plate
to see if the signal was good there, and it was not - but we noticed that the
other box had two cables coming in whereas his office had only one. It was then
that we realized that the phone lines were daisy-chained to one another from
one end where it comes into the house, to the other where it terminated at his
office. Once we figured this out it was a simple matter of removing each wall
plate in the house (both upstairs and downstairs), stripping the four
appropriate wires, twisting the appropriate pairs together, and wiring them to
the terminal plate. A simple matter but a laborious one, as my uncle had well
over a dozen phone lines in the house. Fortunately my uncle has a well-stocked
toolkit, so with two sets of strippers, three screwdrivers, and a line tester,
we were able to distribute the work between the three of us, and we were
finished in just a couple short hours - pausing only long enough to enjoy a
home cooked meal that my aunt had prepared.

Previous day in Logan
Next day in Montana