Thank you to those that have given me and my children support through a difficult transition. We are truly blessed by your love and especially by the love of our Savior. It is a wonderful time of year when we can celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and give praise and thanks to His name.
May your day and year ahead be filled with love, laughter, joy, and faith.
It has been so long since I have blogged, I almost forgot how to do it!
Even though I haven't had time to blog, I have been busy painting and trying fun and new ways to express myself through art.
Snow, Snow, Snow is a reductive linocut print, a process in which you cut away at the linoleum, print, then cut away some more. It is meditative and a very similar process to my poured watercolors. That is why I really enjoy doing it.
Printmaking is something that I tried many, many years ago and have been wanting to return to ever since. It is hard to do without a proper studio though, especially if you prefer printing with a press. However, linocuts can be hand pulled and there are now the beautiful Akua inks. Akua inks are a soy based ink and don't have the smell and the mess of the oil based inks and are more transparent than most of the water based inks. I am currently working on more linocut prints and next I want to try some etchings using the Akua inks. Now if I only had a Dremel tool.
I finally got around to photographing, varnishing and framing my piece from my Still Waters course back in May. And just in time for the Bowker Creek Brush Up this past Sunday.
The Bowker Creek Brush Up is an annual event for artists in Oak Bay, which is a community just east of Victoria, BC. When I previously lived in Victoria, I was a part of this community and participated every summer. When the Oak Bay Artists found out that I have returned to the island, I was invited to be a guest artist at the event. It was wonderful to return and reconnect with many of the artists that participated while I was here and to meet several of the new. I especially enjoyed seeing many friends from years past. Thank you to those that took the time to come out and say hello!
Hiking the Darby Canyon Trail To the Wind Caves and Ice Cave
My Mother, Karma Lambert, at the Darby Canyon Memorial
For as long as I can remember my siblings and I have heard the story of how our mother survived a lightning accident in Darby Canyon, Idaho while 5 of her friends had died. This accident occurred on Aug 1, 1951 when my mother was 14 years old. It has made all of us aware of how dangerous it can be during a thunder and lightning storm as my mother would diligently get us inside whenever the clouds would gather and the wind picked up.
This past Sunday, Aug. 2, my mother and several members of my family hiked the 2.7 miles to the memorial that honored the victims of the tragic lightning accident. This is the first time my mother had returned to the site since she had helped build the monument in September, 1951.
The following accounts were written by my sister-in-law, Magen Morse then an account by my mother, Karma Rasband Lambert. Most of the photos I took that day.
Survivor Honors Victims
Morse: daughter-in-law to Karma Lambert.
Karma Rasband Lambert
The year of the accident
My mother (Karma) at the trailhead
Sixty-four years ago this month a terrible tragedy occurred in Darby Canyon, outside of
Driggs, Idaho. Four young girls and their adult leader were killed when
lightning struck a tree under which they were sitting. The only survivor
of the strike, Karma Rasband Lambert, now 78 years old wanted to honor their
memory and share the story with her family by hiking the trail to the memorial
plaque that marks the spot where it happened. Karma Lambert’s daughter,
Suzanne Kloepfer, broached the idea a few months ago of making this trek
saying, “we had heard about this story our whole lives and felt that it be such
a wonderful tribute to our mother to be able to return to the site where she
lost her close friends and leader. A year ago we learned that she had
returned a month after it had happened and helped build the monument that is
there now at the end of the trail, so we really wanted to see that.”
The husband of the leader who was killed, Ora Lee Holst, worked in
a foundry and had the plaque struck to place on the monument.
plaque states that it is dedicated to the youth and leader who gave their lives
for this program. What the plaque doesn’t say was that it was a group of
about 35 girls who hiked up the canyon that day. They had been attending
a young women’s camp sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. When the storm started these girls had dashed under the
tree for cover and were sitting on the ground when lightning struck. It
is believed that Karma Rasband (Lambert) was standing up and so was spared the
intensity of the charge. A nurse and experienced scout leader were
nearby and they immediately started to try to revive the girls. Ms
Lambert remembers being told that they administered CPR to her for about 30
minutes before she was able to breathe on her own. She was carried down
on a stretcher. The victims were brought down by horseback.
story made national headlines at the time but what hasn’t always been
highlighted is the efforts and heroism of the people of Driggs and the campers
after the accident. After it happened, the other girls ran down the trail
to get help – 6 miles to the campsite. They sounded the alarm and horses
and people rushed up the canyon to give any aid possible. Unfortunately,
those volunteer horsemen had the awful task of bringing down the bodies of the
victims. Ms Lambert recalls meeting the daughter years later of one of
those men who had helped, She said he was haunted by the memory of that day.
He remembers the girl's long blond hair hanging down across his horse.
hike turned out to be incredibly challenging for Karma but she was
determined. Though she walks two miles every day, the elevation and
challenge of the uneven trail made the hike a daunting prospect. Her
family assisted her all along the way. What they didn’t expect was the
kindness of other hikers on the trail. As they went along, Ms Lambert had
become something of a trail celebrity. On the many breaks, the family had
the chance to share her story with others on the trail. By the end of the
day, the hikers were all rallying around Ms Lambert, offering water, snacks,
and especially encouragement.
View of the wind tunnel from the trail.
Lambert was so grateful. She said, “I thought I would have to be carried
down on a stretcher again! But just like all those years ago, when the
community rallied around that horrible situation, I’m so touched by the
kindness of all these strangers here today.”
has been talk of the monument being taken down from the end of that
trail. What the family would like to see is a further explanatory plaque
next to the original. The people we met coming down the trail had seen
the memorial but they had no idea of the history behind it. We think that
it would be nice for people to know about the sacrifice of the leader of those
girls and that, though sad, this place is significant to the families of those
girls. It would be a shame for the history to be lost forever.
first incident occurred on August 1, 1951.
It is a story of tragedy. The
second incident took place on August 2, 2015.
four years ago, I was on that trail with a group of 37 girls. Lightning hit the group and five were killed,
including a leader of the girls. I was
considered the most seriously injured of the group. I survived because of artificial respiration
administered by Fred Miller. Many
wonderfully kind citizens of Driggs came to our aid.
forward 64 years later. My children
organized a family reunion in August, 2015.
Since they grew up with the story of the lightning that took five of my
friends, they decided they would like to do the same hike. My daughter, Suzanne, researched, discovered
that it was a “moderately” strenuous hike of 2.7 miles. We talked about it and they asked if I would
like to join them.
am now nearly 79 years old. I have had both
hips and a knee replaced. I foolishly
said I would like to try it. That was a
mistake. I really was not up to the task.
However, since I started, I hated to give up. Joining me were two
daughters, a son, a son-in-law, nine grandchildren (the youngest was five years
old). Because of all the rest stops, it
took me 11 hours. Most people make in a fourth of that time. But what an experience it was! I can see why it is such a popular hike. The scenery is breathtaking. But most amazing of all was the others along
the way. They all wanted to help. They offered food, water, equipment,
flashlights, etc. When it became
apparent that it would be dark before I reached the bottom, several wanted to
stay to see me safely out and on my way home.
the disappointing thing is, that no one seemed to know the story behind the
monument. Even those who gave guided
tours up the mountain did not know what had happened 64 years ago.
would like to see some information about the incident posted. It would be nice for people to know what
1949, the LDS stakes were looking for a place to build a summer camp site for
the young women in the Idaho Falls and Driggs area. They gained permission to construct the camp
in Darby Canyon. The second year it was
in operation was in 1951. I loved girls'
camp. I was raised by a single mom who
did not own a car. So the opportunity to
go to camp was a big deal for me and I wanted to participate in all
activities. I especially was excited to
go on the six mile day long camp. The
goal was to hike to the Wind Caves, go through them, and then eat our lunch,
then view the Ice Caves. So the morning of the hike, I was surprised that out
of the 150 girls in the camp, only about 37 girls elected to participate. That morning, at 6:00 a.m. I entered the food preparation area and began
to fix my lunch. Bethene Richmond, the
Young Women's President was there. She
was a practical nurse. Ora Holst, my
leader, entered the tent. Bethene
exclaimed to Ora “I thought you were not going!” Ora replied “I know, but I decided I
better go because three of my girls are hiking today!”
morning was rainy, and the 37 girls and leaders met with Driggs citizen, avid
scouter, Fred Miller. Mr. Miller was to
be our guide. There was some discussion
about the weather preventing the hike, but suddenly, the sun shone through the
clouds, and we decided it was “go.”
other of my classmates, Carol Engstrom and Bernice Malone went along on the
hike, plus a girl, Merry Dee Severson, from a younger class, Ora and I, stuck
together on the hike as we worked our way up the trail. But Carol who was the life of all parties,
and her good buddy, Bernice were not content to lag behind. They wanted to be right up front with Fred
Miller. Carol said she wanted to see if
she could carry Mr. Miller pack. It was
heavy, because it contained emergency equipment, etc. Carol pestered, until Fred relented, thinking
she would last only a few minutes. She
continued to carry it half the way.
was a beautiful morning. We laughed, giggled,
and enjoyed each other’s company. When
we came to the Wind Caves, I had a flashlight.
Merry Dee and Ora did not have flashlights so we stayed together, while
Carol and Bernice were again at the head of the line with Mr. Miller.
Carol and Bernice exited the cave, it was raining. They picked out the perfect spot for our
lunch. It was underneath a Balsam
Pine. When Ora, Merry Dee, and myself, came
out we quickly joined them. However, the
last thing I remember was coming out of the cave. The next thing I remember was that I was
being carried down the mountain on stretcher.
The rest is what I was told by others.
exited the cave last to make certain that everyone was out. He quickly asked that we move away from the
trees and out into the clearing.
the most awful scene happened. Lightning
struck the very tree we were under. Five
were killed. The victims were Ora Holtz,
Carol Engstrom, Bernice Malone, Merry Dee Severson, and Betty Kerney.
I was the only survivor out of the girls sitting under the
Miller, and several of the older girls applied artificial respiration. They worked on all the victims for a long
time, but were unable to revive them.
Others were rescued, including me. I was considered the most seriously
injured. They had to keep applying
artificial respiration to me because I would start to breath, and then
Jensen went a little way down the mountain with me to make certain that I could
continue to breath on my own. Sheriff
Loosli also carried my stretcher.
was wearing nylon underwear. It was
melted into clumps. The soles of my
shoes were ripped off. The metal flashlight that I was carrying in my pocket
burned my hip and there were burns on my body, ironically, some the shape of lightning strikes.
goodness of the people of the Driggs community was amazing. When they were contacted, Sheriff Looslie
quickly rounded up men and horses to come to our aid and to carry the bodies
out. Dr. Jensen went immediately to the
scene to give aid. People came to the church to fix meals for the 145 girls.
When news reached the girls remaining in camp, they packed up and were taken to
Driggs while awaiting to be picked up by parents.
month later, I went with a group that included Ora Holst husband, Rasmus
Holst. He worked at a foundry, and he
made the plaque that is on the monument.
Horses carried the plaque, and cement powder. We gather stones from the area and built the
monument. 64 years later I stood by that
monument and remembered those five people and thought how much was lost on that
fateful day in 1951.
Karma with her son, Richard
My mother no longer has the burns on her arms and legs but apparently still has the burn on her hip. It took 6 hours to get to the memorial which was longer than anticipated. We thought she would only make part of the hike then tell us her story. However, she was determined and we took our time traversing the trail. My brother-in-law did make a litter from sticks, shoelaces, belts, as well as rope from a kind stranger, to take my mother back down from the mountain. This did work for part of the way. They made it back to the parking lot at 9:30 that night just as the sun's last rays set. We are all so proud of her and are grateful that we had the opportunity to visit the site and to hear her story along the way.
We will be returning to teach watercolor painting in the vineyards of British Columbia's famous wine country this September 14-17, 2015. It is like painting in Europe without the expense. The cost ranges from $330 CAD for the workshop only to $990 CAD for a single occupancy stay, full breakfast every morning, and the workshop.
(By the way, that is Canadian dollars so if you are American, it is an even better deal.)
This holiday is filled with many painting opportunities with incredible views and amazing food. This is the third year that we have organized this wonderful painting excursion to the vineyards of the Okanagan.
View from Bench 1775
We will be staying at Sandy Beach Lodge and Resort which is located along the shores of Okanagan Lake. We then spend our mornings painting outdoors in one of the many vineyards located along the Naramata Bench. I will be demonstrating different techniques and tips for painting outdoors and guiding you in your own creations. Following lunch, Sam teaches how to compose and paint a still life with all things wine- from glasses to bottles to grapes.
Our painting day ends with a dip in the lake, a quick nap, or a walk about in the village of Naramata followed by dinner at a local winery or restaurant. It is so much fun, you may want to make it a yearly event just like we and many of our students have done.
The Garden at Hillside Winery
There are only a few spots left so don't delay if you want to be a part of this fantastic opportunity. More information and registration can be found at Islandartescapes.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The weekend started with a tour of the Daniel Smith paint factory on Friday night where some of the most wonderful watercolor paint in the world is made. It was exciting to meet the people behind the yummy and beautiful paint and to finally meet the artists and organizers of the Northwest Watercolor Society. I have seen some of their work over the years and have corresponded with others. It is always nice to put a face to the name. And thank you to Daniel Smith for being so generous to let us tour their factory and tell us their story.
Sample paint tests in the chemical lab
Where the paint is milled to get its creamy consistency
I had the noon time pouring watercolor demo out on the patio. I'm such small potatoes in the world of watercolor so when I was first asked to demonstrate, I thought that I might get 10-20 people popping their heads in to see what it is that I do. To my surprise, my mini-workshop (which also happened to be a hands-on demo) was one of the first to fill with 50 people! I was shocked! And extremely nervous! This was no longer a small deal but a very BIG deal! I spent the week before frantically preparing for the demo and trying to figure out how to make it hands-on with 50 people and 45 minutes. AAAAAAAA!
However, I think I was able to figure it out and ended up invited people on stage to help me with the demo. It ended up being a blast! I had someone wet the paper, another person pour, and finally someone tilt the paint into the bucket. I was just the art director guiding these other watercolorists through the process. I was able to relax and enjoy myself and the attendees. The above painting, Hotel Don Curro, which is in Malaga, Spain, is the finished painting from the demonstration. After my time to shine was over with, I was able to attend all the other workshops and learned some new tips and techniques for my own practice.
After the convention, there was a reception at the Washington State Convention Centre where the NWWS exhibit and my painting, Splash of Red, was on display. Unfortunately I completely forgot to get my photo taken with my painting! and I don't have any photos of my demonstrating either:( So if you happened to have been there and have a photo of me demonstrating, would you mind sending me a copy?
I do feel honored that my painting was chosen to be among so many incredible pieces of art. It was extremely humbling. In fact, the whole experience was humbling to realize what great pieces of art and artists are out there.
Birgit O'Conner, Judy Morris, and Marcia Giant at the NWWS reception
Finally, we finished off the evening with dinner and awards ceremony at the hotel.
Sam Boehner, ME!, and Birgit O'Conner
The most important thing about the event was that I had fun. I would do it again in a heartbeat and hope that such an event will be held again next year.