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California Road Trip 1965

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California Road Trip 1965 - Page Text Content

S: California Road Trip

FC: California Road Trip August 1965

1: Friday, July 30, 1965 - Hartford to Bordenton, NJ Dropped Cinder at Dr. MacDonald's and were driving on the highway at 3pm. Traffic heavy and weather hot!. 5:45pm crossed the Verranzano Narrows Bridge after muchos traffic and narrow escapes on Van Wyck expressway. Bridge is longest suspension bridge in world (we think!) and this route is shorter and more direct to the Jersey Turnpike. At 7 pm we arrived at the Easterner Motel in Bordenton, NJ to eat dinner. During dinner, we decided to stay for the night so here we are. Bordenton is right near the Pennsylvania Turnpike entrance but we were unable to maker reservations ahead and hence didn't want to take a chance by going on after dinner. 206 miles, 6 hours

2: Saturday, July 31 Bordenton, NJ to Richmond, IN Departure time 6:45 am before breakfast. Drove the Pennsylvania Turnpike arriving New Stanton, PA for lunch. Traffic clog in Wheeling, West Virgina and we all noticed the abrupt change in scenery from rolling green farmlands of PA to mountainous, shabby, poverty-stricken West Virginia. Passed a coal mine en route, crossed the Ohio River and returned to super highway #70. Passed through Concord, Ohio which we think is John Glenn's town and saw part of Muskingum College. Dinner at Columbus, Ohio. Press on to Richmond, arriving at an A+++ Howard Johnson's. 622 miles, 15 hours

3: Sunday, August1, Richmond, IN to Springfield, IL Departure time 9 am after a good breakfast. Passed through Greenfield, IN and saw birthplace of James Whitcomb Riley. Arrived in Springfield IL at 3 pm to see Lincoln memorabilia. We were a trifle disappointed in the Lincoln House but mostly because we had to wait in a line 45 minutes on a hot sunny afternoon. | Back to the motel and were halfway to the pool when it started to rain but the sun soon came back out so we went for a "picturesque" dip. Daddy took a few pictures of Mom and me and some sheep. Dinner at the motel, a drive around town and then off to bed.

4: Monday, August 2, Springfield, IL to Tulsa, OK Depart Springfield at 7 am arriving in the St. Louis environs for breakfast. Pressed onward over good highway through rather rolling Missouri country. The highways are enclosed on the sides by rock walls in layers. The the rocks gave way to small grape arbors. Flat farm country has disappeared and hills are rolling and green, Ozark Country, very lush and beautiful. | 313 miles before lunch in Springfield, MO. Then we pressed on for Tulsa, OK. Made a stop at a buffalo ranch where we stretched our legs. Arrived in Tulsa around 4 pm for swim and elegant dinner. | Tulsa is a beautiful city, clean broad streets and handsome modern buildings. Apparently, a strong cultural center as we saw a beautiful new Hall of Assembly, very large in the center of town and also a huge new library. We have not yet seen on oil derrick!

5: Tuesday, August 3, Tulsa to Tucumcari, NM Off to Oklahoma City. Saw our first oil well derricks also some longhorn cattle, Vegetation is becoming more scrubby and soil is red clay. Oklahoma City has a distinctly western flavor; loud, showy, brash as compared to the subdued, quiet, refined tone of Tulsa. Oklahoma City has studded the lawn of the state capitol building with oil derricks and we tried to get a picture of this. After O.C. we wen through real range country - miles and miles of flat rolling country. Very, hot but dry and not too uncomfortable. Not much cattle or other range life, thought. Later in the day, we entered Mesa country and crossed the Texas panhandle traveling at hight speed all the way. Stopped for some picture of Texas ranch land, white faced cattle who tried to run away when we stopped the care. Crossed into New Mexico and decided to stop early at Tucumcari because of the heat. Wonderful Mexican dinner which we all loved for the first taste of Mexican food.

7: Wednesday, August 4 Tucumcari, NM to Mesa Verde AZ Early start at 6:30 am after a marvelous breakfast . We are traveling through real mesa land - flat stretches of plains on each side of the road rising to flat-topped mess. The vegetation is completely different - low, scrubby gray-green sage brush and dark green cedars. As far as the eye can see, stretches the highway - 4 lane and very good. Stratified rock formations also part of the scenery. From plains into mountain terrain. Pine trees and rock walls, curving roads. Drove through Albuquerque, a broad, flat sunshine city surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges. Passed the U of New Mexico where all the buildings are sand colored, stucco or clay, Spanish architecture. Stopped at a picturesque old village for pictures and some shopping - a nice break. On into desert terrain. Crossed the Continental Divide at 12:45 and had lunch in Gallup at an A&W. We then broke away from Route 66 and took a side trip to Window Rock, Tribal Headquarters of the Navajo. Flat, dry, hot.

8: At Mesa Verde, we are in the Far View Annex of Spruce Tree Lodge. Gorgeous accommodations! [ Editor's note: Here began my love affair with the National Park Service and all national parks! I fell in love with Mesa Verde and it's still among my very favorite parks. Thirty years later, I took my own children to Mesa Verde and stayed in Far View Lodge!]

9: Thursday, August 5 Mesa Verde to Grand Canyon - Arose very early due to noise - buses starting up. Off to Spruce Tree Lodge for breakfast and the museum. Saw Spruce Tree Ruins and Cliff Palace. Fascinating and very worthwhile plus magnificent scenery, which is the frosting on the cake!

10: Left Mesa Verde after lunch for the Grand Canyon. A long, hot, 95 degree ride across miles and miles of desolate country where horses roam at large and Indian thatch and adobe huts infrequently sprinkle the landscape. No towns to speak of but fast driving and then an upward climb of 50 miles to the Grand Canyon's south rim. The canyon is really beautiful but our accommodations are poor and we will spend only one night here instead of two.

11: Friday, August 6, Grand Canyon National Park Rose early and after breakfast, bought a camera for Martha and Mommie - a Brownie Starmite. Off to the museum for a wonderful talk on the Canyon by a ranger and a walk along the rim.

12: After departing the Grand Canyon, we crossed the desert - Is is so dry, it drys your eyeballs up and makes them ache. Very, very hot - worse than everyone says! However, we managed to hold on until Hoover Dam where we had a most interesting tour through the Dam which refreshed us slightly. Then on to Las Vegas. Really a terribly uncomfortable day. A waitress later told us it was about 107 degrees or more. Arrived at the Tropicana, a most luxurious, glamorous joint but air conditioned and our room is large and beautiful, done in green and gold. We showered, rested and went to dinner which was good enough but much too expensive. Too tired to enjoy much night life but we did squandered $3 in the nickel slot machines. Saturday August 7 - Spent the day servicing the car, doing laundry, and swimming in the pool. Everyone has advised us to drive the desert at night so we will leave at 3 am. Dinner at a steak house. Harv hits a jackpot and recoups over $5.00!

13: Sunday, August 8, Las Vegas, NV to La Jolla, CA Departure time 3 am to cross the desert. Still much activity at the slot machines and game tables - what a wild place! We went to Calico, a ghost-town, today. I t was a real mining boom town. We went for a train ride, a tour through Maggie Mine. We also has some Sarsaparilla and went to the General Store where I got a sunbonnet made of calico. We drove across more hot country and entered the Imperial Valley where by contrast to the dry desert landscape, everything is lush and green. Stopped at a roadside orchard for Valencia oranges and ripe tomatoes which we picked ourselves - a real treat even in the heat. Drove to La Jolla and San Diego area and the air changed immediately- wonderfully cool and refreshing after all those days of extreme heat. Found a nice motel with a picture window view of the ocean. The Pacific is beautiful and so scenic with the mountains dipping right into the ocean and the houses all in layers up the mountain slopes. We had a marvelous and refreshing swim all afternoon at a beach near the motel. Dinner and to bed early.

14: Monday August 9 - Tijuana, Mexico Had a continental breakfast that the motel and went to Rambler dealer to have minor repairs made on car. Following that, we left Tijuana. Got car insurance at the border and spent the morning looking through the shops. Martha bought a Mexican skirt and Mom tried to find a shift with no luck. | We had a Mexican lunch, tacos, guacamole and beer, went to a Mexican arts and crafts fair and returned to San Diego in time to take a most interesting boat cruise around San Diego harbor. After dinner, we played 18 holes of miniature golf and to bed!

15: Tuesday, August 10, La Jolla to Anaheim (Disneyland) En route to Disneyland, we stopped off a the mission of San Juan Capistrano, a lovely old Spanish mission dating back to 1776. No swallows but plenty of pigeons!

16: Arrived at Anaheim, CA at noon, checked into the Caravan Inn and went directly to Disneyland by motel shuttle for 8 fun-filled and exhausting hours where we really managed to pack everything in. Favorite adventures were the Jungle Cruise, Matterhorn bob-sled, Frontier Land mine train, submarine ride, Swiss Family Robinson house and Tom Sawyer's Island.

17: Wednesday, August 11 Disneyland to Santa Monica, CA Checked out of Caravan Inn after breakfast due to having "finished" Disneyland in one day. Drove up the coast to Santa Monica and spent afternoon on beach and in surf. After that, did laundry. Then to Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard for the most elegant of all dinners any time, any place - The Scandia - Danish cooking and decor. We loved every minute of it! Later we learned that this was the first night of the Los Angeles riots of the summer of 1965 -very close to where we were! | Thursday, August 12, Santa Monica to San Simeon Drive along Ocean Highway is even better than advertised. Beauty unsurpassed. Stopped around noon to look up Hazel and Ruby Britts and spent a most pleasant two hours lunching and talking Duluth talk. Shoved off at 2 pm and stopped for the night at the Hearst's San Simeon at an ocean front motel. Hoping to be able to get in on a tour tomorrow morning before going on to San Francisco. Took a beautiful walk along the beach before dinner and almost froze to death. This is the Monterey Peninsula and it is the most scenic and beautiful country I have ever seen!

18: Friday, August 13, San Simeon to San Francisco Awoke by alarm at 6:30 am in order to stand in line for tickets to see the Hearst Castle. I can't possibly do justice to the splendor and magnificence of the palatial home and the extent of the collection of art objects - ceilings, walls, floors furniture, tapestries and paintings. The whole visit was comparable to a tour of European museums. We took the upstairs tour which is double in price but worth it as the groups are smaller and the feeling more intimate - Hearst Memorial is easily one of the best things on the trip!

19: Left about 11 am to continue the drive up the Monterey Peninsula. The coast becomes more spectacular with each view. I hate to take my eyes off any of it! We stopped around noon at an "establishment" called the Big Sur - Eats and Lodging where we got in among the beard and sandal set. The hostess, in long skirt, hoop earrings, beads and with beautiful, huge brown eyes didn't know if they could serve anyone other than their regular cabin guests but found that they could and we had an elegant lunch in a "way-out" setting surrounded by many artistic types. As Martha said"I don't think we belong." The waitress informed us that they were having a psychiatric seminar loosely titled "Consciousness Expansion" and soon we were joined in the dining room by a group of professorial types. Quelle experience!

20: Saturday, August 14 - San Francisco A day of sight-seeing - Gumps store, ride on cable care which broke down, Fisherman's Wharf and Cost Plus store, Luncheon at DiMaggio's overlooking the Wharf, drive to Sausalito across Golden Gate Bridge which was smothered in fog, so no view. Sausalito is like an Italian village built on a mountainside overlooking the bay - a real fairy-land. | By-passed the 17 mile drive around Carmel and Monterey Peninsula because the Father and the Daughter were not interested and it was getting late. Arrived San Francisco about 6:30 pm for one night only because of a convention. Excellent dinner at Trader Vics!

21: Sunday, August 15 San Francisco to Yosemite National Park Left San Francisco for Yosemite and drove for hours and mile through the Park on narrow winding 35 mph roads, finally arriving at Swiss Melody Inn - a beautiful and charming spot closely resembling Switzerland and run by a real Swiss family. Immaculately clean and delicious food - a real treat. Wish we could spend more time here but the Inn is sold out.

22: Monday, August 16 - Yosemite Up bright and early to see the Park. It is truly beautiful with a variety of sights and scenes: the Giant Sequoia groves, the Glacier Point outlook where one gazes out at sheer rock walls and mountain domes and valleys. Yosemite Valley is a 7 mile square meadow at an elevation of about 5,000 ft. The Yosemite waterfalls are all around. The snow-capped peaks int he High Sierra country are at an elevation of 12,000 feet. Ran into heavy rain and hail in the High Sierra and the day for the most part was cloudy and cool. Arrived at Lake Tahoe about 6:30 pm. It is icky!

23: Tuesday, August 17 Lake Tahoe to Winnemucca, NV Had breakfast, did laundry and checked out at 10 am driving toward Salt Lake City because we were totally unimpressed with Lake Tahoe and a day at the beach was most uninviting anyway, due to weather and tackiness of town and beach. State line at Tahoe is nothing more than trillions of motels all jammed in together, gambling joints, eating spots - all seedy and unattractive. One catches only brief glimpses of a beautiful lake between motels an billboards. Drove through Reno and Nevada desert lands until 3 pm when we stopped at an oasis spot called Winnemucca. Divine motel accommodations so we took a swim in the pool. We played 9 holes of golf at a local golf course. Flat and uninteresting but good practice. Bed early! | Wednesday, August 18 -Winnemucca, NV to Salt Lake City, UT Drove for a long time. We are now in the desert and the salt flats. Much salt! Very boring driving across the central route - much less interesting that the route across the southwest. Absolutely no visible habitation for endless miles of barren mountainous desert land. Reached Salt Lake City and checked into the Holiday Inn. We Played miniature golf, had dinner and then whooped it up by seeing The Sound of Music - a really marvelous movie!

24: Thursday, August 19 - Salt Lake City, UT Slept late and awake to a rainy, cool day. After breakfast, we went into town and toured Temple Square, one of the most interesting places on the trip. Learned much about the Mormons, their religion and history - a great and strong people who have built a real center here in the middle of desert land. Also toured the Beehive (Brigham Young's house) and took a look at the University of Utah (a formless, uninteresting campus with new buildings, and no ivy whose greatest asset seems to be the view of surrounding mountains. The sun finally appeared about 3:30 pm so Martha and Harvey took a swim or a float in the Great Salt Lake. At 7:30, we went to the Tabernacle to hear the Mormon choir rehearsal - a truly inspirational experience!

25: Friday, August 20 = Salt Lake City to Jackson, WY Drove through beautifully country on a gloriously sunny but cool day. The scenery is a lot more interesting than Nevada! The mountains are always there with green valleys, towns and farm lands tucked in between ranges. Every town in Utah has its Tabernacle very centrally located and conspicuously the very heart and focal point of the town. As we drove into Logan, we hit highway with loose gravel and suffered the first real mishap of the trip. We passed another car that was going too fast and loose gravel broke the front side vent window. This meant we had to turn around a drive 40 miles back to Ogden to replace the shattered glass - a delay of at least 3 hours! Finally arrived at Jackson Lake Lodge at about 7:30 pm for dinner and bed.

26: Saturday, August 21, Grand Teton NP Breakfast in the Lodge and then a drive through truly magnificent mountainous country to take in some of the beauty spots. Weather really punk - cold, cloudy and the tallest peaks are hidden in clouds, However, in spite of that, the scenery is really great.

27: Took a boat trip on Jackson Lake which was fun and the rain held off until we got almost into the dock. The rest of the day was most unpleasant - rainy and cold. We all got out parkas and finally had to put them on over sweaters! We went into Jackson for dinner but every restaurant was jammed so we had hamburgers at an A&W. Then we went to a rodeo in the rain and cold which was more fun than anything else at Grand Teton. A really fun show with ribbon roping, bronco busting and calf roping - great fun! | Note the "Big Dude from the East" enjoying the boat ride!

28: Sunday, August 22 Grand Teton to Yellowstone The Wrangler Breakfast was canceled because of rain so we ate breakfast at Jackson Lake Lodge and ran smack bang into Sally and Mal Crabtree and Jane and Jimmy. We enjoyed a 3rd and 4th cup of coffee with them and exchanged trip news. They are camping and going no further west than Grand Tetons. Ironically, we would have all been on the Wrangler Breakfast together. Because of the inclement weather, we decided to leave one day ahead for Yellowstone and were able to make reservations ahead there. We arrived at Yellowstone and were greeted by two moose grazing at roadside. We gazed at the diabolical mud pots and snapped a picture of a black bear. We enjoyed 6 other bears en route including several cubs in trees. We saw Old Faithful erupt and ate lunch at the Yellowstone Inn. We spotted a total of 14 bears and one more moose before arrival at Canyon Village Motor Lodge about 5:45 pm. Dinner and back to bed. Everyone here is in a tizzy making preparations for the August 25th Christmas celebration - a tradition here in Yellowstone for the college kids who work here during the summer. Everything is decorated for Christmas and carols are being piped over the loud speakers. Everyone wishing you a Merry Christmas!

29: Monday, August 23 Yellowstone to Gilette, WY Saw many more "bear" bringing total count to 25 in Yellowstone Park including a mother with three cubs. Some came and put paws on card and looked in windows at us. They are very effective beggars. We did not feed them but saw others doing it. Stopped in Cody, WY to go through a marvelous western art museum and the Buffalo Bill Museum. We ate lunch at Cody's Hotel Irma which he built for his daughter. Just outside Cody, we spotted a small her of antelope grazing but too late for a picture. Nice motel in Gillette. Dinner and entertainment by a divine :combo- 2 guitars and a drum. Very sharp small town!

30: Tuesday August 24, Gillette, WY to Chamberlain, SD FIrst nice day since San Francisco (August 14th) Drove through real ranch country into South Dakota. View Mt. Rushmore then on to a nearby lake shore where we ate a picnic lunch, waded and generally enjoyed a beautiful sunshiny day in the Black Hills. Took a helicopter ride and looked at Mt. Rushmore from the air before pushing onward. Drove through the Badlands making 2-3 stops for pictures. Martha and I got caught in a rain shower following a trail.

31: Stopped to see a restored prairie homesteader's sod house - one of the most interesting things we have seen on our trip. Also snapped some picture of some very tame prairie dogs. Drove until 8:15 pm when we arrived at Chamberlain, SD on the Missouri River. Glamorous an huge western motel. Dinner and to bed! {Editor's note - this was another site visited 30 years later. It was still a highlight and hadn't changed a bit!]

32: Wednesday, August 25 Chamberlain, SD to Delafield, WI Departure time about 8:30 am new time. Lunch in Fairmont, MN. Through Minnesota farm country and into Wisconsin, Drove into blinding thunderstorms, heavy rain and darkness and no place to stay. Tried an failed in Madison so proceeded on in rain toward Milwaukee arriving at a rather punk motel off highway about midnight where we spent half the night. | Thursday, August 26 Delafield, WI to Ludington, MI Arose at dawn - 5:30 am to make drive to catch ferry across Lake Michigan. Ate breakfast on ferry. Ferry trip was restful and boring. The day was cloudy and sunny at times. We arrived in Muskegon at 2:45 pm, later than scheduled. We made the trip to Ludington to see the Barbers. Had a fun time with much water-skiing by Harv, Peg and Martha on their lake and then all out for dinner and back to our motel about 10 pm.

33: School had started (trimester) much to our surprise so there wasn't a room in the whole area. We had to find ourselves a room in an old hotel in Ypsilanti. The Campus has really changed and even though it was fun to look at the old landmarks, the changes and the magnitude of expansion and growth left us feeling very disillusioned. The town has lost it's small college town atmosphere and charm and the University seems just too large. Student body probably about 25-30 thousand and they expect it to be 50, 000 in 1970. Took Martha in to the Alpha Phi house which is one of the few places not too changed, New Wing in back and redecorated and it looked lovely but more of less the same house! | Friday, August 27 Ludington to Ann Arbor, MI Took a run out to Hamlin Lake to say goodbye to the Barbers. Had a 2nd cup of coffee, took some pictures and left about 10 am. Arrived at Grand Haven about 11:30 and located key landmarks such as Gram's house, the Oval, the beach, Episcopal Church, Grand Haven State Bank etc. Had lunch and departed for Ann Arbor.

34: Saturday, August 28 Ann Arbor, MI to Niagara Falls, NY Breakfast en route. Drove through Detroit tunnel to Canada and across Canada to Niagara Falls, New York. Weather is very windy, unusually cold with some showers and some sunshine. Arrived in Niagara Falls about 4 pm, checked into motel and changed into all our warmest clothes and went out to see the Falls. Unbelievably cold and very windy! | Did the Falls thoroughly, even to taking the trip "under the Falls called Cave of the Winds. This was really an experience - had to change into flannel underclothes and slickers and carpet bag shoes to take a wet, cold walk. Dinner at the Sheraton-Brock Hotel in their roof-top dining room. Good dinner and marvelous view of the Falls.

35: Last day, Sunday, August 29 Niagara Falls, NY to West Hartford, CT Departed 9:15 am after breakfast listening to the splashdown of Gemini 5 on the radio. Icky lunch at a Savrin on the New York Thruway. Rainy, awful weather. Home at 5pm - Safe, sound, exhausted! Trip Statistics Final total Mileage: 9183 Average cost per night of motels: $16.00 Total cost of gas: $192.35 at an average cost of 36 cents/gallon (544.11 gallons)

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Martha Church
  • By: Martha C.
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  • Title: California Road Trip 1965
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