Mixsonian

DIARY OF TRIP OUT WEST
1973
by Barbara

Mom, Dad, Morris and I left Gainesville Sunday, June 10, 1973 at

8 A.M. in the Explorer 26 Camper. Stopped at 2:50 P.M. near Montgomery, Ala. to fix dinner at a rest stop. Having trouble with the air conditioner and it's hot. Stopped at Campground Trailer Park, Meridian, Miss. Air conditioner worked good all night on an electric hook-up. Took a nice shower and was in bed by 10 P.M. I put a ham in the oven (for dinner tomorrow) and Morris woke up about midnight and told me to turn it off and instead of turning it off I turned it up on high and about 4 o'clock in the morning Mom woke up and the whole place was full of smoke. Needless to say, I didn't try cooking any more at night like that! Traveled 489 miles today.

Monday, June 11

Morris was up at six so we got up about 6:30. Got to the place here at Meriden to check the air condition. It took only a few minutes and he charged $8.00. Went down the road a few miles and it konked out again. Went on to Jackson and looked up

a place and spent 2 hours there fixing the generator. Left Jackson at 2 o'clock and got down the road about half way to Vicksburg when it konked out again. By this time everyone was mad and we were about ready to go back to Florida. We turned around in the middle of no-where and went back to Jackson to the man who fixed the generator. This time dad called our man in Gainesville, and then they switched breakers as that seemed to be the trouble. The air condition was throwing off the breakers all the time. Got on the way again about four o'clock and got to Vicksburg, Miss. about 5:30 P.M. We were all tired and disgusted so to cheer us up we decided to eat but. We found a nice restaurant called the Old Southern Tea Room at the Downtowner Motor Inn. Nice but expensive. Stayed at the Safari Campground. Went to bed about 10 all tired out. Traveled 198 miles today.

Tuesday, June 12

Morris was up at 6 again and got us up at 6:30. Cleaned up the trailer and

and drank coffee. Left the campground about 8 A.M. Went through Louisiana today. Real pretty state. Stopped to eat dinner at a wayside park in LA.(it was the same one we stopped at 4 years ago when we were with the girl scouts). We had roast beef, gravy, mashed potatoes, carrots, cooked cabbage, sliced tomatoes, and hot rolls. Sure was good. Hit Texas and a big rain about 3 o'clock. Got to Dallas about six.

Spent the night at a KOA in Dallas, Texas. Morris took a bad cold today and feels awful, so we all went to bed early. Traveled 393 miles today.

Wednesday, June 13

Up at 6:30 and left Dallas at 8:15. Took us all day to go through Texas. They are in the midst of plowing their fields. Some parts are harvesting their hay. The land is real flat and right pretty. Mom took a headache and slept for several hours. Got to Amarillo about 6 o'clock. Mom and I decided we were too tired to cook and seeing the world famous restaurant "The Big Texan" is right next door to our campground we decided to eat out. Pop sure enjoyed it. He got a red garter from the waitress and the roaving singing cowgirl stopped by our table and sang him 2 songs! Mom and I did a load of wash and then we played Rummy. We were right in the path of the airport and huge planes went over every hour all night, but after a while we client even notice it. Traveled 330 miles.

Thursday, June 14

Up at 6:30 and left about 8:30. Nice and cool this morning, but the sun is shining real pretty. It's a beautiful day! All day we drove through Texas, and New Mexico. The wind blew quite hard all day through New Mexico. Got to Colorado Springs, Colo. about 5 o'clock. Stayed at the Garden of Gods Campground. Parked us right across from a yard full of horses. We can look out the front window to a beautiful view of Pikes Peak all covered with snow! Fixed pork chops out on the grill; mightly tasty! Dad was extremely tired so we all went to bed early. (Ice cost 95c a bag here) Morris still has his cold. Traveled 367 miles.

Friday, June 15

Up about 6:45 (it's getting later every morning) and left camp about 8:15. Had to go into town to find someone to fix the muffler. Went up a beautiful road to an old gold mining town called Cripple Creek. The population at one time was 40,000 and now it's less than 1,000. We visited all the small curio shops, had buffet lunch at the old Imperial Hotel (delicious food), then took in the Melodrama Theatre in the Gold Bar Room Theatre. We really enjoyed the play and especially the piano player. Morris caught the red garter! Really enjoyed the whole day there. We got back to Colorado Springs about 6 o'clock and went directly to the Flying W Ranch for Bar BQ supper. They feed 1400 people in less than 20 minutes. You eat outdoors on picnic tables on a hill, and then there entertainment by the cowboys. We were practically on the last row of tables and it was hard to hear the singing and as it got so cold left early. Stayed at the Pike's Peak Trailer Park in Colorado Springs. Traveled 102 miles today.

Saturday, June 16

Up about 6:45 and left camp at 8:15. We stopped at a pottery place where they give tours and have beautiful pottery for sale. Mom bought Sue a couple of pieces and had them shipped to her. Got on the road again about 9:30 A.M. Had lunch (Jimmy Dean sausage, very good) in a city park in Wyoming. Drove all day. It's very, very windy and quite cold today. Arrived at Rock Springs, Wyom. about 7:30 P.M. Mom and I did four loads of washing and drying and talked to other campers who had been to Yellowstone. They said it was snowing there and very cold! I do believe everyone and his brother has taken to camping. The parks are full every night. We've met people from everywhere! They are real friendly. To bed at 11:00 P.M. Traveled 424 miles.

Sunday, June 17

Up early and left Rock Springs for Jackson, Wyoming. Not too far down the road we drove right into a beautiful snow storm: Arrived in Jackson about 2:00 P.M. COLD AND SNOWING! The tourists are going crazy running around in their summer apparel. Spent the afternoon in the shops, had Sunday dinner at the Wort Restaurant and Motel--delicious chicken dinner. Mom had mountain trout.

Stayed at KOA--went back to the camp and took a little nap and then went back into town to the Pink Garter Theater for their evening performance. What a show! It was awfull. I've seen high school plays better than this one! Afterwards it was still snowing and everything is now covered. It looks like a picture post card of Christmas. Went 188 miles.

Monday, June 18

Everything is all white this morning and it's beautiful. Decided to go to Teton Village and so we stopped off at the Hostel and visited with our old friends who run the Hostel. She acted very glad to see us. Visited about an hour. Called Gary and the gang back home. Took a drive to Moose through a beautiful back country road. The snow on the trees and fences and creeks was just too beautiful to describe. Stopped and cooked hot soup, cheese, bologna, and crackers for our lunch. We ate parked along the Snake River. After lunch we drove up to Yellowstone. Camped at Fishing Bridge (free) Ate supper in the cafeteria of the Lodge at Yellowstone Lake. Saw our first big black bear today. Very cold tonight, glad we have heat in the camper. Played Rummy again tonight with Dad winning as usual. Bed at 11:00. Went 137 miles today.

Tuesday, June 19

Slept late this morning. The snow is all gone today. Left the camp ground about 10 A.M. Drove around the loop to see Old Faithful. Got there about 2 o'clock. Visited around in the lodge and saw Old Faithful go off. Had lunch in the camper (bacon, eggs, and fried mush). Returned to Jackson via a different route. Stopped off at Moose for chuck wagon supper. All you can eat, cooked by cowboys in big black iron pots over an open fire. Wasn't very hungry but it was good. I took a cold today! During our ride today we saw several herds of moose, elk and deer. Stopped and took pictures every time we would see some! Spent the night at the KOA at Jackson. Traveled 143 miles today.

Wednesday, June 20

Took off for Salt Lake City about 9 A.M. Stopped and had breakfast and homemade pie and ice cream at a cheese factory. Very, very good. Very pretty country today. We all were very impressed by Bear Lake and

the beautiful color of blue. Took several snap shots. Mom had to stop and pick a bouquet of lilacs today. Also some Aspen tree leaves. Got to Salt Lake City about 4:30 P.M. Took a drive around down town and headed west for Reno. Had baked chicken and fresh asparagus for supper. Spent the night at a campground west of Salt Lake. Played rummy again tonight, Dad won but I think he cheated! To bed at 11:15 p.m. 266 miles today.

Thursday, June 21

Up at 7:30. Rode through very boring country all day-hills, and no grass. Went across the Salt Desert. Quite warm today--had to turn on the air-conditioner. Stopped and had lunch in Wendover, waitress flirted with Dad and Morris. Stopped at a large shopping center (Penny's) at Elko, Nevada. Spent about one hour there looking around. Finally got to Winnemucca, Nevada. Gambling casinos in every block--each one bigger than the first one! Everyone gives you silver dollars in your change. Dad loves them! (He ended up with about 60 of them when we got home!) 354 miles today.

Friday, June 22

Up at 7 A.M. It's mom and dad’s anniversary today. Finally got on the road at 9 a.m. Got to Reno and just drove around the town. Went straight up a mountain about 9 miles to Virginia City. Spent about 2 hours there walking the streets and looking in the bars and the old buildings. It's quite an old town. Used to mine silver here. A lot of slot machines here. It's quite interesting, should of spent more time here. Got to Carson City about 5 o'clock. Spent the night here. About 7 p.m. went downtown to the famous Ormsby House and Casino. Did our first gambling here. You win a little and lose a lot! Had supper in the supper club with live entertainment and ate by candle-light. Very, very good and not too expensive. They say there are 200 slot machines in the lobby of this place! At the Gold Nugget Casino across the street they have 400! Got to bed rather late and very tired but happy, dad won $2.25 gambling in the nickel slot machines! 207 miles today.

Saturday, June 23

Up rather late today after our big night on the town last night! Stopped and took in the state museum here at Carson City. Very interesting story of the old west and the gold mining days. Stopped at a grocery store and got delicious fruit especially enjoyed the pineapple. The strawberries out here are better than the ones we get at home. Finally got on our way to Lake Tahoe. What a city, mile after mile of casinos, shopping centers and gift shops. Stopped by the city park right along the lake and cooked our lunch. We had fresh asparagus, hamburgers with lots and lots of fresh mushrooms. Boy did it taste good! It's a beautiful drive through very high and windy mountains and very cool all the way to Sacramento. Spent the night at Sacramento. 136 miles today.

Sunday, June 24

Up rather late again and off to San Francisco. Arrived about noon. No one knew where to go so we finally stopped at a car rental place and a young man who had gone to Fla. State University at Tallahassee gave us a map and guided us on what to see and do. Got on the right rode and went across the city and found the Golden Gate Bridge. Took a ride out past the bridge and finally found our way back to Fisherman's Wharf. Couldn't find any parking so we paid a service station to park there all night (the nearest camp ground is about 25 miles away.) We spent all afternoon at the Wharf. Had dinner around 3 o'clock at Saconi's which was suppose to be so good and we thought it was lousy and expensive. We all agreed our sea food at Cedar Key is far the best. Morris and I took the cable car ride all the way to the end of the line and back to Fisherman's Wharf. It was real exciting. The hills are unbelievable steep and you don't think it will make it. There's room for about 50 people and I know at least 85 jump on and hang off, holding on the edge! There is the largest nursery (flowers and plants) right here. Morris got me 2 doz. of long stemmed roses for 99 cents. Dad got mom a dozen of red carnations (79¢ and a dozen of red dahlias (99¢. They had daises for 79t a doz. Sunday evening we all rode the cable car up to China Town. Had to get off about 3-4 blocks and walk down a steep hill to get there. Spent about two hours touring and looking in at all of the shops. What a place: All kinds of people milling around. We were impressed with the nice looking Chinese families we saw. Rode the cable car back to our bus. The weather is rather cool tonight. 104 miles today.

Monday, June 25

Got up and decided to take the boat cruise around San Francisco bay.

It was very nice. Met the president of the Gator Bowl Association from Jax. Fla. Got back to land about 11:15 and dinner at a German Style cafeteria. It was very, very good. Dad had a turkey drum stick and he said it was the best meal he's had since we've been gone! Morris and Dad stopped and bought some fresh salmon steaks for us to cook tomorrow night. Finally left San Francisco. Drove down highway 1 right along the coast. At last we see the Pacific Ocean. It's a beautiful blue. The road runs high above sea level. At places it's a sheer drop down from the road to the water. A lot of young people are sun bathing and swimming even though it's quite cold. It's really different from the coast of Florida. At different places large farms are right next to the ocean, of course, they have to irrigate every bit of it, but it all looks like good farming. Had real nice weather today, cool. Finally got to Santa Cruz and found a camp ground up in the mountains 9 miles from Santa Cruz in the

Henry Caldwell Redwood State Park. Finally got to see the redwood trees. They are so straight and tall; just beautiful. Went swimming tonight in the pool for the first time since we've left. It was in the 90's when we got here but it cooled off in the forest real nice. While I'm writing this dad is outdoors and it sounds like he's preaching a hells fire sermon to our next door camper! I can hear every word he's saying. (After he came in and I asked him, he said he net a Christian man and they were just discussing the Bible!) 84 miles today.

Tuesday, June 26

Drove through the grape vineyards today. Had to stop at a wine-tasting outlet where mom, dad, and Morris just had to taste! Also beautiful Ring Cherry orchards today. We've been eating cherries every day, all we want! Arrived at Yosemite National Park about noon. It's a beautiful drive up in the high mountains. Boy, what a place. There are thousands of campers everywhere. Very impressed with the tall trees, beautiful water falls, and creeks and rivers. There are no hook-up for campers, but the weather is cool and really don't need air conditioner. Took a ride around the loop twice trying to find the grocery store to buy bread and milk. Found the shopping center and looked around. Saw a lot of hippies with their back packs. Sure would like to spend some time here hiking the trails. 227 miles today.

Wednesday, June 27

Had to drive the width of Yosemite Park to get through to the other side to get on our route to Las Vegas. We were up about 10,000 feet. Snow was everywhere. Beautiful trees and creeks everywhere. Saw all kinds of wild flowers. Very nice and cool up here in the mountains. Once we left the park we went straight down in the valley and was it hot down there! Only went 253 miles and all afternoon right through the desert. Towns are miles apart. No trees. A few places along the road some farmers are irrigating and have small plots of some vegetation. (Don't know what, though.) Spent the night in a small town of Tonopah, Nev., not too far from Las Vegas. 253 miles today.

Thursday, June 28

Arrived Las Vegas about noon--very hungry and very, very hot! They said it was 116 degrees out! Stayed at the KOA, and the air conditioner feels like it's not working; it's so hot! Went to eat lunch and then visited a huge shopping center where the air condition is working. This shopping center had seven large department stores and I don't know how many small ones! Got back to the camper where we all laid down and tried to get cool! About 7:30 we dressed up and rode up and down the "Strip". It was hard to make up our mind where to eat. Finally decided on the Star Dust Hotel and Casino. Had a very good meal (T-bone steak for $5.95 each, excellent!) Morris and I left mom and dad and we decided to play $5 only on the slot machines. Well, just as we were about to quit (we were at the Desert Inn) I hit a $10 jackpot so we quit while we were ahead. Won the whole $10 in nickels. We also visited the Silver Slipper, and the Frontier.

The biggest thrill for dad of the whole trip was the 12 topless dancing girls he saw at the Star Dust. He never got any farther than the room where they were going at it! He never played the first slot machine after all of the excitement of those topless girls: Got back to camp about 1 a.m. It's still about 100 de­grees out at this time of the night. 241 miles today.

Friday, June 29

Up at 5 a.m. to get an early start to get out of the heat. Mom and I slept until noon while Morris drove. Dad and Morris stopped to eat breakfast and to their amazement as they were about to order when a topless waitress served them their cold water! Pop described them as two fried eggs-sunny side up! Pop's version of it, "I turned to look for Morris as he fell off the stool, the shock was just too great for him." Morris said, "I didn't know whether to dip my toast in my eggs or them." This was definitely the high-light of the whole trip for both Morris and Dad. Mom and I will never let them eat breakfast without us again. We got to Bumbleberry Farm and ate lunch at Grandma's kitchen. It was a quaint little town with of lot of Indian history. Had some bumbleberry pie. Very good. Got to Zion National Park and drove up to the tip of it through beautiful mountain streams and winding roads. Stopped and I waded in the creek, felt very good to my hot feet. Coming back we saw a girl in the creek with no top on. When I saw her, I yelled and Morris just about wrecked the bus trying to stop. He and dad grabbed their cameras and jumped out (Mom and I were furious at them.) and ran back and acted like they were looking at the scenery. The girl had a small child and her husband with her, and dad asked them if the water was cold! She tried to cover herself up and dad and Morris about cracked up! We drove back down through Zion Nat. Park and had to go through a one and one-fourth mile tunnel with five windows cut out at different spots. It was really pretty. Arrived at Lake Powell at Page Arizona about 5:30 p.m. 305 miles today.

Saturday, June 30

Dad's birth4ay today. We decided to take the half-day big boat cruise on Lake Powell. We were with a tour group from Baton Rouge, La. They were all   eldery folks. They were so friendly. One man and his wife invited us to camp out in. their back yard when we go to La. for the foot-ball game. It was a nice cruise all round the lake and into the canyons. Morris took more pictures of this trip than necessary! Arrived back about noon and ate lunch in the city of Page. Got on our way to the Grand Canyon at last. It's a beautiful drive especially the last 40 miles up into the canyon. Large groups of aspen trees, and green meadows that were quite a sight. Beautiful shaped Christmas trees everywhere. Arrived at the Grand Canyon about 5 p.m. Took the walk out to the edge at Angel's Point and came back and had a delicious dinner at the Lodge Restaurant. I had boneless rainbow trout. It was really good. We inquired about camping and found the camp grounds were full by 10 a.m. in the mornings. So rather than to drive way back to the nearest camp ground we rented a log cabin for the night. Only $12 a couple. It was very clean and old fashioned. Boy, to sleep in a bed in our own bedroom was just great! Morris said he'd pay $12 anytime for a bed like that! It was real cool all night; had the windows open. Really should stay a few days here aid enjoy all of this. 133 miles today.

Sunday, July 1

Up early and drove all day through the Indian Reservations. Before we

got too far we stopped at Jacob's Lake for breakfast and mom bought some jewelry here at a gift shop. We also drove through the Painted desert today. Saw lots -of red mountains. Saw some Indians here and there, especially by the road-side sitting under a little shade hut trying to sell their homemade jewelry, and other stuff. Arrived at Albuquerque just before dark. Met some nice people from Basting, Fla. at the camp and talked to them about an hour. Nice weather today. Went a whopping 470 miles today.

Monday, July 2

Nothing exciting today--very hot and dry--finally got into some green country with grass and trees. Looked forward all day to getting to Amarillo, Texas so we could eat at the Big Texan Steak House again. Enjoyed another of their big steak dinners. Pop gets $25 in silver dollars here to take home. (Show off!) Decided to drive a little further after we ate, arrived at Shamrock, Texas rather late. Had a nice camp place with some green grass. Met some people from Ft. Meyers, Fla. Played Rummy until after 12 o'clock. Morris won tonight. 360 miles today.

Tuesday, July 3

Up early but wasted a lot of time getting off this morning. Stopped

at a shop selling ceramics and glassware. We all bought some tall vases and some other small items. Stopped and ate breakfast where they had the best home-made pie. Stopped and bought groceries at a Safeway (they are really nice stores out here). Got gas and finally got on the road. Stopped and fried chicken at a road side park for lunch. Stopped at a KOA at Alma, Arkansas to spend the night. Met two girls from Louisville, Ky. at the camp, one has been to the girl scout camp where Brenda is this summer. Played cards again tonight and as usual dad won! 361 miles today.

Wednesday, July 4

Went through Arkansas today. Very pretty state. Miles and miles of green grass, nice trees, and acres and acres of black-eyed susans along the highway. After that real nice looking farms. Lots of rice, cotton, soy beans, and cat fish farms. Mom wouldn't believe Morris when he said it was rice fields we saw but after we stopped and asked someone she believed. Crossed the Mississippi River and stopped and cat fish for dinner, all you can eat. Spent the night at Greenwood, Miss. Played our last game of cards and of course dad won again. Wonder why???? P.S. Stopped and got some nice looking peaches and tomatoes at a fruit stand today. 341 miles today.

Thursday, July 5

Up bright and early so we can try to get home tonight. I slept until noon, wasn't feeling too good and I know this is about the last day of my vacation until next year. Not much doing all afternoon except driving and talking. Arrived Florida about 6 p.m. Stopped and fixed our last meal in the camper. Called home to tell Sue we were coming in tonight. She said Beth is over at Dowlings, so I decided just to pick her up tomorrow. Arrived home at mom and dads just about midnight. 616 miles today, our longest day.

Statistics:

Travel:7230 total miles in 26 days.
Spent $428.64 for gasoline
Spent $101.14 for overnight camping