"Are we there yet?"
Actually, no. It was a long trip from Colorado Springs to Ventura, US 85-87 to Route 66, on to Southern California.
A few memories:
I remember somewhat the anticipation of seeing the Petrified Forest and the disappointment I felt, but did not express, when upon passing through all I saw was a bunch of rocks-- no trees. What kind of forest is that?
I seem to recall jogging south from Flagstaff and driving through Oak Creek Canyon and being duly impressed with the town of Jerome, clinging as it was to the mountainside, clothes flapping on the lines which were on pulleys so the laundry could be reeled in. I mean, there were no yards.
The drive from Needles to Barstow was hot (remember, no AC) and interminable. Oh, not really interminable. I think it was in Barstow that I saw my first date palm. Quite impressive.
I will make no attempt to retrace the visits to the grandparents, the uncles and aunts, cousins, and so on around Ventura, San Fernando, Riverside and points thither and yon.
An amusing recollection from the return trip is this. My mother, who was in her late thirties at the time, had never driven an automobile. Somewhere in the desert in New Mexico, the parents, probably mostly Dad, decided that Mama should learn to drive, and here was the ideal spot for that! Dad pulled over and the parents exchanged seats. Mom actually got the car into the driving lane and headed down the road. She may have driven as much as fifteen or twenty miles, Dad instructing her the full time, you understand, and soon my little mother was a nervous wreck, pulled over to the side of the road, stopped the car and got out, walked around to the other side the vehicle. So far as I know Mother never got behind the wheel of a car again in her life.
I thought I had posted an article some years back describing the most memorable part of this journey, but no, apparently I did not, for I cannot find it. That will require another post.