Thursday, April 12, 2018

California, Fourth Trip

This one was a road trip.  Mom, Dad, kids in the car-- you may be familiar with the drill.  The vehicle was a '41 Chrysler Royal club coupe, a car with but two doors but adequate seating for six.  Remember, no seat belts, no kiddie seats and, which became an issue eventually, no air conditioning.

"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.


Vee said...

I was impressed that trees had turned to rocks but was most impressed with the town of Jerome. It was like being in a foreign country. I wonder if those homes are still hanging on the side of the mountain.

vanilla said...

Vee, some of the same things that stuck in my memory impressed you, too. Blessedly I've forgotten the tedious hours filled with what? Naps, the Alphabet Game, Twenty Questions, "how much farther?" ??

Secondary Roads said...

I remember an 800-mile jaunt for Connecticut to Michigan through a sunshiny 100+ two days. The next time we had AC. The cassette player read books to us, which helped.

vanilla said...

Chuck, prithee, do tell: what is this "casette player" which can read books? 😅

vanilla said...

Vee, I suggest you go on Google Earth and take a drive down the streets of Jerome!

Vee said...

I took several Youtube video trips to and through Jerome - hairpin curves and all. It is still the much the way I remember, though I think walls have been added in the interest of safety. (I don't have the Google Earth app.)

vanilla said...

Vee, oh, yeah; apple user.