Mothers Diary
I have a terrible confession to make. I have thoroughly enjoyed the trip over and through the mountains.
Of course, no one will understand this except those to whom I confided my fears before we started, concerning mountains. The vision in my mind that had haunted me days and nights after my husband told me firmly that we were making the trip, was the winding roads in Tennessee with sheer precipices and my ears popping and chills running up and down my back.

But the only time we've had anything like that was August 2nd in Spokane when my husband's cousin took us took us to the top of Mt. Spokane - and that was only 5000 ft. or so up. The last mile or two was on gravel road around and around, up and up, with a sheer drop to the right of the car.
Ralph was astonished that is should bother me.
"It slants down," he said, "There's nothing sheer about it." "Which means, I suppose," I retorted, "that if your car slipped off the road, you'd be in no trouble at all!"

Gradually, since Sunday in the Big Horn Mountains, I have begun to enjoy myself. Really, I had no reason to suppose that my husband would ever slip off the road, or miss a turn - since he has managed to stay on the road pretty well in all these years of driving and I don't know why I thought he'd lose control on mountains roads.
So you may put me down as a convert. As a matter of fact, I could move to the west with very little persuasion. Because you know something? It is true what I've heard and never before believed. No matter how hot the day, it gets shivery at night - and it cools off fast when the sun goes down.

At Spokane Tuesday, it was reported at 108 degrees in the downtown area, and it was at least that hot on our trip to Spokane Mountain during the afternoon. We were in the heat longer than we expected, of course, because Ralph, a native, couldn't find the mountain.
We could see the mountain, but he couldn't find the road to it, and we gave him a hard time while we sweltered. He was vindicated, however, after miles of wandering around, when he discovered that the sign he always watched for was gone.
But just the same, I wouldn't advise anyone else to accept his invitation to take them to Mt. Spokane. We should have been warned because he had already told us about the time he had escorted bus loads of visiting conventioneers to the mountain and the buses couldn't make one of the last curves. So the women, in their high heels, got out and negotiated the last of the trip on foot while the buses backed down around all those curves to a turning around spot.
So when Ralph wants to show off Spokane, the best thing is to ask to see the formal gardens or his friend's fountain with the colored lights.
We had a wonderful day though. By 7:30 we were eating steaks on the patio - with the city and the mountains spread out before us, and a cool breeze erasing all memory of the heat.

The steaks were a novelty. We discovered the first day of the trip that picnics along the way were the kind of living we wanted.
So the grocery stores see more of us than restaurants do. We buy cold meat and salad dressing and lettuce and buns and milk and then we find a picnic area. It is lots more fun than restaurants, besides being cheaper.
I thought my family would tire quickly of cold meat, but they thrive on it. Every time we stop and unload the cooler, they dive in with the same enthusiasm. Of course, we have doughnuts or bananas for dessert.
And two nights in motels with kitchenettes, we had hamburgers.

I can even make iced tea for myself when we stop, with my little jar of instant tea and some ice from the cooler. This is the height of luxury - to drink a glass of iced tea - standing beside a mountain stream with cool water trickling over my bare toes - the sun warm overhead and the breeze fresh and cool.
I think I'll move to the mountains.

This is written, however, before I have seen the ocean again. I am expecting to fall in love with the ocean all over again and can hardly wait to find out whether Dale and Martha and Becky like it as well as I do.
They have liked the mountains and were fascinated with the bears and geysers in Yellowstone Park. We couldn't have timed it better to see Old Faithful erupt because we had just gotten the car parked and walked over toward in Inn, when the guide began his dissertation.
Did you know that Old Faithful does not erupt regularly? The time varies from 30 minutes to about 90 minutes between. So now you know.

Tomorrow we are heading down the coastline toward San Diego with the redwoods and the ocean waiting for us. Life is pretty exciting.

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Mothers Diary
"Boy, I'm glad this isn't a dream," said Becky with a deep rapturous sigh, "because if it was I might be waking up about now. And if I did I'd sure be mad!"
We were on our way to Disneyland and it turned out to be quite a day. It was one of the things we hadn't really expected to do.
We hadn't expected to visit Knott's Berry Farm either, and have a chicken dinner there, and tour the Ghost Town.
And I hadn't supposed that we would actually find the famous Farmer's Market so we could wander around there for miles and miles. (Well, it seemed like miles.)
But we have done all these things since we reached Los Angeles Wednesday evening. Our hosts, the Neil Burns, cousins of my husband, took over as soon as we reached their house, and we have been on the go ever since.

I was fascinated with the Farmer's Market, but the rest of the party was not too impressed. Our hostess was extremely gracious about guiding us about the place - especially in view of the fact she didn't like it, as she confessed later.
I liked the shops, especially the book shop, but didn't really feel as if I were in the real 'market' until we got to the fruit and vegetable stalls. Those were what I had heard so much about all my life.
It was all so colorful, and gay and beautiful - purple eggplant, oranges, tomatoes, piles of green and purple grapes, avocados, brussel sprouts, artichokes, boxes of huge red strawberries, will - most anything you can think of. All arranged by an artistic hand to entice and delight.
There are butcher shops with the most fantastic array of meats I ever saw - veal, birds, huge pork chops, thick slices of pink ham, rows and rows of chicken legs and chicken breasts, huge steaks and rolled roasts.

There were pies being made and sold - gooseberry and cherry (we had two kinds - delicious) green apple, and lemon meringue and blackberry, warm from the oven. We got ours warm from the oven Thursday afternoon and we finally got around to eating them Friday night. Dale began to laugh.
"It didn't do us much good," he chuckled, "to get them warm and the girl went back to get us these special."

There were stacks of crusty rolls and bread. There were farm fresh eggs. There were cafeteria counters where you could buy anything under the sun you wanted to eat. And we weren't hungry!

It was just as well. Everything was fabulous as I have said - with prices to match. Eggs were 93 cents a dozen, strawberries for 98 cents a pint, and the pies were a dollar a piece. Everything else was priced proportionately higher than one could buy the same thing around the corner at the supermarket.
But I don't believe the tourists go there to buy as much as they just go to look. I might be wrong. People must buy all that stuff or it wouldn't be there, I guess.

The coastline of California and Oregon is nothing at all like the Florida coastline. There it was white sand and blue ocean and white spray. Along Oregon and northern California, it is rocky and dirty in places and foggy and brown beaches. Some of the ocean is dirty with seaweed and other stuff we couldn't identify.
But it is still wonderful as it dashes against the craggy rocks way out from the shore, and beats against the cliffs with a grand splashing of salty spray. It roars and carries on in a grand manner and the only thing wrong, was that I didn't see enough of it.

We drove the coastline road every step of the way, from north of Newport, Oregon and I'm sure I didn't see as much ocean as we did along the Florida coast road. The coastline is a mountain road for one thing, and we drove along winding, steep roads where in places, as one other tourist warned Lloyd, "you can honk at your own tail lights!" There were steep cliffs where I had to gather all my courage to look down, and when I did, I could see nothing but fog. We drove all Wednesday morning in a lonesome fog that obscured the ocean and at times, the road ahead and the trees at our left.

There was one wonderful thing though. It was cool. We had the heater on in our motel the first night on the coast, the 6th of August, and it felt wonderful. We had stayed down on the beach watching the ocean, shivering in sweaters and blankets, as long as we could stand it. But we were glad to come up to huddle around the heater and watch the sun set through the big windows overlooking the water.

It has all been so amazing and wonderful. Except for the ocean, everything has been bigger and more exciting that I had imagined.
In Los Angeles, as in Chicago, we drive miles and miles before we get where we want to go. Even going grocery shopping is an adventure!
Knott's Berry Farm is a huge place with more things to see than I ever dreamed and I could go back there tomorrow to see everything I missed in Ghost Town.

In Disneyland, it would take days to see and do everything - not that I'd want to - but the kids would like to.
Dale had the most fun on the cars where he did his own driving and he even talked me into riding with him. I got along fine until a wicked gleam lighted his eyes, and he deliberately bounced the car from one curb to the other while I screamed but didn't dare harm him. If he had been out of commission, we might still be there, stranded on the auto course.

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Mothers Diary
Well - we got what we came for - Steve. And today is the happiest birthday he's ever had, he thinks. He is 21 years old and has completed three plus years in the Navy. There was a while there Monday when we weren't at all sure he'd make it. As a matter of fact, I had wondered quietly to myself all across the country if we might not be greeted by a cancellation of his discharge when we arrived in San Diego. We had heard some rumors and some facts about sudden changes in plans by the Army and Navy, and it was a bit disquieting.

But Steve was disturbed. He said that anyone could decide not so sign his discharge papers and there he would be - and he wouldn't feel safe until he walked off the base with every signature safely on every line.
This he did, finally, Tuesday morning, expecting at any minute, I think, to have a hand of authority laid on his shoulder. But when he met the girls and me on the beach, his grin was as broad as I'd ever seen it and we got out of Coronado in a hurry.

We didn't leave San Diego right away though. We had the Zoo to visit, and that was worth the trip to San Diego even if we hadn't gone for our very special purpose. We can understand now why everyone raves about that particular zoo. It was beautiful, especially the rain forest; heavenly cool and clean; and so convenient for tired feet with benches and chairs located at just the right intervals, and a marvelous escalator to ascend the steepest hill toward the entrance just when I thought I'd never be able to walk another step.
Oh yes - there were the animals, too!

And let me tell you - our zoo trip was free - with guest tickets, courtesy of Bonnie Scoles Hardi. We called on her Monday afternoon and had a lovely visit with her and her youngsters.
Dean was the one who entertained us while Bonnie sailed around making coffee and kool aid and finding the Manson Journal so we could see what an excellent job the office force had been doing in Lloyd's absence.

Dean perched on the edge of a straight chair, eyes bright and serious and red hair shining.
"I'm Dean," he told us solemnly, "and he's Johnny," he said pointing to his brother. Of course, you're always supposed to ask children how old they are so we did, and he was prompt with the information.
"I'm this many," he said, holding up three chubby fingers. "I'm this many and Mary is this many." He had a little difficulty with his fingers, but got two disposed of, which left one for Mary's age. And Johnny was five so we got that all taken care of.
So we introduced ourselves, leaving out our ages, and Lloyd asked them if he knew anybody by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Scoles. They did know and were delighted that we knew their grandparents.
Bonnie told them we were from Manson. This was no news to Dean.
"I already knew that," he told her with dignity, "I saw their license plates."

Then, somehow, Bonnie got the children herded out to the back yard so we could visit a little, and along came a little neighbor boy complete with a civil war cap, gun and belt, and a flag which he placed importantly in front of the house, and he too, disappeared to the backyard.
Bonnie explained that playing civil war was the thing in their neighborhood, and the children had a great time at it, except that, everyone wanted to be Yankees and be on the winning side. My husband, however, was relieved to hear that they also still played cowboy once in a while.

Dean reappeared in due time with a hat on, and handcuffs dangling from one hand.
"These are my 'hang cups'," he informed us solemnly. "Here's my 'hang cups' and this is my captain's hat. I'm a captain."
"You're not a captain," howled Johnny from the doorway. "You're a major." Dean turned a bit on his chair and surveyed his brother with calm deliberation. "I am not a major. I'm a captain."
"A major's higher," said Johnny loftily.
"It's not higher. I don't want to be higher," He turned around and smiled at us from under the hat. "I'm not higher. I'm getting bigger, but I'm still a captain."
And that settled that.

Tomorrow is our last day in Los Angeles and we head east Friday morning. I should like to come back to California some day soon to see all the things we have missed. Though I'm always convinced at the end of every wonderful day, that surely we haven't missed anything.
We didn't drive across the border into Mexico, which was one thing Martha and Becky wanted to do. But Margaret took them to Hollywood this morning and let them prowl around Grauman's theater, where all the footprints and hand prints are, so that helped ease their pain.
I didn't go. I stayed at the house and washed my hair. You have to stop and breathe some time.

One thing we didn't miss was a dinner at the Farm House that Ray Johnson manages, and a visit with him and Jay and their children at their lovely home. But that's a story that will have to wait for another day.

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Mothers Diary
I never knew my husband had so many relatives. We saw countless cousins in and around Los Angeles, and after we left that area Friday morning, August 18, with our faces and the car's nose pointing toward home, we still had some left to see.
So it took us a while to get here - especially when we also had to stop to eat, sleep, and visit filling stations. Steve said he never in all his time in California had taken so long to come the same distance.

We made it though, at three minutes of twelve, Monday evening. There was a time though when I wasn't too sure. That was when we were crossing through Rocky Mountain National Park and got up to the timberline above the trees with patches of snow all around.
Steve driving and my husband had his first chance on the trip to look around and down - far down - and thoroughly enjoy the scenery.
He kept saying, "Look down there! Look at that! There's a view for you!"
And I kept my eyes straight ahead, occasionally muttering, "Don't you look, Steve," and Steve would grin wickedly and look.
If I hadn't kept my eyes on the road and leaned constantly away from the depths below, we might never have made it. My husband said later that it was just a good thing that that trail ridge was the last mountain of the trip instead of the first as far as I was concerned.

However, we had Estes Park, that lovely town nestled in the valley, as a reward when we finished the drive; and then the interesting road following the busy stream for several miles. I was glad that we were stalled behind several "Sunday" drivers through that area because I was enjoying it.

I was surprised at Colorado, though. I had somehow imagined that Colorado was all up and down and gorgeous. And I tell you - I never saw so many long stretches of nothing as there were across that state.
I thought Utah was beautiful. I never tired of watching the miles of sagebrush and sand, with the background of rolling red hills and steep jagged cliffs against the black mountains on the horizon. And over all were the blue, blue sky and the white, white clouds. It was fascinating, and one of the most interesting and coolest drives of the trip was the Strawberry Pass out of Provo.

I even liked the drive across the deserts of California and Nevada with the corner of Arizona thrown in. We warned and commiserated with everywhere we went on the coast, concerning our trip across the desert.
It was going to be hot, everyone said so, and dreary. We were going to be so miserable we could die by the time we reached Las Vegas - if we lived until we got there!
I tell you, I was getting ready to be nervous by the time we left. But I kept remembering the stretches of Florida and Georgia heat we had driven through last summer, and I figured we could manage a little old desert. Besides, anyone who has South Dakota hot winds, and Iowa humidity in his past, has been prepared for anything.
Besides, hadn"t we driven through eastern Washington where it was 101 degrees at Moses Lake, without mishap?

Still - I wondered. And I braced myself for misery. But I didn't say anything. I had learned my lessons when we discovered early in the trip that I was making the girls nervous about mountain driving.
And by the time we got to Redlands, California, it was hot. It was really hot. So we knew that everyone knew what he was talking about because we weren't even in the desert yet.
So, we got the air cooler installed in the car there. Neil had given it to us. He said it wasn't worth a nickel but we could sure have it, because he would never use it again.

Then we visited a cousin for a while - and started for the desert about 2:30 p. m. - a fine time for it. The water cooler helped, though, especially after all the water splashed out that was going to because they had put too much in it. Every time Steve went around a curve, water rolled out, and I was glad my husband was sitting in its path and not me. He was patient about it, though, and we began to wonder if that was the cooling method of the water cooler.

It was a far cry from the fabulous private swimming pool at Erwin and Marian's (another cousin of Lloyd's). That swimming pool in their back yard was one of the high spots of the trip for the children - and even Lloyd borrowed bathing trunks and went in, impervious to jeering comments about his white skin in contrast to everyone's tan.
I sat happily by the pool in a comfortable chair talking to Martian, completely forgetting that I was an ordinary housewife who had never before been that close to a private pool. I forgot so long that I got a bad sunburn before I retired to the recreation room off the pool, out of the sun.
Becky was almost as fascinated with the house as the swimming pool, because it had an elevator in it. She and Martha popped into the elevator the minute they saw it, and rode up and down in style, while I stood by in a panic, not sure I'd ever see them again.
Well - back to the desert.

By the time we got into the desert, there was cloud cover everywhere and the breeze was cool while we were driving. The worst part of the desert was the motel in Las Vegas where the sir cooling system didn't do much cooling and Dale was outraged because the TV and radio had to fed quarters before they would work!
So we enjoyed the desert except up the hills when the water in the radiator seemed to be too boily. I was surprised at the desert, too. I expected it to be rolling sand and nothing else. But there was lots of vegetation everywhere, mostly cactus, of course, but interesting because it was new to us. Steve said we had to get farther south into Arizona to see the desert I had in mind.

Anyway, we were never too uncomfortably warm from then on home. Even Nebraska was cool and rainy clear across, and I had dreaded it more than the desert.
I still think eastern Washington was the warmest journey. As I said, it was 101 degrees at Moses Lake, but Seattle was a cool, beautiful 79 when we arrived at 4:30 that Thursday.
It was a good thing, too.
It took us from 4:30 p. m. to seven or so to get us from the eastern outskirts of Seattle to my sister's home in Everett just a few miles north. We hit the after work rush hour and managed to get off the highway besides, so we had quite a time.

We didn't mind too much because we saw a lot more of Seattle than we expected to and were overwhelmed, especially by the huge modern library we passed. When we left all my relatives Saturday morning, we stopped and visited the library enroute south and it was an experience.
That library was exactly the reverse of the quiet, dark cavernous libraries of the past. It was huge and sparkling with light and color, and so wonderfully arranged that we could find in a minute any department we wanted.
Of course, our Manson library has proved, in this area, that libraries do not have to be dark and gloomy to be successful.

Anyway - we're home. Manson is a wonderful place and our welcome has been warm everywhere. I have been asked if I was rested up and I was rested. But not now!
What with washing and ironing and cooking and cleaning and doing dishes, since Tuesday morning, with all six of our children at home, I feel like Myrna Dalton. She said she walked in the door of her house when she returned from her vacation and hadn't sat down since!!

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