OUR TRIP NORTH
When May came along, we were all packed and ready to go. We still had the Ideal
Trailer and the Dodge truck. Our
first stop was in Carpinteria to visit a real old friend that we knew from
Annapolis, MD. They were very
surprised to see us, but happy to know all the news about Bob and Dorrie. Dorrie was a baby while we were there and Helena just loved
holding her. (She never had any
children) Carpinteria was famous
for a Christmas Store on Santa Claus Lane that was opened all year long.
They had everything about Christmas that you could imagine.
From there, we went to San Antonio Lakes, a very large park with all
kinds of recreation and camping. We
stayed three days, we were in no hurry.
When we arrived at Scott’s Valley, we had to have work done on the Dodge again. Fuel pump, carburetor and plugs. After we headed for Fort Bragg to ride the Skunk Train. The Train was being repaired, so no ride.
So we continued on to Klamath, CA, where we took Jet Boat Ride 32 miles on the Klamath River. It was sort of a mail boat, as the skipper delivered mail on the way up the river. Indians were fishing along the way too. Real interesting as to how the people live on the river. Their only way for transportation was by boat!
We drove to the Trees of Mystery. Trees have grown into different shapes and very interesting. At the entrance to the park, a huge giant of Paul Bunyon and he had a voice. I was wearing my cape with the Indian Thunderbird on the back. He yelled down that he like my cape and we couldn’t figure out where the voice was coming from until we saw this huge giant. He also commented on it when we left, so I guess he really did like it. This was our last stop in California, next state was Oregon.
We stopped at Cave Junction, OR to visit a co-worked from the school district. She and her husband were doing very well and they liked the area. From there, we were on our way to Creswell where we rode a train through the Cascades. Finally had our train ride. We seem to have a fascination for train rides, and we try to ride them no matter where we are.
Well, the next place we headed for was Coeur d’Alene, ID, the city I lived in when Van was stationed at Farragut, ID. We did not recognize it at all. We think where we lived was torn down and a school was built. We couldn’t even find the huge church that we attended. We drove out to the base and it was gone, all that was there were the cement floors of the buildings. It was now a park. Didn’t find Woolworth’s where I worked either. Things had really changed. Now the shopping center was about three blocks away from the campground, but because of the bushes and trees we never saw it until we were on our way again. We used to stop at every K-Mart we saw and here was one not two blocks from the campground and we missed it.
We headed north to Canada and Banff National Park in British Columbia. We only stayed one night and we drove to see Lake Louise that everyone talks about and the Banff Hotel, very old and majestic. From there we drove back to Montana and Glacier National Park. We camped in a KOA at St. Mary’s in Montana and we went to visit this little gift shop and they told us that they just opened after three months getting the place repaired after a big flood ruined everything. We were going to stay only one night so we went back and hooked up the trailer and left the campground.
We decided to take the road called “Going to the Sun Highway”¸ We drove up to the entrance with the trailer in tow and the Ranger told us that we couldn’t take the trailer because there was a lot of snow on the road. So, we went back to the campground and signed in for one more night. After we got the trailer settled, we went back to the entrance and this time we could go through. Lucky for me that we were on the inner side of the road as the roads were half covered with snow and banked high on our side, but near the edge on the other side going East. We were driving west and I think it was about 31 miles one-way. When we arrived at the West End, we took out a map and decided to drive on the level back to St Mary’s. That road wasn’t very good, rough and full of potholes, but it wasn’t on the edge of the big cliff. Before we got back to camp, it rained so hard we could hardly see, but thankful that we got back okay.
It never stopped raining all night, but it looked like it was going to be a good day. Van went out to hitch up the trailer and he was having a terrible time. It was so muddy he kept slipping and the truck wouldn’t hitch up. When the office saw what he was doing they sent someone down to tell us that no one could leave because the rain had damaged and closed both bridges on both side of the camp. The phones were also down and the whole area was flooded because the rain had melted a lot of snow and made matters worse. The little gift shop was also flooded again.
We had no problem, we weren’t in any hurry to go anywhere, but the tenters who were just there for the weekend had to be back at work, and several people were to be on jury duty and were very concerned. Not only that, a lot of the campers and tenters who just came for the weekend had food and supplies just for that. The Boy Scouts had a camp not too far from us and since the boys would not be able to come, they had loads of bread and milk that could be shared for the group. Then, the manager suggested that all the RV campers make potluck dishes to share which we did.
Finally, the manager received word from the outside, that nothing could be done and we would not be able to leave for a week. All the roads on the outside were damaged or flooded. So everyone kept sharing potluck dishes and sandwiches and milk.
This was June 19th summer and it was cold and wet. We didn’t have anything to worry about yet, but we had no idea when we would get out. Finally word came though that on Sunday, the Indians would come through with a big tractor and make a road out of the campground through the park. Anyone who wanted to leave were to get in line and follow the tractor. Another couple agreed with us, to stay. It was after four in the afternoon and where would you go when you got out. We weren’t familiar with the roads. Forty RV units and private cars lined up to go. It was way after five when the last one left. We told the manager, we rather wait and see what happens. We stayed about three more days when he told us that they were not going to fix the bridge and that he would pull us out to the park road with his tractor.
I was told that the town was named St.Mary’s because the mountain had a rock section that looked like St. Mary. I looked all week for it and couldn’t find it, but the morning we were leaving, I leaned on the fence and looked up to the mountain and there she was as clear as could be. Side few with hands clasped together, I was so grateful and pleased. But now, it was time to leave.
So we both hooked up and got ready to go. We had Sandy, the dog, with us, and she wasn’t any troubled, but she didn’t know what was going on. The manager pulled us across the creek first and I was praying very quietly to myself, but Van said by the time we crossed the creek, I was yelling and Sandy was getting all upset. I was so afraid that we would stall, but we got across and moved further on so the other couple would have room.
When we finally reached the highway, we really puzzled about which way to go. We headed south then east, and we were getting all kind of help from the truckers over the CB. They told which roads to avoid and which ones to take.
We stayed overnight at Shelby, MT and the next day stayed at the KOA in Helena, MT and had shocks and a grease job and oil change while we were there. The roads at times were pretty rough. We left the Ebys and went on to our next stop just outside of Yellowstone Park. The next morning we had a space at the Fishing Village in Yellowstone. We stayed two nights there, then continued on our slow journey home.
The next day we heard that Yellowstone had had a slight earthquake on that same road we were on. No damage, just some shaking. We were on our way again and stopped at Bryce Canyon. It is so colorful, pinkish, orange and very pretty. From there, we went to the North Side of the Grand Canyon. When we arrived, there were no campgrounds, lots of tenters. When we drove out, somehow we drove in a grove and it had no place to turn around. Van had a tough time trying to back the trailer out, but he did. So when we got out of the park, we went to the first campground we saw. No hookups there, we unhitched the truck then drove the truck back to see the North Grand Canyon Rim. The South Side has it beat by a mile. When we drove back to our campground, Hell’s Angels surrounded the whole area with shotguns on their motorcycles. The ranger said that they were no problem. That they came every Fourth of July for a big meeting and they park on some private property half way towards the park. They stay a few days, and then move on. Sometimes they have a brawl, and the rangers don’t interfere, just let them handle everything themselves.
We decided to leave the next morning, as we didn’t know how long they would be staying and we didn’t want them catching up to us on the highway. So we left early and arrived in Las Vegas early and signed up for 3 nights. We saw several shows starring Glen Campbell, Connie Stevens and the Lennon Sisters.
It was very hot in Las Vegas and we had the dog, Sandy, with us. The campground put some sort of air conditioning system, which was an inflated tube, and they secured it over the roof vent and it blew cool air into the rig. So Sandy should be comfortable. But we stayed away too long and she got hungry so she somehow managed to open a Tupperware container that had cookies in them and ate them, all but one. We enjoyed our visit in Las Vegas but it was time to go home.
Since the year 1975 wasn’t over as yet we continued traveling monthly with our two RV clubs. We were wagonmaster for the Mission Bells at the Christmas Outing. And Phyllis always had some interesting craft for the ladies to work on. The men just gabbed. We always played card games and other kinds of games in the afternoon. We kept pretty busy at the outings and really enjoy some of the campgrounds. It was the friendship that we enjoyed the most.