A Travellerspoint blog

December 1964

Sliding in the Snow in Kansas (and all the Rest of the US)

Norfolk to California in 1964


View Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

I told Bob I was not taking three cars, two children and a boat across country. So we sold our little boat
Homebuilt boat

Homebuilt boat


(it was 34 years before we bought another sailboat) and the 1949 Plymouth
1949 Plymouth

1949 Plymouth


and Bob, the the two girls and I drove the new station wagon
Washing the new Ford station wagon in Norfolk

Washing the new Ford station wagon in Norfolk


across to California and moved into the house we had rented.

The trip did not go smoothly. In December 1964, it was bad weather with snow and sleet. My parents had snow tires which they weren't using, so we put them on our 1964 Ford Station Wagon, and left for California the first week in December. The girls were one and three years old. My mother sent us off with food to eat for a few days for breakfast and lunch.

Due to our experience with driving the 1932 Plymouth in October, we did not want to go into Pennsylvania because while we had Pennsylvania license plates on the car (because Bob had declared that as his permanent residence), the car had never been to Pennsylvania and did not have a Pennsylvania inspection sticker. So when we headed west in Maryland, I tried very hard to stay out of Pennsylvania. But I just could not do it. The weather was deteriorating and it was getting dark and I finally gave in.

We escaped from Pennsylvania without being stopped and proceeded west in the snow and bad weather. We would eat breakfast in the car, use the bathroom (for us and the three year old) when we stopped for gas about 10, eat lunch in the car, stop for gas about 2 and then stop for the day between 4 and 5. When we hit Kansas there was a bad snowstorm with lots of accidents and people sliding off the road.
Bleak landscape

Bleak landscape


One of the snow tires went flat. The spare was under the back deck which meant that everything in the back had to be unloaded (in the snow) in order to change the tire. In the back were not only our suitcases, but everything that the movers would not take - spray cans, matches and candles among other things. After Bob changed the tire, the car was hard to drive with one snow tire and one non-snow tire on the back so we had to find a tire store and get another snow tire. And put the spare back where it belonged under the luggage.

As we proceeded on in the snow, the other snow tire went flat. I think they had not been used so long that they dry-rotted. So we did the same procedure again. Unload the car in the snow to get the spare, put on the spare and go to a tire store to buy another snow tire.
Train and butte from the car

Train and butte from the car


We were heading for my Uncle Harry's house in Brighton near Denver.
Bob and Uncle Harry by Uncle Harry's car

Bob and Uncle Harry by Uncle Harry's car


We were really glad to get there. We took a break from the driving and Uncle Harry took us to Denver - we went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
D and the Bear

D and the Bear


The only way I know this is that I took a photo of my daughter at the sculpture outside the museum called "The Grizzlies Last Stand" by Louis Paul Jones. Inside, there are more than 90 wildlife and habitat scenes which always interested my children.

We also visited the US Air Force Academy
USAFA chapel

USAFA chapel

Entrance to the chapel

Entrance to the chapel

Parade ground

Parade ground

my father's birth place - Silver Cliff.
Lover's leap

Lover's leap

For Purple Mountain Majesties

For Purple Mountain Majesties

Mountains at the end of the street

Mountains at the end of the street

Harry and Bob and D coming out of the newspaper office (The Wet Mountain Tribune)

Harry and Bob and D coming out of the newspaper office (The Wet Mountain Tribune)

Round Mountain (and Uncle Harry)

Round Mountain (and Uncle Harry)

The old FIgge house (my father's birthplace)

The old FIgge house (my father's birthplace)

Snow

Snow

and the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs
Kissing camels - Garden of the Gods

Kissing camels - Garden of the Gods


Balanced rock

Balanced rock

D at Balanced Rock

D at Balanced Rock

Ship rock

Ship rock

Bob on Ship Rock

Bob on Ship Rock

From Ship Rock - Uncle Harry's car

From Ship Rock - Uncle Harry's car


From here on the trip went better.
Road

Road

Road beside the mountains

Road beside the mountains

Mountains across the snow

Mountains across the snow

Buttes

Buttes

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Top of cliffs

Top of cliffs

Snowy road

Snowy road

Bob and the kids at Loveland Pass 11,988 ft

Bob and the kids at Loveland Pass 11,988 ft

Battle Mountain in the fog

Battle Mountain in the fog

Mountain top above the fog

Mountain top above the fog

We stopped in Reno, and Bob and I attended a Robert Goulah show. I was disappointed in the amount of profanity in the show - he was sanitized for TV.

Our decorated front door for Christmas

Our decorated front door for Christmas

Aunt Alice had given us a packed lunch which lasted us for several days and included some fruit. The kids would eat the food and sometimes some of it would end up down on the floor. When we crossed the border into California, we had to go through an agriculture inspection. When they got to our car they could smell the apple cores, so we had to give them all the rest of the fruit.

We got to Monterey and moved into the house we had rented in time to celebrate Christmas there.
Charlie Brown Xmas tree

Charlie Brown Xmas tree

Built in wall oven and my refrigerator

Built in wall oven and my refrigerator

Stove top from the dining room - my bird plates on the back of the cabinet

Stove top from the dining room - my bird plates on the back of the cabinet

Ford station wagon on left.  Our stove left of door (covered since kitchen had built in oven and cooktop).  Washer and my grandfather's old gas  dryer on right

Ford station wagon on left. Our stove left of door (covered since kitchen had built in oven and cooktop). Washer and my grandfather's old gas dryer on right

Behind our house were some sheep

Behind our house were some sheep


Between January 1965 and October 1966 Bob attended US Navy PostGraduate School and we toured California from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Bob also bought another 1932 Plymouth and partially restored it. In October 1966, the war in Vietnam was heating up so they took all the pilots out of PG school and sent them back to the fleet. Bob who was flying anti-submarine planes got orders to Key West Florida. We shipped one car by rail to Miami. My parents came out to California and we drove two of the cars (by now we had traded the station wagon in on a 1964 VW bus) to Miami and picked up the third car (my mother drove one of them) and drove down the Keys to Key West.

Between October 1966 and January 1969 we lived in Key West and toured Florida. I had another daughter in 1968. Then Bob had orders to fly out to the Philippines and going the aircraft carrier Intrepid. Before he left, we moved some of the cars up to Maryland and found a house to rent in the Philadelphia suburb. The Intrepid sailed around the horn and back up the east coast and went into the yard in Philadelphia. After Christmas in 1968, I flew back to Key West and with the company of my parents, we moved to a row house in Folcroft.

Here we toured the region and visited my sister who had moved to Media. In August 1969, the carrier came out of the yard and went to Pensacola for the winter, so I put my furniture in storage and moved back with my parents. I got pregnant again at Easter (Bob was home on leave)

In June 1970, the carrier went into the yard in Boston, so we rented a furnished house for three months in Lexington MA. (and toured the area). In September the girls and I went back to my parents house. The ship was now home ported in Quonset RI. In October 1970, I took the youngest child and went to RI where we bought a house (three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms - a raised ranch with a partly finished basement). and over Columbus Day weekend, we added two bedrooms in the basement. I got the furniture out of storage. Then I went back to Maryland.

Our son was born in January 1971, and six weeks later we all moved to RI. We lived in RI (and toured the area) until October 1973. Bob had orders to Test Pilot School at Patuxent River in Maryland. We went down and found a house to buy in St. Mary's County, Maryland but we did not expect to actually move down there until we sold the RI house. Then my dad died. My mother wanted me to be nearer to her, so we moved to Maryland sooner than expected - without selling the RI house.

We have lived in St. Mary's County since December 1973. Bob retired from the Navy after 20 years in service in June 1979. The children grew up and got married and started having children of their own.

Of these legacy trips, the next one I have written up is the 1995 trip to Bermuda which started a series of two trips a year. One at Thanksgiving and one in the winter of the following year

Posted by greatgrandmaR 11:46 Archived in USA Comments (0)