5/15/75 to 5/27/75
Although we did have our test run and made out just fine we were apprehensive when we thought of such an extended trip in such an unusual mode of transportation. We planned for weeks and I, of course, overdid everything. You would have thought that we were heading into an uncharted wilderness with no stores etc. Eddie checked and rechecked the car and trailer so when the day of departure came we were ready! In Spades!
We left here early in the morning. It was the usual hassle of getting out of the driveway because of the trees and rocks on both sides. I was always the navigator and the wild arms flailing about were a sight to behold. We had our signals though and they worked.
We made it to Wheeling, W. Va. the first night. From there we headed for Vandalia, Ill. On the way we looked at the Indianapolis Speedway which we had seen years before with the Vogts. Now we were in the Central Time Zone. We went on to Vandalia. We spent quite a time sight seeing in St. Louis, Mo. Especially interesting was the St. Louis Arch, the waterfront (Mississippi River) and the Budweiser Brewery, particularly the free samples.
From Fulton we went to the Columbia Historical Society, met Mrs. Carter, a genealogist that I had worked with on my ancestors, the Cards, Dillards etc. of Cooper Co. area.
We drove on to Boonville and went to the court house. I loved that! My interest in genealogy has provided us with so many interesting adventures. We stayed in Rockport, Mo. not far from Boonville. A miserable area, a real "naked acres".
On May,19th we were in Grain Valley,right near Independence and Kansas City. The next day we shopped at Kroger's. Then we went to the Truman Library. We had breakfast in the parking lot there. When we saw Harry Truman's grave I felt bad because I had bad mouthed him so much. Now I feel that we never had it so good! We enjoyed seeing the Truman home.
We left Grain Valley, Mo. It was hot and windy and there was a tornado warning in Sioux City, Iowa. Scary! We drove on to Onawa, Ia. and from there we made good time. We stopped in Mitchell, S.D. to see the Corn Palace. It was quite unique and interesting.
We then headed for Badlands National Monument. It was wonderful. Outstanding! We had the best camping spot so far.
The farther west we went the colder it got. May 22nd it was rainy and cold (40 to 50 degrees) but it didn't keep us from sightseeing big time. We toured the Geology Museum, Indian and Pioneer Museum, Deadwood City and the Broken Boot gold mine. Also Mt. Moriaah Historical Cemetery.
Then to our great joy the sun came out just in time for our stop at Mt. Rushmore National Monument. Fabulous! After gawking our heads off we reluctantly went on to Rapid City,S.D. I love all those names. From Rapid City we did a lot of driving and admired the ever changing scenery. We stopped at Custer National Monument, scene of Custer's last stand. All these places now were places we had always heard of but never expected to see. We were in three states today, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. We stayed in Hardin, Montana.
On May 24th we left Hardin and ran into some pretty heavy weather. We stopped in Billings, Montana. We had to pull off the road because of strong,gusty winds---very hard pulling. We went through rain and snow and finally arrived in Butte, Montana. What a relief!
Now I am really getting excited--we are getting close to Washington State. We spent the day riding and just loving the scenery. We arrived at the Spokane,Wa. campground early and decided to take it easy. However, Eddie washed the car and trailer and I washed my hair. Three states today. Montana,Idaho and Washington.
May 26th.....We never expected to do it but we drove from Spokane to Anacortes. We thought we would have trouble getting over the Cascades and Stevens Pass. No problem. We even spent time looking at Grand Coulee Dam and eastern Wa.
We spent the night in Anacortes near the ferry landing.
May 27th,1975. Ed Jr's 32nd birthday. "A Banner Day".
We took one of the Wa. State Ferries from Anacortes to Orcas Landing. Even though we had done it once before we were still impressed by the spectacular scenery and the ride through the San Juan Islands with snow capped Mt. Baker behind us.
Yipee! We made it. We drove into Eastsound and pulled in behind Eddie's house. The kids were waiting for us. The highlight of the trip for me was watching Chris,5 and Scott,4 boarding the trailer for the first time and as I had waited to see, "those little hineys" sitting at the table. They loved it and you had better believe we loved seeing them.
The weather was great but I had all the wrong clothes for that area. Summer in the east is a lot different (hot) from the northwest (cool). I was cold most of the time. We kept the trailer at West Beach Resort. We made a lot of good friends there.
next: A Short Trip to Canada