Sunday, July 16, 2017

Pikes Peak and the Rockie Mountains

The next day, August 16th, we arrived, early in the day, in Colorado Springs and there got our mail - the first since July 26th.
Here, too, we saw our first Rodeo Parade - Real "Injuns" and "Cowboys"! Escaping unscalped and unlassoed, we proceeded to have a look at Pikes Peak.
Driving along at leisure, we passed, the "Garden of the Gods", Cliff Dwellers", "Cave of the Winds", and "Rainbow Falls" and presently found ourselves at the entrance of "Pikes Peak Auto Highway", where we were assessed $2.00 each and allowed to drive our car up the "highest automobile Highway" in the world.
The distance from "Toll gate" to the summit is 18.5 miles and we were just two and three-quarters hours making the ascent, using low gear practically all the way, with various stops to adjust the carburetor.  The road was so steep that Jimmie syphoned gas from the tank to fill the vacume tank, repeating the process as needed.
Top of Pikes Peak
Elevation 14,109'
In later mountain climbing, we knew more about adjusting the carburetor for altitude and had no trouble.
Down in Colorado Springs, and in fact, at Toll Gate, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful clear day, but at 14,109 feet elevation, we encountered a snow storm and it was impossible to see, except the immediate top of the peak.
We came down in low gear also, as required, and the time was just one and three-quarters hours.
We spent the night at Manitou, near the Rainbow Falls and the next day hied us to Denver, the beautiful city of the west.  After looking over Colorado's capital, we drove to Boulder a few miles distant to call on a former Glen Spey resident, Mrs. Alex MacKenzie but did not find her home.
We left Boulder late in the afternoon and started over the "Fall River Pass".  We started climbing and it seemed as tho we would never stop going up - and we didn't that day.
When night came, we pitched our tent on the Banks of the Fall River in Estes Park.
  The Federal Government maintains tourist camps throughout the National Parks, and we were glad to take advantage of them.
The first thing to think about in camping is "drinking water", and Jimmie set out in search of some.  He inquired of a caretaker where he might find drinking water and the man simply stared at him and asked, "Where are you from?" "Takoma Park, Maryland," said Jimmie, "Well, I thought you were not native of these parts", said the caretaker, "We get all our water right out of the river here."  And sure enough the water of Fall River is simply melted snow flowing down the mountain with nothing, to contaminate it and is clearer, purer and fresher than any we can obtain from our faucets in the city.
The next morning we talked with some of the tourists about going down the other side of the mountain and were informed we had almost another day's climb before we reached the top.
So up we started and up and up we went, clinging to the edge of the mountain as the road wound 'round and 'round.  Soon we were above the timberline and incidentally, above the fly and mosquito zone as well.  In many paces there was not room for two cars to pass.  A few more miles and we left vegetation behind and now all we saw were rocks and snow.  - "We were in the Rockies!"  More than two miles above the level of the sea,  (elevation 11,797 feet).  Somewhere on Fall River Pass, we had crossed the "Great Continental Divide".
At the top of this pass was an observation tower where we could look back over the valley, and after viewing the panorama, our next thoughts were of the gas tank, Jimmie measured and found one-half gallon - - O- O - Oh!!! and only ten miles to Grand Lake the nearest filling station.  Well, we put the car in "second" - coasted down the mountain, measured again and to our great relief, found three gallons.  In our mountain traveling, we found it rather difficult to determine "level".  The heavily loaded car, no doubt, had something to do with it.  At Grand Lake, gas was  30 cents per gallon, the highest we had paid so far.

Salt Lake and friends

Camped at Steamboat Springs, which is famous for its mineral springs.  Throughout this peaceful valley, farmers were advertising for "farm hands" to help with haying.  They seemed to have a bumper crop.
For some unknown reason we filled the gas tank before leaving Steamboat the next morning and how fortunate we were, for we traveled until late afternoon before seeing another Service Statin.  It was a hard days work to drive 188 miles thru hills and valleys of desert land.  For miles and miles there was nothing to be seen but sand, sage brush and Prairie Dogs.

 What the little animals lived on was a puzzle.  At times the road was invisible because of clouds of dust.  We ate oranges to keep our throats moist.
Late in the afternoon, we passed the Dinasour National Monument and found Vernal, Utah no far distant.  We were glad to spend the night here on the cool grassy camp grounds.
For several nights past, we had been camping with the same group of people - a couple from Minnesota - an Italian and his niece from Pittsburgh, Pa. and others.  And it was in this camp we first met "Three and one-half" - A man, women and their dog, traveling in a Model "T" Ford Roadster.  They had been camping for three and one-half years.  When funds got low they would stop and work - the husband was a plaster worker - They spent their winters in the south and summers north. They seemed quite contented and happy.  What more could one ask?  During their traveling they had worn out two Ford Roadsters and this was their third one.
Leaving Vernal we continued on US 40 thru more desert land and a few hills which were nothing but rocks.  Passed thru Duchesne and Heber where we left US40 and went south to Pleasant Grove.  Here we found a paved road, the first since leaving Boulder, Colorado, 700 miles back.  We just stepped on the gas and in no time were in Salt Lake City, where we again found our mail awaiting us.
Sunday morning we attended a small Presbyterian Church, took a look at the Great Mormon Temple and spent a rainy afternoon in camp.  This was one of the best equipped camps we found, having practically all the conveniences of home. - Showers - Laundry, where a Maytag Electric Washer was available at 25 cents per half hour - An Electric Iron and ironing boards - a dozen or more stationary wash tubs - Kitchen with gat hot plates - A store where provisions could be bought.
After washing and ironing Monday morning, we called on Dr. Paden Synodical Executive of Synod of Utah, a very delightful gentleman.  Spent some time with him and the rest of the day sightseeing. 
Tuesday we continued northward passing thru Ogden, and Bingham and camped at Logan, a beautiful little city situated in the picturesque Cache Valley of Utah.
Wednesday morning we called on Rev. and Mrs. Bill Elimann, of the Presbyterian Church.  Jimmie knew Bill in Western Seminary.
We spent the morning with Elimanns, seeing their church and manse, the Presbyterian Academy.
We had lunch with the Elmanns and proceeded on to Yellowstone.
Leaving Pocatello we passed a "Blackfoot Indian Reservation" and just out of Idaho Falls, at Rigley, called on "Terry" from Princeton, a Methodist Minister who was also in Seminary with the boys.  Camped at Rigley over night.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Wednesday, August 27th, just a few hours drive from Rigby, we entered Yellowstone Park, from the West entrance.  Here we were assessed a fee of $3.00 each, which entitled us to camping privileges for the season.  Here, also the car was given the "once over" to see if it were capable of making the grades in the Park.
Having passed inspection, we drove immediately to "Old Faithful" camp grounds and before unpacking the car and pitching the tent, we had a look at the faithful geyser performing.  The day had been warm but when night came, it bot cooler and cooler.  We used all our blankets and still were not warm.  The next morning we found ice frozen in a pan of water beside the tent.

There was some sort of entertainment or recreation at this camp every day.  The first evening we attended a lecture on "Bears" given by one of the Rangers, at the Bear Feeding Station.  We learned many things about these fascinating animals and were warned over and over again to "leave the bears alone" and they wouldn't bother us.
One night we sat around a huge campfire listening to a Ranger tell some of the history of Yellowstone, including stories of the famous Jim Bridger.
Another evening we attended a Minstrel Show put on by some of the employees of the Park.
During the day, we did sight- seeing.  Took a 4 - mile hike over the Upper Geyser Basin with a Ranger as guide.  He told us about the formation and performance of the various geysers and hot springs.  Some of the Geysers are estimated to be five to six thousand years old.  We saw a great many in action - among the better known were - Old Faithful, Riverside, Solitary, Lone Star.  The Lone Star erupts one in 4 to 5 hours.
It is quite a distance from any other geyser and the mouth is star shaped, hence its name.
Another interesting trip was the "Nature Trail".  This was conducted by a young lady Ranger.  She told us about the trees and plant life of the Park.  In 1926, the "Blue Gention" has been chosen as the "Park Flower".  It is a beautiful blue, bell shaped flower, very rare, and even tho there were signs everywhere , "Do not pick the flowers,", many people picked them - the blue gentian included.
We left Old Faithful Camp Saturday August 27th and went to Mammoth Hot Springs - Fort Yellowstone - the northern entrance to the Park, where we found it much warmer.  The elevation at Mammoth Hot Springs is 6,387 ft., while at Old Faithful, it is 7,394, which accounts for the difference in temperature.  We made this cap our headquarters during the rest of our stay in the Park.
We took many sight - seeing trips from Mammoth Hot Springs.  Visiting the "Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone", "The Glass Mountain", "Norris Geyser Basin", "Buffalo Farms", West Thumb", Yellowstone Lake", Mt. Washburn" (highest motor road in the Park - altitude 10,817'), "Camp Roosevelt" where President Coolidge had been just the week before.
We even went trout fishing one day but, no luck - Mr. Coolidge had taken the last one.
Attended the Ft. Yellowstone Church got acquainted with the weather forecasters of the Park, who gave us interesting information about the workings of the United States Weather Bureau.
We did most of our shopping in Gardiner, Montana, where we found prices considerably under those in the Park.  After just literally "throwing watermelons around" in the south, we were amused to see rather inferior melons priced at $1.50 each.  Bananas were 75 cents per dozen, Round steak 50 cents per pound, etc.  Inside the park they would be at least 50% higher.  Gasoline, for instance sold for 35 cents per gallon inside the Park, where in Gardiner, it could be obtained for 23 cents.
Our original plans had been to visit Glacier National Park, but already snow was falling in that section and soon the mountain passes would be closed, so we left that for some future date.

Montana and Utah friends

On September 3rd, we left Yellowstone and journeyed to White Sulphur Springs, Montana where Jimmie had been invited to attend the ordination of C. K France, the Presbyterian Minister of that place.  We had inquired about the condition of the roads and were informed that Montana's roads were not weather proof - they were dry weather roads.  Sept. 3rd happened to be dry, but we had rather puzzling experiences trying to follow a route.  In one instance, the road was under repair but was still being used and since there were no detour signs, we went straight ahead.  After we had traveled 25 to 30 miles the road came to an abrupt end, in fact there was a 10 foot drop into a small stream.  Well there we were.  Must we retrace those miles?  Jimmie got out the trusty "Opera Glasses", located not only a road parallel to the one we were on, but also noticed a place where the wire fence of a pasture field, between us and the other road, could be opened.  Across the field went the "Honeymoon Express" to the utter astonishment of the cows.  We landed safely on the other road and continued our journey.  Arriving at our destination, we found the Frances' were out of town so we took possession of the manse.
Sunday morning Jimmie preached in the little church to a very appreciative audience and we enjoyed a pleasant day as well as a delicious chicken dinner at the home of the Barbers - neighbors of them manse.
Monday C. K. Frances and Betty, his wife, returned home and we learned the ordination had been postponed one week.  We spent four more days at White Sulphur Springs and on Saturday, Sept 10th, left for Moccasin, Montana the home of John Waite, Jr. another Seminary boy.
What a drive!!!  There had been rain the night before and we were advised against going, but go, we did.  We left Whit Sulphur Springs at 4:45 am and traveled 130 miles thru the worst gumbo one can imagine.  We saw many cars "stuck" but Jimmie was a good driver and kept the car "on the road" and "in motion" even tho it was hard pulling at times.  We arrived at the Waite's about 4:30 in the afternoon.
Sunday morning Jimmie preached for Jack, at Moccasin and in the evening, we all drove to Windham, where Jack preached.
Monday, we enjoyed a picnic in Picturesque Boulder Canyon.
Tuesday and Wednesday, Lewiston Presbytery met at Moccasin and Mrs. Waite entertained all the delegates - six ministers.
Thursday, we went to Lewistown and spent the day with Mr. and Mrs. Barrows and their daughter Rozella, Sunday School Missionaries in that district.
Here Jimmie tried to wash the gumbo off the car, but water wouldn't please it.  He had to take an axe and pound or chop it off.
Miss McConnaughey - the latter from Wasster, Ohio.  We arrived at Panguich in the evening and spent the night with Miss Emilie Fleming, the missionary serving this station which is 40 miles from a Railroad stations.
These missionaries all informed us that about all one could do in these towns which were 90 to 98% Mormon, was to conduct vacation Bible Schools, and perhaps a session after school one day each week for sewing and other hand-work.  They conducted Sunday School also for those who could come and tried by their own example to present the Christian {Gentile} religion.
Sept. 30th, we took Miss Fleming with us to Bryce Canyon.  One of the beauty spots we will long remember.
Scarcely had we arrived when we were caught in a blinding snow storm.  We had time to take only a few pictures before the storm was upon us.

We started down the mountain, wiping snow off the windshield as it packed against it and upon entering Red Canyon, some few miles north, the sun was shining, the sky clear blue - the storm had passed.  We stopped, cooked our lunch and were soon on our way again.

Our trip home

Leaving Miss Fleming at Panguich, we continued to Richfield, where we spent the night in the manse. 
Sunday, Jimmie preached in the small Presbyterian Church.  This was our first experience in a church where no offering was taken.  The officers said it was no use - no one brought an offering.  Several members subscribed to the support of the church and the Board of National Missions paid the balance.
Monday evening we returned to Salt Lake City and spent a week in our favorite camp.  This camp was situated in a grove of Elm trees and around their roots, mushrooms grew in abundance.  As we were feasting on fried chicken and mushrooms, we thought of some folds who declared they wouldn't make good campers, for they didn't like bacon and eggs.
Tuesday we attended the Organ Recital in the famous Tabernacle, then went thru the museum.  During the week we visited the Great Salt Lake and Copper Mines.  Jimmie addressed the student body of West-Minster College in chapel one morning.
Sunday, Sept. 9th, he preached in Westminster Presbyterian Church, the college church.  The next morning, we left on our way back to Dallas, drove all night our first night out and arrived in Laramie, Wyo. early the next morning, a distance of 452 miles.
During this night, Henri saw for the  first time the beacons for guiding airplanes, and in this desert section, they presented a sired spectacle.
We were retracing our route south to Dallas and nothing eventful happened except as we were entering Denver, driving rather slowly along a main highway, a "woman driver" came out of a private drive on our left, stepped on the gas instead of the brake and even tho we pulled into the ditch to avoid a collision, her car hit our rear left wheel, punctured a tire and broke a hub ca.  She started "bawling us out" for being on the highway, said she couldn't help hitting us for she was driving out of a dangerous driveway and could not see.  Jimmie said, "You ought to know lady, you live here, I was just driving thru on a Federal Highway."
Well, we fixed the tire and went along.  She was insured, but with a company in Minnesota and we might have had to hire a Philadelphia lawyer to the price of the damages.
We arrived in Dallas, October 14th and spent a few days with the Hudnuts while we were getting located.  We took an Apartment at South Marsalis St., Where we lived for about a month.
The day after we moved in , the "Welcome Wagon": visited us, leaving a basket of groceries and dairy products.  This was a method of advertising by some of the Grocery and Dairy stores.  A clothing store sent a very good clothes brush as their part in the welcome.
Jimmie preached in several churches during our stay in Dallas.  On one occasion, he preached in a country church about 25 miles out of the city.
The services were well attended, especially by the young people.  We were invited to the home of one young couple for dinner.  As soon as we arrived at the home, the wife said to her husband -"If you wring the chicken's neck, I'll get the water boiling."  And, so, in an amazingly short time, the chicken, fried Southern style, was on the table.
This young couple was much "better off" than most families.  They rented a small farm, which, of course, was planted in cotton - the wife had a small garden, some flowers and her flock of chickens, most of which she would sent to market.  They had a 3-room cabin, with both doors and windows in tact - and curtains at the windows, if you please.
The bedroom - living room, was very comfortably furnished with one bed, two chairs and a dressing table.  The other furnished room was the kitchen, which contained a beautiful new "Florence Oil Range", the pride of the housewife - a table, four chairs, a water bench and the dish cupboard.  Everything was spotlessly clean.  They were completely happy and very gracious hosts.   We truly enjoyed our visit with them.
They, like the other cotton farmers, worked four months of the year "in cotton", with the hope the crop would at least be sufficient to keep them from starvation the rest of the year.  Enterprising Jimmie asked why they didn't try to find employment in the city during the other eight months of the year - but they were getting along alright and had never thought much about it.
With winter and the holiday season approaching and all our kinsfolk in the east, we decide after all western Penna was the "land of the free and the home of the brave" for us.  Beside it was time we were attaching ourselves to a position and we felt sure we would not care to "settle down" in Montana, the Mormon area,  nor Texas, so we headed the "Honeymoon Express" eastward with all the speed with which she was capable and made the trip 1,444 miles in four days.  Funds were getting low and small change looked big to us then.  A few hours out of Dallas, we arrived at a small stream - The Arkansas River - which served as a boundary between Texas and Arkansas.  I was about to offer the "gateman" at the bridge, 25 cents for the toll charges when he informed me the charge was 75 cents - "Seventy - five cents" echoed Jimmie, "Don't you call that robbery?" "Some people do", replied the gateman calmly.
While still in Arkansas, we received another "financial"" shock when we were assessed $1.wt for the privilege of sleeping in a so-called cabin - in reality, a room in an old barn where we even had to provide our own beds.  There was no convenience at all.  We soon shook the dust of Arkansas from our fenders and found ourselves in Missouri.
Jimmie had always kidded Freddie Robb about Missouri's poor roads.  We had been experiencing such very poor ones in Texas and Arkansas, we almost dreaded coming into Missouri, but Lo and Behold!  When we crossed the border into the "Show-me state", we found good roads - in fact we didn't find any poor ones, except the side roads.  When we were almost ready to leave the state Jimmie decided this would never do, he'd have to show Freddie a picture of Missouri's poor roads, so we transplanted a road sign temporarily from Route 37, and Jimmie posed while I took a picture showing the poor side road under an assumed title.
We arrived in Latrobe, November 14th and the next day donned our best clothes to attend the Centennial Celebration of Western Seminary, including a banquet in the Fort Pitt Hotel.
In a few days we were on our way again, this time to Glen Spey, where we spent Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Then we hurried back to Latrobe to establish residence and get a car license before the new year overtook us.
Jimmie did supply work out of Latrobe until April when we located in Utica, Pennsylvania.
And so, with the speedometer reminding us we had traveled over 13,00 miles, our first honeymoon came to an end.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dallas, Texas to Pueblo, Colorado

Saturday, July 30th found us in the beautiful city of Dallas, Texas, after another day of travel.  Called at the home of Rev. H. B. Hudnut, another of Jimmie's Seminary classmates, now Associate Pastor at "City Temple", the largest Presbyterian Church of the south.  Spent twelve days with the Hudnuts, seeing Dallas from every angle.  Visited the Continental Gin Company, where cotton gins were made.  Saw one in operation. 
Played golf, not minding the heat, the first since leaving Washington.  The days are so hot in Dallas that people do their calling in the morning, close the houses and try to keep cool in the afternoon.  The evenings are cooler and restful.  Hudnuts lived a few blocks from S. M. U.
Throughout this section of Texas, the Oil Companies were having price fights and in Dallas we paid as low as twelve cents a gallon for gasoline.
Our first night after leaving Dallas, was spent in Wichita Falls.
Throughout our journey, we had been experiencing considerable tire trouble, partly due to the heavily loaded car and partly to the condition of the roads.  Before leaving Wichita Falls we invested $36.00 in two "full-size, over-size" Racine Tires, and with the assurance that these would outlast the car, we started out, "riding on air".  So confident were we that most of our tire trouble was over, we couldn't believe our ears when we heard a loud "bang" and realized the car was rather dizzy.  We stopped, and to our dismay found a 10-penny spike in one of Those Tires.  The tire was not alone in feeling "flat".
We continued northward thru the Texas Panhandle, stopping in Amarilla Saturday night.  Attended church Sunday morning in a fine new Presbyterian Church.  A young lawyer was the speaker that morning, and Jimmie, being an "orthodox preacher" was asked to take part in the services.  The regular minister was having his vacation and having spent all their money on the new building they did not have supplies for the pulpit, but had various members of the congregation take charge of the service.
The day was extremely hot and we traveled slowly during the afternoon.  When almost into New Mexico, we encountered a terrific rain and electric storm which slowed us up until finally we were forced to stop.  When we were ale to start again, we found ourselves in "Texas Gumbo".  Only those who know "Gumbo" have any idea of our experience.  We slid into Clayton, New Mexico and for the first time on our journey, decided to hire a cabin to be more comfortable.  We soon doubted the wisdom of this move, for the cabin leaked.
The next days travel took us out of the sand and cactus country into the mountains.  We had numerous flat tires caused by the spines from the cactus.
We passed many flocks of sheep, with the shepherd driving, instead of "leading" them, as is the custom in the far east.
The altitude at Claude, New Mexico, was 3800 feet and here we felt high and dry, after aour experience in the flooded territory.
Soon we were at Mt. Dora, with an altitude of 6,000 ft. and up we went through Capulin Mountains, over beautiful Raton Pass at 10,000 ft. elevation, and now we were "up in the world".  Night fell upon us at Pueblo, Colorado, where we found a satisfactory Tourist Camp.

1926 Flood Detour

Spent twelve days with the folks in Grand Bay.  Sightseeing - Shopping in Mobile - Fishing in the Bayou Le Batre - Swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.
Got a boat and went fishing with Dad and Grayce out in the Bay.
Went with Pikes for a beach picnic at Beloxi, Mississippi.
Went Crabbing one evening - Henri's first experience.  Caught crabs and ate them too.  They were good!
We also learned how to grow cotton, sweet potatoes and watermelons.  Incidentally, Dad's watermelons were just right and we consumed several daily.
On Sunday, Jimmie preached in the local Baptist Church.
Wednesday, July 27th, we left Grand Bay, well supplied with fried chicken, watermelons, ect.  Traveled leisurely along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, thru Passagoula, Biloxi and Gulfport, north thru Hathesburg, Miss. to Wendenhall.  Here we camped for the night in a school yard directly across from a Baptist Church, where the colored Brethren were holding meeting.
After a few hours drive the next morning, we arrived in Jackson, Miss. where we learned we could not cross the "Father of Waters" at Vicksburg as we had planned, but must retrace our road to Natchez where we would find the only southern road (westward) in tact - the "Dixie Highway".
Back we went, traveling slowly, and camped 20 miles north of Natchez, at Church Hill.  Friday, July 29th, we were ferried safely across the Mississippi River and continued westward on the Dixie Highway.  This highway had been elevated, after the food to make it passable and even on it, we had a detour of fifty miles or more.

We drove for miles and miles with a swift stream of water on either side of the road - backwater from the flood.  All kinds of debris, animal carcasses, etc., were to be seen everywhere.  What had been an inhabited area was still under water.  We talked with people 25 miles west of the river and learned that the water there had been eleven feet deep.  Such was the result of the flood of 1926.
We stopped along the road, east out a hook and line and in no time had fish for supper.  We ate our fill, too, for there were plenty more in the water, waiting to be caught.  That night we traveled until eleven o'clock and were 200 miles from Natchez (at Ruston, La.) before we felt we were safe from the dampness and odors of the flood.