Monday, April 21, 2008

Eighth Day / August 7, 1928 / Tuesday

We had quite a bad storm last night-lots of wind, lightning, thunder and hard rain. We were glad to be inside a building. This morning the weather is just fine again (but no doubt the roads will be fierce). We slept until after 9 o'clock, in no hurry to start while roads are so bad. The boys inspected machine again, repairing tires etc. Mother and Doris washed towels and a few other things badly needed, accomplishing same by use of knuckle power in the dishpan. There is a line here and they hung them all up without clothespins. We talked to some people here (from Ohio) who stopped to rest. The one woman who used to live in Colorado Springs, said we'd surely like it there; also told us that N.40 ought to be a fair road after the next 20 miles. We started out about 2 o'clock-having eaten breakfast and dinner together at eleven o'clock.

Took U.S. 50 and reached Topeka at about 5:30. We parked on a side street, and Doris, mother purchased a reversible dress (to save washing), ha. I bought a khaki blouse, and Doris bought a nile green night gown, also we both got vanity cases. We drove about 5 miles further and the boys bought fourteen sandwiches- which we ate while riding. We made only 84 miles today as we had so many detours- and the roads were all dirt through Kansas from now on (some of them more sand). We reached St. Marys about 7 o'clock. It is a very pretty little town, and we have found a nice little tourist camp (free), it is across from the fair grounds and from the town park, which is all lit up tonight and looks quite inviting. The park has two swimming pools, and free amusements for children. Our camp is nice and shady, and the water is fine. We have pitched our tents and are retiring early (9 o'clock) as all are tired from this hot days riding. It was about 90 in the shade all day. None of us are in love with Kansas-the country between cities is nothing to delight the eyes, although Topeka and this town (St. Mary's) are both nice enough; the rest is wild and desolate looking.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Seventh Day / August 6, 1928 / Monday

All got up at 6 o'clock. Mother feels unable to wash as she had planned. She has eaten something which upset her (or possibly the different kinds of drinking water hasn't agreed with her), although not serious. The boys broke up camp soon after breakfast and at 8 o'clock we started on our way. We were glad to be traveling again. Drove almost 100 miles before stopping for dinner at 12:30. Mother was feeling so much better by this time and having eaten no breakfast was quite hungry, so announced her intention of "setting us all up to dinner" at a restaurant somewhere. Just west of Booneville we stopped at 'Log Cabin Inn', built entirely of logs and very spacious inside. Twenty four windows all around the sides of the room all draped in red-dotted Swiss curtains (ruffled) with red flowered valances. Golden dome lights, log cabin period tables and chairs, and a fire place, which made everything very cozy and the room was so refreshingly clean and cool after our long hot ride.

We had veal loaf dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, cucumbers, Lima beans, bread, coffee and cottage pudding. After dinner we continued riding and went 115 miles before sunset. Camps are few and far between here in Kansas and although we wanted to locate in another large camp but were unable to reach any. We crossed the state line into Kansas at 4 o'clock. From Kansas City on we've had very uncertain roads- we had been on Highway 40 up to this time- but at this point took N. 50 (having been told that 40 was even worse than 50 through Kansas). The roads are 'dirt' and we sure eat dust. None of us likes Kansas (what we have seen of it so far). we are in a free tourist camp at the edge of Baldwin, which is a really nice little town of about 2200 people. There is a bath and restroom here, tables and chairs, also a good size shelter house (or cabin) which we have taken possession of. It is like a nice little park, but it seems few tourists stop here ... no one here when we came. There is gas and water here in the cabin and long tables with seats attached.

We ate supper inside, then we put up cots, and so saved the trouble of putting up our tents. It looks very much like rain and we will be protected here. There are large screened windows all the way around the room. We are all tired. I feel a little achy and nervous, but otherwise pretty good. All retired at 10:30P.M.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sixth Day/ August 5, 1928/ Sunday

We arose at seven this morning. The sun made our tents very hot. We spent the morning taking turns at the bath house and changed into clean clothing. Bonnie and I are covered with mosquito bites. Bonnie also has a very sore knee, which she skinned the day before yesterday. The grocery stores are open across the street and we can get anything we want. It is 11:30 A.M. and we are starting dinner.

We had a fine dinner today, steak, gravy, mashed potatoes, fresh tomatoes, bread, coffee and fresh peaches. This afternoon we all wrote letters and cards. I wrote a big four page letter to Mother Spahr on camp stationary, I also wrote a poem about Sulphur Springs. There was lots of traffic on the highway today, after which we enjoyed the rest of the day in camp. Glenn made an extra tank for the radiator, both he and Bill repaired the extra tires. We had cold meat, coffee, baked beans, orange ice-cream, peaches and bananas for supper. All retired at 10:30 P.M.

Fifth Day/ August 4, 1928/ Saturday

All slept rather uncomfortably last night due to activity of mosquitoes. I was awake long before the rest. At 5 A.M. sat up in my bed in the back of the car and wrote six postal cards. Two to Mother Spahr, one to Clay, one to Walt, one to Agnes and one to Aunt Lottie. About 5:30 A.M. the rest were up and we erected our camp stove, made coffee and fried ham. Mrs. Hicks gave us on quart of milk, so we had a fine breakfast. We visited and rested up as it was stormy and not pleasant for the boys to do any repairing. We had intended, anyway, to camp all day somewhere and do some cleaning up etc., as all are as dirty as tramps, but decided to drive in the afternoon instead. Bill and Glenn went to the city about 9 A.M. and returned with the trailer repaired. They looked over the other tires, and put all equipment in good order. We women cleaned up and visited with Mrs. Hicks, who was very much interested in everything concerning our trip and asked many questions in regard to the same. They were certainly hospitable people and so anxious to do for us. They made coffee for us to take along in our thermos jugs, gave us tomatoes and apples, and then positively refused to take the $2 which we felt to be due them for our lodging and other benefits. Bonnie spent the morning playing with Margaret Clark and Virginia Hicks. At about one o'clock we pulled out of Overland, got back on North 40 and drove 126 miles through 16 towns. About 10 miles from St. Louis we crossed the toll bridge over the Mississippi River, and were stopped to pay toll. We paid 60 cents and Bill paid 40 cents. Part of the way Bonnie and I were sleeping. The boys stopped at Minoela about 4 o'clock and bought eatables (including watermelon). About 4:45 we stopped at a pretty little camp and ate dinner.

We took several pictures before leaving and continued driving until 7 P.M. We saw an accident on the highway today as we passed, about 20 miles from All States Camp where we are camping now (one mile from Columbia, Missouri). Several people were hurt. The car was turned upside down in the ditch, and quite a few people had stopped to help. This is a large camp with a big hotel about 100 feet west from the place where our tents are pitched. Our two cars, the trailer and two tents hem in or encircle our other equipment, stove, chairs and tables. We are using a large table which was here, with seats attached. This location and arrangement insures us quite a bit of privacy. We have lights on the grounds and also our own attached to the car. About 100 feet east of us is the bath house and restrooms. There are many cottages here with garages attached and several bungalows. There is a grocery and also general supply store across the street, and everything is handy. The grounds are very pretty and there is plenty of shade. There are people here from many states.

It is cloudy tonight and a little cool, but we don't think it will rain. I am feeling fine, but am very tired and so are the rest. We are ready to retire as it is now 10 o'clock.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Fourth Day/ August 3, 1928/ Friday

We drove 181 miles today. Left Marshal at 9:00AM. We went through 22 towns, some were very large places. We drove all morning, stopped midway between Marshal and St. Louis (in the country) and ate our dinner. After dinner continued westward, reaching St. Louis at about 5:30PM. We passed through the terrible traffic of the city without any mishap, but just as we drove onto Midland Ave. in Overland (a suburb of St. Louis) one wheel came off our trailer. We considered it a lucky accident, having occurred on a quiet street after we were safely through the busy traffic of the city. The boys examined it and found they would need a new wheel bearing and cup, so they left us in our Auburn, right there, and they returned to the city in Bill's Jewett. At about 8 o'clock they returned with a bearing (which they had some difficulty in securing) and still needed some other necessary repairs, after failing to get them in the neighborhood or elsewhere near. We decided to wait until morning and try again in the city.

We had intended setting up camp early this evening, but fate has decreed otherwise. The people on this street are so friendly and considerate. One family by the name of Hicks insisted we camp in their back yard (have even offered us sleeping quarters in their house which we politely declined hating to cause anyone that much trouble), we have, however, put up cots in their garage. Mother, Bonnie, Doris and Bill will sleep in the garage. I already have a good bed in our car and Glenn will also sleep in the car tonight. We ate our supper at a little restaurant around the corner about 9 o'clock ... just sandwiches and coffee. It is now 11PM, cloudy and looks like rain. To bed.

Third Day/ August 2, 1928/ Thursday

All slept well in our Indiana camp. It was surely a fine balmy night with a clear starlit sky and big moon. We are taking our time and travel only when we are good and ready. Broke up camp at 8:30AM and started on our way. Weather is still fine. We rode 56 miles from Richmond to Indianapolis, through 15 towns. We ate our dinner in the country about 2 miles from that city, where there was an old deserted Veterinary College of about 100 rooms (or so it seemed to us), a spooky looking building in ruins. We took several pictures here.

This afternoon we went 120 miles through 15 more towns and about 7 o'clock pitched our tents near Marshal, Illinois. At a national tourist camp, which is very well located (am writing this in said camp). There are quite a few cottages here and quite a number of tourists have come for the night. There is a lunch-stand and grocery store, outside tables and benches, and everything is pleasant and cheerful.. We sat put in a porch-swing under the trees until a late hour, enjoying the wonderful moonlight and beautiful surroundings, and are ready to retire at 10:30. I dislike going in when it is so lovely to be out, but feel we need the rejuvenating effects of slumber. So it is good night.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Second Day/ August 1, 1928/ Wednesday

This is a beautiful sunshiny day; the Clay Leonards were certainly lovely to us. We ate our breakfast there, prepared it ourselves from our own store of eatables. While the boys were rearranging our luggage, we visited, so we did not leave until about 10 o'clock. Bonnie has been happily engaged all morning, playing with the Leonard's three girls and four other neighbor children. From there we went to Homer Leonard, they were glad we came to call. Mr Leonard has been ill for several years, but looks good. We thought both of them looked as young as they did eight years
ago. Mr. Leonard is as jolly as ever and seems in fine spirits, even though his health is bad. Dortha May (aged 9), and David (aged 5), played with Bonnie until we left at 3 in the afternoon. They had insisted we stay for dinner, and we accepted. We enjoyed a fine dinner; beef-loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh tomatoes, beets, apple sauce, scalloped-corn, jelly, bread and coffee or milk to drink.

In the afternoon we witnessed a very impressive and unusual wedding, performed by the invalid minister, Rev. H. C. Leonard, who was attired in his pajamas and gaily striped dressing gown. The bride, Miss Doris Weisel, was beautifully garbed in knickers. The groom, Mr. William Snavely, wore a costume of white duck. The ceremony was short and sweet, everyone present being agreeably disposed toward the newly wedded young couple ... and wishing them a much married life, a pleasant journey to the promised land, Colorado, and otherwise good fortune. After the great event was over we said our farewells to the Leonards, and just before leaving, took six snap-shots, several of the bridal couple, and also a few of the rest of us. We then pulled anchor and set sail on our journey. Since leaving St. Paris, we have gone through the following towns; Lena, Fletcher, Piqua, Covington, Gettysburg, New Harrison, Greenville, Port Jefferson, New Madison, Braffetsville, New Paris and then Richmond, Indiana. The distance covered today, 75 miles. The total distance from Sulphur Springs, 184 miles. I am writing this in camp at Gray Gables Tavern, not far outside Richmond. For supper we had ham sandwiches, coffee and roasting ears, with ice-cream for desert. It is now 9 o'clock, tents are erected, beds all made ... and all are ready to retire.