For this upcoming national parks trip, most of the parks are new to us. However, this trip is not the first time I have visited the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Jackson Hole.
In July/August of 1972, my family visited the Grand Canyon as part of our 11-day, cross-country round-trip visit to my grandmother, aunt, and uncle in California. On that trip, we drove a total of 5109 miles in all. In Topeka Kansas, we stayed at a Holiday Inn. In Reno, NV, I saw my first slot machine (didn’t get to play then but I would make up for that denied opportunity many years later).
How do I know so many details from 1972 when I sometimes have to ask Alexa what the date is now? I kept a journal of our trip. Yep – Spiral notebook and #2 pencils. My Dad typed it up after we got back home, and I found that version among his papers a few years ago. Not great prose but I was very specific on times of leaving and arriving, mileage, and where we stayed. For example –
“Date: Saturday, July 29, 1972 – Arrived in Topeka, Kansas at 2:30 pm. Mileage on the car 4234. Drove 600 miles today. Temperature at Topeka is 77 degrees. Checked into a Holiday Inn Motel. We went swimming then we ate supper in the restaurant at the Holiday Inn.”
“Date: Monday, July 31, 1972; Time of Departure: 8:20 Mountain Time – Today the sun is shining but the wind makes the day cool. We expect to go through the Rocky Mountains later on. We stopped along side of the road and took some pictures of some beautiful mountains. You can see many snow fences along the road.”
My plan is to keep interspersing these literary gems throughout this trip journal when we visit some of the same states and cities.
In July 1976, our family drove to Jackson Hole for a vacation. While we were there, we also visited Yellowstone. If I kept a journal of that trip, it has not been found. I feel by then I was probably a “too cool” teenager to keep a record of that trip. I mean, I could help drive that trip even if it was only when we were in wide open spaces. No time for writing down mileage and random thoughts. I do have memories of that trip and will try to include them when we get to the Yellowstone/Jackson Hole days on this trip.
I also found photos, both B&W and color, from both of those trips. I scanned them and plan to include them also. The feature picture on this post is one of those pictures.
I do have to say that my parents were rock stars for taking us on these two long car trips and others. There were no Ipads, movies, cellphone games, or headphones to keep us occupied in 1972 or 1976. We each had a pillow for naps, car games – License plate, Alphabet Billboard Signs, etc., and well-timed snacks.
Of course, my younger sister and I had our own entertainment too – You are on My Side of the Car, Don’t Touch Me, and This is the Line – Stay on Your Side. Thinking we would not be heard, we would whisper threats back and forth but soon would see glaring eyes in the rearview mirror. We stopped whispering. Luckily, we laughed a lot too. I wish I could have read books and magazines while in the backseat, but I couldn’t without getting sick. Dramamine put me to sleep and there was no “Less Sleepy” formula like there is now. Today, I still prefer riding in the front seat.
Then, each day, after hundreds of miles of driving, my parents would let us swim in the hotel pools while one or both watched. I know now they must have just wanted to collapse. As I said, rock stars! Thanks so very much for the great times and memories.
One thought on “National Parks: Memories”
I will definitely get some black toner tomorrow as I do not want to miss any of these trip memories you will be reporting and I do want to have a print out of them all !! Love, Mom
On Sun, Aug 29, 2021 at 7:11 AM Mindy’s Travel Memories wrote:
> mmmtravelmemories posted: ” For this upcoming national parks trip, most of > the parks are new to us. However, this trip is not the first time I have > visited the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Jackson Hole. In July/August of > 1972, my family visited the Grand Canyon as part of our” >