Be sure to view "our travels (part 1)". I tried to put in all the text, but Ipernity truncated it at 1995. Using reverse time order, by the way. Entire narrative at:

swansongrp.com/trips_all.html


Continuing at 1995...


1995 -- In February, we took advantage of some really cheap airline tickets and traveled for 16 days in The Netherlands and Belgium. We went everywhere on trains, and most of our entertainment and meals took place in bars. Bob, at least, was trying to taste at least one each of all 300 different kinds of beer brewed in Belgium (he did not succeed, but not for trying). The food was fantastic, even in bars, and the beer was wonderful. The people in Flanders were especially kind to us, since we could not speak Flemish. It rained and rained.

Starting June 1st, we traveled for 45 days crewing on the recreational tugboat Big Toot, passing through 1,500 miles of the Great Lakes and its once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thirty days of our 45-day trip took place in the province of Ontario, and we found the people in Canada to be wonderful, friendly, and helpful. The food was great, especially the ice cream! We could write a book about this trip (and we are).

If the tugboat trip were not enough, just before Labor Day, we cruised in our own boat on a 2-week trip through the Great Lakes, to the old Eire Canal in New York state. Our trip ended in Ithaca, where the boat was put back onto its trailer. Later the trailer was hauled back to Michigan [definitely not a trip for the squeamish! We now have even more respect for long-haul truckers] The Erie Canal is to be recommended to anyone who wants to lower their blood pressure and just drift along. The people in the small towns in upstate New York were uniformly nice and helpful, and the scenery was remarkable. You can rent boats and cruise here, if you don't have a boat of your own, or it is inconvenient to bring it along.



1994 -- While really a family visit trip, we did spend 3 weeks driving through Florida and other parts of the South. Every Interstate exit had a different rib place (our personal best was at an offramp in Macon, GA). This trip was an opportunity to study the areas for possible future retirement. A lot of the trip, however, was time visiting with relatives.

[After we moved to Michigan, we visited several places in the state. This is in contrast to having done very little touring in Minnesota, during the 5 years we lived there. We traveled a great deal between LA and San Francisco, when we lived in California. We did manage to visit that area between those two large cities, unlike many folks who blow along I-5 and never get off except to empty out and fill up.]



1993 -- Between jobs, and moving from Minnesota to Michigan in May, we took perhaps the greatest vacation of our lives. We rented ("hired", as they say) a boat on the River Thames in England. We also have some photos on our Flickr account.

This is a wonderful way to see the countryside, as evidenced by the great numbers of locals who enjoy this type of vacation every year. The pace is slow (the boats can only make 4 miles per hour), and there is either a view (farms, churches, villages, stately homes) or a pub around every bend. While rainy, we found late May was showing her very best blooms. All the birds in the river seemed to have babies in tow, from the stately swans (royal property) to the smallest mudhen. This type of travel is definitely a blood-pressure lowerer, if there ever was one. Cheaper than renting a car and paying hotel (or B & B) bills, too. Fuel was very reasonable. We can recommend this trip for anyone, even novice boaters!

On our own new SeaRay boat, we took a trip through the Inland Waterway of Michigan. This is an area worth visiting by car as well. The lakes at the very tip of the Lower Peninsula (Crooked Lake, Burt Lake, Mullet Lake, Indian River, Cheboygan River) are beautiful. They are popular summer areas, and there is an increasing number of year-round residents.

We enjoyed a few days just before New Years in Toronto. We fell in love with this city. Remember, this is a statement from two confirmed country-dwellers. The city is cosmopolitan, diverse, clean, and efficient. We believe that we can make a valid comparison between Toronto and New York City, and Toronto wins.



1992 -- February of this year found us on a plane from Minneapolis to Munich, and then by bus to Innsbruck, Austria. It all started back in late 1991, when we found out that a local Twin Cities ski club was sponsoring a trip to Innsbruck. The deal was too good to pass by, even though we don't ski. We had a pre-paid hotel room for a week, so we enhanced our experience by buying two Eurrail passes. Every day, instead of hitting the slopes, we got on a train to a different alpine (or nearby) destination. One day it would be Venice (clear and cold!), another day Salzburg (so cold that our cameras froze up). We also made it to Munich (great museums!), Zurich (fun boat ride, using those Eurrail passes), and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (gemuetlich). The rail trips were the greatest, with fantastic scenery, and the trains were nearly always empty.

Before the big layoffs, during the period around Labor Day, we drove out to Seattle from Minneapolis. Sandi's mother rode along with us for most of the trip. We did not know it at the time, but this was her last long car trip with us. It was a very different experience to travel as adults, unlike those long, long trips we took as children.

This trip included the Black Hills (for us, a previously undiscovered gem), and Yellowstone (my first time). Mount Rushmore was awesome, and the setting is remarkable.

We drove into Montana, and took the Beartooth Pass highway, south into Yellowstone. If you like to drive, and enjoy the mountains, this drive is for you! Don't look down too often, however. Take a lot of pictures. Yellowstone was great, especially after we had received some good advice on the Net about visiting the "lesser" geysers and hotsprings. Wonderful, but be sure to wear good walking shoes. The worse part of Yellowstone was the hordes of tourists who would stop their cars whenever they saw an animal (any animal). The scars left by the big fires were awesome, but you could see plenty of new life poking through the ashes already.

Seattle was great! We particularly enjoyed taking the ferry boats to and from outlying areas. One highlight was our trip to Bremerton and back (we didn't get off, just enjoyed the very inexpensive "cruise"). Another visit that we had never done before, was to walk around the Ballard Locks. We were able to chat with the deck crew of an Alaskan-bound cargo ship, as it was lowered down to sea level. We later traversed the same locks on one of the local cruise boats, and found the entire trip to be fascinating.

Of course, Seattle is an important place to eat and drink. The local boutique beers are great, and the salmon is not to be missed. We indulged several times in our favorite Chinese deem sum at some very good restaurants. The height for us was dinner at Iver's Salmon House. Not only was the food excellent, but the views of the many, many yachts passing by our window were awesome in their own way.

After Sandi was laid off from her job in Minnesota, we took our second trip to Hong Kong. We had trouble getting air tickets for early December, which turned out to be a blessing. We were forced to take one leg of the flight on Cathay Pacific Airlines. I've simply never been on a more luxurious Coach flight! I sometimes wonder how they treated the 1st Class passengers, considering how royally we were treated in the cheap seats! Now that is a airline!

Needless to say, Hong Kong was cool, misty, and illuminated by millions of Christmas lights. All the high-rise buildings had enormous holiday decorations, and many people (including us, of course) walked along the promenades every night, gawking at the lights, and enjoying the harbor views. This trip included an experience we has passed up the first time: The Land Between tour. This tour, organized by the Visitors Bureau, is well worth the day it takes to see the many outlying parts of the "colony". On the food front, we were a little more savvy this time, and found out the best cheap places to eat. Our splurge was at the Regent Hotel "coffee shop" in the lobby. The windows in this lobby rise up many stories, and the views of the harbor,



1991 -- Our special trip this year was our October journey to Hong Kong, the first time either of us had been in the "Orient". Nothing could prepare us for this experience, but we loved every minute. Not only did we become familiar with the "colony", but also took side trips. One was to Macao, which was far more "exotic" than Hong Kong. The big side trip was a quick day trip into the Mainland. The culture shock of being in the strip between Hong Kong and Canton was pretty heavy, but we had a bus to ride (hide?) in, and we took lots of pictures. By the way, we were the objects of long stares of disbelief far more times than we gawked at, and snapped pictures of, the locals.

We originally decided on a Hong Kong visit, because we like to make and eat Chinese food. The opportunities to eat there were beyond measure, and the food was fantastic. On this trip, we walked around the Peak area, enjoying the wonderful views. The air was quite clear, which is more common in October. On a later trip (1992), the mists were too thick to see much of the views. We fell in love with Hong Kong harbor. The endless procession of boats, from the tiniest one-oar dinghy, to the biggest cruise ship, was unbeatable. The show goes on continuously. Oh, and the lights..... Hong Kong must has a bigger light bill than Las Vegas.



1990 -- In December, we had to get a leased car back to California from Minnesota. We decided that this would be a good time to have a vacation in the "warm and sunny" west. We dropped off the lease car in Southern California, and rented a car to take us north up the Gold Coast. Another evening in Cambria, and then Highway #y1. Our final destination was the Beltane Ranch in the Sonoma Valley. We enjoyed our B & B experience just sitting and reading, but added plenty of winery tours and good food to the mix.

However, the "warm" part of the trip was not to be. We left Minnesota with 40 below zero weather, and it never warmed up, even down into Texas and Oklahoma. The capper was waking up to, what else, 40 below zero weather in Gallup, New Mexico. In California, all of the citrus and palm trees had died. It was a strange feeling to revisit an area that was previously so green in winter. Now it was all nearly uniform gray.



1989 -- We drove (and rode trains) around Great Britain for a couple of weeks in the fall. We had a very nice pass called a BritRailDrive pass. During the two weeks, we had 7 days of rental automobile, and 7 days of rail travel. During this trip, we visited Henley, and found out we could rent boats on the River Thames (which we finally were able to enjoy in 1993).

Our first train trip took us all the way from London to Inverness on the overnight sleeper. We drove around some of Scotland, enjoying the rough scenery and the beautiful western seacoast. We took the train out to Mallaig through some awesome landscapes. I had been in Glasgow many years before (1972), but an attempt to revisit this interesting city proved fruitless, since the area had become so crowded and congested. We fled there and spent two wonderful days in Edinburgh. During our stay in Scotland, we got to watch the awesome destruction of the San Francisco earthquake on British TV. Taking the train from Edinburgh to York was great, and our driving trip of the Yorkshire Dales was not only scenic, but punctuated by the warmth and friendliness of the people we met. The car we picked up in York was so great, that we drove it (very fast) down the motorway, into Wales (more spectacular scenery), and all the way south to Torquey. Our final stage of the trip included several day trips to London by train, but the big city had lost its luster. The people and landscape in the country had taken our hearts.



1988 -- Our February trip to relocate to the Twin Cities (Minnesota) should probably not be considered "travel", but we managed to make some great stops. For instance, we spent an afternoon at the Grand Canyon, and saw both the great scenery, and the smoke that was obscuring the Canyon (caused by coal power plants in the 4 Corners area). Some business associates suggested a great place in Albuquerque for green chile, our first experience with this wonderful food group. Using the book "Road Food" (now titled "Eat Your Way Across the USA") by Jane and Michael Stern, we found fantastic Chicken Fried Steak in Oklahoma, and celestial ribs in Kansas City. We don't leave home without this book (or later versions), and we've never been disappointed with their suggestions. The "Roadfood" crowd is now on the web, and well worth a visit.

Took a car trip over Christmas to New Orleans from the Twin Cities. We discovered that everything closes down both on Christmas Day and the day after, Boxing Day. Thus, we had to wait 3 days to get any oysters. Had a great time, and then drove home back through Arkansas to see family.



1987 -- In March, we revisited our favorite island, Kaua'i. Spent two weeks and really got to know the place better. Our previous visit had been only a few days. Time, and a major hurricane have not changed our love of this island.

In the fall, we visited the East Coast for family reasons. Not to be tied down, however, we rented a car and struck out for New England. Stayed one night in Salem, Mass., in a very spooky old B & B (just 2 days after Halloween). A couple of days in Boston were lots of fun, and we really dug into the oysters and other goodies at Durgin Park and the Union Oyster House. Our path took us up into Maine, going as far north as Boothbay Harbor. The return trip saw us driving back through Boston, down Cape Cod, and into Rhode Island. We enjoyed the coastline in that area that included Rhode Island and Connecticut. This trip was over much too soon for us.



1986 -- For Bob's 40th birthday, he was whisked off to Hawai'i. We hit Oahu and Maui, and really enjoyed the Islands, especially when we got off the main road and hiked or just sat and watched the sea crashing against the ancient lava. This trip was in February, and we had to contend with the "snow birds" who filled the hotels. It was ironic how many people we met who had never been outside of the hotel bar and swimming pool area.

One of the more amazing experiences on this first trip, was our drive up to Haleakala to see the sunrise. Not only was the sunrise spectacular, Halley's Comet was still in the morning sky. We brought binoculars to see the event, and had to lend them to all of the other tourists who didn't even know that the comet was in the sky!

Well that trip was so much fun, that we did it again in October of 1986. We visited the Big Island and Kaua'i. We decided that Kaua'i was our "favorite" island, and nothing since has changed our minds [even 10 years' living on Maui].

During this trip, we discovered the Hiking Hawai'i and Hidden Hawai'i books. Highly recommended...



1985 -- Near the end of the summer, we drove in Sandi's new car to Ashland, Oregon. This was both to "relive" Bob's 3 summers there, and to enjoy the 50th Anniversary of the Shakespeare Festival. In spite of a major car breakdown (Thanks, Lee Iacoca!), we finished up the trip with a wonderful Labor Day weekend in San Francisco. During this time, we discovered that there was to be a seminar later that year in Ashland on how to run a B & B. We were toying with the idea of scrapping the "rat race" and running a B & B, so this was a chance to learn as much as we could about it.

In December, we returned to Ashland to attend the B & B seminar (lots of snow!)



1984 -- We visited San Francisco several times on "getaway mini-vacations". Discovered a small boutique there called Victoria's Secret.

Once, we went to San Francisco on trains, as part of an excursion with the Orange Empire Railway Museum. This was during the period just before the Cable Cars were to be closed for a year of restoration work. We endured a long, tiring day riding on private cable and trolley cars throughout the City. Our private tours included some track sections, both cable and trolley, that had not been used for nearly 30 years.

Attended the Mensa national AG in San Francisco, staying at our favorite hotel (Chancellor). We don't remember the time of year, but the Gay Pride parade took place (passed right by the hotel) during this time. Learned about the Obrero Hotel, and stayed there another time, discovering that their plumbing system was not good. However, their food was spectacular. That trip was done to attend a friend's wedding, but we still found time to enjoy the City, too.



1983 -- Yosemite in summer (once with Sandi's parents, and another time just the two of us). A longer winter trip included the Gold Coast and Cambria (we've spent a lot of time there!), the Gold Country, and Tahoe, and the capper: the Ahwane Hotel at Yosemite in winter. This is one of the few times we splurged on hotels (Hawai'i was another example), but this was worth it, and cheaper than you would think, due to the off-season rates.

On the way north to Yosemite, we visited Andrew Quady, who attended Ganesha High School with Bob. His winery is very good and we continue to recommend his dessert wines to everyone.

Wine Country tour together, with our friend George Ronay as tour organizer and leader. Stayed at the most luxurious hotel we'd ever stayed in: The St. Francis in San Francisco (all part of the tour).



1982 -- Quit Mensa, no more Asilomar trips.



1981 -- Attended our last Asilomar Mensa event (we didn't know it at the time). During the driving trip north through Cambria, Bob proposed to Sandi on Moonstone Beach. Romantic!

Got married and our "honeymoon" was a 3-day cruise off the Mexican Coast. We really didn't enjoy it, and we never got off the ship in Ensenada. Given our queasy introduction to boat travel, it is a wonder that we later bought a boat and have done our own cruising! Needless to say, we strongly resisted ever booking onto a cruise ship again, after our experience in '81. [Oh well, we finally broke down in 1997 and tried again. We ended up loving the Star Clipper. After retrying a cruise in 2003, we've been cruising ever since.]

Not sure of the time, but we were able to enjoy some long weekends in such places as the Gold Coast, and San Diego. Sandi was running a business, so we really couldn't take long vacations.



1980 -- We drove to Las Vegas during the holiday period, in Sandi's new car. Near Hoover Dam, we were rear-ended, and her new car nearly totaled. We had to fly home, and it took months to get the car repaired. Whiplash took its toll. We learned how to shoot craps properly during this trip, and won dinner money several times over.

Another Asilomar annual event with Mensa over Labor Day.

Sandi had to attend a seminar in the Bay Area around Christmas, and Bob wanted to visit the Wine Country. So he drove up and stayed in the Napa Valley, tasting at the nearly-closed wineries. Sandi flew up to the Bay Area, attended the seminar, and they met up for a nice drive back to OC.



1979 -- Bob and Sandi were truly together, but Sandi's business prevented her from taking any vacations. We learned the "Fine Art of Taking Long Weekends". Remember folks, time is the precious commodity. Money is good, but it can't buy time, ever.

The now annual trip to Asilomar was preceded by a stay in Cambria on the Gold Coast of California. We managed to also visit some wineries.



1978 -- The famous Labor Day meeting of Bob and Sandi was mixed into the heady brew of a retreat at Asilomar on the Monterey Peninsula. The setting is unmatched, and the facilities excellent. While this was a large group get-together (Mensa), we found each other, and sparks flew. We found that we both enjoyed dining (no dancing), and got away from Asilomar for several evenings in Monterey or Carmel for great scenery and good food.

Soon thereafter (October), Bob took a previously-planned vacation (alone) to Europe. With a Eurrail pass in hand, he saw several countries he had missed 6 years before. The entire continent had changed, however, during the ensuing time. In addition, he came down with a dangerous strain of the flu, and ended up with pneumonia. Not one of the better endings to the travel stories this time.



1977 -- Bob took several winery tours during this time, since he was getting more into California wine. Winter was the most ideal time, with the vineyards wearing their frost and green grass outfits, and wineries being the most friendly to the few visitors. Unfortunately, some of the better restaurants were not open during the holiday period.



1976 -- Not exactly a travel story yet, but Bob broke his leg just before the start of summer. Thus, very little travel, and he had to spend most of the summer watching the 4th of July (200 years!) events, and the Olympics on television, and sweating. In the fall, however, he was able to visit his brother in New Orleans, and enjoy some very, very good food, while hobbling around the French Quarter on crutches.



1975 -- Currently nothing here.



1974 -- Early in the year, Bob and a girlfriend revisit the Central Coast, including Esalen and Tassajara Hot Springs. They continue driving on down to Southern California. They are visiting Disneyland on the day Nixon resigns.

Mid-year, Bob relocates back to So. Calif. The drive down the Coast was punctuated by two events: his '68 Volkswagen bug threw its fan belt (not an uncommon event) on Highway 101, and he was passed by a car towing a trailer at an excessive speed on the same road. Thirty minutes later down 101, he came upon the car and trailer upside down with injury and destruction everywhere. Certainly an object lesson there.



1973 -- European trip for Bob finally ends with re-entry into the US. He manages to make his way to New Orleans about the time of the Mardi Gras, and his brother and sister-in-law help him learn his way around town.

Bob migrates to the Bay area for a few years. Not much travel, but a few items show up. He attended a seminar at Esalen, and took part in a strange trip with friends to the northern Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.



1972 -- Bob's big trip to Europe. He traveled for 9 months and covered a fair amount of territory. All triteness aside, it was one of those life-altering experiences. It was also the type of trip that probably cannot be repeated later in life. He traveled on the cheap, but still managed to learn more about wine (like how to fall into the gutter gracefully) and food than he ever imagined. Don't put it off, folks! Carpe Diem!



1971 -- Late summer, Bob drove up the West Coast as far as the central Oregon coast. This had been planned as a trip to Vancouver Island, BC, but the plans were wildly changed at the last minute. Before he left the Bay Area, he spent several days camping at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Novato.

This Christmas, Bob's family flew to New Orleans to visit his brother. It was Bob's first trip to the Big Easy, and he was much impressed. He and his girlfriend had dinner Christmas Eve at one of the better restaurants (they could not get into Antoines), and he paid the princely sum of $50 for dinner for 2 (drinks, all the trimmings, including Bourbon ice cream for dessert). It is unlikely that this dinner can ever be repeated, either in quality or price.



1970 -- Some time in the Summer, Bob joined a hiking group in the Sierra Nevada mountains south of Lake Tahoe. It was interesting sleeping in a tent at 8,000 feet. Unfortunately, he, and everyone else, contracted giardia from the water and suffered greatly.



1969 -- This was quite a year for everyone. Enough college! Bob bailed out of Eureka and the Bay Area. He took a job in Southern California. For the rest of the year, most of his travels were on business, but he managed to see the wine regions of Northern California, and visit friends in the Bay Area.



1968 -- Relocating from Boston to Sacramento (actually nearby Davis), California, Bob drove straight through with a college buddy. This was a most difficult and strange experience. There were still Burma-Shave signs on the highways, but for the most part the Interstate system had taken over travel. Don't try this at home kids. Fatigue took its toll. Paul Simon was right in the song "America".

This summer, Bob (not having wheels) does a lot of hitchhiking from Davis to Berkeley, Calif. Many interesting events happen, and much rapping takes place.

This fall, while trying to continue studies at Humboldt State College (way up there in the Redwoods), Bob spends a lot of time hitchhiking between there and Berkeley. Even more interesting trips occur, such as sharing a car with a group of surfers who happened to be lumber mill workers. They were on their way down to Santa Cruz, California, to catch the waves.

And by the way, the area of Oregon and Northern California coasts are very beautiful, then and now.



1967 -- Bob took a Spring Break trip (literally) from school in Riverside, California, to San Francisco. The trip did not follow the normal highways of California. The loveliest sight was coming over the coast range into Watsonville in the fog. The green was intense. Bob took infrared color pictures. Paul Simon was right about "Cloudy".

This was the last summer for Bob at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Southern Oregon left a lasting impression on him. This is one of the possible places he would love to retire. Travel to and from the Festival was always interesting, since it punctuated the end and start of school years. For instance, the 1967 trip back home required a long stopover in San Francisco, where the summer of "love" was in full swing.



1966 -- The Oregon Shakespeare Festival again, in Ashland, Oregon. Bob drove himeself up this time.

Christmas in New York City, an unforgettable experience. Bob had only been in the DC area before. This was very different, and very heady. In many ways, this was the tail end of the "old" New York City, cultural center of the United States (especially in the 1940's). Things changed quickly, as Bob noticed in the 1970's. The City is very much different today.



1965 -- Bob's first summer (of three) at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. This year was a threshold between the "old" and "new" eras for the Festival, and he got to see the changes happen. The trip up to the festival was Bob's first commercial airplane trip, and it was a doozie. The short-haul flight from San Francisco to Medford on United Airlines was on a DC-3!



1964 -- Bob drove himself up to Stanford for a summer program in theatre. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival was presenting plays early in the season (before starting in Ashland). This was Bob's first driving trip alone, and the scene at Stanford was unique. He visited San Francisco a few times this summer. Herb Caen was writing a column in the paper, and a music critic pointed out that there was a group called the Jefferson Airplane playing in The City.

After summer school, Bob and a friend drove up the Oregon Coast. The loop took them from Ashland up the central route, to Portland, and then down the coast. Camping was cheap or free, and the scenery was beyond description.



1963 -- As part of a youth organization, Bob got to fly to Washington, DC, and Annapolis, Maryland. A very interesting experience, and the first time that Bob had ever been in an airplane. It was also his first visit to the East Coast.

Turns out that the next day after his visit, the famous Civil Rights March took place. Bob missed seeing Martin Luther King speak (and Bob Dylan perform) by only one day.

At the start of the school year, Bob accompanied a friend, as his father drove us both up to Berkeley to look for housing and get the school year started. Bob traveled back to start his first year at UC Riverside. The friend's father had been stationed in San Francisco in WW II, and he took us to several old haunts in The City that were still there. These places are gone now, razed by redevelopment south of Market Street. It was a real experience to see the "old" San Francisco.



1962 -- Bob took part in a National Science Foundation summer program in San Jose. This was the first time away from home, and was a real eye-opener. Bob got a taste of the college life, and suddenly decided that High School was the pits. He had to attend another year, however, before he could get back into the college life. During this summer, he saw a baseball game at Candlestick park, and saw Willy Mays hit one out (deep center field). A chicken got loose from somewhere, and had to be cornered and grabbed in the bull pen area. The Giants beat the Dodgers.

Oh yes, on a side-trip to San Francisco, Bob bought his first guitar in a pawn shop. He then proceeded to try to play it, in the belief that it would be a "babe magnet".



1961 -- Nothing for now.



1960 -- During the late 50's, Bob traveled with his family on some trips to Arizona and Utah. It was his first visit (of many, now) to the Grand Canyon. They saw Zion and Bryce Canyon parks, as well as the just-completed Glen Canyon Dam. On one winter trip, they drove through the snow-covered roads north of the Grand Canyon. But, the road into the North Rim was closed for the season. Seeing Bryce Canyon in the winter was awesome.



1959 -- See 1960 for Arizona travel during this time period.



1958 -- Nothing for now.



1957 -- Bob's family drove from the LA area to Seattle and back, towing a travel trailer. Fascinating experience. The time period can be accurately determined by the fact that the San Francisco cable cars were about to be destroyed, and a petition (and local election) was in full swing to protect them. This was the "old" San Francisco, before the truly large high-rises. No freeway blotted out the old Ferry Building. Fisherman's Wharf still had fishing boats bobbing in their slips.



1956 -- Family vacations in the 1950's, included tent (and trailer) camping in Yosemite. In the early 50's, we camped by the side of the Merced River. To get the campsite, we just drove our trailer into the Park, and checked at the Ranger Station for a spot. Try that in the 21st century! On one trip, we pulled the heavy old trailer up Tioga Pass on the east side of Yosemite. That was an ordeal, not only because of the summer heat, but the grade of the pass caused the car to overheat countless times.

Some of the old original Yosemite Village was still standing at this time, and they did the "fire fall" every evening. On another trip, we visited Kings Canyon Park. That visit was not as memorable as Yosemite.



1955 -- In the 50's, we often camped (with a trailer or tent) in Carpenteria, California, along the Gold Coast. Bob remembers us camping for a week, while Dad was working, and then he'd join us for the last weekend of the trip. This was the time when Bob, goaded along by his brothers, tried to race the Coast Daylight train. Fortunately, the train outran us....