Our Promised Land

Chapter 15.     TRIPS


Arthur G. Thayer

Thayer Coat Of Arms

Copyright © 1983 with all rights reserved by Arthur George Thayer


15.   TRIPS

      In June of 1963, Bill and I drove to Moose Lake north of Wawa, Ontario and rented a tent on an island. Fishing on a lake is fine if one knows where the fish are located. We caught two pickerel and on a small islet found a loon's nest with an egg next to a twig. We saw a moose move through the woods and at night we heard wolves talking to other wolves.

Bill at Moose Lake, Ontario

We camped Moose Lake, Ontario. The tent was on an island.

      Later in August Eva and I drove to Logan, Utah, stopping at Pike's Peak, Royal Gorge, and Salt Lake City to gaze, pant, and marvel at the gorge. We were also able to appreciate the acoustics in the Mormon Temple.

      Sue had flown to Logan a month or so earlier and she enjoyed playing and walking on the campus with Bill's children, Ed and Kim. To irrigate Logan, a contained stream (like a canal) flowed on a slightly contoured line above the streets. The water came down the mountain and at night gates would be opened to flush the streets. The children would be driven up to the start of the stream and would ride a tire tube down to their street. They'd have cold butts at the end of the ride.

      I took Kim and Ed to a commercial trout pond to catch a trout for each of our clan and they were given a rod, line and hook and told to start fishing. The trout bit quickly and the children brought the fish on land. The trout wiggled and startled the children and they weren't too sure they wanted to fish anymore.

      When Bill's school was over, we drove to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It is a very picturesque area with the snowcapped Tetons and a mirror lake along the road. We rode the new ski gondola and I wondered how a skier could traverse his way down to the bottom of the mountain.

      Old Faithful spouted properly as we came to the spot and we saw moose in the fields and bear along the road. The road east from Yellowstone Park is very scenic with valleys, mountains, and trees. We stopped at Mr. Rushmore and the Badlands National Park on our way home.

      Eva, Sue and I rode the rails to the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game in 1966. We boarded the San Francisco Zepher in Chicago one evening and, leaving Denver the next morning, we worked our way up the Rockies, through the Moffet Tunnel, and watched skiers at Winter Park. The train had six engines and fifteen cars. Four were vistadome cars, giving a panoramic view as we rode along the snaky rivers. Thanks to a new Bauer super 8 movie camera, pictures of the trip are excellent.

      Our friends Meg and Jim met us at the depot in Oakland and brought us to their home. They drove us to San Francisco to see Chinatown and ride the cable cars and to view the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay area.

      In Los Angeles, we rented a car to see Disneyland, Hollywood, Sea World, and the Rose Parade and game. At the parade my film was disappearing fast so I stopped taking movies of the bands and just caught the floats. Walt Disney was the grand marshal that year, but the theme of the parade escapes me. The floats were worthwhile viewing, with excellent designs and no tinsel.

      At the game I waited until the quarterback was just about set. I'd then start the movie and stop it when the runner hit the turf. Boy, does that speed up the game! Things go so fast, it's comical to watch and impossible to understand.

      We went on to San Diego where the zoo is the nicest one we have ever seen. We drove up on the high point to scan the area over the city. At a small boat harbor on the bay we had a drink at Trader Vic's and then stopped for a cup of clam chowder at a small restuarant. San Diego and its surroundings is a beautiful area with a wonderful climate. Leaving the car at the border, we walked to hot and dusty Tijuana to gawk and shop.

      Heading east, we rode the "Chief" to Kingman, Arizona, where we rented a car and drove to Las Vegas, a glittering city. One more day in that town and Eva would have been gambling!

      The huge Hoover Dam was our next stop. We looked at it at several spots and then drove to the Grand Canyon to a reserved room at the lodge. The Canyon, with its colors, shapes, and depths, is spectacular and the views and scenes change as the sun moves across the sky.

Grand Canyon 1966

The Grand Canyon in the evening, 1966.

      It was nice to get home. The films were processed and the home movies, slides, and photgraphs were delightful.

      Riding the lifts is quite different from riding the rails. Downhill skiing at the age of 57 was a challenge, but Sue and Ted urged me to do it. Even the bunny hills seemed too much for me, but after struggling with snow plowing, I found I could proceed carefully. However, it took several years to schuss and control my speed without snow plowing.

      Sue and Ted became quite adept, enjoying the moguls and fast skiing. Eva could ski well and then started cross country skiing.

      We would drive to Boyne Mountain or the Highlands near Petoskey, Michigan or to Blue Mountain near Collingwood, Ontario. I enjoyed traversing, which reduced the speed and lengthened the distance of the ride.

      In the winter of 1977, our grandson Ryan, Beccy and Dale's son, who was nearly five years old, skied with us. After two days, he could go anywhere I went. It sure is nice to be young!

      Flying, like skiing, is an "uplifting" experience! I always found flying in a small airplane exciting and I'd go fishing with groups to the International Falls in Minnesota. Sometimes we stayed near Kettle Falls at an old voyageur hotel on Rainy Lake or we'd drive to Fort Francis and fly to a camp sixty or so miles up into Canada. The area had so many lakes the Beaver seaplane could land most anywhere on the way to camp. The dashboard of the Beaver had many gauges, but none of them worked. There were four or five compasses and no two read the same. Fortunately, we flew low and the pilot knew the area.

      Several of us would drive to French River, a river that empties into the northern end of Georgian Bay in Canada. On these trips the camp was well established, had electricity, and even had waitresses. The guide knew where to fish along the river and at noon he'e be filleting the pickerel and frying them to delectation.

      In later years, our group fished at Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee. We used a houseboat trailing a rowboat with an outboard motor and fished for bass in the area. Once a rainstorm with strong gusty winds blew in on us, adding a bit of excitement until the storm blew away. A houseboat is like an ark when winds and visability are poor.

      One year we flew to Florida and followed the Gulf side, landing at Everglades City. We stayed at the Rod and Gun Club and, with the aid of a boat and skipper, caught a five-foot shark and ten or twelve fish, some of which were red snappers. Twice we flew to Key West where we fished for sailfish. One man had his 76 inch sailfish mounted for his fireplace mantle at home

      Eva and I drove to Florida in the late '60s and I followed Route 1 along the ocean to Miami. We saw the Orange Parade with all its tinsel. I went to the senior game at the Orange Bowl to watch Bubba Smith.

      With Elwin Larson, a son of Oscar Larson, Dad's neighbor, we drove to Flamingo, to Ismorada on the Keys, and to a home he was establishing at Fort Pierce.

      At Coral Gables, Dr. Carl Balli, Uncle Charles' son, with his wife Maxine, dined us at their famous country club. Eva and I visited Viscaya, Parrot Jungle, and Seaquarium, each an interesting tourist trap. On Sanibel Island we picked up seashells on the beach -- what a pleasant island it is!

      For several years we went to Goodland on Marco Island to visit Bill and Helen Kramer. Bill is energetic, fun to be with, and a wonderful friend. I've known Bill for more than thirty years and, when he retired, I organized a retirement party for him.

      Bill and I would fish and tend his crab boxes off Marco Island. Slips were dug on shore for boat docks and the shovel would dig oyster shells at depths of ten to fifteen feet, the depth of the slip. Indians dwelt on the island for many years and they must have been great oyster shuckers!

      At the north end of the island, developers started a "city". High rise buildings were erected, homes were built, a golf course was laid out, and a small airport was established. The shore was sandy and shelling was excellent, especially after a storm had subsided and the tide was right.

      One year Eva and I drove to Goodland with our motorhome, taking Ted's wife and his son Bart. On the way home we visited Disneyworld for three days. Bart got lost, but thought his stay with the Disney police was okay!

      Each time we traveled to Florida we bought oranges and some grapefruit to take home.


                      Other Chapters

                        1.     Atlantic
                        2.     Silica
                        3.     Oil City
                        4.     Boat Trip
                        5.     Chris's Home
                        6.     Hubbard Lake
                        7.     Hunting and Fishing
                        8.     Our Farm
                        9.     Schools
                      10.     The Depression and the 30's
                      11.     Michigan State University
                      12.     Jobs
                      13.     Our Home
                      14.     Boating
                      15.     Trips
    Next - - - 16.     The Tropics
                      17.     With The Kids
                      18.     It Is Written


                      Thayer Letter


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Copyright © 2001 with all rights reserved by William V. Thayer

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