My mother’s been gone a little over 12 years now. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her or Dad. I was looking through some paperwork in an old toolbox of mine, and came across a letter Mom wrote going on 41 years.
The envelope is slightly yellowed yet the letter inside is unblemished. I’m thankful we didn’t have e-mail or text messages back then, otherwise I wouldn’t possess this wonderful keepsake. Mother composed this while on the road as her and Dad searched for a K.O.A. campground to purchase. That was always my father’s dream.
In this correspondence, she mentions places they’ve been and seen, an episode with her little Shiatzu dog, “Trinket”, encounters with homeless people, folks traveling from Florida and California, and other humorous observations. Mom was always good at keeping us informed when they traveled.
On August 3, 1981, our son Gunnar was in kindergarten, while daughter Miranda was barely one year old. I was managing one of my folk’s automotive parts stores during this time, while Joleen was in charge of payroll at D.O.T.
I’ve transcribed things as written. This piece of family history went into my safe afterwards.
Page 1 Friday July 30th
We’re in Burns, Oregon. Good name for area – my whole body was burning time we stopped. We got into here after 2 p.m., didn’t think we could make Bend, OR. before late. High desert country – you can mark Idaho, Utah off my list. Pocatello was neat town but still in rolling desert land. We looked at K.O.A. campground for sale. Went on to Brighton, Utah to look at another K.O.A.. Both was nice and one at Brighton was more our style and price but so hot during day. Nite was hottest winds blowing, at Pocatello cool off at night. My headache about killed me and my nose was running like faucet – Must be bad country for sinus.
Brighton was all Cherry Orchard, Peaches, Apples, Plum, Apricot, plus Corn, but all farms was irrigated. I didn’t realize Idaho, Utah was all desert land, so much bare land, sage grass, tumble weeds – kept thinking must see wagon trains, Indians on war path – really what reminded me of. Burns is desert also. Ontario, Oregon – Idaho (Border). H’way 84-20 – is Onion Country, never see so many onion acres in my life. Last nite we stayed at Mountain Homes, Idaho, met this young man traveling by Bike from San Diego, going Yellowstone, then on to Illinois – said had 18 gears on bike – still didn’t see how got up down some these Mt’s and passes. – today we was mostly in canyon –
Talk about Alaskan H’way winding. H’way 20 got it beat. Did I write about Trinket and her water jar – well she ride in car so have to keep her water, started out with one Miranda baby food jar, then somehow switched to jelly jar. She refused drink til I poured into baby jar. She almost went to Doggie Heaven in Utah – guess heat really threw her loop. We’re headed into Bend, Or. – then down 97- We hope find cool spot and hold up while. Wheel seal going out on Ford – thinking of trading it for smaller car.
Having car fixed
Knew people were weird but sure met some variety – can tell some people not all there – peoples minds so confused just roaming around. Fla. people moving out because too crowded, Calif. too many people. Some just not knowing what they want. Really don’t know anything write. I’m ready find hole stay for awhile. Would like to go in some Nat. Forest for least a week. But that not Hank’s ball of wax. No need say I love you so very very much. I pray to Jesus every day for all of you. Give my babies a hug, kiss.
P.S. Didn’t see tater patch one all across Idaho.