Adventures in the Silver Twinkie
The 1959 Trip Diary of Mrs. Harold J. (Irene B.) Dobbs and family
New Jersey to California and back, before the Interstates
Book One - Pages 1-24
Log of Trip
June 13, 1959
Leave home at 12 o'clock N. Got as far as LaStations & remembered Dougs coats, Jan & Steve went back.
Suggestion for Father's Day Long socks
Stopped at Lebanon - Kirk's Diner for Lunch - $5.65 + 25 C/ tip.
Time back on road - 1:15 p.m.
Entered turnpike at 4:30 -
10:00 Night spent at New Stanton
Rest stop on an abandon lane
Birds sang beautifully this morning - especially thrush and song sparrow.
Went to Howeard Johnson for cup coffee - called Jean Shuey.
Off at New Stanton interchange at 8:55 a.m. on June . Waited for Jean at exit - came at 9:20
Arrived at Shuey about 9:30. A beautiful place outside of Pittsburgh. Mrs. Shuey had the table all set with pretty white cloth & silver ware and breakfast lunch (brunch) allready for us - Pancakes, Maple syrup from Somerset, fried ham, orange juice, coffee and milk. We were glad for use of their bathroom. It's a lovely old home with wide yard & fields surrounding it belonging to Mr. Shuey's family for many years. It's on the old Forbes Trail from Hannostown to Pittsburgh. Inside it is filled with lovely old pieces of family furniture which Mrs. S has refinished herself and she has some wonderful dishes. We walked to the top of the hill which seemed to be on top of the world. It is a perfect June day - white clouds - but quite a wind which makes it very cool. Doug & Steve played with the new kittens and ran thru
(Pg 3) Steve's birthday Silly Putty
fields. We enjoyed our visit and hope to return. We took our leave about 12:15 and are now riding thru very scenic country towards Washington, Pa. and Ohio - Doug now asleep in back on sleeping bags. 1 P.M.
Seven miles east of Washington saw our first oil well drilled on a small farm.
Town passed through called Pancake, Pa. named for founder John Pancake.
Entered West Virginia at 3:15 pm after stop for short lunch.
Road hilly winding and narrow
Lots of Sunday drivers
Wheeling, West Virginia at 3:45
Statue of Pioneer Mother - still impressive. Homes very grand.
Crossing Ohio River to Bridgeport, Ohio
4 o'clock - now in Ohio.
Stoped at Greenlawn Trailer Court 1/2 mile east of Zanesville Ohio - 6 pm
fairly nice place. Put up camp & had supper at Restaurant. Talked with a few interested trailer people - Bed - Called Kay & Bud
Leaving camp at 9:10 A.M. EDST on way to Columbus & Pryors.
Passed thru Morristown, O. yesterday this am noticed sign Far Hills Motel - Weather perfect - cool sun, beautiful clouds
Arrived at Kay and Buds at 11:30 A.M. EST - 10:30 their time Marburn Drive, Columbus Ohio. They have a very lovely colonial home in an attractive home section. Kay looks the same. Bud a bit older. Their home is very attractive inside and very much like Kay. We had coffee & cake - Bud stayed home from office. Friends at New Hope - Don Hedges - Mrs Headges - Far corner gift shop on right at New Hope - look up in Aug
"Don't Laugh - its paid for" on a caddie in Ind.
Left Pryors at 12:30 EDST and are on our way. Got gas at Station near Buds plant Ternstadt Parts of G.M.
Entered Indiana at 4:30 EDST buttime changes to Central so now 4:30. Stoped at Shopping Center in Richmond. Bought some drugs and necessities. Food shopping, drove on - kept looking for place to stop. Finally saw a school in Carthage - pulled up to inquire if we could park by it - saw a little freckled face boy named Tommy who would take us to the principal. Principal not home went on down the street and found a Methodist Church - ask the miister if we could stay & he welcomed us very generously. Took Tommy home and then set up camp. Our children Doug & Steve got the balls out and soon had a gang of children playing. Jim sat in the car &
listened to radio. Jan got supper.
After supper Mr. & Mrs. Allison the pastor came over to visit. We talked of his work - he is a mechanic at Ford & holds two pastorates. He has 4 children. Had first good nights sleep last night but not long enough. Heard 2 trains go thru. Left June 16, at 9:15 E.D.S.T.
Indianapolis - statue in center of city - Capitol Building - We are feeling pretty tired this morning -
11 o'clock EDST stopped at Indianapolis Speedway. A BIG place. The boys enjoyed it - the drinking fountain entranced Doug.
12:30 E.D.S.T. Riding thru Indiana farm country. Flat. occassional hill corn, pigs, tractors, Ernie Pyle Memorial Highway
Crossed Wabash R.
1:25 E.D.S.T. Crossed into Illinois
Crissman [??not very legible]
Stopped for ice at Newman
Illinois met a driver for new Airstream
Art & Dottie Danford
# 1462 Airstream Dallas Texas
Passed #495 Airstream Alison sitting
in yard up road "a piece"
Outside of East Decatur heat set
in and Jan didn't feel well. Pulled
on a side street so she could
get her equilibrium for a while.
Parked on street as man came
home - he was very pleasant
Told us all about his children
and his son in Wisconsin whom
he thought we were. He is a gas
Along the way from Decatur
to Springfield they have mowed
the grass and oh it smells
so sweet - like rare perfume
Stopped in Springfield for
dinner at Howard Johnson
Dinned in the Lincoln Room
Springfield is a very pretty
city - beautiful home, saw
a name of a development which
appealed Fox Meadows
9:25 E.D.S.T. town of Orleans
Ill. passed 1000 mark on miles
stopped for nite at Blue
Ridge Trailer Park - 2 blocks N.
Route 36 - short of Jacksonville -
Wed June 17th
10:15 E.D.S.T. 9:15 C.D.S.T.
Leaving Blue Ridge - Weather
fine - will be warm - Steve
and two boys from N.C. had
fun shooting off Steve's missile
They said "If you all would stay
here you all'd find it a nice
place." They live with their
parents & 4 yr old sister in a big trailer there
while their dad installs irrigation
systems. Gulf Station friendly service in town very nice
mileage 4097 287 miles yesterday
Beautiful farms - flat country
Lots of Black Angus, Herefords & pigs
Silly Putty - postcards - graduation cards sneakers
Wed - June 17 contd.
Beyond Borey - [spelling unclear]
Saw a white egret standing in
the middle of a plowed field
Caught up with the Nimrod
Campers from Ohio - License #
Country becoming more rolling
and hilly like home.
Crossed Mississippi at 11 EDST
Saw Cardiff Lighthouse and
are now in Hannibal, Mo.
Stopped in Samuel Clemens
(Mark Twains) home along the
Mississippi. It was fascinating &
as always - very moving to be
among the surroundings of one of our
great literary citizens. (Radio states
Temp today 79° - tomorrow 90°)
One interest was a copy book of 1850 used
by Charles & James Parker which had
S. Clemens name in it. Both boys joined
the Confederate Army and James was
killed at Gettysburg.
1:45 E.D.S.T. 11:45 C.S.T Stopped for lunch
Bought Steve & Doug hats
Doug fell off
fence & scraped
under trees by R.R. Station at
Shelbina, Mo. Cool and lonely.
Passed thru a town called
Clarence, Mo. Jim now driving
The birds sing all day long
Regular roller coaster country.
Arrived in St. Jo, Mo. at 6:45
E.D.S.T. 4:45 C.S.T. St. Jo
a hilly big city - hot! (92°)
6:55 crossed the Missouri River
into Kansas Sign says Kansas
Centennial - 1961 Welcome to Kansas
Stopped for supper at Troy
Kansas along street by County
Court House - trees were big and
it was cool in the shade - also
a big lawn for the boys to "stretch"
on. I was hardly out of the car
when I looked up on the lawn
and there was Doug surrounded
by 3 children & 2 dogs. Steve
joined and by time supper
was ready there were several
children & dog playing "frisbee"
They saw a very very large snake
dead along street The children
said it was a corn snake.
We had boiled eggs - a "hunk" of
left over chuck, canned peas,
Franco Macaroni & cheese, few left green beans
fresh from home, lettuce & fruit salad
Country thru here is more
rolling then I expected - soil a
deep rich black. Farms, spacious
well kept, homey. I like Kansas
Wheat is golden like Dougs hair
Kimmel Oil Co. Stopped at
10:30 E.D.S.T. at Nemaha State
Park near Seneca. Of necessity
we parked near the lake about 10 ft
away. Moon on water was pretty and lapping
Thurs. June 18
Leaving camp at 10:45 E.D.S.T.
8:15 C.S.T. Mileage 4468
Weather cloudy, warm. Lots
of Canada Thistle in Doom.
On way Belleville Kansas beautiful
wheat fields - at Belleville saw
first large grain elevator
On a bit farther on right saw an old sod barn.
Mailed cards near Lonewell [sp?]
Fragrant grasses along roadside
send a pleasant fragrance
into us. Saw first tornado
cellar. Upon one hill the
world lay at our feet - world
of wheat corn trees - country a beautiful sight
On right near Montrose is
eroded plateaus - covered with
grasses & cattle grazing
Lots of wheat straw stacked as Steve
said like gigantic loaves of bread.
Passed Geographical center of
U.S. at Lebanon, Kansas
Stopped at Smith City, Kansas
for lunch at 11:50 C.S.T.
A typical mid-western town - flat
sandy or similar textured soil
described by the children as
a "dead town" - it is hot and
people know better than to be
about - we saw a city park & were
trying to find a way to drive into
it so we could park the trailer
under a tree when a short browned
little man carrying a carton under
his arm said Hi - you need help.
I'll help you so he told us how to
go the back street to the park. He
met us as we arrived and gave
us all the story of the town. Said
"You are as welcome here as you
can be - we would be glad to
have you stay! Stay as long as
you like." Then he went on to
tell of his doings. Talk for awhile
went home and then came back.
Said his name was Raymond.
The cotton woods were shedding
and the cotton was blowing. Doug
as usual collected several children
and brought them to the trailer
Marilyn, Sherri, Johnny Post,
When we left he called "Bye I'll
be seeing you." Both he & Steve
enjoyed the swing. After
lunch we went shopping for food
Clerks all say hi
Very nice store. Then started
west again - country becoming
more flat - wheat & grain
elevators only horizon - ho trees or
hills - Country however beautiful.
Saw some combines threshing
wheat. Stopped at Oberlin
Kansas, a nice clean up & coming
town scene of last Indian Raid
in 1878. Like this town -
Stopped at a nice little place
for icecream and coke. We
enjoy hearing the people talk
We are now going thru the
Great Plains. Windmills quite
prevalent - lots of storage bins for
grain & corn. On horizon small
hills but no trees. Every clump
of trees one finds a farmhouse
1/2 drive beyond Oberlin the
scene changes again. Hills
are becoming higher and we
are getting into pastures with
buffalo grass in it - more
rocks are beginning to crop out
saw first irrigation system
west of Mississippi
Stopped at Attwood Kansas for
ice - 60¢ - 20 lbs of ice Also ate
in Lake Side Cafe for supper.
Can't get over hills and knobs but barren
Trees, windmill farm buildings
silhout'd against sunset
elevation here is 336 .
Little brown house sitting in the
middle of a wheat field - with
sun on it [tiny sketch of house]
Crossed into Mountain Time
near Bird City - Back into flat
fertile farm lands.
I drove for a few miles
Sign on road at 10:30 E.D.S.T.
8:30 M D S T Welcome to Colorful
Roads wide - open & very
few cars - made 410 miles
today. Stopped at a little
gas station where a little girl
about 10 was pumping gas. We
ask her directions and she answered
go down a way south then turn
west. All directions are by
Friday, June 19th Steve's birthday
Last night as we were
riding along the lights from
the homes looked like ships
at sea when at Montauk -
so far apart. It was a
magnificent sight and a wonderful
time for driving the evening star
looked as though we could touch
it. Jim saw 2 Jack Rabbits.
Finally stopped at a town
called Cope, Colo. We parked
in the park under a large cotton
wood tree. During the night
a hard wind came up and
later we had a hard rain
thunder & lightning. As we
ride along the space is
breathtaking - so few homes
but space. Passed a little
sod house along the road where
someone had homesteaded. It
looked rather crumbly but was
home. Poppies and miniature
sunflowers grow along the
roadside. Saw a ring-necked
pheasant run across a plowed
Beginning to see Ranches - passed
Hoonan Ranch. Another 3T [?]
Saw a beautiful bird. large -
black & white long tail - would
like to know name. (Magpie) [Her note in parentheses added later in pen]
Wild field flowers are prolific
Yucca plants all around.
Beginning to see really high
12 N. M.S.T. we are in Denver
1.o'clock we are parked in
Modern City Trailer park - Rocky
Mountains Right in back of us.
Denver is a wonderful city
and I have already fallen
in love with it. We got lunch
and then headed for the laundry
to do washing. It was quite a
thrill to hang out the clothes
and also watch the sun play
tag with the shadows on the
snow capped Mts. Met a couple
from Phoenix, Ariz. who own a Bell-
wood trailer. They are going to
Estes park. After hung out clothes
at which time a near by trailer woman called
out "Please stop slamming that door."
Then the trailer lady next to
the laundry was so pleasant
Has a little 5 weeks old daughter
Steve & Doug enjoyed her husband
who had a motorcycle. When got
back to trailer all family left
to go shopping for Steves birthday
The other trailer next to us
the woman said, "I just won't
have your awning against my trailer
I just won't have it." So we took
it down. The owner came along and
gave us a new court which was
nicer. Jan bought a cake, & candles
for Steves birthday. We had hamburger
which I had bought yesterday in Smith
City. Potatoes, green beans, bread - butter
and then a lighted birthday cake - gave Steve
his gifts from us and Grandma which
she had sent with us. After supper
Jan, Steve and Jim went
to a Drive in. They saw 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. Doug
and I went to bed. The mts are dimmed
but the lights sparkle in the clear air.
Sat. June 20, 1959. Air hot this am.
so decided to do a second wash.
Washed sheets, underwear, etc. Met
a Mrs. Gates who trailers from
Montana to Texas. Her husband
is a gov't geodedic man. She
told us about what to do in a
tornado - open trailer windows & go
to deepest drainage ditch. It rains
once a day in Denver.
Sun. June 21st
Weather sunny but clouding in
Mileage 5087 - We went to
church this morning at 8:15 - Presbyterian
it was a lovely church - soft pink
and wine color. Cork, brick center aisle
after Church came back to trailer
and children had it all cleaned
& ready to go. Changed into
clothes and left - time 10:05 M.S.T.
Cottonwood blows like snow.
Stopped at Loveland at the
City Cafe - a very nice
Restaurant - Roast Beef Dinner
for $1.00. milk, icecream included
Food was very good. Jim
had Rocky Mt. Rainbow Trout.
Loveland is a very beautiful
spot. Dad took pictures across
the lake. Wild flowers and
birds are abundant.
Starting thru Big Thompson Canyon.
Sides are sheer 1000 ft high. The River rushes by side of Road. Palisade Mt
on right 8230 ft high, Sugar Loaf 8,090 ft
"Did you see that giant rock there
(Pg 21) [This was confusing, a page out of chronological order somehow]
Sat June 20 cont'd.
After lunch we went shopping at
a large shopping center in rain. Bought some
things. Then started for Lookout Mt &
Buffalo Bills Grave. It is 7-? thousand
feet high on a cork screw road but
we made it to the top even tho pouring rain. Had a chat
with a lady who was born & reared near
here. We passed by the Zieglers home
a lovely little ranch house but didn't
stop. On top of plateau to right of us was a ranch.
Sun. June 21st cont'd -
[bottom half of page blank]
14,000 ft [note at top of page then blank half page]
[This is where the car's carburetor, set
for sea level air pressures gave out and
needed to be re-tuned to mountain conditions.
We got stuck going up a mountain road and had to
back slowly down to where Dad could jack knife
the trailer into a turnout and get pointed
down the mountain again. A park ranger helped us.
I remember being warned not to go in the back of the trailer
since it was hanging over a looong drop. Dad had to unhitch,
get turned around and re-hitch up the trailer. He, at age 48,
was huffing and puffing at that altitude, we kids were scampering
all over the place.]
Mon. June 22nd
Left camp this AM at 9:15 - went
into Estes Park & had the car tuned.
Jan & I had fun shopping - then
we started again over the Mountain
At entrance of Park we noticed elevation
at 8,242 ft At Deer Ridge stopped
for a few minutes. Then started up
past spot where we were stuck
yesterday. What a joy to pull
past that! We stopped at
Rainbow Curve & took pictures
There it was quite a beautiful
Birds - Clark Nut cracker Wyoming
Magpie Mt Squirrel
spot. Birds and chipmunks
were abundant. As we
proceeded on after a moment
of concern we saw a
Mt. Goat among the rocks. Stopped
at the Loll [?] Memorial. Alpine flowers
abundant. Snow drifts deep
High point 12,183 ft at 12:20
pm M.S.T. New game - up Mom
down Mom for the going thru
here is edgy. Stopped at ____?____ [her note]
& talked to ranger about birds & flowers
"We coming back down to the
timberline" The tundra is
high above us & without trees or
shrubs - only tundra grass.
Snow stil abundant.
Stopped for lunch at a Picnic
area - a lovely spot. Snow patches all over.
Phantom Ranch and Timber
Creek Camp both good campsites
We leave Rocky Mt National Park
and turn short of Grundy onto Route
40. We ride thru a canyon along
side the river - sheer ledge on
one side - no guard rail on other
then thru 3 miles of Construction
finally passed over Troublesome
Creek & town of Troublesome.
The meadows are filled with
Blue flag flowers. Must detour
thru Arapaho National Forest.
[Very goofy drawing by some five year old kid... :) ]
[End of book one. To be continued]