Recap is a written account my grandmother kept. I found it amongst her things after she passed. It was fin to read her account and see what type things impressed her or didn;t impress her! Family Vacation 1964
These are the words of my Grandmother, Grace Dixon. She and my Grandfather, Ernest Dixon and my Uncle, Ernie Dixon accompanied us on this trip. I found a little notebook with this account in amongst some photos of theirs.
Left Wichita May 29, 1964 at 6:18 a.m. down a county road to highway 2 in Lee’s new Chrysler station wagon. Next highway 160. 7:00 Saw 3 big combines going out to combine wheat. The most wheat fields that I ever saw! 7:15 Rain. Rough and rolling hills west of Medicine Lodge (Kansas) sort of like the badlands. 8:30 stopped raining. Changed to highway 54 at Meade. 12:00 ate lunch in a roadside park and froze; saw adobe building at Cuero (New Mexico) and Newkirk (New Mexico) saw a deer by side of road. Ate supper in Albuquerque at 5:15. Spent the first night in Grants, New Mexico, 700 miles from Derby.
Left Grants (New Mexico) at 6:15 a.m. Ate breakfast in in Gallup at 7:15. Such worthless country. 9:30 Petrified Forest (Arizona) then on to Meteor Crater which was a huge and unbelievable thing. From there to Flagstaff and Sunset Crater which was also unbelievable. It is said to have erupted in 1064 and as late as 900 years ago. We saw ashes and cinder for miles. Then a beautiful drive across Navajo bridge on the Colorado. Reached Jacobs Lake Inn about 7 p.m. Sat. where cabins cost us $20.00 and the water was shut off during the night in ours. We got up early Sunday and went to the North Rim Restaurant where we ate breakfast and spent until 11:00 looking at the Grand Canyon, a more wonderful sight I think I’ll never see. We ate lunch in park at Jacobs Lake and started for Utah. Entered Utah at 1:45. Here the rock formation was also grand. Next we saw Zion Park. I was wrong. It was just as spectacular as the Grand Canyon. Cabins in St. George, Utah at 5:30 Sunday.
We got up at 4 o’clock and on our way at 4:45. Ate breakfast in Las Vegas Monday. Not much scenery except Joshua tree cactus and rugged hills on the way to Death Valley. 10:00 entered Death Valley (California) June 1, 1964. Nice cool breeze. The valley has vegetation, which I didn’t expect and wasn’t as hot as I expected. The mountains were high on both sides, especially the west. We ate dinner in Lone Pine City between the High Sierra and Inyo Mountains then drove on to Yosemite. Such a breathtaking mountain drive I have never been on! The waterfalls and giant sequoias were wonderful sights to see!
Tuesday June 2. Spent the night with Dorothy and Harold Kempeler. Went to Russell’s Wednesday, no one was home, sure was disappointed not to see them.
Wednesday June 3 drove around in San Francisco and spent the night with Jack and Juanita Lynn. Also Thursday night. Started for Los Angeles at 12:30 Friday. Stopped in Fresno and had an hour’s visit with Aunt Grace Denny. Dad (Ernest) saw her when he was a baby. She was 73 years young. Arrived at Alfred’s at 10:00 Friday. Russell and Francis were there!
Saturday 10 of us went to Knott’s Berry Farm enjoyed the museum most. These were the ones who went: Alfred, Viz, Russell, Francis, Debby, Kathryn, Jack, Ernest, Ernie, and I (Grace). On our way we went to Dairy Valley – a town that has the biggest dairies that I ever expect to see.
Wanda and Lee (Mike and Denise) spent the night with Jewel Dean. We stayed at Alfred’s and the whole Dixon bunch spent Sunday with Kathryn.
Monday we went to Marine Land. Such an interesting place just didn’t have enough time to look. Spent Monday night with Jewel Dean. Mable, Mrs. Cheek, Earl and wife came down. We had a nice visit.
Tuesday Jewel Dean went with us to Forest Lawn Park saw the famous painting of the Crucifixion, 195 feet by 40 painted by Jan Styka. Drove through Hollywood and little of Beverly Hills then went through the Science and Industry building. Very interesting. All of us spent Tue. Night with Alfred and Viz and started for home. Stopped at Curtis’s for about an hour. Donald and Emma were there. Came down the coast through Santa Ana, San Juan Capistrano, and San Diego, here we went to zoo. Then to Tijuana, Mexico where I bought a purse. Between San Diego and El Centro, California there wasn’t much but pure rock hills after El Centro there was pure sand hills for a distance and after Yuma (Arizona) where there was irrigation , miles of orange groves. Next the Gila Mountains and saw tour first barrel cactus. We went on to Gila Bend and drove to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The huge cacti were thick as a forest. We passed through a copper mining town (Ajo) also an Indian mission. Places so desolate in the desert. Lee stepped on cactus thorn and hollered so loud we thought he had been snake bitten! We bought lunch in Tucson and couldn’t find a park to eat it in until about 3 o’clock. We were so hungry that we were about sick as we had breakfast before 6 o’clock. More nothing except hills, mountains, rocks, cactus and sage brush.
Deming, New Mexico was a nice desert town. Spent Thursday night in El Paso, Texas and started for Carlsbad. At 7:30 Friday morning Dad (my grandfather Ernest) and Ernie took a short tour the rest took the 3 ½ hour tour. It was grand and wonderful. Wanted to see the bat flight but would have been too long of a wait so we left N.M and entered Texas again on 63 highway. Between Carlsbad and Hobbs New Mexico there was a lot of pot ash mines and some oil wells, after Hobbs, in Texas, saw the flattest and most productive land on the whole trip home, all irrigated. The irrigation pipes were on wheels that could be moved around over the fields. We followed 62 east to Lamesa, then 87 north to Lubbock through Plainview to Amarillo then to 60 to Pampa. Spent the night in Lubbock. Here was the wide open spaces. Farming as far as the eye could see, mostly cotton, wheat and sorghum cane, no fences except where there was stock, and no vegetable gardens around the homes. Between the towns of Kingsmill and Pampa was oil fields and refineries then soon the land began to have gullies the hills and trees and no farming. We entered Oklahoma about 1 mile from Higgins. The farms were very productive here, mostly wheat on gentle rolling hills also grazing land. Followed highway 60 to 283, then went north through Shattuck and Laverne, Oklahoma to highway 64 east to Buffalo and north on 183 to Kansas then to 160 the route we started on – arrived in Derby at… (there was no time listed).