Saturday, July 28, 2007
The Big Road Trip with my Sister Part 3: The Coast
After traveling across Washington, we headed straight to Seattle. Throughout the whole trip, somehow we managed to hit rush hour in every single big city. We took Highway 1 all the way down the Pacific Ocean Coastline, starting in Seattle. We went up the Space Needle and viewed the city. We took a picture of our tiny yellow car parked in the parking lot down below. We rode on a Trax train. I don't know what it was called, but it was like the Metro in Washington DC.
We shopped. It was fun to do just what ever we wanted. Then when we got bored, we got back onto the road, Highway 1. It was such a beautiful way to travel, Highway 1. We could just drive and look to our right, not to the left, if we were traveling from San Diego to Seattle, NO, we planned that out. That was about the only thing we planned in our whole trip.
We drove on to Oregon. We stopped anywhere we wanted along the road, and explored all the beaches that looked interesting. We gathered seashells and played in the tide pools. We saw Portland and stopped and shopped for souvenirs. We found roadside rest stops to sleep. We bought some wonderful blackberries from a roadside stand. We cooked our breakfasts on the picnic tables at the rest stops, and then took a "shower" in the bathrooms. They had outlets, so we would take a washcloth and wash ourselves with soap, and wash our hair in the sink, then plug in our wonderful rollers. We would use the hand dryer to dry our hair, then we would curl our hair, put on makeup, change clothes into a fresh outfit. We would even wash our old clothes and hang them in the back of the car, and as we drove they would dry. Back in the day, there was no such thing as A/C in cars, except for the very fanciest of BMG's and Cadillac's, so our windows were open and the clothes got dry.
I remember the Portland Roadside stop, for some reason. When we awoke, we realized we were not alone. There was a car near ours with two CUTE boys in it. We had gotten up early enough that we were Beautiful, by the time they awoke. They used the restroom, nodded and went on their way. We were just packing our breakfast gear into the trunk and we got into our car. I remember they passed us several times on our way south and waved. It was fun.
As I think back on that now, I get the chills. As it turned out in hindsight, Ted Bundy was on the loose and happened to be in the Portland area exactly at that time. He preyed on beautiful girls with long dark hair, parted in the middle. We fit that description.
But we went merrily on our way. After Portland, our next stop was Northern California. We stayed at a dear friend's house. She was my mom's roommate from college. She and her husband resided in a wonderful house not far from the beach. ZB and I dressed in our prettiest dresses and walked to the beach that early Sunday morning and I wrote a love note in the sand to my sweet fiancee, and ZB took my picture.
Our sweet host and hostess showed us a wonderful time that day, while we visited. She is an artist and he is her biggest fan. They were still so much in love, it was an inspiration to us. So romantic. We had a wonderful visit, and a great shower. Good food and a comfortable bed was most welcome after our attempt to camp on our own.
Early the next morning, we headed onto San Francisco. I love it there. Even though the song goes, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco", I have to add and $10, which was the parking ticket. It was impossible to find a place to park and even though we drove around and finally thought we had found a legal good place to park, after our exploration of the wonderful city, we found a ticket on our car. :( boo
But we rode the street cars, we took pictures of the pier, visited China Town, Ghirardelli Square (and ate chocolate there too, mmmmm), and spent the whole day there. So if you think about that ticket in today's terms, that wasn't too expensive to park. But being 1973, gas prices had gone from .25 per gallon to over a dollar, and my sweetheart remembers paying $1.39. We both felt like we had been robbed by the police. Being the obedient people we were, we wrote a check, reluctantly and put it in the mailbox and headed out of town on a sour note. We got caught in a traffic jam on our way out, I remember. Just outside of a little town of Livermore, my brand new car lost some sort of belt and we came to a screeching halt along the side of the road. We lifted our hood and looked inside. We had retrieved the belt, but had no idea what to do next. Along came a highway patrolman and picked us up. He drove us back to the tiny town. It was a Tuesday, I remember, and my Daddy's words rang in my head. He had said, "If you ever have trouble and need help, call the Church. I had just joined the LDS church three years earlier, and he was not a member. But his words of advice came in very handy. They were having a youth program, and one of the Young Men Advisers answered the phone. He picked us up, drove us around the town until we found a gas station open and matched the belt. Then he drove us out to our car and put the belt in. He was our hero. Garrison Keilor once said, "When a woman needs a hero, she needs him right NOW." He was so right that night.
We headed on to a small town in the California Desert named Ridgecrest where my older sister lived. It took us all night to get there, and we arrived at around 6 in the morning exhausted and very glad for a cool house and a bed to sleep in.
Here I will sign off and continue our trip in the next Road Trip Blog.