Saturday, April 11, 2015

1960 Trip conclusion

Off to Yellowstone Park.

Leaving our Kentucky family behind we set out towards Yellowstone. We are all alone now as the Leasure's made a beeline to California from their daughter's home. From this point on we were not going to cross off any states from our must visit list. The 1956 trip home had taken this same route. We were making good time through the farms and corn fields of the hartland. We were just outside Scottsbluff Nebraska when we pulled into a road side rest area. Not like the road side rest areas of today. If you were lucky there was a picnic table and a trash can. Most of the time it was one or the other.

Some one had given Mom a location around this area where a marker was placed for this person's relative that had traveled on the Oregon Trail in a wagon train. The ruts of the trail were still visible and given the instructions, Mom thought this might be the place. We waded through waist high weeds to look for the marker but did not have any luck. We stopped in Scottsbluff to visit with a friend of Dad's. I think he was a Letter Carrier that had transferred to Scottsbluff from Santa Monica.

After the short visit we headed once again for Yellowstone. We stopped in Cody Wyoming at the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum and stayed just outside of town in a small campground. Next morning we approached the East Entrance to Yellowstone Park and pulled up to the little booth to pay to go in. The Ranger wanted Dad to pay for two cars since he was towing a Jeep. A long argument about the Jeep being a trailer, not a working car in sued until there was a pretty good back log of cars. These were the days of single lane roads, so people were going to have to wait. I'm sure today you would have to pay for a trailer but in 1960 there was no charge for trailers unless it was a camping trailer. Dad stuck to his guns until the Ranger gave up and waved him through with just a single car charge.

Here we have Dad, Sam and Larry in front of one of the Hot Mineral pools.
Joe Kerr, Sam Kerr and Larry Kerr
After a full day looking for Bears and Buffalo we camped near Old Faithful. We completed our tour of the lower loop road and stayed at a campground near the West entrance. The next morning we were off to Mom's cousin's farm in King Hill Idaho. Our typical summer vacation was to visit Bob and Aileen Lawson. Bob was the son of Mom's Aunt Marie Nye Lawson. They had a farm near Twin Falls before moving to a larger farm in King Hill which is roughly half way between Twin Falls and Boise along the Snake River. This visit would be shorter than normal with our 51 days winding to a close. One thing Mom always like to do on the farm was ride one of their horses. I never saw her ride a horse anywhere but on these visits.
Dorothy Kerr on her cousins horse, King Hill Idaho

Bob and Aileen had 3 sons, Phil who was 3 years older than me, Ron who was 2 years younger than me and John who was in between Larry and Sam. With our ages so close we always had a fun time hanging with the Lawson kids. Swimming in their favorite irrigation ditch or playing baseball. Some work too in their fields of pinto beans, sugar beets, and potatoes.

I believe it was during this visit that we had wild Pheasant for dinner. Bob and Dad had gone out hunting that morning and bagged a few birds in their alfalfa field. They always hunted Pheasant with a .22 rifle. A few years before, Bob had shot 1 of his 2 birds in the head and never let Dad forget that shot. On this trip, Dad shot at a Rooster and when they went to get it there was a Hen about a foot away and also dead. Two birds with one shot. Now it was Dad's turn to boast for the next few years.

We had one more night of camping in central Nevada as the trip pushed to the finish line in Redondo Beach. After 51 days with only two nights in a motel we had crossed the last states off our must visit list. After this trip every member of our family had visited 48 states. For most of us, Hawaii and Alaska would have to wait for several more years.

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