Friday, June 15, 2007

Vacations (2)

A Long Trip

As I mentioned before, we only vacationed in Utah when I was growing up. In the early years, from the time my parents were married (in Sept of 1952) until the freeway was constructed (sometime in the 60s), the trip took 18 hours. Now my mom was young (16), when she married my dad, and was anxious to get "home" to see her parents and siblings. My dad told me they made 2 or 3 trips the first year, and even settled for a time in American Fork. Dad wasn't making as much money in Utah as he had in the mines of Northern Idaho, and they were really strapped for cash. He told me a story about that time, that ended with my mom saying she wanted to go back home. "Home?" my dad asked her, "Where is home?" "North Idaho." she replied, and they moved back to the place where I would be born and raised. I think Dad was relieved that mom trusted him to provide for her, even though they would not be living close to her "family."

How to travel with kids

When I was in grade school, the trip had shortened to a mere 14 hours, due to the sections of freeway that were built along the route. Mom would pack the "jockey box" full of lifesavers and such, to keep us occupied, and we would often play the "Alphabet Game" on the way down the road. When we were really young, we would leave around 1:00 am [not long after Dad came home from working "swing shift" (3-11pm)], so my sister and I would sleep the first 8-10 hours or so. This meant that there was less time of us saying, "How much longer until we're there?"

The usual route & music – or lack thereof

Most of the time, we left No. Idaho - heading East on Interstate 90 [Old US 10]. After we came out of the mountains, there were fields of cattle here and there in Montana. When R was really little, she called them kitty-cows, and I thought that was really funny. Usually, we turned South just outside of Butte, MT, and travelled I-15 [old US 91] all the way to Provo, UT.

In the 60s, much of the road was still 2 lanes, and nearly all the radio stations in Montana (that we could pick up) were AM stations that played Country music. (I hated Country music - and if you have ever heard early Country - you may have had the same feelings.) Most of the time, we couldn't get any music on the radio - or what we did pick up was full of static (or static-y, as we would call it.)

I didn’t care much for sagebrush scenery, and from Butte south, that’s about all you see until you reach the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. I certainly got my fill of Country music and sagebrush on the trip. (For this reason, as soon as I was old enough, I would bring numerous books to read, puzzle books to play with, and my all time favorite summer treat: Summer Weekly Reader! I loved the games and puzzles in there and there was always something interesting to read about.

The longest stretch

In the days of the two lane road, the longest stretch of road was between Dubois and Roberts, because there were no turns or distinguishing landmarks. One trip when I was about 5-7 yrs old, we hit that stretch late at night. Mom had decided to climb in the backseat and sleep and I climbed into the front seat to keep my dad awake. He suggested we count the number of dead jackrabbits on the road. I don't know how many we saw (and there were a lot), but I do remember the feelings of importance I had in talking to my dad and keeping him awake along that stretch of road.

Favorite Eating Places

My parents had some favorite places to stop and eat along the way. If we were going through Butte, we often stopped in Deer Lodge, and ate breakfast at a restaurant kitty-corner from the Old Prison - (which was still being used at that time). I was fascinated by the stone structure with its guard walks and turrets, but I was always nervous that someone might escape when we were there.

For lunch, we'd stop at Doc's on Broadway in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Although the restaurant was no longer there, the building was still standing when my husband and I moved to town 16 yrs ago. Recently, the building was torn down. It was located somewhere near the new Wendy's and the road beside it are located on Broadway, across from Boozer's truck stop. Dad thought it was pretty cool when the freeway went in, because we could take the Broadway exit, go about one block to Doc's to eat and get right back on the freeway. Our third stopping place was in Tremonton, Ut. We'd go to a little cafe on the main drag as we passed through town. It seems to me, the place there was named after some bears. . . or there was a sign with bears on it, but I can't remember the name.


Jackie said...

Alright! More of the story! Love it, but really....BOOZER's truck stop??????

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Actually, it's called Boozer's Quick Stop. Coming from CdA - through Montana - go south on I-15, take the Broadway exit, turn left, go under the freeway and it is the first business on your left.

Apparently the family name for the people who own it. There were 3 listings in the phone book for people with the last name Boozer. (Spelled just that way.)

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