4155 Lancaster Drive, Space #72, Salem, Oregon 97303
For the first time in our lives, my wife and I made a leisure trip, visiting friends and relatives and sightseeing. Covered over 8,000 miles.
In July we made a trip to Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. We got a call from the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to bring our miniature farm display for a six day show. We loaded the little farm in our Datsun pick-up with a canopy on it. Drove to Lake Louise and Banff, Alberta, then on to Red Deer where we visited a nephew for a day and a half. While there went on up to Wetaskiwin, Alta. near Edmonton, to a tractor collector's place known as Reynolds Museum. He has 600 tractors of old vintage, both steam and gas; around 400 old cars; 100 motorcycles and some airplanes. Very few are restored. We spent a few hours there. As I have a walking problem, didn't get out to see possibly 300 of the tractors. Mr. Reynolds has quite a lot of duplicates.
On to Saskatchewan to my old home town of Davidson, where my brother and family live, and visited a few days. Then we proceeded on to Saskatoon to set up our display. The attendance at the Museum was very good, as the week we were there was their annual Pioneer Days celebration. They threshed every day, had a parade and tractor pulling.
While we were at my brother's place, he had a heart attack. After two days at their local hospital he was moved to Saskatoon Hospital where he seemed to be getting along fine. After our show was over, we left for Regina, Sask. to visit there for a couple of days. Then on west, back to Salem, having traveled a little over 3,200 miles. When we got home, we got the sad news that my brother had passed away that morning. He was 58.
Later that week we set up our little farm display at Western Antique Powerland, Brooks, Oregon for our 2 weekends threshing show there. The 14th and 15th of August we displayed our little farm at Dufur, Oregon during their threshing show.
On August 25 we left with our car for a midwest trip. Spent a half day visiting friends in Pocatello, Idaho; then over the hill to Casper, Wyo., and on into Custer Park - several stops in the park to visit museums. Next, on to Mt. Rushmore, which is really something to see. Went east out of Rapid City, South Dakota, on Highway 90, took a side trip around through the Bad Lands, which is very unique and something I don't understand. On to Murdo, South Dakota, where we spent the night and early next morning went through a very good museum there; they have around 200 old cars and some old farm tractors and machinery.
Headed on east into the corner of Minnesota and then south to #9 Highway to Forest City and Fertile, Iowa. We visited at Fertile for a week with my sister and family. It was awfully dry all across South Dakota and Iowa. The corn was short and burnt brown and the soybeans yellow.
We left Fertile Saturday morning the 4th of September for Charles City, Iowa, to attend the Cedar Valley threshing show. Charles City is the home of the Hart-Parr tractors. The factory which is now White Motor Co. was closed on Saturday, so did not get inside, which I would have liked very much to do. As I had the pleasure of farming with Hart-Parr tractors in Saskatchewan in the 1920s. For many years there has been a 30-60 Hart-Parr displayed in a plastic cage on the court house lawn there in Charles City. As we drove by, the tractor was not in there, but when we got to their antique tractor and threshing show, seven miles out in the country, there sat the old 30-60 running like a new one. I believe I enjoyed seeing that old 30-60 running as much as anything on my trip.
We also visited the Little Brown Church in the Vale, just a few miles out of Charles City. Later on we headed south for Mt. Pleasant, to take in their show the next two days. As this antique tractor show and threshing bee is such a big one, it is impossible to get a place to stay overnight within a 40 mile radius of Mt. Pleasant, so we stayed at Iowa City. The crops looked good around Iowa City and on to Mt. Pleasant.
We arrived at Mt. Pleasant Show Grounds around 9 A.M. on the 5th. I believe there were over 40,000 people there that day. We just had to elbow our way through the crowds in their museum building and even on the grounds. And it was very hot. They have 117 steam traction engines there and around 40 gas tractors. Their parade was 2 hours long and very, very interesting. Not all the steam engines were in the parade. I would guess about 50, as well as most of the gas tractors, several old cars and some nice horse teams and wagons. One of the best things was a 20 team of miniature mules hitched to a small Borax wagon.
We were going to stay 2 days at Mt. Pleasant, but it seemed we had covered the grounds pretty well in the one day, and as it was so hot and the crowds so heavy, we decided to move on. So at 5 P.M. we headed south for Missouri.
We drove along the Mississippi River for several miles, south to Hannibal, Missouri, before turning south and west to California, Missouri, near Jefferson City, the capitol where we visited friends for a couple of days. They took us on a tour to the Lake of the Ozarks and Bagnall Dam.
Again, we headed south and west to Archie and Adrian, Missouri, around 50 miles south of Kansas City. My wife was born and reared in this community. My wife's brother had arranged a family reunion and open house for old friends and we enjoyed it very much. We visited for a week in that vicinity, being as far south as Butler, Missouri. Visited one museum at Harrisonville, Missouri; they had three or four steam engines, as well as many other old interesting things. So very dry all through Missouri. Crops dried up.
As we started west towards home, went through the Agricultural Hall of Fame near Tonganoxie, Kansas. It is a museum of farm machinery mainly, and was very good. Stayed overnight at Hayes, Kansas. Very dry all across Kansas until we got to St. Francis which is in the very northwest corner. They had had some rain there and some fair crops. Wanted to visit some friends there, but they were not home.
Our next destination was Littleton, Colorado a suburb of Denver, where we have a son who is assistant manager of a Hart's Super Drug Store there. Denver is such a large city, with all the suburbs around it. Our son and family took us sightseeing; we visited the U.S. Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs; the Garden of the Gods and would have gone up Pike's Peak but was too foggy that day so wouldn't have been able to see anything. Also took us to the Rocky Mountain and Estes Park areas. Stayed at Littleton a week, then on to Boulder, Colorado, to visit a cousin of my wife's for three days.
Started for home the 27th of September. Drove to Laramie, Wyoming, on to Salt Lake City, Ogden and Boise, Idaho and arrived home September 29 around noon.
We live in a mobile home here in Salem; just left the place vacant and our good neighbors kindly looked after it.
My gas averaged 61? per gallon; the car averaged 18? miles per gallon. I drove a 1971 Chevelle with 307 V 8 engine, for this part of our trip. No trouble anywhere. Motels were cheaper than I had estimated and eats were pretty much the same everywhere.
On the total of our 8,000 miles I dare say I saw about 1,500 old tractors. Of course, a lot of duplicates. And many other sights that made it a very enjoyable summer.