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Josephine's Journal of the trip to Iowa

June 16, 1999

We got started this a.m. at around 8:00 - really got going on the highway at 8:45.

It takes that long just to get out of Tucson. We have driven just 1 and a half hours and stoped at Texas Canyon rest stop just to get out and test the weather. There is a lovely cool breeze. When we left Tucson it was already 91 with forecast of 110 for the day. Tucson elevation is 2,500 and we are now at 5,000 feet. I'm ready to move our home here, but then I guess the winter months here would not be what I like about Tucson.

George says we're in Cochise's Chiricahua Mountain Territory now. Lovely large rolling mountain ranges. Ft. Apache is where the Indian Geronimo was captured and then put on the Southern Pacific train and sent to Florida as a prisoner of war - later Georgia - finally Fort Sill, Oklahoma where he died. This all took place in the late 1800's.

The area we're going through right now near Bowie, AZ. has acres of pecan and pistachio trees that are fertilized with hazardous waste from the east! Hard to understand that that could be allowed.

George informs me that he supervised the Southern Pacific railroad in the entire state of Arizona, New Mexico, part of Texas and a bit of California. This report was offered because the railroad tracks are following the highway at this point.

George has just pointed out a mountain range that, at it's peak, has an image resembling Cochise's face. Up ahead he points out Steins peak. During Cochise's time Mountain Stein had an Indian trading post there. At one time the army talked Cochise into comming and having a peace parlay there. But when he arrived the soldiers captured him, putting him in a tent which he slit open with his knife and escaped. There are still a couple of little shacks located on the low mountain. We can just barely make them out from the road.

Large wide open spaces here. A road sign points to Douglas, Arizona and I remember grandson Tim was born there some 27 years ago. Tim now has a son of his own. Tristen Mabon Borchert. We plan to see them in Omaha, Neb. at some point. The mountain ranges are beautiful. We have crossed into New Mexico.

You can see for miles. It's not so nice now - just dry looking shrubs and desert. The only thing that has life is the highway. The big semis are zooming by constantly.

The wind has started up and as we were going through a sheltered area between two hills I got a good scare because I felt like the motor home was going out of control. I just closed my eyes and prayed. George said everything was under control, but it had not felt like it for a minute or two. It looks like rain ahead. We haven't seen rain for so long in Tucson we will enjoy it. But not the wind, thank you!

We spent our first night in San Antonio, New Mexico. It was so cool , no A.C. was necessary. It rained really hard for awhile. We went to bed early and did not hear the 3:00 a.m. train that came through close to our court.

On the road Friday 6/18/99 by 8:00 Tucson time - probably 7:00 New Mexico time. No sun - nice driving weather. Albuquerque is our next big town. We are following the Rio Grande river bed. It is the third longest river in the United States. It empties into the Gulf of Mexico from Texas.

We spent Friday night in Liberal, Kansas. The old Southern Pacific had tracks that ran along side of the court, it had a very active run and we heard train whistles at all hours. But we felt rested in the morning. We're on our way again at 9:00. We will be going through Russell, Kansas and see where George lived for a spell at age 13. It's 61 and foggy.

It's now 2:00 in the afternoon - we're at Russell - George and Bob Dole's home town. We have decided to stay overnight. Met some nice neighbors from Texas. We have checked out the Library which closed at 4:00 we had planned a longer stay. Drove to a neighboring town in which George had also lived. Had a good dinner and watched 3 good movies.

We slept in, had our showers and decided we would stay another day and rest up from driving. However when we checked in with Mike we were told that we had an offer on the condo - so we phoned Rose (realtor) who confirmed that a young couple had given an offer with a $2,000.00 in earnest money. So we gave a counter offer and told Rose that we would be at Thom's the nest day so we could do business using his fax machine. This meant we had to be on the road again. So by 1:00 George was behind the wheel again and we're on our last stretch for Iowa. We arrived after 9 hours of driving - really tied and hungry. In the morning we had just 36 miles to go and we arrived at a nice KOA. Got our papers signed and off to Rose and spent the week visiting with Thom and Barb. Also drove over to Omaha, Neb. to meet Tim's new wife Tina, and their 6 month old son, Tristen. We had dinner together and witnessed a very good little boy. He is a joy to watch. Sure wish he lived closer so I could play the part of a great grandma.

The week has passed and I need to record our goings on or I'll forget what happened. They call that a Senior Moment.

It was so nice to spend the week with Thom and Barb. They fed us some delicious meals and took us to church, a band concert - Thom and I had chili dogs one day and time to ourselves

The park we stayed in had an ice cream social every evening. Thom and Barb came out for one and I must say we missed very few.

We left the Sioux City area Monday morning and headed for Tripoli (pronounced Tra-po-la by the locals) and Fayette. We had planned to see Jeannine my high school friend around 3:00 but on the way the fan belt on the motor home broke. It seems the pack rats back home had been chewing on it. Any way this caused us about a 3 hour delay. We were very fortunate to be able to get it fixed as easily as we did but we were not in the mood to stop in Tripoli late that afternoon - so we continued on to Fayette to park for the night and get rested up. But this was not to happen. The hook-ups at Klock's Island were not sufficient and the ground was too soft - so at 5:30 we continued on looking for a place to park. We headed for West Union only to find nothing better. Finally in Oelwein we were able to stay at the city park. It was sooo good to finally stop and we signed up for two days. The fun began the following day. We headed back to Tripoli (this time in our car) getting a chance to visit with Jeannine who was sitting on the election board. It is wonderful to be received with such warmth. We took pictures of the hospital which has now changed owners for the first time since we sold it to the Bungers back in 1949.

Next we went back to Fayette and saw the Maple Motel in complete ruin. About a month earlier the Volga had flooded leaving 3 feet of water in our house. This seemed unbelievable. The new owners had flood insurance and will rebuild the motel along the highway. That is an end of an era for me. We had built the motel in 1959.

Our next stop was at Upper Iowa University. This place holds so many dear memories. We located Mary Kimball who was a very good friend during those college years. Mary is now Vice-President of Upper Iowa. The campus is absolutely beautiful. Later when we were visiting with Vic & Gussie Crafton we were told that Upper Iowa is the largest private college in the United States. It is a joy to see it doing so well.

We got in a good visit with Bonnie and Verdel Schmalle. Bonnie remains such a dear friend. Ernie and Joyce Dahlquist had left the day before to visit in California - that was my only disappointment in Fayette. We also got to visit with Margaret Henry. After 2 days in that area we left for Iowa City. Again we had trouble finding a full hook-up court and with traffic that is so constant around cities this gets to be a difficult situation. Finally we were settled again but with understanding that we could only have the spot for 2 days. We spent the first day resting up and letting Arlene know we were there and would spend the following day with her, Everything worked out really well. She has recovered from her back surgery so completely. We had said we wanted to take her out to lunch but in Arlene fashion she had to treat. We went over to West Branch to see the Hoover Library and stopped to leave a note at Jeremy's only to be pleasantly surprise to have him answer the door. That was really a plus. Then on to the Hoover Library - first a soft ice cream cone - so good.

That evening Arlene had prepared a casserole dinner - delicious, and rhubarb pie! Mindy & Kevin came over with her great grand children. Arlene enjoys them so much. They are active!! We visited until 9 and went back to motor home. It had been a good visit with Arlene. But I wish it could have been another day. But the fourth of July was the following day and we needed to get a place to park. We drove a long time Friday - it had gotten really hot and humid. I'm so thankful for the beautiful weather on the day we spent with Arlene. It had been prefect. Today it is close to 100 with very high humidity.

We are heading west with no particular destination. Rose phoned 4 times so I did business with her and George drove. When we stopped at 6:00 p.m., we both were tired. and hungry. We had a delicious chicken salad, watched T.V. and were in bed by 10:00. We needed the A.C. on all night. Got a slow start. The heat, humidity and wind were unmerciful. We plan to go only as far as Russell, Kansas and stop there over the week-end. That was a nice court and not so expensive. The KOA courts are $26.00 per night. This court, even with cable, is only $10.00 and it has sidewalks and pavement roads, plus grass and shade. The motor home started popping as soon as we began driving. It would act as if it wanted to stop every time it popped. George just drove on as though nothing was wrong. The wind was against us and it was hilly. We only made it because George put the MH in second and when he did it stopped popping. But the minute he put it in low or normal it would jump and pop. Many cars along the way have had to stop and retie there camping gear as the wind is so strong. It is jostling us in the motor home really bad. I'm glad we don't have a long trip today. We will be in Russell by noon.

July 3, 4, and 5th we were parked in Russell. We waited out the storm of heavy winds and rain and heat. It would have been impossible to drive the motor home in the strong winds and we wanted to have her checked out by a mechanic. We had gotten an appointment for Tuesday at 8:00 a.m.. We were at the station at 7:30. George had diagnosed the trouble earlier - he was right - anyway by 1:15 we were able to get going again.

During our stay in Russell we entertained ourselves with some excellent programs on C-Span reviewing President Washington, Jefferson and Adams. We drove over to Albany to visit The Eisenhower Library. Also visited an old Fort.

Got to see the school brother Ted and George had attended in their tender years. Got some groceries and did some laundry. We are headed for Tucson. We need to get back to sign papers for condo sale and remove the last of things that are still in the garage.

We're thinking about taking the motor home on to California and leaving it there as it is 15 years old and George does not feel we should be driving it on long trips anymore. I'm in agreement. I know I would never get out on the highway with all the big trucks and this large vehicle. So we'll see. If we can find a place to keep it there we can still use it in summer to get away from the heat.

Boy when we decide to go home - it reminds me of a horse we had. It was so hard to get the horse away from the barn and down the road, but if you turned it toward home it took off like a streak of lighting. This ole motor home is off for Tucson! Of course we've had to set our watches back an hour so we've got an extra hour and since the MH had it's problem fixed its just purring along.

Today we had around a 500 mile trip that was trouble free. When we crossed the Arizona state line we were pleasantly surprised by a cloud covered sky that had one deluge of rain and a couple other small ones. The beauty of it was that the sun wasn't shining and so we missed the 5:00 to 6:00 western light that always accompanies a late afternoon return to Tucson. We drove into our driveway at 6:05p.m. Thursday afternoon. We had been gone 3 weeks and our flowers had really taken off. I guess it had rained every day for the past 5 days. The lawn and all looked just beautiful. A welcome sight because usually when we're gone in summer everything dies.

It is so good to be home after a successful trip. I was so happy to see Arlene doing so well after her back surgery. She's going strong. The great grand son was such a picture of peace. His mom and dad were appropriately proud. Thom and Barb made us feel very welcome and it was good to experience their love of home and family. They will all be going to a lake in Minnesota in a few days. Annie will be coming from New York, Lyn from Tucson and Tim, Tina and Tristen from Omaha. It would have been so good to have spent a relaxing week with all them together but the condo sale seemed to be something we needed to get back to and settle.


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George Myers

Born 08/13/1925
Died 08/18/2014

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