2.3 Colorado to New York

Travels by Thumb: Trip #18 continued

61 – Loquacious man to Loveland. Thought us honeymooners. We let him think it was our first.

62 – Soldier & woman to Boulder. Called on the Bunker’s (Jinny Davis’s uncle’s minister). They were grand. Took us up into the mountains. 9000 feet up; snow. Enormous, unbelievable magnificent giants; cool & aloof & untouchable; completely uninterested in the silly scrambling men.

We had a luxurious 3-room & bath cabin [Westward Ho Cabins (!)]. Saw the University of Colorado Bldgs. – lovely bldgs. Of Colorado stone. The land here, especially in the mts., is made up of varied colored sand & stone, very pretty to look at.

Left reluctantly & headed south.

May 14, 1944

63 – Mr. & Mrs. Blain Southworth – visiting daughter at Univ. He was innocuous. She kept gushing about “we’d do anything for our boys!” Took us into Denver.

64 – CAA instructor & wife heading for Fort Logan where he’s being transferred for active duty (he hoped not!). To Englewood, south of Denver.

65 – No waiting – man & woman to Trinidad. Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Baer. Very very nice – about the most interesting & fun we’ve met.

Passed thru Colorado Springs. Phil talked Thea out of wanting to stop there. Supper at
Hoosier’s in Pueblo. Night at Grand Hotel in Trinidad. Breakfast at Navaho Trading Post – slightly commercialized. Sinister looking Mexicans & Indians.

66 – Walked up a long, steep hill in hot sun. 3 Southern belles picked us up near the top, remembered a forgotten hub cap, took us all the way back down the hill!

Through Raton Pass into New Mexico. Nothing but us  & sage for hundreds of miles.

Stopped at Dalhart, Texas, for a fifth of bad Mexican whiskey, a tray of glasses, & a dozen cokes. Phil & Thea & the luggage in back; Lena, Belle, Billy & Leona in front.

Phil was bartender. Billy drove. Phil made her drinks weaker than the rest, so she remarked: “Ah ain’t getting’ a buzz from mahn !”

Hot & windy. Nothing to see. Sand, no air. No like New Mexico.

Texas – the Panhandle District. Small sandstorm. Changed time back.

67 – Texas family – nice – to Dumas.

68 – Wait – in sandstorm. Read to each other & took turns watching road. Ice cream truck to Amarillo. Had nice cabin & bath in “Grand Court.” Excellent dinner at Papoose Caf…. Food is much cheaper out here. Walked around. (The next time I take a trip, I shall remember a jar of hard water soap flakes.) Read, did laundry; cozy. Bus to edge of town.

69 – Rancher – two false feet from horse accident – to Conway. Want out of his way.

70 – Waited an hour. Cool – Read aloud. Salesman to McLain. Lunch.

71 – Two women, little boy to Shamrock.

72 – Salesman (canned groceries). Long, wait; hot; didn’t mind. Having fun.

Wheat, cotton, cattle in this area.

Oklahoma. No gas shortage here, he says; black market everywhere. After all, this is where they grow the stuff!

Took us to Foss where he had some calls to make. Will pick us up after his calls, if we’re still waiting. As we got out of his car, Thea got us another ride, her first attempt.

73 – Two men, to Oklahoma City. Passed lots of Oakies heading to or from California. Red, red earth here; pretty, but not too fertile. Windy day. Stopped off at Clinton & had a beer & played the juke box. Doing 60-70 m.p.h. Country getting prettier. Stopped at a tourist cabin right in front of the capitol bldg. Oil wells in everyone’s front yard, including the capitol, an otherwise handsome bldg. Tourist camp too expensive. Ate supper. Headed North.

74 – Cute couple from Texas – took us to Edmonds, just outside Oklahoma City. Tourist camp owners, without accomodations, called Weaver Hotel & got us a room. We found it eventually; a large shock through whose parlor ran the main line railroad; we had the bedroom over the engine! When I had to go to the bathroom, I woke Phil up to go with me. Buggy & scarey; fun though.

75 – Breakfast. Man picked us up as we left lunch-room. To junction.

76 – Waited 10 minutes. “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” in Oklahoma. Man to Tulsa. Nice car. People aren’t Western anymore; no more twang in their speech; no more broad-brimmed hat; no more ranchy clothes.

77 – Lunch. Man, a few blocks.

78 – Oklahoma State Police pulled up alongside. We said “uh-oh” but the “cop” said “Want a ride?” Took us all through city to junction. Had a double-barrelled rifle, a hand-machine-gun, a pistol, 2 spotlights, a radio-telephone, fire extinguisher, flash light, handcuffs. Nice guy tho.

79 – Cop parked a while & no one would pick us up while he was there. He left. Two men to Catoosa.

80 – Man to Claremore, Will Rogers’ hometown.

81 – Family to Miami.

82 – Farmer-miner to Commerce; ice cream cone.

83 – Kid to Quapaw – just turned down by Naval Reserve – very unhappy. Suggested he apply for special training when he gets drafted – seemed pleased to get inside info.

84 – Man, miner. Everybody around here mines. Kansas; to Baxter Springs.

85 – Man – ¬Ĺ mile.

86 – Man, nice-looking; truck to Riverton.

87 – Woman; awful driver; stalled in wrong lane on crowded road; ugh! To Joplin, Missouri.

88 – Walked. Man to Webb City. Walked; he picked us up again. To his farm road.

89 – Man; picked us up at once. To Carthage junction. Went out of his way.

90 – Waited one hour. Kid to Avilla.

91 – Man, woman, comfy back seat to junction west of Springfield, Mo. No place to eat. Hungry. Long wait.

92 – Wow! Second lt. & wife heading for Erie, Pa., by way of Springfield, Ohio, if we want to drive all night. 600 miles & 4 states in one night; 6 states within 24 hours. Longest ride in a car ever taken by Thea. 2 men, 2 women, puppy. Nice kids. He came up from buck private. She’s pregnant (?). Stationed at Camp Crowder, Mo.

93 – Boy – “wanted to see Yellow Springs anyway!” nice. Spent Thurs. through Sun. morning at Antioch. Saw everybody & went to Div Dance.

94 – Man heading for Toledo – to Springfield.

95 – Man, to Columbus. Thea sprained ankle while waiting.

96 – Bus & trolley to Bedley; ride at once to Steubenville, Ohio. Man, 2 women; made 4 stops but reached St. by 9:30 p.m.

Stayed at & ate at Hotel Imperial. Not clean sheets; on main trunk line of freight railroad. Slept anyway, tho engines were fun to watch. Bus to Ft. Steuben Bridge.

97 – Man, woman, to Pittsburgh, Pa. Thea bet Phil a beer we wd. make A.C. in 2 more rides. Bus to Wilkensburg.

98 – Man – to McKeesport.

99 – Woman & large red setter to turnpike entrance. T. loses bet.

100 – Lt(jg) (C.G.) heading for NYC. P. bet T. we’d make it in 2 more. Phil drove from Midway House to end of turnpike. Refused ride to NYC – hoping to make it straight to Phila. at least.

101 – Waited 5 hours at East Gate House. Read aloud till light failed. Watched MP stop all servicemen & check them & their papers. Sourpuss. Finally, in despair, took a ride to Harrisburg. Spent night at Hotel Columbus; supper at Coney Island Grill. Neither of them nice. Hotel insisted on seeing our marriage license before assigning a room.

102 – Man to edge of city; pretty city. P. loses bet.

103 – Man, Ed O’Connell, interesting. To Coatesville.

104 – Soldier & woman to Phila. Soldier decided to show N.J. to his wife – drove 14 mi. into N.J. but put us on Black Horse instead of White Horse Pike.

105 – Man; truck to Pleasantville.

106 – Navy Air Corps officer to Mo. & Atlantic Aves., A.C.

Stayed in A.C. 3 days.

107 – 2 men to Absecon junction.

108 – 2 Baptist ministers going home after attending national convention in A.C. Thought we were poverty-stricken & gave us bus fare. Very embarrassing. Thea very angry at minister & at Phil. To Jersey City.

109 – Man, thru Lincoln Tunnel to 8th Ave. Subway. Thick Spanish accent.

110 – Subway to Kew Gardens; man onto Parkway.

111 – Two men; Lincoln Zephyr limousine – to Hyde Park.

112 – Boy, girl; to Roslyn.

No. of Trips
Distance in Miles
Time in Hours
Train Time
Effective Train Time
Money Spent
Commercial Fare
Time Differential
Money Differential
Total Saved to date
3 1/2
22 days
*Not spent on transportation but on living expenses.