In 2015 my wife Beth, my daughter Michelle, and I had a wonderful road trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota and its surrounding area. We left early on Saturday July 11 and returned late Saturday July the 18. My Grandad instilled in his grand kids the desire to travel and see as much of world as possible through life. To drive down a new highway on vacation is one of the most relaxful fun experiences of life. As time allows this page will be built and expanded.
Thanks for looking.
Patches from our trip to South Dakota 2015
Road trips have always thrilled me! To me there is no greater relaxation and exhilaration than that of traveling with my family or friends. A wonderful well of memories come up when I stir in my mind thoughts of past travels. I would not trade living in any other era, What a great time to be alive!
Being of the Baby Boomer generation, becoming a teenager in 1961, cars and movement were just as natural as the smart phones are to the new generation. Gas was around 25 cents a gallon. Cars of the 50’s and 60’s were simple. The only electronics in them were in the radio. The rest of the car was mechanical or electrical. Teenagers of that age were just about all shade tree mechanics, and some of my buddies and family members were really good mechanics and worked in car body shops. One of my good friends, Mac, worked at a body shop. He purchased a white 1963 Chevrolet Impala with blue interior that was bashed in on all four corners. It looked rough! He gradually replaced or repaired each corner and then repainted the car. I thought it was gorgeous and super cool! Another friend, Holt, had one of the first 396 Impala Super Sports in East Texas. It was a yellow muscle car and was very fast. My friend Joe drove a red Impala with 3-duce carburation. Great times! I drove a Black 6 cylinder Mercury Comet. It would get 35 miles a gallon on the highway, but would not go faster than 80 mph top speed.
My first job as a teenager was working at a tire shop, changing tires and fixing flats. The radial tires of today are much better than the older tires of the past. The older cars had more style and character, but the new ones of today are much better. The older cars were instantly recognizable whereas with the new cars I need to go up close and read the trim to find out what it is. The small filling stations of the past, are now being replaced by the large super stations that cater to trucks as well. We can take a shower, go shopping, get ice cream, or just stop, walk around or relax. It is kind of like a mini-mall. Ok, enough nostalgia, my sentimentalism is growing as age increases.
How exciting to wake up the morning of the start of a trip. We had packed most of our food and travel items the night before, so we just had to be sure we packed all our stuff that we would need before we left. We made sure we had our Garmin. It is great to have when we are trying to find food or go somewhere unknown to us.
Our daughter, Michelle, and wife Beth and I left Henderson, then went to Kilgore, hit interstate 20 and headed for Lindale. There we turned onto Hwy 69 and headed for Greenville. Greenville was a real nice place for our first bathroom stop. The place we stopped at was one of those large truck places. Then back in the car up to Bells, then over to Interstate 35 where we turned north. We stopped next in Ardmore, Oklahoma. What impressed me were the gas pumps. At the station where we stopped you could buy gas with or without alcohol. Without is great for small engines like lawnmowers and weed eaters. Ardmore had grown much since Beth and I were there last in 1978. Our oldest daughter Karen was just 6 months old then. Ardmore has a Michelin Tire plant and is a stop for the Amtrak train.
Ardmore Amtrak Train Station
Then we headed up to Oklahoma City. The City had major construction going and had rerouted us off the beaten path. We had to turn off the Garmin for awhile because it repeatedly was trying to recalculate.
After that it was straight up to Wichita, Kansas. That night we decided to stop at Salina, Kansas to spend the night.
Normally we do not make reservations, we just drive as far as we want and then take what is available. It was so nice to stop and get a good night’s sleep and be fresh for the next day.