It was while Judi, Barb and I worked at Warm Beach Camp the summer of 1970 that we met a vivacious, joyful woman from Eureka, California who invited us to come stay with her and her husband later in the summer. That, and the invitation to Steve and Sue's wedding (see December 30 blog), was all the encouragement we needed to plan a California road trip. Joyce, a friend with a car, completed our traveling group.
Joyce pulled in to our driveway that first morning with a luggage carrier on the top of her car. We stowed our stuff in every available space but there was no room for Barb's guitar. She had to trade it for my sister's ukelele. Here we were, four young women stuffed into a VW bug with a load on top, Barb sitting cross-legged, facing out the back window, strumming the ukelele. We must have been a sight! We certainly had more attention from truckers than I'd ever had before.
Along the way we experienced the Redwoods, basked in the gracious hospitality of friends in both northern and southern California, played at Disneyland, reunited with college friends, feared for our lives in a Mexican taxi, and sang our hearts out. Looking back, I wonder that I had any money left for school tuition.
This wasn't my first big adventure -- I'd already been to central Oregon, Wyoming and Alberta with school or church groups. But this was the first time I'd been with peers who made our own decisions along the way. We paid for the gas, we decided where to stop and eat, it was up to us to figure out how to get along in such close proximity. What a grand adventure for a young person.
When he was in high school, Tommy and a couple of his friends talked about taking a road trip to "East Virginia" some day. Just where is East Virginia? I'm not sure, but I hope Tommy has a chance to find out.