Page 4 - California to Cape Breton, 1917
ISSUE : Issue 51
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/2/1
It was very nice. For the first night out, it rained on us. We were coming across the desert, California desert. It started to rain. But we managed to get a place up near the--what river is that now that runs through the desert there--you know. (Colora? do?) Colorado River. We camped near Colorado River. And it was very nice. And next morning we started out. But our trouble started right away, with the load that we had on the car. We were overloaded. We had 4 steel cots and 4 fold? ing chairs, and we had a lunch- box built out of wood--can you imagine!--on the back of the car, with the groceries. And then there's a table on hinges, that we pulled down, and the 4 of us could fit at the table. But we took no stove with us, because we figured that we could find the wood along the route and build a (fire)--which we did. But we took a lot of cooked food, because--to last a few days. Of course, in those days there was no refrigeration of any kind. (And did you have any canned food?) Oh, yes, a lot of canned food. And then gasoline and wa? ter- -we had to carry those things going through the desert. Because you have to have water for the poor car, because it was everlasting boiling over. And you had to have gasoline because you never knew how far the stations were apart. (What about the car itself--was it all closed in? Was it just a canopy over your head?) No. There was a roof over it--just the old-fashioned roof. But then it had isinglass all around it. And whenever we hit a storm--and we had a storm, and the hot sand--that would tear out. And then the boys would have to go into the next place and get some more isinglass and put it in there. Don't forget, there was only one flap in the front of the car. You couldn't have any ventilation. And it was that solid glass--straight up and down. And then the car, of course, had no start? er- -we had to turn the crank.... And it wouldn't do to go into where it was too cold, because we'd never get it started. The travellers with relatives in Boston, I. to r.: Chris Stein, Mary Ann Stein, brother Murdocl( MacRae, aunt Katie Steward; front: Ruth Bird, Marshall Bird. Always working on that. It took us maybe a half hour to get the car started. And-- yes, we got it on a side hill. And in the side hill we could push it down, and then it would catch, you know. And there were many places where we all had to get out of the car and push it up the mountains. (Is that right?) Oh, abso? lutely. My sister and I, and Chris-- Marshall did the driving--there were lots of places where we had to push the car up to the top of the mountains. (Did you ever get to places that you couldn't push, and did you ever have to get a horse or something?) No, never did, no. (You were never stuck.) No, never got stuck. We were strong enough. Of course, we were strong women, you know. We'd just--we'd push it up, and Marshall would help us as much as he could, you know.... Of course it would miss, and then jump, and then miss. (Was it pretty rough driving?) Well, no. the car--it was new, you see. (It drove pretty nice?) Yes, very nice, according, you know.... There were many places--many, many places that--it rained a great deal the first part of the--leaving. And there were so many places that we could--of course, as I say, they had to cut limbs. There'd be like a stream of water like that goes down in front of Alice's house. For All Your Insurance Needs oS the cO'Opetktoi' '' Insurance Services LIFE • HOME • AUTO • COMMERCIAL • FARM • TRAVEL Insure your life, home, automobile, business, farm or travel with the lead? ing Canadian-owned, all-lines insu? rance company... The Co-operators. Our policies, many with exclusive features, provide you with some of the best, broadest insurance coverages available. Plus, you deal directiy with the friendly, helpful people in our service offices around Cape Breton. Learn more about the complete pro? tection and service we provide. Call or come in to The Co-operators today. CAPE BRETON OFFICES: BADDECK 295-3130 CHETICAMP 224-3204 GLACE BAY 849-4547 LOUISDALE 345-2199 MABOU 945-2514 NEW WATERFORD 862-3350 NORTH SYDNEY 794-4788 PORT HAWKESBURY 625-0640 SYDNEY RIVER 562-0565 SYDNEY 539-5315 (toll free)
Cape Breton's Magazine