1952 ROAD TRIP - 7676 Miles - in 27 Days - Average speed 41.5 MPH at 14.5 M.P.G.
I was a ride along, back seat Baby, soon to become a Grade-schooler
Chuck Hilton aka Herbert Charles Hilton Jr at the Wheel of a 1950 Pontiac - riding Shotgun or Navigator June Wilson aka Mom's Journal of this Trip
Point from Hermosa Beach, California
To Las Vegas, Nevada
Mileage 308 mi
Time left 11:50 P.M. 8/29
Time arrived 9:30 A.M. 8/30
Stops: Glendale 12:40 A.M. (Stayed 10 min)
Victorville 3:15 A.M. Get 4 new tires
Blowout 10 mi before Victorville (stayed 2 hours)
Baker 7:30 A.M. (stayed ½ hour)
Las Vegas 9:30 A.M. (stayed 5 min)
Synopsis: First exciting event was a blowout on lonely desert road about 3:00 A.M. Felt squeamish after that so broke down & bought 4 new tires. Oh well, live dangerously – or should I say safely!
Stopped at Death Valley Inn in Baker for breakfast. Hot at 7:30 A.M. about 95*. Feel better. Went on to Las Vegas ~ too hot to stay. Stopped at Chevron in Glendale Nevada. Had a coke, won some dimes in a slot machine.
From as Vegas ~ 9:30 A.M. 8/30
To Glendale, Nevada 11:00 A.M. 8/30
Mileage 52 mi left 11:30 A.M.
Next stop Lunch 12:00 to 12:55
Mileage 20 mi
Time left about 12:55 or 1:00
The Place a little shade under a marsh tree by a red clay stream next to Virgin River. Nev. Temp in shade about 98*. I hate this state!
From Red Clay to Mesquite, Nevada
Time 1:30 P.M.
Mileage 11 mi
Had a drink in Mesquite. Played slot machines ~ Last chance:
From Mesquite, Nevada to St George Utah
Time 1:30 P.M. to 3:00 8/30
Mileage 49 mi
Had to stop 15 minuets near Utah border to buy water, no less for $.50. Steep grade & our ol’ Chief boiled over. Temperature in shade 101*. Touched tip of Arizona ~ about 15 mi of hot hills & strange colored clay & rock formations.
Nearing Santa Clara & St. George, Utah, ground was bright orange with green sage & brush. Mountains & outlining hills purple & bright clay red ~ square on top like Grand Canyon formations.
To this date Donnie has had approx 5 hours sleep since 8:30 P.M. Friday Night 8/29. Now we are in the Haven Motel on US 91 ~ St. George, Utah enjoying 10 hours of blissful sleep.
From St. George Time 4:15 A.M.
To Zion National Park Time 5:30 A.M.
Mileage 52 mi
Left refreshed. Ate breakfast at Big Hand Café in St. George. Drove in to Zion. Walk up trail, saw a deer. Sun came up. Beautiful scenery, left Zion National forest on to US 89. Zion to US 89, mileage 31 mi.
From Zion National Park (US 89) to Panquitch, Utah arrived 4:30 A.M. (8/31) 50 mi. Stopped to eat again at Bryce Canyon Café.
From Panquitch, Utah 8/31 10:10 A.M.
To Salt Lake City 3:30 P.M.
Mileage 247 mi
Several stops for cokes & gas saw Salt Lake City’s Capitol Bldg. Gold room worth $600,000.00, saw Temple & Tabernacle, ate at Lapris (Italian). Had a delicious meal.
Left Salt Lake 7:00 P.M. Heading to Logan Utah arrived 9:30 P.M. (Sunday 8/31) 92 mi. Stopped at Motel Crystal for Sunday night. Had to go out of our way 8-10 mi, but made good time. Ate Breakfast at Mt. Logan Café, Temperature has dropped.
Left Logan Utah 6:20 A.M. To Jackson Hole Wyoming arriving 11:30 A.M. 188 mi.
Went through Idaho ~ about 38 mi of it then right on into Wyoming. Bear Lake on the Idaho Utah border is beautiful. View from Cache National Forest summit is breathtaking. Wyoming roads are bad. Stopped for a drink in Jackson at a Cowboy Bar. Done in wood and silver dollar pieces. Beautiful! Went on the chair lift to top of mountain, 1600’ straight up.
Sept 1, 1:00 P.M. left Jackson Hole. Arrived Grand Teton National Forest 2:00 P.M. Approx. 54 mi. Saw the lakes ~ ate lunch at Jackson Lake.
Left Jackson Lake at 2:30 P.M. arrived Old Faithful Lodge Yellowstone National Park @ 4:30 P.M. Mileage to the lodge 39 mi.
Took colored pictures of bears on the road. Spent the night at Old Faithful Lodge, saw the geyser & went through the curio shops. Ate dinner there got up at 5:00 A.M. It froze during the night.
Drove through Yellowstone Park 5:45 A.M. Saw bears all over the highway. Saw
the Great Falls at Canyon.
Came into Montana (9:50 A.M.) & out again
about230 mi but stopped for lunch. It snowed in Montana yesterday.
From: Old Faithful 9/2/52 @ 5:45 A.M.
To: Red Lodge Montana @ 12:45 P.M.
Mileage 162 mi straight
Climbed to 10,940’ was in the snow. Arrived in Red Lodge for lunch. What a spectacular trip. Never saw so much scenery, elk, moose, bears, & coyotes.
From: Red Lodge 1:30.
To: Sheridan Wyoming time 7:15 PM
Mileage 194 mi
Montana is a drinking state, in every town there is a bar every other door.
Utah doesn’t have any, but it isn’t a dry state. Just religious, in Utah every town has a magnificent Mormon church.
Stopped at Custers National Battlefield & Cemetery. Very nice & interesting. Rode back into Wyoming to Sheridan. WHEE! High motel prices. Stayed here wed 9/3/1952
Arrived Sundance Wyoming 11:15 A.M.
Mileage 185 mi
Stopped at Devil’s Tower National Monument, Very impressive. Molten volcanic lava
Stopped at Sundance for lunch.
Left Sundance Wyoming 11:45 A.M.
Arrived Wall, South Dakota 6:30 P.M.
Mileage 197 mi
Went by Mt. Rushmore National Monument out of Rapid City, South Dakota. Saw some Sioux Indians, Donnie was thrilled. Ate at Wall & stayed there for the night.
Left Wall, South Dakota 9/4/52 @ 5:00 A.M.
Arrived Kadoka, South Dakota @ 5:50 A.M.
Mileage 45 mi
Stopped for breakfast & cleaned out radiator. Roads along here are straight & flat. One can see up to 40 mi of road ahead.
Left Kadoka, South Dakota 9/4 @ 7:00 A.M.
Arrived Sioux Falls, South Dakota @ 1:45 P.M.
Mileage 266 mi
Had to stop in Murdo about ½ hour for steam cleaning. Lost 1 hour on Central time. Actually traveled 5 hours 50 min. Went to Sioux Falls for lunch.
Left Sioux Falls, South Dakota @ 2:40 P.M.
Arrived La Crosse, Wisconsin @ 9:00P.M.
Mileage 308 mi
Rode all afternoon through Minnesota stopping only for coke or gas. Ate dinner at Victor’s in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Went to bed late ~ Ate breakfast there.
Left La Crosse, Wisconsin 9/5 @ 9:10 A.M.
Arrived Chicago, Illinois @ 4:30 P.M.
Drove across Tobacco & cornfields in Wisconsin to Chicago. Stopped ½ hour for a snack. Got into Chicago about 3:45, but took us almost an hour through traffic. Stayed at Hotel Harrison. Real expensive, and not as nice as Plaza in San Francisco. Had dinner at Fountain View on Michigan Ave. Donnie slept in the room. Had breakfast & got tune up on car.
Left Chicago 9/6 11:00 A.M.
Arrived Plymouth, Indiana 1:30 P.M.
Mileage 112 mi
Changed our route as valves are bad. Taking US 30 to Fairmont. West Virginia to see Chuck’s Grandmother instead of going up to Toronto & see Buffalo & Niagara. Too far, drove through Indiana a good part of the day. Stopped for lunch in Plymouth Indiana.
Left Plymouth, Indiana 2:15 P.M.
Arrived Marion, Ohio 6:30 P.M.
Mileage 185 mi
Went through Ft. Wayne Indiana & part of Ohio. Will be in Fairmont West Virginia Sunday 9/7. Stopped in Marion, Ohio for dinner & sleep @ Highway Hotel.
Left Marion, Ohio 9/7/52 @ 8:00 A.M.
Arrived Mt. Vernon, Ohio 8:50 A.M.
Mileage 32 mi
Stop for breakfast.
Left Mt Vernon, Ohio @ 9:30 A.M.
Arrived Fairmont, West Virginia @ 3:10 P.M.
Mileage 200 mi
Arrived at Chuck’s Grandmother’s house, had dinner there & stayed the night. Met the ladies she lives with, next AM had the car worked on. Can’t go on until it is fixed. Stayed until Tuesday 9/9/52.
Left Fairmont West Virginia 2:00 P.M.
Arrived Washington D.C. 9:00 P.M.
Mileage 235 mi
Went to Chuck’s mother’s first, stayed at sisters in W. Falls Church, West Virginia for the night.
9/10 saw Jefferson’s Memorial, Lincoln Monument, Washington Monument, Smithsonian Institute, Arlington Cemetery & Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Ate lunch at O’Donnell’s seafood.
9/11 Donnie’s Birthday ~ had cake & ice cream for him, also gifts.
9/12 Left Falls Church 11:15 A.M.
Stopped for lunch
Arrived Baltimore, Maryland 1:30 P.M.
Mileage: 43 mi.
Left Baltimore, MD Time 2:10 P.M.
Arrived Avalon, N.J. 5:30 P.M.
Went across N.J. Turnpike @ Newcastle. Went near where Daddy used to live (Vineland). Stopped for a drink in Millville, N.J. Stayed at Aunt Madu’s from Friday evening till Sunday A.M. Went surf fishing on Saturday, had a nice time.
9/13 Left Avalon, N.J. Time 10:30 A.M.
Arrived Atlantic City 11:30 A.M.
Ate lunch – walked on the famous Boardwalk. Cloudy weather
9/14 Left Atlantic City N.J. 1:45 P.M.
Arrived New York City 4:30 P.M.
Mileage approx 144
Stayed at Hotel Weylin ~ 54th and Madison near 5th Ave. & all the stores ~ Went to dinner at Automat on Broadway then to a show. We are near Radio City & Rockerfeller Center. Monday A.M. went to Empire State Building ~ 102 stories up. Rainy & cloudy day. Also walked through Grand Central Terminal. Took subway (Lexington Ave.) down to Canal St & Bowery. Walked around P.M. went to Imperial Theater to see musical comedy “Wish You Were Here” Terrific. Lever Bros. Bldg ½ block down is all glass & stainless steel ~ Beautiful
Saw Bronx Zoo 9/16 & drove on up to Connecticut
Left N.Y.C. & Bronx Time 2:45 P.M. 9/16
Mileage 15 mi from Queens to Bronx’s Zoo
____?? Mi to West Haven Arrived West Haven 5:00 P.M.
Visited Aunt Mary & Uncle Joe, had dinner. Went to Burt’s house & met wife & 2 boys (Wards). Stayed the night at Aunt Mary’s.
9/17 Wed. Saw Celia in Waterford ~ Aunt Mary drove up with us. Approx. 110 mi round trip. Saw street I was born on, Winchester Ave. Also saw house on Noble St. ~ houses all around it. Saw Chapel St in New Haven & Castle (on hill) that Mother went to. Celia has beautiful place on the ocean. Ate lunch & took pictures.
9/18 Thurs. A.M. Left 11:25 A.M. West Haven, Conn.
Arrived Baltimore, MD. 6:30 P.M.
Approx 267 mi
Stopped & saw Chuck’s father & brother Alan & his wife, his 2 boys Dave & Kenny are cute. I disliked Baltimore very much. Very middle and low class & too many Negroes.
9/18 Left Baltimore, MD 9:30 P.M.
Arrived College Park, MD 10:00 P.M.
Approx. 25 mi stayed overnight at Shady Grove Motel ate a bite & went to bed. Expect to do some good traveling tomorrow through Virginia for sure.
9/19 Left College Park, MD 9:00 A.M
Arrived Lynchburg, VA 6:45 P.M.
Drove through D.C. again & on through Virginia. Rode the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. It rained until 2:00 P.M. Went to Luray Caverns, very beautiful. Stopped for lunch on the Skyline Drive.
9/20/52 Sat Rained all day ~ Left Lynchburg, VA 4:00 A.M.
Arrived Roanoake, VA 5:00 A.M.
51 mi Ate breakfast in town
Left Roanoake, VA 5:45 A.M.
Arrived Kingsport, TN 9:30 A.M.
Stopped for a bite to eat ~ left Kingsport, TN 10:00 A.M.
Arrived Chattanooga, TN 2:50 P.M.
211 mi ~ ate lunch again
Left Chattanooga, TN 3:30
Arrived Birmingham. AL 8:30 P.M.
Approx 165 mi (lost 2 hours) because of seeing an accident happen. Ate something & retired, Best Motel ate breakfast & left.
Left Burmngham, AL Sunday 9:20 A.M.
Arrived Meridian, Miss 12:15 P.M.
Stopped for a drink at drive-in ~ Barbecue sandwich
Left Merridian, Miss ~ Arrived Estabuchie, Miss
79 mi ~ ½ hour stop
9/21 Left Estabuchie, Miss 2:45 P.M.
Arrived New Orleans, LA 6:15 P.M.
Ate dinner & retired. Bought some Dago Red wine. Next AM saw the French Quarter in New Orleans. Had a drink. Left early because of a parade & convention in town. Knights of Lemblar.
9/22 left New Orleans, LA 10:45 A.M.
Arrived Baton Rouge 80 mi
Left Baton Rouge 1:15 P.M.
Arrived Marshall Texas 7:15 P.M. 281 mi
Stopped for a coke & gas once in Shreveport but spent the night here.
It is about 25 mi from the Texas border. Had dinner at Montgomery’s & stayed the night at Palmer Auto Court. Crickets all over.
9/23 Tuesday Left Marshall, TX 7:30 AM
Arrived Fort Worth, Tx 11:30 A.M.
Stopped for lunch @ El Chico Mexican Restaurant
Left Fort Worth 12:30 P.M.
Arrived Hobbs N.M. 6:15 P.M.
We gained one hour coming in to New Mexico, but will loose it tomorrow in El Paso. Stopped here for dinner & the night. Still damp out ~ Donnie got sick.
9/24 Wednesday Left Hobbs, N.M. 8:00 A.M.
Arrived Carlsbad Caverns, N.M. 9:30 A.M.
Drank a cup of coffee & bought souvenirs, went through the caverns, very beautiful & awesome. One can’t imagine the sights we saw.
Left Carlsbad Caverns 2:45 P.M.
Arrived El Paso 6:00 P.M.
Got a motel room outside of EL Paso (north of town) then cleaned up and went over the border to Juarez for dinner & to sightsee. Nice Motel, front room ~ bought $31.00 worth of stuff.
9/25 Thursday Left El Paso, TX 7:50 A.M.
Arrived Casa Grande, AZ 6:00 P.M.
Stopped for lunch in Benson, HOT. Had burgers good. Took a side trip to Tombstone, AZ. Saw the old cemetery where the old west was buried. Went on to Casa Grande for the night.
9/26 Left Casa Grande 5:40 A.M.
Arrived Hermosa 5:00 P.M.
Rode through plenty of desert. 8:30 A.M. temperature was 90* in the shade at California border (Yuma). Stopped for a cold drink & lunch in El Centro. HOT! Went through mountains east of San Diego & temp dropped. We got rain before coming out of mountains. Felt wonderful. Got fog a few mi out of Oceanside (naturally). Arrived home 4:45 P.M. Foggy.
Total mi 7676
Average speed 41.5 MPH
Average mileage 14.5 M.P.G.