Flora's First Trip West
June 1, 1929
The Union Pacific Station
Here we are in Lincoln, Nebraska and now we are waiting a while. Just 15 minutes in Lincoln, Nebraska. We didn't even get off the train there but while in Omaha we took a bus or rather a yellow cab and went on a sight seeing trip. Saw everything of interest. A lady donated 3 million dollars for a memorial in memory of her husband. We saw her home. It is called the Joslyn mansion- perfectly beautiful. It rained while we were in Omaha, but we didn't have to get out in it. We ate lunch right in the depot (I sent Ralph the picture of it) and the cab took us & brought us right back to the station. Then our Pullman car was right under a shed. I am tired of seeing so much water. So, I'll be glad when we get to Denver! You can see water on all sides nearly. The fields & even the roads in some places are covered. I sure am enjoying the trip, though. They have put on an observation car now and we will be sitting out there most of the time watching things. It is all so interesting! Bea & I are having a good time. I am writing this on the train. It has started from Lincoln now & I can hardly write it jogs so....
They are certainly nice to us on the train, but of course, they should be. We have eaten only one meal on the train. Ate breakfast this morning in the dining car. Sure is nice but very expensive. A cup of coffee is 20 cents. From Denver on will be the prettiest scenery. Will write you all about it. We get in Denver in the morning at 7:15 on my birthday. We will only be there one hour, though. Just think- we will be a mile high because Denver is a mile above sea level! There is a girl going to California from Zeigler, who has made friends with us. She is all alone and would like to be with us all the way, but we leave her in Denver in the morning because she takes a different train. Marion is really nice. She is jolly at times and keeps us company. We will arrive at Roseberg, Oregon next Tuesday afternoon and the address will be: Miss Flora Davis, 903 Winchester, Roseberg, Oregon.
June 5, 1929
Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Don't know exactly where I am or where we are now for it is dark and we can't see out of the train, but we are somewhere in Colorado. We've seen enough beautiful scenery today to pay us for coming even if we weren't going to see anything else. But we are only about half way there (to the end of our trip) and we have lots to see yet.
Well to begin with this morning we woke about 6:30. You know at Denver we had to set our watches back one hour, and tomorrow at Salt Lake City we will change it back another hour. So you see we will be 2 hours behind you. When we awoke Miss Sala came in and crawled in the berth with us. We slept right across the aisle from each other. We were just a little way in Colorado and she pointed out a lot of interesting differences. You could see very few trees & houses. Also large irrigation ditches and the smaller ones to run the water across the land. Everything is so dry here & just think where we were yesterday it was water-water- water! We arrived at Denver at about 7:30. Of course we had to change trains, but its all so easy if you just use your mouth. Had no trouble at all going out of Denver.
I saw my first mountains and the mist was over them & they just looked like a picture. I thought at first it was blue mountain shaped clouds but as we grew nearer the mist cleared somewhat and we could see them on both sides of us. The white snow on them and the blue mist made them beautiful. It was just like a dream! But that isn't half of what I saw today. At Colorado Springs we saw the snow capped Pikes Peak, the highest peak of all. You've heard of it. But the most breathtaking thing of all was the trip through the Royal Gorge. When we entered the Rocky Mountains I didn't think very much of them, but they grew higher and more rugged and picture this: We were riding right along the edge of the Arkansas River. It isn't very wide but it is long and the water rushed over rocks in some places. It is perfectly wild, roaring & so forth. Then on the other side of the river tall mountains and mountains also on the other side of the train. We were out on the observation platform and then they were so steep we could hardly see the top of them. It was like this for 8 miles. The train went slowly winding in and out around the curves. We went over a hanging bridge in the gorge, too. The mountains had no snow on them but from there on all we saw were snow capped mountains.
Tonight we went up through Tennessee Pass, the highest place a train ever crosses in the world. Of course, it was a gradual slope. We were eating supper in the dining room then. Our ears sort of stopped up, but it didn't bother our breathing much being 10,222 ft. above sea level. We also saw Elephant Rock and Angel Mountain. Also a rock that looks just like a lion's head. There is a city on top of the mountain. We saw the lights. I sent you a folder & you can see most of what we told you. My eyes hurt from looking so much, so must go to bed. We will be in Salt Lake City tomorrow at noon. This has been one birthday I'll never forget! Hoping you are fine. Good bye.
June 9, 1929
San Francisco, California
It is midnight now but I haven't written for a few days so will do so before I retire. We arrived here tonight about 7:45. Miss Sala's future sister-in-law met us at the station and helped us find a hotel. We persuaded Ina Lou to stay in the hotel so we got a suite of 2 nice rooms. Then we went down to Chinatown. It is just like being in China! The cutest little shops where you can get all kinds of pretty things. I bought a cute little vase. I could have bought a lot more if I had any way to bring them home. We will be here all day tomorrow. Ina Lou invited us to her house to dinner tomorrow. She is very nice. We had a lovely time while in Los Angeles. Mary's brother met us there and took us to his home. Gee, we've been so lucky to get with people and stay & go places. Warren Sala & his wife Nina were just as sweet to us as could be. They took us around in their car to Hollywood. Saw movie actress homes! Then we went to the beach and viewed the ocean for the first time. The waves were dashing wildly across and against the shore. We went to Beverly Hills and from the top of the hills we could see millions of lights of the city. It was a breathtaking sight! Los Angeles is the largest city I have ever been in. The population is a million 750 thousand people. We went shopping Saturday all day and at night we collected a party of other people & went to Venice where they have roller coasting slides & everything imaginable. I went on the bamboo slide and at the top we could look down over the ocean and see the rocks & seaweeds. We walked up & slid down & had bushels of fun and didn't spend a cent. They were so nice to us. We went to a show & saw the Desert Song, an all talking & singing picture.
The ride to San Francisco was lovely. We rode 113 miles right along the coast & saw the ocean nearly all the way. We also saw mountains, orange groves, walnut, olive, & pecan trees. We had a car that had revolving chairs so we could turn them anyway we chose. Ina Lou is telling about her engagement to Miss Sala's brother, so I must stop & listen. We sure are having a wonderful time. We leave tomorrow night for Portland, Oregon. Will write again later. Don't work too hard. Have a good time.
Love to all,
June 11, 1929
Black Butte, California
We are still in the state of California but will arrive in Oregon this afternoon. It has been a long trip but we have seen so many wonderful things. Just think, we are 2,500 miles away from home! Yesterday we went to Golden State Park. I never saw so many beautiful flowers in my life. Saw the inside of a Chinese house- Chinese pago days images there. There was even a Chinese lady cooking in one place. We went through the DeYoung memorial building which is a museum. It has statues, beautiful paintings, and collections of all kinds, like old fashioned watches, chinaware, carved ivory & the old fashioned dresses worn by different queens, and jewelry. There was a room that had a German plane captured in the war and the arms & weapons used by our soldiers.
I went through the aquarium. It was so wonderful to me because I never saw so many different kinds of fish in my life. There were the most beautiful deep yellow & orange fish. I can't remember the names. The rainbow trout have every color of the rainbow. Then there were deep purple ones with pink tails & lovely gold fish. We saw flying turtles, seals & sea lions, alligators & just everything. We rode on the street car to the park which just cost a nickel!
Then we took a car to the beach & walked down in the sand real close to the water and found some pretty shells. We had to run from the waves every few minutes. Once I wasn't quick enough & it splashed on my stockings. In the afternoon we ferried across the bay to Ina Lou's home in Oakland. It only took 10 minutes and her mother was there to meet us in the car. She took us around the city. There are absolutely the steepest hills I ever saw. Practically every house is on a hill over looking the ocean. We stopped at the top of a real high hill and looked down. Oh, it was a wonderful sight! We could see the beautiful homes & buildings, Goat Island, Golden Gate & the ocean. It was the prettiest view you ever saw. Then we saw the buildings at the University of California, Montgomery Ward, and the home of the shredded wheat biscuit. After that she drove us through a tube, which is just a long tunnel down under the water, to an island called Almedia. It is a large city of about 40,000 people. A very beautiful city surrounded by water. We circled around back to Oakland again and saw the airport where hundreds of airplanes landed and are kept in the hangers. About 6:30 we went to Ina Lou's house for supper. They have a sweet little apartment, beautifully furnished. Ina Lou is going to marry Miss Sala's brother, Albert. At 8:00 they drove us to the station and we got on the train again and here we are.
Still we sat out on the observation platform and watched our train ferry across the water. Just think, our train ran right on a ferry boat! It was interesting. Got up at 5 this morning to see Mt. Shasta. I wish you could see it. It just takes your breath it is so pretty. 4,000 feet high & all snow covered. We've been seeing it for 2 or 3 hours now. There is a mountain called Black Butte right near it which is really black. Imagine, now, this tall black peak and the snow covered one! Marion isn't up yet. Mary woke her to see Mt. Shasta but she just sat up and looked out at the window of the berth. There are large fir and pine trees and we went over the Cascade Mountains winding in and out until we were at the very top. I couldn't sleep when there is so much to see even though we have lost a lot of sleep!
The Sacramento River runs right down below us. It is not very wide but just as clear as crystal. It is fed by the snow melting & running down the mountains. We could see the water falls. Shasta Springs were pretty, too. The water just shop straight up in the air! I can see Mount Shasta again now & it is just like a picture. Of all the states I've seen I like California best. My eyes are fine. Don't have to wear any colored glasses any more. Bea is wearing hers this morning. There is a bunch of boys on the train & we were talking to one of them last night. He's traveled everywhere, I think, all over Europe and the United States. He is real young looking, too. Doesn't look a day over 17.
Well, This is our last day on the train until we start back. We stop at Medford a few minutes to see Mary's brother, Al, and then on to Roseberg, Oregon. Will arrive at 4:20. Don't know how long we shall stay. Will let you know later. Tell everyone hello & that I'd write but I can't stop looking long enough!
Lots of Love,
June 20, 1929
My Darling Mother,
I suppose you think I've almost forgotten to write but we've just been going-going- and when we got back I was usually too tired to write. Today we went to Bandon-by-the- Sea, about a 200 mile drive there & back. It was as far as we could go west by land. It is a beach or summer resort by the ocean side. We got up about 5:30 and packed up some bacon & eggs & bananas. It was a very beautiful drive. We passed Looking Glass Creek where everything is reflected just like a mirror- trees & everything! Then on over Comas Mountain, about 1240 ft. up the summit. This was beautiful, for there were tall douglas fir trees on both sides and there was either a river or a creek all along the way. The road wound in & out around the mountains and we could look down on these tall beautiful pine & fir trees and the Coquille River most of the way. That river is used mostly for logging and we could see large logs in it. We passed through Coquilla, the city where Mrs. Mullen's sister lives. On the way back we stopped at the place where all kinds of novelties are made out of myrtle wood. The only other place these things are made is in the Holy Land. I bought a little pin dish for a souvenir. Everything was very expensive. I paid 60 cents for this tiny dish!
We got to Bandon about 10 this morning and went out to the beach. It was too cool to go in the water so we fooled around a while watching the water, then went to the park to cook our dinner, but decided to eat up town instead. Then we went back & rented bathing suits and went in the water. We spent most of our time just lolling around in the sand, but is was fun to wade out a little ways and let the big waves wash over our feet. Some of them were so large they came up to our knees and would have come up to our necks if we had waded out far enough. But we were too afraid. There are the most large rocks, some real tall queer shaped ones. When the tide is high it dashes away over these tall rocks and is so foamy. Farther out in the water it is a deeper blue than the sky and perfectly beautiful. We went up to the guards' look- out house and he let us look through spy glasses at a little boat out at sea.
We picked up pretty rocks and shells and played around until about 3 o'clock this afternoon, then we dressed & started back about 7:30 tonight. You ought to see our red noses, necks, & arms. I never was so sunburned in my life, but we surely had a wonderful time. We cooked our bacon & eggs for supper and now Bea & I are in our rooms. Bea is already in bed. Marion is in Seattle now. Well, I guess that is enough of today's trip.
We have gone somewhere nearly every day. Yesterday we took a drive to Glendale with Tom to one of the McMarr stores that is under his management. It was a lovely drive, too, winding roads, trees, water. Saw the most orchards of prune trees! Also saw a linx cat, some deer, goats, coyotes, and today we saw a baby sea lion. Glendale is a 50 mile drive, about the same distance as St. Louis from Greenville. Tuesday night Beatrice & Kenneth and Ira & I drove out to the forks of the river. Here is where the north & south Umpqua River come together. It was very pretty to view in the moonlight. These are very nice boys that work at Tom's stores, the one that gave the picnic for us. They had two speels about us in the Oregon paper. Well, we've been having a perfectly gorgeous time. We'll start home either Monday or Tuesday. Will let you know later. We are going to Ashland Sunday and to their ranch Monday.
June 25, 1929
This will probably be the last letter you will receive from Roseberg because we are leaving in the morning for Portland and then on to Seattle, Washington where we stay a day & night then Friday morning we take the boat for Victoria and Vancouver, BC. We will be riding through Canada Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I will probably reach St. Louis Tuesday sometime. Mary doesn't know for sure. We will get back to Greenville Tuesday or Wednesday. Will let you know later for sure.
We have had a very nice 2 weeks here. They have certainly shown us a good time. Last Sunday they took us to the Oregon Caves, about 128 miles from here. They are known all over the United States. It took us 2 hours to go through them. It was very interesting and the drive was wonderful. We were way up high on the Siskinoyou Mts. and we could look down so deep we could hardly see the bottom. These mountains are just covered with fir & pine trees. It was pretty warm, too. Has it been warm at home? Last Thursday Tom took us to Bandon-by-the-Sea and we went bathing in the Pacific Ocean. Sure got a terrible sun burn. My neck, nose & shoulders were all red. I am peeling off now, and am sure brown! We took some pictures but they weren't very clear. I also have some pictures of the Oregon Caves. Well, I won't write any more now. Tell everybody hello and I'll write again Thursday or Friday.
Lots of Love,
P.S. We are invited to a garden tea party this afternoon.
After that we are going to have a picnic supper outside somewhere!
June 28, 1929
Canadian Pacific Railway Co.
British Columbia Coast Steamship Service
SS Princess Kathleen
Enroute from Seattle to Vancouver, BC
My Darling Mother,
We left Roseberg Wednesday morning on the stage and arrived at Portland that afternoon at 4:00. We checked our baggage at Union Station and decided to see the city. So, we took a street car that made a loop around the whole city. Most of the beautiful homes are built up on the highest hills. It took an hour to make the trip so we saw a lot and it only cost us 16 cents! On one hill just out of the city we could look down on pine & fir trees and a way on down farther we could see the Williametta River. It was 5:00 O'clock when we got back so we went in a little place called the crazy cat and ate. Then we went to a theater and on back to the station. It was about 9:30 but the streets were as light as day so we walked instead of taking a cab.
Our train didn't leave until 11:15 but we got on about 9:30 and our berths were all made up so we went to bed. Didn't go to sleep, though, til after the train started. We looked out at the window & watched as we passed over the river. The moon was shining like a big golden ball in the sky. It was beautiful. The next morning we woke up at 6:30 in Seattle. We dressed & took a taxi to the Continental Hotel. Since we had the whole day & night before us we decided to take a sight seeing trip. It was a combined stage & boat trip. We were on the stage 2 hours & went up & down some of the steepest hills I ever saw- like mountains! We saw lots of beautiful homes and scenery. Most of the homes are built of lumber because they have so many trees that it is cheaper. They all seem to have the most beautiful flowers and shrubbery. We went all around the University of Washington and through the museum where we saw an Indian mummy. Then we got on the boat & went all around by water over Lake Washington from which we were lowered by canal locks into Lake Union. We could see snow-covered Mount Shasta in the distance- 14,401 ft. high! It was gorgeous!
When we were lowered the water went down about 120 feet. The day was lovely and the guide told us all about everything and pointed out places of interest. I surely enjoyed it. After we got back we went to the music box theatre and saw Noah's Ark, the story that was running in the times paper. The scenes of the flood were wonderful. We stayed at the hotel last night & caught the boat for Vancouver this morning. We had an hour's stop at the Island of Victoria so Bea & I got off and took a trip. Saw all the interesting points and bought some cards. We are back on the boat now and will be at the end of our journey (boat trip) at 5:45. Then we get on the Canadian Pacific train and are on our way home. Will probably be almost there when you get this.
Love to all,