This is an essay on a trip to Yosemite and San Simeon by Bethel and Phoebe Coats and their three children and Albert Waltenspiel and his sister Emma. Also included were Margaret Bowles, the author, and her brother Joe who were out from Missouri and staying at the Bird Avenue home of Bethel and Phoebe. Albert would marry Margaret three years later. Bethel documents the participants in his journal.
Tuesday – July 9, 1907
Left 640 Bird Ave, San Jose at 10 o'clock en route for the Yosemite. We went to 9th St. for Emma and Bert Waltenspiel, and from there we drifted seven miles to Milpitas and ate our lunch one mile beyond. Then on three miles to Warm Springs, then four miles to Irvington and “from there two miles we chased away and landed in Mission San Jose.” (Joe)
Eleven miles to Pleasanton the land of hops.
We then went on without a stop. (Bert)
From thence we sailed without any boats
And finally landed at Grandpa Coats.
Supper at 9 P.M. and a grand old bed
On plenty of straw in an open shed. (Phoebe)
Wednesday – July 10
Wakened early this morning by brother Joe
Who stood in a barn window and tried to crow. (Bethel)
After breakfast, at 6:30 we left Grandpa Coats [probably Felix Grundy Coats, Bethel's father]; passed through the burg of Tassajara en route for Castle Rock ranch where we took some snaps of Castle Rock. Then returning we took a snap of the Tassajara P.O. Then proceeded to Cousin Bethel's ranch where we lunched and killed a lamb.
From there we went to Livermore without any slips
And Joe ransacked the town for Saratoga chips. (Bert)
Purchased some sundries and a Mexican hat
Which became me so greatly I must mention that. (Phoebe & Bert)
Then on to Nolen's we did go
And slept by the haystack nine in a row. (Bethel)
Thursday – July 11
Up at 5 AM and after a hearty breakfast we were on our way by seven o'clock accompanied by Florence [daughter of William Berry Nolen and Catherine Coats] who went as far as the rocks.
There we inspected Joaquin Murietta's cave
Where like the bold bandit we tried to behave.
We scrambled around from rock to rock
And Bert slid down which gave us a shock. (Phoebe & Bert)
We also took some snaps of the rocks,
Florence left us for home
And we went on to Mountain House and ate lunch alone. (Phoebe)
Just over the hill we came within view of the beautiful San Joaquin valley which is at present partially covered with water caused by excessive rain and snow melting in the mountains, which bursted the levees. But the remainder of the valley was greatly benefited by the bountiful rain. We passed numerous beautiful fields of grain being harvested with combined harvesters drawn by a team of thirty two horses and mules. They were so interesting that we snapped one at work.
We camped four miles from Banta in a beautiful spot near the residence of a dear old German lady who was very kind to us.
Four young men who were just returning from the Yosemite also camped here. They were from near San Jose and Campbell.
Now we've written all up for to-day
And to-morrow we hope something funny to say. (B)
Friday – July 12
Started out this morning about seven o'clock, went through the town of Grayson then on to Crow's Landing where we crossed the San Joaquin river.
Instead of camping at the river and letting the mosquitoes eat us,
We went seven miles farther on where we met a man happy to greet us. (B.)
Spent the night here and had a bed on alfalfa hay and woke early next morning both happy and gay.
Saturday – July 13
Then went on to Modesto where we made quite a stay
And fooled about two hours of our time away. (B.S.C.)
We ate noon lunch five miles east of Modesto near the residence of a Mr. Frenzia.
Then went on through Waterford and to the Tuolumne river where we crossed on the ferry boat, and camped for the night just across the river.
Sunday – July 14
This morning after making preparations to continue our journey and while the others were performing their duties, Cousin Phoebe and I went for a row on the river with the ferry tender, Mr. Angelo Basso, who acted as the captain. We enjoyed it very much. When we returned they were all ready to start so we went on to La Grange a small mining town. We decided to go 1½ miles out of our way to visit the La Grange dam which is the chief attraction of the country round and is certainly a wonderful sight. It is 301 ft. wide and 127 ft high and 80 ft through required two years to complete it. We remained here for about two hours spell bound with the beautiful sight of the wonderful volume of water pouring over the dam.
We took some snaps of different points.
Then returned to the town where we visited the ice plant and Cousin Bethel treated us all to some delicious strawberry ice cream.
We are now entering the Sierra Nevada mountains, and after traveling about fifteen miles we camped for the night near a beautiful place where they had all kind of shade trees and fruit trees in the yard. The principal trees were some enormous fig trees (63) laden with the delicious fruit, of which all enjoyed very much except we Missourians whose tastes were not educated to them.
Monday – July 15
Started this morning at seven o'clock. Came through some beautiful mountain scenery, which was varied by all kinds of trees with a number of varieties of pine trees, some of which had delicious pine nuts the first I had ever eaten and which I enjoyed very much.
On the way Joe cut some canes from the manzanita.
We camped near Bower Cave by the side of a beautiful little stream. Visited Bower Cave this evening and found it very interesting.
Had a delightful place to camp near a small mountain stream.
Tuesday – July 16
Left Bower Cave early this morning and started up very steep grade where
Everybody walked but the driver.
Stopped for noon lunch on the summit of one of these mountains and then began a gradual descent through beautiful canyons and arrived at Hazel Green, the first toll-gate, where we paid 1.00 per passenger for driving over the private road from Coulterville to Big Meadows.
Went on through Big Meadows to the Merced big trees where we camped. Had a fine place to camp right beneath two of the largest trees. These trees are so large that our party of nine by clasping hands could just reach around them.
Wednesday – July 17
We were up and stirring bright and early, but “Mother” delayed the game with her biscuits, so we did not get on our way until nearly 8 A.M.
We passed through some beautiful mountain scenery, and about eleven o'clock began to descend rapidly into the Yosemite Valley. Great walls of granite were all about us, and the Merced river, dashing over a bed of boulders, looked like a white ribbon below. When we were in the bottom of the valley, we camped for lunch opposite the beautiful cascades. After lunch we moved up the valley. The first point of interest were the Bridal Veil Falls on our right. On our left were the Ribbon Falls and the great granite mass El Capitan. Shortly the three brothers appeared just about the same height as El Cap. Next came the Yosemite falls, Upper and Lower. After a short stop at the guardian's house, where we registered, we moved on up the valley and pitched our permanent camp opposite the “Royal Arches”, another great granite precipice with great arches outlined on its face. After a hearty supper we retired to our bed of pine needles.
___2_____________1______________________________3__________ * 5 =========================================================== MERCED RIVER ===========================================================
You see our camp was beautifully located & we could lie in our hammocks & see many of the important points of interest.
Thursday – July 18
This morning we spent straightening up our camp. After a weeks trip, some of it over hot dusty roads, water is found to be a great luxury when it can be applied in unlimited quantities. First of all we had our bath and after a complete change of clothing we felt brand new. Next our correspondence received attention and all the party sat around with pad and pencil.
We stayed in camp until after noon lunch, and then drove up to see the Bridal Veil Falls and spent quite awhile there enjoying the beauties of the falls as well as the scenery round.
Friday – July 19
Arose bright and early and started at [blank] for a trip to Cloud's Rest, said to be the highest point in the valley. We went most of the way on horseback up a mountain trail, then left our horses and went on foot to the summit: Elevation 9924 ft. We enjoyed a treat playing in the snow on the top of the mountain and took some pictures of the party playing in the snow, we remained on the mountain until about 2 o'clock and then began our descent into the valley again. On our way up the trail we got fine views of Vernal & Nevada Falls. Also took some snaps of these falls.
Reached camp at about seven feeling somewhat tired but very well paid for our trip.
Saturday – July 20
Up early and all soon got busy making preparations for another mountain climb up to the top of Yosemite Falls and to Yosemite Peak. All of us went except Emma, Eunice & Doris.
We started about [blank] and went by the soldier's camp and a short distance farther where we came to the trail, and then began the climb up the mountain. First we came to the top of the lower Falls and stopped there a few minutes to admire the falls and get a view of the valley from there. The views are ever changing as we ascend and at every turn of the trail we can see a different view of the valley below until after we have climbed for quite a distance up the mountain and we come to a point where our view of the valley is entirely shut out by the surrounding mountains. However it is only a very short time until we can see the valley again and as we go higher & higher objects in the valley below seem smaller & smaller until at the highest point (Yosemite peak) the valley spreads out before our visions like a beautiful panorama and people & horses seem only tiny mechanical toys. We spent a short while here, 6,975 ft. enjoying the splendid view, took a snap of our party and then began our descent.
As we came down we stopped for a short time and left our horses and went down to the iron railing that is just at the top of the falls, to see the water as it makes its plunge over the edge of the cliff. It was somewhat scary to some of us climbing down over those big rocks and along by the side of the mountain but we were well paid and felt glad that we went.
On our way down we all stopped our horses on a bridge and took a picture. This bridge is across the stream just a short distance above the fall, and near this place also is where we ate noon lunch. The Yosemite is to me the most beautiful of all the falls.
Sunday – July 21
As we had planned this morning for our visit to Mirror Lake we arose early in order to have breakfast and get to Mirror Lake in time to see the sun rise. This is a very beautiful lake and is wonderful in that it makes such a perfect reflection of surrounding scenery. Everything is mirrored perfectly and one could stay for hours gazing at this beautiful body of water.
We were there just a few minutes before sun rise so just in time to enjoy the pleasure of seeing the sun rise at Mirror Lake. It was a grand sight, and one never to be forgotten.
We came back to camp and remained in camp until after dinner, and then all of us except Joe went for a drive to various points of interest in the valley. First we went to Happy Isles, then to Camp Curry where a young lady joined us for the remainder of our drive to town. We spent a short time in town visiting Yosemite Store, the Tourist Office and the various studios. Then from there we drove to the lower Yosemite Falls and then on back by way of Camp Yosemite to our camp. Camp Yosemite is a beautiful camping place situated as it is at the foot of Yosemite Falls and near some of the grandest mountains in the valley.
Today we saw Mr. Clark, the founder of the big trees. Age 93 years.
Monday – July 22
Today all the party except Cousin Phoebe and I went to Glacier Point. It is another point where a beautiful view of the valley can be obtained.
Cousin Phoebe and I remained in camp doing laundering and baking preparatory to our journey tomorrow.
Tuesday – July 23
Left camp this morning at about eight o'clock. We left the valley reluctantly for we are just beginning to enjoy its wonders but because of limited time we must go on. And we feel very glad that we have had the opportunity of spending even a short time in this beautiful valley.
We drove through town where we stopped for a short time to mail some postals and purchase souvenirs.
Then went on through Bridal Veil meadows, passed Bridal Veil Falls and El Capitan. And then began our climb out of the valley. First we came to Artist's Point where we stopped a few moments and took a last view of the valley. From here we could also see the beautiful cascades and near where we ate dinner the day we reached the valley. We ate noon lunch near Inspiration Point.
Passed thro' the stage-stations of Grouse Creek and Chinquapin where the stages, going from Raymond to the Valley via Wawona, stop to change horses.
Shortly after leaving Chinquapin when making a turn in the road we came in sight of a full-grown doe, which greatly excited brother Joe.
Camped for the night at Stage station No. 10. On the barn was printed the motto: God Bless our ‘Ome’. We felt the full-meaning of these words as that was our 'ome for the night, and we had a fine bed, “which made us feel so much at home
that brother Joe composed a pome”.
Here it is:
And that motto hanging there
On that barn so bleak and bare,
Made us with amazement stare
Wondering who had put it there.
Wednesday – July 24
Left camp early this morning en route for the Mariposa Grove of big trees.
After eight uneventful miles we came to Wawona, a beautiful little mountain retreat also a stage-station of some importance. Here is situated a toll gate where we must pay a specified toll for each team before going farther. Here is our experience in a stanza composed by Bert & Joe:
After the covered bridge we crossed
We came up on the toll-gate boss,
Who stood beside the mountain road
Relieving tourists of their load.
After passing thro' Wawona we followed directions of a gentlemen of whom we inquired the way and took all roads but the right one. Finally after various vicissitudes we got on the right turnpike which led us to the foot of “Grizzly Giant”, one of the largest of all the big trees, where we found the rest of our crowd eating lunch. We joined them and all ate our noon lunch together about 2 p.m. Took a snap-shot of our party standing by the foot of “Grizzly Giant”. Then we began our drive through the grove of big trees. First we drove through the “California” then on and on passing the following trees; Texas, Fallen Monarch, Alabama, Faithful Couple, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, Diamond Group, Maine, Columbia, Fresno, Gens. Sherman, Grant & Sheridan, Pasadena, Nevada, Minnesota, General Logan, Wm. McKinley, Washington, Lincoln, Los Angeles, West Point, Dewey, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Forest Giant, Montana, New York, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Wawona, Honolulu, Chicago, University of California, Longfellow, Yale, Stonewall Jackson, Rr E. Lee, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Telescope, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Mass., Haverford, Ohio, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, Iowa, San Francisco, Washburn, and Mariposa. We stopped at the guardian's cabin and purchased some souvenir postals of the big trees, also some souvenir pincushions made of the wood of the Sequoias. From the cabin we continued on our way passing several big trees, and after quite a climb we reached Wawona Point where we had a fine view of the town of Wawona and Wawona meadows. On our way down to camp we passed numerous other large trees among them the Telescope trees, the St. Louis, and the Missouri. Got some bark from the MO to keep for a souvenir. Camped just outside the entrance to the park at an abandoned toll-gate. Two other parties who were on their way to the big trees also camped here.
Thursday – July 25
Started this morning at 7:15. Passed through the little village of Summerdale formerly Fish Camp. Then on to Fresno Flats where we stopped for lunch.
This morning we have been going through a lumbering region where workmen are getting lumber out of the mountains by means of lumber flumes (the first I had ever seen). After lunch we walked up to the flume & watched the lumber float down.
During the afternoon we passed thro' the prosperous town of Coarse Gold. Also passed the school-house near Coarse Gold where Emma at one time taught school for two weeks [her family lived in the area in 1890]. Camped for the night at Willow Glen, the residence of a very kind old gentleman of whom we purchased some roasting ears [corn?] for supper which was quite a treat to us being the first roasting ears we had had.
Friday – July 26
Started this morning about eight o'clock en route for Fresno. Went through the old stage stations of Rosedale and Bates Station. Crossed the San Joaquin river at Lane's Bridge and stopped for lunch just across the river. We spent quite a while here after lunch playing in the river. Left here about 5 o'clock p.m. and drove to within three miles of Fresno where we camped near the residence of a Mr. Blasingame. He was a very talkative, sociable man and very kindly invited us to come in and listen to his phonograph. So after supper, six of us went in to hear the music. We heard several nice pieces, among them being “In the Valley of the Sunny San Joaquin”. We enjoyed them all very much and it seemed rather strange but very pleasant nevertheless to be in a house once more.
Saturday – July 27
Started on our way this morning about 7:30 and drove into Fresno where we spent quite awhile purchasing supplies and seeing the town. Also sent some postals to folks at home. Purchased some reading matter to read as we go along.
Ate lunch just after leaving town and then went on our way! This afternoon we began reading “David Harum”. The country now is very dry and the roads are somewhat dusty but they are level and hard and we get along fine. Traveled 27 miles this afternoon and camped at Kings River, just a mile south of Laton.
Mosquitoes advanced on us in cohorts galore,
And bit us until our faces and necks were all sore. (Bert)
Sunday – July 28
Awoke this morning feeling fine and after a nice breakfast of fine, tender beefsteak etc., we proceeded to pack up and start on our way. We are now traveling through the plains. Arrived at King's river in time for lunch. All of us except Emma and Joe had a fine time playing in the river. Cousin P., Joe, and I fished for a short time but not having very fine luck we concluded we'd rather go into the water.
We left the river at about 4:30 and from here we began crossing Tulare Desert. Shortly after leaving we came in sight of Tulare Lake. Along the road we saw many Jack Rabbits and coyotes.
Drove until about 8 o'clock and then camped for night at an artesian well. This well is 280 ft. deep, and was made for the accommodation of travelers crossing the desert.
Monday – July 29
Arose at 4 o'clock and after a hasty breakfast were on our way by 6 o'clock. Crossed the remainder of Tulare desert, then crossed some low foothills and the Kettleman Plains, and Sunflower valley where the sunflowers used to grow in profusion but there aren't many there at present.
On the edge of Sunflower valley is Dudley.
Then way out in the middle of the plain,
We passed through Dudley--town only in name
Its barn and house are in such sore distress
That it must be a community pretty hard pressed.
God help its woman and children forlorn
Who wish many a time they had never been born. (Bert)
Ate lunch at Cottonwood Springs then through moderately fertile hills until we reached Chalome where we camped.
Tuesday – July 30
Left Chalome on time. Passed Shandon a town of three barns and two houses. Had lunch at a farm about six miles from Paso Robles where we purchased bread, butter, and jelly and feed for the horses. Just on the outskirts of Paso Robles we turned off to the hot sulphur sand spring where we all enjoyed a bath. Here we had great sport jumping up and down in the water being unable to sink. After our bath we drove through town the main point of interest being the Hotel El Paso de la Robles. Camped at Mr. Hearst's home. (Cousin George) [Margaret, Phoebe, and Joe's grandmother was Mary Hearst, George Hearst's aunt.]
Supper was a grand success and we appreciated it more because it was the first meal we had eaten in a house since leaving Mr. Coats.
Wednesday – July 31
Started at 8:20 for Cousin Geo. Bowles' [Phoebe's brother] place – our destination. Our wagon missed the road and we went sight-seeing about two miles off of our road. We are now crossing the Coast Range of mountains. Camped for lunch at a young German farmer's (Mr. Haas)
Proceeded on our way and upon reaching the summit of the mountain we had our first view of the Pacific. We then traveled on twelve miles along the beautiful Santa Rosa creek and reached Cousin George's at about six p.m.
Thursday – August 1
Had a fine bed of straw in Cousin's cow shed and arose this morning feeling fine.
Today we spent most of the day washing and ironing and making preparations for our trip to the beach.
Cousin George and family finally decided to accompany us.
Retired at 10 p.m.
Friday – August 2
Started on our way to the ocean about noon. Went through the towns of Cambria & San Simeon. We came in sight of the ocean shortly after leaving Cambria and drove along the shore until we reached the Arroyo de la Cruz where we pitched our camp among the willows. We are now on the Hearst ranch which comprises some 5000 acres. We ate lunch on the beach where we met Cousin George, Joe and Bert who had gone ahead and caught enough fish for supper.
Saturday – August 3
Immediately after breakfast we gathered the children from their pleasure of wading in the ocean and all went down the beach about a mile where we stopped and fished as long as our appetites would allow being fortunate in catching seventeen fine large members of the finny tribe of three different varieties: ocean catfish (or bullheads), sea trout, and rock cod.
We then retired to our camp and prepared a hearty dinner of our spoils which we enjoyed immensely. We ladies & children spent the remainder of the afternoon at camp but the gentlemen returned to the beach and caught three more fish after which they went to one of the neighbor's and procured some hay for the horses.
Sunday – August 4
This morning we busied ourselves preparing to move camp a few miles farther down the beach near the Piedras Blancas lighthouse where we had heard of a pleasant camping place in sight of the rolling waves.
We regretted to leave our cozy little nook in the willows with our comfortable beds etc. but we found our new situation just as desirable being near a wonderful sand bank where we all returned to our childish delights and coasted and played to our heart's content. We also took great pleasure wading in the surf. We expected to have a mussel bake with some friends but as they didn't arrive we prepared our own dinner of fish etc. and thanked the Lord for the blessings he has showered upon us. We found a nice table with benches attached which we enjoyed as it was a great improvement to our former conveniences.
After dinner we hurried over to the lighthouse hoping to be able to be shown through it but found it closed for the day to visitors. But they obliged us by showing us through the fog-horn station.
Then we watched the breakers from the shore,
And also heard the ocean roar. (Bethel)
Then we went back to camp & retired.
Monday – August 5
Immediately after breakfast we all went up to the lighthouse and were shown all the details and mechanism of the place which we found extremely interesting and felt well repaid for our efforts. Then we started on our way back to Cousin George's stopping at the shell-bed where we fished for awhile but as we had little success we decided to move farther down the beach.
Here we fished until it was so late
We had to drive home at so rapid a rate
That we nearly upset 'twixt the house and the gate. (Bethel)
Today we caught twelve fish making a total of forty fish for the trip.
Tuesday – August 6
Today we spent at Cousin George's washing and ironing and making preparations for our journey home.
Wednesday – August 7
Cousin Phoebe baked bread and we packed our camping wagons and started on our way about 3 p.m. intending to spend the night with Mrs. Hill and family.
Thursday – August 8
After a very enjoyable night's rest and visit with our friends we continued on our way five miles to the town of Cayucos. From there to old Creek which we followed up a few miles till we came to the pass over the Coast range of mountains.
After climbing the mountain and going a short distance we arrived at Mr. Haas were we again ate lunch. We then went on to Paso Robles fifteen miles distant.
Camped all night at Paso Robles near residence of a kind old couple, Mr. & Mrs. Finley who live [as] neighbors to Mr. Hearst.
Friday – August 9
Left camp at 8 a.m. and drove down to the sand spring where we all enjoyed another bath. Left the spring at 10:30 and went on 9 miles to San Miguel. Just before reaching San Miguel we stopped and visited the old San Miguel mission. This mission is 110 yrs. old being founded in 1797. It is still well preserved and used for church services. There still remains some portions of the old adobe wall which surrounded the old mission's grounds which were some ten acres in extent.
After lunch at San Miguel we proceeded north & the first town we came to was Bradley. Here we asked the way to San Ardo but missed the landmarks and had some difficulty finding the right road. In trying to find our way Bert & Joe went up to a Spanish farm house and after inquiring what road to take were directed in Spanish by the lady of the house. Later they found her son who could speak English and after pointing out the road which crossed the river he advised them to “take to the railroad track” thus complimenting them upon their appearance. At Bradley we first came in contact with the Salinas valley wind and felt its full force for the rest of the afternoon. After crossing the river we inquired at three farmhouses for camping accommodations for the night but were refused on account of the danger of fire so we went on to San Ardo which we reached about 8:30 and camped in a shed back of a livery stable.
Saturday – August 10
Left San Ardo at 7 a.m. Went through San Lucas ten miles distant. Then ten miles more to King City. Just outside of King City we drove across a bridge 1/3 of a mile in length. Stopped for lunch about three miles out of King City. Went off the road down into a creek bottom in a nice shady place.
Between Kings City and Soledad we passed through Greenfield, a mushroom town 1½ years old founded by the Clark Water Co., surrounded by beautiful fields of Alfalfa irrigated from Salinas river. Here we also found a watering trough “where all the guys water their horses”.
Then through the town of Soledad and on to Gonzales where we camped near the residence of some friends of Emma's and Bert's.
Sunday – August 11
Left Gonzales this morning en route for Monterey and Pacific Grove. Passed near the Spreckles sugar factory but as the factory isn't in operation we failed to get to visit it. Sugar here is made from sugar beets and whole fields of sugar beets are to be seen for miles of country surrounding the factory.
Ate lunch in the shade of some grand spreading oaks near a little stream just after crossing the bridge near the factory.
Monday – August 12
Had a very pleasant nice place to camp at the free camping ground of Pacific Grove.
Today we went on what is termed the 17 mile drive.
Starting we drove out through Pacific Grove, New Monterey, old Monterey then through the toll-gate where we presented our pass which we had secured at Monterey. First we came to Moss Beach, then the loop, then the midway with cedars of Lebanon growing on each side and then on to Pebble Beach where we spent quite awhile gathering little pebbles. Also ate lunch here. Leaving Pebble Beach we drove on through Cannel By The Sea and to the old Carmel mission and then back to Hotel Del Monte at Monterey one of the finest hotels in the state. Here we stopped and drove through the hotel grounds which are very beautiful as well as extensive. Also went through a maze made of cypress trees. It is made more like a puzzle than anything and the trick is to get to the center which we did after repeated efforts.
Then drove back through old & new Monterey & Pacific Grove to our camp where we enjoyed a good supper. After supper we went over to a neighboring camp and listened to a gramophone for an hour or so and then retired I for one feeling very glad to have seen Monterey and the other points of interest we have visited.
Left camp this morning at 7:25 en route for Watsonville where we will spend a short time visiting Cousin Margaret [Phoebe's sister] & family.
We are now passing through a beautiful stretch of country with orchards and fertile fields on every side. In the vicinity of Watsonville much fruit is grown including apples, pears, plums, figs etc. Also is especially noted for its berries. Ate lunch just after passing through the beautiful little town of Salinas, by the side of the road where a very sociable old fellow was cutting wood. He told us he was formerly from Illinois, having come to California years ago.
Reached Cousin Margaret's shortly after six o'clock and felt very glad to see them all.
Wednesday – August 14
Spent most of the day visiting with the folks. Drove out to Cousin Elfin's father's and also took in some of the country around Watsonville.
Thursday – August 15
Today we drove down to the ocean and went out on the wharf and fished a short time but didn't catch but four little fish and so didn't feel very well paid for our trouble. However we enjoyed the drive and seeing the ocean. Saw an immense sea lion swimming along near the shore. Also saw a large number of sea-pigeons out from shore a little ways. We could see birds as far as the eye could reach on each side. They were following the schools of fishes.
Friday – August 16
Left Cousin Margaret's just after noon lunch and drove to Seabright a suburban summer resort of Santa Cruz. Bert's and Emma's sisters [Bert had five other sisters besides Emma: Virginia, Ida, Alice, Edan, and Myra. They lived in San Jose with there mother and brother Walter.] are here spending a part of the summer so we enjoyed their hospitality and made our head quarters at their little cottage down near the beach.
Saturday – August 17
Went down to the swimming tank in the Casino at Santa Cruz this morning rented bathing suits and all went in bathing. Spent quite awhile in the water and enjoyed it immensely. Also went out in the surf for a short time but the water was so cold after being in the warm water that we soon went back to the warmer water. While we were enjoying our bath in the plunge we looked up and to our great surprise we saw Cousin Margaret laughing and calling to us. We then looked up in the crowd of spectators and soon found Aunt Ellen [Ellen Bowles, Phoebe's and Margaret's mother] and all the children who were looking down at us from their seats in the gallery.
After our bath we went back to Mrs. Trace's cottage and all very much enjoyed a dinner of fish and vegetables. There were just twenty-two in the crowd including Aunt Ellen & Cousin Margaret's folks and we had a very pleasant social time. After lunch we all drove over to the Casino and spent awhile there seeing the attractions and purchasing some souvenirs for folks at home. Cousin Elfin's folks left us then for home and the remainder of us including Mr. & Mrs. Trace and children and Miss Virgie Waltenspiel all went on the Cliff drive and out to Vendeleau and then to the natural bridges. Also visited a museum and saw ever so many lovely shells and sea-moss and curios of various kinds. The ocean here is beautiful – one of the grandest places we've been yet to watch the waves.
Sunday – August 18
Left Seabright this morning about ten o'clock “homeward bound” all feeling glad that we were getting home again. “Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.”
Crossed the Santa Cruz mountains and enjoyed some beautiful mountain scenery of the Santa Cruz mountains. Ate lunch near the Terrace Green hotel, a beautiful hotel situated up in the mountains. Drove on down and passed another hotel called Hotel de Redwood. Soon came to the foot of the mountains and reached Alma a small railroad station. From there we followed down the canyon along the Los Gatos creek to Los Gatos which is situated just at the opening of two large mountains. We were then ten miles from our destination and we traveled on through beautiful orchards with scarcely a space between until we reached San Jose.