Excerpts from the Past

Reading old journal entries from decades ago leaves a peculiar feeling – like peeking into the notes of a stranger. (You are not the same person that occupied a certain space-time when you were eleven years old. Or 21, 31, 51 or beyond.)

Here are some random entries from long ago:

August, 1975: San Diego Zoo, California

(I was 11 years old on my first trip to “the U.S. Mainland”)

"Oh, the places you'll go!"“Date: 8/26/75     Places Visited: San Diego Zoo and 52-Mile Scenic Drive”

“We left the motel at 10:00 AM. We went to San Diego Zoo. There we took a 40 minute bus tour through the zoo. Then we went to see the snakes. Some of them were ugly, ugly, uggggly! We took a rest. Then we went to the Children’s Zoo. We petted the animals and one of them stole a paper from somebody’s pocket and ate it. We then went to see the chicks. They were real cute and we also saw several come out of their eggs. We went through a tunnel and looked in small round windows at sea lions playing under water. Then went on outside to the orangutans cage and saw one pick up some manure and put it in his mouth and ate it. Yuck!  Then we went on the Sky Fari outside the Children’s Zoo. Then we walked back and rode the moving sidewalk and rode another one and saw the birds. We left for the shop, got something, and left feeling happy.”

“We then went on the 52 Mile Scenic Drive with signs showing the way. [Editor’s Note: It’s now the 59 Mile Scenic Drive in 2016.] Boy, what a ride! We got on the trail then lost it, found, lost, found, lost, then found it. On this adventure we went from San Diego Zoo through Balboa Park Downtown, Harbor Island, Shelter Island. Take a break. Then went to Cabrillo Nat[ional] Mon[ument] pass [sic] Ocean, Mission, and Pacific Beach. Then went to Soledad Park, passed Univ. Calif., through La Jolla, and then went back to Ramada.”

August, 1977: Great Falls, Montana and Waterton, Canada

(At age 13, Canada was my second exposure “to a foreign country”. The first was a very brief walking visit to Nogales, Mexico, recounted HERE.)


“Date: August 10 [1977]      Place: Montana, USA and Waterton, Canada”

“The time was 7:45 AM when we left for Waterton, Canada. I slept (again) till we reached Great Falls, Montana. Dad got gas and drove on to the A&W where the four of us ate hamburgers and a drink. I slept again till we reached Shelby [Montana]. The threesome plus me ate at Tastee Freeze. I had only a rootbeer. We went to the Museum of Plains Indian Art. There were all kinds of Indian artifacts. We saw the film of Glacier [National] Parks in St. Mary’s Visitor Center.”

“At 4:42 P.M., we entered Canada. Along the way the four of us saw deer. At 5:50 we arrived at the Windflower Motel, unpacked & rode on bicycle cars. Kurt and I bought things at a souvenir shop while Mom & Dad toured Waterton. Ate at Tourist Cafe. Tomorrow we leave for Calgary.”