Tag Archive: travel USA


1976 US Bicentennial travel with our Hobomobil*

PART 1 – From Alberta south to USA mid-west

Traveling with my little son in our old what I call Hobomobil* (a vehicle serving as a home, for decent temporary traveling folks; vs. hobomobile=Google app) square back Volkswagen. For the purpose of obtaining a Landed Immigrant visa for Canada. [See also my previous posts on 1975 travel during summer vacation from Syracuse University, taking a Greyhound Bus across USA.]

1976 is an important year for the United States, (their Bicentennial), having a history since 1776 and celebrating the most important events, which led to the US forming and their constitution, and – 4th of July 1776 – the Declaration of Independence. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bicentennial ]. I had come from Europe to the United States in fall of 1974 for my graduate program at Syracuse University. At that time I did not know much about US history. It was only coincidental that we (myself and my little son) would be there during this important period in time and history.

Likewise, not knowing at that time that my son after leaving Alberta, Canada, would also return to the USA, Alabama and later Washington, DC, for his own graduate studies. And then in 1990 return to his homeland Holland.

Back to my story – 1976, the year we arrived in Canada in Spring, on my expired US student visa. Having traveled in my VW for weeks to arrive in Edmonton, Alberta, staying with a friend. Someone who saw my vehicle (NY State license plate), turned me in to Immigration. Normally one has to return to ones home country to apply from there for a Canadian Landed Immigrant visa.

Impossible ! Somehow, with the help of another friend there, and some sort of job offer, I could return to the United States, to apply for the Canadian Visa and wait it out there. We took the opportunity, being it was summer, to just travel around. From state to state, during the US Bicentennial. Lots of celebrations, you might think ? Not so much. The nearest Canadian Consulate I chose was Minneapolis, Minnesota.

My old VW Hobomobil, our temporary home, in which we traveled, lived, slept, cooked, and accumulated a lot of stuff as souvenirs. Alone, on campgrounds, or just driving till late into the night, meeting others in similar or same positions. This old car did not even have an air conditioning system – summers sometimes high up into the 30C. All “road” people nice to us, even a group of Hells Angels motor cycle guys, met on the road during a heavy rain storm, waiting it out under a bridge.

[The pictures are from scanned images, previously slides]

 

Part 1 – New York State to Grand Canyon

My travels across the United States during Summer vacation 1975.

I had spent many years in the United States. Arriving from Europe in the fall of 1974 with my little son, then only seven years old, to enroll in a graduate program at Syracuse University, New York State.

During the summer vacations of 1975 we took off on a lengthy trip across the US, using a Greyhound Bus (Ameripass, later Greyhound Discovery Pass, now discontinued). It was an adventure, spending many long hours on these buses, sometimes during the night.

Starting at Syracuse University, New York State via Washington, DC, then on to Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Liberty Bell (the original bell today: Liberty Bell Center, Philadelphia, Pe), Missouri and St. Louis, then onto Colorado, and further to New Mexico, Albuquerque, and then into Arizona, to visit the Grand Canyon [ https://www.legendsofamerica.com/az-flagstaff/ ]. On the way take in old Bedrock City, The Flintstones, now closed. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedrock_City_(Arizona) ]

[continued in Part 2 – TRAVELS ACROSS AMERICA].

The picture gallery (selecting only a few) shows individual stops. The pictures are not the best quality. [BACKGROUND: On our flight over from Luxembourg to New York City with a stop at Riykjavik Airport, I had acquired an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic F camera [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentax_Spotmatic ], using slides and a projector all those years until getting my next set of cameras. Much later in 2006 I then sat down scanning all my thousands of slides to store on my PC.]

TRAVEL ENCOUNTERS – ESRO

Amazing incidental encounters while travelling. During many travels or shorter trips I always meet new and interesting people (‘been there, done it’). But sometimes the coincidences seem more amazing. 1975 during my summer vacation from Syracuse University, me and my little boy took the Greyhound Bus across the Mid West and stopped among others in Washington DC, visiting the impressive Library of Congress.

[ http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/collections/72157601355524315/ ]

Of course being familiar with the Library of Congress from Europe when working with a project team on an international project for Unesco, the team including NSFAIS staff and LC staff. That was 1973, shortly before leaving Europe for the USA, Syracuse University. While we visited the Library of Congress in 1975 I tried to find out if that nice lady I knew from Europe was still working there. But no. Then in the Library catalogue looking for my name (as I did work studies for Unesco, Paris, that were published). What I found was my name. But, it was my husband’s name (dating to the time he worked with ESTEC – European Space Technology Centre, Nordwijk, NL). Where I also had worked as IT Head Information from 1965 until 1967. ESTEC is a centre of ESA.

Same time we were there that day, there was a fire drill. Alarm went, and all visitors and staff were asked to leave the LC building. And lo and behold I talked with a man standing next to me who told me that he himself had worked for ESTEC in The Netherlands. Small world.

Another one: We continued our trip that year 1975 and visited among other wonderful sites the Grand Canyon, and also Tuscon, AZ. There we found this: ESRO2

a sign on a little sandwich shop. ESRO – being the former name of the European Space Agency (ESA). [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESRO ] During the time I still worked there, the name was ESRO. How on earth does this sign on that shop end up here ?

[maybe a sign for myself?: “get your butt back home to Europe?” – I never went back.]