Saturday, May 22, 2010

2004 Train Trip – Part 18 - Epilogue

During the third grade year at Oakwood, some group of our parents as well as our teacher, Betty Terry, organized a trip to Arizona to visit some Hopi reservations and Canyon De Chilly.  We rode in big jeeps through the rivers of sandstone canyons, looking at the ancient structures of the Native Americans built into the hillsides.  At the end of the allotted trip time, my mother went home with the rest of parents and kids, while my father, David Murray (a classmate of mine) and I rented a car and went on to see the petrified dinosaur tracks near the four corner states monument. I suppose we could have considered this an extension of studies from the previous class year.  We also ended up flying inside of the Grand Canyon in a helicopter

At the end of this, we three drove to Flagstaff and took a train overnight back to Los Angeles, where my mother picked us up. This whole adventure had a huge impact on my family, especially on my father and I.  From this point on, my father became interested and made a hobby out of archeology and paleontology.  He took classes and went on trips around the world to see and work in various sites, all the while still working at his aerospace job.  He credits the beginning of this interest to the 3rd grade trip we all took.

I too was impacted by this.  Since that time, I have always taken a particular interest in the Southwest, trains, and in seeing new places.  It didn’t take right away.  During my pre-teen and adolescent years, I could think of nothing greater than just making my way down to the beach, or sleeping in late.  But once I got rolling with a license to drive, I was all over the traveling thing; especially areas of natural beauty.