Allan Wall Family Western Tour: American Scenery, History, Engineering, UC Berkeley, and a State's Namesake
07/03/2024
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There’s so much to see right here in the USA. Traveling in our own country allows us to see and reflect on our American heritage and to speculate as to where we are going.

My wife and son and I recently went on a 12-day ”Great Western Tour.” We visited 10 states and one Canadian province. My son planned the trip and drove the whole distance of 5,830 miles. It was a great trip.

We passed through various ecosystems with plenty of impressive scenery.

We visited Crater Lake National Park and Yellowstone—we saw Old Faithful erupt, right. We saw California redwoods and the Pacific Ocean.

We saw and utilized great American engineering. We traveled through the Rocky Mountains on the interstate highway system. We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. We saw the Grand Coulee Dam. We visited the site of the Golden Spike, where the transcontinental railroad was united in 1869. We toured an old mine in Idaho.

There were historical sites. We went to the Little Bighorn battlefield (Custer’s Last Stand). We visited the campsite of the ill-fated Donner Party.   Here below is a sign from the Donner Party campsite.   Given what occurred there, I wonder if the writer of the sign considered the propriety of putting ”Picnic Ground” on it.   Either he didn’t think about it or had a morbid sense of humor.  (My son thinks it was the latter.)

We went to a museum about the California Trail in Nevada. (Photo at top of blog entry) The museum was operated by BLM.  (No, not that BLM, the original BLM—Bureau of Land Management, very important out west where there is so much federal land.)

We went to 7 state capitols but only went inside one of them (the other 6 were closed when we went there).

Remember ”Bliss,” the default wallpaper picture of the green hill on Windows XP?  It’s possibly the most viewed photograph in history.

That photo was taken in California. My son located the site and we went there. It’s now a vineyard.

We went to San Francisco and the Bay Area.

I could see why San Francisco was historically such a strategic port.

Also in the Bay Area we visited the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. That’s where my dad went to graduate school, studying sociology. (One of his professors was Nathan Glazer.)

After studying sociology at Berkeley, my dad went back to the farm in Oklahoma, where he remains to this day. So my mother joked that he had socialized cows.

On our Great Western Tour, I was glad to see that the signs and exhibits at historical sites we visited were not ”woke” or anti-white. That’s good, although maybe they just haven’t gotten around to it. Anyway, they’re not that way now.

The state of Washington is named after George Washington, and the state highway signs feature the profile of Washington’s head. I guess if Washingtonians ever get so ”woke” they want to cancel George Washington, they would have to change the name of their state.

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