I Crossed America for a holiday!

(published in Prime Time Europe, Jan/Feb, 1982)

Take an Australian called Dave who is traveling around the world for a year, Kersten from Cologne – a medical secretary, a draughtswoman from Zurich, a very feminine ex-army officer from Israel, a teacher of immigrant children in London, a radio presenter from radio Orkney, a music teacher from Bedford, Danny – who has a top secret job in Israel, a south African furniture salesman-whose one ambition in life is to walk in and out of Canada on his South African passport, and a Prime Computer employee. Encapsulate this motley crew in a minibus and equip them with 6 tents, and a busty Californian called Kate, and what do you have?

You have Trek America’s Northerner tour that begins in New York and ends in Los Angeles three weeks later. It was a fascinating holiday, if holiday it can be called since we saw so many places and snippets of American life on the 4,700 mile journey across America that we were still recovering some two weeks and eight hours of jet lag later.

A quick round-up of impressions: The roar of New York from the top of the Empire State building as the myriads of yellow taxis peeped their horns for no reason and the ir conditioners spouted steam from cracks in the sidewalk creating miniature geysers on Broadway; the overwhelming splendor of Chicago’s flamboyant architecture; the gum-chewing, revolver-carrying cops in cars which are so rusty and dented that they look totally un-roadworthy; the ubiquitous Stetsons at the rodeo on Wyoming; the tattoo-chested prostitutes in the cowboy-country saloons; moose, buffalo, chipmunks and elk roaming wild in Yellowstone – could the scuffling and sniffing outside our tent be a bear? Windsurfing and water-skiing on the California lakes at 106F; and then the final encounter – Golden Gate bridge, a bumpy ride on a san Francisco cable car and a ‘Go Climb a Street’ T-shirt. Home via Sunset Boulevard, Shirley Temple’s footprints in concrete and a glimpse of The Fonz at Universal studios, LA.

The memory of all these famous landmarks is almost overridden by the unique friendliness of the American people. Someday I hope to return!

© Heather Morris 1982