Saturday, April 1, 2017

Welcome to Chris's Genealogy Journey

Welcome to my new blog. This is how I plan to share photos and the story of my 2017 Genealogy
My 2008 Pleasurerway motorhome at Lake Kirkwood
Journey. If you want to follow along there are a couple ways to subscribe so you will be notified when I write a new chapter. Look for “Follow by email” or “Subscribe to” on the right hand side below “About Me”.

I’ve been contemplating this adventure for a very long time. For the past 40 years nearly all of my traveling has been done over long weekends, occasional two-week vacations, and very rarely longer trips to distant places like Europe and Australia. As a business founder/owner I’ve been reluctant to leave for long periods of time. That changed yesterday as I cleared out my desk and packed up mementos of my career.  I left PGAdesign in the very capable hands of my three business partners and have no doubt that they will carry on successfully.  I hope they will enjoy the business as much and as long as I have.  I enjoyed my work so much that I use to claim that, “I plan to drop dead at my desk.” But, I came to realize that there are other things that I enjoy just as much.

Me, my family and my parent's camper on our way to
Alaska to visit my sister, 1964
The primary purpose of this cross-country trip is to spend time where my ancestors lived and to learn more about what they did, where they lived and what their lives were like. I’ll spend time seeing these places and doing research at local history libraries, state archives, courthouses and other places where historic records are kept.

The other reason for the trip is to visit our state and national parks and all the places between them. The best part is that I get to take my time. When I find a place or part of the country I like, I plan to stay awhile and just enjoy it.

In 1971 my parents Lottie and Ed bought a Ford pickup
and a new camper before they got their motorhome
My second term serving on the Oakland Planning Commission ends on May 3rd. The plan is to begin this genealogy journey on May 4th.  

Thanks to my mother, I’ll be traveling in style. My parents spent many years traveling all over the United States and in other countries. At first, they had a pick-up truck and camper and later they upgraded to a motorhome. Traveling, taking photographs and writing about their trips were my mom’s hobby. When my mother died in 2013 she left me and my sister each a modest amount of money. Our brother got the house which was fair because he took care of her after our father died. My sister used her share to attend the 2015 Tour de France and travel through Europe.  I bought myself a 2008 Pleasureway motorhome in December of 2014. Since then Dianne and I have taken several trips together with our dog Twinkle. 
Liz Gluck, Tucson Botanical Garden
Our first trip was planned to celebrate my 65th birthday. Since I was born in January we wanted to go somewhere warm and decided on Tucson where our friend Liz Gluck lives. Liz took us to several nice desert gardens and birding spots.

Between April and November of 2015 we did six trips. We went to Grass Valley to visit my cousin Pat and his wife Bonnie; to Kirkwood Lake in the Sierra; Yuba Pass for wildflowers; Santa Rosa and the Charles Schultz Museum; Boethe Napa State Park and Calistoga; and Pfeiffer State Park - Big Sur - San Juan Bautista and Salinas where I thoroughly enjoyed the John Steinbeck Museum
Steinbeck's route for his book Travels with
, Steinbeck Museum, 2015
Our big trip in 2016 was in May. We went to Zion, Bryce, and Escalante in Utah and drove through Yosemite on the way home. I did one trip on my own in September, to Newhall in Southern California, where I met a second cousin Joyce who shared a treasure trove of family photos. The following month Dianne and I headed north to Lassen Volcanic National Park and to meet a second cousin from another branch of my family tree. Ann and I shared stories and photos as well.

Interior of Steinbeck's camper,
 Steinbeck Museum in Salinas, 2015
In preparation for this extended cross-country trip I’ve had solar installed on the motorhome and signed up for unlimited service with my own hotspot for Wi-Fi access – I hope it works so I’ll be able to post to this blog along the way.

For the next post in May I should be on the road.

Me and John Steinbeck at his
museum in Salinas, CA

Joshua Tree National Park, California, 2015
Yosemite National Park, May 2016