Archive for JB and Jo Harrison Travel Diaries

Bryan and Jo’s Airstream Friends (1960’s)

The Harrison’s kept a photo log of friends they met at rallies and caravans.



#441 Dick and Fanny Nevel Photo taken in Arizona May 27, 1962. Participated in Airstream Company Caravan #33 Eastern Canada Summer 1963
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See who travelled in what kind of Airstream some fifty years ago!

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Airstream travels – Harrison diary of the 1957 Mexican Caravan – Juarez

January 15, 1957

Left Juarez 8:10. Caravan started leaving 8 shart. Weather fine but a little chilly. What a sight after we all got strung out on the Highway. Over 200 trailers. Have to be seen to believe. Met up with our neighbors, Mr. & Mrs, North from MO and Mr. & Mrs. Luckynot from WA.

Back to Juarez for a few highlights. “The Banquet” needs some mention. Our introduction to the land of Mananna. Soup, cold beer. Shrimp cocktails – ran short and served fruit instead. By the time turkey was served at our table everything began to run short. I doubt if some of the people got anything to eat. The floor show was something they picked up out from one of the drivers in Juarez. But all in all we had a nice banquet.

Now back on the road to Chihuahua. The road is narrow and bad shoulders. We were traveling too fast so three of us decided to travel together and drive slower. Stopped for lunch about 1 o”clock. Arrived in Chihuahua about 3:30 pm. All three of us parked together. State Band here to greet us and a Mariachi band to entertain. Spent the evening sitting out in front of our trailer with our neighbors and enjoyed the new moon. Very beautiful.

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Airstream travels – Harrison diary of the 1957 Mexican Caravan

January 12, 1957

The next morning she gave us a bunch of canned goods, some fruit cake and pecans which we appreciated very much. We went back to the trailer just before noon, got ready and came on down to Juarez and was very glad we didn’t wait till today as they were running out of space in the ball park and some of them (caravanners) had to park outside in the street. They have had quite a lot of meetings today. We registered, got our berets, identification cards, tended to our insurance and are almost read to go. I am cooking a supper so as to get it over with before dark.

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Airstream travels – Harrison diary of the 1957 Mexican Caravan – pre-caravan vistis

January 9, 1957

Miami – Visited Ernst for a little while – stopped raining. Stayed in Demming over the night. Arrived 7pm left at 10:19am. Raining. Side trip to Ray (a section here I can’t figure out) Rain, visibility poor. (a section here I can’t figure out). With rainy weather we were going to get back to Superior. Made it OK but would not like to take a trailer into Ray’s again. Trip over from Superior to Miami, rain and fog. Could only see about 20ft. Lots of water running over Airstream. Trip through Globe might need a detour. Approximately 4 miles or more of very rough and muddy road. Good trip back all the way to Demming.

January 10, 1957

Mesillia Park. Arrived 12:00 rain and some sun. Visited Florence and Bill. Had a good Mexican lunch. Left about 2:30 for Rancho Grande Trailer Park. Made connection with the Caravan. Leave for Juarez Saturday Jan 12, 1957.

January 11, 1957

Did a little shopping in El Paso. Bought Dad a couple pairs of Kahki pants and a few groceries then went back to see Florence and for supper, they took us to La Posta and had a good Mexican supper. I did a little washing before supper and fixed the hems on a pair of pants for Dad. Florence insisted we send the night with them and loaned us a couple pairs of Bills P.J.’s.

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Airstream travels – Harrison diary of the 1957 Mexican Caravan – pre-caravan travels

I think a lot of these diary entries were written by Jo Harrison.  Some of the handwriting was a little hard to read.

December 21, 1956

8:30 am From Rose Arbor Trailer Park, Chula Vista, CA Weather good – MI (mileage I believe) 38175.6 On our way to Dots (Bryan and Jo’s daughter, Dorothy) for Xmas. Coffee break at Ramona 10-o-clock. Kingman 8:15 pm. Mileage 385805

January 8, 1957

9:35am Mileage 38703. Leaving Dot’s, rain, clouds, and wind. We are off on the second leg of our journey. Ran out of gas 1 ½ miles Kingman side of Congress J?? highway. Car came to our rescue then had a time getting car started. Had lunch and on our way by 2:10. Arrived at Ray 6:45. Leaving 9:30 – Rain

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – Sautillo the last entry in the trip log

2/26/57 – Sautillo – cloudy and windy. Swell new road to Sautillo – lots of jucca – desert country. Arrived about 2:30. Trailer Park at Huachest Court – 12 pesos – light and water, sewer, swimming pool. To market in p.m. Very cloudy and cold – some rain. Supper in trailer.

2/27/57 – Town in a.m. For more sight seeing. Made some purchases. Left camp 1:30 for Monterrey and points north. Menterrey large city – industrial – surrounded by mountains. Drove on through. Camped on road at Vallicillo. Last supper outdoors. Laredo tomorrow.

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – Market Day

2/24/57 – Trip to Santos market day. Dr. Caryslie, guest Indian in gay dresses – very colorful. Pot luck supper in our patio with 9 other caravanners. Leave in a.m. For Sautillo.

2/25/57 – Left camp about 8:30 – road bad but weather good. Took road to Sautrella in prefernce. Solote Falls side trip – gravel road – beautiful falls – camped in hacienda of Jorge Pasqual on road to Sautello – not much mileage today. More mountains- bypassed Victoria. Hacienda of Jorge Pasqual has a beautiful mosaic design on walls etc.

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – El Bonito

2/21/57 – El Bonito – weather cloudy – real jungle country – rain last night. We decided to stay over – to town in the a.m. (Valles) Nice town – gas for trailer, gasoline for car, bottled water. Good looking vegetables in market – fresh meat. Swim in pool of warm sulphur water in p.m. – very nice. This is a real nice place. Unable to take any pictures due to weather. Supper in patio.

2/22/57 – Still cloudy in a.m. – left with car for trip to Tampico – rainy, no chance for pictures – bad detour, lots of much – just before Tampico road which was washed out during a hurricane last year. Drove over to beach, lunch out on breakwater – not too much time to look around – very muddy and dirty. Will not take trailer over to Tampico – lots of water everywhere. Good trailer park washed out last year. Back to camp by 6 p.m. Rain most of the way.

2/23/57 – Rain during the night. Tried fishing in the river. Ruin of hotel from hurricane. 7 Caravanners arrived in camp. Mexican service n.g. – Good swimming.

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – Curenavaca to Ixmiguelpan

2/19/57 – Curenavaca to Ixmiguelpan – weather good although windy. On arriving in Cuernavaca it was cloudy with a few drops of rain. Left Cuernavaca about 8:30 a.m. Long pull over mountain to Mexico City. Quite an experience driving through the city – made it O.K. Picked up two other trailers who followed us through. Stopped for lunch on road and picked up five more trailers, 9 of us all together. Very poor road, very bumpy – not many grades today. Wonderful farming country. Quite a bit of wind. Arrived in Ixmiguelpan about 3 o’clock – parked trailer in rear of service station for night – just two of us, lost other trailers – lights and water – 8 pesos – very reasonable and nice place to eat. Very old town. Left around 8 o’clock the next morning (Feb 20). The Weather was cloudy and rainy. This has been a day – up one mountain, down another – very crooked road. Ran into fog and rain.Very hard to follow road – slow driving – unable to see much of the country but the road was a marvel of engineering – beautiful. Rainy in Tamazunclle – drove on until about 5:30 and spotted a trailer park – lights, water, sewer, sulpher bath, 15 pesos per night including bath. Might stay over tomorrow. Very lush jungle growth – real tropics – farms on mountainside – bananas growing with papayas, pineapples, sugar cane.

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Virginia City, NV in 1960

A visit to Virginia City in 1960

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That was fifty years ago. Not much changed. A bit spiffed up, perhaps.

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – Cuernavaca

2/18/57 – Cuernavaca – Left Acapulco at 5:45 a.m. – stopped on road about 9 for breakfast. Very pretty drive – lots of mountains – many small grottos. We stopped at one. Arrived in Cuernavaca about 2 p.m. Very poor road into town and in repair up hill all the way and very hard to pull. Cars got hot. Had a hard time finding campground – athletic field at the north end of town on the side of a mountain. Good place to camp but very run down – no showers or toilets in stadium – very poor shape. Car and trailer turned over just before getting into town – two women – driver fell asleep – no one hurt but plenty of damage to car and trailer. Protest riot in town after arrival – university students and police.

Signed out of caravan today – on our own – some to Puebla, some to Toluca, some to Laredo, etc.

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – more in Acapulco

2/15/57 – warm (hot?) good breeze – breakfast with all the caravanners at 8:30 – nice get-together – after breakfast, trip to town for provisions. Bought a pair of sandals – haircut – home by noon. Lunch – over to beach all afternoon. Rented a chair, 2 pesos each – no fish – nice swim. Card from Paul Witten. Cooler today. Leave hear early Monday a.m. For Cuernavaca. Supper in patio – quite a breeze.

2/16/57 – Manana Fever – just didn’t do anything – two siestas – pretty warm – nice hamburger roast on beach by all the caravanners – nice swim before – great evening.

2/17/57 – Weather very warm – just took it easy. Will leave tomorrow for Cuernavaca early. Will go on through to Mexico City the following day on up toward Laredo with a sidetrip to Tampi CO. Lucknotts are going along, ww will leave the caravan. Nice swim in afternoon – supper on patio. Packing up afterwards for early start tomorrow.

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – Acapulco

2/11/57 – Tried a little fishing – no luck. Drove into town in the a.m. To look-see. Typical Mexican in one section – very modern in another – much building going on – prices too high and weather too hot. Back to camp for a swim.

2/12/57 – to town in a.m. About 11 o’clock for money and gas – tour of town and surrounding mountainside – very, very beautiful. Lunch on hillside – back to camp by 3 o’clock – swim then to pot luck supper by the whole gang – nice warm evening – moonlight – very balmy. Much sunburn – no fish.

2/13/57 – Stayed in camp today – swim in a.m. Mom cleaned up trailer – checked car – siesta -etc. Manana fever has got to me – supper.

2/14 – Trip to Papaya River – lots of cocoanut groves – no luck on fish – lunch on beach – bought some expensive things – beautiful drive – no swim – supper in patio – warm.

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – Taxco & Acapulco

2/9/57 – Drove to Taxco with Luckyknotts. A beautiful city on a mountainside. Got a guide to show us how to get up into the city and show us the shops, etc. Silver factory display of all types of silverware – very crude methods but real artistic in design. Visited many shops, old church and plaza – the only live place in the city. Mexico has made Taxco a national monument. Had dinner in the hotel. Very good – patio – Mexican musicians – good service, food, and very reasonable. Back to camp by 3:30. Entertained by the Rotary Club – an evening real good for a small town – 18 members, really put on a show. Marimba band by some local school girls – Mariachi band – lots of drinks and Mexican hats. Everyone was surprised as we didn’t expect very much. Off to Acapulco tomorrow – too hot here.

2/10/57 – Acapulco – Weather very warm. Left at 8 o’clock from Iguala in good order. Good road but we still have our mountains and grades. Lost oil out of transmission, tried to pull over one of the grades too fast. Beautiful drive down here. There have been quite a few cars with transmission trouble. Arrived in Acapulco about 1:30 – nice camp spot – trailer park just off the beach – main highway is along the beach. We have both water and sewer for a change. Nice palm tree and two nut trees in our patio and green grass. Very nice. Swimming after lunch – wonderful – nice, warm water and a beautiful beach. This is one of the most beautiful places we have ever seen. Mountains all around – palm trees, coconut palms, just lots of trees, don’t even know the names of some, and hotels. Beautiful, big, very modern design – just a beautiful place but as a tourist resort – naturally prices are much higher – 2 pesos just to sit on a beach chair. We sit on the sand.

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – Mexico City and Iquala

2/6/57 – Mexico City – weather very smoggy in the morning, cleared by afternoon, cool nights. Sears new big store, car service, shopping in supermarket, quite a jam. Lunch at Sears. Met at Isabel Serralde Camp at 2 o’clock. Checked car. Supper – lamb roast with our friends – cars. Nice day. Clothes back from dry cleaners. Gas for caravan.

2/7/57 – No trip today. Stayed in camp to clean up. Lots of smog in a.m. Evening pot luck supper with the whole caravan – very nice.

Arranged to spend the evening in town to see native dances. Took taxi cab. We missed the event – too early and didn’t know we were at the right place – back to camp – on the road tomorrow.

2/8/57 – Iquala – Weather very warm – Left Mexico City 8 a.m., near front of the caravan. Mexico City is a very large city and with the crazy drivers, etc,. Would be real easy to get lost. Good road to Iquala but lots of mountains and grades. Hot on arrival. Camp next to army garrison. Arrived about 2 o’clock but too hot to do very much. Supper outside.

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – Mexico City

2/2/57 – Mexico City – weather good, a little cloudy. Left Toluca at 8:30 – slow travel, many trucks and buses – climbed up over 10,000 feet – everything went O.K. – real climb – arrived outskirts of Mexico City about 10:30 – two hours to reach camp. Nice spot – athletic park – very large sport games at all times. Meeting at 1:30 – tours outlined – tickets for floating garden at 9 o’clock tomorrow (Sunday) – only day to visit gardens and Palace of Fine Arts. More trips later. No camp entertainment tonight.

2/3/57 – Off at 9a.m. – bus tour – Fine Arts bldng – glass curtain, etc. Mexico City Center – very large. Smog but cool nights and wonderful days. City has many new and modern buildings. Traffic is a mess. Trip to Xocimilko gardens. Very interesting. Flower section – flower stands along highway. Boats waiting for us. Five buses of caravaneers – a sight no one can describe – gaily decorated boats – canal narrow, not too deep, crowed with boats, vendors everywhere, music of all kinds. Bought two pictures and earrings. Home by 2 p.m. Lunch with the Luckyknotts – siesta time – vespers service at 6 – very good – evening with our friends.

2/4/57 – Same bus and guide – Shrine of the Virgin of Guadelupe – Maguey factory – needle threads, paper, rope – many uses. To pyramids. Lunch in the cave – lava blow-hole. Monastery – back to camp by 5 o’clock.

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – Morelia

1/30/57 – Short drive to Morelia – good camp – just out of town – shopping tour with friends. Mom has hair-do – few purchases – great shopping center – beautiful city – meeting at 5p, “Toluca manana” we are told quite a blimb over 9,000 ft – more later – the shooping center or market place – so many variets of good woods – can’t decide.

2/1/57 Toluca – weather cludy, looking stormy. Left about 7:45 am from Morelia 150 some miles – and some miles twice. We wer up over 9,000 ft but everything went well – beautiful country – lots of pines and various other trees – high mountains -fair road. Lunch before arrival in Toluca – quite a city – din’t realize we were up over 8,000 ft – high mountain in background with snow. Friday market day – went to market after arrival – no words can describe the scene – hundreds of people – natives, Indians, Americans, and block after block of wares on display. Everything a person can imagine and then some.

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An Airstream collection 1951 – 1990

The family has owned Airstream travel trailers through three generations. Here’s a few pictures from the fifties to the present


See the photo gallery!

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – Guanahuato to Patzcuaro

1/26/57 – Bus shopping tour of the city – rest in the afternoon Symphony Concert in the evening – very good.

1/27/57 – Church service at 9:30 – nice – pot luck dinner with six friends at 1 pm. 2:30pm walking tour of the city and picture taking. – to bed early fro trip to Morlera in the morning – very enjoyable day – Pineapples, bananas, Apotes, Cherimoyas, mexican fruits, blackbirds – good Mexican bread and cookies.

1/28/57 – Monday Patzcuaro – good weather, nice and warm cool nights – left Guanahuato 8am – wonderful farming country, irrigation in most of the large valleys – fair road – bad sholders – two detours on hill – streets very hard – dips – many trailers hit bottom – 158 miles – bypassed Morelia – going back after hard drive, many hills. Arrived 2:30 pm – Patscuaro – cool in am but wonderful and warmer as day progresses. Campground very very pretty – pine trees – mountain lake beautiful place – no rest for change – meeting time 4pm – various tours outlined – supper – card game with our friends.

1/29/57 – Patzcuaro – no shops so took shopping tour to Buraga back 10 miles – much pottery etc – lunch outside trailer with our friends. Beautiful country. Hair cut Mexican style. Mom bought dress and pottery etc. Indian dances at 4pm. Moving pictures in evening. Rail trip to Urupan tomorrow. Monguey – establ?? -molasses flavor – aquaoz – eat lower part. Depot in Patzcuaro – meal time stop.

1/30/57 – Patxcuaro – weather good – missed town of Patzcuaro 4 miles from camp – 30 Caravaneers boarded train for Urupan – no guide, no nothing – arrived about 11:30 – appointed me official head by kangaroo court. They think I speak Espanol – tour of park – very beautiful – luncheon hotel – taxi cab – Valcane hroses – not for me – really something – argument over prices – arrive in Urupan just in time for train ride back to Patzcuaro – lunch on train – quite a ride – back to camp 9pm every one very tired. Mom rode a horse to Morelia manana. Arrived Morelia 10:30 am

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1957 WBCCI Caravan to Mexico – Guanahuato

photo gallery, newsclippings and other memorabilia from the 1957 Mexican Caravan

1/24/57 – Guanahuato – arrived about 12:30 – lunch and a chance to rest. Meeting at 4pm – Indian dances at suppertime – a real show. So many things to go to see we don’t think we can make it. This baseball field is almost on top of a mountain. How they ever found a level spot this big I don’t know. Stayed in camp tonight, slides of caravan trip to creba?. We have water and electricity for a change – big day tomorrow.

1/25/57 – Church bells – these cities and towns of Mexico have their churches and really believe in ringing the bells. The weather is warm. You can always tell when you are getting close to a town, the church is the first thing you see. I intend to tour the city with the Luckyknotts. Visited the new theater – beautiful building and the university – amazing how they build these beautiful big buildings on a mountain side. Words cannot describe this city from the food of the ravine or canyon solid rock walls on up the mountainside- beautiful rock work. Arrived at cemetery on top of a hill – visited the mummies – strange how these bodies mummify in this place. Our taxi driver tried to take us – was agreed to pay 50 pesos for a two hour trip for 5 people. He wanted to charge 50 pesos per hour so we let him go and were stranded at the cemetery. Finally got another taxi to take us back to town. Visited the market place for an hour or so, got another taxi to camp. What a thrill – these guys drive like madmen, the streets are all so narrow and crooked you wonder how these taxis and bus drivers ever make a turn without banging in the side of the bus or how they maneuver. Arrived at camp just in time to catch the bus for a trip to the mines and luncheon by the 20-31 Club. visited the older church in Guanahuato – too much gilt and too many images. Many peons were killed in the construction of the church – used now only as a tourist attraction. The mine’s only a short way from the city. Words cannot describe this wonder. The mine and smelter were all one unit, now in ruins. The shaft of this mine is about 225 ft in diameter and so deep that in dropping a rock, it takes 18 seconds to hit the water and they say thats only half way down. Luncheon was in a grove of trees below the dam (Manema) Delayed for 2 hours more. Too many people to be fed. Showed pictures of Creba in the evening.

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