The 11th of February (1888) we drove to San Bernardino, Walter, Will, Evelyn, and I. It is not an interesting ride per se, but with Will in his present delightful mood, ones surroundings are decidedly secondary. He is entertaining and charming and we laughed and chatted like four happy children the twenty miles going and the twenty miles returning. There was much that was interesting, Will is much interested in all evidences and traces of our great storm. One place we walked for two or three miles through deep fine sand, and one ranch was almost buried by it. It must be a ruined place. We rode for miles and miles through the low sagebrush and other shrubs but, though the immediate landscape was unattractive, we ever had the more distant, grand, and changeful view of the mountains to the north and east of us. San Bernardino was not specially attractive but we enjoyed our little rest at the hotel and we walked about the streets a little. Our ride home was similar to the morning one. The weather was lovely and when darkness fell about us with it’s soft curtain of coolness and starlight, we listened to the distant cry of the coyotes, and enjoyed the novelty of our primitive surroundings.
The 14th we went to Riverside. It was a long ride for old Fred but he has great powers of endurance. The scenery was far more interesting than on the ride to San Bernardino and Will was funnier than ever. The comical ideas that come to that absurd youth are irresistible. One place we crossed a long sandy strip and it was such heavy pulling Will and Walter walked. The wind had piled the sand in billows like the ocean, and Will would go over the mounds and down into the hollows with a cunning motion that was so funny we screamed with laughter. Then he is full of anecdotes and amusing reminiscences. When talking of his life in the army he said, “I belonged to a portion of the army you seldom meet. You often see generals and colonels, captains, lieutenants, and majors, but you seldom meet with soldiers of my rank. I was a private. The privates are all dead. I am the sole representative of that illustrious rank.” When we reached Riverside we went to the Hotel Glenwood. A nice house. We had a room and a good dinner, well waited upon. Then we went to the citrus fair, where we saw great numbers of oranges in every shape and manner. We then took a carriage and rode to Arlington, part of Riverside, and rode down Magnolia Avenue. A very beautiful drive down the avenue of large graceful pepper trees, two rows in the center, and palms, graviolas, and eucalyptus on each side, while on each side of the avenue are ranches where are fine homes and, and beautiful orange groves. I was so glad to have the children (as I call them) see these fine orange orchards.
I was afraid Will might be sensitive about the great disparity in the age of himself and his bonny bride, but he does not mind at all and is constantly making comical references to it. He looks at her with a paternal expression and says “my daughter” etc.
It was so cloudy and threatening we concluded not to return home that night as we had intended, so we stayed passing the night in a house near the hotel annex.
I imagine that old Fred was a horse