BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — One Central Valley man is ready for a road trip retracing his parents' migration to California 75 years later.
Don Erwin is the son of two Dust Bowl migrants who made the long haul to California in a car that looked just his. Now Erwin is recreating the trip, hoping to honor his parents on the journey.
Erwin's parents followed the Dust Bowl migration to California and made it to the Weedpatch Camp in the 1930s. Then after a while, had a touch of homesickness and headed back to Kansas.
“We followed the old highways through Bakersfield and Highway 99 through Bakersfield," explained Erwin. "Then up to Tehachapi, the old road up through Tehachapi, and so on and so on back east.”
Erwin wants his journey back to be just like that one.
“The reason for this trip is to replicate that trip," he said. "I was 15 years old. I had a Model A Ford. I am now 90 years old and have a Model A Ford.”
Erwin and his son are planning on driving 300 miles per day at a peak Model A speed of 55 miles per hour all the way from Bakersfield to Kansas where Erwin has family members waiting for him.
For Erwin, it's a long trip that has been a long time coming.
“I can still drive reasonably well, but that’s not gonna last forever," Erwin explained. "If I don’t do it this year or next year, I’m not gonna be able to do it.”
Erwins son, Scott Patrick Erwin, will be driving with him separately with a trailer incase the roadster needs a break.
“I’m just kind of looking forward to being out on the road and the adventure of it," said Scott Patrick. "I always like a little 'windshield therapy.' I call it [that]. So i’m looking forward to him kind of making the trip and and accomplishing his goal.”
The trip began last week and of the latest update, Scott Patrick says that they have made it to Kansas safely and are heading to the homestead.