It isn’t so warm here, the differences, for instance, between the average winter temperature and the average summer temperature being only a few degrees, at least in San Francisco, and this isn’t much different. Fogs, which haven’t been so bad lately, and prevailing westerlies are the determining factors.
As one flies the SB2C more and more, one likes it more and more, but there’s no doubt about it, it’s a much harder plane to fly than the SBD. It doesn’t handle as easily or trim up as well. Flying a wing position or a section lead is proving a little difficult for one so used to flying a division lead. Another disadvantage is that one has to concentrate much more and can’t watch the countryside.
I lost Aunt Betty’s letter telling about the Mailliards or at least haven’t it with me, my “stuff” still not having arrived, but I’ve looked up Horace’s wife, who is a charmer and got me into a pleasant dinner party. Horace’s parents invited me out to Sunday dinner, but I couldn’t go, having had Saturday off instead. That day was well spent, however, (the afternoon) in the Muir Woods National Monument, about 20 miles north of San Francisco, which Horace showed us seven years ago. I got within four miles by bus, and then some nice people gave me a ride the rest of the way and later brought me back to the city. The woods are a beautiful tract of redwoods somewhat south of the continuous redwood belt and for redwoods contain only medium sized trees, the tallest being less than 250′, or more than 100′ short of the tallest known individual. I was especially delighted to find various members of the forest floor of the same genera as certain of our northeastern flora, such as pink clintonia, a pink star flower, a trillium (flower not out), a wood sorrel with a purplish flower and larger leaves, etc. One of the few birds encountered was a western winter wren (subspecies), and there were western golden-crowned kinglets.
Yes, it’s a pretty nice set-up here, even on the station, incidentally a large one. Quarters are comfortable, though there are no single rooms. Every two rooms has an adequate bathroom. An excellent cafeteria (avocados — whole halves with lettuce for 5¢, Ma!) is our main mess, and a pool our place of exercise (four times a week or else).