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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall.......and Camping

(photo credit:
I am not a traveler.  When I leave Farm and Fru Fru, I rarely go more than 40 miles from home and then if I go that far it is to our "farm away from farm", so it's fair to say I am a homebody by nature.  This was not always the case.  I was raised by two parents who LOVED to travel.  Daddy was lucky enough to have a job that afforded him lots of vacation - 10 weeks on certain years - and we spent that time vacationing....camping to be exact.  This was the 60s and camping had come into it's own as an affordable way to see the we did.  It was the only way we could afford it.

At our recent yard sale, one of the items that sold was a car top carrier Daddy made for our trips.  Made completely of aluminum, he fashioned it to match the pop-up camper he built as well.  I hated to see it go, but we really don't need it for the 17 mile trip to the city or the 40 mile trip to the farm away from farm.  It did bring back a flood of camping memories...... 

We took some very long summer camping trips seeing the country, South of the Border, Red Rock Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, the Dells of Wisconsin, Disneyland, Dodge City, and more, but the trips I remember best were those we took to the mountains in the Autumn.  Usually they were taken with several other relatives and only lasted a weekend, but they were the best.  There was always a nip in the air, even more noticeable in the mountains.  Our trips varied little: we bought apples, sour wood honey (for Daddy), cider, and some sort of corn cob pipe.  I loved the souvenir shop at the campground and usually ended up with a pipe because I didn't save enough for one of the cool felt mountaineer hats with the feather sticking out of the top or one of the Indian belts with those teeny tiny little seed beads worked into the leather in a Native American design let alone the Minnetonka moccasins, so I always ended up with a pipe.

We hiked, and drove around, sometimes got to ride horseback, built a huge campfire, ate popcorn and some version of s'mores and visited lots of roadside stands.  It was great fun.  My poor mother must have REALLY wanted to travel because she got stuck cooking, cleaning, making beds, collecting trash, packing, unpacking, repacking, all while we ran, played and paid no attention to her whatsoever.  She bore it like a trooper though and never complained except the time we were somewhere out west sleeping in the pop-up with no heat in below freezing weather.  Sometime in the night she got up out of bed and retrieved the rug off the floor and added it to the blanket, quilt and spread already on the bed.  She said nothing till the next morning when she  announced to no one in particular that she had spent her last night camping in sub-freezing temps and would never again sleep under a carpet.  We spent the next several nights at the Holiday Inn.

All these memories came back as we loaded the car top carrier into the buyer's truck.  I hope they pack heavy duty blankets inside when they head to the mountains this Autumn.

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