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Old 04-23-2010, 07:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BIGED52 View Post

Gene, They didn't eat the tourists with cameras.... Emily Post had already told them the cameras should be eaten separately! LMAO! Ed
Ed, I wished I knew that when we saw a grizzly and 2 cubs crossing the road to eat about 100' off the road near the Arctic Circle in Yukon Terr. in 2006. Barb stopped the 4Runner, I gingerly opened the door to take a few photos before mom noticed me and decided to attack. I nervously took one picture and calculated how fast she could reach us. One photo was enough before I slowly closed the door knowing if she wanted to, she could rip off the door. The vegetation must have been quite tasty because none of the 3 paid any attention to us. Must have been the camera that saved me.


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Old 04-23-2010, 07:53 PM   #16
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My folks plus my younger brother and I traveled RTE 66 from Michigan
(picked up 66 in Illinios) to LA in 1952. No we didn't have an Airstream, I probably wasn't even aware of Airstreams but we saw a few trailer travelers along 66 and in the trailer parks. Our trailer was a 26' Pan American built in 1950. Our TV was a '48 Nash Ambassador. I was 14...and have many memories of the journey but only a few photos.
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Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
455 cid

1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:43 PM   #17
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There were few RV's back in the '50's. Except for a few years in the mid-'60's, sales remained flat in that decade too. They really took off in the 1970's and that's when I remember seeing them on the roads in greater numbers. Anyone who remembers traveling with one in the '50's had an experience few others had.

I remember early motels from the '50's when the only chain was Holiday Inn and all other motels had character, some not such good character. There were motor courts as well as motels but they were the same. Magic fingers was everywhere and you had to put a quarter in the TV coin box for 30 minutes of TV—sometimes the timer was fast and would cut off the end of the program. When you consider that 25 in 1950 equals $2.20 today, you can understand why my father didn't want to watch much TV.

It wasn't RV's that were slowing people up on the 2 lane highways of that day, it was 18 wheelers. There were few 4 lane highways—the interstate system hadn't been started yet. Travel on busy highways meant knowing how to pass and most drivers knew how to do it. Most of the day was a few miles of fast driving and then catching up to a line of cars behind a slow truck. Now it seems most driving is on 4 lane highways and few people know how to pass anyone on a 2 laner. Most large trucks now are on 4 lane highways and you are more likely to see RV's on 2 laners than trucks.

Making a cross country trip then was a really big deal. My father would have the entire car checked over because cars broke down a lot, needed brake jobs and new tires frequently. I can imagine towing a trailer cross country was an even bigger deal and RV campgrounds must have been pretty primitive by today's standards.

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Old 04-24-2010, 01:02 AM   #18
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Gene you are so right, the long lines of cars backed up behind trucks on hills, small town after small town with one traffic signal. Local speed traps. On the other hand the local Drive-Ins were almost always good, local markets had fresh local produce, small towns across the country always had at least one really good restaurant, Moran's Steakhouse in Erskine, Mn for one!

When we did our "trailer trip" in the 50's we stayed 2 nights on the way to Glacier Park on private land. In western North Dakota, Dad spotted a nice and rare grove of trees, he drove down the driveway to the farm house and politely asked the farmer if we could park overnight. The farmer said "sure, if you let me take a look at that thing" he and his family got the tour and we got a nice spot to stay...same thing happened in Eastern Montana.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:24 AM   #19
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Those were the days. And the price of gas was in the teens so you didn't have to take a loan out just to drive cross-country.
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:11 AM   #20
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Bears and the 1950s

Tourists in the 50s were a different breed (or maybe the bears were!). My dad remembers trips with his parents back then, and people would lure bears into the car to get a picture of them behind the steering wheel with the family in the back! Unbelievable! When I see kids in the playground today wearing helmets, it really makes me wonder what has happened. Really, I wouldn't want to have a bear play driver, or I wouldn't want to feed the bears for a picture, but many kids today grow up with any sense of adventure or danger. Hopefully, today's camping families still manage to raise adventurous, risk-taking kids so that we still have some great inventors in the future. (Yes, I'm aware that their little brains can get damaged, but a helmet on a swing? Really?)

I love reading about all these great camping memories! Thanks all!


Lisa and Paul

2008 23' Int. CCD "The Atomic Pod"
1973 13' Boler (fiberglass egg) "The Boiler" (

WBCCI #23223 (=23 CCD)
TAC- SK 23223
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