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Old 01-16-2015, 07:22 PM   #1
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Recalling Childhood Camping/Travel memories

Just was reading a thread on where to boondock that ended up being a few travel memories. I know a lot of you like myself enjoy the outdoors today because your parents Or other family took you camping as children. Anything from a few weekends "Up North" to cross country adventures on old forgotten highways now gone. I camped as a child and between the scouts and family trips I have camped 40 plus years. Would love to hear and see a few pictures thrown in of some of your childhood camping memories. I'm the guy with the high water pants with Mom and sister. Dad taking the pictures missed being in most of them. Taken around 1974 In front of our 1966 Puma pop up towed by a 1966 Ford LTD sedan. I hauled my kids around a bit when they were little and it is fun to hear them say to me when I visit them, Dad remember when............... Bill



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Old 01-16-2015, 08:08 PM   #2
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When I was a kid, our family traveled the country for 3 weeks every summer, with a fall trip to finish the season. Six of us in a station wagon, sleeping in a tent. More then once I told my parents that this was the best thing they ever did for me. My Mom planned the whole trip out just like Clark W. Griswold from family vacation movie fame. Except no computer then. She had a notebook and a giant folder full of travel brochures, she had mailed away for. We always left at 2 AM. Four kids in a double sleeping bag, stacked like firewood on the slippery metal deck that was made by folding the seat down. My parents wanted a good 4 hours of quiet time while we started out. Once the sun came up it was over. Our trips were full of museums, tours. battlefields, you name it. There was plenty of history and things to learn. Lunch on the road was usually out of the camp kitchen in the back of the wagon. Schools and cemeteries, were favorite places to stop. Always quiet there in the summer.

Here are a few pictures....



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Old 01-16-2015, 08:18 PM   #3
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Bill P, I did not realize who you were when I posted. We will be camping at the same gathering in May at Shabbona SP. Bring the new trailer, so everyone can check it out!

Steve (woodbutcher)
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:35 AM   #4
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I've camped my entire life. My parents started with a pop up. Then a bumper pull and eventually a 5th wheel and motorhome. My best memories were traveling and adventures on the road. My grandparents and aunts and uncles had RVs as well. It's funny to think back that they all purchased the same brand RV. Comet. We were all members of the Comet Club in the 1970s. I remember several of the rallies held in the west.
Coming from a family of big game hunters Colorado was always on our map. My grandfather was good friends with an elderly man that owned vast tracks of land in Ouray County Colorado. As a child I was told he "owned" the county. As an adult I wonder if he was a descendant of Chief Ouray. Hummm.
Tall tales, dinosaurs, cowboys, Indians, trains and beautiful scenery filled my childhood. I'm fortunate and thankful.
I'm looking forward to making additional memories in our "Mini Bar".
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:22 AM   #5
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Just to share..... My father reminds me that we camped in a teardrop trailer when I was quite young. Unfortunately I have almost no memory of this - nor photos. But I do remember camping quite a bit as a youth - in a boat. Does this count? My parents had a 26' Sea Ray and we towed it all over south Florida, spending long weekends together. We also made an annual 2-3 week trip to the Bahamas (usually the Abaco Islands). Some of this time was spent in marina's but, more often than not, it was anchored out in the open water. My playground was the water and, if lucky, on friends boats: snorkeling (which progressed to diving), fishing and of course, sun bathing. It was a good introduction to packing, planning, living in tight spaces and embracing the challenges of travel!

I know it isn't quite the same, but when we were in marinas, I found similar comradery as in camp grounds.

Laura
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:34 AM   #6
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I had to chime in when I saw your picture of the 1966 Puma. My parents bought the same popup at the Detroit camper show in 1966. I was a freshman in high school that year. We spent many a week traveling around the Great Lakes before I graduated. Oh the memories. Mom & Dad sold their Puma the summer of 1971 when they bought a 16' Holiday Rambler travel trailer. I wonder how closely related your Puma and my Puma were?
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:43 AM   #7
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My first family camping outing was to the Outer Banks in a pop up my Dad rented from the base at Camp Lejeune. My most vivid memory of this trip, during the mid 1960's, was swarming and biting flies.

In 1969 when we were living in northern Virginia, and I was entering high school, my parents decided to buy a travel trailer. After numerous Saturday trips to see every RV lot in the DC area, my parents settled on a 19' Starcraft. I recall my father admiring Airstreams and Avions but his military salary wouldn't stretch that far. In the Starcraft Mom, Dad, two teenage sons, and a St. Bernard spent many weekends at Solomons Island, MD and took a three week trip to the Canadian Maritimes.

In 1971 the Starcraft was traded for a 27' Holiday Rambler. We moved back to eastern NC and used the trailer primarily to camp out at the NC and SC beaches as well as stay at Prince William Forest Campground during return visits to the DC area. We also lived in the Holiday, waiting to be assigned quarters at MCAS New River, and took trip in the summer of 1971 to upper New York state with the trailer.

By 1975 their sons were off to college. My parents traded the Holiday Rambler for a lightly used 27' Southwind motorhome which they kept for about 20 years. In 1982, they drove the motorhome to visit me in Tulsa where I was working at the time. They took me on a quick 10 day whirlwind tour of the highlights of the Southwest (Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, Glen Canyon Dam, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, Santa Fe, and Taos). This was my last camping trip with them and another wonderful memory.

Dad never got his Airstream trailer. By the time he could afford one in retirement my mother was in love with the Southwind motorhome. There wasn't an Airstream dealer near them so an Airstream or Argosy motorhome wasn't a consideration.

My wife Susan didn't camp when she was a child. It took me 19 years to convince her we might enjoy the RV lifestyle. When Susan and I bought our "lightly used" Airstream, Dad smiled and my mother insisted we would soon want a motorhome. Four years later we are still loving our silver trailer and creating our own memories.

Images below -
1) My mother in the Starcraft trailer door somewhere in Canada in 1969.
2) My father and brother and I by the Holiday Rambler at a campground in upper New York state in 1971. I'm behind the Mercury station wagon.
3) The Southwind motorhome on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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Old 01-17-2015, 04:31 PM   #8
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No pix here either.

My dad took lots of pictures, but he was not a sentimentalist, and when it came time to move to an apartment, he threw 'em all out.

He was an engineer and a contractor, and had jobs all over the West in the 40's, 50's and 60's. I spent a lot of time on his jobs in the summer, usually living in a rented trailer or staying with people who worked on the jobs. They all had travel trailers, starting in the early 50's. We lived in a 30+ foot Spartan on the Lochsa River in 1953. Another summer, I stayed with his foreman's family in a big light blue single wide - don't remember the brand. Sure do remember the foreman's wife's cooking, though!

My dad had a big ol' canvas umbrella tent. Fit for car camping, and not much else. The thing weighed a ton, and it always smelled musty. The rest of the gear was of similar vintage - Coleman white gas stove, lantern, old metal cooler, folding picnic table, wood and canvas cots so we didn't have to sleep on the ground - I thought it was a pretty comfy camp.

My mother HATED it.

He'd always try to set up camp in a highway department storage yard. He'd drive around behind the big pile of gravel, and pitch the tent on the side away from the highway. There was often a great view back there, and sometimes a nice stream, and even if it was raining, it was never muddy because of all the gravel.

My mother HATED it.

We also cruised on saltwater in the San Juan Islands in chartered cabin cruisers for several summers. I went to a summer camp in the islands, and my folks would come to camp and pick me up in the boat, and we'd cruise for a week or two. Give a kid a dinghy and a dip net and he'll stay busy from dawn to dark.

My mother HATED it.

I kept on camping in college, at rock festivals, arts festivals, and in groups at campgrounds and swimming holes. Many nights of bonfires, beer and various psychotropic substances.

My mother WASN"T THERE.

My dad always wanted an Airstream. He always wanted a boat of his own. Never got either one. I put a smile on his face when we showed up in his home town back in the 90's with our 18ft Caravel. He came over to the RV park to visit, and I thought we were going to have to take him with us!

He didn't get to live some of his dreams. I'm fortunate to get to live mine, and I often think of him when we're out there, in the Airstream or on the boat, in the middle of nowhere...
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Old 01-17-2015, 06:06 PM   #9
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Rivet Good times

Heading west bound up Independence Pass in Colorado before it was paved .
1958 or pretty close .
Fixing a flat on the Skipper camp trailer .

sorry , the pic would not load :-(
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:31 PM   #10
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No pix, but I do well recall our 1-2 trips a year camping as a kid ....

1954-62 from Pittsburgh PA down to some state or county lake campground down in VA, twice to Kitty Hawk NC (OBX in new-speak) to the NP campground that I found out washed away in some hurricane a decade or more ago, & a couple down to FL & Miami end point at the old Eden Roc hotel for a weekend, then back north. Those were all tent camping out of the current family station wagon - 1950's Ford or Olds passed down & bought from our grandparents & other family. The red & white `58 Ford wagon with my grandfather's hot rod motor in it was my most memorable from that era.

In `63 Dad got a new job in San Diego, & a brand new Corvair Greenbriar 9-passenger van - our 1st new car in the family, with which we braved the then still mostly 2-lane Rte 66 PGH to SD. In TX near Dallas/FW it threw a rod & we got held over a week to get a new engine under warranty (never a problem after that!).

Dad had an old Army canvas stretcher to fold out on top of the seatback tops & we 6 kids & Mom & Dad slept on the seats, floors, stretcher & far back for the smallest 2 kids when we didn't camp (on the fly/rest stops); & we used a 3-room Sears canvas tent when we did stop at a CG - with the 3 boys in the left room, parents in the middle, & girls in the right!

1963-70 was an annual summer sojourn in August or July from SD back to PGH - in the Greenbriar 63 (PGH>SD) + 64-66 SD>PGH eventually on I-8/I-40/I-70 as they were completed & filled-in the US-66 gaps

Then in `67 Dad traded in the Greenbriar & we got a new Chevy C20 3/4 ton pick-up with a 327 V8, Auto (AT) & Tow/Camper Pkg. with a used over-cab truck camper with beds for almost everybody, but the now bigger youngest 2 on the floor in/on sleeping bags, 2 oldest boys on the left sofa/bed & 2 girls on the right one & parents up in the over-cab bed (I'm the oldest of the 6 kids).

Now that was livin' large!! .... except ....

Neither the truck nor Greenbriar had AC back then - so it was HOT-HOT thru the desert in July/August & HOT-STICKY from about Dallas/FW east then!!!!

We also did local SoCal & Central CA weekend camping trips during the year during that period. My Dad got a job transfer back to Indianapolis IN in Summer `71 & went off with the sibs, but I went off to college in LA (USC) in Fall 70-74 & resettled down to Huntington Beach CA after graduation, & I continued with tent camping Fall `69-May 85 out of my 1st 3 cars:

1968 Opel Kadette 2DR Notchback Coupe with 1.1L & 4-speed (9/69-7/71);

1969 Pontiac Ventura (Catalina) 4DR Hardtop with 400ci V8 & Auto (Dad let me take over his payments when the Opel "died" 7/71-3/76) which was hell in the gas crisis 10 gals every other day!!

1973 Porsche 914-2.0 2+1 seat Targa, but with mid-engine & 2 trunks front & rear totaling 16 cf!! I had to put the 914 in storage after it was hit in 5.85 in a parking structure at UCLA while I was in grad school MBA classes - after a full body & mechanical rolling restoration 1980-83!! - so it went in the garage.

My wife's family had also car camped in tents during her youth in SoCal/OC & SF Bay Area/Fremont during the 1950's-60's (her story to tell).

We got a 1985 BMW 325e E30 2DR Coupe to replace it with the insurance money & I'm still in the process of the 914's resto now since 2009, & my wife had a `73 Honda Civic - both of which we'd car camped with tents out of 1985-88.

In 1988 we then lost my wife's "baby" 1973 Honda Civic in a T-bone accident, & we got a new 1988 VW Westfalia CamperGL 2.1L H4, AC & Auto for her daily driver & our trip & camping car (both kids also learned to drive in it later on in the 2010's).

So we carried on our youth & adult camping tradition of local & longer cross country 1-2 summer trips to visit the families & grandparents, etc. in Indy area IN, Little Rock AR, Talequah/Sallisaw area OK, Pittsburgh PA, Berkeley Springs/Paw Paw area WVa & Seattle WA area from 1988-present, lately just us 2, but hopefully with grandkids too when they're old enough.

In 2012 we added our restored 1960 Avion T20 to our "camping gear" & my wife & I have been also camping at vintage trailer rallies ~ `60's-style!!!!

Cheers!
Tom
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:02 AM   #11
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My first memory of camping was when I was an 9 year old boy. We tent camped somewhere along the Natchez Trace in south Mississippi. I do not remember the name of the town or the park, but I would like to re-visit the park. I remember a guided tour by the ranger on the old Natchez Trace. He told of the stage coaches that traveled down the Trace and the bandits along the way. There was a beautiful waterfall and a cold, clear running stream. I have no pictures- only memories. My mother had an orange Ford Maverick and we had 3 (1 for my mother, 1 for my sister, and 1 for me) orange pup tents that were $20 out of the J. C. Penny catalog. We stayed about 2 weeks. I think the trip was in 1978. I camped with those same orange J. C. Penney tents until 1997, when they finally rotted and the zippers broke on a camping trip in Zion, IL. I bought a Coleman tent at K-Mart that I still have, but hasn't been used since I bought my first trailer in 2010.
If anyone knows the park I am remembering, please tell me the name and location of the park so I can plan a return trip to that beautiful spot.
I could type about camping memories all day, but ain't nobody got time for that-
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
My first memory of camping was when I was an 9 year old boy. We tent camped somewhere along the Natchez Trace in south Mississippi. I do not remember the name of the town or the park, but I would like to re-visit the park. I remember a guided tour by the ranger on the old Natchez Trace. He told of the stage coaches that traveled down the Trace and the bandits along the way. There was a beautiful waterfall and a cold, clear running stream. I have no pictures- only memories. My mother had an orange Ford Maverick and we had 3 (1 for my mother, 1 for my sister, and 1 for me) orange pup tents that were $20 out of the J. C. Penny catalog. We stayed about 2 weeks. I think the trip was in 1978. I camped with those same orange J. C. Penney tents until 1997, when they finally rotted and the zippers broke on a camping trip in Zion, IL. I bought a Coleman tent at K-Mart that I still have, but hasn't been used since I bought my first trailer in 2010.
If anyone knows the park I am remembering, please tell me the name and location of the park so I can plan a return trip to that beautiful spot.
I could type about camping memories all day, but ain't nobody got time for that-
I loved your story!!! I was able to go back to several camping areas of my childhood. It's so endearing.


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Old 01-19-2015, 04:43 PM   #13
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Born and raised in Detroit our family vacations were at Glorita Beach on Lake Huron near Lexington. Two of the pictures show me about 1942 on the beach and in the background you can see trailers in the campground. A couple of years later has my brother and I sitting under the trailer awning. Finally a little later shows me and our trailer stored n our Detroit back yard. I am so happy for these memories.

Neil
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:58 PM   #14
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Honeymoon camping

My wife and I went camping on our honeymoon to Death Valley in February 1969. That spring Death Valley was the only dry place we could travel to. But after 3 days it began to rain there too........so we went to.......DISNEYLAND!

Neil
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