Friday, September 01, 2006

Summer Trips

Every summer we'd take a family vacation, and they were a wonderful part of my memories of the past 50 years. We'd almost always go camping... an affordable and family centered activity that we perfected over time.
My dad built this amazing camper trailer for hauling all our tent-camping gear. It was made like a big box on a trailer axle, and had all these compartments for various things. The tent had its own space. The cots and folding lawn chairs were kept in another. The campstove was stored in a space that hinged in such a way that when open, it created a countertop of sorts with everything handy. Other compartments held things like lanterns, tarps, and cookware. We had various cars over the years, and we'd all just pile in with our clothes, sleeping bags, food and then haul this trailer along behind. When we arrived, in very short order all the doors would open, things would be taken out and set up, and there we'd be ready to camp.
Oftentimes we'd go for a weekend trip fairly closeby, leaving on Friday afternoon when dad got home from work. Mom would have spent all day keeping us on task with chores while she'd get all the gear together. But, in additon to those weekend jaunts, we had fabulous TRIPS that would last a week or two. The most memorable for me were year after year at Popham Beach... our two week trip to Prince Edward Island... the camping trip to Chain of Ponds with Grammie and Grampa when we got there without silverware, and Gramp and dad carved forks and spoons out of branches!... Campobello Island... the summer camping at Canton Lake was especially great because we only went home once a week to weed the garden and wash the laundry... Baxter State Park with the swinging bridge (that plagued me for years until I went abroad and got myself past the fear of being swung off!).
Campfires, hiking, swimming, the wax museum (dad actually started talking to the receptionist who turned out to be a wax figure), the beached dolphin, riding bikes through the campgrounds, five cots lined up side by side in the tent, eventually graduating to a pop-up-camper... how we loved family camping trips.
Thanks mom and dad for instilling a love of camping, a sense of adventure, and the skills needed for 'making do' when you find you've left things behind...


jen said...

Holy book writing Bat-Man!

Fiddler said...

I am a bit incapable of doing any useful projects around the house, so have immersed myself in photos and memories of the past 50 years... all in an effort to share, and to celebrate my mom and dad and all that I am because of all that they are!