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  • My sister has already written about our frequent campouts and her having to sit on
    the “hump” during our journeys. I would like to describe our caravan in a little more detail. We were a family of 5 plus a dog and our vehicle was a Corvair Monza. That’s right, we traveled all over the state jammed into that small car and pulled a Coleman camp trailer behind it. And we loved it.

    When Dad would call Mom from work to ask her if she wanted to go camping for the weekend, she never said no. She would go to the store to buy the food while my brother and sister and I would get the camp trailer ready.

    Understand that this was not a sleeping trailer, just a carryall. We had it packed to the gills with sleeping bags, tent, cooler, clothes, lantern, cooking utensils, etc. and left room for the food Mom would bring from the store.

    When Dad would get home from work, we would attach the trailer to the car and then wait impatiently while he “unwound” by reading the paper and having a martini. Then off to whatever destination we agreed on.

    I remember the time we were trying a park we hadn’t been to before. Sam Baker State Park. On highway E. Now all counties have a highway E. We have been lost on a large portion of them.

    After following the map for a while we finally asked an old farmer standing beside the road. He said to keep going for about “ a mull” down the road. "And then turn on a dirt track which will take you right there".

    Well, the mull turned out to be about 3 miles. We followed the dirt track which, after petering out in fields a couple of times, finally led us to a dam. People were swimming above the dam in the cool water. And a small stream of water was flowing over the dam as we crossed it. When we got to the other side a park ranger stopped us and said “you can’t get through from there”. Obviously you could.

    We would then begin the ritual of setting up the camp site. My brother and I would put up the tent. My sister would get all the sleeping bags and clothes laid out in the tent. My mother would start cooking dinner on the Coleman stove. And dad would have another martini by the fire. Yes we each had our chores.

    We always tried to camp somewhere near a river. The Black river had Johnson Shut-ins and Sam Baker Park. The Current river had Round Springs and Pull Tight campgrounds. All of us kids loved to walk, canoe and swim in the rivers. When the summers were especially hot those 40 degree spring fed rivers felt like heaven.

    Many times we camped when it was raining. Kinda kept the riff raff away was our favorite excuse. And if the sun peeked it's head out at us we were not allowed to acknowledge it's presence. Any patch of blue sky was referred to as a bluuskie. We didn't want to tempt the weather gods into changing their minds!
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