Sunday we returned from our first “long” road trip in our motorhome. We were gone 20 days. It was exhausting, we had fun, and it is good to be back home again.
When my husband and I were first married—over 43 years ago—we used to go camping. First we slept in the back of our car, later in the back of our pickup truck with a camper shell. But then my in-laws sent us their Alaskan camper (all the way from Hawaii).
Later we graduated to a cab-over camper WITH a bathroom—and I was in heaven!
We lived in Southern California at the time and our favorite places to camp were in the Sierras or up along the coast. I remember our neighbors (who became lifelong friends) used to tease us about how we always took off just about every weekend. They had a baby at the time, we did not.
But then our first was born, Scott. Scott didn’t stop us from camping. After all, we had the cab-over camper, and I felt like the regular pioneer woman giving him a bath in a big old wash tub sitting on the table in our camper. (I can’t recall if we moved up from the Alaskan to the camper with the bathroom before or after Scott was born.)
In 1982 our daughter was born and our son turned three. We decided to move from the suburbs up to the mountain community of Wrightwood, California, and so we sadly sold our truck and camper to buy a 4-wheel drive, which would be necessary if we were to live in the mountains.
I always felt a little guilty that Scott’s camping basically stopped at age 3, and Elizabeth’s never started. About nine years later, after we moved to Havasu, I bought my husband a tent and camp stove for Father’s Day—thinking it might inspire him to go camping again. He looked at me like I was nuts. (His tent-like camping days were behind him.)
While we never used the tent, our son later wore it out when he went camping with friends. And considering how he and our daughter-in-law love camping these days—roughing it like we used to do before the Alaskan—I guess I will stop feeling guilty about depriving him of the joys of camping.
As for our daughter, who was sorely neglected in the camping department, she too has had her share of adult camping. She and her husband have traveled up to Alaska (the state not the camper) pulling a travel trailer. Actually, the first time was from Alaska to the lower 48, after their first stint in Kodiak (Our SIL is in the Coast Guard). The second time was back up to Alaska, for their second stint in Kodiak. Both trips included two kids and a dog. The last time I spoke to her about it, she was rather over the whole camping thing.
About three years ago—after much dreaming—my husband and I bought a 5thwheel. We had it for two years and only took it on two trips. My 91-year old mother lives with us and it is difficult for us to get away. But it was something we have been wanting to do for so long.
Unfortunately, my husband was not thrilled with the 5thwheel. Hooking it up, parking, and driving stressed us both out. While we both loved the 5thwheel once it was set up, we decided to trade it in on a motorhome.
Next month it will be a year since we purchased the motorhome. Like the 5thwheel, we had only been able to use it twice. (At least we were getting better, it was two times in less than one year, rather than two times in two years!)
All that changed the first of September when we took it out on our first real road trip. I’ll talk more about that in my next blog post.