My wife and I began camping when we purchased a used tent from a co-worker in 1964. The co-worker had purchased a new Apache Buffalo pop-up trailer. In March 1964, we went camping together to Cave Lake Park in Pike County Ohio to initiate their new trailer and our introduction to camping.
During the night, it rained like cats and dogs for hours. The lighting lit the tent up enough to read a newspaper. When we got up the next morning, a 2.5gal bucket on the table was half full of rain water. My wife slept through the storm and knew nothing about what went on. I didn’t sleep during the storm and was concerned as to how durable the Sears “Ted Williams” tent would stand up to such a storm/downpour. We were in among a lot of medium size trees which protected us from wind for there was none. The other couple was concerned about us being in the tent which they been camping in previously.
After getting up, we explored the campground and discovered that the lake(about 30 acres or so in size) had rizen about 3 feet flooding the small cave that was the attraction there so that you could not enter into it. The lakes overflow spillway had water at least a foot deep running over it.
We learned later that there were tornado’s in parts of Ohio during the night and how bad the storm was. What bothered us later was that we didn’t know about how bad it was at the time and to think we were out in it in a 10×13 tent. My co-worker and his wife initiated their new trailer right and we initated our first camping experience in such a baptising fashion. The next year, we purchased a used Apache Eagle pop-up trailer which got us up off the ground and something with more protection from the elements. Around 1970, we sold the Apache.
In 1977, we bought out first travel trailer, a used Prowler. The next year, we sold it when we purchased a larger Cobra travel trailer. In 1981, we sold it. After retiring, we bought a used 34foot Prowler Regal 5th wheel which we traded in for a new 2002 Coachmen 38foot Somerset 5th wheel. We have come a long way from that first camping experience.
Submitted by Harvey Hoagland of Grove City, OH as a part of the RV Centennial Celebration “Share Your Favorite RV Memory” contest.
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