Believe it or not, my first RV experience was one that I actually got paid for — way back in 1961. At the time, I lived in one of the most remote areas in Northern California, Modoc County. Good summer jobs for college students were scarce unless you happened to land a good job with the Government, which I did my first summer after graduation from high school. This first summer job entailed doing surveys for the US Geological Survey. By the second summer, I actually had a few options because I now had “government” experience. The summer of 1961 I hired on with the US Forest Service as a fire crewman. The USFS bunked myself and another man in a 24′ Shasta camper, the rear-end of which we put hanging out over a small stream called Parsnip Springs, just east of Blue Lake in the South Warner Mountains. It is almost impossible to imagine how peaceful it is going to sleep every night with a stream gurgling UNDER your bed.
During the day the Forest Service paid me the princely sum of 1.68 an hour to do a lot of stuff that wasn’t a lot of fun — and it was usually pretty dirty — , but at night I had a sleep system money could not buy. In spite of staying in some of the most beautiful and well-cared-for RV Resorts throughout the States since that time in 1961, none have ever matched that first RV camping experience — for which I was paid.
The summer between my junior years in college I did engineering work with the Forest Service. Myself and another guy traveled all over the Modoc National Forest pulling an 18″ Shasta Camper behind a 1958 Chevy Suburban. We flagged in new logging roads. Five days a week we were in the woods, and only went to town (Alturas) on the weekends. By the end of the summer of 1962, I was an experienced RV’er.
Submitted by Duane Chism of Modoc County, CAS as a part of the RV Centennial Celebration “Share Your Favorite RV Memory” contest.
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