Larry had spent three years in the Marine Corps sleeping on the ground, and vowed never to go camping. But in February, 1973, two events happened that changed the course of history.
It snowed! We lost our power. We live in Florida and were not totally prepared for this. And then a friend, who was a fellow teacher, asked Larry to accompany him while he looked at motor homes. He replied, “Sure, but I’m not getting one!”.
Our son was 22 months old at the time, and we started looking for a motor home where two children could play in a padded area while the parents drove and conversed in the front. Your could do this in 1973. We brought home a brand new Mobile Traveler on my birthday. Larry told me that it was my birthday present, my Christmas present and my Channukah present for the next ten years.
That month we camped at Fort Pickens with all of our friends from the Escambia Educators Camping Club. We became members of the Double E’s, and went camping every month with them. Our first trip proved to be an example of the very best times of our lives. The older children all wanted to play with our little toddler, which allowed us to sit around the bonfire with our friends and talk about everyone who wasn’t there, and how to improve the school system.
Nothing special or magic happened on that fourth weekend in March, except that we became close-knit friends for a lifetime with the Double E’s. We laughed, and had stressless weekend. We were ready to head back to work on Monday to teach and to touch the future.
After five years with the Mobile Traveler, the kids wanted to sit under my feet instead of the padded play area. We had camped in every state in the continental U.S., and most of the provinces in Canada. The children needed a bath tub instead of the kitchen sink. We needed more than two electrical outlets, and more than one battery for the entire coach.
We traded our motor home for a new one in 1978. The Lindy had bunk beds with toy chests. After they grew up and left the nest, we upgraded to a 34′ Itasca; and our present motor home is a Dutch Star. My husband’s last camping trip was a year ago in May before he passed away. But you can still see me driving up to North Carolina to take our grandchildren camping. They look forward to it as much as their parents did.
Submitted by Ava Rich as a part of the RV Centennial Celebration “Share Your Favorite RV Memory” contest.
Do you have a favorite RVing or camping memory you’d like to share? Submit your favorite memory here!