Our trip across America-Part 1

10 Oct

A Slice of Life

   Bill Lites


In 1974, I was between jobs and decided it would be a good time to take the cross-country family camping trip I had always wanted to do, to show my family the wonders of America while visiting friends and relatives along the way.  The planned route was from Florida through the Southern states visiting relatives in Louisiana and New Mexico.  Then it would be on to Southern California to show the kids where they were born, visit my wife’s brother and some friends. We would then head up the California coast to Fort Bragg about halfway to the Oregon border, to visit my wife’s folks.  We planned to come back across the middle of the U.S. visiting relatives in Colorado and see the wonders of America’s heartland.

As a little background, we had started our Florida camping experiences years before with friends at the Alexander Springs Campground using two-man pup tents.  As you may know, most pup tents have no floors, and only a drawstring to close the entry flaps.  It didn’t take us long to discover that mosquito netting over our sleeping bags was not the answer to keep from being eaten up by all those many pesky insects.

Then we tried using the 9’x9’ canvas tent and equipment my family had used, to go hunting in New Mexico. (That was when I was a teenager, and in a desert climate where things seem to last forever).  My folks had not used the tent or camping equipment for years and had shipped them to us for our use.


Well, after our first camping trip with that equipment, I guess the humidity got to everything, because all the tent stitching rotted, the tent fell apart, and the stove and lantern rusted beyond repair.

So we upgraded to a newer 9’x12’ tent that worked for a while, until after one cold rainy night in the North Carolina mountains, we woke up with the whole tent floor was covered in about 2” of water.  We were up off the ground and dry in our not so comfortable army cots, but nothing else was.  It was not long after that trip, that we decided to buy our first tent camper.


2 Responses to “Our trip across America-Part 1”

  1. DiVoran Lites October 10, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    As yes, I remember it well.



  1. The Contractor~Part 1 | Old Things R New - January 6, 2016

    […] in my area, our family took the opportunity to take a camping trip to visit friends and relatives (see “Our Trip Across America” blog-10/10/2012). It was just about this time that one of my resumes found its way to the Lockheed Missiles & […]


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