Saturday, July 21, 2007


In the early 1980's we had the opportunity to buy a used Shasta motor home. At 23' long, it sat on a Chevy chassis and drove like an oversized van. A tiny kitchen, a tinier bathroom, a back seat that made into a bed and a bed above the cab were the essentials. We took our sons, ages 4 and 6 at the time, on America-crossing vacations every summer until we sold it in 1988.

We started with a small adventure to S Padre Island. Our first night at a KOA in Austin had us buying plugs and hoses from the office because we didn't have the right things. The second night found us doing a bit better near Corpus Christi and after the third night we were in a condo with friends. Whew!

An inauspicious start to be sure. After that though, we got into this and over the next 4 years racked up miles to Disney World, Washington DC, the Amish Country, Maine, Hot Springs, Arkansas multiple times, the Grand Canyon. On two of these trips we traveled with friends in their borrowed RV and the stories there could fill more than one blog post.

It was fun, those trips. The spouse learned all about generators and overhauling them, sewer lines and dump stations. I learned not to cook inside and to cool everything down before it goes in the fridge, which is a bit of an oxymoron, but was a fact of our RV-life. If the a/c worked for the entire time we were gone, we chalked it up as a miracle.

We had our last trip in it in 1987, spending our 15th wedding anniversary eating sandwiches at Niagara Falls and noting that given a multiple choice question on our wedding day, this choice of anniversary celebration would have been our last. (We have since celebrated in higher style, but this is the one I remember vividly.)

We hated to sell it in 1988, but the trip for the summer was not going to be RV-friendly (a conference at Estes Park YMCA of the Rockies) and then, because we were nearly there, a trip on to Yellowstone. We waved good-bye as a young family with a son about 7 picked it up and drove it away. Occasionally, we'd think we'd see it and quirk a smile.

Now, twenty years later, we're going to embark again on an RV adventure. This time, we're renting a 31' with friends and heading to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I hope to blog along the way since campgrounds now advertise they have WiFi. We'll see.

Stay tuned.

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