Saturday, July 29, 2017

Summer Vacations

Having family reunions the past few weekends brings back memories of other times when I was growing up.  Summer break was when Dad didn't work so we were always taking off and doing camping, hiking & fishing.  Sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, and sometimes with family.

Camping always started out Memorial Day Weekend and usually ended with Labor Day Weekend.  July was hay season so we didn't go on any trips then until the last bale of hay went into the barn.  There was always one weekend that was the Keesee Family Camping trip.  We would practically take over the campground.  Hmmm . . . we seem to still do that.  Mom came from a large family - 8 siblings.  Some of them had large families and others small.  It doesn't matter where we camped, we didn't arrive at the same time.  One family would invariably show up in the middle of the night (the same family) and would actually locate us. It's interesting that most of the family still camp - most have RVs now instead of tents.

One summer (1976) we took a really long road trip starting out on US Highway 2 out of Spokane WA - we went to Glacier National Park in Montana.  We camped just outside of the park at Hungry Horse.  When we entered the park, we discovered that we were just a couple of inches too long.  Ended up leaving our camp trailer at the entrance.  We drove up to the top then turned around to get our trailer.  Then we drove around the park to get back on track.  Next visit was the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We continued on to Herriod SD where we stayed with one of my Mom's best friends from high school.  They had a huge ranch.  We spent a week there before continuing on south.  We went through the Badlands National Park and went to Mount Rushmore.  Then we headed for Yellowstone National Park.  We spent several days there exploring the geysers.  From there we went into Idaho then on to Oregon.  Stopped in Prineville to visit another one of Mom's classmates.  Then went on home.

Most of our camping trips were taken with the Sandell family (my Mom's sister).  Lots of hiking, fishing and picking blueberries.  We had a couple of areas that were recurring trips - Mahood Lake in British Columbia with a day hike to Whale Lake for fishing and Council Lake for the blueberries.

One summer I picked strawberries.  My brother & I also had swim lessons at the local swimming pool.  We always joined the summer reading program at the local library.

Memories . . . fun times, free times, family times.

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