While living in Dodge City, the Crawford family would pack up each summer and go camping. We usually ended up in a Colorado forest, but also made treks to the Tetons, Flagstaff, Arizona and Taos, New Mexico.
My earliest vacation memory is probably from a family movie and not an actual memory. When I was about 3 or 4, we went camping with my Crawford grandparents to Colorado. Mom, grandma, my brother and I got to sleep in the tent with the floor. My dad and grandad slept on cots in what I envision to have been an old army tent with no floor. That tent was also our ‘dining hall’. Whenever we would watch those movies, my grandmother would tell a tale of it being so cold that she and mom bundled up us kids and we all slept in the car.
Those camping trips were times when we would explore. Hiking and rock climbing (not what you think of today – just small boulders) usually meant that I came home with skinned knees.
About the only time that we actually went fishing was in New Mexico. Mom and dad took us to a fish farm where each of us could fish. This was one of those places where all you had to do was put your bait in the water and you had a fish. Unfortunately, they didn’t tell me I could only catch one. With three kids to help and everyone quickly catching fish, I had two caught before they realized it. Needless to say we had trout for supper.
When we moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, the trips to Colorado stopped. I’m guessing this was due to a lack of funds versus the change in location. Dad was a graduate student at the University of Nebraska and mom was working full time as a medical secretary at a clinic on O Street.
Thanks to my parents, the idea of being together as a family has survived to include the grandchildren and even a great-granddaughter. Destinations have included Estes Park, San Antonio, Bastrop State Park (near Austin, Tx), Branson and more recently an annual weekend Lake Melvern in Kansas. Our idea of camping has also changed from a tent to a cabin, but when we camp, you can bet there’s a fire (unless restricted due to drought). With the exception of my husband, who is allergic to smoke, most of our time is spent around that camp fire. Hikes and even geocaching were also on the agenda – particularly during the longer trips. I’m not sure the other passengers on that Southwest Airlines jet really appreciated us after one of our Bastrop trips. Lots of Febreeze was used and some of our coats were even washed, but after spending four days together around that camp fire, I’m sure we smelled of smoke.
Family and Camp Fire = Fun Times