Dream Vacation with a Grade--Steep by J Vincent

As a former teacher summer always meant a big change in routine.  There was usually a class to take to keep up my certification but it was vacation time.  A time for swimming lessons, three different set of ball game schedules and sometimes four if my husband decided to play too.  Large and small family trips were also part of these months.  They ranged from camping relatively close to home to going to Colorado and camping in the mountains.  One year my husband borrowed a popup camper and we went on an adventure from here to the Grand Canyon and back with many stops in-between.  One of the most memorable was going down Wolf Creek Pass to Durango, CO which has 7-10% grades.  I’ll never know what it is like going UP Wolf Creek Pass because going down it once was more than enough for me.  There’s only so much burning brakes I want to endure.  We stayed at a KOA camp that night and as I did laundry at midnight all the women there were talking about was coming down Wolf Creek Pass!

A few years later we took our own popup on a trip to Yellowstone National Park.  We went via Nebraska and the Dakota Badlands.  After we left the badlands and were a day out from the park we had to cross a mountain range--not sure of the name.  On the descent I was sitting with my feet up on the back small bench seat of our extended cab pickup.  I became concerned about the growing burned brake odor and swung my feet down as I sat up.  When my shoes hit the carpet they squished down and forward.  The carpet was actually melting!  By some miracle we were near the only house on this road and they had a garden hose which we used to cool the carpet down.  The good Lord must have felt sorry for us because by another miracle we got the last camp spot in Yellowstone the next day. 

The Grand Canyon and Yellowstone are truly memorable places.  I’m so glad we got to see them and the joys and travails getting there and back filled my writer’s “experience bucket” to the brim.  This summer we are looking forward to August and a week’s camping in our usual spot (I think it’s safe to call it that after forty some years of going there) at Thirty Mile Camp outside of Creede, CO.  Going there is sometimes adventuresome too.  We’ve blown tires, had engine trouble, and had kids get sick.  I’m hoping for a very sedate trip out and back this time.

Vacations can be memorable for many reasons.  We seem to hit extreme highs and lows on many of ours.  What about you?  What vacation story do you have to tell?  Do share it.


Penny Rader said...

Those steep grades don't sound like much fun. I haven't been on a road trip for quite a while. Last weekend at a family get-together I mentioned that I've wished for years that my mom, my sisters and I could go on a road trip to see my aunt and cousins in Arizona and then swing up to North Dakota to see my mom's bio brother and meet his kids. Baby sister, in town from Colorado, snorted and said maybe a trip by air, but not by road. Since she had driven over from Colorado a few days earlier and would be driving back in a day or two, I can see her point. I still think it'd be fun to have some good "girl time" with Mom and my sisters that wouldn't happen on an airplane.

I hope your August vacation exceeds all your expectations, Joan.