Colorado and New Mexico were the usual destinations. One of my favorite pictures was one of my cousins, Barbara and I when we were 3 or 4. Obviously my mother had made sure that I didn’t have a speck of dirt on me and my hair was combed with a hair clip in it - this was in Cowles, New Mexico, beside a river in a camp ground where we slept in tents. Next to me in the picture was Barbara with her curly blond hair a mess, mud all over her overalls, and holding a doll by a naked leg. Who do you think had the smile on her face? It wasn’t me. There are some people who just can’t let you be! I guess every family has one!
Other things I remember about traveling as a child: the first smell of pine trees meant we’re in the mountains; putting my feet in cold bubbling creek water; giggling after we went to bed in our tents; “ Juana, go to bed, we have to get up early in the morning.” Here I thought vacations were the proper time to giggle; smelling frying bacon early on a cold foggy morning; how wonderful socks and clothes felt in the early cold; the sound of the horses sniffling and clip-clopping up the path to go fishing; chasing and catching grass hoppers for bait; catching mountain trout; the sore inside of my legs going back down the mountains; sitting around the camp fire and listening to the sounds; hearing my dad tell adult jokes after he thought the kids were asleep and hearing mother say, “Layton, be quiet the girls will hear!” and we did hear and understand the jokes and giggled into our blankets.
I can remember before ice chests were as available as they are now, how we tied live chickens in their coop over the cab of the pickup. My dad always took his dogs who rode on top of the tents and gear in the bed of his pickup. Only one time did one dog fall off and rolled into the forest. Our car stopped and picked the dog up and she rode in the car with us after that.
One year we were in Durango, Colorado and rode the narrow gauge railroad up to Silverton through the mountains. My dad let me crawl up on top of the caboose with him and my uncle. I held on to the three boards that go the length of the caboose and leaned over and watched the river. It was thrilling because it was dangerous and I knew we weren’t suppose to be up there. Typical of my dad- the scenery was spectacular and the clanking of the tracks, noise of the river and smell of pine trees. WOW!
When I see pictures of mountains, cabins, and or rivers, I can literally see him in my head and hear the atmosphere. Mountains and rocky roaring rivers will always call me.
After my divorce at 43, I did two things I had always wanted to do - go on a back packing survival trip, which nearly did me in and a rafting trip what was the greatest! The back packing trip was in Utah for 10 days with women I did not know and included repelling down cliffs (fun) , climbing cliffs ( definitely not fun) and climbing a mountain (hard) but gave a real feeling of accomplishment!
River rafting was definitely the most fun and I have been able to repeat this with I my sons and grandsons for a great adventure. I hope this brings back some happy vacation memories to you.
Happy Trails, wherever they lead,