Every year about this time, I remember my favorite family vacation. My parents rented a Shasta camper and we headed for wild-sounding places: the Black Hills, the Badlands, the Corn Palace, Wall Drug, and Mt. Rushmore. I could hardly wait to walk in places the Sioux lived and where Presidents heads were carved in a mountain. I’d seen pictures, and now I’d see them for myself.
Mom & Dad drove a Pontiac Star Chief – two tone tan and brown. Even pulling the camper, that car rode like it was floating over the road. Our first stop was a campground called Cactus Flats.
One of my favorite stops on that trip turned out to be a place I’d never heard of: The Needles. Here are some pics of my family from one of the best summer vacations ever:
Highlights of the trip:
- I slept on the kitchen table which folded down into a single bed.
- We sat at my bed when it was a table to talk as a family and I watched a fly land in my dad’s coffee, didn’t say anything, and then, watched him drink the fly. I laughed out loud.
- Took my first ever shower – was terrified of water – and screamed so loud people thought I was being beat – I’m sure it crossed my mother’s mind.
- Used part of my allowance to by a ring with a stone in it called “fool’s gold.” It sparkled and that was enough for me. Cheap rings turn you finger green, but the green washes off.
- Still had to wear pink rollers in my hair at night – that was just the way it was.
- A favorite thing: the air smelled so good
- The Corn Palace is made of corn – really. The whole thing is like a corn mosiac.
- Wall Drug was a place a kid could spend a lot of money there if she had it. . .or if her parents said she could
- The same food cooked at home tastes better in a camper in the Black Hills
- Rapid City, SD is hot in the summer time
- Catus Flats campground wasn’t false advertising. That’s what was there and it was cool in an extremely hot sort of way
- President’s heads carved in a mountain makes one feel very patriotic – my favorite face: Mr. Lincoln
- A Pontiac Star Chief barely fits through the pass on the Needles Highway
- Radiator hoses burst. . .there are kind people in the world and one gave my dad a ride to get a new one and brough him back to us
- The Badlands are so beautiful a 10year old girl can forget she’s hot and her hair is not holding it’s curl
- Reading and sleeping in the backseat is a good way to travel – as long as the windows are rolled down – air conditioning was not one of the extras in our car
- Coca Cola in a glass bottle from a machine is the best drink in the world – I can still hear the bottle dropping into place after the machine accepted my quarter and spitting back a dime
Mom & Dad
Mom & My Brother Jon
Mom & Me
I hope you enjoyed this Legacy Story from my my life – (was it really 44 years ago?!) What did you do on your favorite summer vacation? Tell me your story in the comments!
You can write the story of your life!