This trip is worthy of a whole story line, and I'll just hint about it today. 10,000 miles in 3 months, and covered most of the Midwest and western states, having started in Florida. The Van behind my son was The Roving Toad.
That's because it was an Open Road conversion, and of course a Roving Toad rhymed nicely. Didn't look like a toad, but it kind of cornered like one. And heaven help having crosswinds on a highway. No less problems than many other campers of course.
The typewriter? That's how I memorialized our journey, supposedly. But I also journalled other things too. I'll have to look for those documents. I already Xeroxed them and gave them to my older sons a while back, since they shared this journey with me when they were 7 and 11, or so.
Not as many photos of that trip as I'd like. But I dare say there are already some of the National Parks available. We camped in them, or State Parks, usually. An occasional KOA was fun for the boys to go in swimming pools, or play pool while I washed our clothes, and enjoyed hot showers.
In 1974 we were a trusting civilization. I never felt fearful as a single woman traveling with two boys. It was a great adventure. We certainly made many mistakes...and were blessed somehow to get through them all. Our summertime trip took us from Tampa around the US returning to Tallahassee where we settled for a while. I must have been the real Roving Toad myself.
Here's a better picture of the Roving Toad earlier when we visited my parents in Framingham, MA.
Sepia Saturday, for a theme related to vacations. This week I think I get to say I'm posting something appropriate to the theme. Yay me. Come over to see the other posts that might come up from other bloggers...HERE.
I sculpted it a couple of years ago, maybe 2012. And as you can see, I drove it from 1972 to 1984. I am sad to say my own negligence was it's demise. I had lived in FL for so long, I didn't think of antifreeze at all. I would just top off the radiator with water. Ah, did it have a lovely engine too, a Chevy-Van 20, with a V-8, 356 engine (I think, not the 402) with a double barrel carburetor. The camping equipment could run off a separate battery that was also charged when the engine was going. So many mechanics had trouble figuring that out. The design was far from perfect, but having been built in 1971 it was pretty spiffy.
So the story of the death of the Roving Toad is that I'd parked it in the parking lot in student housing at U of FL in Gainesville, and since there was a Christmas break, didn't drive it for maybe a week. During that time there were 3 solid days below freezing...which was rare. And when I went to drive it, it kind of sputtered. So I checked oil and water, and the oil was gummy and full of water. I'd cracked his little engine block from the ice in the system apparently.
So I was able to eventually sell it. I could get to classes still, on my trusty bike, which was the only way to move around campus. It didn't take too long to sell it because I had no way to get to a grocery store...I advertised it somewhere and sold it for a song. The guy that bought it taught me something interesting about driving a vehicle with a cracked block. He poured a big can of black peppercorns, not ground pepper, into the radiator. And he said that might clog up the crack enough for them to drive it away.
He also got the 2 double beds, a flip over seat that was in front of the lower bed, a cabinet that included a small clothes closet, a full gas stove with oven and 2 burners, stainless sink, a working gas furnace, a portable toilet, a closet (where the toilet was located) and I don't remember what else. I'd made curtains for the windows, and the upholstry on the seats and foam bed pads was kind of shot...but most of the equipment still worked. I wonder how it all ended up. Hopefully someone else got to enjoy it along the road as much as we did. I think I had about 250,000 miles on it. At least one transmission, lots of other bits and bobs.
I bought a relatively little car next, also as advertised in one of those fliers, from a student. It certainly wasn't worth sculpting to remember though. Just a car. There will never be another Roving Toad.