In September of 1977 we took our longest camping trip to date.
It was longest both in distance and the number of days. although we didn’t camp everyday of the trip.
We left our home in Kansas City on Labor Day weekend.
Our first stop was the Saint Louis area where we visited with Mandy’s family.
Our next stop was Dayton, Ohio where we visited with my Uncle Jim Brennaman and his family.
On Labor Day itself we went to my cousin Tim’s house where we had a picnic.
That day I reminded me of outings we had when Uncle Jim would visit Kansas City during the summer.
Even many of the names were the same. There was a Jimmy, Tim, Mark, and Amy all in the latest generation.
We left late that afternoon and headed further east on I-70.
That night we stopped at a small campground in eastern Ohio.
We just stopped long enough to park and sleep the night.
In the morning I noticed that we had a bubble on one of my front tires.
So before we started out again, we had to find a tire store.
We bought a new Dayton tire, which I always thought of my souvenir of that trip to Dayton.
Once we had the new tire, we once again started east on I-70 towards Philadelphia.
We stopped in Philadelphia to visit Mandy’s brother Roger and his family.
We spent one night at Roger’s house.
After visiting Roger, we drove south to the Washington, DC area.
While visiting the Washington, DC area we stayed at a hotel in Alexandria Virginia.
We chose a hotel on the transit line so we wouldn’t have to drive the truck and camper into Washington.
We spent several days in the Washington area visiting the White House, Congress, and the Smithsonian.
Upon leaving Washington we drove down the Blue Ridge Parkway and spent one night in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
From the Blue Ridge Mountains we travelled to the Great Smokey Mountains.
While in the Smokey’s we stayed at two different campgrounds within the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.
During our visit, we hiked to Laurel Falls and Clingmans Dome.
We also went horseback riding and visited Cades Cove.
We also did some site seeing in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
I remember thinking our commercial Gatlinburg was. I can only imagine what it is like today.
Before leaving the park area, we drove across the park to visit Cherokee, North Carolina which is on the Indian reservation.
I remember thinking of our different Cherokee was from Gatlinburg.
Once we left the Smoky Mountains we started driving back towards Saint Louis.
We had intended to find a campground somewhere along the route and spend the night.
Once we got started, however, we just drove through the night arriving at Mandy’s sister’s house in the wee hours of the morning.
Rather than wake her up, we just parked in front of her house and slept in the camper.
After another short visit with Mandy’s sister, we drove across Missouri to home.
The total trip took two weeks.