Greetings, gentle readers and welcome to ,my blog. This will be a voyage detailing how we (for future reference, my wife Melinda and myself) plunged into the wildly addictive hobby of vintage campers. It all started innocently enough.
As a child my family camped all across the US with a tent, and later a rental Jayco or StarCraft pop-up trailer pulled first by a 1967 Ford station wagon and later by a 1970 Ford F-100 pickup.
As an adult I camped sporadically, using the gear my father had built and utilized when I was a kid. It worked, was good enough and there was no reason to replace it, was there?
So now the time is 2008 and I was feeling the urge to go camping, but my wife Melinda was an obstacle. She had NEVER been camping before. Ever. She was quite certain camping was NOT HER THING. Period. End. Full Stop. In order to ‘sell’ her on the idea I purchased on Ebay, a new Coleman double wide sleeping bag and regaled her with tales of majestic pine and fir trees, of crisp evening air and coffee by the campfire, of sparkling bucolic mornings in the bosom of nature’s splendor. And frying bacon.
To no avail.
The sleeping bag was packed away with the camping gear, unused. In 2011 she started to become interested in maybe seeing what camping was all about, so one warm fall day we packed the tent, a coleman stove, lantern and chuckbox of cooking gear, circa 1968, and camped for a weekend in a nearby Wildlife Management Area here in Louisiana.
She was hooked! After that we went camping as often as we could, and my job as an offshore production operator afforded me 14 days in a row off to travel and enjoy the adventures we now shared together. At her insistence, we soon upgraded our camping gear, and as she is an inspired Cajun cook, a full outdoor kitchen with separate tent was also added to the camp gear.
Pretty soon we had accumulated a LOT of camp gear, so much that it took four hours to set up or break camp and load all the gear (inside military medical gear transit crates) into our truck.
As much as I loved camping, I hated humping all that gear into and out of the truck, setting up the campsite and playing roustabout. There had to be a better way!
So I thought back to the days of the popup camper my family had dragged all over the US 40 years previously and that seemed to be a reasonable alternative to the tons of camp gear which we were currently using.
I triumphantly informed her that a popup would solve all our problems, be easy to set up, easy to maintain and tow and allow us MORE time to enjoy the splendor of nature. Great idea, elegant and simple. BUT…as I was away offshore on one of my two week deployments (called a ‘hitch’) she had wandered into the Devil’s Playground—an online website of unmatched evil, arousing lust and envy in the hearts of millions of unsuspecting innocents.
Yes, she found Pinterest. And that is where this tale truly begins.