Tuesday, May 1, 2018

How the 60's almost killed me.........

Have you seen those cool looking 1960's vintage-style travel trailers traveling down the highways? I have! They bring back memories for me. I remember in the 60's, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, my dad decided to purchase a travel trailer. One weekend, we ended up at Bob's Trailers. Bob sold trailers from a little white block building surrounded by a gravel lot that was loaded with 12 to 16 ft recreational trailers. We looked around and found a 13 ft trailer that was called "The Plaything", yep "The Plaything".

It was white with a blue strip down the side and had all the typical accessories  such as, dining table, three fold up beds, sink, stove and closet. It's weird, but I remember my dad paying Bob $350.00 cash. Luckily, they delivered, because my dad didn't have a trailer hitch on our car.

The camper, as we called it, arrived home and it was beautiful. We couldn't wait to get this baby on the road, but first my dad had to get a hitch on our 1965 Mustang. After two weeks, the yellow Mustang was ready, the camper was loaded and we headed to a state park called "Cedars of Lebanon", about 45 miles away. We started on our way and I noticed that you could feel the weight of the camper on the back of the mustang. It would struggle up a hill. When braking, it would slowly come to a stop, kind of like a one-hundred car freight train coming to a stop, slooooowly. It was obvious, anticipation was the key to safety. Just wondering, do you see a problem here?  Not me, I'm a kid and it's not my job to worry about such things. My thoughts were on my new knife that had a spoon and fork with some kind of curly screw thing on it. I couldn't wait to try it on my dinner..... 

Everything was going great and I was looking forward to sleeping in an actual bed tonight, rather than on a blow-up mattress in a canvas tent that smelled like burnt candle. No I wasn't, again I'm a kid and I was looking forward to an adventure at the campsite with my new spoon and fork knife.

Anyway, we were about at the halfway point and all of a sudden, My dad said the car is overheating. I could see little wisps of white steam coming from the front of the Mustang. Luckily, there was a pull-over spot on the side of the road. You know, the old 1960s roadside rest areas that had the white, concrete picnic tables and no bathroom or water fountain. We pulled over, while steam was rolling out of the engine compartment. 

He said " Well, I knew this could happen. We will just have to wait and let it cool down". Fortunately, there was a creek near by where we got water and filled the radiator up after it had cooled. After a while, we started on our way. My dad was very nervous for the remaining part of the trip, but we made it! Man, I had fun camping for the first time in the camper, but mostly I loved using my spoon and fork knife to eat each meal. Going back home was uneventful. You know why? It was mostly downhill, but braking was a little nightmarish.   

Looking back, I have come to the conclusion that we could have died. Yeap, in a massive wreck by not yielding the right-of-way. I've done a little research and determined that it was totally unsafe for a 1965 Mustang to tow a 13 ft camper. The best that I can find from my internet research, a 1965 Mustang is rated at around 1,500 lbs. tow capacity.  The camper was approximately 2,500 lbs and had no trailer brakes, plus we had 500-600 lbs of baggage. It's likely that the Mustang was towing over 3,000 lbs. Bottom line, the Mustang was well over the it's towing capacity and was unsafe to drive with this trailer attached, but man it was fun! In fact, we went on many other trips with the "Mustang and The Plaything". This is how the 60's almost killed me. 

Oh yeah, as I got older, I finally figured out what that curly screw thing was on my spoon and fork knife, corkscrew! Lastly, my dad finally got tired of the mustang and bought a 1972 Ford F-150. Believe it or not, the mustang remained parked in the driveway for a number of years, leaking oil, transmission fluid, rear differential fluid.....etc.  

Paddle over to my website, LeoLakes.com. I paint beautiful lake, river and bay decor maps. Folks are discovering that these decor maps are wonderfully unique gifts that become family heirlooms. Oh yeah, I hide things in the lake waters, such as a tiny mermaid/fish. Folks love to search for them. I call my maps, treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. My treasured maps make a great gifts for the fisherman, lake lover, or Lake house. 

As you can see, my maps make a great gift.   Click here www.LeoLakes.com for more information.

Just remember: "Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream".

1 comment:

  1. We, on the other hand, went to the cabins of Northern Wisconsin or Michigan. My dad was in the Coast Guard and was stationed in Northern Michigan one time so he knew all the good cabining places.