Monday, June 9, 2008

Fun Monday


Molly is hosting this week, and this is what she wants:

For your assignment tell us about a happy memory from your childhood. If you have pictures, please show us your pictures.



Many of my happiest memories from my childhood involve camping.


We weekend tent camped, frequently at a place called Black Canyon. Sounds ominous doesn't it? It was a beautiful spot deep in the San Bernardino National Forest. At the time, about 55 years ago, it was quite remote. It was reached by driving down, down, down a long and twisting one lane road, with the canyon drop-off on one side and the mountain on the other. If two cars encountered each other, the one coming downhill, had to back up, until there was a place for them to pass each other. Very scary for a child. Once we were there and camp set up, we could roam at will. Fish, climb rocks and boulders, hike, generally have a great time. Since we were girls, sometimes we would go to our favorite huge boulder, climb up and have a tea party.


When we were young pre-teens and teenagers, our family frequently spent a week or two in August, camping in the Redwoods in Northern California. A favorite was Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It was long drive to get there, over 635 miles, but it was well worth the drive. It was and is, a paradise. Redwood trees as tall as the sky, and as big around as a truck. Lots of places to roam and hike. Each summer that we ventured there, Mom and Dad brought canning supplies, and we picked blackberries for blackberry jam. Making jam in the Redwoods was traditional in our family. We had many lazy days, too. Sometimes we would sit on the split-rail fence that bordered the Avenue of the Giants and wave at the logging trucks that zoomed by. Logging was still going strong in the '50's. At night there were Ranger talks in an outdoor amphitheater. There was always a huge roaring campfire going and after the talk there'd be community singing. It was a wonderful time for everyone.


When we were in 7-12th grades we were active in Mariner Scouting, a branch of the Girl Scouts. Camping with our "ship", frequently involved co-op camping with our brother Sea Scout "ship". Since these were co-ed camping trips, my Dad took his vacations to go with us. When we arrived at out destination, usually a near-by State Beach on the California coast, we'd set up a huge group tent for everyone: boys, girls and adults. The theory was that if every thing was out in the open, there'd be less 'trouble' (that meant s-e-x), and they were right. Our tent was made of parachute nylon, strung between the available trees. In the morning, if you wanted breakfast, you made it yourself. After all we were scouts, and knew how to do things, and there was plenty of ingredients available. The same went for lunch. This was much less work for the adults, and we cleaned up after ourselves. For dinner, there were rotating teams in charge, and everyone ate together. During the day we were free to do as we wished, hiking, fishing, exploring the nearby towns.


Of the couples who met through our scout groups, all are still married except one.


Jan and Bob - that's us, 44 years


Sue and Steve - that's my sister, 43 years


Ginny and Lloyd - 45 years


Dianne and Dick - 40 years


Denny and Carlene - divorced, then Denny married Sherrilynn - divorced, then he married an outsider, but very nice, and that marriage lasted.


Now, go visit all the happy memories at Return of the White Robin

21 comments:

lisa marie said...

Sounds like great vacation times. :) It's hard to imagine all of you "hooking up" so many years ago and still being together and that you all keep in touch. Cool!

Swampwitch said...

Maybe my ex and I should have gone camping with your group.
Sounds like a fun time.
I have a photo very much like yours except mine is of aspens.
I have to post with my old Blogger account, but come see me at
http://anecdotes.typepad.com

ChrisB said...

I never had the opportunity to camp as a child, but I encouraged my own girls, and they loved it as do my grandchildren. It sounds like your experiences set you up for life which is wonderful.

Faye said...

Love your family's laidback attitude toward vacations. The early ones must have been a really positive experience for you to still want to continue in pre-teen and beyond.

Apparently the adult knew how to let the teens mingle while keeping things under control! Congrats on the several successful matches and long term friendships that started around the campfire.

Flutterby said...

I loved camping when I was a kid.. and we take our own kids now and they enjoy it as well. I know those kinds of one lane mountain roads really well.. we have lots of them here. They freak the hell out of me, lol.

daddy d said...

Those camping trips produced lots of lasting relationships. So positive. I might get see to see those Redwoods one day.

IamwhoIam said...

Yum fresh blackberries, to this day I have to go out a pick berries there is just something so much sweeter about wild berries that you pick youself. While I did my time in the Scouts we had no co-ed camping and no boats. I haven't yet even been in canoe. May be the lack of co-ed camping explains my single status. LOL

Molly said...

Thank you sharing your vacation times with the Fun Monday crowd. Making blackberry jam among the Redwoods sounds like fabulous fun. Although we did not meeet through scouts, Daddy D and I have been married 41 years.

Vered said...

There's something about camping - being out in nature, away from daily distractions. Thank you for sharing your memories!

hulagirlatheart said...

What wonderful memories! It sounds like so much fun.

jenontheedge said...

How wonderful!

Heather said...

That was a lot of fun to read. I especially loved the camping all together with the boys. Smart adults!!!

Alison said...

wow Jan...those are incredible memories. We camp in the redwoods every summer and just love it!! I also love the memories of sea scouting and that all of you, or most of you, are still married...that is awesome!!!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Sounds great, and that photo looking up at the trees is amazing.

Olive said...

You make northern California sound so *adventurously* exciting. The only camping that I did as a child was with blankets over the closeline as a tent. *smiling* We still had an adventure.

Thanks for sharing your precious memories with us.

Grand Life said...

One of my favorite vacations as a child was to the Redwoods in California. Thanks for visiting me today. Seems like google/or my expertise was making it hard to link. I love visiting your blog.
Judy

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

It sounds wonderful Jan!

the planet of janet said...

sounds wonderful! and how great that you all have remained friends!

mamarehema said...

Like Chrisb, I never had an opportunity to camp (literally) as a child and my husband HATES camping, I wish I did, I enjoying reading your camping story and I am so glad that you and your husband are still together

Pamela said...

married an outsider made me grin.

I've been to Humboldt, and I think I've been to Black Canyon (when my late sister lived in San Bernandino)

If ever I had to go camping -- I think I'd want you along to take care of me (:

Sandy said...

I do miss the redwoods out here on the plains of Texas. Great picture. Thanks.

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