California and Back | family vacation

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pop-up camper

1980 Coleman Pop Up

This family vacation and these photos are from our 2 week vacation out to California and back in 1994 when we drove our pick-up towing our pop-up.

Of all the memories we have over the past years as a family, I think this one family vacation maybe holds the most vivid recollection for everyone as a 2 week adventure that we all enjoyed.   If you ask our children what they got for Christmas or a birthday they would be hard pressed to remember specifics.  But, if you ask them about the family vacation to California and back in the pop-up, you better pull up a chair and be ready to listen for a while.

Preparation

I took the time to repack the bearings in the small wheels of the pup-up because they Pop-up-camper18-awould be spinning at a rate of about 3 to 1 of the wheels on the truck.  I also engineered a gear/belt mechanism that allowed me to use a drill motor to raise and lower the camper.  It had a large and heavy air conditioner on top and I didn’t really like the idea of cranking and lowering by hand every day for 2 week.  This idea made it much more enjoyable after a long day of driving to get setup.   The last modification was to build my own truck bed cover ( trunk lid ) to cover our items that wouldn’t fit in the camper.

The poor quality photos are screen shots from video that was taken by the wildly popular VHS cam-corder we had at the time.  We didn’t have much money then, but we sure had fun.  The following images are a peek into one of our family’s favorite vacation experien1986_rca_pro-camcorderces.  We travelled from North Alabama to California and back in our Silverado pick-up with our 1980 Coleman pop-up in tow.

  • Highlights: We almost ran out of gas in Utah !  We had 2 blow-outs on the pop-up’s small tires.  The deck I made to cover the bed of the truck – blew off.  When Arizona signs say “wind advisory” take them seriously!

.Memphis-I40-2014-10-21  Oklahoma-SignArizona-sign West-Memphis  Sandia-Peak-View

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Parked at the Grand Canyon National Park. Cold at night in that elevation.

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Squirrels were not afraid of people. This little guy let us watch him eat with no problem.

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Everyone had a job at each campsite. Crank the camper up, put the steps out, lower and level the jacks, hook up power and water.

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Steven doing his job – hooking up the water.

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Steven crawling under the home made bed-cover of my truck to get the hose out.

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one of MANY breath-taking views from the Grand Canyon’s abundance of spots to pull off and take in the scenery. Sadly no picture does it justice.

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Miles before getting to the Grand Canyon, the souvenir stores started appearing. They were however informative, and helpful to tourists.

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This was a tourist attraction next to the souvenir store we stopped at just before entering the Grand Canyon.

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Arkansas rest stop – made sandwiches and went for a walk to get the kids energy burned off for another 5 hours of riding.

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Camp site at a KOA in Texas.

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The cross walk over the interstate provided a good view of the TEXAS welcome sign and a photo op.

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pulled off at each state to get a photo of the welcome sign.

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Another view of the walking trail at one of the rest stops along the way. We didn’t have a large budget so we had sandwiches and chips for most of the lunches.

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Stopped at a park in Texas where it appeared the park was the only thing in that town. Wish i could remember the name of the small town.

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In Albaqurque we rode the 2+ mile cable car up to Sandia Peak. Well worth the time – the view was spectacular looking down on Albaqurque.

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