The telephone company gave us an extra week of vacation to go to the National Kiwanis conventions. We went for three years, first to New York City, second to Portland and lastly to Miami. With our four weeks’ vacation, we were able to take our travel trailer and enjoyed three long trips and saw a lot of the United States. We kept a log of each trip with Chip, Tom, Susie and Mom all taking turns writing each day in the log.
On June 26, 1965 we left Dallas on the way to the Kiwanis International Convention in New York City. The world Fair was in New York that year as well. We drove the first day to Vicksburg, Miss where we camped for the night in our travel trailer. We parked before dusk and made a quick look around before dark. When we settled in for the night, we were next to a forest and the cicadas were so loud and constant we all had trouble getting to sleep. A hound dog that had adopted us spent the night sleeping by our door all night. Whenever another dog or anyone would approach the trailer he would bark at them. It is a good thing we were not in Dallas or we probably would have adopted him.
The next day we were up early and knowing that our trailer was in good hands, we were out to the Vicksburg battlefield. Tom had to check out every single cannon. He was a real historical expert on the battles of the Civil War and gave us a blow-by-blow description of each. We spent our second night in the trailer with our watchdog on duty. The next morning at 6:30 AM we were on our way east. We were all sad leaving our faithful watchdog behind. We threw a tire tread near Bessemer, Alabama and had to spend the night, which put us behind schedule. We were on our way through Chattanooga, Tennessee to our destination of Cade’s Cove, in the Great Smoky Mountains. When I said we did not have time to tour the battlefield of Chickamauga, Tom was so disappointed; we decided to make a quick drive through.
I looked at the map and saw we could drive along Lookout Mountain and still get back on the highway for Cade’s Cove. After a few stops with beautiful views and a cannon or two, we came to a dead end in the road, still up on the top of the mountain. I had to try and back the trailer several times to try and get us turned around. The last time I backed, the right trailer tire dropped into a ditch. No matter what I tried, I could not get us out. I had all the family get out and by this time we were drawing a crowd. I finally gave up and went into a nearby house to telephone AAA. That was the first time I realized AAA did not cover trailers. It was getting late in the evening, but finally I found one tow truck that would help us. When he showed up an hour later, it was just a pickup with a winch on the back. He hooked on and with his tires smoking and mine squealing and smoking, and a number of men and boys pushing, we finally got out of the ditch. When we pulled out of the ditch a cheer rang out from the crowd and everyone was clapping.
Photo of view from Lookout Mountain found here.