Shortly after dark we eventually got back on the highway to Cade’s Cove. I looked in the right rear view mirror and the trailer did not look right. I pulled over and sure enough, I had a broken spring and the trailer was crabbing down the road catawampus. I stopped in a station and borrowed some Yellow Pages and found a trailer place. By this time it was after eight in the evening. One place said their service department was closed, but if I brought it by they would fix the trailer in the morning.
We found the place, which was half away up a big hill. We pulled in and the salesman had us park on the sales lot and about ten we started bedding down for a long hot night with no electricity, water or sewer. Susie was sleeping on the floor by the screen door trying to get a little air. About 9:30 that evening a man, his wife and a little girl came through the sales lot looking at the trailers. The little girl was about four of five and she came up to Susie’s door and looked in. Susie was lying on her back with her head in the door and rolled her eyes up and looked at the little girl in the half-light of the darkened sales lot.
The little girl went screaming to her mother with, “Mommy there is a dead girl in that trailer-come quick!” Mommy says, “Hush, there is no dead girl! What a story!!” For the entire time they were in the lot, you could hear the little girl pleading with her parents to no avail. Today almost 50 years later she is still probably trying to convince someone she saw a dead girl in that trailer.
We got little sleep due to the heat and the steady groan of semi-trucks slowly shifting through numerous gears as they made their way up the long hill beside us. Next day about noon we were on our way again but had to cancel Cade’s Cove much to Chip’s disappointment. We spent the next night in Warrior State Park, right on the Virginia State line. We got in about dark, but with Tom helping me with the trailer and Chip building a campfire, Mom and Sus soon had hamburgers ready for everyone there in the beautiful woods.
After a long day we arrived the next night at Prince William State Park in Dumfries, Virginia, just out of Washington D.C. It was beautiful with hundreds of towering oak trees and flowering dogwoods everywhere. We spent the next day at the Smithsonian in D.C. and at the close of the day, went to the Washington monument for a view of Washington. Next day we went to Mt. Vernon, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. We also went to the Arlington Cemetery. It was a long day but lots to see and lots of fun. The next day we went down to Williamsburg, Va, which was about 150 miles from our campsite. We spent a full day enjoying the restored buildings and all the exhibits, arriving back at the campsite about 10:30 that evening.
The next morning, July 4th, we were on our way to the big city early. I located the place we had planned to stay in North Bergen, New Jersey. Believe me, winding my way through the east and into the New York area was an experience for this old Texas boy. Next morning I was on my way to the Kiwanis convention and the family was on their way via bus to see New York. The next day they went to the World’s Fair. After four days in New York, the convention was over and we headed out of town on our way west. I was happy to get out of New York and back on the road. The boys said that I said that what I wanted most of all was to see the city Limits of New York City in my rear view mirror.
Photo of Prince William Forest State Park found here.
Graphic of NYC traffic found here.