After driving and trying to back into the campsite at Palo Duro Canyon State park I knew that before we could go on any vacations I had to fabricate some mirrors to mount on the cab over part of the camper to see better because it was wider than the cab of the truck and they worked great also when you took the camper off the truck the mirrors would stay with the camper. We decided one summer to take a weeks’ vacation; we had planned on going to the gulf coast of Texas so we got up early and I loaded each kid into the camper up on the big bed over the cab. After getting the kids loaded up I told Charlotte this summer has been pretty hot and neither the truck or the camper had air-condition why don’t we head North instead, and she said well we had already told her folks and mine that we were going south, I said well we will surprise them by calling them later to let them know where we were. I headed North up through the Oklahoma panhandle on in to Colorado, Nebraska, and in to South Dakota almost 700 miles in all, we stayed in the Custer National Park. The next day we drove around looking the park over, while driving thr
ough the park we had to wait several times on buffalo crossing the road in fact there were so many of them that about the time the last one would get off the road the leader of the herd would start crossing it again. Later we came up on two donkeys one would stand in the middle of the road while the other would come up to the car wanting something to eat, after you gave him something he would move to the front of your car and the other one would come to your window for something. We drove the winding road up to Mount Rushmore and there were three tunnels that you had to go through every time you make the turn to go through the tunnel you could see Mount Rushmore through it. There was one road that I would like to have gone down but there was a sign saying no high-profile vehicles or travel trailers so I decided we would go down that road if we ever made back this away. It is so remarkable how they could sculpture the president’s heads out of solid rock; we also went to Chef Crazy Horse monument that is being carved out of the mountain.
After driving up and down the hills of South Dakota and I guess with the weight of the cab over the rear brakes were going metal to metal so we decided we better get to some place where I could get some brake pads and have the drums turned if wasn’t too late for that. We set out for Rapid City South Dakota, while driving the narrow winding roads me met a motor home and both of or driver side mirrors hit each other, well it knocked mine off and I do not know about the other guys but I could not stop there was no place to pull over so I drove the rest of the way to Rapid City without a driver’s side mirror. It was the 4th of July weekend and by the time we got to town the parts stores were closed, we went out to the airport and rented us a car to drive around until the stores opened on Monday. I had the truck all jacked up and the breaks off ready to put back together once I got the parts, plus I had to repair the mirror, we were just glad the KOA camp ground where we stayed had a place to camp. After I picked up the brake shoes and installed them and found a mirror head that I could get to fit my home-made bracket on the camper we took the rental car back and headed west.
Have you seen the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind well that movie was made at Devils tower in Wyoming and that is where we stopped at the national park and looked it over? I think the story behind the mountain is that there was a damsel at the top and a giant bear was trying to climb up to her and his claws carved the groves on the side of the mountain. After looking that over we decided that we was not going to climb it so we left heading south to Laramie Wyoming, first we went out to the Fort, this where the real Ft Laramie was located in fact you could see some old wagon tracks from back thin was still visible. After looking this over we continued SW to Interstate 25 then down to the Rocky Mountain National park where we stayed.
After staying a couple of days here in the Rocky Mountains it was time to head toward home, I woke up early I was always bad about doing that when I knew we had to get some place so I left everyone sleeping and headed south towards Denver, down I 25 across Raton Pass in to New Mexico then SE on highway 64 towards the Texas Panhandle and on into home we really had a good time but I noticed that the pickup I had wasn’t quiet powerful enough for mountain driving with that camper on it so I got rid of it and found a 1974 binder which had a bigger engine and a better rear differential to handle the camper.