Camping with Our Dads

Dear Liza,

Your Daddy David told me that you and your classmates got to go camping last week. I spent almost every weekend of my childhood camping, so I know how fun it is!

Two year old me, on top of the world!

Your great Grandpa Lowell, my dad, was a great camper. He loved and respected the forest and desert and made sure we were responsible with our trash and our campfires. He always found just the right balance between “just like home” and “roughing it”.

Ten year old me, hydraulic engineer, and Grandma Billie

My favorite thing was playing in whatever water was around. I would make bath tubs for my troll doll, Tina, or soaking tubs for me.

Dinner, caught by Grandpa Lowell and Uncle Tim

When I graduated from High School, my mom’s gift to me was a really good typewriter. My dad’s gift was a ten-day backpacking trip in Sequoia National Park with him, Uncle Tim, and Grandpa Nelson.

Me, Grandpa Nelson, and Uncle Tim, 1974

What an adventure! Grandpa did all the planning, mapping us out a route that was easy hiking with good scenery, near Jerky Meadow. He made sure we all carried enough supplies but not too much weight. We took off two days after my graduation.

We started very early one morning and by that afternoon we had been passed by several badly organized groups of loud, littering hikers. They rambled through the forest with their radios blasting music, yelling and dropping gum wrappers.

“Are we gonna be stuck with them for the whole trip?” Grandpa Lowell wondered out loud.

Just chillin’…

That evening, while we were relaxing, Uncle Tim took off for a walk. He came back in about an hour. “I found our spot,” he said. We put our packs back on and followed him, cross country, for about two miles.

“This is more like it!” Dad said. We were off the trail far enough that we didn’t hear anyone else. We had a whole bend in the river to ourselves, with a sandy bank to spread out on and tall rocks to climb. It was the perfect gift for me, a ready to move out high school graduate who needed one more chunk of childhood before launching into the real world.

And while finding these pictures, I found another: Your Daddy David and Grandpa Nelson, on a hike to celebrate David’s Bar Mitzvah.

Your Daddy David and Grandpa Nelson, 1993


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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