In everyone’s life, there should be at least one family road trip across America that shines in the collective memory of all who were along for the ride.   In the summer of 1978, Kit and I decided it was time for just such a journey.  He had a shiny new school bus yellow, Westphalia Volkswagen pop-top camper van and two elementary aged children—Hayden (11) and Heidi (9).  I was the newest addition to the family, having met and fallen head over heels in love with their father the prior summer.  Over the course of the year, we’d been getting to know each other and had begun to consider moving into a small canyon cottage together at the end of that summer.  To test ourselves as a newly blended family, we planned an extended 6,000-mile road trip from the Pacific to the Atlantic and back.

Cathy Salter

Kit’s VW camper van was akin to a jolly little yellow submarine on wheels. There was bunk space for the kids below and when the top was popped, a bunk for the two adults up above.  It had a sink behind the driver’s seat, and a small table that could be affixed to the floor behind the front passenger seat. Four cubicles in the back held the very modest selection of stuff we packed along.  Three of the four cubbies were filled with the kids’ tee shirts, shorts, swimsuits, books, and cards they’d brought along for entertainment.  For the life of me, I can’t remember what Kit and I took in the way of clothes, only that we kept it light and simple.

~ Read the rest in today’s Journal ~