My wife and I experienced a milestone on this day, 39 years ago.
Our only son, at 5 and a half at the time, was also a part of that event.
The day after Labor Day in 1977 was when we embarked on the adventure of a lifetime.
Some wished us well and others wished that they could also go. And both sets of our parents wondered if we were crazy.
I guess we were, but we did it anyway.
We quit our full-time jobs on the area newspaper, where I had been working for seven years and my wife about three, and decided to devote a year to see as much of the US as we could.
Our transportation was a long-wheel-based Chevy van in which we traveled and lived.
We camped and we visited relatives whether they wanted us to or not.
It was first up to Kentucky visiting relatives and then to Chicago and more of my father's kinsmen.
In-between we spent nights at campgrounds.
The it was east traveling through Indiana, Ohio, a part of Michigan, up into Canada, over to Niagara Falls and New York and Lake Placid followed by a few days spent in Vermont and New Hampshire before hitting the coast and staying a few days at Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, ME.
The days and nights became colder with the leaves exhibiting their fall foliage.
We learned a lot during that first segment.
In Kentucky, tobacco was still a big thing back in 1977. Our relatives grew the crop and were harvesting it as we arrived.
We joined in. The tobacco was already cut in the fields and I helped load it onto wagons which carried it to the barn.
The tobacco was hung in the barn to dry. There were different levels of rafters. As the tobacco was taken off the wagons, it was handed to a worker and passed on up to the one at the top level. The top of the barn was filled up first and then other levels were filled in.
Being around the tobacco is not for everyone.
A thunderstorm had moved in and it started to rain. The barn took on a smell of its own with so much product hanging.
It got the best of my wife. On the ride back to our relatives’ house, whether it was the tobacco smell, the curvy road or a combination of both, she ended up throwing up.
Not the best of experiences, but memorable none-the-less.
More about our milestone experience next week.
Next post: Sept. 13, 2016