With the recent passing of my father, I am reminded of my origins and the source of my motivation to travel, and so begins our cross country RV pilgrimage back to Texas.
Due to an uncontainable wanderlust, my father left school on his 18th birthday to enlist in the Air Force and see the world.
Having already motorcycled on an AJS and a Triumph through his teens in 1940’s Alabama and the South, I think he realized the limits of experience were not contained by his hometown. Stationed in Berlin for four years, he met my mother and they explored Europe by car across Germany, France, and Spain. Then he shipped that 47 Plymouth to New York and drove cross country to Texas and started a family.
As a long time airline employee with Braniff and American, he always had our family traveling to new places in the US, Europe, Mexico, and South America. His gift to me on high school graduation was an unforgettable trip together on motorcycles through Mexico to Acapulco in 1973.
In later years my father, his brother Charlie, my brother James, and I motorcycled together and separately in the Southwest, Mexico,and British Columbia. You just think that the days will never end. But those are the memories that fuel enthusiasm for another generation.
A private pilot all the way through his 85th year, he had flown all over Texas and the Southwest. Even just a few months ago, he enjoyed flying from his grass strip behind the house and checking out his beloved local area of Lake Grapevine.
And so now, 45 years since I left home, Kathleen and I are returning via a cross country drive to Texas to stay awhile and settle his affairs. This camping trip is for you Dad; I think you would have enjoyed it.