Go West Young Man, Go West / Live out of a Van

There are people who travel all over the United States but never go “Out West” if that makes any sense.  You can hit main cities but that is not quite the same as going “out west” especially if you are doing it primarily by van.

My father and mother’s obsession of going “out west” meant that as a young child, I rode through about 35 states by the time I was 5 (we went other places too sometimes) and that included the states that a lot of people on the east coast miss (such as Nebraska, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Wisconsin, etc.)  Note: I did not gain North Dakota or Minnesota until much later.

We, fortunately or unfortunately, had some adventures and one of the things that was learned was don’t go anywhere without a camping toilet!  (Dad was hit by food poisoning, so… yea.)  Luckily we were in one of those large cargo vans.  Mom loved her van and we spent most of our nights in the van at rest areas and such.  Personally, I think if you are going to travel and you have more than one driver, more than three people, you have a lot of time, the weather is right, gas is not insanely priced, I definitely recommend renting a van and traveling that way. You can save money on hotel fees as well just remember to bring a camping toilet!

For the record, I really think it was a bad idea to ask a preschooler where to go on vacation because you are going to get cartoon answers. Fortunately, the places I asked for were based on real places that were in the United States and not far from where they wanted to go.

It was actually on the trip back from this where they decided to ask me again, then I asked to go to Cape Canaveral and they took me to Huntsville instead.

Places I remember going to

Mangy Moose (Jackson Hole, Wyoming) – Although I don’t fully forgive them for getting me trapped in a Chinese Finger Trap!  I might still have the toy moose I was given.  My parents liked the place.

The Bar J Chuckwagon – My child palate was not a fan of the food, but the show I remember.  One of the songs was “I’ve been everywhere” which was on my ipod for a while.  My mom went recently up to one of them and told him that she remembered watching him perform as a child.

“The Faces” aka Mount Rushmore – I think my Dad was sick (food poisoning) still so Mom took me.  This of course assured I gained South Dakota.

“Where Roadrunner Lives” aka Grand Canyon – I don’t remember much other than it was very deep and I am scared of heights.  I seem to remember the guard rails being not good for youngsters as I could go UNDER them.  You know those scenes in the cartoons where someone looks down and the ground gets closer?  That was me!

“Where Yogi Bear Lives” aka Yellowstone (Jellystone was based on Yellowstone) – I don’t believe we saw Old Faithful erupt.  Weather issue?  I can’t remember.

Are there any places you would want to go if you went “out west?”

Completed: Sometime before 1986

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , ,

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