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Click here to download if you don't already have it: Several of the links are PDF files.

1999 Teardrop Adventure - Page 1
by Teri Fahrendorf

24 DAYS ON THE ROAD

This trip was more than just the 4000+ miles and 24 days I would be driving down "the road". It was a vacation, a pilgrimage to America's most holy sites - four of its crown jewel national parks, a journey to several breweries, and a visit to friends and family members, where a newborn needed to be personally welcomed into this big beautiful world of ours. So how would I fit everything in? Like a well-made tapestry, it will all be woven together. Join me on this small segment of my life.

Months of planning have to culminate in something. For me those months began to pay off at precisely 2:20 pm, Friday August 27, 1999. That's when I put my "Harley Davidson Road Songs" cassette in the player, began with Stepenwolf's classic, "Born to be Wild," and departed from Eugene, Oregon. It seemed appropriate; little ol' me, all alone in my 16-year-old (1983) Honda Accord with 172,000 miles on it, towing "Little Buddy", my 1000-lb vintage 1999 teardrop camping trailer. I felt very born to be wild with the windows down and hair trying to escape my ponytail. What was I doing in this ancient semi-wimpy car intending to drive over the Rocky Mountains? Ah life is good! Just drive!

Ha, it was a great day, and nothing could change my opinion of it. The unseasonably wet and cloudy summer weather had cracked only the day before, the temperature was a stifling 95°F, the car had no air conditioning, but I was glad to finally have the sunshine and the heat. The trip wouldn't have been a true journey or pilgrimage if it weren't imperfect. It was all in my attitude, and I knew it. About 80 miles out of Eugene my elation was subdued somewhat when the car began to decelerate and the speedometer suddenly dropped to zero. Yikes! At first I thought the engine had cut out, then I realized the speedometer cable had broken. The good news was I wouldn't be putting 4000 miles on my Honda after all (wink wink). The bad news was I wouldn't know how fast I was going, and the worst news was that the cruise control wouldn't work. Put on Billy Idol, then the sound track to Rocky Horror Picture Show, and be-bopped (as much as possible while seat-belted in and driving) all the way to Tacoma, Washington, my first stop.

Found it! The Marymount grounds of the LeMay Classic Auto Show, home of the one day open house of the Guinness World Book of Record's largest private auto collection. No, I wasn't there to show off my old Honda, but to join other teardrop owners displaying their trailers. And to meet my friend Leslie, who came to celebrate her birthday with me.

The sheer volume of amazing cars was mind-boggling and impressive. (OK, I lusted after some of those old convertibles to tow my trailer with. They would look so trick together!) But the most fun was showing off the teardrops to a very curious public. I had my solar shower with built-in curtain set up off the bike rack, and I wished I could have caught a picture of all the little old ladies who stuck their heads in there to check it out, often three of them tried to do so at once.

Click here to go to 1999 Teardrop Adventure Page 2.

The story is 16 short pages total. You can jump to other sections of the story here:

Page 1 - Departure
Page 2 - Washington
Page 3 - Idaho
Page 4 - Glacier
Page 5 - Montana
Page 6 - Yellowstone
Page 7 - Tetons
Page 8 - Denver
Page 9 - Colorado
Page 10 - Utah
Page 11 - Idaho Again
Page 12 - Wild Horses
Page 13 - Oregon
Page 14 - Enterprise
Page 15 - Lovely Drive
Page 16 - Home Again

And here are some recipes:

Recipe 1 - Pancakes
Recipe 2 - Guacamole
Recipe 3 - Bread


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