Travel bug.

Meet Betty.

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She joined the family almost a year ago. But let’s back up a bit and recall the events that led up to that.

Last Memorial Day weekend, John and I had taken a camping trip to Boulder and Escalante in Southern Utah. If you want to see a truly ‘painted’ desert or experience ‘cowboy’ country, go there in May. The burning reds of both the canyon cliffs and the sunsets are unforgettable, and you expect Paul Newman and Robert Redford to come riding out of a slot canyon. The farmlands skirting the town are from another decade, and time slows down. It’s a stunning and peaceful part of the world.

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After striking out at the campground we’d been directed to by a friend (full), we spent more hours than we would have liked hunting down a suitable nook to set up shop for the next few days. We finally found a spectacular campsite with a crazy beautiful view, but it was exposed and a bit breezy for our taste, particularly because we were sans tent. Little did we know that it would be the best we were going to get.

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The next morning, we did a little exploring, but the wind was picking up even more. We packed up camp and moved down into the canyon to a site that had been occupied the night before, near a big cottonwood tree . It was close to some water and protected from the road, but we may as well have set up camp in a wind tunnel.

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We did this for most of the day, sheltered from what was now a fierce wind, coating everything in terra cotta dust and sending anything that wasn’t secured flying down the canyon.

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We packed up a day earlier than we had planned, the wind and exposure too much for us. On our way out, we did have one of the best breakfasts I can remember, at a restaurant called Hell’s Backbone Grill. (Apparently, gale-force winds make one ravenous.)

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On the drive home, travel trailers and RVs outnumbered cars. Feigning annoyance, we looked at the rigs with hidden interest. I don’t remember which of us said something, but it was mentioned that perhaps a little protection from the elements never hurt anybody. The ice broken, we began to entertain the idea of (gasp!) a trailer. The extensive process of unpacking and packing up camp a few times in the last couple of days had gotten to both of us. By the time we were pulling back into Salt Lake City, we had determined that yes, we were in fact mature enough to admit that we had outgrown the sleep-on-the-ground or pitch-a-tent phase in life. We could, potentially, upgrade. We’d keep it small, of course, easy to maneuver, not one of these gas-guzzling road hogs we had freely scowled at along the interstate. The search was on for a little tow-behind trailer that would be cozy and dust-free during weather like we’d just experienced. The real kicker: setting up camp would consist of setting the parking brake, opening the door, and cracking a beer.

We must have brought a 4-leaf clover back with us from the desert, because I hit the trailer jackpot the next day.

The local KSL news website has a great online classified section. I started browsing for something small. Most of what I saw listed were newer trailers from dealerships. But within an hour or two of scrolling through the Recreational Vehicle section, I saw the listing for a 1966 Serro Scotty. Small (but big enough at 13 feet). Already renovated (in a cute way). Vintage (bonus!). And well within budget (DING DING DING). We went to see her that evening, and brought her home the next day. She clearly needed a name- something sassy, old school, and sweet. Betty just fits.

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About a month later, we embarked on her maiden voyage, 2 ½ weeks to kill en route to a concert in San Francisco. Aside from a tire blow-out on the homeward stretch in Nevada, we had amazing luck with campsites and weather, and by the end of the trip, we had our set-up process down to a science. We cooked amazing camp food. We visited a ton of friends along the way. We had so much fun that we went on a 5-week trip a couple of months later. That trailer has been all over the western United States, and knows the Pacific Coastline well. A post about the details of those trips would be even longer than this, but here are some of the gorgeous spots Betty landed last summer (in random order). She’s in every photo- look carefully!

Warm weather is teasing, and the road trip season is nearly upon us. The travel bug is biting. Can’t wait to hit the road soon and find some new adventures!

Categories: betty, flashback, john, life, travel

Tagged as: , , ,

72 replies »

  1. Aw, great story. You had me at “…setting the parking brake, opening the door, and cracking a beer.” I think there may be something to this towing behind the truck thing. Packing and unpacking camp for us and four kids might be daunting for our first “outing.” Currently, we’re just camping in our own yard, which in itself is heaven (creature comforts being only a hundred steps away).

  2. she’s so cute inside! proper retro! I love living in my little van, we road trip around the UK. We’ve tent camped across Australia and that was fine but campervanning is better on the whole, esp when the weather turns bad. There’s no way we could maintain a life on the road with a tent in the UK! xx

  3. Betty!!! I love her! (Just saw your comment at ABM and had to pop over to check out Betty:)
    She’s a beauty! The inside is really nice, and I love her silver exterior. Looks like she gets a lot of love. Awesom:)
    Cheers!

    • Don’t you just LOVE her? We are lucky because she came already “prettied up”- we didn’t do much except accessorize. We adore her- and wish we could take her on adventures more often!

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