Well, it is summer. My thoughts turn to the mountains. In my pre-married life, I would be in Red River by now. By the last day of school my dad, who was a school principal, would have the truck and the car loaded up. Dad drove the pick-up with sideboards, which he had made, and the truck would be full of furniture, appliances, carpenter tools, luggage, etc. Mom drove the car, also packed to the hilt, and had all us kids. Hmm, do you think Dad did that on purpose? Actually, we took turns riding with Dad in the truck, but usually it was me that rode with Dad. The first day school was out, he would do the last minute packing, and we would head west to Amarillo. We often spent the night in Amarillo or Dumas, TX. I learned to swim at the motel pool in Dumas. I have lots of stories from those trips to RR.
One year Dad had bought a new car - a Buick Electra 225 (1974). It was a four-door something like this. We all thought it was huge, and it was. So, we all packed more stuff. Dad ended up renting some sort of luggage carrier that set on the top of the car to hold all our junk. It irritated him that we all packed more than usual and still there was not enough room. Looking back, it was funny.
Before the Buick we had a 64 Chevy Biscayne - the family car something like this. When my brother and I learned to drive, the Biscayne became our car. Because we went to the mountains every summer, the Biscayne did not have an air-conditioner. Later Dad had one put in - it set under the dash in the floorboard on the hump between the seats. Both parents smoked cigarettes and with the air-conditioner going, Dad would not let us roll down the windows. We kids would fight for a window so that we could barely crack the window and hold our noses close to the crack and get some fresh aire now and then - Pure misery!
Before the Biscayne, we had a Rambler - something like this. The Rambler was my favorite, because the front seats laid all the way back. My brothers and I would lay the seat all the way down and go back and forth from the front to the back seat easily. Then we could all take naps. When you rolled the windows down, it was like one giant window - no separation. It was a fun car. It was in the Ramber that Mom was driving over the Old Pass in Red River. The Old Pass was serious switchbacks up a steep mountain. It was so narrow that two cars could not pass. If you met another car, someone would have to back up to the switchback. Drivers would honk their horns as they rounded the switchbacks, because they could not see around them due to trees and mountain. My brothers were in the Rambler with Mom on one trip. My brother Craig was six years old while Pete was an infant. Pete was crying, so Mom told Craig to change his diaper. Craig unpinned the diaper and in six-year-old-boy behavior he yanked it out from under Pete - sending baby poo all over the car. Mom said she wanted to gag, but she had to wait until she got over the Pass.
Of course there is also the story of Dad driving our old 55 GMC pick-up truck loaded down with appliances and furniture for our cabin. Dad had a blow-out just before we started up the Pass. The blow-out shot our truck out through a barbed-wire fence and across the pasture with Dad trying to control the truck and me bouncing all over the cab. My box of kittens went flying. When we came to a stop, Dad put his head down on the steering-wheel and laughed - he was relieved that we were not on the Pass when he had the blow-out. My mom came running up hysterical - screaming. My grandmother came running too. I didn't know what was going on. Why would Dad suddenly drive out across the pasture? But I gathered my kittens in the box. Dad went back to Eagles Nest and bought a new tire. We continued on.
One memorable trip, we took our Siamese cat, Penny, with us in the Biscayne. She didn't ride well in the car, so Dad went to a veterinarian and got some sort of pills for cats - to calm them. The pills had a horrible effect on our cat. She went crazy in the car, and she shat all over everything. My mom's mom was with us on that trip. We were constantly pulling over to clean cat poop. Then we got a wheel stuck in the soft shoulder of the road. Dad blew by us in the truck. My grandma thought he was not going to stop. According to my mom, Grandma, picked up the back end of the car so that we were no longer stuck. I guess the thought of being stuck in the hot summer sun with three kids and a shitty kitty was too much for her. She was a strong little woman. I take after her. The cat nearly died by the time we got to RR. It had no hair on its backside and was so weak it could barely walk. It crawled under the porch of the cabin and did not come out for a week. But it lived! It was one of our best chipmunk catchers. That's another story.