A Site in the Woods
By James Brand- Stanwood, MI
It was 1948 and we’d been married less than a year. I wanted to show my new bride where I’d deer hunted. We had little money and a red 1946 Jeep. Her father had a friend who loaned us a pre-war Kariall Kamper, a precursor to the foldout campers of today. It was sturdily built, the canvas was still good, so we hitched it to the Jeep and, at 45 mph, and we headed for Drummond Island on the eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We took the ferry across and sought out an old logging road I had seen while hunting. We set out into the brush and forest, four-wheeling all the way with the trailer bouncing along behind. It was tough going, plowing over briars and saplings and once in a while cutting a tree to get through. The “road” hadn’t been used in years, but we forged on until we came to a clearing on the bank of the St. Mary’s River.
A beautiful sight with sunlight dazzled us from the water. With the deep forest around us, everything was so quiet except for bird songs and the wavelets washing on the beach, we felt like we were a million miles from everywhere. We camped there for maybe two or three days and that experience convinced us that we would do more camping in the future, and we did! For more than 60 years with kids and then by ourselves, we’ve covered the United States and the world in different types of RVs. Alaska, Canada, Mexico New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. It’s been a great adventure all the way in our RVs. Now, as we find ourselves slowing somewhat, we still think of that magical campsite where it all began.