Camping Trips


One of the best things about having a family involved in education is that summers are free for travelling. While they travelled on a shoestring, George and Betty Burrow took their children on extensive vacations every summer.   These were almost all camping trips; indeed the first time Mr. Burrow stayed in a hotel when he was a junior in high school and was selected to participate in the Presidential Classroom program in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Burrow remembers that when he was a small child, the entire family (seven people) crammed into a Volkswagen bug and travelled to Iola, Wisconsin to see his aunt. As he got older, the travelling accommodations became more spacious, but they were never luxurious. Sometimes the family stayed with friends and relatives when they travelled, but mostly they camped--first in an old tent trailer, then in a 13-foot hard-top trailer with a canvas tent as auxiliary sleeping space, and finally (much later) in a motorhome.

One of the first vacations Mr. Burrow remembers was a trip the family made to the East when he was in elementary school. They visited Gettysburg, Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Kitty Hawk. They also stopped to visit relatives in Newark, Delaware, and while they were there Hurricane Agnes hit the Eastern Seaboard.

Most vacations, though, the family headed west. They visited old friends that George and Betty had made when they lived in Colorado, Idaho, and California. They saw penpals of Betty's in western Canada, and they visited an aunt in Seattle (the same one who used to live in Wisconsin). En route they saw America in all its grandeur, and David Burrow acquired a love of travel he retains to this day.

By far the longest trip the family ever took was in 1977, when they headed north. They travelled through Saskatchewan and Alberta and on up to Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories of Canada. They headed back south and then turned north again, to head up to the Yukon and Alaska. During that trip, George Burrow negotiated the family motorhome up the newly built Dempster Highway, north of Dawson City, and the Burrows became some of the first people in North America to drive over the Arctic Circle.

The trips became less frequent as most of the family moved away. The last vacation David Burrow made with his father was in the summer of 1983, right before he graduated from college. They drove out to Philadelphia, where David's brother, Paul, was attending a convention. While there David and his father made side-trips to Valley Forge and Hopewell Furnace, Atlantic City and the Jersey Shore, Thomas Edison's Laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey, and the heart of midtown Manhattan. It was a wonderful trip, made all the more memorable since it was the last time David spent any significant amount of time with his father.

While he did once purchase a nylon tent, camping hasn't been a regular part of Mr. Burrow's adult life.  He does have very positive memories of those childhood camping trips, though.


Tent-Top Trailer
David Burrow on top of the family's tent-top trailer, around 1963


Campground Sunset
Toasting marshmallows at sunset at a campground in Virginia


Arctic Circle
David Burrow standing at the Arctic Circle along the Dempster Highway in the Yukon Territory


Arctic Circle
David Burrow's tent and car in a state forest at Willow River in northern Minnesota


***** Links to other sites on the Web

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* Iola, Wisconsin
* Williamsburg, Virginia
* University of Delaware--Newark
* Colorado
* Seattle, Washington
* Yellowknife, NWT
* Alaska
* Dempster Highway, Yukon
* Philadelphia
* Edison National Historic Site