Is it just me, or does 'hitch-itch' reach an especially high
pitch in the springtime?
Is it just me, or does 'hitch-itch'
reach an especially high pitch in the springtime? You know
hitch-itch... the nagging, gnawing urge to tie down all the
loose stuff, start the engine and head off down the road to
I've felt this compulsion since I
was a youngster, but back then I didn't fulltime in a house
on wheels. Trips were dependent on my parents... or my
bicycle... and thus much shorter.
When the 'itch' got bad I'd jump on
my bike and go for a ride. After stopping awhile at the end
of the street around the corner from our house, the urge to
go somewhere else would only get stronger. That street ended
at the riverbank about a hundred feet above the Ohio River
as it flowed northwest beside my hometown in Pennsylvania
before heading on into Ohio.
The Monongahela and Allegheny
rivers join at Pittsburgh to form the Ohio which made a
bee-line (actually that's not too straight) for the great
Mississippi. Oh how I wanted to go along.
Barge boats that had been laden
with coal and ore for the steel mills up river would be
headed back down for another load, pushing their empty
barges ahead of them, they were able to move swiftly
downstream with the strong current. I'd chase along the
street nearest the river, dodging out side streets to the
riverbank to check the progress of the barges until I came
to the end of the road (and the town) where the river went
around the bend and the barge boat would fade from my view.
Peddling my bike back home was always anti-climatic.
The good ol' spring &
In the mid forties on the weekend
nearest Memorial Day my family and I would leave Monaca
early in the morning and travel northward to our cabin on a
small lake in southwestern New York state for the summer. It
was 128 miles and, in those days, took the better part of
eight hours to drive in our 1939 Plymouth. It's the first
car I remember our family having and this annual trek was a
My inclination for car-sickness did
not dampen my urge to travel in the least, although at times
it dampened my clothing and the seat (occupied by my Dad)
directly in front of me!
Exploring was always fun along the
dirt roads and trails in the hills around Findley Lake. I
never liked turning back, or returning the way I came. I
always wanted to see what was around the next bend... even
if it meant being lost for a while.
Although it was traveling,
returning to the 'city' for school in the fall was never as
delightful as hitting the road in the springtime or early
After all these years I still have
the itch to travel. It's not that I'm ever unhappy where I
am... or think that everything will be much better somewhere
else... it's just an urge. An urge that seems to be stronger
in the springtime.
Now, when we travel... Steve and
I... dragging our house behind us, we usually only have a
basic area as a destination in mind. When we get there we
find a place to 'stay' and get the house parked (Home Is
Where We Park Our House) and settled. Then we leave 'home'
to explore the territory around us. We make day trips in all
directions, on all kinds of roads, up and down the streets
of nearby towns until we feel we know the area fairly well.
Unplanned events along the
It was a really windy day last
March when it was time to leave the Quartzsite area and head
for Lancaster on the way to our 'pivot point' in northern
California. We chose I-10 for our route and headed west
through Blythe, up the gradual grade to Chiriaco Summit. We
planned to stop, refuel and visit the General Patton Museum
at the summit, and we got a bonus!
A Good Year
blimp, after a bit of a struggle to top the summit in the
high winds, landed at the small airport there, to refuel. We
chatted with chase crew members while the zeppelin was being
serviced and then we got to see it take off into the sunset!
By then it was pretty late so we went into the restaurant to
inquire about an overnight space. The manager said we could
dry camp up the hill behind the museum free of charge. Cool.
Next morning we toured the
museum... a great experience for anyone; a must for history
buffs. Then we headed for Joshua Tree National Forest, a
quintessential place to combat springtime hitch-itch!
--Fran C. Crawford