Funny you should ask ... Tim Gamble


Where did you go on vacations as a child?

Seems funny to me that the first question would be, “Where did you go on vacation as a child?” We had so many vacations.

We moved to Arizona when I was seven years old. We lived in Scottsdale while we were having a house built near Camelback Mountain in Phoenix.

My dad had this '57 Ford station wagon, yellow with a big rack on the top to carry our luggage. Every summer, my dad, who couldn’t afford much with five kids, would take the family camping. We went to see the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Sequoia National Park, Yosemite, Hoover Dam, Cochise Stronghold down in the Chiricahua Mountains, and various other national parks.

Like I said, there were seven of us—my mom, dad, older sister, older brother, me and my two younger brothers. There was only seven years between us, crammed in the car. My dad stopped every 100 miles or so at a gas station to let somebody use the restroom. My sister would have stopped every 50 miles if my dad had let her have her way, but she learned how to hold it. Having an older sister was problematic to start with, especially given that, in those years, she was such a crab. My older brother was a resourceful and smart guy, and we would always get into some kind of trouble on whatever vacation we were on. I could tell you some stories that you’d say, “That didn’t happen,” but it did.

We were on our way to Yellowstone when we stopped off at the Snake River near the Grand Tetons. There weren’t any campsites left, so my dad just pulled over on the side of the road next to the river. My mom started to unpack the cooking gear; my dad started setting up the tent. My dad told me and my brother to get some firewood. Being resourceful Boy Scouts, we grabbed our hatchets and started chopping down small trees. Instead of chopping them into firewood, we grabbed the rope that dad used to tie down the tarp on top of the family wagon and we lashed the logs together and made a small raft. We dragged the raft down to the riverbank and jumped on and started down the Snake River. We went down maybe a quarter mile or so, got out and dragged that raft back to where we started.

I floated down again, this time with my younger brother. My dad looked up and he saw us heading down the river and he just started screaming at us, “Stop, stop, stop!” He ran along the riverbank, but he was on the steep side. We were headed for the other side. After landing the raft and dragging it back to camp, my dad asked me what were we thinking? I told him we were going down the river to the ocean. It turns out that was a long, long way away. About then, the police showed up and my dad got a ticket for camping where he wasn’t supposed to be camping and a fine for chopping down trees.


our campsite

home sweet home
home sweet home

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