Family Car Camping for the Amateur Adventurer

 My mom set the tone for most of my childhood: comfortable and suburban, with warm hugs and homemade bread. But every now and then, Dad swept us along on some grand and unpredictable adventure.  More than once, it was a cross-country camping trip. Safely ensconced in the drivers’ seat of our Ford Clubwagon, Dad wore a bike helmet all the way from Maryland to California, for the sheer joy of embarrassing his five children. Humility wasn’t the only lesson that we learned on these adventures with Dad, though. We also learned, for example, that if you want to scatter M&M’s on the floor of your tent before going to sleep, you had better zip the tent shut . . . well, unless you like waking up to a swarm of bees.