The Day We Were Almost Orphaned
Dad was driving the Winnebago from Eielson AFB to Seward, Alaska in the
early 1970s. Dad wanted to secure a campsite at a campground on the north
side of Kenai Lake to come back to later in the day. Se he dropped my
brother, Matt, and me there to set up a tent.
The rest of the family headed south for Seward. There was a small area
behind and to the left of the driver’s seat of the Winnebago that our
youngest brother, John, frequently stood in to watch the world go by. As
Dad drove along the Seward Highway with Kenai lake to the right and steep
mountains rising to the left John asked a question.
“Why are the tires bumping together?” John was looking at the back of the
vehicle through the driver’s side mirror. Dad took a look and quickly
pulled over on the shoulder of the highway. As he inspected the dual tires
at the back left side of the camper he noticed that 7 of the 8 log nuts had
sheared off. If John had not spotted that, the tires could have come off
and the family could have rolled into the very deep lake and may never have
been found. That was the day Matt and I were almost orphaned.
Dad sent our oldest brother Joe hitch hiking back to the campsite where Matt
and I were. Dad hitched a ride to Seward where there was an Army recreation
camp. Dad arranged for the Winnebago to be towed to Seward, where the
vehicle was looked over by Army mechanics. Needless to say, Matt and I were
pretty surprised when Joe jumped out of a VW Bug and told us what happened.
Not fully comprehending what almost happened, Matt and I went to the lake
and fished until it was time to go to sleep.
The following day Dad picked us all up and took us to Seward. With the
Winnebago in the shop, Dad had an Army recreational fishing boat take us out
on Resurrection Bay. We caught numerous sea bass and Barbie caught a nasty
looking Ling Cod. It had some amazingly sharp looking teeth.
When the day was done we got back into the fixed up Winnebago and headed
home. Dad was relieved that things worked out. Mom recovered from her
state of panic and the kids remembered another awesome Alaskan adventure.
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