Looking back to 1926, we continue on with our series to see where Edgar Spaulding is recalling his Motor Camping trip:
The ride to Durham could not have been very interesting as I can not remember nothing at all about it. Probably it was a repetition of the day before.
3½ miles beyond the city is Grove Park where we made camp. Here we meet again Crouse of New York City and Jenkins of Binghamton. They had been in Washington with the rest of us. There were now five outfits in our party. It was voted to stop over a day and rest up and besides, Nesse wanted to get a new gear put in his car.
No rain in Durham in 5 months, so the natives said. This may or may not have been true, but the rain came soon after we did and I firmly believe that all 5 months of it came in the next 24 hours. Wood was washed out. He had put his tent in the lowest part of the park against the advice of the caretaker and the rest. Voted to say over still another day.
Durham, N.C., is where the bull comes from that is known to every user of tobacco. Many big factories and the odor from them is everywhere. A sign on a pole said the police were there to help and not to hinder and that every courtesy possible would be extended to the tourist to make his stay pleasant.
They seemed to live up to this for we were shown where to park, and given directions about the city with a smile and a politeness that made me think that southern hospitality was no myth after all. A truly fine city is Durham, N.C.
From Durham we went south for 250 miles. It was a fine wide concrete and asphalt road. Wonderful to drive on, but the country is much to bare to look good to northerners. Practically no grass at all, not even in front of the houses. Plenty of tall pines, however.
Our next stop was a place called Salisbury, N.C., which I remember very well, thank you, for 2 reasons.
We were driving up the Main Street, directly behind another car, both of us moving very slow. I was looking for a grocery store as we had bought no supplies as yet and it was late. Probably I was paying more attention to this than to driving, anyhow, the traffic signal which I did not see changed from green to red and the car in front stopped dead within a foot. I couldn’t stop, as I did not have time and banged right into his tire carrier.
After things cleared up a little we moved to one side to settle things up. Bent my fender some, but the only damage to the other car was a bent tire carrier. I admitted the blame and he produced a garage man who said $2 would fix it, which being satisfactory to both of us, I paid.
In the grocery store later the clerk said this man was her brother and just a week before had been in another accident which had cost him $100 to settle. He might not have been so docile otherwise.
Civitan Camp where we stop is just outside. A good free camp, but noisy with the Main Street on one side and the Railroad on the other. Even the trains down here have a different whistle that they do up North.
As warm as midsummer and after supper our party gets together and spend a sociable evening with stories and much laughter. All the talk is of camp life or roads, or automobiles. We were not all back together again.
Morning finds all of us packing but ourselves and we do not pack for we have lost our cat. He was around the tent at 4:30 for we had heard him and now though the rest were leaving and we had to stay because we were minus a cat.
I stormed around and used some of my best golf language but, of course, it does no good. We were unwilling prisoners but there was nothing to do but wait. I mean that Nothing to do literally. It was the longest day I ever remember. Coming back to the tent about dark, there was Fluff, sitting at the doorway, howling the day we do not know why.
More rain in the night and very wet the next morning, but not raining, just wet. Heavy black clouds filled the sky with a look of more water to come. Had made it a rule to do no driving on Sunday, but wishing to catch up with our party and get ahead of the rain, we started on.
Crouse had mentioned Chick Springs, a drive of some 140 miles. The concrete ended at King’s Mountain then came good gravel and shortly we were in South Carolina.
Arriving at Chick Spring camp, we found not a single camper there. Three came later, but none of them belonged to our party. Found out afterwards that we had passed Neese and Wood at King’s Mountain while Crouse was in the next campground just 2 miles ahead of us, he and his wife, not liking Chick Springs. It had somewhat gone to seed though it was reasonably clean.
There was a camp store and filling station there that knows good prices and gets them. We paid 25 cents for a quart of milk and 40 cents for a half-pound of bacon. A large sanitarium and a big spring is about all there is to this place…
Part 4 next week!
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