I remember, when I was very young, my father primarily went fishing with his friends as a way to escape the family and take a breather once in a while. Then something changed and suddenly us boys were getting invited to go on weekends. It was exciting. My father took us to Sears and got the biggest tent they had so we could all come with and camp the entire weekend where he fished. Eventually we started going to State Parks and long trips to places like the Wisconsin Dells. Then the big day came when he pulled up in the drive with the pop up camper. It was as exciting as a new passenger ship arriving and as interesting as a Swiss pocket knife. He took us all over the US camping. I have memories that will last a lifetime. As we got older and left the family house, the pop up took a long time being parked in the drive and eventually my dad sold it off. I think all of us "kids" took a step back when we saw the empty driveway. As time went by things were financially tough and I never had the chance to do something like that with my first son. I met a gal who was going through a rough spell with two sons and through a misunderstanding ended up on the other side of the country with her two boys who were very close to same age as my son. Again, we were all financially strapped at the time. Eventually we all lost track of each other and I had to find a project to keep my mind off everything. I think everyone wanted to forget the hard times and never turn back. One day, a few years after dad was gone. I was coming home from work and found a lonely Starcraft pop up... Virtually the same year as my fathers and bought it for a song and dance. I rehabbed it over a few years and treated my mom and my best friend and his kids to camp-outs in the spring. They all loved the time and it felt good to me to do that for them as they had little to nothing themselves. As I watched them rediscovering all the joys of camping and hiking I did... I thought I would eventually be solo camping for the rest of the stretch. Not so. The hurricane that blew through Florida last year came across the last known location of the gal and her two boys that I had lost many years ago. 17 to be exact. We got in contact with each other and surprisingly we had crossed each others path for years but never came in contact. As luck has it she was single and we are now 2 weeks away from a reunion... A camping reunion. She's coming in via the airport and the passenger train will bring her straight to the gates of the state park in Indiana I frequent. Her boys will drive up and meet us there a week later. They said they wouldn't miss it and that I was the closest thing to a father they ever had. She loves to camp as does her boys (and grandkids) and I just happen to have the pop up fully restored and all the mods done and enough spare tents, cots and equipment to accommodate everyone. A dream come true or what!?! That being said, I already couldn't ask for more, except for one thing... the whereabouts of my own kid. He moves so quickly, I could never keep up. Turns out her boys came across my kid in the search for me and knew exactly where he was and how to get a hold of him. I got in contact with my son a few weeks ago, he's in California with his family and first thing he asked... is for a camp-out at Joshua Tree state park. I couldn't have asked for more from the good Lord. I got my kid back, my gal back and our boys and their families and my best friend's family who have been with me the entire time... And (almost) my dad's '76 Starcraft. Full circle. I couldn't be more more excited, but this time the passenger ship coming in is my own. We're all going to be happy campers, at last. Anyone else with a story to share?