Author's Name: Ben B. Traveled Age: 15 Written Age: 15
For three weeks, my family and I drove cross country from Pennsylvania to Montana. We camped most of the way, and we had more stuff than one should have packed for a “drive ‘til you find a hotel then drop” trip. So, we had to bring a car-top carrier to carry most of our luggage. The back of the car was used for the camping gear and us (the kids). Unfortunately, one of my brothers had broken the latch on the car-top carrier, so we used bungee cords to tie it down… or we tried to.
An hour or so into Kansas, we started hearing a thumping noise, like a jump rope hitting a window. We pulled over to check what had happened. Turns out, at some point the car-top carrier lid had become lopsided. We corrected it kept on our way, but not five minutes later, the exact same sound was heard again.
We pulled over and found that we had apparently lost two sleeping bags and a pillow. We went back and found one sleeping bag on the side of the road, but not the others, so now we had a dilemma. The car-top carrier was not going to work anymore. What could we do? Overstuff the back seat even more! It ended up being a very tight fit, but all three of the kids fit with the luggage fairly well.
Later, we pulled into a hotel and slept there, because we didn’t want to worry about camping after that episode. We threw away the car-top carrier and fixed some fundamental packing problems.
Of course, we’ve told this story countless times; for us it’s funny. Plus, whenever we’ve lost something we now joke that it’s “somewhere off the road in Kansas”. Pack correctly, otherwise you’ll be giving away your sleeping equipment to a cow.
Oh, and don’t worry. We were fine for the rest of the trip… until the tent broke on a windy night during a thunderstorm in the desert… but that was a long night and another story.