by Mark Stash, editor
Ever since I could remember, summer meant three things – hanging out at home for several glorious months and not worrying about school and homework, camping in a tent and going on a car trip.
I am the youngest of nine children, and one can only imagine what 11 people in a station wagon looked like going down the road on a camping trip, with a car top carrier that my dad had custom made out of canvas. It held all of our gear – the tent, sleeping bags, suitcases, cook stove and some other needed items. This may sound like a nightmare to some people these days, but being a child back then and going on adventures like that were the best thing in the world.
We traveled all over the United States, and I can remember studying maps and AAA guidebooks that contained information about the areas we were going to visit. Interstates were already common in the late ’60s, and being a young person and not knowing anything different, I assumed the good roads had always been there. It was strange listening to my parents talk about the new road system, and I wondered what it must have been like to travel before convenient highways and paved roads were around.
“On the Road” is an article on page 56 that describes how, after World War I, tourism was on the rise, and people no longer wanted to take very long vacations on trains to get to their destination. They had their cars and they had the freedom to explore. Former dirt roads were quickly becoming more passable by being paved. The car culture was taking off, and campgrounds and other lodgings were taking advantage of this new-found interest in traveling by car. Points of interest and tourist destinations popped up everywhere. This was not special to just the Finger Lakes Region, but was a nationwide phenomenon.
Now, this wonderful region is easily accessible by car, and the destinations are almost too numerous to list. We are lucky to have such a unique and special area to explore this autumn.