Sharing stories

Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Photo by Steve Martaindale

Wednesday, I asked readers to submit memories they had from one of six particular states (having not been to one of those states, they could choose another). Following are the first contributions. I will post more as I can. Go to the previous post, Memories, and send us one of your own.

South Dakota

I visited South Dakota on a trip across the country with my parents in the summer just shy of my 16th birthday. We did the obligatory cross-country road trip piled into a car together for 3.5 weeks. SD was early in the trip which stretched across the northern states all the way to California and then circled back through the south.

Though I had traveled out of Vermont many times, this was my first journey away from the east coast and the small, cramped mash up of small states that clutter the eastern seaboard.

What I remember most is visiting Badlands National Park. Compared to small town Vermont where we live squished amongst the Green Mountains, it was HUGE! I just remember stepping out of the car and looking across the plains with the wind whipping my hair. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of its wildness.

When I discovered that there were campgrounds in the park where you could sleep out under that huge sky and wake up amongst the blowing grasslands, I made it a goal to return someday and do just that. In all my world travels and adventures, that is a goal not yet met … but it will be!

Jerrie Whiteley

My friend Kathryn and I were adding states to our list on a trip to the east coast and we had only a day for Vermont.

But it turned out to be the most magical day, well, really evening by the time we got to Brattleboro, Vermont, and stopped at this small deli near a covered bridge (we were looking for covered bridges) and had the most amazing sandwich. The store is still there, Vermont Country Deli, 436 Western Ave., just off I-91 exit 21, and is next to the Creamery Bridge.

First, the store was amazing. It was fall and the store was packed with fall themed things and colors. They had all kinds of New England treats and this huge deli counter where they had every kind of bread and meat and cheese combination anyone could want. I got dill potato bread and ham and cheese, I think. The bread was sublime. And there was something about the mustard that was the best mustard I have ever had.

When we had tried all of the delicious candies and jams and breads we could without ruining our dinner, we took our food outside. We sat at a picnic table as the sun was setting and felt a warm fall day fade into a cool fall evening while we ate and talked about our many adventures on that trip.

That really was one of the happiest moments of my life so far. There was just a peace about the place that was enhanced by the simple, but exquisite food and the companionship of a like-minded traveling buddy, that just made the evening glow in my memory.

I would love to go back, but then I think, I probably never will because I don’t want to mess with that perfect evening.

Sherry Hockersmith
North Carolina

We were living in Virginia at the time when Jon was still active duty in the Navy back in the late ’90s. We took a drive to Mount Airy (Mayberry) to see the fictional town depicted in the TV show “The Andy Griffith Show.”

We visited the chamber of commerce and got a tourist guide to the places to check out. The memory that has stayed with us all these years was the stop at the “Snappy Lunch,” which was the diner that Andy and Barney would go to when Aunt Bee didn’t provide them with her homemade picnic lunch. It is famous for the pork chop sandwich so, naturally, Jon had to try it.

Up until last year, that sandwich was Jon’s all time favorite meal in our travels. Last year, we went through there (20+ years later) and decided to revisit the “Snappy Lunch” and try that sandwich again. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as good as he remembered it.

I suppose it’s best to leave those memories in the past. Can you really go back? What do you wanna bet that the next time we’re in the area he tries it again?

Mary Gowins
South Dakota

Visiting Mount Rushmore.

Seeing Vore Bison Jump.

Taking part in my first photo shoot with Geary at Shearer Ranch.

The trip and all the places we saw from Texas to South Dakota!

Can’t wait to get out on the road again!

Janis Brooks

My husband and I were very new to a local “over 60” Harley biker group. We made our first official 4-day trip to the Hill Country in central Texas.

We spent our times riding through the countryside enjoying the beautiful wildflowers, eating at Mom and Pop restaurants, and sitting around a grand open fireplace at the RV park.

Many memories made and friendship bonds became deeper that trip.

We still ride together and enjoy each other’s company as often as we can. Our oldest member will soon be 80 and he is the leader of our pack!

Erin Elaine Shenkir
North Carolina

Every September, a large clogging convention is held in beautiful Fontana, North Carolina. I’ve been 4 times and each year was amazing.

The Great Smoky Mountains create a beautiful crisp foggy morning that is the perfect scene for enjoying a morning cup of Joe. Days were spent having fun to the point of exhaustion: dancing, sweating, hiking, and exploring. Eating, drinking and socializing in the cool evening trees were how the days ended.

I have wonderful memories of some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life. Friends, and friends so close they’re considered family. I miss you, North Carolina.

New York

Working with Leah at Darien Lake up at the hotels food cafe and making a lifelong friend.

– – –

Thanks, folks, for breaking the ice. Now, let’s do another. I already have a couple of short submissions, so go to the form in the Memories post and send us your story.

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