It’s only fitting that my first road trip (beyond those drives to Florida with my parents and siblings in the 60’s) turned out to be the “ultimate”. In 1971, soon after graduating high school, my friend Murray and I bought a 1965 Rambler American for $500 and undertook a journey of 11,000 miles from Toronto to Acapulco, Mexico and back. We didn’t come back together but oh what an adventure ensued over those four months and one week.
From a helicopter flight over the Orange Bowl in Miami we got a bird’s eye view of the field prepped for Super Bowl V. Coupled with seeing Apollo XIV on the gantry at Cape Kennedy it allowed us to escape our humdrum lives in Toronto to see another world.
That experience was topped three weeks later as we visited the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston the day Apollo XIV lifted off. Sporting long hair and scruffy clothes we were approached by a man in a suit as we wandered the centre. We thought he was going to ask us to leave but instead he invited us to join him in the world press theatre to watch the lift off on a huge screen. Six months ago we sat in science class stomping our feet and yelling “Crispy Critters!” when the teacher turned his back and now we were witness to a world news event, history in the making.
We learned a lot on that road trip and we learned a lot about ourselves as well. It took 7 years to patch up the friendship after our return but it made us stronger and better friends in the long run.
The entire journey is chronicled in my first book Then There Was One; the Ultimate 70’s Road Trip. More information is available on my website www.thatroadtripbook.com