I guess I have a hard time nailing down just one “happy place.” It’s a term I often use to describe my kitchen. Of course, I also believe that “home is where your Mom is.” I know that the trails near my home in Park City give me a sense of gratitude and calm that I don’t find other places. But when I pushed myself to think of my very happiest times, the words “on the road” filled my mind…which means my happy place actually has a name: Betty.
Betty is our beloved 1966 Serro Scotty travel trailer. She joined the family just 3 summers ago, when my husband was still my boyfriend and a shelter-less Memorial Day camping trip had gone awry. After being blown out of the Utah desert by high winds, we decided we had outgrown the “sleep on the ground” phase in our camping life. I searched online for a small tow-behind rig, just to see what was out there- and I hit the trailer jackpot. The owners dropped her off within a week.
On a bright morning that June, we held our breaths as we slowly drove down the long driveway, towing a well-stocked Betty behind the truck for the first time ever. I cringed as the hitch scraped the pavement in the dip onto the street, wondering why we hadn’t test-driven the rig even once before naively heading off on a three-week road trip. That evening, we discovered a remote camp site tucked into the stunning red rocks of Southern Utah and popped a bottle of champagne, clinking plastic cups to the first night of a new adventure. We spent a total of 8 ½ weeks on the road that summer, pulling Betty through eight different states, exploring the Western U.S., and falling deeply in love with her… and each other. Spending that much time with someone in a teeny 13-foot tin can was either going to make us or break us. We were married just over a year later.
Since that first magical, carefree summer with Betty, our time with her is limited and precious. We hit the road a few times each year, usually staying closer to home in Utah’s Uintah mountains. We’ve added a dog to the mix, a 60-pound snuggle bug who makes Betty even more (ahem) cozy. Whether we’re in the middle of nowhere or right in our backyard, there is a joyful comfort on a trip with Betty. We now know her endearing quirks, discovered clever storage tactics for all of our necessities. Our little cottage-on-wheels has truly become a home away from home. A trip with Betty means adventure. It means exploring the great outdoors. It means creative cooking and campfires and starry skies. It means candlelit evenings with a deck of cards or a good book. It means time together, unplugged and away from life’s stresses.
Time with Betty means pure bliss. Wherever she lands, she’s my happy place.