• Jenny Lynn Keller

The Buffalo Hilton Hotel


My family loves to camp, and spring is a colorful time to enjoy the great outdoors. Some of my best childhood memories center around our camping trips in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But how we camped over the years varied and generated a wealth of family jokes. When I ran across this homemade trailer picture recently, several of them came to mind.


According to my mother, she agreed to camp in a floorless tent with a baby and a toddler—but only once. All three of us nearly washed into the creek when a midnight downpour sent a torrent of water under our cots. My father’s solution was to borrow a trailer. If you can imagine a structure one-hundred times uglier than this one, you must’ve seen my grandfather’s homemade contraption. I recall at least one adult describing it as “uglier than sin.” On the funnier side, my cousins and I nicknamed it the Buffalo Hilton Hotel and vowed never to be seen anywhere near it in public. Thank goodness, my mother held out for an upgrade.


If you like the great outdoors, what’s one of your favorite places to visit?


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