Fellow travelers

While traveling throughout the far northwest we came across some incredible fellow travelers. Many of them were from Germany. As Americans we tend to see western history through “ethnocentric” eyes. We think only Bostonians, Chicagoians, and New Yorkers settled the west, discovered the gold, civilized the untamable. This was not the reality. Sure Jack London, Zane Grey, Max Brand, and Louis L’Amour told us how great American expansion was but just how many were really Americans?

What we learned from our new-found German friends was that there was a great western literary history from an author from Germany named Karl May. Karl May never visited the “wild west” but his stories fueled westward travel even today. Every German tourist we met got their “western travel bug” from reading Karl May. May created the characters of Winnetou, the wise chief of the Apache Tribe, and Old Shatterhand. German movie westerns were made following the exploits of these characters. May contributed to the popular image of Native Americans in German-speaking countries. Many well-known German-speaking people used May’s heroes as models in their childhood. Even Albert Einstein once said, “he [May] has been dear to me in many a desperate hour”.

When we meet our fellow travelers, listen to their stories, learn their histories we become a friendlier world, a peaceful world. I would like to thank my two new friends, Kai Otte and Sabrina Schmetter for teaching me that. And to the many other German travelers we met whose names went unknown to us. I hope we meet again!



3 thoughts on “Fellow travelers

  1. ken ammann

    I just bought a 2017 80 RB and have had a problem getting the propane filled. What type of fitting (which you reference in your article review of the camper) do they have or do we need?
    Appreciate any help.

    btw – I am a Coug too – class of 85 and used to run Alex’s Rest. in Pullman


    1. Hello Ken!! Small world. I still live in Pullman. We really love our camper and it took us a while to figure that tank out. It’s sort of a dub design in that it has to be taken out and filled standing up. Almost every propane place has the proper fitting they just didn’t know how to do it. One day I was reading the little sticker on the tank and it said it had to be standing up. Once we got it out it filled perfectly. The bad news is those are expensive tanks, 5 or 6 times more expensive than than the normal tank. Another thing I did was buy one of those little short squatty tanks because it fits standing up in the propane bay. It’s a great backup. Also when you remove your current tank for filling replace the screws that hold that retaining plate down with something other than those square bit screws. That way an short screw driver will work. I only put two screws back in to make it easier to fill, the two outside ones. It seems to hold it down tight and I may add some sort of quick release some day. We also added electric jacks if you don’t have them, it’s super easy to do. I added a lock on all for legs to keep it from being raised when I off load it while camping. Let me know and I’ll send you photos of all the modifications I did. Are you still in the area?


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