Union columnist completes eighth book
Local writer and Union columnist Darrell Berkheimer has just published his eighth book – “Camping, Travel & RV Choices … with a lifetime of tales, trips and tips”.
Throughout the book, Berkheimer weaves in tales about his 55 years of camping and travel experiences, which involved trailers, truck campers, motorhomes, tents and backpacking.
Between personal travel and truck driving, he has crisscrossed our nation a couple hundred times and spent weeks touring Alaska.
But his book is not limited to only his travels and RV units. It has chapters about RV experiences and tips reported by some of his friends. And it provides lists of pros and cons on the use of various RVs, with guidance on purchasing and the costs of maintaining them.
His travels began in the 1960s – up and down the East Coast, including Canada – in three different camping units owned by his parents. They included two cabover campers on pickup trucks and his parents first motorhome.
In 1971, he came west in the first of four travel trailers that he has owned. He used those trailers, his own two cabover campers, and a motorhome to tour the Rockies, West Coast and western Canada.
Berkheimer calculated that he’s driven more than three million miles in his coast-to-coast travel – nearly two-thirds of that as a result of piloting 18-wheelers. He jockeyed trailers as long as 53 feet into the middle of a row of others trailers just as long, and sometimes with not enough space for a man to walk between the trailers.
He says he enjoys talking with people who grew up in every state because he’s familiar with things to do and see in all of them, including an occasional attraction that the person missed seeing in his or her home state.
He added that he’s visited nearly 40 of our nation’s 62 national parks.
Another reason Berkheimer has become so familiar with different sections of our nation is the different states in which he has lived and worked. In addition to his home state of Pennsylvania, he’s lived in Utah, Georgia, Texas, New Mexico, Montana and now California. He’s also spent months living near his brother’s family in both Virginia and Oregon, and with a friend in Delaware.
In the beginning of his book, one of his friends writes, “He includes useful insights into where to camp, interesting places to visit, and what it would be like to travel in that RV upgrade you’ve been considering.
“His first-hand experiences … provide the reader with a rich tapestry that will inform and entertain as his easy-reading style makes this a most enjoyable book.”
In his introduction, Berkheimer explains he gives more emphasis to smaller units that serve best for forest camping and sightseeing travel. The book also provides a bit of insight into “glamping” – glamour camping – and staying in yurts.
“But overall,” he concludes, “this book notes many of the choices we have as nature performs like a magnet in drawing us to experience some of what it has to offer.”
His earlier books are all listed and available through Amazon. The one, titled “Essays from The Golden Throne,” includes 60 columns published by The Union.
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