In 1978, Oregon car dealer Sid DeBoer loaded his family into a motor home to travel the country for a year on a journey of self-discovery.
Still, his three-store group was never far from his mind: He had his mail forwarded to various campgrounds and called Dick Heimann, his operations chief, from phone booths along the route. At one point, Sid flew back to Oregon and left the family in Florida for a month.
On the road, Sid's middle son, Bryan, often acted as navigator. A Good Sam camping guidebook on his lap, the 12-year-old would map the optimal route and calculate how long the family should stay at each site and landmark.