Courtland Milloy's "Black Highways" {Outlook, June 21} evoked many memories of our family's trips during the late '50s and early '60s, as we traveled back and forth across the country with my husband, a combat veteran of Korea (125 air missions in F-86s) to his various military assignments.

We also had some sort of guide listing black motels, but even so, some of them were not the kind that families with young children would find suitable -- and, of course, the white motels just happened to have no vacancies. I couldn't understand how this could happen, when my husband had put his life on the line for his country.

But we had to keep going, and so we became campers of sorts. We slept in our station wagon, having only two children at the time. One slept across the front seats, mother and other child in the back of the wagon with seat down, and father outside on a cot. If it rained we often drove all night. I shudder when I recall some of the back roads where we camped.

The northern route, we felt, would eliminate a lot of problems, including southern cops giving blacks with clean cars a hard time. I'll never forget Oklahoma. We stopped so that I (days before women's lib) could do the laundry. Just as I stepped over the threshold of the laundromat, the manager came running out (must have seen me coming) to say, "We don't do colored clothes here." I was so startled that I almost asked if I could wash my whites. Funny, but sad.

Finally, things started to look up. We bought a tent-trailer. We were really camping! Soon after, the civil rights laws were passed, and we sold the camper. Haven't been camping since.

GLORIA H. BROWN Alexandria