Ah… the call of the open road. Adventure awaits. I love starting each morning with anticipation; discovering North America like I’m a female John Cabot or Henry Hudson. I am an RVer.
We bought our first motor home five years ago. We were freshly minted retirees and restless to travel: anywhere – just to get out of Dodge. At that time, we owed a 170-pound Wolfhound and, an off-the-charts-crazy five-month-old puppy. No hotel or B&B would welcome us and breaking up “The Family” was just not an option. I needed to think of alternatives that would allow all of us to safety travel all together. It was with this mindset that we decided to purchase our first RV. It was an old, rattlely 32 foot motor home, apply named “The Hurricane”.
Traveling in the motor home was giddy fun. As co-pilot I’d spread all my stuff: coffee mug, maps, sun glasses all out on top of the humungous dashboard. Riding high above the road you could look out those massive front windows and see for miles.
Everything is handy; just a few feet away. Chilly? No problem. Walk back and grab a sweater out of the closet. No suitcases required. Why not refill your cup of coffee? There’s a bathroom handy whenever you need it. While traveling on the road there was no need to live off fast food. The Hurricane came with a full kitchen and I had packed all of my favorite pots and frying pans. We slept under our own comfort blankets with no fear of bedbugs. With the dogs curled around us we sat every night in front of our indoor fireplace watching Netflix on the big screen. It was our home away from home.
The first year we owned the Hurricane we rattled our way south: down to the windy beaches of Hatteras Outer Banks; sampled the infamous multi-layered coconut cake in Charleston, South Carolina, ate BBQ like a native and explored the charms of Savanna Georgia. Ultimately, we reached Florida. Our first RV experience worked perfectly.
Traveling was infectious. We were now pumped to plan a longer adventure. That following summer we hired a property manager, rented out our home and journeyed up the Alaska highway to the Yukon, Whitehorse, Skagway Alaska and the remote islands of Haida Gwaii. The wonderous experiences encountered on this holiday were life changing. I now have precious memories of the midnight sun and fishing for salmon in the Pacific Ocean. We shook and clattered our way past grizzly bears and grazing moose. The best experiences were when we boon doggled (camped without hookups) alone on remote shores of emerald water surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
Returning home from that epic vacation we upscaled. Goodbye Hurricane. Our new RV was a stretch 5th wheel. 52 feet counting Warren’s truck. We were massive but extremely comfortable. Luxury on wheels for us. Off we rolled to Nashville, New Orleans, the Rio Grande and the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. Have you ever wondered about life in outer space? Just ask me. We did an extensive UFO tour while in Roswell, New Mexico. Traveling is educational. It is eye opening. It can be wonderous.
The summer of 2016 couldn’t keep us at home. Off we went – east this time. The lunar tides of Fundy Bay blew my mind. In Newfoundland we timidly stood on the edge of a Gros Morne rock cliff and imaged the dawn of time – such epic visas. I saw my first iceberg on that trip.
Some might argue that RV camp grounds look like giant parking lots. Everyone is packed in, side by side; no trees, removed from nature completely. I agree, but so is a hotel hall way. This lifestyle is not about lovely campground. I see them for what they are; a safe harbor, providing electricity and water for the night. RV ing has brought us the freedom to travel as a family. All of us happily under one Fiberglass roof.
Not every moment of everyday on the road is perfect. Not every town is pretty and we have met some crazy scary people on our travels. There have been mechanical breakdowns, and flat tires. We encountered snow at the Grand Canyon and a hurricane warning in Galveston. Life is like that. But bad things can happen anywhere.
This fall we put the 5th wheel up for sale. We now want something smaller, lighter and nimble. My atlas is again spread out on the dining room table as we plan our next trip. I’ve never been to Little Rock Arkansas or Oklahoma. So much still to see. Now is the time. Our family, dog and all will hit the road once again.