My RV journey began in 2020, when my husband, Gary had heart surgery. He was living in Bisbee, Arizona and I was living in Rochester, Minnesota where I had taken a Communications Director position at a large church. As is the story for many, the surgery followed a heart attack. I arranged to fly out in during chaos of the first days of COVID. Airlines were floundering and my flight was overbooked and reassigned to three plane changes and 11 hours in the air. I cancelled my flight and began searching for an alternative. I had the idea that I would buy an RV and travel but expected that would be about 5 years in the future. Even then, I wasn’t sure how I would make a living on the road.
During a phone conversation with my brother. Darrell, I mentioned that I might buy an RV for the trip to Arizona. It so happened that he heard from a friend a church that he had one for sale. My brother, who is mechanically inclined, agreed to look at it for me, traveled to Minnesota from Missouri to pick me up and July 1, 2020, I bought a 2008H Winnebago View.
The next day, Darrell and I did some light preparation for the trip from Missouri to Arizona. We had a tire and stem fixed, changed oil in the engine and generator, checked fluids and air filters and the following day, I left for a whirlwind trip. Gary was being released from the hospital early. A trip home would mean a two-hour ride and that didn’t seem like a healthy option. Our son, Thomas, picked him up, made hotel arrangements and after some time to heal, I transported him back to Bisbee.
I learned a lot during that inaugural journey and endured my share of mechanical issues, but that is a story for another time.
I analyze to an extent that is painful, so for the next year, I took the occasional trip to a local park in BESSie, but for the most part, she sat curbside outside my apartment in Rochester. I had this terrific traveling home but was intimidated to take the opportunity further. Finally, I concluded that I had to sell BESSie or immerse myself into the life. The only way I could think of to force myself into action was to end my apartment lease and spend the following summer living at a local campground. So that’s what I did! It was daunting to launch into the process of selling furniture and relinquishing the alternative safe place that was my apartment, but I did it!
June 2021, I spent an enjoyable few weeks at Hidden Meadows RV Park in Pine Island, Minnesota and commuted to work in Rochester. What a summer it was! The park is comfortable and the hosts friendly and accommodating. There was shade and roomy, level lots in a quiet country setting with fire pits and picnic tables. Each space had full hookups. There was music on the weekends. The grounds included room to walk dogs and a playground for the kiddos.
My journey pivoted in August when my children in Virginia asked me to help with my 5-month-old granddaughter. I had visited in June, and it was evident that this baby girl who was born with so many challenges and I had a special bond. I knew it was destiny that I go to her. For the next ten months I was with her most days.
In June of 2022, I returned to the open road, destination Arizona. After 10 months of taking care of Clahra, I needed to pay attention to my online marketing and coaching business, many of my clients and some family are in Southern Arizona. I thought I could enhance the business by visiting in person, so I spent most of the summer there.
I late August, I made my way to Missouri. Most of my time from then until April of ’23, BESSie was on blocks. I took the opportunity to do some repairs, maintenance, and upgraded the suspension. BESSie received a Hellwig Swaybar and Bilstein 2.5 shocks.
In April I returned to the east coast. Two of four children live east of Baltimore, so I spent a couple of weeks with them and the grands.
Through a staffing agency, I was able to pick up a temp job for a nonprofit organization where I filled in for an employee who was on maternity leave.
I’ve done a lot of thinking about what is next. I have nowhere that I am required to be. I have a few clients to be able to balance work and travel, though gas is expensive, so the miles I cover directly impacts the pocketbook!
Before the snow flies, I intend to establish residency in South Dakota. The state is RV and RVer friendly. Perhaps I will move the business there as well. Between here and there is family. I may go through Missouri My favorite mechanic is there, and it’s worth getting BESSie a checkup soon. Or I may take a more northerly route up through Minnesota to see friends and family, before heading west, then south. Should I meander south from Virginia, through North Carolina? RV parks are less expensive, and I think I could stay near the beach.
Ultimately, after being temporarily sequestered to an office, I’m free again! What would I like to do? I would like to do this… bring my story to you and learn how to make it valuable. I will be writing more about life on the road, the big things and the small things that make it interesting. I think writing about the places I stay and sizing them up with a scorecard of sorts will be coming soon.
What stories would you like to know about? Drop me a line and let me know. I would be interested to hear about places that you have visited or suggested destinations as well.