Over mountains and plains, traveling west in an RV a new adventure

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take a trip to Orlando, Fla., in an RV with my daughter, Kristin, her husband, Brian, their two little boys, Carson and Garrett, and Brian’s parents, Darriell and Susie Saine. Darriell and Susie own the RV and have enjoyed taking trips for years, but it wasn’t until 2008 that both Kristin and Brian tagged along on a trip out West.
Never having traveled in an RV before, Kristin said she especially loved the conveniences onboard such as kitchen and bathroom facilities, but admits there were times it was a little scary, like in South Dakota when the RV almost didn’t make it up a mountain on a narrow winding road. Even with scary moments like that, Kristin said it was an awesome adventure and wouldn’t trade anything for the memories. Some of her favorites were seeing a rodeo in Cody, Wyoming and wildlife roaming freely along a road near Yellowstone National Park.
Since my first experience riding in an RV was this summer, I have to admit I was a little nervous, but once the trip began, the nerves subsided. One thing that helped was entertaining a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old, while another was seeing the landscape from a different perspective than a car.
My final destination in Florida was different than Kristin and Brian’s, so even though I spent only one night in the RV, that was enough time to wonder what experiences others have had. Posting a question on Facebook, I was excited to see the responses and quickly realized this lifestyle is one people are passionate about. While a few said they had tried it and didn’t like it, most everyone said there’s nothing like a motel on wheels. Following are some of the responses, which I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did.
Sue Richardson: We have met so many wonderful friends in our travels. There’s nothing like going all over the US in your motel on wheels. Wouldn’t stay in a motel/hotel ever again. I have everything I need to live easily the rest of my life. We belong to a small club and each person has so much respect and love for the other. We have been to so many places together, shared so many meals, seeing places we wouldn’t have thought about without the club. We have been to St. Louis together and went up on the arch which scared me to death — I don’t like enclosed places — but got talked into it anyway. There were 5 of us in one small elevator with seats and I’m moaning all the way up and the others are reassuring me all would be well. We made it! And it was spectacular and then we had to come down! I closed my eyes and prayed all the way down. Won’t try it again, but glad I did it that one time. We’re scheduled to go to Pigeon Forge this fall for the National Quartet Convention, and of course we have someone setting up the activities we’ll be going to. This coming spring we’re going to Paducah, Kentucky and then next fall, NYC.
Linda Morgan Bost: I could write a book on my experiences in my camper. I love sleeping on MY bed, putting my clothes directly into MY closet, and using MY dishes. I love being able to take my dog with me on vacation. I have experienced a hurricane, a flood, numerous lightning storms, and many other experiences. During Hurricane Bertha, we had to move our camper six or seven times. We started out at Salter Path Campground on Emerald Isle, but when Emerald Isle was evacuated had to go inland, eventually camping in Wilson, NC. When the flood waters passed and Emerald Isle was open, we went back to Salter Path, where campers came together to put the campground back into shape for the owners. They were so grateful, they took us all out to eat at a nice restaurant.
I cannot imagine how scary it was for the victims of Cherrystone Camping Resort during the tornado where three people were killed. We have stayed in that campground three times. I would love to go back. Can you imagine 725 sites in the middle of the summer when it was probably packed and a tornado comes through? The best memories of my life have happened while camping … families coming together, eating a lot of food, biking, hiking, kayaking, shopping, celebrating holidays, birthdays, swimming and best of all the time spent with my husband. I LOVE CAMPING!!!
Stasea Morris: My fondest memory of riding in an RV was when I was about 7 years in 1981. That is when my parents drove us from Oregon to Idaho. The best seat in the house was above the driver’s seat on the top bunk. We would pretend to be floating angels flying above our parents and would guide them by what obstacles we could see ahead! (Because they needed our help … right?)
Evelyn Looney: On our very first camping trip to Dan Nicholas Park, we were in an old green pop-up camper. There were 6 of us and it was a bit crowded. Matthew was maybe 7 years old. His sleeping bag was slick and he wedged into the side next to the canvas. We had locked the door and thought we were snug for the night. In the wee hours of morning, I heard a small voice pleading with me to let him in! I felt around in the dark and counted bodies twice. Each time one little boy was missing. How could it be??? Matthew had slid out the side while sleeping and the elastic closed back up after dropping him out. Nice that no bears were roaming around.
Sue White: Camping is a great family time. Our two children grew up with us camping for family vacations or just getting away for a few days. It’s a way to stay connected and enjoy the small/big things in God’s world. Now that our children have children, we still enjoy getting together, meeting new friends. We are not ones to go on long trips. NC has a lot of wonderful and beautiful places to see. Being grandparents and watching our grandchildren enjoy camping makes it that much more enjoyable as a family.

After reading the other stories, Sue Richardson said she remembered a few more adventures and so that’s why she’s included twice.
Sue Richardson: Our first RV was a pop-up camper. We went to Myrtle Beach, S.C., and it rained the first 3 days we were there. We were scheduled for 7 days. We packed up to head home and by the time we got to Conway, S.C., the sun came out, so we turned around and went back to the campground. When we got there, we found out that a new RV had been drenched inside with water, while our little pop-up had not let one drop in. Boy, we felt superior! We kept that pop-up for years and then graduated to a tag-along and now have a motor home. As I said before, there’s nothing like camping and getting away from home and seeing the sights in your own hotel on wheels.
America has always been a country on the move, but today instead of exploring the frontier in a covered wagon searching for adventure or golden nuggets like our forefathers, we have the luxury and comfort of a modernized RV. While my adventure was short-lived, it’s one I won’t soon forget and helped me better understand the fascination and freedom this kind of travel and experience affords.

Thanks to all who shared their adventures. Hopefully, they inspired you to reach outside your comfort zone, daring to explore to make memories of your own.

Dicy McCullough’s books are available on Amazon.com., Barnes and Noble and local bookstores. Follow her blog at www.dicymcculloughbooks.com/blog, or contact her at 704-278-4377.