RV Saga—because I just bought a new RV!
My RVs (over 70 years ...):
The Reluctant Draggin’—1956-1990
The Travelin’ Tortoise—1997-2005
The Meandering Moose—2005-2018
The Venturesome Cat—2018 to infinity, and beyond!
A long time ago, in a universe so far away it now seems totally alien—a universe where a woman could walk alone at night, where children could go into strangers’ houses to sell Girl Scout cookies, where total racial segregation was seldom noticed, and where a computer was someone who did math—in that distant and seemingly unreal world, my parents discovered that eight-year-old me had grown too tall to sleep on the front seat of the car when we camped.
To solve that problem, they bought a 16-foot, Masonite® trailer, and off we went to Disneyland®, then in its first full year of operation. It was—for us, and in comparison with car camping—an amazing trailer! It had battery-powered lights, a tiny propane stove, and an ice box that used blocks of ice. We discovered that a glass bottle of Coke® would melt itself into the ice. When released by a busy ice pick on a hot, sweaty day, there was nothing better to hold and drink.
Mother copied a dragon from Kenneth Grahame’s The Reluctant Dragon for the back of the trailer, and carefully lettered below it: The Reluctant Draggin’. A few years later we were amused to see in Readers’ Digest, “Seen on a trailer in Oregon—The Reluctant Draggin’.”
The Draggin’ went through two more generations. The first upgrade provided more sleeping space and a propane-powered fridge. Next, in the mid-70s, came a fully modern trailer, with AC and a flush toilet.
Time passed, as it tends to do. My parents died within two years of each other, in their 70s. I sold the trailer to a dedicated fisherman who needed a cabin by the lake. The Draggin’, old and shaky, well met his needs.
“I’ve got a crazy idea,” I said to a friend later that year. “I’m considering getting an RV.”
“That’s amazing!” she responded. “I’ve been thinking you should do just that!”
So, a few months later, I bought a 24-foot class C (the one that looks like a pick-up, with a cab-over section). I named it the Travelin’ Tortoise, because I was carrying my house around with me. The Tortoise also went through a couple of generations, lengthening to 26 feet. And then, as four- to six-week trips made me wish for more space, I upgraded again.
The Draggin’ had been my parents’, and the Tortoise was my safe haven for traveling. But when I bought my 30-foot class A (snub nose, like a school bus), I named it the Meandering Moose.
“Moose,” I explained to anyone who made the mistake of asking me, “are big and awkward and run freely through the land. I am also big and awkward, and I drive freely through God’s glorious creation!”
The Moose and I went all over the country—to writers’ conferences, on destination vacations, to see scenery and fall color. We went to Maine for a moose tour, and saw 13 moose, including a mom and a calf. We visited friends in various places. We saw flowers in British Columbia, sea lions in Oregon, and volcanic ruins and waterfalls in Idaho.
But, by 2018, the Moose was getting old and tired. Things kept breaking; the floor at my feet could melt a CD (fact, not analogy); the air conditioning was on-again-off-again in 90° days.
So—pause to gasp in astonishment—I traded the Moose in for a new class A, with lots of bells and whistles I don’t need, and with a cool floor, a functioning air conditioning system, and an engine hump low enough that my hip doesn’t hurt when I slide my feet over it.
The new one is the Venturesome Cat, in honor of my trail-walking kitten, and we’re planning great things together!
Please note—the map has stickers for every state and province I’ve been to as an adult in an RV. I added my itinerary routes in black marker. And then I found a pack of national park stickers; the posted stickers are all the national parks I’ve been to at any point in my seven+ decades.
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on a rock, by the lake ...
Beagles and felines and me, oh, my!
Look at my map!
“Yo ho ho, the wind blows free” in Mystic, CT
Ed Mathieu, moose whisperer
Pooh Sticks in Kansas
The Moose is loose!
Sacramento train station … yawn!
Pay attention to my accounts!
one last camping trip!
A Delightful Trip
Going on a bat?
My friend Shannie
Buffalo Wesleyan Church
Cascades National Park, homeward
“wherever I lodge”
Cascades National Park
Lewis and Clark Caverns
Let’s get this show on the road!
He is not here!
Garden of Gethsemane
The Great I AM
Caesarea, Zippori, Nazareth, Megiddo …
Tomorrow … tomorrow!
Wings of the morning
Ah-whoo and sniff!
17 more days!
Pilgrims, Elephants, Buffalo—what is real?
Traveling old lady
Going to Israel
Where Can I Go?
Precision Repair in Big Timber, MT
hideously horrible, absolutely wonderful writing conference!
the tire guy
Friends, Truman, and books
Brown County leaves!
tune: “Fairest Lord Jesus”
Niagara Cave, Harmony, MN
I’ll show her!
A New Toy!
New friends from Alberta
Use it and pack it
Friends along the way
Idle conversations …
I’ll rest content, when my trip is done!
De Smet, SD
Red River Zoo, Fargo, ND—nice!
Whether the weather …
Prairie Dog Central RR in Manitoba
An island, just for me?
Aaron Provincial Park, Ontario
A delightful day
If I were a moose …
Our morning elk
CCWC in Estes Park
from the Meandering Moose
Writing Away, Lavinia Spalding
Visiting Camp Lake Hubert
Dolphin the Dragon
Ready to go!
Oregon Christian Writers poetry class
What a day!
Music at the Mug!
“Where Go the Boats?”
Campgrounds and trailer parks
Blowin’ in the wind
Of blizzards and barking
What I Did on My Summer Vacation
A good conference
OCW: 1st day
Corps of Discovery
Oregon Coast Aquarium
Sea Lion Caves
a sandwich day …
Cirque de Soleil
I’m off in the morning!
Why we’re glad to be home
Little moose feet
In a mirror?
pant … pant …
Hot and windy
Planning, planning …
just a little NE jaunt?
Trip plans …
… in a strange land …
Use it and pack it
Wait, I’m not ready!
Drive-by Church—God’s Plan
Not a Classy Authorâ€”But I Sure Do Have Fun!
Trials and Tribulations … Plus Mercy Galore!
Of Badlands and good lands and lands along the way â€¦
of bear teeth and beagle bladders
First forest … first park … praise the Lord!
Ridin’ the trail in the hail
My Wolf Park family
2000+ miles of boring interstate, with bright spots!
Mitchell, Canada, and the failure of Dolphin’s plot
To Mitchell SD, with a supper stop on the way
hail, the mighty hunter!