Almost one year ago, we embarked upon a trip that would affect us eternally. We picked up our 28' RV at the Cruise America dealer in Mentor, Ohio and took off for a several thousand mile trip to the west coast. Onboard were 7 women (sisters, all over 50, 2 nieces and mother!) This was the first time on an RV for all of us, so it became a learning experience. Mom was 82 and one of our sisters had a stroke nearly 1 year prior to the trip, so we had our hands full with walkers and wheel chairs! Talk about fun :-) We quickly learned how to drive the metal box and managed to make it through some awful wind, hail, rain and even some tornadic weather - not to mention an unexpected blizzard in Colorado. The wind seemed to be with us throughout the entire trip, even causing us to stop once in Arizona where there was a wind and dust storm warning (a dead end road was the only place we could find to park.)
The purpose for this trip was to get our mom out to the coast to see her two remaining brothers just one more time. Since we took the trip, they have both passed on - so we were elated that we got her out there.
If you've never traveled with this many women at the helm, you are really missing out on some fun times! We laughed so hard at times that we nearly cracked our ribs.
We made it to Phoenix, where one brother was in the VA Alzheimer's unit. He recognized mom the first time he saw her and smiled like there was no tomorrow. When we went back the next day he didn't have a clue who any of us were.
From Phoenix we headed to Santa Monica where her oldest brother was living. It just so happened that he had fallen and was in the hospital with a broken hip. We parked the RV in the Santa Monica State Park which is right on the beach (and directly under the path of LAX!)/ We rented a car and drove into Hollywood to the hospital and got there just before they took him in for surgery. Do to our tight schedule we only stayed 2 days and he never did fully recognize us. At least mom was able to see them both ... within months they were both gone.
We decided to take a different route home (beware of "different routes"). Colorado had us in awe at the beauty and the different landscapes - and just as we were entering into Vail, (1st week in May), we spotted a few snow flakes. Since we are hardy Ohioans we didn't think much of it, except how pretty those few floating flakes were - but THEN - the few turned into the many. Next thing we knew, we were watching the opposing traffic in a 40 vehicle accident! A large RV in that kind of weather adds up to a little white knuckle driving! We found out later that both sides of the freeway were closed after we got through. Side note: we also found out that on our way down through St. Louis, there was a tornado that hit the airport... no wonder we drove through some hail!
We all bonded over the joys of learning how to "dump" and "fill" - whee! We also learned that we could park overnight in places we never would have dreamed staying in :-) Anyway, It was an AMAZING trip in so many ways. We managed to drive through 15 states in 14 days and probably "oooooood & ahhhhhhhhhd" more than we ever have done in our lives over the beauty of this magnificent country. We only got lost once :-).
I hope that you all have the joy of a trip like this in your lifetime. It doesn't get better than that.
Thanks to CRUISE AMERICA, for making our lives a little easier and giving us an adventure to remember.