September 25, 2020

The 2020 Outdoors RV East Coast Owners Rally - Memorable for All the Right Reasons

This morning, I put on my big kid pants, and I didn't raise a fuss when we had to head home from our last camping trip of the season.  Despite the many restrictions brought about by COVID-19 this year, Alan and I were still able to enjoy almost six weeks' worth of delightful days in the great outdoors, camping comfortably and safely in a number of carefully operated State Parks.  Nature never fails to deliver a one-two punch of peace and pleasure that settles me down and soothes my soul no matter what's going on in the world around me.  I hope all of you have found people, places and/or activities that soothe your soul, too, building resiliency and providing strength for whatever hardships lay ahead.

This is the story of The Little Rally That Could – and Did.  It’s the tale of a small group of health-minded, safety-conscious individuals - loyal RV owners and dedicated campers – who braved a pandemic, in the safest ways possible, and came out winners.  Alan and I hosted the 2020 Outdoors RV East Coast Owners Rally, an event that we weren’t even sure would be held right up until the very last minute.  Before you envision a mob of hundreds gathering in close quarters for a myriad of seminars and activities (which would, understandably, send contact tracers into a full-blown panic), let me set you straight.  Alan and I tend to be conservative with our health risks anyway, and the coronavirus had our safety antenna on full alert.  The Rally brought together ORV owners from five different states in the east, but total attendance came in at under twenty – and that includes our two kids and our son’s girlfriend who were on a family camping trip with us.  I have to admit, though, that the six months prior to the Rally seemed like one long, never-ending, heart-pounding roller coaster ride.  Here’s the story . . .

September 05, 2020

Biscayne National Park & the Florida Keys - The End of the Road

This post represents the final installment in The Big Switcheroo series – tales from last spring’s epic journey from the northeast to the Florida Keys and back – involving family, friends and an extraordinary range of adventures.

A quick recap for those of you who might be wondering why this three week, whirlwind tour was called The Big Switcheroo:  In 2018, we had planned a spring 2019 loop tour of the southern states in the eastern half of the country.  Alan and I were hoping to add a decent number of states to the map (in the column at the right) that indicates in which states we’ve camped.  On Christmas Day, 2018, we found out that our vacation plans ensured we would be out of town when our son Ryan’s longtime girlfriend, Anya, graduated with her Master’s Degree in mid-May of 2019.  In January of 2019, we decided to switch our 2019 vacation plans with those we had scheduled for spring of 2020 and it was off to Florida we went, visiting friends and family all along the way.  With Everglades National Park in our rear view mirror, we pointed the truck toward the Florida Keys.  Luckily, the travel trailer followed behind.