Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Dream Vacation

When we were first married Dave and I had this grand dream of owning a motor home and living on the road. Not permanently of course, just long enough to see the country and explore. We thought it would be such an adventure going to all the great sites the United States has to offer working along the way if necessary but mostly just enjoying all the freedom a motor home and the open road could offer.

The dream didn't die when we had kids. We figured we take them out of school and homeschool on the road. OR we could just go during the summer months when "Dave didn't have to work" (though he is a teacher he has somehow never had a summer off). We would travel from one end of the country to the other. We would take the kids to see the beautiful rock walls of Yosemite, the geysers of Yellowstone, the biggest holes in the world:the Grand Canyon and Crater Lake. It would be an experience they would never forget. They'd tell their grandchildren about their great summer vacations Rv-ing across the United States with the family.

We have not yet made it happen but the dream still lives. I'm feeling anxiously aware that the kids are getting older, their schedules are getting busier, gas is getting more expensive: there is never going to be a good time to go on these trips. We are going to have to just DO IT! Will this be the summer that we take the plunge? I think so . . . I hope so . . . .but first we have to decide who's dream trip to start with; mine or Dave's.

My dream trip is across the United States from Washington to South Carolina (hmm, sound familiar?) Along the way I would like to make the following stops: Salt Lake City, UT; the Grand Canyon, AZ; Oklahoma City, OK(to visit my sister Lauren); Columbia, SC (to visit my sister Dacia); Myrtle Beach ('cause you can't go that far and not see the Atlantic Ocean!); drive through the Smokey Mountains and stop at a few towns in Tennessee (Dave's mission sites and Family history sites); Nauvoo, IL (Church history sites); DeSmet, SD (Little house on the prairie museum); Mount Rushmore, SD; and back home again.

I have been planning this trip for several years now in hopes to take it sometime soon. It used to stop at Oklahoma but in light of recent events (Dacia moving to SC) it has been extended. It is a nearly 7000 mile trip and will take at least 21 days to complete. It will cost me nearly $2000 for gas!!!!! But I won't have to pay for hotels or rental cars. Hopefully Walmart still lets motor homes park in their parking lots for free because I don't want to pay for trailer parks, except maybe in the National parks. And hopefully my sisters won't mind me parking the RV out front for a couple days. Our food costs will be the same as they usually are because we'll have the motor home for food storage and prep, so no additional funds need to be budgeted for that. We will likely have some activities along the way that will cost us some money: admission into the National parks, activities at Myrtle Beach, museum admission, etc. So I'm thinking if I budget $2500 but have another $500 in reserve, just in case, I'll be good right?

Dave's dream trip is over 1000 miles shorter but will take about the same amount of time, will cost about the same and have fewer points of interest along the way. However, his trip does involve endless sunny days, wolves and the bragging rights to say that you dipped your toes in the Beaufort Sea--THAT'S RIGHT--He's talking Arctic Circle!!! His dream trip is travel from our house north, through British Columbia, across the Yukon Territory, into Alaska, cross the Arctic Circle traveling unpaved roads across the Tundra and arrive at Prudhoe Bay, AK (a town of no more than 800 people) so we can say hello to the chilly arctic waters before we return home again.

Both of these trips sound pretty exciting and fun. Adventurous and memorable. (costly and long). Heading out on the open road free from the day to day mundane tasks and ready to meet whatever excitement might come our way. Scenic sites, loved ones, distant seas. I really look forward to doing both of these trips---just as long as mine comes first.

We took the trip!! See the whole thing beginning to end..


  1. Allison and I have the same dream! Allison would like to live in a motorhome, traveling to all the thrift stores in the country, buying up all of their cheap, quality goods and reselling them in our store. My dream is to do the whole trip by bike (minus the thrift stores).

  2. I think you should DEFINITELY do your trip first. Let me know when your scheduled stop here is!

  3. growing up, we took several trips similar to these, but our starting point was florida. we have taken several out to utah and back, but our favorites consisted of driving up the east coast to nova scotia and back, and also driving out to british columbia and up to alaska, and back to florida (of course). these vacations are memories that i will NEVER ever forget. DO IT! you need to! of course, thats just my opinion... :)

  4. One of our concerns is the kids sports and summer activities. Lisa, Did you mind being taken from these activities for your trips? Florida to Alaska is a big trip how long were you gone?

  5. we were usually gone for a month... sometimes a little longer. we really didnt mind having our trips take up our summers because we always made it a point that our trips WERE our summer. we didnt plan on doing other things besides EFY and/or youth conference. it was worth it because we only took these trips every 3-4 years, so we had many more "normal" summers than "trip" summers..... did i mention that we werent in an RV. we drove in our van with 7 people. YIKES!

  6. I love road trips! Personally I like yours better. :) I would love to do something like this. A moter home makes it alot better than driveing in the car and renting motel rooms. I say go for it! It is only going to get worse the longer you wait because then all of the kids will be teens and they will have so many camps and such.


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