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Around this time last year, we bought a RV. It had always been my retirement dream but as I watched how incredibly fast my son was growing, I realized I wanted to experience these things with him before he moved off to college. I have not regretted it for one minute. Okay, that’s not entirely true. The first few weeks after purchase I woke up with two am buyer’s anxiety that was pretty wicked. 

Let me tell you–camping is not for the faint of heart!

Home on wheels in the Badlands National Park
Home on wheels in the Badlands National Park

There is a huge learning curve to everything camping. Did I mention huge? Think back to the infamous scene from the movie “RV”. You remember the one…the septic hose one. Yeah, that one. I will proudly admit I have never come close to anything like that (thank goodness!) but somehow in the delegating of duties, I became “septic girl”. As of yet, I’ve been unable to renegotiate the terms of this arrangement with my wife and my son has shown no interest in learning the skill.

With our lessons somewhat learned, we set out on our first long distance adventure. 

Grand Teton National Park

In June of last year, we left Georgia with South Dakota and Wyoming in our sites. Eighteen days and over five-thousand miles later we returned. The time in between by far has become one of my most fondest memories. I was most surprised by the difference of terrain between the regions as we drove through. That and well, corn. We should never ever run out of corn! If I had to narrow down a favorite place, I would say it was the Grand Tetons National Park. The wildlife, trails and sheer beauty were unmatched. We happened to drive up on a mama bear and three cubs. For several long minutes, we were the only vehicle on the road. Watching them was pretty darn amazing! Second was South Dakota. We loved the Badlands, Custer State Park and the Black Hills. This one was a shock to us. Things happen for a reason, you know? If it hadn’t been for the conference I attended I do not think South Dakota would’ve been on our radar for the near future. Yet all three of us want to go back! And third, I would have to say was Yellowstone National Park. I know…I know. It’s crazy. Seeing Yellowstone was my childhood dream and it falls last on the list. Don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly beautiful and interesting with it’s volatile terrain but the other’s touched a place in my soul.

Mama bear and her cubs

The trip was better than my expectations have ever taken it. The closeness of our family was more than we had experienced before. I think of our trip every time I see the commercial of the family taking off in the SUV with the aunt on the phone saying to give her flying over driving any day. Yep “what can I say, we like to drive”. The next adventure awaits…Georgia to the New England states in just a few short months. I’ve gotta get to planning!

Grand Tetons National Park

Cover photo Yellowstone National Park

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