Mission Accomplished

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago… well, maybe sometime in 2011-2012, I got this idea to buy an RV, spend 6 to 12 months traveling the country, then selling it. I spent quite a long time learning about RVs, deciding what kind to buy, and finally in October, 2013 I took the plunge and bought a 30′ Class C Coachmen Freelander motorhome.

Charlene at Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort
Charlene at Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort on my very first shakeout cruise.
When I told my friend Eddie about my plans he suggested I read John Steinbeck’s book Travels With Charley, which I did, well most of it anyway. It’s a partially fictionalized account of Steinbeck’s travels around the USA in his truck camper with his Poodle named Charlie.

I thought I might do a little writing of my own during my trip, documenting it, photographing it, providing some means by which to remember it for myself as well as sharing information that might be entertaining, interesting or useful to others. So it was that RussOnTheRoad.wordpress.com was born, but before settling on that name for my blog I tried on several others. My first thought was to name my RV after Steinbeck’s book, or his poodle, and to call my blog Travels With Charlie where Charlie was a female spelling of Charley. I decided against that because it was too similar to the title of Steinbeck’s book. Then I thought of Travels With Charlene, gave that name to my RV and I began my blog calling it Travels With Charlene. Later I decided I preferred RussOnTheRoad and the rest as they say is history.

View along the White Domes hike, Valley of Fire, Nevada
View along the White Domes hike, Valley of Fire, Nevada. My first real destination.
It was about 7 months from the time I took Charlene home until I set out on what was to be an 18 month sojourn around the states and easily the greatest adventure of my life, traveling first from California to the Grand Canyon, then through Utah and Colorado, up to northern Minnesota and south to New Orleans. Then it was back to the west coast before turning east along the southern states all the way to Florida, up the eastern seaboard to Maine then back to California. Many of the places I saw are documented on other pages of this blog. If you haven’t seen the photos of my travels I think you’ll find them worth a look.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park. One of the truly magnificent National Parks in Utah.
Besides seeing some fantastic places along the way I met some interesting people, like Harrison Brown who was riding his bicycle from Alaska to Florida, Steve Henley who was riding his motorcycle around the world, and Pacie Merling who was the brewmaster of a craft brewery in a small town in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

My trip ran longer than I had originally expected, three times longer than what I thought it might, but that was fine. It was better than fine. When I first set out I was a bit concerned about how I would get on living full-time in a motorhome, alone on the road always in unfamiliar places. It wasn’t long before I became comfortable with it all, and not long after that I began contemplating full-time RVing as a permanent lifestyle, a thought, by the way, upon which I have not given up, and a direction in which I find myself moving.

Little Molas Lake at Sunset
Little Molas Lake at Sunset, Silverton, Colorado
It was nearly two years to the day after buying Charlene I returned with her to my home near San Francisco. The next seven months were spent sprucing her up, undoing some personalized modifications I’d made to her before setting out, making her availability known until finally, just a few days ago I said goodbye to her and turned her keys over to a new owner. My plan to buy an RV, see the USA then sell it had been realized. Mission accomplished.

Capitol Reef... just gorgeous
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah… just gorgeous
It’s looking more and more like I may have a new mission, however, to buy another RV and go full-timing again for an even longer period of time and this time not alone. I met Diane in Connecticut the summer of 2015 and if we can figure out a way to make money on the road then it looks like we may be setting sail together sometime in the next year or so. I’m not sure what will appear on these pages between now and then. It’s been gratifying that in spite of the dearth of recent posts which may largely be due to my stationary nature of late, readership of RussOnTheRoad appears to be growing. I think much of that may have to do with the season but whatever the reason  people are apparently finding interest in these pages.

Selfie along Medicine Bow Peak hike
Yours truly along the Medicine Bow Peak trail in the Snowy Range outside of Centennial, WY
Until next time…


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a.k.a. Travels With Charlene

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