This adventure began in 2005. We decided that Raymond would retire shortly after our 30th anniversary, in 2013; which gave us seven years to answer the question: What do we do after retirement? We considered buying a sailboat and traveling the seas, we both had sailboats when we got married. We, ultimately, decided that purchasing a Recreational Vehicle (RV) would suit us better at retirement age and would provide a great opportunity to see more of North America.
Being married to an engineer means over-thinking everything. So we set out to investigate our options and learn more about the RV community in the United States. We attended rallies, conventions, seminars; we joined forums, and RV groups.
We decided that a 5th wheel [coupling between a truck and RV] would be the best configuration for us. Raymond then found a forum on escapees.com about HDT’s [Heavy Duty Trucks]. I’ll admit I was shocked to hear that line of thinking; how could I possibly drive that?!
In October 2008, we went to our first HDT National Rally in Hutchinson, Kansas. We attended seminars all day long for an entire week! We learned an overwhelming amount of information and we met so many wonderful people. After test-driving two HDT’s I was completely sold on the idea that this was the right choice!
After the rally we knew exactly the semi-truck we wanted and we had narrowed down the RV to three brands that we liked. An opportunity to purchase a rig presented itself and we jumped at the chance. Our friends, George and Diane, decided it was time to take a break from the road and sell their rig; it just so happened that in 2008 [at the Rally in Kansas] Raymond had driven this particular truck and absolutely loved it. So in March 2012 we purchased our rig!!!
We took our first trip in the RV in April 2012 to Crossville, Tennessee for the East Coast Rally. What a blast!!! A wonderful week of meeting more new friends, seeing old friends, attending more seminars, and the best part of all…..never having to leave the campgrounds to go to a hotel!
Between 2012 and 2014 we logged close to 5,000 miles on our rig. We mostly attended rallies and met friends/families at campgrounds — but all our trips were kept short because Raymond was still working during this time.
On March 8, 2014 Raymond retired!!! By March 16, 2014 we were on the road to start our adventure!!