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Travels with Gertie

How it all started

Once upon a time I got interested in digital cameras. I bought a cheap one, and since I couldn't find any information online, built a website about it. Then I bought a better one...and I found lots of other people who were interested too. Many of them congregate at the Digital Camera Resource Page to swap information and tips, and that's where I met Judie Ashford.


Judie and her husband Gary Villere are both avid photographers, so we soon got into an email correspondence which broadened into other areas. At one point Judie asked me "Do you RV?" Well, I knew that "RV" stood for "recreational vehicle," but beyond that I hadn't given the idea a second thought.

Oh, I'd done some tent camping when I was in my twenties, and still had a closet full of camping gear...but I had lived a fairly stay-at-home life for the past ten years or so. Pretty soon, though, I was giving it serious thought, as Judie told me about their RVing lifestyle and fed me tantalizing snippets of conversations with other RVers.

I'm not going to try to explain how over a period of a year or so, I became vitally interested in all things having to do with RVing. I have trouble explaining it to myself, because much of the time it seemed as if some mysterious inner force was pulling me inexorably in that direction.


All I know is that by the time Judie generously invited me to visit her and Gary in Arizona, with their motorhome Gertie serving as guest bedroom, I was hooked. And by the time I flew out there a few months later, I had decided to buy Gertie when Judie and Gary upgraded to a larger rig, and begin my own RVing adventures. You'll find the record of that first visit in my Arizona Journal.

A year later I flew back to Arizona, bought Gertie and brought her home to New Jersey in a three-week cross-country trip that was my first RVing journey. You can read all about it in "Bringing Gertie home." My next big trip, up the New England coast to Cape Cod and then on to Maine, is chronicled in "North To Maine." And my experiences at the Escapees RV Club's Fall 2002 Escapade are chronicled in "My Fall Escapade."

If you had told me when I first saw Gertie that within five years I'd have sold my condo and be living and traveling in her full time, I'd have laughed. But that's what happened: I took early retirement and have been on the road ever since, as told in Going Fulltime. My next year of travels is described in Life on the Road: 2005 and Album 2006.

After a year and a half of fulltime traveling in Gertie, I was still in love with the RVing life but looking for a newer and larger coach. That's when I bought "Skylark." My travels since then are chronicled in my Skylarking web pages, so if you want to see where I've been lately, you should head over there.

Note: most of the pictures you'll see in these pages can be clicked on to view a larger version. Use your browser's "Back" button to return to the page when finished looking.

Latest news: I've added a page of "recommended reading"—the cream of the crop of RVing books.

My Travels in Gertie

Arizona Journal

    My first visit to Gertie

Bringing Gertie Home

    Driving across the country

North to Maine

    A Fall trip up the Atlantic coast

My Fall Escapade

    Across the Catskills to Ohio

Going full-time

    Retirement and full-time RVing:
    taking the Big Step

Life on the road: 2005

    My first six months as a fulltimer

Album 2006

    A new year on the road
    ...and my final year in Gertie


    My adventures continue in a new rig

About Gertie

The Gertie Page

    A tour of Gertie, complete with specs

Improving Gertie

    Tips, tricks, and things I've added

Apple logo This website was made with a Macintosh by Andy Baird. For an index of my other websites, see the homepage.