I was raised in several places around the world. I was born in Seattle, Washington. When I was four years old, my parents and my brother and I moved to Fargo, North Dakota, for one year. Then we moved to the Philippine Islands for five+ years and traveled all over eastern Asia. When I was almost 11, we left the Philippines and flew west from Manila, to Taiwan, Bangkok, India, Lebanon, Greece, and Germany (where we picked up a brand new Mercedes Benz my parents had ordered) and then we drove through Europe .. Switzerland and Italy, the Vatican and France and Spain, England and Scotland. In the port city of Southampton on the southern coast of England, the Mercedes was put in the hold of the SS United States (the passenger steamship) and we, too, boarded that ship to cross the Atlantic and return to the USA. We built a home on Whidbey Island, Washington, where I finished junior high and then high school and then went to college at Washington State University.
Although we traveled a good bit, I feel like I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. My parents and my brother and I spent several vacations camping in a pickup truck with a slide-in camper in the Pacific Northwest. That camper was tiny for the four of us, but I remember having a great time and I remember loving the outdoors and the forests and the rivers and the mountains.
As a young adult in my 20’s in college and afterwards, my friends and I would go camping with small tents and sleeping bags .. sleeping without any kind of mattress or padding underneath us. It was a lot of fun and we spent time in gorgeous places. In my 30’s, I began to appreciate a little more comfort and traded sleeping on the ground outdoors for the pleasure of a nice motel or B&B or country inn.
As an adult in my early 40’s, my life-partner and I purchased a 26-foot 1978 Campion Toba power boat with a sizable cabin on it with lots of windows, an outside steering station up on the flybridge, and another steering station down inside the cabin for those inclement Pacific Northwest days. I owned that boat, Redhead, for 12 years and took her everywhere from the bottom of Puget Sound (Olympia, WA) up into Canada (Nanaimo and into Princess Louisa Inlet). I had the boat repowered early on and she happily skimmed over the water at 32 knots full throttle (about 36 mph) .. but that was only when the water was flat calm and I felt like spending a lot of money on fuel!
My next recreational endeavor when I was in my early 50’s was to sell that boat and buy a 1939-built 40-foot Matthews classic wood-hulled cabin cruiser named Pied Piper (below). Even tho Pied Piper was a larger boat, because her engines were larger and so produced more torque and so ran more efficiently (and pushed the boat at a slower speed), this heavy 40-foot boat used LESS fuel than the smaller and lighter 26-foot boat did. And since she was larger, Pied Piper housed many more amenities than did Redhead .. including radar, a full-size frig/freezer, a huge head (bathroom), real furniture in the main cabin, a larger cockpit aft, a gasoline generator that created 120v electricity when I anchored out, more storage space and more room for humans, and even a real wood-burning fireplace in the main cabin. I owned Pied Piper for 16 years (she’s currently for sale) and have spent many hundreds of hours cruising into every corner of Puget Sound and the Canadian Gulf Islands.
During those boating years, I also spent a bit of time (not by boat) in Mexico and Alaska and Hawaii, took a 3-week road trip with a friend through the American canyon lands in the southwest, and flew to Scotland for three weeks with a friend. Mostly I’ve been boating as an adult and have loved it, but I have missed opportunities to see other parts of this world. Because of the time and money it takes to maintain a boat, I didn’t do much else in life .. either local travel in the Pacific Northwest or anywhere else in the world. I missed traveling and, since I was still healthy and able, I decided to sell the Pied Piper and see the world by land and air again. This RV trailer that I now own is a perfect way to travel on land and is so much less expensive than the boat that I will be able to afford some international air travel as well. Travel allows me to see new things, taste different kinds of food, meet all sorts of wonderful people, and enjoy the pure fascination I have with all of that.
Now I’m single, happy and healthy, and in my late 60’s. I live in a senior independent-living gated community where I have my own private home/condo and can simply lock the door and leave for a period of time and the place will be maintained by the corporate owners until I return. And I now have this truck and RV lifestyle as well, and am planning a few international trips in the next few years with friends. I am just in hog heaven! Life is so very wonderful.
- 2017 camping destinations here (with one photo from each destination).