Camping, At No Time In the History of My Life, Have  I Enjoyed So Much Being A Wife

- Cindy Bonish 12/07



When I get to a place for the first time and know it like home, this is when I know my journey will be over Ė Unknown

What Our Determination gave us the ability to accomplish

We are a young, energetic couple that has decided to put the 9 to 5 lifestyle on hold for a few years and take to the road.

Our plan is to stop in small towns, out of the way places and visit as many national parks throughout this great country of ours while writing and photographing about our journey.  

Who knows, we might like the travel lifestyle and continue to carry on with it or we might go back to a steady job once the trip ends. 

When Cindy and I met, we were young and carefree and wanted to travel the States before settling down to work out the remainder of our lives.  Having a young daughter who might not understand what her parents were doing and why, we decided to wait till she was older and out on her own. 

We never let go of our dream and made sure we always kept it in mind when taking on any new goals; we have thought about and kept aspirations of accomplishing it since we met some 16 years ago.  We might not have talked about it everyday, but it was always in the back of our minds in every decision we made. 

Now that our daughter has grown old enough, she is married, has a child and is off doing her own things with her feet planted in a positive direction, we decided it was time to take advantage of this opportunity and go on the trip of our dreams.

Most people would wait till they are older and reach that retirement age before theyíre ready to take a journey of this caliber.  We would rather take the time to do it now, while we are still agile enough to accomplish all the activities we enjoy doing.

With me turning 34 this July (2007) and Cindy, who just turned 40 this past April, we figure this is our most opportune time.  We figure weíll need some fall back time to recoup our cash losses we will incur during our trip and get to back on our feet. 

Who knows, we may enjoy this lifestyle so much we may never go back to work at the normal 9 to 5 job, this would be our goal, but for now, we are only planning on a two year trip.  No one can plan financially two years in advance, so we would just be wasting time to try and plan that far down the road, we'll just let the trip take us where it may, and hopefully we'll land back on our feet when it's over.

I heard a great quote the other day that made me think of this last paragraph.  It goes something like this - "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."

By no means are we trying to ridicule anyone in their Golden Years, but doing extensive research on this topic, there is one thing almost 100% of couples traveling together have told us, ďIf we would have done it while we were younger we could have taken a few more risks and tried more adventurous thingsĒ.  Neither Cindy nor I want to look back years from now and say ďWhat held us back?Ē  ďWhy did we wait so long?Ē  ďI wish we could climb that peak, but I just canít climb like I used to.Ē  ďIf we only would have done it sooner.Ē  This is our reasoning for doing this trip at such a young age. 

A Little History on the two of us

We will have been married for 13 years this past September (2011); have been together for almost twenty years and have worked together owning a very successful restaurant for the past six years. 

We met at an early age and pretty much grew up together learning each others quirks and abilities while learning quite a bit about ourselves in the process. 

We have endured many losses together and have always pulled each other through our hardships with time spent together resulting in coming out on top of any situation we encountered. 

Dealing with the emotions of losing two siblings, both under the age of thirty, we decided to throw caution to the wind and live our lives enjoying every day.  With our passion for adventure and learning, we hope to let this journey be our driving force for many good years and many good stories to come.  Needless to say, we get along great and spend many hours together.  We have many things in common, and share many of the same interests. 

Cindy is a great cook, always the most liked person in any room and always looking to try something new.  I love to see and try new things, and love to explore new areas, can get along with anyone and I can adapt to almost any situation.  We would consider ourselves very outdoorsy and adore being surrounded by nature.  While together we have taken many trips around the United States, and are always looking for a new adventure; one that will keep us moving to something new every few weeks. 

With our interests in photography, writing, and adventure; the combination of the three is a story book waiting to be written.

About the only thing we love more than being outdoors and the company of one another, is finding new towns to explore while photographing our journey along the way.  We have made it a requirement anytime we go on a trip, to only travel along two-lane roadways and never get on an expressway unless absolutely necessary.  We feel this shows us the true meaning of America and whatís out there.

What We Hope to Accomplish With This Trip

Too many times have we heard the complaints and woes of everyday life, with talk of dreams left undiscovered and left behind; to most, the only excuse for not accomplishing lifeís most important goals and dreams are the drudgeries of every day life.  Getting away, if only for a few days, to relieve some stress becomes their only serenity and strength; most only taking a week throughout the entire year for a vacation, and then bring along work to finish on the trip.

Our goal with this trip of ours is to give people some tips and trips that offer relaxation, a little bit of self sufficient ability and the satisfaction of leaving your worries behind if even for a short time.

We plan on showing others that short get-aways can be done with little planning and only limited funds.  You donít need to save up for the entire year to make that vacation enjoyable.  Multiple weekends spent leaving the worries behind can make the everyday stress much more tolerable.

Whether itís kayaking the picturesque shoreline of Lake Superior, paddling down a small river nestled in the woods, hiking along a section of the Appalachian Trial, or mountain biking through the backwoods of some ancient forest, we want to let people know this is still accomplishable on a limited budget with limited time.  Why only go to resorts or tourist attractions with so many campgrounds and trails left untouched.    

The history and heritage of this great country of ours has been lost by the urban sprawl that has taken over our small towns.  Why should every town look identical with those same six chain restaurants lined up on the exit ramps? 

What ever happened to the individuality each town had?  Where did the architecture and character go when it came to building new structures?  Why should you clear-cut a swatch of land just to build a new strip mall?  What ever happened to preserving some of the local surroundings to keep the character intact?  These are things we want to find and be able to show people that these areas still exist. 

Most are just hidden a few miles away from the major attractions, while most would never venture away from the mega-complex that has everything needed in that one-stop shopping experience we have become so accustomed to.  This leads us to our next topic -  

Our Goal on this Trip

Cindy and I would like to show people there are plenty of places left in this country of ours to visit and most are only a weekend drive away.  Anyone with a vehicle big enough to tow a small camper can get away for the weekend.  Sure, you might not have all the luxuries we have (we plan on doing this for a few years minimum), but most people could fit these getaways into their busy lifestyles if only for a weekend here and there. 

With us reporting on local surroundings, attractions, hiking, biking, kayaking and anything else that might be available in the adjacent area, we hope anyone who reads our articles will want to try one of the trips for themselves. 

While Cindy and I owned our bar, we had little time to get away for ourselves, we used to scour the web looking for a major city to use as a hub, fly in, rent a truck and trailer and then get away for a few days.  No one wrote about such destinations?  Almost every travel magazine or website we found was reporting on expedition style trips that would take weeks, even months of planning to accomplish. 

We want to show America that there are plenty of hidden gems right in their backyards.  With a little planning, most will be able to follow along on a shoe-string budget and come home only wanting more.  If the area is not really a destination area, we will let people know our opinions .We hope to find areas that will have some attractions to suit just about every aspect of peoples likings and expectations. 

We donít plan on only hiking or biking but will try and spend enough time in the area to try a little of everything offered and give honest opinions on everything available.    

Following the sun and the warmth will be our only goal.  We donít really want to rough it in the freezing temperatures or prove that we are tougher than most.  We want to stay in that 50 to that ever so comfortable 70 degree range throughout the year. 

Do we mind camping in the snow? No, weíve done it before, we have kayaked down raging streams in the winter, but most arenít going to follow on this type of trip.  Do we want to be camping in Death Valley in August? NO!  We want to follow the seasons that are conducive to comfort; the Florida Panhandle in the winter, Yosemite in the late spring, Colorado in the early fall and Minnesota in anything but the dead of winter. 

Maybe these stories wonít be for those young thrill seekers addicted to adrenaline, but we feel almost all want to be able to have a trip like this available for those times when adrenaline isnít needed to have a great memory. 

We also have many nieces and nephews that we plan on bringing along on various excursions.  We hope this will allow the children to see a different side of camping and traveling and show parents that you can bring the kids along with just a few changes made to the daily norm. 

We hope to show the kids that computer games are not needed to keep their attention and nature can be just as exciting.  This will also show us the difference between traveling with kids compared to just two adults on their own. 

How We Plan on Accomplishing our Journey 

A tow behind camper or Travel Trailer is what we have decided will suit our needs best.  We have weighed out the options between Class-C Motor Homes, Pop-ups, and Slide-In Truck Campers.  If we want to travel for a few years and not get on each others nerves, than we need the space of a small Travel Trailer without having the length, height and weight restrictions a larger camper would incur. 

A Class-C Motor Home was our first choice, but when we looked back on our many previous road-trips, we thought back on how narrow most of the roads were, how many times we had to turn around to get another look at some roadside attraction, and how traveling in a large Motor Home would limit us to bigger roads and thatís not what this trip is about.  

We understand that a travel trailer might be a little small for the two of us for a year, but we plan on being outside as much as possible and really will just be using the camper for sleeping. 

I will admit that at our age, tent camping in the pouring rain has lost its adventure aspect and a dry bed with a roof over it seems so much more appealing.  Living out of a back pack for a full year isnít exciting at my age and having a few of lifeís luxuries available will make a trip of this caliber much more livable.   

Traveling as light as possible but still allowing us some creature comforts we will try and be as energy efficient and Earth friendly as possible.  We installed solar panels on the roof to aid in charging our bank of deep-cycle house batteries which should allow us to travel without having to worry about finding campgrounds every night.  Boondocking is more our idea, although the typical RV campgrounds will be a welcome treat. 

If we see a spot we like, we plan to pull over and explore it without having to worry if they have a campground with all the proper hook-ups.  Our truck will be Diesel and we will try everything possible to get the best fuel economy available.  If something is new on the market that is claiming better fuel economy, we will give it a try and report on it.  We also plan on keeping detailed log-books on mileage, fuel economy, tune-ups and maintenance costs. 

This way if someone else wants to try any of our trips or mix a few together, they should be able to compare how much it is going to cost for them to follow along. 

One thing we donít plan on doing is driving across the country in record time, we plan on spending a few years on the road minimum, so short drives between stops is the goal.  A few hours a day spent in the vehicle, with four being the max, will be our daily limit. 

We donít want to have an agenda, but rather go where the road and weather takes us.  If we find a place that we like, we might stay a week, or we might move on after only one day exploring the area.  It just depends how much there is to do and how nice the locals are.

These topics along with the adventure itself should make for an enjoyable read.  For those who canít take a few years off, they will be able to follow along on our journey and learn from our mistakes.  For those who are planning a trip like this of their own, they will be able to see what it takes and maybe plan for their adventure.

Our Entire Goal is to Not Have a Goal or Routine set.

 We hope you can join along in our travels and we look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks ~ Pat & Cindy Bonish

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