When I meet other RVing women, I’m always interested to hear their stories. I have had the pleasure of becoming friends with Glenda through my blog. Glenda is a solo RVing woman too. We began to communicate and I asked her to share her story with all of you. She’s a fierce woman and I’m proud to call her my friend. Meet Glenda from Arkansas;
The only picture of me taken on my recent, month-long trip. I like it. Grasping that mask in my hands, I will be so glad to be back to normal.
Glenda Enjoys Meeting People While Traveling
One of the things I like to do on my trips is talk to people. I think I collect stories. You may be sitting at your picnic table and someone walks by with their dog and you get to talking-they will share something about themselves.
On this last trip, I was near very few people because I was going back to care for my mom and dad. I enjoyed the 4 weeks in the desert. Arkansas is a tunnel of green trees and I love the open sky. Montana or Arizona, it doesn’t matter. I returned home on my 74th birthday.
How Her Solo RVer Adventure Began
I started the excitement of having a travel trailer just two years ago. I plan to be loading up and pulling out of the driveway when I am 80. Wouldn’t that be great?
My 3 granddaughters were graduating high school and moving on with their lives. I was looking around for an adventure when I noticed the cute little white trailers on I30. Here is something I could do by myself. At the same time, I found the RVSue blog. I started saving money, bought my tow vehicle.
I went to a Casita rally to look at the different models. I bought sight unseen in East Tennessee, a 9-year-old with many mods. I am so fortunate. The previous owners had upgraded to a Bigfoot but hated to let their beloved trailer go. They are happy I bought Bama because I love her and use her. We text back and forth and I think I can say we are friends. I towed her 420 miles on Memorial Day weekend. No experience but I knew I would be fine. It was exciting and isn’t that what we are all looking for?
Glenda’s Rescue Pup
This is my Maggie May. Named for my favorite Rod Stewart song. This is her bed, this picture was taken at dome rock in Quartzite this year. I knew I wanted to travel with a dog. When I was ready I toured the 5 shelters in central Arkansas. I wanted a female, mature and after having all black dogs and cats for the last 20 years, I wanted a light color.
In the 5th shelter in the last run of cages, I met this girl’s eyes and fell in love. Fat, cherry eye, one ear chewed, and two tumors hanging from her body. When I put my $91 adoption fee down on the counter I was asked to wait a minute. The on-staff vet came out to tell me he would remove the tumors at no charge. I know the staff had been hoping she would find a home. She is the smartest dog I have ever had, she had a hard life before me but has it made now.
Maggie loves our trips. She knows when I hitch up that she is going but to be certain, she never moves from my side. I put her in the 4R to get her from under my feet. She rides in the back seat, I have the seat built up with cushions so she can raise her head and see. If she needs to stop to pee she will poke my arm with her nose. If she is thirsty she will crawl up on the console and lick her lips. She can talk almost.
I do not remember ever being lonely in my life. I have always had friends but I can say, I do not wait if I want to do something. It is just easier to be solo to make decisions, with no compromises. I traveled for years with a best friend. We wanted to see all the national parks in the US. We alternated choosing the park, making the arrangements, rental car, campground, etc. This worked for us-it was fun.
We both had grandchildren to travel with and slowly stopped traveling together. Another chapter started. So my favorite part of being a solo traveler is making the decisions myself. From opening the benchmark map to deciding the route home I like being in charge of my trip. One of my favorite days of any trip is the first day. I am finally, finally on my way and the entire experience is in front of me.
Loving the Challenges
It’s exciting, even dumping my tanks. Some things may be a challenge such as learning how to grease the bearings, replace those dang small rivets, or do other maintenance tasks but I know if I choose to not learn I can pay someone $135 per hour-yikes-to do them. Even if I must pay someone I always learn something.
I have not been afraid yet. But I am not boondocking yet either. I make certain my 4R and trailer are in top shape no matter the cost. I am looking at a $1200 set of ties next month but that is part of life. I carry protection and know how to use it. I am not an easily frightened person. I do not watch or read horror stories so I like to tell my granddaughters I do not have a good imagination for things that are out there that might get me. But I am very watchful, I know there are more good people out there but there are many who will take advantage.
I took my 22 yr old granddaughter and her dog on a 3 week trip to Yellowstone last September. On our way home I was watching hurricane Beta. Beta was going to slam Arkansas with bands of wind and rain. So we made the decision to depart very early and drive 520 miles in one day. We would only have 120 miles the next day and would be home about the same time the wind and rain started in central Arkansas.
I did very well until I got about 25 miles from our RV park for the night. I missed the entrance to I40 and continued south on the Indian turnpike. The first turnaround was at 11 miles and we were on our way north. At the first toll booth, I was the only one to choose the lane and threw my quarters in the basket. I was slow because some stuck to my hand. Madison and I talked about how to throw less damp quarters. So we were ready when the next toll gate came into view. Again I was the only one in the lane, I had the correct change.
The lady steps out of her booth and starts doing jumping jacks in front of us-pointing to the overhead sign. NO TRAILERS I used sign language asking her to let me through and she said no. I had to back up a very very long way with rush hour traffic waving at us. I got tickled and started laughing, Madison was so embarrassed. I almost made it when another small trailer tried to follow me. I saw the lady doing jumping jacks again.
I lost it, I was howling with laughter. So I had to wait for a vehicle to let that trailer in the flow and then I slowly backed up and got myself ready and bless the lady who yelled go. When I got to the booth to hand my quarters to the lady I was still laughing. She didn’t think it was as funny. Very nice though. I will never drive that far again in one day towing a trailer. Promise. Madison still does not think that was funny at all.
Glenda’s First Rally With Other RVing Women
I am planning to attend my first Casita rally north of San Antonio in April. I will make a two-week trip out of it. It is 540 miles from southwest Arkansas so it will feel like a nice trip. The bluebonnets should be in bloom. There are airstreams, Bigfoot’s, and other fiberglass brands signed up.
I don’t usually take part in organized activities but am really looking forward to this rally. Maybe it’s because my world has been so small this past year. My folks got their second Covid shot last Friday and I will get mine on the 30th. Then the big trip will be to Utah in September/October. I am really looking forward to it. I hope to boondock some of the time. I feel like the RVs will be thick everywhere after everyone feels confident to be back on the road. I will be one of them.
Thank you so much, Glenda, for telling us about your RVing life.
You might also like, The RV Living and Travel Guide for Beginners.