Old Dogs, New Trips

Old Dogs, New Trips “...and we travel, in essence, to become young fools again – to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” ~ Pico Iyer          

  ”That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.” ~Andy Rooney.             

The Idea: Refurbish a classic RV and travel around the US with elderly people–  fulfilling their “bucket list” of travel destinations, and gathering bits of wisdom on the way. The concept of “Old Dog New Trips” comes from two of my favorite things: travel and living history (my elders). I have visited all but one of the United States, and the prospect of seeing our great country through the eyes of the men and women who helped build it is very exciting to me!   My refurbished and updated 1979 Dodge Sportsman RV and I will provide a safe and comfortable trip wherever my guests would like to venture. I am an experienced travel companion and a licensed NY State EMT and travel guide.

The Money: With your gracious donations, I will repair the RV, pay for insurance, develop a website and a business plan, and get “up and running” ASAP so my future guests can begin their adventure. Thank you! The Details: I will offer travel packages from “Music”( Chicago, Nashville, Graceland and New Orleans) “Birds of New England” (Yellow-rumped Warbler,  Green Heron,  Eastern Phoebe) “West” (WA, OR, MT, WY, CA, NV & CO) “Southwest” (AZ, NM, OK & TX) “Midwest” (ND, SD, NE, KS, MN, IA, MO, IL, WI, MI, IN & OH) “Southeast” (AR, LA, MS, AL,  GA, FL, NC, SC, VA, WV, DE, MD & PA) ‘Northeast” (NY, VT, ME, NH, MA, NJ, CT & RI).  Or the “Choose Your Own Adventure” (tell me what you are interested and I will plan a trip just to fit your dream!). The possibilities are endless!

The Inspiration:  Donald O. Little, AKA Grampa My grandfather passed away just over a year ago, he had 11 children and 30+ grandchildren and great grandchildren. He had the “traveling bug” from a young age, which he passed along to many of us. My grandpa rekindled his love of travel after the passing of my grandmother, his wife of 53 years. With the company of a daughter, son, or grandchild, he was able to visit family and destinations all over the country during his golden years. Up until a week before he passed away, he was planning another road trip. I wish I could have taken him to see his sister in Nebraska one last time before he passed away, but his body was just not up for it.

When I thru hiked the Appalachian Trail (2,181 miles GA-ME) in 2011 I regularly checked in with my grandpa and he would mark my progress on a map he bought just for that purpose. He would bring the map to the VFW and show off his wild granddaughter to his friends there. He was so proud of me I can honestly say that when I had doubts about hiking I just had to think about my grandpa showing off the map and I would push on through.

The Ride: 1979 Dodge Sportsman RV camper I purchased this beast of a classic vehicle a couple months ago and I can’t wait to make her shine. I have been pouring my heart and soul (and all my cash…) into stripping the interior and working on redesigning it to be a comfortable ride and a unique place to spend time. The interior had a great deal of water damage and I have been focused on getting that taken care of before I move on to “make it pretty” inside. The exterior is in pretty darn good shape (they don’t build them like they used to), with the exception of the front grill and engine, which some misguided soul decided to use for target practice. Yes, target practice!

So, not only am I completely stripping out the interior of this beauty, I am having the engine rebuilt. I am completely dedicated to this project. I think it really has the opportunity to enrich the lives of many seniors who would not otherwise not be able to travel.   Thank you!


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Rain Thering 
Village of Akron, NY
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