Featured Stories


The 50-year-old perspective: RV-ing

'm sending this from the road. Like Steinbeck, Little Miss Sunshine and Least Heat Moon — connoisseurs of the road, they are.

Thanks to the kindness of one of our Hillsdale neighbors (her remark: "There are only so many people we would rent our trailer to, and you are anal enough to fit the bill"), we are hauling a trendy Airstream. And I mean it is trendy. Sleek and retro and shiny.

We've been hailed on the highway and flagged down in grocery lots for a peek inside (mostly a look at our unmade bed and our breakfast dishes).

My husband finally put a stop to my "little home tours" because he was worried about the dirt the visitors were tracking in, which goes to show our neighbor made a safe bet. So here we are, on the road; we just passed another Airstream and flashed our lights. It’s like the catchy motto says: “That’s the way we roll.”

Our (now) 13-year-old son has become quite the Airstreamer. He considers our little 19-foot abode like a giant ... iPhone. Similar to his expertise with a smartphone, he has become a specialist of switches, stabilizers and black water dumping. He confidently told me on Day 2 of our 24-day trip, "I could do this on my own if I could just drive."

As part of his new-found expertise, he has taken to calling his father by his given name, as in “Jeff, just back up 2 inches until I tell you to stop.” Yikes.

Imagine being with a full-in-bloom teenager for three and a half weeks in 19 feet of space. One who knows more about your water heater than you do, does an uncommon amount of turning circles while sleeping in the front dinette, rocking the tin can and choosing the movie. And did I mention that the 19 feet includes the hitch, propane tanks and svelte bumper tool chest? We're talking you can brush your teeth and grab a beer at the same time, always a good combination while RVing with a teenager.

That said, we’re sort of stunned that our neighbors lent us their trailer for this grand adventure. Where else but Hillsdale? And to let us take the sucker up and down and up and down the Continental Divide in Glacier, Yellowstone and the Tetons? That beats the neighborhood’s best potluck dish anytime. Generosity must be a Western ideal; we’ve found it throughout our travels these past days. Great open spaces and great open folks who know almost everything about the beautiful countryside in which they live. No wonder we all clamor to go to the national parks each summer to take in the views, the animals, the soaring peaks. To renew, revitalize, see if our marriage will survive in a bed right next to the refrigerator and the potty.

Yep, that’s definitely the way we roll.

Lori Sweeney survived her grand adventure and is happily ensconced back in her cozy home in Hillsdale, still married and still a mother.