NEOhio Winter Dreamin’…

Sometimes only the dreamin’ can get ya’ through the day… or the season.

It’s no secret I’m no fan of winter- I’m an outdoor person that HATES being cold. Also, icy roads do not agree with motorcycles and the need for rider and bike to remain upright, so I get grumpy when I have to leave the bikes parked for more than a few weeks! Here in NEOhio, the cold, ice and road salt are givens, useful snow a crapshoot- so outdoor winter sports are tough to plan. I think this is why, at least in the Cleveland area, there are so many indoor shows through the winter. Huge indoor shows for home improvement, motorcycles, cars, boats, comics, wedding planning, you name it. There’s a show for just about anything to get us out of the house, yet still out of the weather, and that’s how we found ourselves at the Cleveland RV Show a few weekends ago.

We tried a few enjoyable (or so kids and I thought) attempts at tent camping before PrettyWife decided the whole “sleeping on the ground” thing was over. Since she grew up camping in a pop-up trailer, a “rolling tent with hard sides” was a compromise she could work with. We parked in primitive campsites, so the kids and I still got the camping experience and PrettyWife was back to an acceptable comfort zone. We enjoyed pop-up camping through much of the eastern US when our children were younger, meeting people and making memories. Traveling tastes changed as the kids got older, schedules got tighter, and, admittedly, finances improved. Now the kids are moving on, so we rent a house for a week, somewhere enticing and easy to reach, and invite them to join us for as long they can. But one week cannot satisfy a deep-rooted wanderlust when there are still many days in a year that can be strung together for adventure. So here we were, wandering the vast IX Center filled with RVs of all shapes and sizes, imagining the possibilities.

I love the idea of a self-contained RV, and the open road. Packed and ready at a moment’s notice, early morning on the road and et voila’- 2-3 days of a mini-vacation! We’ve done the pop-up route, so I know it’s not quite that easy, but what if…? The tiny trailers are super-cool (PrettyWife: “Too small”), the Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser’s 50s vibe kinda’ rocks (PrettyWife: “Meh, it’s OK”) and the full-size travel-trailers, with multiple slide-outs and huge bathrooms are pretty astonishing (PrettyWife: “Oh, THIS is AMAZING!”- then I mention we also need a much bigger vehicle to tow it and the smile slides away). And so it went, all the way to the jaw-dropping luxury of the quarter million dollar truck chassis travel-homes (PrettyWife: “Incredible, but I’d never drive something this big”). After stepping in and out of countless vehicles, I zeroed in on a beautiful, mid-sized Class C with slide-outs (PrettyWife: “Big enough to travel with dogs, kids could visit for a night or two”). The “what if” became “fill the tanks, throw in some clothes and food for a few days, pick a destination and roll out”. Sounds terrific in my head, but would we?

We spent several hours walking and talking among the RVs. We talked about the pros and cons, and we appreciated the inventive craftsmanship of making a house that can go nearly anywhere. We talked of where we could go on short notice, how long it would take to reach warmth mid-winter. We talked of cost, of new vs used, of maintenance and sharing with family and friends. We discussed one possibility for a future we hope to enjoy, agreed it could be wonderful, and briefly touched on other possibilities. I don’t think I’ve convinced PrettyWife we need another vehicle for our future (I’m not sure I’ve even convinced myself) but, as we walked hand in hand through blowing snow to the car, we knew we had done what so many forget to do; we had taken an afternoon to share a dream.

Keep Riding Local, Dreaming Global, and we’ll see you on the road- Enjoy!


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