My first post!

This is the very, very, very beginning of my new adventure — traveling the country in my 17′ camper!  The ACTUAL adventure will start in October when I drive to Escape Trailer Industries in Chilliwack, B.C., Canada to pick up this little cutie, which I’ve named Country Roads.”

escape 2 6.6

(This photo is from the Escape web page and is very similar to what mine will look like.)

Just picking the name of this blog was a long process (tough to find available URL’s these days!) but choosing the options for my camper is actually pretty overwhelming .  There are endless choices to make so I decided I would attend the Escape Rally in Osoyoos, B.C. which is put on yearly by the owners of Escape Industries.  This way I would be able to see campers just like mine and see, “live,” the choices they have made.  I already know I’m going to use solar power and I’ve already picked the fabric for the dinette but that’s just the beginning:  Do I want extra insulation? Stainless sink?  Front storage box?  Dual pane windows? Extra shelves in the closet? And that’s just the BEGINNING!!!

So, last weekend I traveled to Osoyoos for the three-day Escape Rally.  I brought a list (SIX TYPED PAGES!) of all the questions I had and after spending two hours the first day with Dave and Bob, two super nice brothers from Canada, had the answers to almost everything.  Dave has the same trailer as I, a 17′ Escape, and it was great to see exactly what I would be getting.  I admit it WAS smaller inside than I had imagined, but cozy is good :-) and I believe it is going to be just perfect!

My “Build Sheet,” with all the option-decisions made, must be submitted by July 31st.  Country Roads will be ready October 14th.  Once Escape begins building it, they will send me photos weekly on the progress.  Pretty amazing.  And I will pass these photos along in my blog for anyone who may be interested in how a fiberglass trailer is constructed.

So what to tow this trailer with?  Another overwhelming decision and I have spent endless hours researching the options.  Finally decided on a Toyota RAV4, 6 cyl., which can tow 3500#, the minimum tow rating I need.  Several Escape owners use it and are happy with it.  I like the small size because after arriving in a location, would like to be able to unhook and explore the area in something small with decent gas mileage.  And then . . . saw the Jeep that Dave uses–it’s pretty cool–he’s very happy with it–and I am now back at square one.  Will keep ya posted!

Where will I be going?  Since my pick-up in Chilliwack, the most southwestern part of Canada, it will be a bit late in the season to start back in Cleveland.  So … my first stop, of course, will be Seattle, where I lived for 7 years (1992-1999) and where a some really great friends live.  From there, will travel down the west coast, across the southern U.S. states and back up the east coast, arriving back in Cleveland around April or May, 2016 where I will spend the warm months and get to hang with my family.  Hopefully, they will be able to meet up with me at some point during the winter (we’re thinking:  MardiGras in February!!!)  And then off again when the cool winds start a’blowin’.

p.s.  The map on the side shows my trip to Osoyoos last weekend.  It will be really fun to plot my stops once the real adventure begins!!!

43 thoughts on “My first post!

  1. Suzy Boo Denison

    I’m overwhelmed with joy for my boo and this new adventure. The trailer looks perfect – small, cozy,
    adequate, but I think you need a long haired doxie to accompany you…..I just happen to know one……
    In the meantime, as you get closer, keep me closely posted. I will be in Boise around October 10 for a
    family reunion and I will have to kill myself if I miss you in Seattle. Also, you know you can park on 73rd and stay with me for a change. All for now…..you are an inspiration, as always.
    xxxxx boo

    Reply
    1. Ellen Darby Post author

      Thank you dear Boo! I will keep you posted but I’m not picking it up until 10/14 in Chilliwack, B.C. so absolutely going to see you!!! I don’t know how to put hearts on this blog but sending you one!

      Reply
    1. Ellen Darby Post author

      Thanks, baby. Plan on lots of sketching once I get on the road and will post them. Love you!!!

      Reply
  2. Rev. Bettse Bruich

    My heart and my love go out to you my dear friend. You have shown me that when you listen in that stillness where Spirit is, our path is very clear. Please stay in contact and I will on my end also.
    You are amazing. Taught me that I can create artwork. I continually learn from you.
    Love, peace and laughter always,
    Bettse

    Reply
  3. James Cannata

    ellen, the camper is so cute ! all the best from janet and me . we look forward to following you on your great adventure . stay safe and continue living life to its fullest. it ain’t over till it’s over baby ,

    lots of love, james jim jimmy Jamie and when we are in miami, jaimito

    Reply
  4. Lynne

    So happy and excited for you. TT looks the perfect size. Can’t wait to see you next winter. ❤️❤️❤️❤️☀️❤️

    Reply
    1. Ellen Darby Post author

      Thanks, Lynne! It will be so great to see you guys down there!!! (I don’t know how to put hearts on this blog yet! :) )

      Reply
  5. Lee

    Awesome website and blog. I can’t wait to read about your incredible journey and see your artwork! And hopefully a wet-nosed dog looking out of the window!

    Reply
  6. Sandie

    How very exciting Ellen. I can hardly wait to read and discover your adventures through your blog with you!

    Reply
  7. Stephanie

    Sounds like a great adventure! Look into the Subaru Forester, great winter driving and 4 wheel drive, which you will probably need! Enjoy the road!

    Reply
    1. Ellen Darby Post author

      Thanks so much, Stephanie! Have been looking at RAV4’s and Jeeps in order to tow 3500#. Will check out the Forester.

      Reply
  8. Nadine Collister

    I am so happy for you. I wish l could follow you in person rather than by blog. With you in spirit.

    Reply
  9. Michelle Rodgers

    Ellen, I am so excited for you and can’t wait to fallow your adventures!! However you will be missed at our get together’s. We may have to get into skyping so you can still be with us.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Darby Post author

      Thanks, Michelle. Well, you guys have been talking about a road trip . . . you didn’t mention how long of one! :)

      Reply
  10. Patty Sirak

    This is so exciting Ellen!! The people you will meet and the places you will see! Following your blog will be a joy. And John loves his RAV4 ; either way it’s a good decision. I’ll be sure to hug you before you head west. ❤️⛺️

    Reply
  11. Tracy O'Brien

    How exciting! I’m so happy for you, Darb! I’ve always dreamed of doing something like this. Until I can, I will enjoy reading about your adventures via your blog (another great idea!). Thanks for the inspiration!✌️
    TOB

    Reply
  12. Erica Russell

    I’m so excited for you Ellen! What a fantastic adventure! Oh the places you’ll go and the drawings you’ll do!! You could write your own Dr Suess adventure book! Lol
    You are such an inspiration to me!
    Sending you big (((hugs))) & much love!

    Reply
    1. Erica Russell

      You could call it “The adventures of Dr Darby”
      Heehee what fun! I’m so excited for you!!

      Reply
    2. Ellen Darby Post author

      Hey, love that idea! Thanks so much on the well wishes – I plan on visiting your mom in Arizona!!! hugs and love back atcha!!!

      Reply
  13. Lynne

    Your courage and spirit of adventure both awe and inspire me. Very much looking forward to following your continuing journey

    Reply
  14. Dave Henderson

    Hi Ellen,
    Great start to your blog ! Bro Bob and I have now made it back to Prince George..but are already talking about the next rally . We have also , sadly , run out of the cold beer you bought us ! I’m looking forward to following your adventures…. enjoy them all !
    Dave

    Reply
    1. Ellen Darby Post author

      Thanks, Dave! So sad about the beer – I’ll try to refill the larder next time we meet. Thanks again for all your great info!!!

      Reply
  15. Alyx

    Ellen … I am SO excited to see your blog and know you’ll be coming through the Southwest this fall and winter months !! Will be exciting to SEE you and follow your journey and thoughts along the way !! I honor your sense of adventure .. and.. I think a new book from you is a fantabulous idea !!! :) Arms around you in daily comfort …

    Reply
    1. Ellen Darby Post author

      Thanks, Alyx – am very much looking forward to seeing you!!! Thanks for the kind words!!!

      Reply
  16. Michael Levine

    Hi, I’m Nancy O’Hara’s husband and she showed me your site. You are one brave and inspiring soul. I’m am absolutely sure that you will have the time of your life. (Have you read Wm. Least Heat Moon’s “Blue Highways”?) I rode my bicycle across the U.S. and Canada, and a few other places too, and it was total joy, freedom, and endless discovery. Best of everything on your brave adventure.
    Michael Levine

    Reply
    1. Ellen Darby Post author

      Michael – nice to meet you!!! No, I have not read Blue Highways but will try to find. So cool about your cross country(ies) bicycle trip!!! Thanks so much for posting and the nice words!

      Reply

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