I’m Russell Carpenter and I’m living an interesting life. For a man in his late 50s, my life is rather normal to some, absolutely crazy to others (Mom), though sort of fun/peculiar to most.
I was hit from both sides of my family with a heavy dose of pioneer DNA. Looking over that next mountain range, seeing what’s beyond that field of corn, and wasting a day away next to a stream – that’s what I live for. For those of you like me who still have a remnant of your forefather’s wanderlust gene, these pages are definitely for you.
My full time work is for the State of Nevada which tends to keep me tethered close to Carson City, Nevada. I keep thinking I’ll retire in the next few years and that’s still the goal.
A couple of years ago my life made a couple of twists and I found myself without a mortgage or a house. A move to a rented townhouse ground at me after so many years of being a homeowner in one form or another, and that’s what got all this started.
To while aways the hours when not working I started daydreaming of what my retirement years would entail. What did I want for myself? What were my dreams?
Knowing my retirement budget would be slim, I decided I would go out and see America. All of it, or at least a whole lot of it. Yeah, I wanted to own my own tropical island, have my own villa next to George Clooney’s on Lake Como in Italy, and become a world-famous race car driver, but reality bites. America it was.
And so, on a small budget, how would I go about visiting the great places of this country on my schedule, not an airline’s, and stay as long as wanted or not at all? How could I take enough clothes to wear, carry my camera goodies, keep ice cream frozen, make coffee, and have a clean place to go shower?
After some interesting deliberation, I boiled it all down to buying an RV while I was still earning enough money to pay it off. The story of that beginning, of preparing for retirement, and of the Grand Tour of America, is what is within these pages.
I hope you enjoy my tale. I’d love to hear from you and of your stories, dreams, and discoveries. Please write.