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The Accidental RV’er

I’d always been an outdoorsy sort of fellow, especially camping. I suppose I got the camping bug when I was a Boy Scout, and it stuck. A few years later, one marriage and three kids later, that bug spread. We started tent camping for several years, and we loved it. We camped on seashores, mountains, plus everything in between.

Owning an RV was never a discussion until a few years later. Beth and I had a goal of one day owning a motorhome, but at the time, it was never in the budget, but the dream stayed alive, and on August 25th, 2017, the dream came to life, and not how we expected.

That day, nearly five years ago, our lives changed forever, and so did many others in our small community of Rockport, Texas. What started as a nuisance of a tropical depression in the gulf that Tuesday became a Category 5 hurricane when it made landfall on Friday. He was named Harvey. We had plenty of time to evacuate, but the empty feeling of leaving our home behind left a void inside.

A few days after the storm, we returned to Rockport and witnessed all the destruction left in his path. My wife and I made the silent trip toward our home. We were both in such shock at the devastation, we were speechless, and all we could do was take in what we could at the mess.

Moving along, our neighborhood was a mess. Some homes were destroyed, others barely a scratch… ours was somewhere in the middle. On the outside, it hardly looked damaged, but the inside was a total wreck. The roof was compromised, causing severe water damage. In only three days, our house became a giant petri dish because of the summer heat and humidity! Our walls were covered in mold, and anything organic like leather also suffered. Essentially everything in our house had to go. The place was obviously not livable, but repairs began almost immediately. We stayed with our kids in Corpus Christi for about four weeks, but we knew we needed to be closer to our home, and an RV was our best solution.

At a time in our lives, we began to talk about an RV once again, but never under these circumstances. It was a small, 23 ft Flagstaff Microlite we bought from Ron Hoover RV & Marine, and was perfect for the short haul. That short haul lasted nearly 18 months! Both of us worked from home, so our dining table became our workstation, and yes, it was crowded. We had all the creature comforts of our house except that we had to operate within about 80 square feet. Our kids were and are still amazed we didn’t kill each other! After living in a tiny RV for so long, we feared that we would hate getting on the road with it, but that changed with our first trip, and the bug bit us hard!

We have been on several road trips and two more in the next few weeks as of this writing. We have stayed at a few KOA’s, some State Parks, and a couple of privately owned parks.

So, now you understand why I named this story, The Accidental RV’er. Though we got into RV’ing in a roundabout way, there are absolutely no regrets. Instead of it being “accidental,” everything moving forward is quite purposeful.

Until next time…, Happy RV’ing! -Mark and Beth Waters

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