MOUNT GILEAD — After a year hiatus, Herb and Kathy Baldwin are going on the road again in their 2002 Land Yacht diesel Airstream.
When the pandemic hit last March, the couple was in Florida and preparing to work in an RV camp in North Carolina. But with the uncertainty and closings caused by the Covid-19 crisis, they decided to head home.
Four years ago they left Mount Gilead and chose to live the RV lifestyle. They sold their home to their daughter Sara and her husband Stu. From the beginning of their travels, they used volunteering and work camping in RV campgrounds as a means to provide their lot rent and utilities as they traveled.
Fortunately, they were able to make their home in the apartment above the garage by their daughter’s home for the entire year from March 2020 through April 2021. Herb got a part time job as a driver for Morrow County Area Transit while Kathy did much of the cooking for the family.
Herb said they “got the itch to hitch” again this spring. They were camp hosts at Dale Hollow Lake State Park in Kentucky from mid-April through the July 4th weekend. Cumberland Falls and other state parks were close by for day trips.
They’re home again for a couple of months while Herb has hip surgery and then they will be headed to Michigan to visit family and attend a wedding. From Ludington, Michigan they will take a ferry across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
They’ll visit friends in Wisconsin and South Dakota before meeting up with 30 from the RV Escapee Club and tour the Oregon coast. Heading down the California coast on Highway 101, they’ll stop at Redwood National Park and by Nov. 1 they plan to be in Arizona.
A couple years ago they fell in love with Arizona and they purchased a lot there where they will stay through November and December before heading to join their RV club for a trip to Baja California, Mexico. By April they’ll be headed back to Ohio for the summer of 2022.
Herb reflected on his four years of RV travel and camping. He said it was his idea to “hit the road” and leave their “sticks and bricks” home for the freedom of the road.
“I had wanted to travel for a long time, but always seemed I had too many responsibilities to get away for any length of time,” Herb said. “For me, it was a real feeling of freedom to quit work, sell everything we owned and move into our 36- foot motorhome.”
Kathy said her concerns were about the unknown.
Kathy’s questions were, “Where will we stay? What about the weather? Our family, friends and all are back in Mount Gilead. How often would we see them?”
Kathy has embraced the RV life now and gets the “itch to hitch” as much as Herb. She said their life is now about the people and places they visit and not about stuff.
Baldwins’ suggestions for those who are considering RV life are to first rent a towable trailer or smaller Class C motor home and camp locally for a weekend. Then go out a little further and camp for a week and then a month and travel to someplace you’ve always wanted to go.
“Make a wish list before you buy an RV and remember that bigger isn’t always better,” Herb said. “Don’t buy new, but instead buy a good used model. They just don’t make ‘em like they used to.”
Herb welcomes anyone with questions to reach out to him at [email protected]. You can also follow their blog on where they’ve been and where they’re going at www.herbnkathy.com.