RVing friends, Gary and Betty Thomas, say a trip has a beginning and an end. However, a journey never ends. When James and I started RVing, we made trips—always longing for the day when we could take a journey, at least for a month, two months, or in our wildest dreams, six months. About the time we bought our Road Ranger fifth-wheel, I resigned my kindergarten teacher’s position to pursue a career in writing. However, James still owned and managed a small manufacturing business. So we were limited to trips with a beginning, sometimes on Thursday, and an ending on Sunday.
Four other couples often joined us in these long weekend jaunts, typically to destinations in Arkansas, Texas, or Missouri. My cousin, C.D. Huson, called our group “The Tuggers.”
In 1984, we planned our first long trip out West to Cheyenne Frontier Days, considered the “Daddy of ‘em all” in rodeos. An annual event since 1897, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the rodeo itself lured us. However, the travel through fields of green corn and yellow-headed sun flowers in Kansas, and past the Rocky Mountain’s snow-capped Front Range as we turned north at Denver, confirmed our dream. We had places to go and things to see.
For ten days around the last full week of July, Cheyenne Frontier Days spills over every street corner and neighborhood of the Wyoming town. We settled into an RV park and soaked up the Old West in a parade, evening concerts, an Indian village, and, of course, the PRCA/PBR nationally sanctioned rodeo, billed as the largest such event in the world. We toured Cheyenne’s Main Street and Wyoming’s State Capital.
After a few days, our caravan motored on to Jackson, Wyoming, the Teton National Forest, and the Snake River. Our trip, limited to three weeks, offered only a peek into America’s West. The year 1984 marked our first step toward a journey, a love affair with travel that would have no end.
Cheyenne Frontier Days, July 19-31, 2011. For information, visit www.cfdrodeo.com
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Traveling in their motorhome several months each year, Arline and her photographer husband, Lee Smith, make their permanent home in Heber Springs, Arkansas. She currently is a presenter for Workamper Rendezvous, sponsored by Workamper News. Arline has dozens of magazine articles published, as well as five books: “Road Work: The Ultimate RVing Adventure” (now available on Kindle); “Road Work II: The RVer’s Ultimate Income Resource Guide”; “Truly Zula; When Heads & Hearts Collide”; and “The Heart of Branson”, a history of the families who started the entertainment town and those who sustain it today. Visit Arline’s personal blog at ArlineChandler.Blogspot.com