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The Great, Great, Great Grand Adventure: One Week Down, Many More To Go

Posted by Rob Brown on November 13, 2012 in Ancestry Great Adventure

The first week of the Great Great Great Grand Adventure has been more than we could have imagined. We have learned a lot about what it’s like for a family of seven to be on the road in a motor home. We have also learned a lot about our family history along the way as we made stops in Iowa and Illinois, both places of major significance to our family’s past.

And we have also learned a lot about ourselves.

We knew that leaving home would be a challenge and although that is true, we have been so busy figuring things out that we really haven’t had time to look back. Just keeping the motor home batteries charged, the water and gas tanks full, and the gray and black tanks empty, it takes more time and effort than we anticipated. Finding comfortable and secure places to park for the night is as much of an art as it is a science. We have also had to re-evaluate our pace. We blazed through the first few stops so fast that we almost wish we could go back and see them again. Cooking in the motor home has worked our great so far but cleaning up pots and pans with limited water supply can be tricky. We still haven’t spent more than a few hours in a campground but I anticipate that will change shortly as we have determined to get through the next couple of stops and then put down some roots for at least 5 to 7 days in each location. Right now one of our biggest challenges is deciding where to go next. Our original itinerary took us north but now that winter is approaching we are hesitant to venture into places with icy roads and pipe-freezing temperatures. We came prepared for the cold weather but we have been warned by more than one experienced traveler that taking motor homes into sub-freezing temps is risky. However, after careful consideration we have decided to stick with our original itinerary, keep a close watch on the weather, and head south only if the weather threatens to prevent us from traveling safely or from traveling at all.

Even though we have only been on this adventure for a week, we are already seeing deeper into the lives of our ancestors. For starters, Kathy discovered that her mother’s great grandfather and her father’s great grandfather we actually next door neighbors! In addition to interesting coincidences, we are also starting to understand what it was that drove such ordinary people to do such extraordinary things. We realize that they had to press forward. The challenges they faced every day didn’t give them time to look back because they were too busy taking care of themselves and their families. We have felt their strength and courage and now it is our turn to press forward. We are going east and we never know what tomorrow will bring.

By Rob Brown

Follow the Brown family on their adventures at http://www.ancestry.com/adventure

6 comments

Comments
1 LGroup2220@aol.comNovember 13, 2012 at 11:49 am

Sounds fun. We have only ventured out on a two month trip in the fall – also
to research family history. We overnighted in many Walmart, Lowe’s, Cabela, Sam’s Club parking lots. But as we approached the east coast – found that it is not allowed in many cities.
The negative for us then, was the distance we had to drive to get to a campground – far away from the libraires, historical societies we wanted to visit. I am always concerned about pipes freezing when the temp drops, but maybe the newer RV’s have some magic way of preventing that. Our’s is ancient. GPS was helpful in some cases – not in others. Was not good about taking the height of our Rv into consideration (underpasses). We just ordered a small solar panel that is
for the purpose of charging cell phones.
Found that when sitting in one spot for
several days with no hook ups can be
interesting– especially when our generator was on the fritz. I think one of the best parts of our trip was the wonderful people – so helpful, so friendly – restores my faith in this country. Continue to have a great time – and continue to keep us informed
via this blog. Penny

2 Margie LundyNovember 13, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Very fun! What a neat focus too. Welcome to the road. We’ve lived on the road for 2.5 years now and still love it! The kids love learning about wherever we are. What a great idea to focus on your family history too. If you want to meet other RVing families as you travel, find fulltime families. Our kids have wonderful friends we meet up with in different states. :)

3 Pat MorganNovember 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I see by your map that the shores of Lake Erie are on your itinerary. I live in NE Ohio and at the moment the weather is just fine. If you keep an eye on the local Cleveland weather stations you should get plenty of advance warning if Mother Nature decides to get cranky. We have something called “Lake Effect” snow where the moisture comes over Lake Erie and gathers steam until it dumps tons of snow on the eastern counties – Ashtabula, Lake and Geauga in particular. The folks who live in those areas are pretty used to seeing lots of white stuff which happens until the lake freezes.

Thank you for sharing your journey with us! Pat

4 Maggie BaileyNovember 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm

You may want to think twice about the motorhome in the colder parts of the country at this time of year. I’ve been RVing since 1995 and love it, though not full time as you are doing. I’ve seen some freezing on the roads that was very frightening and without much advance notice. I commend you for taking the kids on such a trip. It will be so educational for the children. Happy hunting in finding your ancestry! Be safe. Maggie

5 Michael NelsonNovember 15, 2012 at 10:13 am

Hello Brown Family!!! COMPLETELY envious of your experience!!! AWESOME!!!! I will be following your Blog and looking forward to the amazing stories you will undoubtedly uncover… as well as the joys and challenges of travelling! Will be amazing to see the final product. Be safe and much blessing, laughter and discovery be yours! From the True North Strong & Free…eh! Michael

6 cerlida fletcherNovember 19, 2012 at 8:16 am

oh, i am so jealous that you are on this wonderful adventure. i wish you well and hope you find out lots of great info about your family. be safe and God speed.i’m in southern louisiana, much better weather down here.

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