We have been planning the trip for years. Well, not really. We have been talking about it for years. So much so that I think my wife, Julie, just gave into the idea and agreed to this crazy adventure.

We don’t have much of a plan. We know that we are going from the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific ocean, with our two youngest daughters, in our Volvo SUV and a pop-up in tow. Beyond that, who knows where we will end up.

My wife says that turning 50 is a real milestone in a person’s life. I guess. All I know is that I have been able to turn this birthday into an excuse to do some things I have been wanting to do for a while. In March, she agreed to let me go on a trip with my best friend. No big deal, right? Except this trip was different. Kevin and I walked into the airport in Orlando on a Saturday morning, and let the airline ticket sales person choose our destination. We ended up in Dallas, Texas that night. We did it again the next day, and were off to San Jose, California. By the time we got back home, we had been around the country in less than a week, seeing places I had never seen before. It was great.

Next comes the classic American road trip. All in the name of my fiftieth birthday, right? We talked about it all year. We never did much planning. Things have been too busy. When it came time to buy a pop-up, I think it hit Julie that I was actually planning on us taking the trip. After all, it is my fiftieth birthday this year, right?

So in May we bought a pop-up camper. We have done some camping in tents. But this was our first experience with a camper. We bought the pop-up specifically for this trip. I am sure that over the course of the next month, I will explain why we chose the one we did, and our experience. But, for now let me continue the story. When we bought the pop-up we intended to camp in it at least twice before the big trip; once to find out what we didn’t know, and didn’t know we needed. And then a second time to make sure we corrected whatever issues arose the first time.

So much for that plan. We recently decided for me to change jobs. So we spent May packing and June moving. We never got the chance to take the pop-up out for a spin. Our first night in it will be in Colorado. We will figure it out, I am sure.

The only plans we have are a one week reservation at Yellowstone National Park, and a one week reservation at the Grand Canyon National Park. Each reservation is a few weeks apart. That’s it. The rest is winging it. We plan to be gone for five weeks, living in campgrounds mostly. Wi-Fi and cell service will likely be the major challenges. We will see.

So as I write this, it is Friday evening, July 6, 2018. We are moved into our new house. But, everything, and I do mean everything, is in boxes. I can’t even find my underwear. We registered the pop-up today and got a tag. One less thing on the list of to-do items. While we have been making steady progress, we were supposed to leave today at 5 pm for this 5-week adventure. We didn’t make it. Maybe tomorrow.

Follow us on our summer odyssey, and learn from our mistakes so you can plan your next traveling adventure.