Throughout our trip, one of the things Alyssa and I had talked about had been having our own camper. I had wanted to buy a cargo van and convert it into a small motorhome, and we had both been seeing all the various trailers and RVs on the road over the past week. It’s only fitting then, that she found an RV museum just minutes from the hotel. So, with the Fusion loaded up once more, we set off.
Jack Sisemore’s RV Museum was hidden in the back of the dealership, behind the showroom and behind the service area, but after walking inside, you’d forget you were on a dealership all together. Original campers, from the 30’s through the 70’s, were arranged and open for us to walk through. It was interesting to see how, despite the aged appearance, most of the campers would still be comfortable to use today. Surprisingly, there were a number a motorcycles on display as well, which seemed an odd thing to have in an RV museum.
After placing yet another pin on a map to show where we came from, we left the museum and decided to walk through some of the campers the dealer had for sale. Instantly we were impressed. One of the 5th wheel campers even had a fireplace. We quickly left to avoid being tempted into making an impulse buy. Some types of souvenir could fit into the car, but a camper wasn’t one of them.
As we made the drive south, our minds were on the campers. I could see how some people would sell their homes and live out of an RV. Many of the ones we had seen were nicer than apartments I had lived in. With each mile that passed, I could see the vision of touring the country in that large 5th wheel, towed by a new King Ranch edition Ford Super Duty, more clearly.
With a lunch in Lubbock, and a prolonged stop at Hobby Lobby, we were gone again, passing more of the same flat farmland we had been seeing since the previous day. Alyssa took the chance to nap while I zoned out, listening to whatever music was playing.
Some time later, we turned into the parking lot for the Commemorative Air Force museum. I didn’t know what to expect from the place. Part of me was hoping to see a large display of all the aircraft the CAF flies in the various airshows across the country, from the B-17 and B-29 bombers to the P-51 Mustang. Instead, the hangar seemed to be more of a workshop, with crates and oil pans strewn throughout the assortment of lessor known aircraft.
Two exhibits stood out from the rest, however. The first was an in-depth display on former president George H.W. Bush and his fateful mission over Chichi Jima, something I had recently read about in the book Flyboys. The second, and larger exhibit, was on aircraft nose art, with the museum displaying 33 unique panels salvaged from various wreckages, the largest collection by any single museum.
As we pulled away from the museum and set off once more, I began to reflect over the past 9 days.
When you set off on an adventure, it’s full of unknown: What will you experience? What will you see and do? How will you react? Mid-ways through, the feeling has changed into something almost like comfort as you adapt to the new lifestyle. Now, as we approached home, there was disappointment, knowing that our trip was almost at an end, and that we’d soon be returning to our daily grinds.
The GPS spoke another command, instructing me to turn right onto the street we lived on. For a moment, I thought about disobeying. What would happened if we just kept driving, if we began the adventure anew? As my realist and romantic sides battled it out, I turned the wheel and knew which had won.