Epic Solo Journey (Part I)

Nov 7, 2022 | 0 comments

Yep! That’s me in the middle of this classic camping picture. I was always ready for the next adventure.

The Inspiration

Last year I decided to get a camper. Maybe more than wanted one, I needed one. Since I was going through some major life transitions and wanted to get away on a solo trip this seemed like the perfect solution for me, inspiring this epic journey.

Having always loved camping, when I retired in 2021 I began considering living full-time in an RV. I knew a long trip was what I needed to help me discover if this was a possibility for me.  

My decision to get a camper led to research for one that would be easy to tow, but big enough to be comfortable for a long period with two dogs.  With the help of the Girl Camper community, I got ideas and found the confidence to turn my dream into reality. 

Let’s Do This!

New to me tow vehicle Towanda and camper Gypsy Spirit all ready for an epic solo journey
Towanda and Gypsy Spirit

Enter Gypsy Spirit, a new-to-me 2003 Casita Spirit Deluxe, and Towanda, my 2021 Toyota 4 Runner TRD Off Road. They are like a match made in heaven, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.  

Turning My Dream Into Reality

I began planning my trip on paper, which I affectionately titled “Epic Nor’easter”.Then I discovered some great apps to help keep me organized. I can’t say enough good things about the one I used the most: RV Parky. It helped me easily map out my trip, find camping spots, and even keep track of mileage and fuel costs.  

My Adventure Begins

My camper all ready to roll on our epic journey
Ready to Roll

I  plotted my journey with the visit to southwest Michigan in mind. Along the way, I found opportunities to visit friends and family. 

I pulled out of my driveway on June 19th headed for Falling Waters State Park, in Chipley, Florida, the halfway point to Jacksonville. It was an awesome experience despite my flat tire on the way, resulting in a nighttime arrival.  

Falling Waters State Park Entrance, first stop on our journey
Falling Waters State Park

I met some amazing campground hosts at this park and was introduced to the camp-hosting community. They urged me to look into this as a way to stay at campgrounds, meet many people, and save on my stay. 

I got underway again after two nights to my other east coast stays which were at Kathryn Abby Hanna Park, Myrtle Beach State Park, First Landing State Park, and Tall Pines Campground. 

Welcome to Hanna Park Campground
Hanna Park Entrance

I enjoyed all of these parks! I especially loved Hanna park, South Carolina State Park, and First Landing State Park since they were right on the Atlantic Ocean. 

Family Time

I was fortunate to be able to spend some time with my family in Virginia Beach. We explored and had lots of fun together, took silly pictures, walked the beaches, and relaxed.

Family fun time in Virginia Beach part of my epic journey
Fun with my Family

Westward Bound 

Michigan, lovingly known as “The Mitten” was my intended destination for a more extended stay.   

On the way, I decided to make a stop in Pennsylvania to visit with my family a bit more and to see some of my friends there. 

I ended up staying in my family’s driveway for a while before leaving for Michigan. It was great seeing them again despite a setback with a minor illness. Thank goodness for family! 

When I left their home I met one of my best friends, in one of her favorite campgrounds. We spent a wonderful weekend together before I departed for The Mitten. 

Selfie with my BFF Sue midway through my epic journey




It was great visiting Pennsylvania, but I was eager to get to Michigan. By now, I had been on the road for nearly a month. My intended time there was with another of my best friends staying in her home. 

Between Pennsylvania and Michigan, I stopped in the Sandusky Ohio area. Since I only spent one night I didn’t even unhook my camper.  

Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie makes this epic journey look great
Marblehead Light

My trip the next day was worthwhile as I traveled the Lake Erie Scenic byway. I visited the Marblehead Lighthouse, checked out the Sandusky amusement park across the lake, and then got on our way. 

It was a long trip, but exploring made it feel so much easier. The excitement to get to Michigan helped too.

Thanks for reading about my trip. There’s more, so make sure to check out part two coming up.

See ya on the open road!

Connect with me! 

Phyllis Dufrene 


[email protected] 


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