Lollygagger@substantial: Adventures await vacation-starved RVers

Gary and Barbara Pouliot applied to be satisfied campers.

Nowadays, the Springfield natives are wildly enthusiastic RVers.

Our paths crossed in January at a Florida gathering of vacationers signing up for caravans sponsored by Yankee RV Tours. The enterprise and its founder, onetime Somers resident Rod Coe, had been showcased in a Lollygagger@massive column posted by The Republican in June.

“We have by no means finished a caravan, so we are really thrilled to tour with Yankee,” Barb Pouliot explained.

They weren’t by itself. Coe said 135 journey-hungry RVers – masked and respectfully distanced, of program – turned out for the tour company’s annual reunion and orientation at Southern Palms RV Resort in Eustis, about 40 miles northwest of Orlando.

“We signed on for three caravans,” Gary Pouliot stated. The initially vacation, scheduled July and August, will just take them by way of the American Northwest, what he referred to as “our dream location.” The itinerary spans 35 days, commencing at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and adhering to sections of the Mormon and Oregon trails to the Pacific Coastline.

The pair also signed up for two activities in 2022: a 6-working day RV rally in January at Cape Canaveral, Florida, which will include things like excursions of Kennedy Space Center and in September, they’ll embark on a 20-working day caravan by means of the American Southwest, touring nationwide parks and scenic miracles in Arizona, Utah and Colorado.

Gary Pouliot is 65, a brawny male with a light spirit. His wife, a year youthful, possesses a prepared and prepared sense of humor.

Barb was Barbara Stevenson when her family members lived in East Springfield. She attended Pottenger Elementary, Van Sickle Junior Substantial and Specialized Large faculties.

Gary grew up in the Liberty Heights community of Springfield, off Carew Street. He attended Liberty Elementary, Van Sickle Junior Superior and Trade Large educational institutions.

“We grew up together,” Barb Pouliot claimed. “We met at Van Sickle Junior Significant the place we grew to become childhood sweethearts.” They had been married in 1975 at Our Woman of Hope Church, where their people were communicants.

Soon after marriage, Barb was a continue to be-at-property mother and supplied treatment for a number of other youngsters. Afterwards, she labored for Filene’s at Eastfield Mall and Louis & Clark Pharmacy.

Gary was employed by Ferrara Spring Functions in Springfield, then joined the Carpenters Union Neighborhood 108. He worked on building tasks in the Springfield area, then invested 23 several years with Unwinn Overhead Doorways in Chicopee. He retired in 2012, and he and Barb took up home in Alva, Florida, 18 miles northeast of Fort Myers.

The Pouliots’ enthusiasm for RVing displays on their faces and in their speech as they remember extra than 40 years of camping adventures.

“We started off camping in 1980,” Barb said, when the youthful Pouliots ended up ages 5, 3 and 2. “We tent-camped and also slept in the back of pickup truck.” Gary, she recalled, had “made a plywood mattress that he set up on best rails of the truck where by the youngsters slept. We slept on ground of truck mattress with the canine. It was a wonderful and cheap way to go and have loads of fun.”

The following generations of Pouliot campers include things like daughter Jeannine Pouliot Duquette and her partner, Ben, who dwell in Springfield with daughters Anissa and Mikayla, and son Gary Pouliot, his wife, Stephanie, and their son, Jordan, who are living in Ludlow. Daughter Kathryn Pouliot and her daughters Chloe and Kelsy are living in the Three Rivers part of Palmer.

By four a long time of tenting, the Pouliots have been by way of a 50 percent-dozen RVs, including a converted van, two travel trailers, a smaller motorhome, substantial motorhome, and a 60-foot-long park design on Cape Cod, in which they “spent lots time with grandchildren,” Barb explained.

The Pouliots now travel in a 23-foot-extensive MPG travel trailer the maker states that the identify is derived from earning much more “Memories For every Gallon.” Gary Pouliot emphasizes that the MPG “will probably not be our last” RV.

Barb claimed she prefers to travel in an RV “because it is the biggest way to just rest.” Gary explained he enjoys the life style since “it’s the best and only way to see every little thing and you satisfy the best individuals. … We system on RVing ‘til we can’t push any more.”

Norm Roy, a retired duplicate editor for The Republican, lives and travels in a motorhome. He is keen to listen to from audience about their individual travel adventures. His e-mail tackle is: [email protected]