Lollygagger@massive: Adventures await travel-starved RVers

Gary and Barbara Pouliot was glad campers.

At this time, 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 Excursions. The corporate and its founder, onetime Somers resident Rod Coe, have been featured in a Lollygagger@massive column revealed by The Republican in June.

“We have now by no means executed a caravan, so we’re very excited to tour with Yankee,” Barb Pouliot stated.

They weren’t alone. Coe stated 135 adventure-hungry RVers – masked and respectfully distanced, after all – turned out for the tour firm’s annual reunion and orientation at Southern Palms RV Resort in Eustis, about 40 miles northwest of Orlando.

“We signed on for 3 caravans,” Gary Pouliot stated. The primary journey, scheduled July and August, will take them by the American Northwest, what he known as “our dream vacation spot.” The itinerary spans 35 days, beginning at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and following sections of the Mormon and Oregon trails to the Pacific Coast.

The couple additionally signed up for 2 occasions in 2022: a six-day RV rally in January at Cape Canaveral, Florida, which is able to embody excursions of Kennedy House Heart; and in September, they’ll embark on a 20-day caravan by the American Southwest, touring nationwide parks and scenic wonders in Arizona, Utah and Colorado.

Gary Pouliot is 65, a brawny man with a delicate spirit. His spouse, a yr youthful, possesses a prepared and prepared humorousness.

Barb was Barbara Stevenson when her household lived in East Springfield. She attended Pottenger Elementary, Van Sickle Junior Excessive and Technical Excessive colleges.

Gary grew up within the Liberty Heights neighborhood of Springfield, off Carew Road. He attended Liberty Elementary, Van Sickle Junior Excessive and Commerce Excessive colleges.

“We grew up collectively,” Barb Pouliot stated. “We met at Van Sickle Junior Excessive the place we grew to become childhood sweethearts.” They have been married in 1975 at Our Girl of Hope Church, the place their households have been communicants.

After marriage, Barb was a stay-at-home mother and offered take care of a number of different youngsters. Later, she labored for Filene’s at Eastfield Mall and Louis & Clark Pharmacy.

Gary was employed by Ferrara Spring Works in Springfield, then joined the Carpenters Union Native 108. He labored on building initiatives within the Springfield space, then spent 23 years with Unwinn Overhead Doorways in Chicopee. He retired in 2012, and he and Barb took up residence in Alva, Florida, 18 miles northeast of Fort Myers.

The Pouliots’ enthusiasm for RVing reveals on their faces and of their speech as they recall greater than 40 years of tenting adventures.

“We began tenting in 1980,” Barb stated, when the younger Pouliots have been ages 5, 3 and a pair of. “We tent-camped and in addition slept at the back of pickup truck.” Gary, she recalled, had “made a plywood mattress that he put up on high rails of the truck the place the children slept. We slept on flooring of truck mattress with the canine. It was a terrific and cheap technique to go and have a lot of enjoyable.”

The subsequent generations of Pouliot campers embody daughter Jeannine Pouliot Duquette and her husband, Ben, who stay in Springfield with daughters Anissa and Mikayla, and son Gary Pouliot, his spouse, Stephanie, and their son, Jordan, who stay in Ludlow. Daughter Kathryn Pouliot and her daughters Chloe and Kelsy stay within the Three Rivers part of Palmer.

Via 4 a long time of tenting, the Pouliots have been by a half-dozen RVs, together with a transformed van, two journey trailers, a small motorhome, massive motorhome, and a 60-foot-long park mannequin on Cape Cod, the place they “spent tons time with grandchildren,” Barb stated.

The Pouliots now journey in a 23-foot-long MPG journey trailer; the producer states that the identify is derived from making extra “Reminiscences Per Gallon.” Gary Pouliot emphasizes that the MPG “will most likely not be our final” RV.

Barb stated she prefers to journey in an RV “as a result of it’s the best technique to simply calm down.” Gary stated he enjoys the life-style as a result of “it’s the most effective and solely technique to see the whole lot and also you meet the best folks. … We plan on RVing ‘til we are able to’t drive anymore.”

Norm Roy, a retired copy editor for The Republican, lives and travels in a motorhome. He’s keen to listen to from readers about their very own journey adventures. His e-mail handle is:

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