Dennis Rogers and the Wiggly Pig, their home on the road, at Mountain Stream RV Park, Marion, NC, July 2007

Dennis Rogers and the Wiggly Pig, their home on the road, at Mountain Stream RV Park, Marion, NC, July 2007

We knew we were finally home when the soft sand of Carolina Beach embraced our tired feet and the warm ocean waters kissed our weary toes. We’d made it, Full time RVer Dennis Rogers said. After tens of thousands of miles in our RV – crossing and recrossing America from sea to sea and from Canada to Mexico –we’d come home to the sweet land that always held our hearts.

We shocked a lot of people, including ourselves, back in 2007 when we announced we were selling or giving away nearly everything we owned and taking up life on the road. Everybody wanted to know how long we’d be gone on our grand adventure. What they were too polite to ask was, “When are you two going to grow up and settle down?” You could hear the charming but unspoken Southernism, “Bless their hearts” lurking behind every question.

We made the transition from our sedate life in a lovely historic home in Sanford to the uncertainty of the road in less than six months. We had no plan, no goals and no bucket list of must-see places, just faith in each other and a burning curiosity to see what was around the next curve. We’d spent our working lives going toe-to-toe with deadline demons and now our time was our own. We would rush, dawdle, meander, roam, kill time or make time as it suited us.

We fell in love with Las Cruces, N.M.; Missoula, Mont.; Madison, Wis.; Breaux Bridge, La.; Apalachicola, Fla.; and Fairhope, Ala. The quirky artists of Bisbee, Ariz., and Silver City, N.M., the public murals of tiny Colquitt, Ga., and the roughhewn cowboy style of Cody and Sheridan, Wyo. all charmed us. We won’t soon forget Great Falls, Mont., and Adrian, Minn., and dozens of little towns all across this country. We came to appreciate our native land in ways deeper and more intense than we thought possible.

The thought of coming off the road began to grow last winter, and as we considered what it would be like to live in the places we’d so enjoyed.

We haven’t seen it all, but we have seen enough to know that no matter where we’ve roamed, the people we’ve met and experiences we’ve had, North Carolina always was and always will be home. It is here our families were born, lived and are buried. It is here our histories took root, where friends have waited for us, where our drifting dreams first took wing and our future, whatever it holds, will be played out.

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