Tracy Ruckman’s Big Adventure

My good friend, Tracy Ruckman, along with her husband Tim, set off on the adventure of a lifetime last year. I kept up with their journey via her blog and social media posts, and I have to say, she certainly kept my attention!

So, of course, I was excited to learn she’d written a book about their experiences. I interviewed her just in time for the release of Go West, His Momma Said.

 

“Go West, His Momma Said” – Great title! What’s the story behind the title?

Tracy: My husband Tim inspired the title. He loves to tell people that all his life, his mother always said, “Go West, young man,” but then he married me, and I took him east instead (when we moved from Alabama to Georgia.) This trip was finally following his momma’s orders.

Many of us desire to “take to the road” and seek adventure. What spurred your decision to do it?

Tim and I have dreamed of going on the road since we got married, and even independently since we were kids. On December 26, 2018, we got some difficult news and realized that many changes were ahead of us. We started toying with the idea of traveling again and realized that, at the ages of 71 and 55, time played a crucial role in our doing this now or never. We decided ‘never’ was not an option, so we began selling or giving away almost all our belongings, packed a few things into storage, and set off on January 8, 2019. We spent 189 days tent camping our way around the country – 36 states, more than 25,000 miles.

Most adventures also include adversity. It’s the unknown factor that makes the experience a true adventure. Can you share a moment like that with us?

Tracy: In some ways, it seems like our whole trip was filled with adversity, because we were tent camping in the winter! We didn’t have an RV, we didn’t have any savings, we didn’t have a plan, or even a destination. We just packed up our SUV with camping gear and took one day at a time. We saw God’s hand on us the whole way, though. We didn’t have one bit of car trouble – none at all – no accidents, flat tires, faulty belts. God gets all the credit for every bit of that.

Our biggest challenge was the weather – we spent much of the first three months trying to dodge the cold. Texas winds took out our tent in our first ten days on the road – broke two tent poles and ripped one of the walls, and we were in it at the time!

Somewhere along the way, I also developed an irrational fear of mountains. I haven’t had any bad experiences with mountains, but on the road, I became fearful of driving in them. I still haven’t conquered that fear completely, but on the second leg of our trip, the mountain fears weren’t quite as bad.

What is the greatest positive you gained from this journey?

Tracy: As I compiled this book, I was amazed at all we saw in such a short time. Go West, His Momma Said is only the first half of our journey, and I’m still amazed by it. I know we could have done things differently (better, slower) than we did – but we actually made this trip, even with our limited resources and planning. Now, when I hear a town name mentioned on the news or in a book, I can recall the terrain, the people, the personality of the place, and say, “We’ve been there.”

What would you like to share with any of our readers who may be considering a similar experience?

Tracy: Don’t wait for perfect circumstances to make your dreams reality. We kept waiting, thinking, hoping we’d have an RV or a pile of savings to travel with, but we could never make those things happen. We just decided to take the LEAP and go. In fact, we dubbed ourselves the LEAPFROGs, which means: Leaving Everything Always Praying Fully Relying on God. We did just that and He proved reliable every hop of our journey.

Click-to-Tweet: Don’t wait for perfect circumstances to make your dreams reality. Tracy Ruckman’s Big Adventure! #travel #camping #travelogues


Tracy Ruckman is an author, artist, and book publisher. Her book, Go West, His Momma Said, detailing the first leg of the Ruckman’s tent-camping journey released January 8 and is available on Amazon. Tracy’s artwork is available for purchase on FineArt America. She loves to connect, and invites you to follow her online:

Website

Amazon Author Page

FineArt America Art Page

TMPixArt blog

Facebook Author Page

Buy the Book at Amazon [Kindle Version] 

Road Trip Dreams

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, Thursday morning friends! I hope you’re enjoying a lovely morning. You’ve almost made it through the week by now, and we’re well on our way toward Spring. In the northern hemisphere, anyway.

I was scrolling through my posts when I happened upon one that I love—Midwinter Daydreams—filled with “not my shoes, not my feet” photos. It was a popular post. I thought I’d do another one and call it…well, you already know what I called it. 🙂 I hope you enjoy this latest version.

Pour another cup and enjoy!

These are not my shoes, and these are not my feet, but this is the perfect photo for spring. Any day now, we’ll see beautiful blooms in the landscape. This is definitely something I would love to do. Biking on a warm spring day, and I would not be alone.

These are not my shoes, and not my feet, but don’t you love those quirky boots! This is definitely something I would do. Take off the shoes and enjoy the feel of grass and blooms on my bare feet!

These are not my shoes, not my feet! But I love hiking through forests and fields, climbing mountains, finding new paths. One with nature. Observing nature, listening to the sounds, breathing the fresh air. I’m ready to go.

These are not my shoes, or my feet, but this is my summertime uniform. I LIVE in sandals. I’ve never really been a flip-flop girl. I buy walking sandals, because I go everywhere in them. I respect the health of my feet. 🙂

And red is one of my favorite colors! I could walk a lot of miles in these and look great in the process.

[Click to Tweet] Too often, we spend the winter months sitting somewhere. We may be hard at work, but our body suffers from lack of exercise.

We need to get out there and walk, run, bike, hike, and play. Spring sunshine draws me outside.

Where can we go this summer?

These are not my shoes, not my feet, but it looks like fun, doesn’t it? Wherever our plans take us, adventure awaits.

Ahhh…yes. Definitely my kind of spot to leave “not my shoes”. I hope you’ve enjoyed our little excursion. If you’ve managed to stay with me this far, I’d like to issue a little challenge, or maybe just a request. As you go out and about this spring and summer, snap a photo of your feet and/or shoes.

Share them with me on my Facebook page, or at Instagram. You’ll find the links below. Who knows, maybe I’ll feature them on another post. Hmm…what should the title be?

Facebook: betty.owens.author

Instagram: batowens

Up the Down Side

Happy Fourth of July!

Fireworks! Yay!

Fireworks. Yawn. Every night for a week before and after the fourth. Diminished sleep. Dogs freaking out. Are those mortar rounds? Really?

Have you ever noticed? There’s a down side to everything.

Yes, it’s summer. I love summer. Downside? Hot. Humid.

Upside? Take a look–

Homemade stuff. Yum!
Gorgeousness!

Downside…yeah, well, they have a purpose, too. As long as they stay on their side of the screen, I’m okay.

We’ve had a mild summer so far, but I know the heat and humidity are…

Just around the corner…

It’s not really that bad in Kentucky. Some days it’s more like a swamp (without the alligators). Air so thick, you can slice it with a knife. Monsoon-like rain, coming up from the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical storms. Hurricane remnants.

Upside? Oh, yes. →

 

 

 

I don’t know, looks like to me, the upside far outweighs the downside. Bright, sunshine-filled days. Birds singing. Squirrels frolicking in the yard.

Yeah, well, that could pretty much happen any time of year here in Kentucky.

Here’s just a few of my favorite summery things:

  • Summer festivals
  • picnics!
  • produce stands
  • swimming holes
  • long hikes through the woods
  • walking the ped-bridge over the Ohio River

I think maybe, just maybe, the way to go is not to look for a downside at all. Maybe just look up. Enjoy the view. Live like it’s summer all the time. OK, maybe that would be hard if you live in Minnesota or Wisconsin. But you can find an upside to every downside if you try.

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.–Psalm 5:3 NKJV

What’s your favorite thing about summer? What makes your heart sing on a brilliant sunny day?

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