Truck Camper Magazine Blog

Road Magic

Here are the reader responses to last week’s Question of the Week, “Do you believe in Road Magic?”.

“Road Magic happens!  There’s no explanation for it and there’s no one single expression that says it all.  But you know it when you encounter it.  It’s magic.  You feel a little more joy than usual.  A notch of contentment, just above the normal state of happy.  You look out over the vast plains, see the huge mountains in the distance and your chest gives out a sigh.  It’s just about too much to bear for a human heart, this magical state of being.” – Ronald Bosch

“Road Magic happens for me when I’m about a week into a trip.  Life on the road goes into a rhythm.  The things I seem to need at home fall away and at that point I can go on for months.  Walking the dog in the morning, relaxing after a long drive, listening to music while cooking, sitting out and watching the stars and moon come in, and getting up to a sunrise are all very special to me.” – Al Stebbins

“My wife and I just had one of those moments on US50 in Utah, the loneliest road in America. You can watch the clip above.  We were in month three of our 9,600 mile journey in our Eagle Cap 1150 headed west to Great Basin National Park.  We had many moments of Road Magic on our trip including an attack by a road rogue wave.  But that’s another story.” – Gary Lech, Monroe, Oregon

“This is kind of a different example of Road Magic.  In the late 1980s when the kids were young, we were on our way home to California from a week stay visiting grandparents in Oklahoma.  We were about half way between Phoenix and Quartzite, Arizona and it was about 9:30 at night.  The engine blew in our 1974 Dodge Power Wagon.  We had an eight foot 1976 Six-Pack fully self contained camper.  This was in the days before cell phones.  Less than five minutes after pulling to the side of the road, a tow truck came along that was big enough to tow us.  He towed us to a shop in Quartzite.  He unplugged the sign to the shop and let us connect the camper so we had some power for lights etc.  We found out the nearest phones were about twenty-five miles away and they happened to be disconnected at that time.  To me that was Road Magic; not having to wait for a tow and getting to a place to fix the truck and give us free electricity for our short stay.” – David O’Brien, California

“Anyone that has traveled in any type of RV knows that Road Magic is at the very next stop.  I learned this very early in my camping life.  I was in the U.S. Coast Guard in Baltimore, Maryland and my older brother was in the Navy in San Diego.  My parents were living in Buffalo, New York and were about to take a cross country trip in their Airstream to visit my brother.  I took thirty days of leave to join them on the trip.  This was in 1968.

We stayed in campgrounds every night and each night a neighbor or two would ask, “Where are you from?” or “Where are you headed?”.  This was usually followed by their recommendation on what we should see in the direction that we were headed the next morning.  Until now I had no idea what the RV life was all about.  I was one of five kids and we were all spread out so the Airstream was my parents way of visiting all of us.  Believe me, my parents were not the camping type but they loved their Airstream and put it to good use.

In October of 1969, I was discharged from the U.S.C.G. and had such fond memories of our road trip to San Diego the year before that I went right out and bought a pickup truck.  A few weeks later, I bought a truck camper.  That was all I could really afford at the time.  I was in my mid-twenties, single, no debt, no job, and plenty of money from the military, so off I went with no real plan just to see America and use my brother’s place in San Diego kind of as my turn around spot.

Each night in a campground I was advised of local sites and attractions that I must see while I was so close or what I will be passing within a few days and I must take the time to stop and enjoy the sites.  I lived this on the road, off the road life in my camper for four and a half years before I returned home to get a real job and use my camper on weekends.  One cannot avoid Road Magic unless they never step out of their camper and talk to another person.  Safe travels.” – Tom Fallon, New Hampshire

“You bet we believe in Road Magic!  We saw two moose at Two Moose Lake.  We saw an elephant in Northern Yukon.  We saw Denali on a sunny day.  We took a fourteen hour ferry trip without changing countries.  We were in a sand storm in Nevada.  We were stuck in a snow storm in June in Montana.  We saw the sunrise and the sunset on the same day on the same island.  We have traveled more then 150,000 with our Northern Lite Magic Camper.  We met Angela and Gordon on a trip to Everglades National Park.” – Jake and Sylvie Mathis

“I definitely believe in Road Magic!  While camping on the coast of Oregon, I happened to be the only person down on the beach, exploring the tide pools around the hay stacks (big rocks) until one other person came hiking down.  We ended up talking, sharing stories about great places to camp, and then we watched the sunset that evening.  The next day, after touring the local lighthouse, we each went our separate ways.  That was in 1992 and he and I have kept in touch ever since, and have visited each other many times.  Pretty special, I’d say!” – Cheryl Lane, New Hampshire


“I enjoyed the Road Magic story from the Rivers!  It seems that we can find a little magic in every trip.  We live in South West Missouri, and last July it was hot so we made a quick escape plan to get some heat relief.  We loaded our camper, put the dogs in the truck and we were off looking for cooler weather.  We drove across Kansas in over 100 degree temperature the first day, and stopped that evening a Lakin, Kansas.  We found a city park just south of town on a previous trip, so we pulled in for a night’s rest!

It was 105 degrees, so electric was welcome to run the much needed air conditioner.  The rates had changed from $5 to $10 per night; a bargain when it was 105 degrees!  We left early the next morning and drove to La Veta, Colorado, where it was much cooler and we felt we were going to live.  La Veta is in Southern Colorado on the beginning of Sangre De Cristo range.  We stayed at Two Fox cabins.  They have a few campsites in the back by a small creek.  Our hosts had just bought the place and were working very hard to clean it up.  If you needed a shower, they would give you a key to a cabin.  It was nice.  By the way they also had WiFi.

We walked a couple of blocks to the downtown, and we noticed the depot had some people milling around, so we joined the crowd.  Now, this is the Road Magic part.  They have a train ride that takes you up to the summit of the pass and the next day they were having a concert at the summit!  We, being seniors, got tickets for $20 each.  We chose to take the trip to the summit and return to La Veta because we left our dogs in the camper.   We rode up on a diesel engine.  The return was on a steam engine.  The return trip featured the original City of New Orleans Club Car.  How cool is that?  It was a great half day trip.  The train had food, drinks and Cowboy Bob played his guitar and sang cowboy songs.

La Veta is a great walking town with lots to see.  Keep an eye open for the deer; they are everywhere.  We spent several days in Colorado.  It was sure nice to wake up with 40 degree temperatures.  It was a great Road Magic trip.” – Jim and Judy Holyfield, Missouri

“My wife and I were driving through Yellowstone Park on our way to Cody, Wyoming.  After stopping for lunch by the lake, we headed out going up a small grade with a turn in it.  I notice a woman waving from out of her car window at me.  I told my wife that she is either being friendly, or there was a problem ahead.  There sure was a problem ahead.

A two ton buffalo was headed down the road coming right at us!  I had to stop.  I wanted to go around him because it was evident that he was not going to move.  My problem was that people on the other side of the road were stopping to take pictures, and of course the buffalo was still coming towards me.  I tried to get the people to speed up and get out of the way by waving my arm, and telling them to move along, but that was not working.

Finally, a driver on the other side, behind the buffalo, stopped and waved me on.  That was none too soon because that buffalo was about to do battle with a Ram, a Dodge Ram that is, and something tells me the Ram would have lost!” – Al Cerf,  South Dakota/Arizona


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