Despite skyrocketing gas prices, the Herzog family has taken to the roads for a 66-day, sightseeing extravaganza in a motor home.
Every year Brad Herzog spends almost an entire year planning for the family summer vacation. This week they stopped in Salt Lake City on their way back to California, where they live 10 months out of the year. They travel by motor home, sightseeing and gaining perspective and ideas for Herzog's next book, article or blog post.
Herzog has been recognized for his two travel memoirs, "States of Mind" and "Small World." Both books are first-person accounts of the people, the places and the concepts Herzog is introduced to through his travels.
"Traveling gets me to the nooks and crannies," said Herzog. "That's where the great stories are."
The Herzog family was selected by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association as the national "Explore America" family. They travel cross-country promoting RV travel, and reminding Americans that going across the world to have a memorable vacation is not necessary.
Luke, 7, and Jesse, 6, were thrilled with their trip to the Cave of the Winds in Colorado Springs. Luke fondly remembers the trip as "the best day of our lives."
While the boys enjoyed the cave, Brad Herzog was more impressed with the more subtle aspects of the trip. He described their Independence Day hike to the top of Pike's Peak. At the peak it began to snow, but Herzog said the real anomaly was the "snowbow" that appeared.
"It's those kinds of things that you'll remember," said Brad Herzog.
Traveling cross-country with two rambunctious boys for 66 days may seem like more fun than it is worth, but Amy and Brad Herzog explain that all things are possible in a motor home. The boys are strapped into their comfortable couch directly across from their big screen TV. They also have a box full of books and activities.
"Kids do better with routine," Amy Herzog explained. Traveling in the motor home, as opposed to staying in hotels, helps the family keep to their routine. With the kitchen facilities, they are able to eat what they would normally eat at home. They can even sleep on the same bed every night, which helps the kids feel more comfortable.
And the trip is not about spending money and giving kids a fun summer vacation. It is "education disguised as entertainment," Brad Herzog said. "It's one thing to read about the Alamo. It's another thing to see the bullet holes in the rock."Brad Herzog recognized that with the current economy, a 66-day holiday may be unrealistic for most. But he noted that RVs can be rented. And sometimes it is not about where you go, or how long, but that you go. Amy Herzog said that being with the family, and away from the day-to-day routine of life, is what makes "RVing" appealing.