The 1969 Dodge Travco That Started it All

Two years ago we started the Baby Boomer Adventures blog based on the purchase of a 1969 Dodge Travco we found on craiglist in Tennessee. It was turquoise blue and white, both classic and a little corny, with a lot of rough edges and even more potential. It was the perfect throwback to the baby boomer generation and the launch pad for new careers as the “voice of the boomer generation”. We had visions of plastering our web address down both sides, loading up the dogs, some video cameras and editing equipment, and traveling the U.S. in our awesome new “Boomer Mobile” chasing baby boomers and their adventures from coast to coast.

It took six months to get the Travco registered after we discovered it had no vehicle identification number, then Michael left for the RV Training Center in Florida for nine weeks. Two weeks after he left, I broke my ankle so severely that I was in bed for two months and have only recently become mobile enough to tackle the interior restoration, and our grand plan to conquer the world in a 1969 Travco was replaced by the inescapable realization that a 27 foot Dodge Travco was never going to accommodate two adults, two cats and three dogs no matter how grand our dreams.

Because Michael has been working almost non stop as a mobile RV technician when he isn’t working as a whitewater raft guide on the French Broad River, it fell to me to begin the restoration myself. I pulled up all the old carpet, cleaned and refinished all the wood work, cut and stained new wood panels and all the baseboard, reupholstered the banquet seats, made new curtains, and with the leftover fabric, made a quilt and matching throw pillows, and replaced all the carpeting. We will be putting the Travco up for sale just as soon as Michael has had the chance to test all the operating systems, including the generator, water pump, heating and air conditioning.

We hope someone out there sees in the “Boomer Mobile” what we did, and they can put it to good use on some awesome camping trips around the U.S. We haven’t given up on the dream of becoming the voice of the boomer generation, but we need to do it in an RV that has room for our menagerie, a Harley Davidson, an editing bay, and a future big enough to accommodate all the living we have left to do.

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Dioptics Solar Shield Sunglasses and Why I Like Them

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I got my first pair of prescription glasses when I was in second grade, which isn’t surprising, since I come from a long line of people who are as blind as bats. We couldn’t afford prescription sunglasses when I was growing up, so I spent most of my childhood squinting to block out the glare, or wearing sunglasses with my prescription glasses.  It was an unwieldy combination, to say the least, and made me look even geekier than I already was.

I recently had the opportunity to “test drive” a new pair of sunglasses by Dioptics Solar Shield, who provided me with a free sample through the Vibrant Influencer Network. I had my choice of which of several styles I wanted to try, so I selected the Sport version because I figured, if I was going to put my neck out to see what I thought of this new product, then I was going to be as tough on these new glasses as humanly possible. Plus, I live with someone who is a whitewater raft guide, a zipline guide, an RV technician and an independent contractor in the construction business, so I had an ace in the hole when it came to putting these Dioptic Solar Shield Sport sunglasses to the test.

The Sports model fits over prescription glasses, and because they are designed to cover your own glasses seamlessly, the problem of having old fashioned flip-up lenses that aren’t the same size or shape is immediately eliminated. Michael has a big face, and wears big glasses; I wear prescription reading glasses that can be folded up and put in a tube, yet we both felt the glasses covered our own evenly without adding any additional bulk. The frames are hard plastic with vents on the top and bottom to prevent your own glasses from steaming up, and they are designed to grip the sides of your head comfortably so they don’t fall off during strenuous activity.

The thing we both liked best about the glasses however were the polar optics. Even though these are not wildly expensive sunglasses, the lenses are clear, and because they have a larger field of vision than more traditional sunglasses (the glasses have a “wrap-around” effect with little side “windows” that protect the sides of your eyes from the sun as well) there is no distortion, so whether I am outside reading on the porch, or he is standing on a platform fifty feet off the ground clipping people onto a zipline, it’s easy to see what you are doing.

The glasses also provide UV protection, which seems like a dumb thing to say about sunglasses, but when you consider the design and how it covers your eyes more completely than traditional sunglasses, you not only have a product that protects your entire eye area, but you get to look like a movie star while you are doing it! I really think the folks at Dioptic have thought of everything when it comes to these sunglasses, so if you would like more information, check out Dioptic Solar Shields at www.solarshield.com.

And Now, a Word From Our Sponsors….

 

raftingThe first baby boomers were born in 1946 when the average lifespan in this country was 66.7 years old. That didn’t give anyone a lot of time to grow up, get married, raise kids, work a 9 to 5 job and retire before it was all over.  Anyone born in 1946 reached retirement age on January 1, 2011, and 10,000 people a day, every day, for the next 19 years, will turn 65.  Today’s baby boomers will live to their eighties and beyond, and it’s estimated that by 2050, there will be 3.8 million people on the planet over the age of 100.

Yet only a handful of companies recognize that this new wave of consumers are hungry for the kinds of adventures they have waited their whole lives to experience.  Baby boomers are turning to adventure travel in droves, and that is why we have designed a unique program to allow baby boomers of any age to become whitewater raft guides, with an exciting four day intensive raft program on the French Broad River in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina!

This accelerated program will dive headlong into a series of whitewater training exercises combined with a classroom education, to teach everything from proper inflation techniques to the basic uses of ropes and riggings, to paddle commands, ferry angles for crossing currents, how to get a raft unstuck from rocks, and swimming techniques in swift water.  Participants will have the chance to guide a trip at the end of training, and the festivities will conclude with an awards ceremony at the Hot Springs Campground with a full Southern barbeque.

Whether you are looking to improve your existing whitewater raft skills, or you want to take the grandkids boating, French Broad Rafting Expeditions Fantasy Raft Adventures is the accelerated learning experience for you.  Class sizes are limited to a total of 12 students to provide each participant with the opportunity to practice their whitewater raft skills on Class Two, Three and Four rapids on one of the oldest rivers in the world, surrounded by breathtaking scenery in one of the most celebrated parts of the country.   Asheville was recently named one of the top five places to live based on our commitment to sustainable living, organic farm to table culinary experiences, the arts, and a beer culture that is second to none.  Oh, yeah, and we have the Biltmore Estate as well!

Participants in this program will be provided with all necessary raft gear, from personal flotation devices to helmets and paddles.   Coffee and pastries will be provided each morning before departure and every lesson comes with a full lunch at the covered pavilion.  Transportation to and from your accommodations to the outpost will not be provided, however all transportation from the outpost to the put in and the take out will be provided along with the bus trip back from Hot Springs Campground on Monday afternoon.  Travel and other accommodations are not included in the cost of this package, but we will be happy to provide recommendations for hotels and rental properties as well as restaurants, spas, shopping, and other activities.

Total cost of the four day intensive Fantasy Raft Guide School is $750 per person.   Participation is incumbent upon the number of people who enroll.  We need a minimum of ten participants per class, so if classes do not full up, your deposit will be refunded in full.  You must know how to swim and be in good health in order to be able to qualify for this class.  All participants will be required to sign a waiver indemnifying Adventure Rafting Expeditions in the event of injury or death.

For more information,  visit our website at babyboomeradventure.com