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In The News

Couple drives RV 8,341 miles across country for vacation

Category: Travel
Source: Charleston Daily Mail
Publish Date: Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Summary: In their 8,341-mile trip across the country and down to the tip of Mexico, Dick Harris and Betty Comer Hill logged a lot of numbers.

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One of the more interesting numbers in their 80-day trip also was the lowest, given that they were driving a behemoth of a recreation vehicle not known for its good gas mileage: Gas in Mexico was just over 3 bucks a gallon.

The Charleston couple, high school friends who had both lost spouses and reconnected at their 50th high school reunion in 2004, has logged five trips together in Harris' 40-foot RV. The longest was last year's 11,400-mile trip to Alaska.

This spring, the couple decided to head South for a trip that took them from Arizona into Mexico, where they drove down the eastern coast and took a side train trip to the Copper Canyon, which is actually a group of canyons in Mexico's state of Chihuahua that overall are larger than the Grand Canyon.

The trip with 16 other RV enthusiasts included boarding a ferry for a ride across the Gulf of California, where they disembarked, drove to Cabo San Lucas at the tip of the Baja Coast, and then came up the coast to California.

Besides beautiful sites from mountains to the Pacific Ocean, Harris and Hill were impressed by 400-year-old missions, delicious food and native Mexicans who couldn't have been more welcoming.

"They're well prepared for tourists  - they want us to come back," Hill said. Even in remote villages, where some people live in caves tucked into hillsides, the residents brought out beautiful baskets or woven blankets to entice tourists to buy.

"Betty took care of that part," Harris said. 

The spring timing of their trip afforded balmy weather with nights that even required blankets at times.

Harris said he stocked up on Tyler Mountain Water before they left and the couple never got sick from either food or water.

"At a lot of the tourist spots, they had bottled water," Hill said.

The tourists also were handed limes at some food stops and were instructed to suck on the sour citrus to prevent stomach distress.

Hill came to love many varieties of spicy peppers and had her first fish tacos in Mexico. Margaritas were served up nearly every night, and Hill and Harris never lacked for their favorite dessert, ice cream.

Road conditions were surprisingly good, Harris said.

His worst complaint was narrow roads.

"I closed my eyes," Hill said.

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