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Sure, the gas cost is horrendous, but...

Category: Herzog, RV, Winnebago
Source: Las Vegas Sun
Publish Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Summary: “Look, gas prices are ridiculous, but we more than make up for it with the money we save by not having to stay in a motel every night, by not having to eat out three meals a day and by not having to be at the mercy of the airlines, who charge for everything these days.”

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By Brendan Buhler

Wed, Aug 13, 2008 (2 a.m.)
Beyond the Sun
Winnebago Grand National Rally

Nearly at the end of his summer vacation and parked in the Circus Circus KOA RV campground, author Brad Herzog reflected Friday on the many important cultural locations he and his family have visited. There were Disneyland, Mount Rushmore, Wrigley Field and, also, Forest City, Iowa, home to the Winnebago Grand National Rally.

Like bikers descending on Sturgis, S.D., 1,400 recreational vehicles and their occupants traveled to Forest City to enjoy music, kiddie rides, hot air balloons and a ventriloquist singing “God Bless America.”

“It’s the Winnebago version of Sturgis,” Herzog said. “Maybe.”

It was also work, of a sorts.

Every summer, the Herzogs — Brad, 39, Amy, 28, Luke, 7, and Jesse, 6 — are the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s national “Explore America” family, which means they travel the country giving interviews about the RV lifestyle, and Brad blogs and writes columns. The regular gig evolved in part from Brad’s two books about traveling America in an RV, “States of Mind” and “Small World.”

(Brad is also the author of children’s and travel books, including, respectively, “Zippy’s Lost Stripes” and the forthcoming “Greek to Me,” which is his “cross-country version of ‘The Odyssey,’ in search of a heroic life.”)

Anyhow, Winnebago provides the Herzogs’ Winnebago, so it seemed like good manners for the Herzogs to stop in at the RV rally.

And for most of the trip, Brad and Amy are taking their kids to explore theme parks, monuments and whatever pops up.

“I’d like to think for my kids it’s education disguised as entertainment,” Brad said with a chuckle. “Now, this Vegas portion might be just entertainment.”

Which, considering their plans include the TI pirate battle and the Excalibur’s Tournament of Kings, is probably a safe guess.

Now that he’s on Day 63 of 66 of the trip and with only Bakersfield between him and home in Pacific Grove, Calif., there’s one question Brad has heard maybe too many times: How can you afford the gas?

“Look, gas prices are ridiculous, but we more than make up for it with the money we save by not having to stay in a motel every night, by not having to eat out three meals a day and by not having to be at the mercy of the airlines, who charge for everything these days.”

“Besides,” Brad says, “it gets better mileage than a house.”


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