Yesterday I got an e-mail from one of my personal heroes, Charlie Minshall. If you don’t know her, Sharlene “Charlie” Minshall is the author of half a dozen books telling the stories of her adventures over 20 years of solo fulltime RVing, including In Pursuit of a Dream, Freedom Unlimited, RVing Adventures with the Silver Gypsy, and the newly updated RVing Alaska and Canada, to name just a few.
Back when Terry and I were dreaming of escaping our hectic workaholic lifestyle and becoming fulltime RVers, we read all of Charlie’s books, and she helped convince us that we too could make it happen.
My first contact with Charlie was when I conceived the idea of the Gypsy Journal. Since the name of her self-publishing company is Gypsy Press, I wrote her to ask if she would have any objection to the name of our new publication, or if she felt there would be a conflict between the two names. Charlie wrote back and told us to go for it, and very graciously wished us well in our new business and in our new lifestyle.
We met Charlie a couple of months later when we went to our first Life on Wheels conference as brand new, wet behind the ears RVers. We sat through two of her seminars, and found her just as entertaining and delightful in person as in print. Over the years we had quite a few laughs together when we also became Life on Wheels instructors.
Whether she’s taking a jet boat ride up the Rogue River in Oregon, exploring the wonders of Alaska and Canada, or taking a “detour” over a cow path in the middle of Montana, Charlie always seems to find something interesting to get into, and somehow survives her adventures and misadventures.
When we visited Charlie at her lot at the Escapees North Ranch in Congress, Arizona a couple of years ago, Charlie told me that she had entered the “nesting” stage of her life, had bought a park model, and sold her motorhome. I wondered how well the Silver Gypsy would adapt to life in one place, and in yesterday’s e-mail she proved that the gypsy blood still flows through her veins. This year Charlie packed her little red Chevy Cavalier, bought a tent, and took off on a four month long journey that covered 11,623 miles! It doesn’t look like she’s letting any grass grow under her feet!
You can read Charlie’s Silver, Single, and Solo column on the RV Life website, or visit her own website, Full Time RVer. I bet you’ll enjoy getting to know Charlie as much as we have over the years.
Thought For The Day – Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved.
Thanks for much for the update on Charlie Minshall! I knew she had settled down and I am happy that she is back on the road if “only” for a short trip!. What a gal! A tent? My admiration for her has just gone up about ten notches! I sure hope that she will write another book to chronicle her adventures on this trip. I too have read many of her books and she, along with Ron and Barb Hofmeister, really got me interested in the RV lifestyle. At our first rally, I won a subscription to The Gypsy Journal and the adventures of Nick and Terry really had me hooked!
Stay warm up there, it was 101 in the RGV Thursday. Yep, in Nick’s words, “…but is the Valley….” Paulie just didn’t get it!
Good Morning NIck… I will definately be looking for Charlies books especially the one on ALaska & Canada since we are headed up there next summer… Thanks for the great post and introducing u us to Charlie… Have Fun!!!
My late husband, Bill, went to her seminar at our very first Escapade, a couple of months before we hit the road. He was amazed at the places she had taken her RV! He couldn’t stop talking about her. Charlie contributed a story of one of her great adventures to RV Traveling Tales: Women’s Journey’s on the Open Road, an anthology I co-edited with Alice Zyetz. She is an amazing woman. Glad to hear she is still having adventures.
Jaimie Hall Bruzenak