Gary and Barbara Pouliot applied to be happy campers.

Nowadays, the Springfield natives are wildly enthusiastic RVers.

Our paths crossed in January at a Florida gathering of tourists signing up for caravans sponsored by Yankee RV Tours. The firm and its founder, onetime Somers resident Rod Coe, ended up highlighted in a Lollygagger@massive column revealed by The Republican in June.

“We have in no way finished a caravan, so we are incredibly energized to tour with Yankee,” Barb Pouliot mentioned.

They weren’t by yourself. Coe mentioned 135 adventure-hungry RVers – masked and respectfully distanced, of training course – turned out for the tour company’s once-a-year reunion and orientation at Southern Palms RV Vacation resort in Eustis, about 40 miles northwest of Orlando.

“We signed on for a few caravans,” Gary Pouliot stated. The first excursion, scheduled July and August, will get them via the American Northwest, what he identified as “our desire destination.” The itinerary spans 35 times, commencing at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and next sections of the Mormon and Oregon trails to the Pacific Coast.

The couple also signed up for two events in 2022: a six-day RV rally in January at Cape Canaveral, Florida, which will incorporate tours of Kennedy Area Centre and in September, they’ll embark on a 20-working day caravan through the American Southwest, touring national parks and scenic wonders in Arizona, Utah and Colorado.

Gary Pouliot is 65, a brawny guy with a gentle spirit. His spouse, a calendar year youthful, possesses a completely ready and inclined perception of humor.

Barb was Barbara Stevenson when her family lived in East Springfield. She attended Pottenger Elementary, Van Sickle Junior Superior and Technical Large faculties.

Gary grew up in the Liberty Heights community of Springfield, off Carew Avenue. He attended Liberty Elementary, Van Sickle Junior Superior and Trade Substantial colleges.

“We grew up with each other,” Barb Pouliot claimed. “We satisfied at Van Sickle Junior Substantial wherever we became childhood sweethearts.” They ended up married in 1975 at Our Woman of Hope Church, the place their family members were communicants.

Following marriage, Barb was a remain-at-dwelling mother and provided care for quite a few other youngsters. Later on, she worked for Filene’s at Eastfield Shopping mall and Louis & Clark Pharmacy.

Gary was employed by Ferrara Spring Performs in Springfield, then joined the Carpenters Union Community 108. He worked on development jobs in the Springfield area, then spent 23 decades with Unwinn Overhead Doorways in Chicopee. He retired in 2012, and he and Barb took up residence in Alva, Florida, 18 miles northeast of Fort Myers.

The Pouliots’ enthusiasm for RVing exhibits on their faces and in their speech as they remember much more than 40 many years of tenting adventures.

“We commenced camping in 1980,” Barb reported, when the youthful Pouliots were being ages 5, 3 and 2. “We tent-camped and also slept in the back of pickup truck.” Gary, she recalled, had “made a plywood bed that he place up on prime rails of the truck in which the young ones slept. We slept on flooring of truck mattress with the pet. It was a wonderful and cheap way to go and have heaps of enjoyable.”

The upcoming generations of Pouliot campers include daughter Jeannine Pouliot Duquette and her partner, Ben, who stay in Springfield with daughters Anissa and Mikayla, and son Gary Pouliot, his wife, Stephanie, and their son, Jordan, who are living in Ludlow. Daughter Kathryn Pouliot and her daughters Chloe and Kelsy stay in the A few Rivers portion of Palmer.

Via 4 many years of camping, the Pouliots have been by a fifty percent-dozen RVs, which includes a converted van, two vacation trailers, a small motorhome, large motorhome, and a 60-foot-extensive park design on Cape Cod, exactly where they “spent lots time with grandchildren,” Barb said.

The Pouliots now vacation in a 23-foot-extended MPG vacation trailer the producer states that the title is derived from generating more “Memories For every Gallon.” Gary Pouliot emphasizes that the MPG “will most likely not be our last” RV.

Barb said she prefers to travel in an RV “because it is the best way to just rest.” Gary explained he enjoys the way of living due to the fact “it’s the greatest and only way to see everything and you meet up with the finest people today. … We program on RVing ‘til we just cannot generate anymore.”

Norm Roy, a retired copy editor for The Republican, lives and travels in a motorhome. He is eager to listen to from visitors about their individual journey adventures. His e-mail deal with is: [email protected]

By Harriet