“Hopefully, the pig is friendly,” I muttered to my wife as we started walking toward the outdoor bar area. We were deep in Texas and staying at an RV site that boasts award-winning pulled pork, apple pie fries, and a giant pig named Minnie Pearl. She was, indeed, friendly and loved being petted. She was also surprisingly chatty for a pig.
As two lesbians traveling full time in an RV, there are places where we fear our gayness may stir an angry reaction from people who disagree with our “lifestyle.” When that happens, we walk a few feet apart and exude a “we’re just friends” vibe. This was one of those times.
Nearing the bar, we distanced ourselves and acted casual. We had our heads on a swivel, taking in our surroundings like covert operatives in enemy territory. We spotted two women eyeing us without even trying to be discreet. “This should be interesting,” I murmured under my breath.
To our surprise, as we got closer, the women waved and welcomed us to the bar as if we were old friends. They invited us to grab a beer and sit at a neighboring table. We were shocked and relieved because the last thing we expected to see in a small-town Texas bar was another lesbian couple. You never know what you’ll find when you live on the road.
When we decided to sell everything and move into an RV, we were looking for an unencumbered life. We both retired early from stressful careers in health care and longed for a relaxed pace untethered from responsibility. Not a week goes by that we don’t acknowledge how lucky and privileged we are to have been able to choose to retire earlier than most. We’ve been on the road for more than a year and have had some unique and incredible experiences.
The author and her wife with Minnie Pearl, the pig at Lone Star Bar in Fredericksburg, Texas, in October 2021.
Courtesy of Kim Kelly Stamp
Recently, at a campground in Grand Canyon National Park, we had a once-in-a-lifetime experience. My partner was planning to do a one-day, 26-mile, rim-to-rim hike, and we’d arrived a couple of days early to enjoy the area before her grueling adventure. We were awakened on our first morning by a strange, almost harmonic sound.
Scrambling out of bed, I threw on some clothes and opened the shades of our camper to look around. “Holy shit,” I shouted. “There are two elk with huge racks right outside.”
The bull elk were about 50 feet away, and a few females were grazing farther out. I fumbled with my phone, trying to bring up the camera without the help of my glasses, and stumbled out of our teardrop trailer to take a video of the unfolding scene.
The bulls were bugling and sounded oddly similar to whales under the sea. The nearby cow elk were bleating in response. The bulls began charging each other, slamming their expansive racks together, stopping only when the females cried. These beasts were so close that we could see the mist from their breath swirling around their snouts as they bugled. The rising sun …….