In the middle of nowhere in Montana, John Blakely hopped out of his motor home to switch places with his wife, who had been driving, and check on the car attached to the back. Seconds later, standing on the side of the road, he watched his wife and motor home disappear into the distance. “I guess she misunderstood what I was saying, and when I got out and was back checking the car, she took off,” says Blakely. “She didn’t realize I was missing for at least 20 minutes.
“I thought she was playing a joke, but she just drove away.”
Luckily, his wife eventually returned and rescued him, and their motor home excursions around the country have continued. The tradition began in 1990 when this Roetzel & Andress attorney found it possible to block off month-long vacations in his schedule. The couple flew to Denver, rented a motor home and drove all over the West, from the Black Hills of South Dakota to New Mexico. “After about a week and a half, I completely forgot about practicing law,” says Blakely. “You live in the present when you’re traveling around in a motor home because there’s something new in front of you every minute.”
And if he can’t take a month away from his practice, Blakely and his wife simply park the motor home (they now have their own) at an airport, buy a round-trip ticket, and continue the vacation in a couple of weeks. On one such trip they left their motor home parked at the Anchorage, Alaska, airport for three weeks. “When we showed up to continue our trip,” he says, “the attendants at the parking lot told us they were afraid we died somewhere in the outback.”
The Blakelys have made it to 49 states, and their next excursion could take them south to Mexico. And what about that 50th state? Blakely says, “Not unless it would set a world record.”