About Doug and Chris

During our 30+ years of togetherness, we have always loved the outdoors and related activities. From bicycling to hiking to skiing to kayaking to camping, we both agree that a perfect day is one in which we can get outside to discover more of the natural beauty and adventures that await us in this beautiful country. Thus "RVentures" evolved from a dream to reality.

In his former life, Doug was an electrical engineer/computer programmer for IBM in Rochester, MN. After working there for 30 years, he was laid off due to business unit changes in the spring of 2014. Soon after, he began a new "project": how to make our dream to tour the country in an RV into reality. The most difficult part of this project would be convincing Chris to "let go". He was successful, so he spent the summer of 2014 prepping the house for sale and getting ready to hit the road.

Chris was a registered nurse for 31 years at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. After the Mayo Clinic announced changes to its retirement medical plan effective for retirees after 2014, she decided that it sounded like a great idea to retire at the end of 2014. Getting rid of 30+ years of "stuff" was more difficult, but oh, so freeing when it was finally done.

By December 2014 we were both retired and also were in possession of a class A diesel-pusher class A motorhome affectionately named "The Wildebeest." The color is wild berry, and you can't miss it when it is parked at the campground or travelling down the road. Doug is still trying to tame it ... red-headed diesel-pushers, like red-headed wives, can be especially temperamental at times.

With the house very empty and ready to be put on the market, we planned to enjoy our last "snowy" winter in Minnesota with lots of ski trips. We hoped to hit the road in our RV after the house sold in the late Spring. However, things did not work out exactly as planned. During the first of many planned ski trips to Colorado, Chris broke her leg and had to spend the rest of the winter recuperating. With the house ready to sell and no more winter ski vacations, Doug needed to fill his time. He decided to go back to work temporarily as a contract employee to IBM.

House sold - time to move into the Wildebeest
We still put our house on the market in March 2015, and it ended up selling very quickly. By the end of April 2015, we were living in the Wildebeest in the Rochester, MN area, since Doug was still working at IBM. After Chris recuperated, she was able to pick up supplemental hours with the Mayo Clinic while we were still in Rochester.
The Wildebeest parked at IBM on Doug's last day at work
Doug driving out of Rochester and heading south - October 2015
The fall colors in Minnesota are beautiful, but Wildebeests do not like the morning frosts. So, at the beginning of October 2015, we both said, "until next time" to our family and friends and started heading south to keep ahead of the frost line.

Each new resting place for the Wildebeest brings a change of scenery and the chance to continue the active lifestyle that we love. Thus, begins "RVentures." We hope that you enjoy following along!

Update: In December of 2018, we sold the Wildebeest and went to Colombia, South America for the rest of the winter. After we returned in May 2019, we purchased a 2019 Hymer Aktiv 2.0 Class B camper van that we call Baby Beest, and are continuing our travels in Baby Beest along with occasional stays out of the country.

Baby Beest parked by Minneapolis, MN Lock and Dam number 1 on the Mississippi River
If you need to email us - here are our addresses:

Doug - doug@chartrand.net
Chris - chris@chartrand.net



  2. Nice yo meeting YouTube Chris & Doug. WELCOME!