On the road again: Geist resident travels the country in his recreational vehicle year after year


By James Feichtner

Flying isn’t for everyone. With it brings high airline ticket prices and requires additional means of transportation upon reaching your destination. For Geist resident Boyd Lofton, he prefers doing his traveling in a recreation vehicle and has since he and his wife, Diane, bought their first RV in 1975. Today, Lofton, 75, still continues taking his RV on road trips to visit family in his newest RV.

“My grandkids go (are located) from California to Maine and everywhere in between so I just traveled around with the new (RV) to visit the grandkids rather than flying and renting a car and all that junk,” Lofton said. “They live in California, Colorado, New Hampshire and Maine, so they’re spread out so I go visit them and spend a month in each place and come back.”

Owning five RVs since ’75, Lofton has spent countless days on the road. One of his RVs clocked approximately 380,000 miles on it. Probably his most extensive trip was with Diane when the two set off to tour the entire nation.

“My wife and I hit the road back in 2000 after I sold a manufacturing company I owned and we sold our family home,” Lofton said. “We hit the road full time RVing; bought a motorhome and toured the U.S. and Canada for seven years. We went to every province, every territory, every state in the union except Hawaii and the territories Puerto Rico and Guam.”

After Diane passed away in 2007, Lofton sold his motorhome for a smaller RV.

“I couldn’t stand to live in that motorhome anymore so I got rid of it and bought a new one. I got a class C instead of a Class A,” Lofton said.

His most recent trips were split into two sections to visit his family, a 6,300 mile trip out west and a 2,800 mile trip out east. Lofton took with him his close friend, Lorraine.

“This last year I took Lorraine on a 6-week motor home trip,” Lofton said. “Turns out she didn’t really care for it; traveling that length of time. We went to see the Amana colonies up in Iowa, Mount Rushmore, Devil’s Tower. (Lorraine) has a friend in Roundup, Mont. and we visited her; down through Yellowstone and the (Grand) Tetons; Salt Lake City. I went to see a friend in Vegas and a sister in Glendale, Ariz. Then the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley in Utah and then headed to Canyon City in Colorado to see my five grandkids and my daughter and son-in-law. Then we headed back here.”

After returning to Indianapolis from his western trip, Lofton went out on his own to the east heading over the St. Lawrence River then north of Lake Champlain and through Detroit and Windsor eventually making his way to New Hampshire to visit his two granddaughters and grandson, then to Maine to see his other five grandkids.

Lofton said what he likes most about his journeys is the people he meets along the way.

“We found that it was such an enjoyable lifestyle. The genuine, nice people that you run into, not only helpful but considerate and friendly and welcoming at these RV parks. It’s seeing new places, but the people you meet,” Lofton said. “That’s what really turns me on.”

For next year, Lofton plans to do his east and west trips again with Lorraine, but plans to make several short trips.

“What we are going to attempt to do is instead of making two long trips, we’re going to make six short trips,” Lofton said. “So we’ll shoot out to Colorado and then come back, then go out to California and come back, then we turn our attention to the east to New Hampshire and Maine and then we’ll come back and then go out to Maryland and Virginia and probably come back, then go back to North Carolina and Tennessee and that will probably be it.”

Lofton said he will continue to travel each year “as long as his health continues.”

Life with an RV

Number of RV’s owned: Five

First RV: Owned from 1975 to 1990

Most mileage on RV: Approximately 380,000 miles

Mileage on current RV: Approximately 130,000 miles

Favorite place visited: “They’re all unique. If I had three favorite cities that I liked it would be New York (City), New Orleans and Frisco because they all have unique cultures.”

Driving style: “I get in the travel lane. I very seldom get in the passing lane. If the speed limit is 55 mph, I do 54 mph. If the speed limit is 70 mph, I do 55 mph and people can go around me. I just take it slow.”

Navigation method: “I program my GPS to avoid toll booths, to avoid freeways. I travel back roads as much as I can.”