That’s it. It’s over. We’re home!
Over 5,000 miles. 4 race tracks. 1 trip to Disneyland. 3 NHRA National Events. Numerous sight-seeing destinations. 4 NHRA Lucas Oil Series events. 2 of the biggest bracket races on the west coast. 10 weeks and countless adventures later, we’re home.
I know it sounds ridiculous to say after spending two and a half months mainly inside a 300 square foot motorhome with my family of 4, but it went by so fast! It seems contradictory, but I find myself both happy to be home, and a bit sad that it’s over all at the same time.
I’ve used this platform, along with our trip vlog on the Moser Engineering Youtube channel to document the trip; so we’ve hit the high points. Here in the final edition of this “10 weeks in an RV” series, I’ll attempt to step back and share some broad takeaways as I look back on our journey.
First, on the race track…
Broadly speaking, we had a good trip. Better put, we had a good stretch in the middle of the trip. Specifically, I picked a good day to have a good day: a runner-up finish in the $50,000-to-win main event at the K&N West Coast Showdown in Tucson went a long way toward footing the bill for the entire excursion. Couple that with a Super Gas win the week prior at the Division 7 LODRS event in Phoenix, and it’s hard to say that we didn’t have a successful trip. That said, the rest of the journey was pretty forgettable in terms of on-track results. Admittedly, I can’t think of many prolonged racing trips in which I came home feeling like I didn’t leave something on the table… But if we could have the racing portion of our trip back and do it all over again, I’d like to think that we all could perform better.
In reality however, while racing was the excuse to make this journey, this trip wasn’t really about competition. It was about adventure, connection, and creating memories together. To that end, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, nor would I substitute one minute of it (OK, maybe a few minutes where I was lying under the motorhome hot-wiring a water pump… Or specifically the minute that I decided it was wise to bypass the regulator for said water pump in the hot-wiring process… which immediately resulted in a busted water line behind a closet wall). Put simply, the ends justified the means and then some.
We got to see some amazing things that I don’t think we’ll ever forget. Nature can be breathtaking just about everywhere, and the sights in Arizona alone are truly incredible. We got to spend a ton of time together: just Jess, Gary, Jack and myself for the most part. Not only did we manage not to kill one another, we never came particularly close! After ten weeks on the road, I know my boys better than I did when we left. I know my wife better than I did when we left. We not only have a better understanding of how to coexist and complement one another, but also a more precise idea of what we need from another and how we can each bring out the best (or worst) version of each member of our family.
Beyond the familial connection, 10 weeks removed from many of the pressures of daily life has a way of forcing a bit of a reset, both personally and professionally. That forced reset meant that a lot boxes went unchecked for 10 weeks. It meant that other boxes that may have gotten checked didn’t get checked with the attention to detail that I’m used to. In some cases, that meant digging in and getting back “on track” upon returning home. In other cases, it provided a deep look at how I manage my time. It was illuminating, for me, to see that some of the things that didn’t get done – things that in some cases I spent a great deal of time and energy on previously – didn’t seem to bother anyone. In some cases, I was dedicating time and energy to pursuits that seemed urgent, but now I can clearly see weren’t (and aren’t) all that important at all. I’m not sure how long it would have taken (if ever) to reach that conclusion were it not for a prolonged trip of this nature.
Upon our return to Southern Illinois, I asked each family member what we missed most about being home. Jack, our 3-year-old, said he missed his hot rods (large toy cars that we left behind). Gary, who just turned 9, said he missed the bathtub (he’s not a fan of motorhome showers). My wife Jessica missed her family most, with her bed, consistent air conditioning, and a more unlimited supply of hot water each receiving honorable mentions.
For me, I’m such a creature of habit that I think what I missed the most is my daily routine. Call me an old man, but I find tremendous peace in waking up each morning, checking in at the gym at the same time of day (typically surrounded by the same people), cooking breakfast for the family, and going through each (fairly regimented) aspect of my daily routine. Don’t get me wrong, there is value in the constantly evolving challenges of life on the road and/or at the race track. I love it. I also enjoy the peaceful consistency of a carefully crafted life at home. Perhaps I even appreciate it more today than I did three months ago.
So what’s next? Immediately upon returning home we threw Gary his 9th birthday party. I turned around and went to Mid-America Dragway in Kansas to host a live event for our ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE members and to co-promote the inaugural Bottom Bulb Explosion with my buddy Jon Maugans. Gary is playing little league baseball (we made it home hours before his team’s first practice!). Given the fact that our excursion literally knocked out half of our NHRA points-earning season, we don’t have much on the immediate agenda. I’m looking forward to doing wheelies in my Vega locally, and hitting up the Midwest Junior Super Series events with Gary in the coming months. Once baseball season is over, we’ll hit the road again (not for 10 weeks, mind you) for a few big buck bracket races and to finish out our NHRA season. Moving forward, I won’t bore you with the details of our season within this platform (if you’re into that, follow Luke Bogacki Motorsports on Facebook). Instead, I’m sure I’ll find more eclectic pursuits for this column. Thanks as always to the staff here at National Dragster for providing the freedom to use this platform to share our journey, and thanks to Moser Engineering for making it possible for us to continue to live out this dream!