About

Doug is an attorney who retired from serving 6 years as a magistrate judge in juvenile court, which followed over 20 years of private practice. His work always involved youth, and it seems his retirement will, too. He left the workplace before being eligible for retirement income because his twin sons really loved the sensation of riding, and they showed greater comfort and cooperation when spending their time very close to Doug and Robyn. Travelling in a motor coach seemed a perfect way to help their lives be smooth and satisfying. In this blog, his comments occur under the name The Driver.

Doug is married to Robyn; she is a nurse and is employed through an agency to take DSC_0002_acare of the twins. She has been their stepmother since 1994, caring for them since they were five years old. The many challenges presented by the twins test her mettle and her talents! She has a deep and abiding interest in good nutrition, and manages to meet the special texture and swallowing needs of the boys with some fabulously high quality foods. Grocery shopping has taken some new twists since the family has gone on the road!

As this traveling odyssey begins in April 2011, Ross and Ryan are 22 years old. They were one-pound premie babies, but now stand about 5 foot 6 inches at about 110 pounds! Their prematurity caused blindness, autism, and profound developmental delays that involve no verbal skills, inability to feed or dress themselves, and a lack of many of the basic skills for everyday life. Yet they hear well and can be responsive to many questions and instructions. They love to walk, but are quite awkward even when walking with mom or dad, so the walks are usually short.

Big brother to the twins, Jared, remains steadfast in his work in Chicago as a Project Manager for Roofing Annex. He and we drive to meet each other at special family events, and he flies to share time with us at holidays in very special places!

the Big Taxi is a 2006 Travel Supreme Select model 45DS24. It’s 45 feet long, requires clearance of at least 13′ 2″, and weighs 43,450 pounds loaded. There are four slideouts for extra room when parked for the night.

The diesel engine is in the back, a Cummins ISM with 10.8 litres of displacement, 500 hp, and 1550 ft/lbs of torque; it holds 42 quarts of oil. The automatic transmission has 6 speeds. Cruising at 60 on the highway produces about 9 miles per gallon, town travel brings it down to a bit more than 6; the fuel tank holds 150 gallons.

The coach has a separate diesel engine in the front just to run an electric generator that produces 12.5 kw to run the 3 air conditioners, electric clothes dryer, and recharge the 8 batteries that run everything else!

There is a tank to hold 100 gallons of fresh water, a tank to hold 60 gallons of “grey” water, and a tank to hold 60 gallons of “black” water. We can typically go three days between dumps & fillups, but a load of laundry uses 15 gallons of water!

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23 thoughts on “About

  1. Happy trails and safe travel to you! We loved our years traveling with our motorhome. Never had to worry about lodging reservations, running out of ice cubes, or hunting required facilities! Dean hated being tied to a schedule and I didn’t want to worry about having someplace to sleep. Taking our “home” on the highway made for a good marriage and many fun memories . Your “Wanderings” will be priceless. Keep writing!

  2. I met you tonight at the special prom. My daughter is Michelle Harris, who adores your boys. I work for the fire dept, and have for 20 years. I used to be in dispatch full-time, and remember sending medics to your house many times for the boys when they were little. I was thrilled to hear about them from my daughter this year and remembered them right away. I am so happy to hear that they are doing well and look forward to your adventures. Please be safe, and happy traveling on your journey ahead!

      • I think I might have seen you yesterday. Did you pull out a parking lot on 725 yesterday and then go south on Paragon? Looked like you in the “Big Taxi”. I was driving a medic few car lengths behind. Nice to see you in town! Janice Harris (Michelle’s mom)

  3. Great to see Robyn for too-short ‘o time at Roger’s celebration; and so happy for Doug, zee boyz and Robyn in yer new nest!!! I love reading your newest adventures!!!!

  4. Wow, what an absolutely fabulous experience for the boys. It has been way too long since I’ve seen or heard about how they are doing. I lost my job in April but I am having a marvelous time watching Elizabeth’s little angel and my 1st grandchild, Mackenzie Ann, who will be a year old on the 20th of this month. Have safe travels and I look forward to following your adventures.
    Kathy Steele

  5. Herdman family,
    It has been many years since I’ve seen all of you & I’m so glad to see that you all are doing so well! I heard of your adventure through Shonagh who let me know about this blog. How wonderful & what a fantastic way to spend your days! Please email me if you get the chance. I would love to catch up more that way & be able to send you pictures of my daughter, Mackenzie, who will be 1 on the 20th. Many hugs & well wishes coming your way from our family to yours. Happy Holidays!

  6. Hello
    I used to work at Ohio Pediatrics and met the twins and Robin. I work with Liz Steele and we got to talking one day. Small world since she said she use to baby sit the twins. This is so great to read this and hear how the twins are doing!
    Thanks
    Vanessa Davis

  7. We met Robyn at Pokagon State Park . You parked next to us, we had the big airstream trailer and we are from Mi When.Robyn told us your story we were amazed and give you credit forhaving the courage to do this great adventure It takes courage to live a dream. Enjoyed reading your blog and learning alittle about who you are and the boys. They look very happy in the pics. We sincerely hope that you continue to have many good times on the road and will keep you in our prayers.. Enjoy yourselves!! Dave and Sharon Turner

  8. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and about your journey living life. It is too short and you guys really know how to take in the best of it. God speed to you and your family Doug.

    Erik Landing

    • Thank you for coming along on our ride…and for the kind words! We’re slow learners, but we get there….you’re right, we have found a good way to survive the challenges of life. Nice to hear from you, Erik.

  9. I found you when my cousin posted a picture of the Tractor Parade on Facebook! I’m really enjoying your blog. I was especially excited to see you mention McKinney Campground in Georgia. McKinney is our favorite when we want to camp close to home.
    Enjoy your travels!
    Meg Richey
    Acworth, GA

  10. What a unique and intriguing journey in life…thanks for sharing …so glad to be your new friends. Be safe and enjoy!! Sounds like a great little family team making life very special for all…Ryan and Ross are two special fellas to have such great parents…and I am sure you would say you and Robyn are special people to have them for your sons…blessings ~

  11. Great Pictures –
    This is redonion – it appears we have traveled in the same parts of the country..
    Safe travels.

    Fred & DeLynn Kelley

  12. Thanks for telling me about this blog, Doug! I am so thrilled to hear how your life has turned out since we moved away in 1984! In fact, I sent my cat off my lap to reply because I needed a tissue for my tears!!! Bill died in 2004. I was alone until 2013 when I married Richard Dederer. Strange coincidence: His brother’s daughter married my son Steve – so Richard is an uncle-grandpa to Steve’s 3 kids – 2 girls & 1 boy. If you want to venture to Whitmore, I’m not sure our road would be best – very narrow & twisted. Logging trucks have torn it up badly! The road to Lassen Park is very close to us. You would go through Shingletown, about 20 miles from us. Would love to see you! We could come in to Shingletown or Redding & share lunch or whatever. BE SURE to check out the Sundial bridge in Redding, by Turtle Bay museum. Beautiful & worth the stop. We have a PU & camper – Richard had 2 buses like yours but likes this rig since we can go into the boonies with it! If we don’t meet in person, keep me in your email/FB loop!! LOVE IT! Wish we could do the same. We live in a beautiful log home Richard built about 15 years ago. It’s back to nature for me!!
    Yvette

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