About Us

When John and I (Trish) were married (1974), I had a degree in Art Education.  A few years later John got his degree in Industrial Arts Education.  Little did we know that for about 25 years of our marriage we would work in far different fields – I at the US Bankruptcy Court and John as a Paramedic.

Our 2 sons were born those early years of marriage and have both been making their own ways in the world.  Both own their own homes and work hard caring for their families.  As of 2014 we have 2 dear grandchildren.

In 2012 we both retired and began embarking on our long held dream to explore North America while living full time in our 2003 Safari Zanzibar.  Our goal is to experience this country’s history, geography, it’s story at ground level.  We plan to visit the National Parks, golf courses and any special places that cross our path.  Visiting our friends and relatives where they live is another dream of ours.  We hope to unleash from our structured lives to live what life brings us, while we are physically able to do so.  We see this as our chance to experience life together in a new way as well as to share what the heck full timing is like.  This Journal is our record of these experiences.

Update:  We’ve upgraded to a Winnebago Journey 36M.  I’ve also decided to share my watercolor paintings (created before our trip) and websites of others that have inspired me:




UPDATE: We sold our 36′ Winnebago Journey on May 14th, 2017. We are continuing our travels, just by different methods. Now my postings will be intermittent, so I’d recommend that you click to “Follow” my site so that when I do post you’ll get a message letting you know.

20 Responses to About Us

  1. Jill says:

    Trish this is fabulous!!!! You Rock! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  2. Nancy Conlin says:

    Hey guys. I hope you are doing good. I was wondering if I could get your mailing address. Do you have a special one or same as before? Thanks guys. We love you.

  3. Emily Conlin says:

    Hi guys! This blog is awesome! Grandpa suggested it 🙂 have fun!

    • tjelser says:

      Good to hear from you Emily. I am amazed that you would enjoy this “old folk’s” blog! Thanks for your kind words.

  4. Al Stanford says:

    Hi John and Trish,
    I came across your blog and just wanted to tell you it is great! My wife and I hope to travel, like you have, in a few years! We are from North Mississippi. I was writing to ask permission to use your photos of The Ruins of Windsor on a small brochure I am doing for my company Earth Grace Artisan Jewelry. I will be glad to give you a credit, pay you, or even send you a few pieces of my jewelry. Thanks, keep up the good work!

    • tjelser says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Al. You are welcome to use me photos (those ruins were such fun to picture), just give me credit (note my name). I’m thrilled that you plan to travel in an RV in a few years. As you may see, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows but it is the experience of a lifetime. So enriching. Would you believe we are currently North of Birmingham, AL, not TOO far from Mississippi. We’ll continue north into Tennessee and Indiana. Good luck with your plans.

  5. Al Stanford says:

    Thank you, it’s a great picture! How do you want the credit to read? Birmingham is about 2 hours away from us, we go through there all the time to visit our son and his family in Macon, GA. Good luck and be safe on the road.

  6. tjelser says:

    You put simply “by Patricia Elser”. Amazing that in this huge country we happen to be so close when you happened to send your comment.

  7. Al Stanford says:

    Thanks again, I will be sure to credit you. Please be sure and check out my jewelry at http://www.earthgrace.com. Will be glad to send you a bracelet if you see any you like.

  8. tjelser says:

    Thanks for your offer. Your jewelry is lovely, especially the bracelets I just don’t wear much jewelry, sort of a keep it simple kind of gal.

  9. Jane says:

    Hi Trish,
    This is John & Jane from Wisconsin. (Your tour-mates from the recent DC visit). We found your blog and think it is great. You pictures are wonderful. We didn’t take a lot of pictures, so it was fun to look at yours to remember the things we saw. We certainly enjoyed the time we spent with you and John. You are very nice folks. When you guys get into the Wisconsin area, look us up. We can send you our contact info. You are welcome to park the RV in our driveway if you want to spend a day or two exploring Western Wisconsin.

    John and Jane

    • tjelser says:

      That is SO cool!! You must be super sleuths to have found our blog. Did you even know our last name? We think you are guys are so nice. Once I overheard someone say that Wisconsin folks are very kind and thoughtful. Getting to know you guys (and another couple we met from Wisconsin) is convincing me of that truth. We’d love your contact info. I’d thought of offering our “business card”, but held back thinking I didn’t want to be pushing it on you. We’d love to spend some time with you – we plan to come your way (possibly) in 2017. Thanks for your kind words for my photos.

      • Jane says:

        Hi Trish,
        Well, we did not know your last name, but heard you mention a blog, so we searched for “Trish and John Blog” and included the words “thousand trails”. It came up right away in Google search. We were happy that it was easy to find you guys. We had wanted your contact info while on the tour, but for some reason we slipped up on getting it.

        We would be glad to give you all of our contact information and where our “Campground” is located. We would prefer to send it to your personal email, rather than putting here in this public blog. I assume that you can see our personal email account in the list of people that follow your blog. It is the jellingson000.********* address. If you send us your email address, we will reply with all of the info you will need to contact us, and to learn where we are located exactly (directions etc for 2017 if you come by this way).

        We are enjoying your blog. It is almost as good as being on vacation ourselves. Your pictures are terrific. Very nice.

        We had snow on the ground here in Wisconsin yesterday morning! It disappeared by late morning, thank goodness. We are not ready for winter!

        Jane and John

      • Greg Miller says:

        Yes, Wisconsin folks are known to be very kind. 🙂 I enjoy reading your blog updates and following your travels with you.

      • Patricia Elser says:

        Thanks!! Good to hear from you.

  10. Cecelia Stephens says:

    Hi I’m a student at the University of West Georgia I wanted to ask you for permission to use an image of yours in an exhibition project that will be put up in Albany, Georgia. Please contact me back as soon as possible.

    • tjelser says:

      Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I’m curious which photo you want to use and why. I only ask that you give note that I was the photographer.

      • Cecelia Stephens says:

        The image that we would like to use is of the covered bridge in Cullman, AL. I am working on a wayside signage project fro Albany, GA and Horace King, the man that built the bridge in Cullman, also built the first bridge in Albany. I was hoping to use your image as an example of King’s work. If you could send me an email of the image I have a permission form that you can fill out with information on how you would like to be credited.

  11. Dear Trish:
    Hi! I know you have answered this question in many of your replies. I am a Science Coordinator in Pflugerville, Texas, and came upon your beautiful photo of Diablo Lake, that does such a good job of showing the color of the lake. I am always looking for examples of natural sources of water that show color and clarity for our Kinder students, and this is such a great example of color. So, I will include the credit to you as the photographer, and the link to your blog in the materials. Just wanted to be sure that it was okay to include this in our curriculum. It will be accessible to any teacher with our district log-in.

    Sue ann

    • Patricia Elser says:

      Yes, you got it right, all I ask for permission to use my photos is to note that they are mine. So glad you found one that is helpful to you. Good luck.

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