Coming home to Denver

Why this Maryland couple came to Erickson Living after a life on the road

Created date

October 29th, 2019
Alice and Joe Knox upsized from a 40-foot motor home where they lived and traveled North America for 14 years, to a two-bedroom Hayden apartment home at Wind Crest, in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Alice and Joe Knox upsized from a 40-foot motor home where they lived and traveled North America for 14 years, to a two-bedroom Hayden apartment home at Wind Crest, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. 

Have you ever considered ditching everything you own and traveling across the U.S. in a motor home? 

For many people, just downsizing to an apartment from a single family home is a feat. But in 2005, Alice and Joe Knox sold or donated the majority of their belongings, sold their house in Laurel, Md., and set off on a 14-year tour of North America in their 40-foot motor home.

“We got rid of everything, and we didn’t miss a thing,” Alice says.

Without their belongings weighing them down, they discovered a peace and freedom they had never known.

“It was such a relief once we got rid of everything and got on the road. It’s so freeing,” says Joe.

Life on the road

They visited all 50 states (though they didn’t take the RV to Hawaii) and traveled both coasts of Canada. 

“Every place we traveled is so unique and different,” Alice says when asked her favorite destination, while Joe determines his favorite must be Alaska. 

They spent winters in a 55-plus RV park in Phoenix, Ariz., that had a similar active lifestyle to Wind Crest, the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., where they hung up their hats for a second retirement. 

“Wind Crest continues our RV lifestyle because there are so many activities you can get involved in, and we’re still meeting new people, which is one of the pleasures we got when we traveled,” says Joe. “When you go into an RV park, people are extremely friendly, and it doesn’t matter if you’re the owner of a company or just a laborer—everyone is on the same page. Here, it’s the same thing. We’ve met doctors who are just like us.”

“There’s no social hierarchy here,” Alice chimes in.

Priorities and pleasant surprises

They chose Wind Crest to be near their daughter who lives nearby, and because they were familiar with the Erickson Living lifestyle; Alice’s parents had lived at Charlestown, Wind Crest’s sister community and Erickson’s flagship community in Catonsville, Md.

Maintenance-free living, activities, and the availability of continuing care, should they ever need it, were all major selling points. 

“One of the biggest selling points is that we won’t be a burden on our kids. We have a daughter nearby and a son in Seattle,” says Alice. 

But with their active lifestyles—they hike and bike the High Line Canal Trail, take fitness classes, and play water volleyball—and regular visits to the on-site medical center for annual checkups, they’re just beginning a vibrant life at Wind Crest. 

She’s joined the quilting group and quilts in the second bedroom of their Hayden apartment home, which they’ve converted to her craft room. And he’s active with the community TV station on its Java and Nightside shows. 

What she doesn’t do much of is cook. “It’s great,” says Alice. “I miss it a little bit but not a lot. If I get to missing it much, I can always cook something, and it’s such a big kitchen! We can both cook in it. In the motor home we were always getting in each other’s way.”

While they were on the road, they enjoyed finding mom-and-pop restaurants and trying different things. At Wind Crest, they have six restaurants to choose from and typically visit Windows and the Timberline Tavern for their main meals. 

“I like when you go to dinner and there are two people sitting at a table, they invite us to join them,” says Alice. 

In fact, friendliness has been on of the most pleasant surprises of their new home. “In an RV park, everyone is so friendly and says hello,” says Alice. “It’s the same here. It’s been such a nice surprise.”