Two-and-a-half years ago, Larry Ambrose left behind a four-bath, four-bedroom house and 67 years of his life to go on to the road, and he’s been there ever since.
“We decided we weren’t getting any younger,” said Ambrose. “When you have a 10-acre place with five horses it’s a lot of work, and if you have that much work you gotta stay home. We wanted to be moving around.”
According to Ambrose, wanting to see the rest of the country was about all there was to it. When he and his wife Lisa retired they packed up, piled into a truck and trailer and said “see ya,” to Iowa before driving off.
Having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease doesn’t slow him down much, he’ll trade off driving duties with his wife and make sure to come back to Iowa for doctors’ appointments. Being in the area also gives him a chance to visit his children and grandchildren.
Marr Park is his chosen parking place for this visit, but he, his wife and their dogs Boo and Ladybug will be back on the road again soon.
The dogs have been with them since the beginning, when Ambrose’s love of cowboys and the west drew him to Utah, the first place they visited which is, as of yet, still Ambrose’s favorite place to visit. “It is just beautiful,” said Ambrose. “Once a year they have a cattle drive, and that’s just beautiful.”
But since then they let themselves wander on a whim, going wherever they want. The only place Ambrose says he won’t go is the northeast, not wanting to deal with the cold and traffic of the coast; but other than that, he’ll head nearly anywhere.
“If we want to take off, we take off,” he said. “We’re not picky. We drive and if a right turn comes and we go left, who cares.”
He’s been staying in Marr Park since Tuesday and plans to leave on Friday, but even then he and his wife don’t have a time or place or direction where they want to head yet. When people do ask Ambrose when and where he’s going to drive, he explains his decision-making process.
“Here’s what I do,” he said. “I check my schedule, and it’s open.”
On the side of his trailer, Ambrose keeps a map of the U.S.; it’s not filled up completely, but it marks all the places Ambrose and his wife have stayed the night, and he knows there’s a lot left for them to see.
“Just get out and enjoy life,” Ambrose said. “In my opinion you don’t have to go to Mexico or anywhere other than the United States, there’s just too much to see and it’s beautiful.”