A year ago, my husband Daniel and I purchased our beloved 2000 Winnebago Rialta named Appa. Ever since then, she has been our constant companion as we’ve driven around the country on our Great America (Socially-Distanced) Road Trip. We’ve spent hours customizing our VW Rialta motorhome and traveled from Joshua Tree to Niagara Falls and everywhere in between. We’ve also documented every step of our journey and taken hundreds of Winnebago Rialta photos along the way.
But it is time for a change. As the pandemic loosens its grip on the world, we are eager to resume our international travels. Ever since we abruptly left Europe due to the Coronavirus outbreak in Italy, we’ve been impatient to return. So, we parked our Rialta at my parents’ house earlier this week and are preparing for the next stage of our vagabonding adventure.
Parting from Appa is a bittersweet experience. She’s the closest thing we’ve had to a home since we began this journey in 2019. We have so many happy memories from our year on the road together and feel deeply connected to her.
But owning and maintaining a motorhome is a big financial responsibility. We’re not sure it’s wise to hang onto our motorhome while we gallivant around the globe. So, we are strongly considering selling her. In the meantime, Appa is enjoying a nice retirement up at my parents’ house while we sort out our plans.
In tribute to Appa, here is a collection of my favorite Winnebago Rialta photos from our year on the road together.
What’s your favorite photo? Let me know in the comments below.
Winnebago Rialta Photos from National and State Parks
Joshua Tree National Park
Daniel and I spent two months exploring the high desert and hiking trails at Joshua Tree, California in January and February 2021. You can read more about our visit in the following blog posts:
- Best Hikes in Joshua Tree: The Ultimate Hiking Guide
- Joshua Tree Day Trip: The Ultimate One-Day Joshua Tree Itinerary
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park, Montana was the first stop of our socially-distant road trip in 2020. The famous Going-to-the-Sun road was not yet open for the season when we arrived, but luckily it opened on our last day. You can read more about our visit in this blog post:
Grand Teton National Park
The Teton mountain range rises dramatically out of the ground and dominates the skyline in Grand Teton National Park. You can read more about our visit in these blog posts:
- Jenny Lake Hike in Grand Teton National Park
- Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road: A Long and Bumpy Road to Grand Tetons
Badlands National Park
The rugged beauty of Badlands National Park, South Dakota is absolutely stunning. You can read more about our visit to the Badlands in this blog post:
Avenue of the Giants
Located in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Avenue of the Giants is home to the world’s tallest trees: Sequoia sempervirens (also known as California redwoods or coastal redwoods). You can read more about our visit to the Avenue of the Giants in the following blog post:
Yellowstone National Park
Daniel and I drove through Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming in July 2020 and had an amazing time exploring the geysers and watching bison and other wildlife. You can read more about our visit in the following blog posts:
Saguaro National Park
Wandering among forests of towering Saguaro cacti was one of my favorite activities from this past year. You can read more about our visit to Saguaro National Park in the following blog post:
Zion National Park
Driving among the soaring red cliffs of Zion Canyon is a must-do experience. Stay tuned for a blog post about our experience at Zion National Park in March, 2021.
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is the hottest, driest and lowest National Park in the United States. Stay tuned for a blog post about our experience at Death Valley National Park in March, 2021.
Winnebago Rialta Photos from other Scenic Locations
Vermillion Cliffs, Arizona
Driving the Vermillion Cliffs Scenic Highway is a great way to view the spectacular red walls that form Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. You can read more about our visit in the following blog post:
Bear’s Lodge (aka Devil’s Tower), Wyoming
Bear’s Lodge, more commonly known as Devil’s Tower, is a picturesque butte that rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River in Wyoming. You can read more about our visit to Bear’s Lodge in the following blog posts:
Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah
In March 2021, I visited an area near Grand-Staircase Escalante to hike the Wahweap Hoodoos Trail. You can read more about my visit in the following blog post:
Upper Peninsula, Michigan
The area near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is spectacular in the fall. You can read more about our visit to the U.P. in the following blog post:
Vantage Bridge, Washington
Perched on the shoreline above the Columbia River, Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park offers spectacular views of the entire Columbia River valley and beyond. You can read more about our visit in the following blog post:
Pacific Coast Highway, California
The Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Highway 1, is famous for spectacular views as well as legendary twists and turns. You can read more about our drive along Highway 1 in the following blog post:
Mojave National Preserve, California
We drove through the Mojave National Preserve on our way to Zion National Park in 2021. You can read more about our visit to the Mojave in the following blog post:
South Padre Island, Texas
The sleepy resort community of South Padre Island is located on a barrier island off the southern coast of Texas. You can read more about our visit to South Padre Island in the following blog posts:
- A Relaxing South Padre Island Vacation for What Ails You
- Mars or Bust: Watching the SpaceX Starship Launch from South Padre Island
Winnebago Rialta Photos from Monuments and Tourist Attractions
Mount Rushmore National Monument, South Dakota
When we visited Mount Rushmore, it was so crowded that I found the experience rather overwhelming. I preferred this vantage from South Dakota Highway 244. Only Washington’s head is visible but the area is much less crowded. You can read more about our visit in the following blog post:
Crazy Horse Monument, South Dakota
The Crazy-Horse Monument is a massive sculpture of the revered Lakota leader, Crazy Horse. Only the face is finished so far. The final dimensions are planned to be 641 feet long by 563 feet tall. You can read more about our visit in the following blog post:
Big Steer and Bison – Mitchell, South Dakota
We stopped in Mitchell, South Dakota to visit the Corn Palace and found these handsome fellas by the side of road. Appa decided to join them for a while. You can read more about our visit in the following blog post:
Wall Drug, South Dakota
Wall Drug is a sprawling roadside attraction that occupies an entire city block. More of a mall than a drug store, the business is a kitschy paradise which draws over two million visitors a year. You can read more about our visit in the following blog post:
Prairie Dogs in South Dakota
Prairie dogs are everywhere in Wind Cave National Park and throughout South Dakota. You can read more about our visit in the following blog post:
Tweedy’s Cafe – North Bend, Washington
Tweedy’s Cafe in North Bend was famously used as the shooting location for the “Double R Diner” from the Twin Peaks television series. North Bend is also a terrific hiking destination. You can read more about our visit in the following blog post:
Circus Circus, Nevada
Did you know you can camp right in the middle of Las Vegas? Circus Circus has an RV Park in the back parking lot which is conveniently located near the strip. I did not write a blog post about this location, but you can read my husband Daniel’s take on his blog:
- Driving the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas – The Wandering Hedonist
Winnebago Rialta Photos from Life on the Road
Here’s a peek at what it was like to live inside of a 21-foot Winnebago Rialta for the past year. Life on the road had its challenges but it was also a lot of fun.
Living Inside a Rialta
Living inside of a 21-foot Winnebago Rialta 22HD can be a bit cramped sometimes but we made it work. Here are some photos from the interior of the motorhome.
Eating on the Road
The Rialta has a nice little kitchen setup that is great for cooking meals. We also ate out frequently on long driving days. Thankfully we could easily fit through most drive-through windows.
Winnebago Rialta Maintenance
When driving an older motorhome like a Rialta, keeping the vehicle maintained is a constant struggle. It seems like something is always going wrong, or about to go wrong. And in a Rialta, this is especially challenging because not very mechanics will work on them.
But what can we say, we love our Rialta!
What’s your favorite Winnebago Rialta photo? Let me know in the comments below.