“Lancaster County family seeks first-hand learning experience by traveling the country”

by Brad Kane, The (Harrisburg) Patriot News

Submitted photo (The Patriot News, Harrisburg) – The Smuckers — from left, Lucy, Maile, Abra, Shawn, Sam and Cade — will travel more than 10,000 miles over 33 states

“E.L. Doctorow once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ ” — Anne Lamott, from her book “Bird by Bird.”

“Shawn Smucker keeps turning that phrase over and over in his head. It’s been an inspirational phrase of sorts for the Lancaster County man as he embarks on a journey that at first glance seems hard to believe.

“Smucker, who knows a thing or two about writing as a published author and blogger, is leaving his home in Paradise, taking his wife, Maile, and four children on a four-month, cross-country trek.

“Using a 40-foot RV that was once used by none other than famous traveler Willie Nelson, the Smucker family will hit the road Wednesday.

“That’s six people, four of them under age 10, sleeping in campgrounds and Walmart parking lots as they travel to 33 states, covering 10,000 miles in a lap of the country. They’ll follow a loosely defined itinerary of meet-ups with fellow writers, some the Smuckers have never met, and far-flung family members.

“The goal is simple: to see the country and educate their children that what might seem impossible is, in fact, downright real.

“It’s not a story of some sort of hippie-commune family with grandiose visions. Rather, the Smuckers’ tale is one of a family taking a step in faith and not playing by the rules that society would usually dictate.”

To read this article in its entirety, click here.

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