Lonely Planet Writer

90 year-old goes on epic road trip with her dog Ringo

If this story doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart then nothing will. Norma is the 90 year-old Michigan woman who decided to embark on a road trip in an RV with her dog Ringo.

Norma at the Grand Canyon with Ringo
Norma at the Grand Canyon with Ringo Image by Driving Miss Norma

Two days after Norma’s husband died in a hospice, she was called into a clinic and diagnosed with uterine cancer. The treatment would include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and much more. And Norma wasn’t having any of it. Faced with the difficult path ahead of her Norma decided to forgo treatment, apparently telling her doctor, “I’m 90 years old. I’m hitting the road!” According to her Facebook page the doctor came just short of saying “Right on!” and she was off.

Norma and Ringo switch places
Norma and Ringo switch places Image by Driving Miss Norma

Thankfully for Norma, her son Tim had been living in an RV travelling so she and her dog Ringo moved in with him and his wife Ramie, and for six months she’s been travelling across the US in an RV. Driving Miss Norma is the popular Facebook page set up by Norma’s son so that people could follow Norma’s progress, based on the movie Driving Miss Daisy. It has since attracted 145,000 followers.

Norma having a nap with Ringo and her son Tim
Norma having a nap with Ringo and her son Tim Image by Driving Miss Norma

It frequently posts photos of Norma and Ringo on their amazing journey. They’ve been to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Roswell in New Mexico and even made it down to New Orleans for boogie. She had her wish granted to go on a hot air balloon ride along with everything else!

Norma gets spoilt by some park rangers!
Norma gets spoilt by some park rangers! Image by Driving Miss Norma

She makes her way around the country in a wheelchair sometimes, and always with her Standard Poodle, Ringo.

Norma gets her wish to fly in a hot air balloon
Norma gets her wish to fly in a hot air balloon Image by Driving Miss Norma

The comments of support pour in for Norma, many people commenting her for her courage and others still saying that she’s inspired them to do the same. “You are an inspiration and a reminder to others there are other options and quality of life to consider,” is what one commenter said.

Norma loving life from her hot air balloon
Norma loving life from her hot air balloon Image by Drivign Miss Norma

When Norma is asked by her supporters what she thinks of her amazing journey and adventure, she answers simply, “Well, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity, that’s for sure.”

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