Who is this Ray guy?

In the current iteration (we’re always evolving and morphing, aren’t we?), I’m an intrepid traveler crisscrossing the continent while living full-time in a tiny camper. I’m often found taking long, slow dances in the wild with beloved mother nature … whenever bears aren’t chasing me.

Oops, forgot — my name is Raymond Hines; you can call me Ray. (I have a rather silly nickname I won’t share here but can be persuaded to give it up if enticed with delicious coffee and groovy pastry Hint: my weaknesses are carrot cake bars and peanut butter cookies.)

I was born with a profound hearing loss that rendered me deaf since birth, yet I hear the universe deep within. I do speak and read lips quite well — the only real sign language I know are the dirty signs. If you ask me, I’ll be happy to show you a few. 😉

Tiny camping amongst redwoods in California

I’m a lifelong entrepreneur who ended up dropping out of college to work for myself. My mainstay is a company and community I founded twenty years ago to cover University of Florida athletics at GatorCountry.com. We started selling paid subscriptions for premium internet content way back when it was virtually unheard of and we were the upstart underdogs on the field, upending the traditional media’s football cart. It was an uphill battle yet we persisted, becoming a credentialed media outlet and one of the largest college sports sites in the nation as the unofficial voice of Florida Gators fans.

I have a lovely daughter with red hair just like her Daddy. ; ) She’s currently winding her way through college and wishes to work with children in a social worker/child welfare capacity, which is great. She really likes sociology, social-economics, and wouldn’t mind working up the ladder at a health fitness center where she takes care of — you guessed it, children. I tell her she has her whole life to do whatever she wants and it’s okay to change careers if her interests shift.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.


A few years ago, I took on a year-long apprenticeship studying Reiki and became a Reiki Master.  In tandem with deep meditation, Reiki has become a foundation of life. It’s how I healed from a chronic illness and gained another lease on a life I nearly ended.

In the dawn of 2016 I began my nomadic life on the road. That (crazy?) adventure is still ongoing…

I invite you to follow me along the way as I share the literal and figurative journey in all manner of ways — the highs, lows, introspectives, poetry, photographs, and more.

For more, hop on over to my musings or sign up for an occasional email from me.

Thanks for dropping by! Be well. : )

P.S. I’d like to hear from you — feel free to sign the “guest book” below where the comments are; tell us a bit about yourself, how you found us, and perhaps where you might be on your own journey…

28 replies on “Who is this Ray guy?”

I love your musings. I am soon to be 71 years old and semi retired. I have my own business in medical physics, but have slowly eliminated my customers down to three. I have been a Gator fan since age of ten when my dad started taking me to Florida field. In my free time I have been taking classes in ASL. I have always wanted to learn ASL and now finally have the time to do so. I do not believe in handicaps or disabilities. Even though I am short, ( four feet-six inches), I have managed to live life and embrace joy at every opportunity. I have managed to complete my education in the physical sciences and start my own business. I view life with a sense of awe and wonder and seek to live my life within an attitude of gratitude. I discovered you blog via Insiders Gator Bull Gator Den.


I must have missed this during all the Florida Gator madness going on, my apologies! It sounds like you’re certainly living life to the fullest. I’m inspired that you continue to learn and move forward in life, it is much appreciated… And the joy, my friend… I’m glad you embrace it, it is the point of life to take joy in all the big and small things in gratitude. It’s great to find you here — thanks for visiting : ) Keep on living large, fellow soul.


Keep on living free, exploring and traveling.. I go worldwide as much as I can! The only thing I fear is not executing and doing, feeling, living!
Don’t worry, I have remembered your nickname from long ago, I wish you the best my friend. Keep me up to date bud!

Great to see you here, Terry! I totally agree with you — live large and freely and roamly. ; ) Good to know you remember my nickname, haw! Will try and look you up next time I’m in the Sarasota area.

Take care and all the best, my friend.

LOVE this new forum for your musings! Beautifully done. I’m so psyched to be able to get more regular inspiration from your quirky adventuring, gorgeous photos and well chosen words. By the way, your journal gift and encouragement have successfully re-engaged my journalling to very positive results! While I can’t move about the continent as much as you are doing, I love the validation and permission your example gives me to get out to the woods, rivers and coasts often and go many more places in my mind… Can’t wait to see how you realize weaving your loves into making a living. Peace and love, Cuz.

Thank you, Alex! You do know one of the great parts of my journey have been to come to Oregon and hang with you guys now and then. I truly enjoy it and the area always astounds, whether overcast or not!

I haven’t been paper journaling/sketching as much as I used to, been more focused on bringing it online. I’m sure I will find a happy balance sooner or later because putting pen to paper is an intimate thing to do.

Love and hugs,

I just found your blog from the comment over at RollingSteel’s blog. Pleased to see a fellow Scamp owner on the road and blogging. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far and will follow along with your travels.

John, thanks for making your way over here and glad you enjoy what you see. It’s always good to “meet” a fellow Scamper, too! Took a moment to look over your blog — I’ll be following it as well. It’s really nice to have fellow bloggers support one another.

Thanks for sharing and all the best.


Ray, this is really interesting. How you do this and keep GatorCountry going I don’t know. However I have known you since the Gator Talk days and signed on when you and Gator Gus started what is now GatorCountry.

It’s been an interesting ride and I love what you are doing now. If I was younger, just turned 81, I might like to give it a try.

Will keep checking in.

If you get up to Western North Carolina let me know.

Thanks, Bill! I don’t know how I do it either, but it works for the most part. Sometimes when I need to do heavy computer work I’ll drydock for awhile and use my bigger computer at my parents, etc. Works pretty well.

It’s never too late (or old) to do it, even if just on the weekends. Gotta enjoy life, friend.

All the best,

Have a very active life Ray and a big family. Graduated from UF and then had three kids graduate from there and in the last few years 3 of our grandchildren also graduated from UF. Had season tickets for over 20 years and remember the days of the big blue tent on game day. Admire what you are doing and what you have in GatorCountry which is the best Gator site. Will try to check in more often but do check in most every day on GatorCountry as gatorbill.

Thank you for all that do you for the Gator Nation. GatorCountry and Swampgas has kept me connected to the Gator Nation from as far away as Afghanistan and as close as the Swamp itself!

Ray, I wonder if we’ve crossed paths over the years we’ve been on the road. I’ve certainly seen more than a few Scamps along the way and we’ve traveled coast to coast and north to south, including wintering in Florida, Texas, and Arizona. I do hope we can cross paths sometime.

Good to see you, Misti! I haven’t kept this up as much as I want to; been “drydocked” for a while taking care of business stuff. Am looking forward to getting back to nomadin’ again soon!

It was awesome meeting and getting to know you. Talking to you about your life on the road was enlightening, your wisdom is apparent. Hope you get your door hinges fixed!

Hi Ray, am so, so glad that I saw your final FB post. Have missed you, my friend from INFJAA. Am sending you an email very soon. Will catch up on your adventures. Last I read about was misplaced Christmas prawns (shrimp).
Lots of love from

I’ve been a “ray fan” since our grade school days.
You’ve always been upbeat and positive.
Since I have rediscovered Ray Hines as a “mature” (giggle) adult everything that I have read of yours has been easy to follow and captures the moments so well that it feels like I was there with you when it happened.
Happiness is a measured success. You seem very successful.
May you continue to be a “Ray” of sunshine for others.
Safe travels my friend.

Just read your comments on Jon Katz’s blog. I like your positive attitude. Hoping to read much more of your writing and enjoy your travel tales.

Glad you made it over here, A.N.! I’ll hopefully be able to start posting more once I get back on the road in a few months after recovering from Lyme. Can’t wait. Thanks for popping over!


It’s been a fascinating journey too! It’s not without its struggles and it’s not for everyone. It’s so worth it to expand boundaries, very enriching and you meet amazing souls on the way. Glad you stopped by, Kathy!

Fond memories of that Big Blue Tent and the gang showing up… Those were the days! Never knew Gator Country would still be chugging along two decades later. Good to see you still around too – esp on the boards! Take care, Bill.

Ray, great to virtually meet you. Love the posts, and the lifestyle. If you ever end up travelling up to Nova Scotia, we have 64 acres of land where you can park and explore from.

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