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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 2385  
Subject: My summer vacation Date: 8/7/2012 11:08 PM
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with a few modifications, we followed the itinerary laid out here:
http://boards.fool.com/summer-2012-trip-plan-30085255.aspx

Highlights...
+ seeing friends, most of whom took us to see the sights in their towns, better than we would've done on our own and more fun, too
+ my pastels class at The Clearing
+ keeping cool in Door County WI and Northern Michigan during the Great Heat Wave--we are huge fans of the Great Lakes!
+ camping at INterlochen State Park in Michigan and walking across the street for outstanding concerts at Interlochen Arts Center (I had been a camper there the summer of '65 and they really roll out the red carpet for Alums! It was wonderful-)
+ driving through the beautiful Southern Appalachians in GA and TN outbound, and KY and NC homeward bound
+ Mackinac Island
+ delicious pork products at Benton Country Hams in Madisonville TN, and very fresh produce at farmer's markets everywhere, especially loved the little one in Stevens Point WI, just one farmer

As usual, I'm having trouble readjusting to life at home after the freedom of the road, so of course I started planning The Great RV Trip of 2013!

Start ~5/22
.....................
...If we're getting RV work done in Southern Colorado...
~10d on the road (GA, TN, AR, OK, TX, NM)
~4d in Southern CO
~1w on the road (CO, WY, MT)
...Else…
~1w on the road (SC, NC, TN, KY, IN, IL)
~1w in WI
~1w on the road (MN, ND, MT)
.....................
6/12...1w Glacier NP
6/19...5d Banff
6/24...5d Jasper
6/29...4d Kamloops/Kelowna
7/3....1w Vancouver/Victoria
7/10...9d Seattle/Puget Sound
7/19...5d Olympic Peninsula
7/24...3d Mt Rainier
7/27...1w Portland/Columbia Gorge
8/3....4d Eugene
8/7....1w Redwood NP/Northern CA coast
8/14...1w <?>
8/21...1w Bay Area
8/28...3d Monterey Bay
8/31...1w SLO area
9/7....1w Santa Barbara area
9/14...5d LA area
9/19...3d Montclair (Lazy Daze factory)
...2d on the road
9/24...1w Phoenix/Tucson area...Kitt Peak Observatory?
...2d on the road
10/3...10d Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta...National Museum of Nuclear Science and History
10/13...3w NM...Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos
...10d on the road, getting home in time to put together a nice Thanksgiving dinner for company

QUESTIONS:
Should I make reservations soonish at Glacier and the Canadian National Parks?

Any suggestions on things to do and places to camp along the route are most welcome, as well as suggestions to stay longer--or shorter! -- anywhere. I haven't yet gone to the next level of detail very much, planning some specific things to do at each camping location and between camps.
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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2279 of 2385
Subject: Re: My summer vacation Date: 8/8/2012 8:42 AM
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Wow, you do a lot of driving! We're more "lopers", do about 3-4 hours and camp, repeat, repeat, repeat.

I don't know how it is these days, but ten years age when we went we slid right into Glacier (and Yellowstone!) without a reservation. Yellowstone was the day before July 4th weekend, and we got in (admittedly the next to last spot), and Glacier, if memory serves, was easy.

But then we never had a schedule, so we *couldn't* make reservations. You do it differently, so YMMV, and obviously does.

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2280 of 2385
Subject: Re: My summer vacation Date: 8/8/2012 10:46 AM
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Wow, you do a lot of driving!

Yeah, this is a particularly long trip in distance as well as time--about 6 months. I wish we could leave earlier and slow it down, add some in-between stops to shorten driving days, but that would only be possible if my husband retires after fall semester...I've told him that's fine with me. You know, I think I'll tweak my plan, shortening some stays and adding some in-between stops anyway. Thanks for making me see this!!

ten years age when we went we slid right into Glacier (and Yellowstone!) without a reservation. Yellowstone was the day before July 4th weekend, and we got in (admittedly the next to last spot), and Glacier, if memory serves, was easy.

Cool! We arrived at Yellowstone sans reservations 4 years ago. IIRC it was mid to late June. The night before, we camped in a Walmart parking lot in Cody WY along with 1-2 dozen other RVs--never seen the like before or since--and were the 2nd or 3rd to get out in the morning. When we got to Yellowstone, there was one spot available for a few days in one campground, and another for the following few days in another CG. It worked out, but at the time I felt lucky...can I continue to count on good luck?!

Oh! Flashback to my cross-country tent-camping trip w/my boyfriend in May to September of 1972(!). We arrived at Yellowstone w/out reservations and had to spend the first night in an open field off in some wilderness area of the park...ALONE (no other campers)...a hiker had been killed by a grizzly just a week or two before(!)...I was terrified when I needed to pee before turning in just after sundown, walking maybe 100 yards alone with my flashlight, hearing or imagining scuffling and sniffing, shiny animal eyes...perhaps it's that memory that keeps me making reservations!!

We're more "lopers", do about 3-4 hours and camp, repeat, repeat, repeat.

I would like to do this, but I suspect we need to pay more attention to cost than you do, which is why we seldom camp in private CGs. I try to keep average daily site expense to $15, but it was a bit over $18 this trip despite more free camping than usual. Prices are up, and the pvt CG we used for a whole week near my art class was $43/night. My experience is that in general, public campgrounds tend to fill up earlier than private ones. I had no reservations for the last week of this summer's trip. We were lucky to get a site at Lake Powhatan Recreation Area near Asheville NC the last week in July. And there were only a few available sites with electricity at Cumberland Gap, although we did arrive there on a Friday, something I try to avoid (I have to make another pass through my itinerary to eliminate most/all Friday/Saturday arrivals.)

We'd both prefer driving 3-4 hours instead of 5+. My back aches after 2-3 hrs in the front seat, even as a passenger, and I need to switch to reclining with pillows in the dinette (I wear the seatbelt), where I read and miss most of the en-route scenery. On the other hand, we don't like to make & break camp every 2-3 days either, not on a long trip.

Thank you very much for your comments.

I'd love to see more posts about this...I feel a poll coming on!

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Author: utahtea Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2286 of 2385
Subject: Re: My summer vacation Date: 1/14/2013 11:24 PM
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6/12...1w Glacier NP
6/19...5d Banff
6/24...5d Jasper
6/29...4d Kamloops/Kelowna
7/3....1w Vancouver/Victoria
7/10...9d Seattle/Puget Sound
7/19...5d Olympic Peninsula
7/24...3d Mt Rainier
7/27...1w Portland/Columbia Gorge
8/3....4d Eugene
8/7....1w Redwood NP/Northern CA coast
8/14...1w <?>
8/21...1w Bay Area
8/28...3d Monterey Bay


If you go to the Glacier National Park website they have a status page which will tell you day by day and campground by campground if the campground filled up on any certain day of previous years. It's really cool. http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/cgstatus/cgstatus.cfm

I don't remember what size RV you have, but I've been finding that with our 30 ft motorhome that we bought in 2006, we are having to make more and more reservations to get sites. It's a combination of more people camping and the larger size of this RV over our last one.

We were in Glacier for 9 nights late August to early September. I made reservations because we were going to be there over the Labor Day weekend...OY! You might find that if you don't have reservations you might have to move to the first come, first serve campground on the weekends...but I don't know for sure.

We haven't been to Jasper and Banff since 1999...but I'd love to go back. Back then we didn't make reservations but we also had a smaller RV but I'd be inclined to make reservations with our 30 footer.

Keep in mind that Canada has Canada Day which is July 1 so where ever you're going to be on that weekend, you might want reservations too.

8/14 week ideas: My #1 choice would be Yosemite National Park but it is crowded in the summer. You would want to stay in Yosemite Valley and MAKE RESERVATIONS ASAP! #2 would be Lassen National Park & possible side trip to Burney Falls.

Where are you staying in the Bay Area? There aren't a lot of choices and Walmarts might not be an answer because a lot of towns have over night restrictions. I know our town does.

We don't camp much in the summer anymore because it's so busy. I would recommend having reservations for every night you plan to spend in California!!!

Utahtea

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