PUZZLES and more…
Puzzles are supposed to be fun. They offer mental stimulation and challenge without consequences. If only RV itinerary planning was just such a puzzle. Alas, there are consequences to failing to solve the puzzle, and the challenge is multiplied several fold by an assortment of other folks who get to decide, seemingly at random, whether you have a place to stop (i.e. park your home) for the time you plan. So, the simple task of routing our 38ft motor home, with tow, from point A to point B can take on a herculean quality. For the experienced RVrs, I’ll acknowledge upfront the Walmart et al options. So, yes, there are safe places to land that require little or no advanced planning. But, parking lots are not the scenery most of us are seeking.
Planning around distance/time calculations, costs, clearance and weight limitations, road conditions, weather, scheduled events and seasonal availability, AND available/suitable campground space is but part of the puzzle. In some instances, RV park reservations need to be made months in advance. And, it takes only one of those conditions to completely alter the route and/or timing. The more you travel, the greater the complexity.
Now the good news. It is all worth it 🙂 We are blessed to have the ability and the time to travel across our Country. There are so many remarkable places to experience, and we are working our way to see as much as we can, and to visit many friends along the way. Since we sold and left our Maryland home last April, we have travelled through Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota. At each stop, whether for a day or a week or more, we have created memories to carry with us and experiences to share with family and friends.
Catching up a bit… since about the end of June, we’ve travel through Wyoming to our current ‘home’ in Custer, South Dakota. It took us to Rock Springs, Pinedale, Jackson, thru Yellowstone NP, Cody, and Casper. Wyoming is such an amazing area of the Country with spectacular scenery around every bend. In addition, we got to meet good friends along the way, several of whom we had not seen in about 10 years. The following captioned pix will provide just a taste of this part of our journey.
In Pinedale I had the fun of showing Denise Trappers Point and the story about Pronghorn migration patterns – and the ‘wildlife overpass’ constructed to move the thousands of animals safely along their seasonal path between summer and winter range.
We made a brief stop in Jackson to visit a former boss and friend – had a delightful breakfast conversation before heading up thru Yellowstone. The YNP plan was to drive through to Cody with the motor home, then return to tour by car.
Found some late Spring snow along the way …
Way to much beauty to try to capture in a few photos…and assorted wildlife along the way – more about bison later …..
Amazing hot springs, but the summer tourist crowds made a visit to Old Faithful impossible….couldn’t get near the parking areas for that and other sights. But we found beauty everywhere…
Then came Cody…. If you want a good ‘western’ time, come to Cody for the 4th of July! But make your reservations early….
We got VERY lucky to get a spot at an RV park in town. With all the folks in for the celebration, and the traffic through to YNP, it is a busy time. We did two rodeos (Denise’s first), two huge parades, fireworks and other assorted activities. In addition, we spent a great evening and breakfast with good friends. Visiting with them was way past due and made for a beautiful ride up the canyon …
The parades – all three, but we only saw 2 – we’re great, and quite different from what you would see back east….
Sat up on the hill overlooking an amazing fireworks show…
..and a spectacular sunset..
And then there were the rodeos…. What great fun!
They even got all the kids in the act to try to catch the ribbon off the tail of a calf – sorry I missed that action…
Visits to Cody, and with Cody friends always are too short! We had a great time, but needed to move along. Next stop was Casper. Interestingly, at the Izaak Walton League Chapter’s RV park. Made interesting since I had worked as the National Conservation Director for the Ike — different to come to a chapter as a visitor…and paying guest. Casper was in part a work stop. We got a minor recall service at the Freightliner shop, as well as general engine service having just turned 5,000 miles.
The Casper RV park folks were great and it made for a good rest stop.
Lots left out, but on to Custer, SD …. and promised bison pix …. See next post!