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Old 04-27-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
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Advice Needed: Colorado and New Mexico

I'm trying to plan our summer excursion and could use some advice.

The bookends are Colorado Springs Aug. 12-25 and the Albuquerque International Balloon Airstream Rally beginning Oct 5th. It is the weeks in between that I could use some advice on. I'd like to stay in the Colorado and New Mexico area. We're planning on going further west next year.

The travel criteria I have is:
  • I can only travel (change locations) on the weekends.
  • I require Verizon coverage at the campground.
  • We have a 34' Classic, so the total length of the rig is right at 59'. So, none of the roads I'd love taking my car down.
  • My daughter would like to see Mesa Verde.
So... if you had 6 weeks to see the area, what would you do?

I appreciate any advice ya'll can give me.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:08 PM   #2
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In this order:

1. Mesa Verde
2. Canyon de Chelly
3. Monument Valley
4. Arches & Canyonland National Parks (very close to each other)
5. Goblin Valley State Park
6. Capital Reef National Park
7. Bryce Canyon National Park
8. Zion National Park
9. North Rim of The Grand Canyon National Park
10. South Rim of The Grand Canyon (crowds are horrible)
11. Flagstaff, then I 40 to Alburquerque
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:28 PM   #3
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I'm kind of thinking that Verizon coverage may be the key issue to locating places for him.

Lynn
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:44 PM   #4
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I'm kind of thinking that Verizon coverage may be the key issue to locating places for him.

Lynn
Being near Shiprock, you have to KNOW that any kind of coverage is iffy at best.

But if you're out seeing the sights of the west, can't it wait until you've dropped the trailer at (hopefully) a camp that has wifi? ;-)
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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Ah, Shiprock is over 250 miles from my place! If they do have coverage over there, I'll bet we won't pick it up here. On the other hand, there are no Verizon towers here, either (though they do rent some space from another provider locally, I've heard.)

Lynn


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Originally Posted by murreywalker View Post
Being near Shiprock, you have to KNOW that any kind of coverage is iffy at best.

But if you're out seeing the sights of the west, can't it wait until you've dropped the trailer at (hopefully) a camp that has wifi? ;-)
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:04 PM   #6
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Regarding the need for Verizon, the wi-fi at parks (and just about anywhere else) won't work as I have to use VPN to access my employer's system. Most public wi-fi's won't allow VPN connectivity. And since I'm unfortunately far from being retired, I have to work everyday. They just don't care where I do it from.

I have a Sprint card too, but from their coverage map, they might as well not have service in the west.

Again, I do appreciate any recommendations anyone can give me.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:12 PM   #7
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Ah, Shiprock is over 250 miles from my place! If they do have coverage over there, I'll bet we won't pick it up here. On the other hand, there are no Verizon towers here, either (though they do rent some space from another provider locally, I've heard.)

Lynn
Since you had Shiprock in you Avatar, I just assumed. Lesson learned, never…
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:14 PM   #8
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Nah, that's just a pic I took near Shiprock. It's a neat place for photography. But don't get caught there if you need to be in touch with the world.

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Old 04-27-2012, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle View Post
Regarding the need for Verizon, the wi-fi at parks (and just about anywhere else) won't work as I have to use VPN to access my employer's system. Most public wi-fi's won't allow VPN connectivity. And since I'm unfortunately far from being retired, I have to work everyday. They just don't care where I do it from.

I have a Sprint card too, but from their coverage map, they might as well not have service in the west.

Again, I do appreciate any recommendations anyone can give me.
Ah, VPN will be a limiting factor. Looking at VZ's coverage map, I would think your options will be VERY limiting; Maybe Durango and Moab.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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In Northern New Mexico you could go to either Heron Lake State park or El Vado state park. They put in a cell tower nearby a few years ago and the verizon coverage is good. The daily rate is 10.00 dry and 14.00 with elec. 10 mi north you could take a ride on the Toltec Cumbres Railroad which takes you on a scenic ride from Chama NM to Antonito Co. This area is my favorite places to camp out.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:42 PM   #11
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Verizon coverage is very nice in the south (Alamogordo/White Sands National Monument). Only a few hours from Albequerque.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:52 PM   #12
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If it were me, I would avoid the NM & Utah desert heat in August & early Sept.

And seeing as you want to stay connected to the outside world, you might want to stick to city parks or RV parks in metro areas and day trip from there. Here's the loop I would do avoiding Capitol Reef & Bryce on UT12 with 60' of towing fun.

Colorado Springs
Denver/Boulder
Estes Park-RMNP
Frisco/Breckenridge
Carbondale/Aspen
Grand Junction-CONM
Moab-Arches/Canyonlands
Mesa Verde
Monument Valley
Grand Canyon North Rim
Zion
Flagstaff
Albuquerque
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:16 PM   #13
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I've done a couple of loops in Colorado that I thought worthwhile:

My favorite hit the south-western part and consisted of the Sand Dunes National Monument, Mesa Verde area, Four Corners, then back-tracked to Durango, then north through Ouray, hit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and then west to Colorado Springs. I really enjoyed this loop, as it had a little of everything, small towns, historic gold mining towns, desert like scenery in the Dunes, awesome mountains around Ouray, and cultural/historical sites around Mesa Verda.

You will spend enough time on the highways and in reasonably populated areas that you should have no trouble connecting to Verizon. I use Verizon, and I recall very few dead spots--typically going over some mountain pass where you aren't going to spend a lot of time anyway.

good luck.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:32 PM   #14
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We just pulled out of Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs, and the Verizon 3G was good there — not outstanding — but I work full-time as a web developer and need a constant, consistent, fast enough connection and I had it there. It was a very nice state park —*full hookups, spacious, spread apart sites. Beware that they charge and extra fee for the tow vehicle on top of the camping fee, so if you're staying in CO State Parks for over a week, it makes sense to buy their Annual Pass right off the bat to cover the tow vehicle (however, I'm not certain that *all* CO state parks charge separately for the tow vehicle…).

We stayed right in town in Santa Fe —*at Trailer Ranch RV Resort (they don't enforce the 55+ rule for RVers — probably unless you have kids). Typical RV park, but very nicely run and well kept up, and since it's right in town, the Verizon signal is great. (Santa Fe has a great food scene and art scene if you're into that kind of thing). That's all I've got! I wouldn't recommend where we stayed near Albequerque (which was actually pretty far S of there), but it sounds like you've already got plans once you get there anyway!
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