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Old 09-19-2016, 07:47 PM   #29
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racer57, you gotta have a real compelling reason to plan a trip like that with two young ones. The drive half of the way across this beautiful country of ours isn't worth the hassles you will endure. You're talking nearly 4000 miles round trip. I've crossed the great plains many times and find it very flat.

The Rocky Mountains are majestic for sure, especially after two days on the great plains. But you have beautiful areas much closer to home, such as the Adirondacks, White and Green Mountains, western Pennsylvania, and Appalachian mountains. If you have visited those areas, you may find the Rockies just another beautiful place. Some folks think Glacier National Park is one of the better places to visit in the Rockies.

However long grueling trip notwithstanding, you would be most welcome. We are heading out soon from the Denver area to Yellowstone and plan on seeing some beautiful scenery. Likewise, we will always fondly remember our trip to Acadia National Park, it was just as nice as the Rockies.

David
I do have a reason. My father in law wants to go out before he cant physically and he asked if we could take him. We prob don't have too much time to make it happen. Thanks again for the advise!
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:55 PM   #30
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When do you leave? We just spent the last 2 months in Colorado, and we're in WY right now, and we'll be here for another 3 weeks. We have a few videos of our adventures in Colorado. We really enjoyed crested butte, gunnison (for the mountain biking) and the winter park area.

Denver and its suburbs were a mess. It was super tough to find camping, and they don't let you stay at Walmarts there. Maybe it'll be easier now that it's after Labor Day. If you're coming to the Jackson area, we'd love to connect.
Planning on late June 2017
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:57 PM   #31
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Looks like we did a good job of talking racer57 out of the trip plan from Pennsylvania to Colorado and Wyoming.

racer57, what says ye? On the road yet?

David
Lots of things to consider. I want to hear pros and cons. It why i asked! So far I have discovered that any day in my Airstream is better than a day at home!
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:30 PM   #32
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Hi Racer57. We just traveled thru the Midwest states in May and June. Gone a total of 5 weeks. (From Texas to South Dakota and back.)

As a Colorado native myself, once upon a time I would have agreed the great plains are boring. It all depends when you're traveling. Spring and early summer are the prettiest after winter snow and rain, there's lot's of green. In June you might still be able to see wildflowers. Don't let the kids pick any since many of them are protected. Take pics then do some research to see if you can identify them. It's a good time for intro bird watching too. We saw lots of Canada geese with goslings. You might get hummingbirds too. Pack an easy to clean plastic hummingbird feeder. Guarantee they'll find it.

Be extra careful with the wind. It's a bear. All those east west interstates can get bad cross winds. A heavy-duty weight/distribution sway hitch such as Hensley or Pro-Pride might save your bacon. Our Pro-pride certainly kept us where we belonged, but our new heftier tow vehicle was part of the equation too. Lots of semi traffic on I-80.

Some folks have already mentioned many places I'm familiar with. If you go through SD. You have Mt. Rushmore, The Badlands, The Mammath Dig in Hot Springs, Reptile Gardens, Crazy Horse, Bear Country, Spirit Mound near Vermillion (also USD), the Lewis and Clark trail. To name a few.

P.S. Pack plenty of mosquito and tick repellent, extra socks. Never leave food outside. Anywhere.
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:36 PM   #33
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Gotta add one more quite thing. No need to be paranoid but do stay out of tall grass where you can't see what's around you. That kind of area or where there's heavy brush is prime tick country, though they might invade your rig too. But there might be some other things you can't see. Like rattlesnakes. We had a snake encounter in OK at a USACE campground right next to the road and near the bathrooms.
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:30 PM   #34
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One last thing, most of us have mentioned many terrestrial sights and activities. But the best part of coming out west is looking up at night. Let the kids stay up at least one night, after a nap or two. Some parks like the Badlands in SD have Night Sky Activities. Is there an observatory near any of the places you might want to visit? Some of them have star parties open to the public. If anyone in your party is interested in photography? Astrophotography might be right up their alley. But now is the time to look into and make sure they have the right equipment.
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Old 09-20-2016, 06:00 AM   #35
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Starstream is right about the stars.

Don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet…

The high altitudes can be rough on the elderly. Slow ascents minimize the affects a bit. The slower the better. Like a few thousand feet a day even.

Altitude doesn't bother everybody, but I've seen really rugged, outdoorsy types in their late 30s, have to bail on a hiking trip because of altitude sickness.

The last time I was in Vail, I was about 50 years old, I could not sleep the first night. It can be worse than that.

Google Earth is a helpful tool ( or the old fashioned TOPO map ) In google earth scan the cursor over a location…the altitude is displayed on the bottom.
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:21 AM   #36
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Racer57.... You're in for an amazing journey! Don't discount the prairie portion of your trip. My little hometown (in North central KS) offers free camper parking, $5.00 electrical, and a dump station. Plus, we also have a little lake for picnicking, camping, or fishing. Many towns along hi way 36 offer the same situation and it keeps you out of the interstate 75mph traffic. It helps with the long trip across the Plains.

Oh, and unless you are accustomed to altitude, get Boost. My husband is a musician and did a gig at Leadville, CO in June. We've endured getting acclimated, but this lessens the struggles immensely. You can find it most everywhere once you get above 4000 feet. I'll not do Colorado altitude without it again. Traveling with both ends of the spectrum like you are, this will help your passengers enjoy the adventure! Safe for everyone. I got mine at a bicycle shop. Wally carries it as well.
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:13 PM   #37
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Okay racer57, you do have good reason and you do have a plan. Makes sense. AirForums has given you plenty of advise on your big upcoming trip. And there is plenty more to be had when you ask.

The oxygen supplement is good advice. It too me quite a while to acclimate. I've not seen one, but I'm told the ski resorts have oxygen "bars" that help people feel better. There's about 25% less air at 8000 feet above sea level.

We happen to be traveling in the Rockies ourselves at this moment. Here is a photo to whet your adventure appetite.

David
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:04 AM   #38
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The best cure for altitude sickness is to go back down at least 1000 feet and rest there for 24 hours. Not doing so can cause real problems, like brain swelling.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:30 AM   #39
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Tires, tires, tires!! Keep better/newer tires than is reasonable, and make sure they are of recent manufacture....the date they were made is very important. Following this rule for 55,000 miles in Alaska, Newfoundland, canyons and deserts of the southwest, Rocky Mtns. And such....we have never even needed to inflate. Safe travels.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:17 PM   #40
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To add to rjack's advice, while roadside assistance is nice to have, once you start getting further from the larger communities, the longer it can take for someone to reach you. If you haven't changed a tire on your tow vehicle or trailer before, take time to practice as many times as you can. All the able-bodied adults in your party should know how to do it. The wheels on your tow vehicle might be pretty heavy, so could be a two person job. Get a battery jump/air compressor that has it's own heavy duty battery, and make sure it's fully charged before you leave. Doesn't hurt to have a spare battery either, in case a cab light stays on overnight or the seven-way doesn't get unplugged. You might also have some other ghosts that can deplete a battery so low it won't hold a charge. Our '99 Expedition had air bag suspension that developed a slow leak, and the compressor ran even when the vehicle wasn't running. Sucked the life out of a battery less than a year old.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:35 PM   #41
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Here's some other advice that might save some money. Look into the America the Beautiful passes. Here's the site for more info. http://store.usgs.gov/pass/index.html

If your father-in-law has handicap tags, make sure you bring them.( My husband is a disabled veteran & we have the license plates.) His permit tag will allow you to camp in the handicap sites. They're often closest to the bathrooms and usually some of the longer sites. You'll appreciate that with your 34'.

The ABP for seniors and permanently disabled can get a lifetime pass for free. Check the limit of guests his pass would give discounts to at all Fed. Gov. recreation. Some places you might get to visit free or stay for half price, like the USAMC campgrounds. Your kids might be young enough to get in for free or for a smaller fee.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:52 PM   #42
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We are in Pinedale right now. The Wind River range got snow last night.
I love the area from Hoback to Pinedale. The Green River is actually a beautiful green color up there. It picks up the color from the soap stone. Prong horn antelope, big horn sheep, and elk are in abundance. Truly the high plains, and did I mention how cold the wind is there?
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