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Old 02-28-2008, 08:15 PM   #15
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Charlie, we moved up here from Florida in 05 and boy the winter are cold, i can't imagine how cold it gets in Colorado, the mountains would be beautiful though. Next winter we will go back to Florida, neither one of us can take the cold now, i guess we turned into wimps,lol. Again thanks for all the information. George
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:05 PM   #16
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We moved from the Ft. Myers Fl area to S. Alabama in 1998, and to here in 2002. Alabama was hotter in the summer and much colder in the winter then Florida. It's really not so bad here, but I do plan on moving to a slightly lower altitude someday, maybe around 7-8,000. The lack of humidity makes things much more tolerable out west. A hot day in the desert is more tolerable then a hot day in your area. I don't feel as cold at 20 degrees here as I did at 45 in Alabama.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:32 PM   #17
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Alabama does cook in the summer, but it's pretty cool all morning. southern Alabama really cooks. The lake temp is about 85 to 88 by then end of may so we are in the water quite a bit. You are right about being cold, i was outside on wed it was 40 and the wind was whipping off the lake, brrr.

Today was about 50 and very sunny with no wind it felt like in the 60's. I absolutely love this state, were you anywhere near Gulf shores? We lived in Pompano for 15 years and then Stuart for 6. If we are home and you are in this area, you are welcome to park your AS right out from by the lake. I'll have to learn how to post pics here.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:34 AM   #18
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You need to do what you are comfortable with doing and not necessarily listen to me or others, but I don't believe reservations are necessary. We traveled just under 10,000 miles last summer and fall up through Yellowstone and Glacier into Alberta and back down through British Columbia through Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Nevada, Southern Utah, N. Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico without ever obtaining one single reservation and we never were turned down at any place we wanted to stay. Granted, we mostly stayed in private campgrounds with full amenities as opposed to inside the various national parks. The park campground probably require a reservation. We often used a central campsite as a base from which to visit muliple parks in many areas. This central site idea can be done with a variety of the parks. At Yellowstone and Grand Teton we stayed in the park system's centrally located Colter Bay campground visiting both parks from that site. In Washington State we visited Mt. Ranier and Mt. St. Helens while staying in the same commercial park. In southern Utah, we visited Zion, Bryce and the northern rim of the Grand Canyon from the same campround then moved on down to the northern rim of the Grand canyon from there. Leaving the Grand Canyon, we toured southern Utah which for us was the highlight of the entire trip as we made our way through the Grand Staircase over to Natural Bridges, Arches and on into southwestern Colorado. For me, I refuse to be a slave to anyone else's itenerary. If we want to stay in an area an extra week, I want to be able to do that. If something we want to see is 300 miles out of the way, I want to go see it. That is sort of what happened to us in Southern Utah. We never dreamed there would be that much variety and stark beauty in one general area. Much of the greatest scenery wasn't even in a national park system, but rather essentially along the roads such as Utah's Red Canyon on the way from Zion to Bryce and Alberta's mountains north of Waterman and on into Jasper. Listen to me and you may regret it, but we truly had abdolutely no difficulties last year making this entire trip without a single reservation. We never once stopped at a campground requesting a night or a week's stay and were turned down. We both followed strict schedules for over thirty years in out jobs. We don't feel like those kinds of scheduled activity should apply to our vacations now that we have retired. Good luck to you and have a safe, but enjoyable trip.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:43 AM   #19
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Thanks for the invitation, it sounds like a really nice setting. We haven't been back to Alabama since we moved but we may plan a trip to the south someday. Since moving out west we all of our vacation in the np, or boon docking in the mountains. If you plan your trip to Colorado let me know. We're always up for a weekend trip to Rocky Mountain np, or I could recommend a lot of lesser known passes in the mountains. We lived in Daphne, and I worked in Gulf Shores while in Alabama. I seem to remember a lot of 105 degree days with 100% humidity. If you've never been out west you'll really take notice of the humidity factor. I envy your trip, we're a few years away from being able to take a trip that long, but I have a plan.
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:36 AM   #20
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Thanks GStephens: For the first part of our trip we will reserve, but there is no way i could possibly stay on schedule for such a long trip. There is no doubt the we want to visit places we haven't planned on. You just mentioned two, Grand Staircase and Natural Bridges. Could you tell me, how many days you would stay at each? I'll try to make reservations as we go, after the first part of our trip. I might try to book the big parks, like yellowstone, redwood, ect, i'd have to give us a couple of weeks of extra time for add on day trips.

We went to Big Bend last year and didn't give ourselves enough time, (10 days total from Al). We got to the campround to the south and my favorite, with only 2 days before we had to go home, we could have stayed there for a month. I loved that park. We are getting so excited, we can't wait. George
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:11 AM   #21
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Staying in-park vs. private rv place...

GStevens makes a great point...you can do a lot from a central base...plus private RV campgrounds have many more amenities than the campgrounds at the national parks.

To be more specific, the national parks have no facilities usually: no hookups, basic bathrooms and usually no showers, usually no laundry. Just something to think about...
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:26 PM   #22
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Charlie, we live in Bankhead NF very nice here, i have 535ft of deepwater frontage, it's a point lot that is very flat. I would love to have a small AS rally here someday. We go down to GS at least every 6-8 weeks for fresh shrimp and fish, we fould a couple of great places to get it. We went down in Aug, in the campground it was 100+, the AC in the airstream could only get it to 82 or so mid day. I love that area!

It would be great to do a little boon docking in the mountains, it would be great to meet up with you. Most likely we will do Colorado on this trip. I can't imagine going out west and not seeing Colorado, it would be after the Tetons if we do, because it will be warmer then. Would we have to reserve to stay around Rocky M NP? It would probably be july i would imagine.

I don't have a real time limit to spend out there, but i'm leaving my house empty and i have a floating dock that needs to be watched as the water level goes up and down. I do have friends keeping watch, but... I also have to see Dad, in Mass, that will be a long, long drive.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:45 PM   #23
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" usually no laundry. Just something to think about.."

Another great point i didn't think of, my wife can change a couple of times a day, lol. Looks like we will have to stay outside of the NP's quite a bit too.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:48 PM   #24
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I do prefer to stay in the parks, but when I go on a longer trip I try to break it up between dry camping and hook up sites. I'll go to Yellowstone this year, and dry camp for the first 3 nights then move to a hook up site with facilities such as laundry, and finish in another dry camp site. We can go 4 days comfortably while dry camping but anything beyond that and we have to move to dump the tanks and refill on water. It is nicer to stay in the parks, and most don't offer hook ups, but it would be really tough to do this for that length of time. When you're doing Arches I'd highly recommend Devils Garden, and they take reservations. It's so quite, you're right by several Arches, and your camped next to some awesome Red Rocks. There's no light pollution so the sky is unlike anything you've ever seen. As far as RMNP all the campgrounds are excellent, and I would reserve there if possible. Let me know if you decide on making it through Colorado, we're going to Yellowstone in July, but we can easily make time for short camping trip. Thought I'd throw in a pic of one of our trips to devils garden in Arches.
Charlie
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:42 PM   #25
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Awesome pic Charlie. I will start calling the NP's tomorrow to see about reservations. Devils gardens looks like a great place to stay, thanks. I'll have to do the same thing as you do, find a place with hookups every 3 days or so. I'll post while we are traveling so we can keep in touch, as of right now. i think we will go to Colorado. What part of july are you going to Yellowstone? I'm not sure how long it will take us to get there, i know these western states are bigger than most in the east. It looks real easy and quick on the map, lol. George
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:40 AM   #26
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We'll be in Arches again on May 1st. I just reserved our Yellowstone sites this week after working out vacation date details. We'll be in the Madison campground on the Firehole river on July 11th for 3 days, then Flagg ranch for hook ups for 3 days, and finish the trip at the Grant village campground for 3 days. We can go 4 days dry camping or boon docking with some conservation and have gone 5. I run 3 29 series batteries so power is never a problem, it's the water and tank holding capacity. If you have a campground with showers that makes a big difference. If you plan only 3 nights in some of the smaller parks you should be fine in those areas. Your batteries will recharge while driving between sites if it's more then a few hours. The big issue will be the laundry and possibly the need for ac if it's hot. The way you're planning this is very smart by getting in desert areas early before it gets too hot. Let me know when you're coming to Colorado.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:08 PM   #27
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Hi Charlie, our first stop is Petrified Forest, i gave us about 5 days to get there. Our first Reservation so far is, Trailer Village on the Southern Rim on april 23-25th, i wanted to be close to the best views.

Next we in Mt Carmel for the 26th-28th to see Zion and anything else close by. Then Bryce the 29th-1st, Capital Reef, 2cd-3rd, then Arches 4th-6th.

How long are you going to be in Arches NP? We could probably cut one day out of Bryce because we should get there very early on the the 29th. Is Bryce worth 2 or 3 days? It would be great if we got there early enough to say hello.

We have two 6 volt AGM's and a portable 65 watt uni-solar panel so we will have plenty of power too, I have 3 but one should do. It charges the batteries up very fast. You have three 29's, very nice, plenty of power there! Water and holding tanks will be a problem with us too, after a few days of boon docking.

I'm hoping it doesn't get to hot, we have our two labs with us. I wouldn't imagine it will get more than 85 or so that early in the year, would it?

After Arches we go to Canyonland NP for the 7th-9th, then we will head towards the North Rim which opens on the 15th. There is a few good places to visit in between. From there Hoover dam, Vegas, Death Valley NP, Sequoia NP, Kings Canyon NP, and Yosemite NP. The rest is still in the works. I haven't even started driving yet and i'm tired, lol.

George
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:48 PM   #28
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About an hour west of the Petrified Forest is Meteor Crater. It's a nice one day visit with a very nice RV Park located just off I-40 only a few miles from the impact site. A good place to visit if you are running ahead on time.
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