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Old 05-18-2015, 08:28 PM   #1
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Bryant , Arkansas
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First Long road trip ever

Hello all! We have had our Airstream for a little over a month now. We have been on 5 long weekend trips and that is mostly what we will be doing. Sadly we are many long years from being retired. However at the end of June and early July we will be going on our first long trip. Just looking for any pointers specific to long trips or any pointers specific to our destinations. Here is our plan now:

Start in Little Rock
Stops for sure in:
Omaha
Mount Rushmore
Big Horn
Maybe Devils Tower
Yellowstone (reservations at headwater for 4 nights)
Salt Lake (4 nights for a work conference, staying at Grand American)
Maybe go through Denver on the way home but that leg we will be ready to get home, so probably shortest way from Salt Lake to Little Rock would be best.

Any input would be great. Certain days we want to consider hard driving days as we only have 14 days for the trip.

All the best,

Tim
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:06 PM   #2
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Well - I have had my trailer (well we that is - my wife and kids) for 2 years almost and one thing is for sure - being prepared helps

Makes lists in advance - double check them - follow checklists for departure - arrival - at gas stops - etc

We have yet to go on a trip longer than 1 week and will not probably for a while yet - but one day....


I'll be interested in advice you get!


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Old 05-18-2015, 11:17 PM   #3
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If you're doing Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone, then you might want to consider using Alternate US 14 and visiting Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area along the way. You could do it as a whole day affair or just spend a couple hours doing the scenic drive to the canyon viewpoints and keeping an eye out for wild horses. If you're not going to visit one of the desert parks in Utah or Colorado this might make an interesting substitute.

Medicine Wheel is also along that route as wheel, although the 1.25 mi trail to it was covered with snow and ice when I was passing through in early June 2012.

If you're heading through Grand Teton, the Cascade Canyon trail is amazing. The Moose Chuckwagon was a lot of fun.

On your return, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah are about an hour south of I-70, about an hour west of the border with Colorado.

If you'd rather continue west on I-70 and avoid such a diversion, Colorado National Monument is in Colorado about 15 minutes into the state, and only a few minutes off of I-70. It has some nice hikes and a beautiful scenic drive.

If you continue on through Denver, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is fascinating, and the zoo is pretty good. There's also Lookout Mountain just off of I-70, which has some decent short hikes, good viewpoints to look at the city, and the grave of Buffalo Bill. Marlowe's and Katie Mullen's Irish Restaurant & Pub both have good food downtown.

Alternately, you could take US 191 and US 491 south through Moab (past Arches and Canyonlands) to Cortez, CO. There, you can divert a few miles east to visit Mesa Verde National Park. Continuing south on US 491 from Cortez will bring you to Gallup, NM. From there, I-40 will take you home, but you'll be travelling alongside the remnants of old Route 66 until Oklahoma City, so there would be a number of interesting things along that route. For example, there are interesting lava and other rock formations near Grants, NM, the National Route 66 Museum at Elk City, OK, the interesting study that is old Route 66 through Shamrock, TX, and a rest area in Texas with Route 66 memorabilia inside and a "Beware of Rattlesnakes" sign outside. Amarillo, TX has a small RV museum at a dealership, and the American Quarterhorse Museum. Also, Palo Duro Canyon State Park isn't too far away - I didn't get a chance to stop when I went through last year, though.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:20 PM   #4
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Also, regarding Devils Tower. There is a voluntary climbing ban observed during June, out of respect for certain native American religious practices. As a result, visitors are requested not to climb the tower itself and not to climb the boulder field inside the loop trail.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:27 PM   #5
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As of right now, the road between Old Faithful and Grant Village over the Craig Pass is closed. So to go to Old Faithful from Headwaters, you need to go north to Canyon, west to Norris, southwest to Madison and then south to Old Faithful, about 110 miles altogether. Long round trip but doable.

They hope to get it open around June 11th.

The road between Norris and Mammoth Hot Springs is under construction and is barely passable to towed vehicles when it is raining or snowing. Right now it is best to avoid the north entrance. Once they get the Dunraven Pass open (again by the 11th of June), I highly recommend traveling that way from Mammoth to points south.

Mike
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Old 05-19-2015, 12:03 AM   #6
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Mohnton , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 366
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Hi StreamAlholic,
Love your AS Forum name! We are also newbies with first Airstream ( first travel trailer ever ) for just a year and only 120 nights camped thus far. Learned many great tips from the Airforum pros but there is no better experience than taking a long trip in your very own Airstream. Our most recent long trip was 93 consecutive days during a snowbird escape to the southwest. We had way more anxiety prior to hitting the road than our first long weekend - longer two week trips in our first few months. Our primary concerns were related to safety and comfort.
Traveling during winter with temps down to 20° and no indoor plumbing ( pink stuff still in place ' fearing potential bad weather ( ice, snow, sleet, hail), and breakdowns in no mans land were our biggies.

Lessons learned:
- Use checklists for safety and organization
- Stay organized with a place for everything and everything in its place. The longer you are on
the road...the more you will realize just how important this is: tools, first aid, laundry, winter vs.
summer clothes- use storage bins, totes, organizers, color code if necessary....you will love
knowing just where to look for everything and remember to return items after using. The devil
is in the details- include two or three rolls of quarters in your laundry bin, extra stamps in your
home office kit, box of non - perishable meals for just in case
- Use smart phone weather app for carefully watching weather and planning your camping and
on the road hours....try staying at campground two nights after a particularly long haul driving
longer than planned, etc.
- Highly recommend Allstays app for phone and/ or iPad....this was our primary source for
securing campgrounds while traveling without prior reservations and supplemented with
State Visitor Center Guides.
- Always travel with minimally 1/2 tank fresh water and use the 1/2 tank rule for planning fuel
refills....we found we really liked to fill up just before camping for the night so we were
ready to roll next morning especially for heavy travel days.
- Always check your travel route on paper maps and become familiar with routes and travel
options around large metropolitan areas in addition to using GPS ( if you are lucky enough to
have a system you like ).
- Keep valuables secure at all times....insurance cards, passports, medical stuff, cash, etc.

We generally enjoy state, county and national park campgrounds for sites in more natural settings. Most of our camping has been without full hookups. Campground utilities or lack thereof leads to further discussion for tips and lessons learned.
- Extra lengths of fresh water hose extremely helpful as is, Y - connector, water bandit,
two fresh water jugs ( plus bottles drinking water ).
- Collapsible sink to help manage grey water plus paper goods ( decrease amt. dishes when
camping without hookups).
- Grab n Go Shower Kits for instances when showering in Airstream not optional for any
number of reasons. My idea of Grab n Go is similar to Airline 311 bag ( small toiletries )
We just find this more convenient than grabbing toiletries from main bathroom. Also,
helps from walking to campground bath house in dark, stripping down and then realizing
what you forgot.

Kitchen/Meals:
- Load up your frig and freezer with proteins, fruits and vegetables that you can cook on
propane, micro/convection ( if applicable ) or grill. I find it is less stressful to meal plan to have
alternative cooking methods because you may not know in advance where you might land and
if your main entree can be sautéed, grilled or baked .....you are set!
- Freeze portions for warm up only cooking in quart size ziplocs ....I can carry two to three
weeks of food and reduce waste.
- Ziplocs Steam bags for microwave....you can cook healthy tasty veggies & fresh potatoes and
no pots to clean!
- Collabsible sink so you can empty wash water into black tank

Keep track in notebook or iPad day by day notes where you camped, attractions, new friends.....longer trips you will find you might forget details you wish you had noted.
Have a great trip,
FCloud9
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Old 05-19-2015, 12:50 PM   #7
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Carlsbad , California
Join Date: Feb 2015
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We stayed in private park near Custer State Park many years ago. Custer was a great 1/2 day trip.....intro to Bison. We used that campground as a base to explore the black hills area for several days. We did make the trip to Devil's Tower from there and it took the better part of the day. It was impressive to see .
Rushmore at night was remarkable. We did not see Crazy Horse.
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Old 05-19-2015, 12:57 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Mind the burros at Custer State Park.

The babies are sweet, and they will eat right out of your hand, but if you get out don't carry anything in your hands as you don't know what they might think it is.

Ask me how I know this .....still carry a scar from an injury there in 2001.

Have a great time!


Maggie
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:41 PM   #9
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2014 25' FB International
Bryant , Arkansas
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOhioSean View Post
If you're doing Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone, then you might want to consider using Alternate US 14 and visiting Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area along the way. You could do it as a whole day affair or just spend a couple hours doing the scenic drive to the canyon viewpoints and keeping an eye out for wild horses. If you're not going to visit one of the desert parks in Utah or Colorado this might make an interesting substitute.

Medicine Wheel is also along that route as wheel, although the 1.25 mi trail to it was covered with snow and ice when I was passing through in early June 2012.

If you're heading through Grand Teton, the Cascade Canyon trail is amazing. The Moose Chuckwagon was a lot of fun.

On your return, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah are about an hour south of I-70, about an hour west of the border with Colorado.

If you'd rather continue west on I-70 and avoid such a diversion, Colorado National Monument is in Colorado about 15 minutes into the state, and only a few minutes off of I-70. It has some nice hikes and a beautiful scenic drive.

If you continue on through Denver, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is fascinating, and the zoo is pretty good. There's also Lookout Mountain just off of I-70, which has some decent short hikes, good viewpoints to look at the city, and the grave of Buffalo Bill. Marlowe's and Katie Mullen's Irish Restaurant & Pub both have good food downtown.

Alternately, you could take US 191 and US 491 south through Moab (past Arches and Canyonlands) to Cortez, CO. There, you can divert a few miles east to visit Mesa Verde National Park. Continuing south on US 491 from Cortez will bring you to Gallup, NM. From there, I-40 will take you home, but you'll be travelling alongside the remnants of old Route 66 until Oklahoma City, so there would be a number of interesting things along that route. For example, there are interesting lava and other rock formations near Grants, NM, the National Route 66 Museum at Elk City, OK, the interesting study that is old Route 66 through Shamrock, TX, and a rest area in Texas with Route 66 memorabilia inside and a "Beware of Rattlesnakes" sign outside. Amarillo, TX has a small RV museum at a dealership, and the American Quarterhorse Museum. Also, Palo Duro Canyon State Park isn't too far away - I didn't get a chance to stop when I went through last year, though.
Thanks you for all of your insight on the route. I will definitely use your advice, I'll have it next to me in a completely map out our trip... We are leaving June 28th. Hopefully snow wont be too much of a factor?!
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
As of right now, the road between Old Faithful and Grant Village over the Craig Pass is closed. So to go to Old Faithful from Headwaters, you need to go north to Canyon, west to Norris, southwest to Madison and then south to Old Faithful, about 110 miles altogether. Long round trip but doable.

They hope to get it open around June 11th.

The road between Norris and Mammoth Hot Springs is under construction and is barely passable to towed vehicles when it is raining or snowing. Right now it is best to avoid the north entrance. Once they get the Dunraven Pass open (again by the 11th of June), I highly recommend traveling that way from Mammoth to points south.

Mike
Great, Thanks. We are leaving June 28th. We will check all the road conditions as we get closer to the trip. What's the best source for that information?
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:48 PM   #11
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I am very interested in this thread, as I am planning my 1st ever LONG TRIP.....my "bucket list trip"....solo, as a senior lady. I wish I'd done it 20 years ago, but, couldn't...so, here I am now...determined to try it, finally! From Denver> Grand Tetons> Glacier NP> PNW coast> Washinton, Oregon, N.Calf. Coastline hwy 101 drive, and perhaps camp, fish, photography, nature sightseeing...can't really hike, but, will try to MOZY along some easy trails to see a bit more than I can from the roadway.

I hope to return to Denver by a more northerly route, and avoid desert region.

I'll travel with my 'alert dog', Pomeranian, Bella Diva....and (appropriate self defense items that I am well qualified on)! I prefer to camp with full hookups
Where possible, but, no out of the way Boondocking, as I don't want to be alone in the middle of nowhere. I'm gutsy and somewhat adventurous still, ....just not pushing my luck safety and security wise.

Streamaholic, I hope you don't mind that I jump in on your thread....maybe both of us will benefit.

F Cloud 9, you have some very nice info. Thank you. I like your checklist info, especially.

I'm figuring this trip will take about a month or so. I welcome any suggestions on routes, RV Parks, nature sights to see, where to see some nice waterfalls along the way (that are accessible to slow elderly...'mozy along' type)! Love seafood...would like to fish on coast, maybe, from wharf if allowed...and would I need a fishing license for one or two days if I did?

Definitely want to sample fresh seafood in the sea coastal areas. I really appreciate input from all who have been ther done that! Thanks in advance! Evelyn.
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:49 PM   #12
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2014 25' FB International
Bryant , Arkansas
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by FCloud9 View Post
Hi StreamAlholic,
Love your AS Forum name! We are also newbies with first Airstream ( first travel trailer ever ) for just a year and only 120 nights camped thus far. Learned many great tips from the Airforum pros but there is no better experience than taking a long trip in your very own Airstream. Our most recent long trip was 93 consecutive days during a snowbird escape to the southwest. We had way more anxiety prior to hitting the road than our first long weekend - longer two week trips in our first few months. Our primary concerns were related to safety and comfort.
Traveling during winter with temps down to 20° and no indoor plumbing ( pink stuff still in place ' fearing potential bad weather ( ice, snow, sleet, hail), and breakdowns in no mans land were our biggies.

Lessons learned:
- Use checklists for safety and organization
- Stay organized with a place for everything and everything in its place. The longer you are on
the road...the more you will realize just how important this is: tools, first aid, laundry, winter vs.
summer clothes- use storage bins, totes, organizers, color code if necessary....you will love
knowing just where to look for everything and remember to return items after using. The devil
is in the details- include two or three rolls of quarters in your laundry bin, extra stamps in your
home office kit, box of non - perishable meals for just in case
- Use smart phone weather app for carefully watching weather and planning your camping and
on the road hours....try staying at campground two nights after a particularly long haul driving
longer than planned, etc.
- Highly recommend Allstays app for phone and/ or iPad....this was our primary source for
securing campgrounds while traveling without prior reservations and supplemented with
State Visitor Center Guides.
- Always travel with minimally 1/2 tank fresh water and use the 1/2 tank rule for planning fuel
refills....we found we really liked to fill up just before camping for the night so we were
ready to roll next morning especially for heavy travel days.
- Always check your travel route on paper maps and become familiar with routes and travel
options around large metropolitan areas in addition to using GPS ( if you are lucky enough to
have a system you like ).
- Keep valuables secure at all times....insurance cards, passports, medical stuff, cash, etc.

We generally enjoy state, county and national park campgrounds for sites in more natural settings. Most of our camping has been without full hookups. Campground utilities or lack thereof leads to further discussion for tips and lessons learned.
- Extra lengths of fresh water hose extremely helpful as is, Y - connector, water bandit,
two fresh water jugs ( plus bottles drinking water ).
- Collapsible sink to help manage grey water plus paper goods ( decrease amt. dishes when
camping without hookups).
- Grab n Go Shower Kits for instances when showering in Airstream not optional for any
number of reasons. My idea of Grab n Go is similar to Airline 311 bag ( small toiletries )
We just find this more convenient than grabbing toiletries from main bathroom. Also,
helps from walking to campground bath house in dark, stripping down and then realizing
what you forgot.

Kitchen/Meals:
- Load up your frig and freezer with proteins, fruits and vegetables that you can cook on
propane, micro/convection ( if applicable ) or grill. I find it is less stressful to meal plan to have
alternative cooking methods because you may not know in advance where you might land and
if your main entree can be sautéed, grilled or baked .....you are set!
- Freeze portions for warm up only cooking in quart size ziplocs ....I can carry two to three
weeks of food and reduce waste.
- Ziplocs Steam bags for microwave....you can cook healthy tasty veggies & fresh potatoes and
no pots to clean!
- Collabsible sink so you can empty wash water into black tank

Keep track in notebook or iPad day by day notes where you camped, attractions, new friends.....longer trips you will find you might forget details you wish you had noted.
Have a great trip,
FCloud9
I don't know if I can actually claim to be a "streamaholic" but I don't feel that it will be long and it will be a fitting name for me! HA

93 days?! That sounds fantastic. We love our weekend getaways but I would love to be able to take off for several months.

I can tell by your response we are a lot a like. I have rightfully added all of your advice to our checklist. I feel like when I get a final list compiled I will have to go back and purge several of the items. I don't want it to become too convoluted.

Thanks for all the advice, means a lot.
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Mind the burros at Custer State Park.

The babies are sweet, and they will eat right out of your hand, but if you get out don't carry anything in your hands as you don't know what they might think it is.

Ask me how I know this .....still carry a scar from an injury there in 2001.

Have a great time!


Maggie
HaHa. Scars add character! Thanks Maggie, I enjoy reading your post, always make me smile.
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:55 PM   #14
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2014 25' FB International
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoLady View Post
I am very interested in this thread, as I am planning my 1st ever LONG TRIP.....my "bucket list trip"....solo, as a senior lady. I wish I'd done it 20 years ago, but, couldn't...so, here I am now...determined to try it, finally! From Denver> Grand Tetons> Glacier NP> PNW coast> Washinton, Oregon, N.Calf. Coastline hwy 101 drive, and perhaps camp, fish, photography, nature sightseeing...can't really hike, but, will try to MOZY along some easy trails to see a bit more than I can from the roadway.

I hope to return to Denver by a more northerly route, and avoid desert region.

I'll travel with my 'alert dog', Pomeranian, Bella Diva....and (appropriate self defense items that I am well qualified on)! I prefer to camp with full hookups
Where possible, but, no out of the way Boondocking, as I don't want to be alone in the middle of nowhere. I'm gutsy and somewhat adventurous still, ....just not pushing my luck safety and security wise.

Streamaholic, I hope you don't mind that I jump in on your thread....maybe both of us will benefit.

F Cloud 9, you have some very nice info. Thank you. I like your checklist info, especially.

I'm figuring this trip will take about a month or so. I welcome any suggestions on routes, RV Parks, nature sights to see, where to see some nice waterfalls along the way (that are accessible to slow elderly...'mozy along' type)! Love seafood...would like to fish on coast, maybe, from wharf if allowed...and would I need a fishing license for one or two days if I did?

Definitely want to sample fresh seafood in the sea coastal areas. I really appreciate input from all who have been ther done that! Thanks in advance! Evelyn.
No worries, Evelyn. The more the merrier. Kudos for not thinking its too late and knocking out your bucket list trip. Sounds like you picked some great spots.

We have talked about going to Grand Tetons as well.

I like our trip but I have to say I'm a little envious of yours.

Happy travels! (-:
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