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Old 01-31-2012, 09:55 AM   #15
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We agree! We were in Yellowstone 2 years ago (car, no AS) on June 13th (they had snow showers through the day before our arrival). Being from the South, I didn't realize winter lasted that long there and we just wanted to "beat the crowds we were told start around July 1. We were very lucky!Weather was perfect, wildflowers were blooming, and wildlife was everywhere. I'd started some research on RV sites and think we'll try Fishing Bridge as first choice. Thought about moving to a different camp site in a different "quadrant" of the park (we hate the traffic within the park & 2-3 hours to get from Point A to Point B). When there in 2009, we made reservations at the historic inns in each "quadrant" and this saved us some driving time. We'd concentrate on that area and then move on. However, we did find ourselves spending a lot of time in the Lamar Valley area. I'll look for a camp site in that area too. THX
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:59 AM   #16
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Washout on Hwy 1

My wife just heard on the news that today there was another big landslide/washout on Hwy 1 around 5 to 10 miles south of Big Sur. The highway's closed to thru traffic and at the moment CalTrans, the CA highway dept, doesn't know when it will reopen.

I mention this because it's a frequent occurrence in Hwy 1--I think there are at least three major landslide repairs underway right now. Before you start out on the highway from, say San Luis Obispo from the south or Monterey from the north, it's a really good idea to check the CalTrans website, or call the CHP for Hwy 1 road status.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:26 AM   #17
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While you are traveling through Texas take a side trip to the McDonald Observatory outside Fort Davis. They have public viewing nights at the visitor center several times per week. Nothing beats dark skies when looking through a telescope, and the skies don't get much darker than in that part of Texas.

McDonald Observatory - Visitor information - Fort Davis, Texas

The scenery is fantastic on the way to the observatory. The Davis Mountains State Park is a great place to stay, but I am not sure how much last year's fires impacted camping. There are also private campgrounds nearby, such as the Prude Ranch.

TPWD: Davis Mountains State Park

Welcome to Prude Ranch
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:39 AM   #18
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Once you are in Wyoming (Yellowstone country) take in a few days in Cody, Wyoming.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:29 AM   #19
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Photobitstream, thank you for the links! They made my "planning" SO much easier.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:50 PM   #20
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If your going the southern route when going West, try Tucson AZ. Great views from Santa Catalina Mountains in the Coronado National Forest just North-East of Tucson. Nice place to watch the sunset about 2/3 the drive up to Mount Lemon. Plus there's Old Tucson movie studio and the Saguaro National Park (East) that are close to each other.
Check out these links:
Santa Catalina Mountains - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saguaro National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Enjoy
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:32 PM   #21
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If you get to Northern California, try Patricks Point State Park. Nice campground and convenient to day drive up and down the coast. You could camp in among the stately Redwoods. Arcata, a quaint small town is a short drive south of PPSP. Grateful Dead sang about Arcata. Couple good Pizza places right in the center of town.
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:29 PM   #22
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Would like more details on Veterans Memorial Park in Monterey, CA. --Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:12 PM   #23
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Sandra, how many months do you have? That's a pretty ambitious trip and if you want to see everything and spend a few days here and there, you'll need a few months. You can do it faster, and many do, but it'll be a different kind of trip with a lot of rushing and little rest.

And why aren't you coming to Colorado?

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Old 02-05-2012, 09:29 PM   #24
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As mentioned earlier, Cody, WY is a great place to visit. Another would be the Little Big Horn Battlefield just across the State line of Montana. We have been there twice and enjoyed it both times. Yellowstone, the only Park we keep going back to visit. We were just in the Park several weeks ago on a snow cat. Looking forward to going back with our AS and camping in Bridge Bay which will make our 5th trip to Yellowstone.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:06 AM   #25
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We stayed a coupla years ago at the KOA in Mariposa, near a Yosemite entrance, & Mariposa was a nice little town to visit. Also want to suggest, if you get to NorCal by mid-April, take a look at the calendar for the NorCal Spring rally at Casini Ranch. The hookup sites are full but its a nice place and, of couse, lots of nice folks.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:42 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socdiva
Bob and I are leaving around the 1st of April for "the west". This is our maiden "long" voyage (only a few 1-2 day trips previously). ...
We've had a mild winter so far in some parts of the country, but it hasn't been so everywhere. April can be early in the season for some areas, particularly in the higher elevations. When we were younger we often went without much planning... One year we arrived at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in late May only to find it was closed for camping as there was still 3' of snow in the campground! On another trip out west, we happened upon Yosemite in June only to discover they required reservations but said we could come back in the morning to check on availability due to cancellations and the campground in the valley did seem crowded. Then a ranger told us that since we were self contained, we could stay in one of the campground's about 7 miles up the hill. It wasn't officially open yet so they didn't charge us to stay there for a week. I see some don't open until July, but have no way of knowing if they still permit self contained campers into the closed campgrounds. You're doing good asking for advice. It sounds like you have a great trip planned.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:06 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Phoenix
Would like more details on Veterans Memorial Park in Monterey, CA. --Thanks!
This link might help, select Veterans Memorial Park from the list...

http://monterey.org/en-us/department...ndbeaches.aspx

There is also a Memorial Park in San Mateo County (Loma Mar) that looks promising...

http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/portal/...tcurrchannel=1
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:35 PM   #28
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We're leaving March 26 from Jax, FL and driving pretty agressively to San Antonio, TX but trying to keep it around 300 miles per day. Will take us about 5 days, then we'll stop for a few days to see San Antonio. We feel that we can go back to Texas another time and spend several weeks just touring the state but we want to see all that we can in NM, AZ, CA because we may not get back there soon. I've mapped the trip thru NM but am now trying to determine how to see the coast of CA and all of the NPs on the eastern border of CA. We won't continue up thru northern CA but cut across NV from Yosemite and Lake Tahoe. We love Yellowstone and have reservations there starting June 13. Our Yosemite reservations are for May 14-18. I'm basicly planning everything else around those dates. It may sound silly but I just found out yesterday that the Trinity site of the first Atomic Bomb test is open 2 days a year and in 2012, April 7 is one of those days so I plan to be there on April 7. I'm taking all comments from everyone and incorporating them into our plan. Thank you and everyone else so very much. This is a huge "project"!!!!! and very addictive!!!!! I don't want to miss anything but we realize we can't see everything. Finally, we want to go to Alaska next year or the following year and I think we'll incorporate N. CA, Oregon, and Washington into that trip.
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