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Old 05-29-2011, 03:18 PM   #183
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Brian, we pretty much agree. We have tried to go the big destination parks in the sweet spot between winter and early fall. That we are closer to them makes it a bit easier but the weather does not always cooperate. The Yosemite Valley in late fall is better, but too crowded too. We have been in the traffic jams at Yosemite or Rocky Mtn. NP and won't go back. We went to Zion and Grand Canyon's South Rim a day or two after the busses stopped running so it was less crowded. When we explored Canyonlands extensively, it was 20+ years ago before there were so many restrictions—I don't know if we will return. In fact we talked about taking several days and going to Moab next month (it's about 3 hours away), but now it is getting too hot. About 5 years ago we drove through the Smokies—that park was very crowded and the town on the west side in Tennessee was tourism gone crazy.

Yellowstone is wonderful but it appears others have noticed. The campgrounds are crowded. We last went there 5 years ago (before Airstream) and stayed at two hotels—that seemed more relaxing. It was the end of May and starting to crowd. We had to take it as it is.

By now we have seen them all and look for quiet places when they still can be found. That can be hard to do in the Rockies because snow can keep campgrounds closed well into June and the season is short. One of our solutions is to go far, far north, but last year we got snowed on around Calgary. There aren't many people in northern Canada or Alaska, but you might think otherwise at Denali.

There are more than twice as many people in the US than when I was born. I have a hard time getting used to it. Backpacking used to get us into the wilderness. That ended about 20 years ago—bad knees. But some of our most memorable camping experiences were being alone together under the stars listening to coyotes, having a campfire and eating camp food. The feeling of accomplishment carrying a thousand pound pack (it seemed that way) miles and miles up hill added to the goof feelings. But everyone should hike into the wilderness while they can—we've lost a lot with megacities and crowded parks. Humans evolved in empty places and that is still part of who we are.

We tried a truck camper so we could get deep into the back country, but the camper was not made well, so we gave up on that. So now we bring the Airstream part way and take day trips in the truck. We find other trucks out there too. A truck camper and an Airstream makes sense, though I don't want to go that far. We could stay home—great views, absolute privacy, lots of land, wonderful house, but we got to go places (so do a lot of others). I try to get used to it, but I'm struggling with it. I try to feel better thinking about how many Americans there will be in 2100—maybe half a billion. They will have to reserve a bus seat 6 months ahead of time. You won't be able to drive because the car will do it for you—they can fit more cars on the highway that way. No room for RV's on the highways—you rent one ahead of time at the destination. Going to NYC with a metro area of 40,000,000?

No cruises here either, though it may be the only way to get to Hawaii because I don't want to be sheep on an airplane. Maybe we can find a ship that will take our TV and Airstream.

Thanks for the tip on Valley of Fire—one of the state parks we've driven past many times, but never stopped.

Gene
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:13 PM   #184
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Regarding the crowds I should have mentioned our two weeks visiting Zion was in early April. Not many people on the buses or the trails. And cool days. We canceled on visiting Bryce because of the snow level.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:27 PM   #185
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When we visited Glacier NP for the first time last year, we found the in-park campgrounds uninteresting and the high number of visitors distracting.

When we left there and wandered into some of the National Forest sites, they were nearly empty but absolutely beautiful. We found the same thing off the Gunflint Trail in Superior National Forest. No hookups, but sheer beauty everywhere you looked.

Simpler is better, in so many ways.

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Old 05-29-2011, 06:36 PM   #186
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We have also become big fans of the National Forests. Ever since we started going to Bighorn NF every year, we have no desire to go back to Yellowstone.

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Old 05-29-2011, 06:48 PM   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
... to visit Valley of Fire State Park which in about 40 miles north of Las Vegas...
Brian
I had the chance to loop thru Valley of Fire last year in a rental car. The campground was pretty full...slim chance we will make it out there in the 'stream but it looks like a great place to spend some time getting lost...
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:29 PM   #188
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Brian, You might also like Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area which is a short drive west of Las Vegas. I climbed there last year and found it a beautiful place to hike as well. there is a 13 mile loop that you can take for a drive through and you can also do quite a bit of hiking and see some beautiful formations. Here is a link with some descrisption.
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:30 PM   #189
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Oops, here is the link

Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas Nevada - VEGAS.com
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:07 PM   #190
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It is sad how big the crowds are getting. That is why we are home this Memorial Weekend and not on the road. Working on a 9/80 workweek allows us to get away for long weekends, but we can't wait for high season to end and hit the road for a week or two in the fall. Less crowds and cooler weather... just thinking about it gets me smiling!
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:00 AM   #191
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Lucy is still in Las Vegas at The Circus Circus KOA Campground. It's not as croeded as we thought it would be for the Memorial Day Weekend, but that's OK.

We spent most of the day looking around Las Vegas and checking out several parts of town. We visited Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. We had lunch at the Club (Sam's Club), and did some resupplying.

Brian's cousin, Florence, came over from Los Angeles to visit with us. While we were waiting for her to arrive, we witnessed a massive El Monte (rental RV) traffic jam at the entrance to the KOA. It was comical to watch all the El Montees vying for position.

Florence arrived and we went out to dinner at Carrabba's. Florence had not been to a Carrabba's before as they have not yet appeared in Los Angeles. We had a great time.

Brian
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:04 AM   #192
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Moose alert - Colorado

Moose are migrating within Colorado according to the Denver Post:

Moose thriving in Colorado move east over Continental Divide - The Denver Post

May save you from having to travel so far north in coming years. Enjoy!
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:48 AM   #193
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If you don't like the crowds, there is a much nicer, quieter RV park than Circus Circus. It's Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort at the south end of the strip. Also Boulder Beach on Lake Mead by Hoover Dam is a great place close to the dam and bridge.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:28 PM   #194
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Quote:
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Brian, You might also like Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area which is a short drive west of Las Vegas. I climbed there last year and found it a beautiful place to hike as well. there is a 13 mile loop that you can take for a drive through and you can also do quite a bit of hiking and see some beautiful formations. Here is a link with some descrisption.
Thanks for the tip on Red Rock canyon.

Brian
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:42 PM   #195
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If you don't like the crowds, there is a much nicer, quieter RV park than Circus Circus. It's Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort at the south end of the strip. Also Boulder Beach on Lake Mead by Hoover Dam is a great place close to the dam and bridge.
Thanks for the tip on those. We took a drive down to Boulder City today. On the way back, we checked out Sam's Town RV Park on Boulder Highway at Flamingo Boulevard. We drove the Park, and the sites were really nice with 5 point hook-ups and quite a few shade trees. The rates are really good also. A back-in is $19.00 and a pull-thru is $27.00. There is a casino and restaurants on the grounds, and there is a brand new Wal-Mart Supercenter directly across the street.

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Old 05-31-2011, 12:08 AM   #196
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Hi, Brian. I don't remember the prices, but we stay at the camp ground right next to the Sam's Town camp ground. Las Vegas RV resort.



I just checked their site and they want $29.00 per night now.
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