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Old 06-08-2015, 03:45 PM   #1
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Overplanning is a Disaster Waiting to Happen...

We went camping with an "accountant" to Rocky Mountain National Park in 2006. They lived in the Kansas City, Missouri area and we near Denver, Colorado.

He had his trip planned to when they would burn firewood and the day the Ice Cream all you can eat event was to be held. At a certain time a hike into the forest. See a moose in the bog, got to get to the bonfire later in the day and just... drove me more insane than I already am. No more of those Pre Planned, over organized and schedules to keep and maintain. The "spirit" of camping in a pop up trailer or a RV should not be... starched underwear, white shirt and tie event sitting on a log eating smoke from a campfire with damp firewood.

There are a couple of Threads that I bit my literary license to making my own. Not that there was anything wrong with planning ahead... but it reminded me of my RMNP scheduled event camping experience.

Make your trip an... ADVENTURE. Your goal is to reach some place a thousand miles from home and you find a place half way that you could not resist staying for an extra day or a whole week. Plans are designed to be dissected, destroyed and trashed the moment you find your way out of the neighborhood you live.

Our June to July Scheduled Trip Plan:

Castle Rock, CO to Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque, NM to Quemato, NM
Quemato, NM to Lake Mead, NV
Lake Mead, NV to anywhere in Nevada that looks interesting
Anywhere, NV to Quemato, NM
Quemato, NM to Castle Rock, CO

We have one day scheduled in late June, plus or minus a day in Nevada.
We have one day scheduled in mid July, or a day or two earlier in New Mexico

The rest of your time is wide open for where and when. NO reservations. NO remorse camped at a Walmart, Costco or among some open spot in some trees... we take it one day at a time. IF we have one week, a month or three days... you WILL get into finding those special places that are not promoted in a thick camping guide or read on the Forum.

I DO NOT SCHEDULE MY TRIP around clean toilets and showers at $55 a night. I have a clean toilet and shower in my trailer, if I want to use it, or not.

Since I spent the morning pulling weeds and other green vermin out of our yard, this is my time to rest any remaining stamina, leaving home this week. I will make a second post on this Thread and explain how my wife and I PICK out where we are going, our camp site and keep from getting lost when on the road, if any road we sometimes travel is even on a map.

This is NOT for those who have made appointments at Yellowstone, Glacier Park and the Balloon Festival in Albuquerque, NM... This is not our kind of camping adventure. Those are planned destinations. Been there, done that. You really have no choice and the structured schedule reduces travel stress. Maybe. Once you have "endured the masses at the Bucket Park List", seen all of the sights on this list... you can then understand that you now have an entirely open schedule for the rest of your lives, including children, pets and friends.

You are now LIBERATED from being tethered to a schedule and FREE to find some of the "dumps we have found" that I will NOT recommend on this Forum out of common courtesy and consideration for family members that believe YOU and I know anything about what to expect for today.

We will camp in the bush "near" these places today, drive through see the sights and avoid the crowds.
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:51 PM   #2
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I agree, Ray. Although I was never as bad as your friend, I had to have reservations everywhere we went.

I now make reservations only when I suspect availability will be low....holiday weekends, etc.....or in locations that are always full. Next week we all (3 couples) will be in the keys. Better have reservations 11 months in advance! The only other reservation is pre-purchased scheduled tickets for the boat ride to the Dry Tortugas. No other schedules!
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:13 PM   #3
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To each his own. There's no saying the guy with the plan isn't enjoying his travels just as much as you are. Maybe he wouldn't enjoy living on the fly, sleeping in rest stops, and wondering where his next meal was coming from? There's room for all types on the road.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:16 PM   #4
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Planning your own... Disaster or Disneyland Like Adventure.

Find an Atlas that shows more than Interstate Highways. I use DeLorme because I can find used ones at book sales, or cough up the money to purchase one at a Book Store without markings by a previous owner.

Lets say you have never been to Place X. You have five days. Driving for three of those days is... not good planning ahead. How about one day to get there and one day to get back from where you started. There will be three days to enjoy.

If you have a couple weeks, you have two options.

Take it a day at a time and explore until you arrive at your planned destination, like the Pacific Ocean. You cannot miss it if you keep traveling westward like the California '49ers. They found it, got fed up with the crowds and went home wherever that might have been.

Or you drive straight to the Pacific Ocean with driver's shifting after each gas station and then take your sweet time slowly going back to wherever that may be.

The Atlas has campgrounds that are FREE in most cases, or very reasonable. The Forest Service provides a concrete picnic table and a graveled slip... to park your motor home or trailer, or RV, car and boat taking up three spaces at a campsite. Whatever. Most campsites are on no map, so even campsites in the National Forest are to be found where you thought only Monkeys and Chickens would be found dumped by their former owners.

Yes. There can be bugs. Animals looking for a quick lunch of Junior. Hungry fish in the creek. Water is shallow and wet which attracts kids, dogs and some adults. The campsite does not have to have street lights, a 5PM festival with clowns and jugglers. This is a VACATION. Relax. You are constipated from the trip. There is a NFS concrete out house for you convenience. Experience one, they are well designed and if you must, wipe the seat clean to sterilize it for mankind. Just do not drop your Nikon into the Pikes Peak you will see down below. .... and I know you will now look.

The kids, under 27 would be nice if along for the trip, just need a time to return to the campsite... period. Give them a shovel for finding gold nuggets along the stream, build a dam across a creek... just let them loose for the first time. They usually will come back with scratches and aches... but Mom will be watching like a hawk watching a nest.

Yellowstone and the Tetons are beautiful. You pull over, walk around and go to the next sulfur mud hole and bubbling pool. I can go to Saratoga, Wyoming... jump into a bubbling pool of hot fresh water and fry my own fish at my leisure, time permitting. It is FREE and nobody has the courage to go to the spot where this bubbling water is coming out of the earth. I did. It is hot... but look what it did for me. Well, you might come out with a different experience and results, but the kids have a swimming pool next to the hot springs for a minimal charge.

Take a dart and see how close you can get to... the Fire Pit Volcanic Field. Or other landmark you have never heard about.

You ask... where is Saratoga, Wyoming? I ask. Where is your stinking ATLAS? It is your adventure. I already told your about mine.

Kids and dogs like... adventure. Tell them you need twenty pounds of pine cones for the evenings campfire, although there are none around the Scub Oak you are camped, but they will learn. Fishing in a stream with no fish... kids do not care. Their imaginations are much better developed than yours, after 15 years putting in overtime for those $55 a night clean restrooms and ice cream socials.

For 99% of you... this is not your brand of Tea, Trip or Social Calendar event. That is great. You will not be a bother to the rest of us. I call Airstream Argonauts.

For those that take a shower only if it is necessary... watch for 2016 trip options that could change your life. Maybe not in a positive way, but you go on one of the possible adventures that could occur next Summer... you won't forget. If your worry is overflowing black tanks... do not consider this as a trip worth attempting. Even those climbing Mount Everest have to make do, if you know what I am saying. Do as a Bear does if that helps.

I never could understand why someone pays big bucks for a Geodetic Domed tent or an expensive Motel on Wheels and parks at an RV Park. I guess Birds of a Feather Flock Together type thing... but I am not a Bird. Try it once. If enough "Not a Birds" want to really find out what "camping can be", follow the Airstream Forum. There are plenty of Argonauts looking for a change. Leave the tie at home, pick out your gardening clothes and make time for yourself for once.

... and may you all rest in peace as in two days, we leave for our Adventure and will take it as each day delivers it to us. It is about time.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:37 PM   #5
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It's about the trip. When it changes to be about the destination it turns into a chore. I will be vicariously tagging along on your New Mexico jaunt. I would love to go with you but I am committed to ferrying my DW's dad to a family gathering in Steamboat Springs. He is 93 years old so we take care. A chance for adventure even in Colorado, is up in smoke because we need to get in and get out and git her done.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:43 PM   #6
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We returned a week or so ago from a leisurely trip through the Southwest for a few weeks. We had plans, among other things, to stop at Zion and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Well, it turns out Zion was full to the brim with contestants and spectators of some kind of triathlon or something of that sort. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon hadn't opened yet, and none of the RV campsites at a lake we drove to as an alternative were open either. Fortunately, there were dirt roads heading out into the wilderness not too far from each location we had planned on stopping at. Also fortunately for me, Nancy loves to hike and was willing to hike a ways up the dirt roads and make sure we had a place to turn the trailer around. Turns out the nights we had to improvise were some of the most enjoyable nights on the trip for all of us: Nancy had hikes into unknown territory right out of the trailer door, Lupe was able to run free to sniff and dig wherever she wanted to, and I was able to shoot my bow at pine cones or whatever and drink wine. All of us had our favorite things to do, and at night there was a stillness unlike anything you would find if other people were around. Makes me sort of want to chuck planning and just boondock my way through life from now on. Of course, I realize all boondocks aren't ideal, and we do need to fill up with water and dump the tanks from time to time too.


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Old 06-08-2015, 04:44 PM   #7
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You are Exactly Right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
To each his own. There's no saying the guy with the plan isn't enjoying his travels just as much as you are. Maybe he wouldn't enjoy living on the fly, sleeping in rest stops, and wondering where his next meal was coming from? There's room for all types on the road.
*******

You are my first example. What you are doing is fine.

My mother traveled wanting to know what was going to happen three days from now. I just never traveled with her. She eventually discovered camping in an Airstream with us, but by that time her health was failing and getting difficult to get around. She discovered this too late in her life.

90% on this Forum are comfortable NOT doing what I and a small number of others do. This is not a debate to change my sex or which kind of shock therapy would change me to think like the majority. I do not care and you should not care about saying you do not care about how I care about camping out without needing a trendy haircut and a nice shirt when I step outside my trailer. (That sentence was intentional.)

I did not invest my hard earned money to move from one gathering of socializing events and tea parties to another. That is for someone else to post a Thread. Not this one. There is an entire section devoted to the 99% which is fine with me on this Forum.

This is to give those that are not among the 1% like myself, those, maybe among the 2% or 5% that are curious... but need a little bit of encouragement to try something that there are few to give any advice or assistance. If that is the case, you are following the right Thread. I want to get your attention. I want to offer you a totally different aspect of "camping". You might not like it. But, you checked it out. There is no cost or admission fees or membership forms to fill out. You can just... show up.

If your parents did not take you camping... you probably have no clue what you are talking about from reading a magazine with people dressed for an Opera. That is not my camping experience. It is an adventure at best. But shirt and tie is not recommended.

I prefer camping with people who are comfortable with paper plates and plastic cups from Walmart in the forest and few to socialize with. I am not into the Do you know Who's. I am more into the "What was that?".

So, please if you disagree with this Thread... start your own and attract those who care. But do not muddy this pond since you disagree. This is for those who might not be afraid of the dark and the boogie man lurking in the woods, the prairie or on a hillside looking for rocks or fossils.

I understand. I do not wear a special name tag, button or number on my trailer. I am flexible. I can go to Europe or anywhere in the World and travel at will, make reservations, or do what I enjoy most... pulling my trailer as far away from the 90% that would not give me the time of day.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:50 PM   #8
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Letting go in this way is a "process" for me, knowing how I WANT to be and travel when I retire in a few years. I've spent my whole adult life planning for every possible outcome of the future. I have begun to practice....still have a way to go, but I have one advantage. My wife has never wanted to plan anything......literally. I am just now beginning to appreciate that about her.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:52 PM   #9
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I neither agree nor disagree, I am just pointing out that you should not judge another person's experience as right or wrong. My own preference is somewhere in between. But I do not judge those who like it otherwise, and I have good friends who do either. To each his own. It is a big world.
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:51 PM   #10
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I'm self employed, rarely get a vacation…like ever

I used to plan my hiking trips so I could maybe get three different trails in on a ten day vacation. I usually had a plan B. My brother usually wasted the first three days resting up for the hike. ( He doesn't work ) After working 103 weeks without a break, I wanted to let loose.( I do get a ton of 3 day weekends )

Once in Maine I got ridiculed for using the term " successful vacation".

Anyway many times access roads to hiking trails were washed out or something. So we just played it by ear. Those times VERY often led to the most memorable times. Either meeting special people or finding special places, finding awesome free campsites, finding great bars or places to eat.

We all find our own balance of planning and playing it by ear, and that balance changes with the amount of free time we have. I hope to take Rays advise …..sooner than later.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:19 PM   #11
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My plan is to get where I'm going, set up camp and fly by the seat of my pants...


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Old 06-08-2015, 06:41 PM   #12
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I am a "planner" by nature... It drives my wife nuts sometimes. I do need to learn to relax and go with the flow sometimes. We spent a week in the midwest last Summer when we went to retrieve our Sovereign...no idea until the the last minute where we were staying, etc...drove me nuts. It worked out. So, until next time, I go with it...
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:51 PM   #13
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Again... what you do is fine with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
I neither agree nor disagree, I am just pointing out that you should not judge another person's experience as right or wrong. My own preference is somewhere in between. But I do not judge those who like it otherwise, and I have good friends who do either. To each his own. It is a big world.
******
I have no judgment as to how anyone fries their eggs or cooks their burgers. I do not care. I just have my preferences. You are not participating towards adding profound knowledge to this particular topic. I have little to offer as to other aspects of traveling as I do not practice it. I am as curious as the next person how others find comfort in traveling.

What is your style of traveling? How does that fit with your personality? By understanding how you prepare for a short or long trip will add to the discussion. Are planned cruises preferred over on your own tours?

I have already bloviated enough, but this is a subject that probably needs some bloviating.

"sparkymark My plan is to get where I'm going, set up camp and fly by the seat of my pants..."

This I understand as it is short and to the point.

When my gas gauge is at 50% I see it as Half Empty in the west. In a well populated State like Missouri I would see it as Half Full with access to fuel everywhere.

With the massive Public Lands and sights to visit in the Western USA... just point to an area on a map and I will eventually find a place that I will want to return.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:24 PM   #14
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Oohhh! This is going to be a great thread.
"Where are we going" says she.
" I don't know. Which way should I turn?
"Turn right. Here comes a car."
So I turned right. It was the first day of my annual holidays. Jim


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