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Old 04-03-2016, 10:48 AM   #1
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Quality TIME while 'On the Road'

Many travelers are limited for vacation time. When owning a trailer, the limitations of 'time' is a common issue that requires some serious planning on a route and time spent on the road, while traveling to a destination. That X on the map spread out on the kitchen table before the trip has evolved as a destination.

I prefer to spend more time in a general area to explore and get to know the area very well. The alternative is having a 'rolling vacation' where your experience is from looking out of the window as the scenery moves past. The day begins and ends being on the move.

Even planning an 'adventure' has to consider where you are beginning, where you want to find yourself and then the return to where you begun. Having two weeks, subtracting three days to get to where you want to be and three days to get back... begins to tightened the time available to actually explore and enjoy a special place.

Someone living in Florida going to Idaho and returning to Florida have a severe disadvantage of time spent 'on the road'. That is the cost having to tow our trailers to places we have not visited. There is no way avoiding the traveling as dead time, to get there. A day planner is very helpful in reducing the traveling, once arrived.

This is my story with various 'adventures' within Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico. Even the best plans require traveling. Although if you think about it... the locals for your special place are traveling within fifty miles of where you live as... their special place. Once you get that in your thick 'noggin', sometimes the best destination is right under your own two feet.

Sometimes... not always. There are two 'pots of gold' when you see a rainbow. You are in between them and these pots... move as you move towards them.

After earning your retirement and have time to play with... all of these rules can be tossed into the mental shredder. Pick an area that interests you very much. Find a central place to Base Camp and each day, radiate out, from this Base Camp to explore every interesting place possible. Know this area so well that in the evening you can all sit back and discuss each minute detail.

Enjoy your 'on the road' by experiencing an area very well. So well, that you may return to these places every several years to complete your home away from home. Make this place familiar. You will enjoy your company, your efforts to arrive and have fond memories of the time spent with a purpose.

No two trips will be exactly the same. Lessons are to be learned. Many prefer the 'planned' schedule for mental comfort. Others, myself as one, prefer to suffer the consequences of the unknown of places never visited nor within a directory of places known by everyone. It is a personal preference, neither being better than the other.

Sit down and discuss with the family what activities are expected at the end of this rainbow.

Your 'pot of gold' will be after returning to the safety of home and you reminisce those startling moments, where the road ended and life long memories began. Your pot was filled this time and the next trip... another pot awaits to be filled with memories worth their weight in gold.
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:25 AM   #2
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We are planning our 2 week vacation to Glacier National Park in August. I've already got the campsites reserved at St Mary, Many Glacier and Fish Creek. We are traveling with my my wife's sister and brother-in-law but they are bringing their Class C. They have never been to Glacier. I've planned the route to and from Glacier and checked the fuel stop availability every 300 miles and have a list of RV parks to stay on the way up and back. We have a goal of roughly 533 miles a day. The inlaws are retired so they will not return with us.

The major activity at Glacier will be the hikes and I have to start working out now to get ready. My wife and I have been there before so we will be introducing them to some of our favorite hikes. The inlaws and wife are fine with relaxing around the campsite if the hiking is too tiring or turning back if a hike is too long or strenuous so I may by taking so solo hikes. We will take our bikes and our inflatable kayak if we decide to mix things up more. We probably won't get everything I have in mind I'm planning, since the planning seems to always fall on me and the inlaws are just saying "we will follow your lead and don't worry about us" which is fine with me as it takes the pressure off me.

This will be the first time the Airstream goes to Glacier. The previous two trips were with our Casita. It will be the first long trip with my new Ram 2500 CTD too, so there will be lots of "firsts" on this trip. Can't wait.

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Old 04-03-2016, 01:09 PM   #3
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When I travel with no particular destination event to hit, I stay monthly, better deal on rent and one can really get the local side of life in the community.
If I have to be somewhere for an event, I like to stay a week, this will give me just a taste of what is there. Overnighters can be a truck stop, Walmart, rest stop, casino.
It all boils down to where I'll stay when my wheels fall off. Just couldn't see buying & selling real estate until I find that magic spot.
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:00 PM   #4
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From one of the greatest books ever written about being on the road again . . .


“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless.

"We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.

"Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away.

"In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America


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Old 04-03-2016, 08:54 PM   #5
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As I am not yet retired, for me thre are three types of trips I currently take; or have in planning; the short-haul basecamp, the longhaul target driven, and the longhaul rolling vacation.

I live in the DC area, so between Maryland, WV and Virginia there is a slew of geographical and environmental zones to camp in, with relative short distance from my storage lot. This is the brunt of my camping time right now -- with a four day weekend every other week, it's the ability to get out and enjoy a few days of rest, fun and the locals.

It's always been my mantra that if I don't make it to my destination because of side quests, it's worth it 2-fold... However, I only get five weeks of vacation a year; and only in 2 week chunks with a quarter between.... meh!

I'm planning a rolling vacation summer of 2017 - with a desire to make my way (maybe or maybe not) to the QC Hydroelectric town of Radisson QC (that's another 1,000 miles driving distance north of Montreal.) The desire is the expanse, the wilderness, the Cree culture and avoiding three foot deep potholes on the highway that are reported. If I make it to Radisson, it's all about Hydroelectric tours; else, its the up and return,

However, my sibling and his family, and my friends all are interested in the great western parks -- so enters the target-state trip plan - and I've tested the method out. Simply, drive 250 miles, fuel up at a truck stop, drive 250 miles, fuel up and sleep (at an RV space equipped) truck stop; rinse and repeat to get to Grand Canyon/Bryce/Zion as quickly as possible, scheduling major cities for early AM drives, etc. as possible; hopefully giving me as much target location time as possible...
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:09 PM   #6
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48 State Bike Trip Is Taking Us

I like the post about the trip taking you because that is a great way to describe what our current trip is all about.

We are currently 9 states into a 48 state trip - we started in Myrtle Beach, SC on March 1rst and hope to complete it by the end of September at our home base near Newport, OR. Why so long? We have added an interesting wrinkle - doing the trip by bicycle: 15,000 miles, 48 states and riding to the highest paved road in each state.

We have no itinerary other than the sequential order of the states we plan to visit. All we know is that we will ride about 500 miles per week, ride to wherever the highest paved road is in each state and spend each night in the Airstream. Each week, we boondock four nights a week and stay at RV parks three nights a week. This is a comfortable rhythm that doesn't require us to take any special conservation measures while boondocking.

Each day, we use Google Maps Bike Directions to figure out our route. This keeps us off the interstates and maximizes our time on the back roads. Going to the highest paved road in each state takes us to some beautiful areas, e.g. boondocking next to the fire tower on top of Rich Mountain, AR. It also takes us to some cozy RV parks, hidden gems if you will, off the beaten track.

We are currently taking an off day in Fort Stockton, TX. Our next summit is McDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains. Then its on to Sandia Crest in New Mexico.

So far so good, we really enjoy not having a detailed itinerary and figuring it all out as we go. We can't wait to see wherever the trip wants to take us next.

And finally, the Airstream Hilton and a very supportive wife is what makes this all possible.

Enjoy your travels just the way you like. As they say on the Appalachian Trail - 'hike your own hike.'
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
From one of the greatest books ever written about being on the road again . . .


“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless.

"We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.

"Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away.

"In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America


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+1 for this! I read it before I had my driver's license in the mid-sixties and never forgot it. Time to reread it!
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:35 PM   #8
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Someone living in Florida going to Idaho and returning to Florida have a severe disadvantage of time spent 'on the road'. That is the cost having to tow our trailers to places we have not visited. There is no way avoiding the traveling as dead time, to get there. A day planner is very helpful in reducing the traveling, once arrived.

Hmmm...I've heard about people like this....

Mister Ray, my problem is that I have a patch of land in Alachua County, Florida, that owns part of me. So I've run over there twice/year (although this year I think I'll leave "Daisy" in FL late fall for the winter and pick her up in spring '17...it would cut out one ID-FL-ID roundtrip). When I make these trips I don't stop on the way during the 500-800 mile/day hauls, but generally try new routes to at least see new country through the windshield. Once I get to FL I visit family, the beach, and old fishing buddies while keeping the AS parked on the land...so the vacation is all at the destination....i.e., Mr. Poulin's long-haul target driven trip.
During the rest of the year I do a lot of "short haul camping" in Idaho, Montana, and Utah (as you'll agree, out here in the West "short-haul camping" includes everything within a 3-400 mile or one day radius). Other than my Alaska trip last fall, I have never taken what Mr. Poulin calls a long-haul rolling vacation. I think that will have to wait until my wife retires, and my 7-year old is out of school.
No matter, I find a lot of joy just in the planning...everything from preparing new routes and equipment lists specific to the trip, to identifying places to hike and fish and eat where the locals eat. And even after 6 years of ownership, coming back to my little AS and seeing her sitting there never gets old. As Mr. Lewis exclaimed: "Oh, the joy"! Safe travels. jon
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:56 PM   #9
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We have a goal of roughly 533 miles a day.
For me, that kinda pace is a bridge too far. My 15' airframe trailer isn't especially tiring to tow, and my Tacoma pickup is comfortable to drive, but all trailering demands rigorous attention. Towing at 55-60 mph for 5 or 6 hours -- fully alert -- is a full day's work for me. But when I hitch up and head out, I'm camping for three months, a time frame that allows for wandering, drifting, sticking around, playing it by ear.

At that pace, the day you only do 450 miles, Kelvin, you gotta do nearly 600 miles on another day. Does your wife share the driving?

In order to cover that many miles, you gotta use the Interstate. Me, I stick to byways and backroads, so there's that.

Michael
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:31 AM   #10
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+1 for this! I read it before I had my driver's license in the mid-sixties and never forgot it. Time to reread it!
Thanks. How is that new 22' FB working out? I seem to recall touching base about your trip to pick her up last Fall, was it?

Peter
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:01 AM   #11
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I love the 22' Bambi! It has the bed and bathroom to rival almost any size Airstream.
Granted it's tight on storage space and there's no sofa to lounge on, but we're OK with that!
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:21 PM   #12
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We have a goal of roughly 533 miles a day. The inlaws are retired so they will not return with us.
That's a real grind! I used to do that when I was still working for a living, so I could get to my destination with enough time left over to actually do something before having to turn around and go back to work.

But in retrospect, that really just means that I was too ambitious in trying to get that far away in the limited time available, and should have settled for trips to closer destinations. By the time I'd reach my destination, I'd be so worn out from the drive that the next day was wasted recovering anyway.

These days, I (usually) follow the Department of Defense's Joint Travel Regulations, which call for a maximum of 350 miles per day, no matter how many people share the driving— that's in recognition of the fact that being a passenger isn't terribly restful either, so the second driver starts out tired. The only exception to the 350-mile rule in the JTR is for the last consecutive driving day, where you can make 425 miles on that day, to avoid having to stop overnight just 75 miles or less from your ultimate destination.

I do interpret that rule liberally, so that a one-day drive can be up to 425 miles, figuring that the first driving day is the last driving day.

Those mileage limits are the result of extensive data gathering over decades by the DoD, that shows the chance of having— or causing— an accident on the road goes up dramatically once you exceed 350 miles of driving in a given day.

Besides, arriving at my destination not worn-out means that I can begin to enjoy the attractions that the destination has to offer right away, and not have to waste a day recovering first. And isn't enjoyment the whole reason why we're Airstreamers in the first place?
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:32 PM   #13
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Protagonist,

I learned a hard lesson on my return trip home from Ft Worth in just my Pathfinder. I arrived at my 2nd stop, went inside, and my alert radar went off...big time. They reportedly had a 4 star rating...God only knows why...I would not give it a 1*! I could not get away from there fast enough!

I figured I would get on down the road, find a nice place to stay the night, see it in person....
Well it did not work out that well...in one place, I saw a cockroach on the floor while waiting for someone to come to counter! I left.

Long story short.... I ended up driving all the way home..arrived 11 1/2 hours after I left the first O/N stop. I stopped for gas...parked among truckers...in rest areas and truck park lots...took a couple 10 minute power naps...and pushed on. Last stop was after I tired of driving directly into the evening sun going west...followed truckers off to a lot... Waited for the sun to go down before continuing on. Lesson learned! Never again!

Fly back to Ft Worth, pick up "Goliath", my AI, and return home with my own bed in the back. I will, going forward strive to drive 300 miles per day in my travels. I've had my trial by fire!
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:32 PM   #14
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