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jlsnyder

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    jlsnyder60@yahoo.com

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    Oceanside, California
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    RVing, traveling, reading, photography
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  1. Want to let you all know we took Hwy. 36 out of Denver through to Kansas where we detoured somewhat from our original plan. We enjoyed the drive a lot! There were times when not a vehicle was in sight for miles and that is really nice once in a while. Thanks for all the feedback.
  2. We just attended the balloon fiesta in October and stayed at the VIP lot on the grounds (dry camping.) Reservation made through the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta website and a three-night minimum stay required. The presidential lot looked like a very good location but it was booked by the time we were able to get a reservation, and it is very expensive. The VIP lot is walking distance close to everything, overlooks the launch field, and one morning the balloons flew right over our motorhome so we didn't even have to leave. The next day the wind blew the balloons the total opposite direction away from us, and the third day the balloons did not launch due to weather. The weather was a bummer this year and there is nothing that can be done about it. We didn't get to see a night glow at all due to rain and wind. While others on here have stated traffic was not bad and the shuttles ran smoothly, we heard horror stories of people being backed up on interstate off-ramps who never even made it to the field in time for the launch. There are hundreds of thousands of people in campgrounds and hotels not only in Albuquerque but also the surrounding cities trying to make their way in. If we were to go again we would only stay at the fiesta grounds, either VIP or presidential lots. Have fun!
  3. Thanks for your responses and tips. We have been on an inside passage cruise to Alaska and loved it, but really want to travel there by motorhome so as to see some of Canada too. We've decided to forge ahead with our plans to go it alone! Planning is half the fun. Would still love to hear from all of you who have driven there and any and all suggestions welcome!
  4. We are beginning plans for a 2015 trip from So. CA to Alaska and don't know if we want to go it alone or join a small group (not a caravan.) Would love to hear from anyone who made the trip in 2014 or planning for 2015. We have a 34' gas National Dolphin class A, tow = 2007 Jeep Liberty. Suggestions on campgrounds, things not to miss, mishaps, things to be aware of, etc. Thank you!
  5. Did anyone on this forum make the trip to Alaska this year? We are beginning plans for a 2015 trip from So. CA and don't know if we want to go it alone or join a small group. Would love to hear from anyone who made the trip in 2014 or planning for 2015. We have a 34' gas National Dolphin class A, tow = 2007 Jeep Liberty. Suggestions on campgrounds, things not to miss, mishaps, things to be aware of, etc. Thank you!
  6. We are looking at taking the less-traveled Hwy. 36 outside of Denver through to Missouri instead of I-70. Has anyone traveled this route in a motorhome? Wondering about gas stations and RV parks. Not finding a lot of information.
  7. I am alarmed at the posts on this forum. We are on the hunt for a new extended service warranty contract since our current one is expiring. I had just submitted information for a quote before reading this forum. Any suggestions out there for other companies to go through? It does not appear we can renew our current contract.
  8. Me again. For some reason I missed some of the later posts, so sorry about that. As to Fishing Bridge (and Trailer Village at the South Rim?), I would suggest you keep checking everyday for cancellations. I have always been very successful in getting reservations this way. I think two days at the Grand Canyon should be sufficient, but the mule ride takes most of a day, right? Just be sure to make time for all the free shuttle bus routes. We finally made it to Glacier NP two summers ago and loved it. We took the Red Bus Jammers tour which was great and saved us the stress of driving the road ourselves. We stayed outside both ends of the park, West Glacier KOA and the East Glacier KOA. Definitely liked the west side better but we did something really cool on the east side. We drove the tow into Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park in Canada (need passports) for a day trip. Then we took the boat ride across the lake which landed at Goat Haunt, the USA border crossing and ranger station, and then back. I think just an overnight at Mesa Verde NP is sufficient...and consider the train ride in Durango if possible! We have ridden the train twice but, as I already stated, it is a long day. Our last trip we took the train up to Silverton and a bus back and it was better. We live in CA and I could do the western portions of your trip every year and never get tired of it...but we are going to try a cross-country trip in the opposite direction this summer/fall! Wish us luck
  9. I almost hate to chime in here as everyone has pretty much covered it all, but we've traveled in some of these areas several times so I'll add my thoughts. Mt. Rushmore - We stayed at the KOA and it is a very nice campground. The Mt. Rushmore nighttime program is great too. As mentioned above, a visit to Custer State Park should be considered. Lots of bison, beautiful scenery and there are several cave tours available at Jewel Cave Natl Monument and Wind Cave NP. Also consider the Crazy Horse Memorial nearby. We took a motorcycle ride to Devil's Tower when attending the Sturgis Bike Rally...all we did was look at it and leave. Cody - We love this little town and we've attended a rodeo twice. Unless things have changed they have a nightly rodeo. Just a short day trip visit to Cody is not enough time as the museum is definitely a must...and you mentioned your family likes a rodeo. We stay at the Ponderosa campground. Yellowstone - Driving to and from Yellowstone everyday is not a good option as Yellowstone is huge, driving is slow, and you'll want to stop and look at every animal, geiser, river, etc. that you see! I'm glad you've selected Fishing Bridge RV Park (you have a reservation, right? Otherwise...no bueno). While many folks don't like this campground, we've always liked it for convenience of getting around the park and it has hook-ups. Grand Tetons - Haven't paid much attention to your route but if passing through the Tetons I think one long day should be good for sightseeing with an overnight somewhere in that area (unless you have a day to kill driving in and out of Yellowstone to Tetons). A quick trip to Jackson Square is fun and be sure to stop at the visitors center in Jackson. There are many areas outside of the main touristy spots in the Tetons (Jackson and Jenny Lakes) that are beautiful if you are willing to drive some dirt roads in your tow. We have seen moose every trip in the Tetons. We have found that we find some really exciting things off the beaten path Mesa Verde NP is a must if in the area. We love the Durango area and the Durango & Silverton Railroad ride is a very fun thing to do but it takes all day and is not cheap. Our last visit in Durango we took a guided off-road jeep tour that was fun. Grand Canyon - We have not stopped at the North Rim but I must say I think you'll miss out if you do not stay at the South Rim. If possible try to get into the Trailer Village campground inside the park. It's very hot in the summer and the campground has hook-ups. But the best part is being walking distance to the park shuttle buses. You can catch a bus at the campground which takes you to the village from which all the FREE shuttle buses depart. It just makes everything so much easier. I understand from above that you're looking at long days of driving. We have found that driving more than 400 miles a day is just pushing it. You just don't know what things you might encounter along the way that may really slow you down. Even driving 400 miles a day we find that after a couple of days of driving those long days consecutively we need a break for a day or two of just some down time. But...we are getting old No matter what, you are going to have a wonderful trip that your family will remember for a lifetime. You'll want to go back! Just remember to take the time to enjoy it all.
  10. We stayed at both the West Glacier KOA and East Glacier KOA. Much preferred the west side and the campground, while pricey, is very nice with a convenient location to the park. The Red Bus Tour is phenomenal!
  11. We are planning our first cross-country trip in late winter/early spring next year and have the same concerns. At Ray & Barbara, are people still using CB radios? Thought they were becoming extinct with cell phones and all. We have one in our RV but don't have instructions for it and have not been able to get a channel on it. Any suggestions on CB use vs. a weather radio? Thanks! Joyce
  12. We are heading from CA to Glacier NP also this summer for first time. We are spending lots of time in Montana via Utah & Idaho and will be staying at Polson/Flathead Lake KOA and also West Glacier KOA, and then moving over to east side for a few nights inside the park at St. Mary Campground (no hook-ups). Then heading to Grand Teton NP with a reservation at Colter Bay Village RV Park inside Grand Teton NP (gtlc.com). If you don't have reservations there and want them, keep checking everyday as cancellations do occur. The best place to stay at Grand Canyon NP is the south rim at Grand Canyon Trailer Village inside the park. http://grandcanyonlodges.com. Be sure to select proper RV-length site and again, if no vacancies just keep checking back for cancellations. Not the most beautiful RV park with some unlevel sites, but there are full hook-ups and you might see some wildlife walk right thru the campground. The biggest plus is that free shuttle buses stop right at the campground for rides all around the south rim. So awesome! Have not been to the north rim. The entire Oregon coast is beautiful. We drove it all in our 34' gas RV with no problems. A very curvy two-lane cliff hanger in spots, but I'm a nail biter and managed it OK (in the passenger seat!). Astoria is a cute, historical town that has a hokey little trolley ride that is quite informative and only costs $1! Also a maritime museum there that is quite interesting. Be sure to spend time at the Columbia River Gorge, Bonneville Dam and salmon fish hatchery, etc. We stayed at Ainsworth State Park which is no frills but convenient and inexpensive. Unhook the tow and drive the historic US Hwy. 30 to see beautiful waterfalls, and stop at Tad's Chicken N Dumplings restaurant for a great meal on the Sandy River (near the end, or beginning, of US Hwy 30). We also took a boat ride on the Columbia River that takes you thru the Bonneville locks - something we had never experienced and really enjoyed. Our other favorite towns are Newport and Florence. Oregon state parks are wonderful so would suggest checking on them first before staying at more expensive RV parks.There is an RV park at the harbor in Florence that we stayed at and liked. Again, not the greatest RV park but convenient for walking around the harbor shops. If you can get a river site, all the better! portofsiuslaw.com If you like a little adventure, take a dunebuggy ride on the Oregon dunes just up the road at Sandland Adventures. Also be sure to take a jetboat ride either out of Gold Beach or Grants Pass on the Rogue River - both lots of fun (Jerry's Rogue Jets - roguejets.com or roguerivertrips
  13. Thanks for the great responses - much appreciated! As the trip gets closer in time we are starting to narrow our route down. I've found quite a bit of campground information for the Ketchum/Challis/Salmon, Idaho area and it sounds wonderful. After going thru Missoula, think we'll take Hwy. 200 to 83 up to Bigfork and then catch Flathead Lake on the way back down from Glacier NP. Since gas prices are still high, we'll probably drive the RV only to the west side of Glacier and then drive the tow over the mountain for day trips. Agpar does look nice, and it is nice to see campsite photos on the govt. website - makes it so much easier in deciding where to stay! We then plan to take Hwy. 28 to 200 thru Thompson Falls over to Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, then head thru Spokane and down a quick route thru Oregon and on towards California. Can't spot Finley Point on our map so will have to look for the map of Montana that you referenced, jmr12. Sorry too, jmr12, that we won't be over your way. Mighty nice off you've made - thank you! We have a 34'er - any problems we'll have with length that you know of? So nice to get input from people who know the areas. Thanks again, and happy traveling!
  14. As a native California gal, Yosemite NP is one of my all-time favorite places to visit, along with all of the eastern Sierras area on Hwy. 395. If you go to Sequoia NP, be sure to visit Kings Canyon NP just a little further up the road where Zumwalt Meadow is beautiful! Lake Tahoe is also another one of my favorite spots, but be aware that weather could still be "ify" in May in all these areas so check road conditions and park road openings. From Fresno (outside of Sequoia) you could take Hwy. 41 (which turns into Hwy. 46) over to the central coast, which is also another favorite. There are lots of wineries in the Paso Robles area and there is a fairly new RV Park on the right before you get into the town of Paso Robles (can't remember name - something to do witha winery!). You could then continue on Hwy. 46 over to Hwy. 1 and the sleepy coastal towns of Cayucos and Morro Bay, located a little south on Hwy. 1, and then Cambria and San Simeon north on Hwy. 1. You can take a tour of Hearst Castle (purchase tix online hearstcastle.org) in San Simeon, and see the elephant seals' colony for free just off the road a little north of San Simeon on Hwy. 1. Look for the road sign, find a place to park in the dirt lot on the left, and walk out on the cliffs to see the elephant seals below. They are very entertaining and if the weather is nice, people like to sit there for hours and watch them. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of RV parks to choose from in this area. There are several in Morro Bay, and there is Bella Vista Mobile Home Park in Cayucos that rents spaces nightly right across the street from the beach, and this is a very convenient location too for sightseeing the area. There is a campground at San Simeon State Park (reserveamerica.com) - no hook-ups, probably a 34' max RV length. From this area you could continue north on Hwys. 1/101 through Big Sur and No. CA. The Big Sur drive is a twisty two-lane road but the ocean cliff views are spectacular. Monterey has the awesome Monterey Bay Aquarium. We avoid driving the RV thru San Francisco at all costs, but it might be a place you would like to visit? Your choice! Funny I should say that since we live in So. CA with what everyone says must be the most horrific traffic in the world...just in my element here I guess. I forgot to mention So. CA beaches - we live nearby and think the drive on I-5 from San Clemente to San Diego is beautiful - if you can remember to watch for the stopping car in front of you The San Diego area is another whole destination in itself. If you decide to visit the CA central coast and then drive Hwys. 1 and 101 to Oregon, you would then want to take Hwy. 199 from Crescent City, CA into Oregon and over to Crater Lake. Jerry's Jet Boats in Grants Pass offers a really fun ride on the Rogue River. If you should decide from Crater Lake to head north on Hwy. 97 via Bend, the drive along the Columbia River(bordering Oregon/Washington) from The Dalles to Portland is awesome. Stop at the Bonneville Dam and visit the fish hatchery and see the fish ladders. We took a five-hour tour boat ride that actually took us thru the locks on the river and it was very fascinating if you haven't done that sort of thing. Also be sure to visit Multnomah Falls and the other falls along historic Hwy. 30. Tad's Chicken 'n' Dumplins in Troutdale on the Sandy River is a great place to eat for a down-home-cooked meal. If you decide to head out from Crater Lake in another direction, Oregon has a lot to offer no matter which direction you take. We have not stopped to "smell the roses" along the I-5 corridor (although the Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville has a great RV park with a free shuttle to the casino - just south of Roseburg). There are lots of old covered bridges in Oregon that are neat to see - stop at an information center for info. The coastal route is absolutely beautiful so you can't go wrong with that drive either. We loved the dune buggy ride at Sandland Adventures just south of Florence. We took the thrill-seekers FAST ride and it was a blast, but be sure to dress WARM and HANG-ON!! If you do take the coastal route, try to stay on it all the way to Astoria - a neat little town to visit with lots of history from the Lewis & Clark Expedition, etc. and a bridge crosses the Columbia River to get to Washington. As to Washington, I haven't been there yet (plan to visit in September) so can't offer a thing! Hope this gives you some helpful information in addition to all that you've already received. Have a great trip! Would love to hear how your Alaska experience turns out. We keep talking about it but haven't done it yet. Maybe next year... Joyce
  15. We plan to make a trip to Glacier NP this summer traveling through Utah to Idaho and on up to Glacier NP. We would like to see more of Idaho and are looking at taking Hwys. 75 & 93 through Hailey, Ketchum, Salmon, etc. to Missoula, MT - and then from Missoula to St. Mary (at Glacier) via Hwy. 35 and then back around Glacier NP over to Whitefish/Flathead Lake area, over to Coeur d'Alene, ID and then meander down thru Washington and Oregon to then reach our friend's house in Willow Creek, No CA. Has anyone traveled the Idaho Hwys. 75/93 thru Idaho (and Hwy. 93 into Montana)? Hoping to hear from others if there are roads we should avoid, and also any great campground and sightseeing suggestions for the Glacier NP and Whitefish areas. Has anyone stayed at the Glacier NP campgrounds - St. Mary's in particular? We are thinking we should stay at both the eastern and western ends of the park. We like both dry camping and RV parks, and will be traveling with our two dogs. Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions! Joyce
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