Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Let the adventure begin!!!

People often ask me how do I decide where to go on my summer travels. Well, sometimes I decide to join up with my RV Club the WINs - Wandering Individuals Network. Sometimes I just do my own thing, going to motorcycle rallies and visiting friends. This year I'm doing the budget plan. I got out my Elk's Lodge books and Moose Lodge pages and looked up the lodges that offer free, cheap or donation RV parking. I plotted them on the map and the ones that are in cool temp/high altitude spots made the short list. I tried to throw in a few motorcycle rallies, WIN club stops, my favorite Montana Brewery, and beautiful mountain passes to ride.
I use the Internet extensively to search for RV dump stations, Costcos, Petsmarts, pet groomers, the cheapest gas stations that sell diesel, free and cheap camping spots and the very important Verizon phone and Wireless Internet Service Areas. I found that Wyoming doesn't have one Costco or Petsmart so I'll have to anticipate and stock-up on needed supplies before I leave Colorado and head into Wyoming. I have many publications that range from telling me what I can find at every off-ramp along the main highways, where every Wal-Mart is located and which ones allow overnight RV parking and how steep a grade to expect on every mountain pass. I also have Hot Springs books, a Harley Shop guide, and lots of maps.
When I have the dilemma of choosing between two spots, I use "Panoramio" which shows an aerial view of almost every spot on earth, or "Vpike.com" which shows street level views of most addresses. They are helping me decide between two Elks Lodges in New Mexico I am contemplating and two different Harley Shops in Colorado. I'm looking for a Harley shop with a large parking lot where I can unload my bike and take her in for her 30,000 mile service. And one of the Elk's Lodges looks like it has a much larger parking lot and looks to be in a much quieter area than the other.
I try to have a nice balance of quiet, remote spots vs. city spots convenient to shopping. I need an RV dump station about every two weeks, a dog groomer about every 5-6 weeks and an easy access US Post Office once a month to pick up the mail I have forwarded from South Dakota.
At this time I have on my schedule: 2 Elks Lodges, 1 Moose Lodge, 1 VFW Lodge, 4 Wal-Marts, 1 State Park, 1 County Fairground, 2 City parks, 6 free dispersed camping spots, 1 National Park, 2 National Recreation Areas, and 2 BLM areas. Seven of the spots are with the WINS and the rest are just on my own. Fifteen spots are free, and most of the pay spots are $5-$6 per night with one or two from $10-$20/night.
I haven't scheduled any motorcycle rallies but I'm planning to ride my motorcycle over 10 Mountain passes 10,000' or higher, mostly in the beautiful Rockies. And I it looks like I won't make it to the Big Sky Brewery in Missoula, MT this year, but I shouldn't have any problem finding my beloved Moose Drool beer in stores in the states I'm heading to.

Some people pull up to an intersection and flip a coin to see which direction they will go. I guess I'm a planner. I like to plan where I'm going and what I'm going to do when I get there. If something unexpected comes up and I want to change my plan, that's OK!! I will do that. But for now I plan to stick to my plan and head east to New Mexico early tomorrow morning before the wind kicks up, stopping in Gallup for fuel, then continue on to one of New Mexico's beautiful state parks.

See ya down the road!!

5 Comments:

At 8:02 PM, Blogger Ted and Mary Ellen said...

Have a wonderful trip, Sally. We'll ,miss you on the mountain but I know "white line fever" is hard to ignore! Have fun and "BLOG" frequently.

 
At 5:36 AM, Blogger Juengst said...

Great post Sally, I would guess that you spent many hours on this planed Itinerary.
I have a size problem when it comes to State, County and Federal parks, Most won't accommodate my length.

Have a safe trip and keep us posted.

 
At 6:07 AM, Blogger Dixxe's Doodles said...

I was in Gallup NM about 2 weeks ago..what a lovely town and business is booming there!! I was a cub scout master so Be Prepared is sort of my motto---I am like you I plan -plan -plan but Im prepared to go with Plan B if Plan A is a bust! Your plan sounds great and I'm totally envious of it sounds fantastic!! Im looking forward to reading of your adventures!

 
At 7:10 PM, Blogger Diana said...

Thanks for all the good info - I had never heard of Panoramio or Vpike.com - I usually look things up on Google Earth, but sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what building is correct.

 
At 7:20 PM, Blogger Hundewanderer said...

You're so smart... I need to take lessons from you... I guess my whole life has been the 'flip the coin' variety... :)

 

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