2020 Summer trip

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by txballer, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. txballer

    txballer New Member

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    We made it through our first year and love our pup. It has been a wonderful addition to our family. So we are going to stretch our boundaries and to go for two weeks. Our longest trip so far has been 5 days. In the summer we are planning our road trip. We will be starting from Dallas and hitting up New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. We plan on spending the 4th in the mountains and seeing four or five National parks on this trip. I'm looking for input on campgrounds and ideas. The trip dates are Late June and stretching into early July.

    Stop 1
    Red River NM.
    We have a campground that we love and will be staying there.

    Stop 2
    Durango Colorado
    Junction Creek Campground
    The campground is booked 6 months in advance. Only 3 sites were left at the time of booking.

    Stop 3 Moab UT
    Slick Rocks Campground

    Stop 4
    Montrose Colorado
    Hotel for the 4th of July Wife demanded at least one.:)

    Stop 5
    Alamosa Colorado
    Sand Dunes
    Location ???

    Stop 6
    Palo Duro
    Texas (This might get dropped off and just drive straight home)

    Has anyone done a similar trip? Do you have any suggestions for this long of a trip? I am open to any ideas at this point.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
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  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Not farmiler with the area, but bring a good cooler, maybe 2 , 1 drinks , 1 food, and change for the laundromat!
     
  3. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    6 stops in 14 days is a lot. That is a set up and take down every 2 days.
     
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  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Not sure how long your staying at each stop but if only for a night get setup/take down to a science. Go for minimal setup. Less you put up less you have to pack later. Try and leave time to rest and unwind before you have to go to bed.
     
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  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Its 5 stops, the 6th is a hotel. So very doable. I agree minimal set up and take down.
     
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  6. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

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    The main thing I would say is find your campgrounds and get the reservations set up 6 mo in advance. Once you have that set, then you can plan activities and other things that you will do.
     
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  7. txballer

    txballer New Member

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    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
  8. txballer

    txballer New Member

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    It will be at least 16 days and possibly 18 days.
     
  9. Tulip

    Tulip Active Member

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    We did a 28 day trip with 17 campgrounds in 2018 (Ontario to BC and back) with 3 teens and a dog. It was an AMAZING trip. Tonnes of great memories.
    A few things we learned:
    1) Organize some clothing by temperature rather than by person. We had one duffel for cold weather gear (down vests, big sweatshirts/fleece, hats and mitts) and a bag for bathing suits. These got stashed out of the way in the van (in the stow and go seat bins) so they were always accessible even if the knapsacks were in the trailer and that also eliminated the need for people to have warm stuff in their knapsacks. We could easily grab the suits if we came across a place to swim.
    2) Because we were in bear country for much of the trip, (and didn't always have electrical) we needed a way to organize food in coolers and bins that made sense and made them easy to move and organize. We had a big cooler for the bulk of our food, a smaller cooler for fruits, vegetable and breads that didn't have to stay super cold but also protected them from getting smooshed. We used a large (cheap) tuperware container on the bottom of this one and filled it with ice cubes pretty much daily. We also had a large drink cooler that we filled with ice cubes and drinking water and we all had insulated water bottles. We would usually buy drinking water in the grocery store as we were never quite sure about the quality of the water at campsites and we always had a spare 4 litre jug stowed just in case.
    We also used our plastic grocery bins (not sure if you have these in the US) and organized pantry food by meals - all breakfast and lunch type food in one, and dinners in the other - so that we could grab a bin and bring it out to do meal prep easily.
    3) Meal planning was crucial - but we also learned to only plan 3 out of ever 4 days so we didn't overbuy. We had "back up food" in the form of stuff that didn't need refrigeration in case we wanted to eat at the campsite for the 4th day or we ended up too far from a good grocery store (things like spaghetti, tuna, wraps, pb and j and shelf stable juice/milk). We also tried to watch for road side farm stands or farmers markets in areas we were in and we always had a snack bag for the van with things like granola bars, apples, trail mix etc to cut down on drive thrus, and also to be ready if we stopped to hike or explore something. Plan easy quick cooking meals for days you are travelling between campgrounds. I don't know about you but we always seemed to get distracted by cool stuff and get off schedule so knowing that dinner was a very quick chili and salad, or soup and sandwiches meant we could be set up and eating 30 minutes after rolling into the campground.
    4) We got a collapsible tote from Costco that helped corral small stuff for packing in the trailer. When the camper was all set up, the tote would move to the seat in the van to collect the random stuff that seemed to end up there.
    5) We found we were colder in the mountains than we anticipated. We bought thin fleece blankets from the dollar store and slept on them (vs under them) and I was surprised at the difference they made. We also bought small hot water bottles for each kid and DH and I shared one. They just took the chill off the bed.
    6) We didn't find the sweet spot for bringing just enough things for entertainment. We ended up with more books than we needed. We didn't use some of the "toys" we brought like the badminton rackets - although they got regular use on other trips. We were just too busy during the day exploring or moving around. We could have used another board game as we got bored with the ones we had.
    7) Streamline as you go. We made some tweaks to our kitchen and food organization as we went so that things made more sense from a set up/tear down/make food fast perspective. A travel trip where we are moving around a lot is quite different from one where we are camping at one site. We plan different meals, we need slightly different organizational strategies, and we bring some different stuff.
    7) Keep a journal and take pictures of the campsites - they start to blur together. We used instagram to document the trip (only the family and a few close friends had access to that account so we weren't tipping people off that we were away). It was a fun quick way to keep the experiences and info organized. I would typically post a couple of times a day. We tracked our mileage and campgrounds/impressions along with pictures the things we did using Instagram and then I transferred it all to a journal when I had time. DH had a spread sheet of the campgrounds and info by date, as well as the anticipated kms and any relevant notes, and he emailed it to me and all the kids so that we could all pull it up if needed (handy when his phone died one day while we were out and we needed to confirm something about our next stop).
    Have a great trip!
     
  10. txballer

    txballer New Member

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    Tulip,
    Thank you for an amazing write-up. This is the kind of advice that I was hoping to find. We are really stretching our boundaries with this trip but its something that we want to do with our boys.
     
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  11. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    Where are you staying in Red River. I learned about RR from a co-worker a few months ago. It a do-able long weekend for us.
     
  12. txballer

    txballer New Member

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    We stay at the 4k red river ranch. Its where my wife stayed as a kid so its a memory location. I have seen several other campgrounds that look nice but do not have hookups.
    https://www.4kredriver.com/

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/carson/recarea/?recid=44108
    June Bug looked nice but no hookups.
     
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  13. txballer

    txballer New Member

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    Update
    The trip was planned for June 24 to July 7th. We decide to go even with COVID spiking in Texas and worries about travel bans on the way. We hit 5 national parks and several local areas in each city. We averaged almost 7 miles a day hiking and spent the majority of our time soaking up nature. Each setup and breakdown for our site was less than an hour on average.

    Stop 1
    We spent 3 nights in Red River New Mexico. The weather was absolutely perfect.

    [​IMG]
    Stop 2
    We then moved on to Durango colorado and stayed at Junction Creek Campground.
    This was nice other than the gravel road needed to access it.
    [​IMG]

    Stop 3
    Dead Horse point campground
    Moab Utah.
    Wonderful campground and incredible views.
    [​IMG]


    Stop 4
    Montrose Colorado
    Black Canyon
    [​IMG]
    Stop 5
    Alamosa Colorado
    Great Sand Dunes
    [​IMG]
    then a 12-hour drive back for Forth Worth.
     
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  14. Tulip

    Tulip Active Member

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    What an amazing looking trip! I am glad you got the chance to go. We are hoping to do a trip in to the southwestern states at some point in the future -when things settle down.
    Thanks so much for sharing your pictures!
     
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  15. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Great pics! Thank you for sharing!
     
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  16. Tom Jordan

    Tom Jordan Active Member

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    My vicarious life is much improved from this! [CC]
     
  17. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a super fun trip. Long ones like that where you get to see a bunch of stuff are great. Really have to commend you on the hiking and seeing things off of the beaten path, that is the way to go. This will be the first summer in 10 years that we have not gone on a 2-3 week trip to see the sights somewhere in the US. I think the hardest things about these kind of trips is getting all the reservations set usually at least 6 months in advance. Once you get all that done you can relax and then doing the trip is fun because you have things all set and just execute and see neat things. There are so many great things to see in the US, that you can do trips like this every summer and always be seeing something new. Great Job!
     
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  18. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member

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    Dang neat! Thanks for posting pics...
     

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