When we first started RV’ing we liked to head out without a firm plan and didn’t book much in advance. With our first 32′ RV, there were more campgrounds able to accommodate our rig length. As we’ve grown into a 45′ RV and the number of RV’s on the road keeps increasing, we’ve found it necessary to plan further ahead for particular regions and times of year. When we decided to go full time and transitioned from house to RV in April of 2017, we immediately started planning including our winter trip to the southeast which was an area we had not yet visited by RV. When calling Florida RV parks in April for January reservations some of the staff literally laughed and told us that they book over a year in advance! Lesson learned.
We spent several weeks working on a plan and making some reservations for the rest of 2018 and early 2019. We pulled out our US Road Atlas and looked for new places to visit and regions with lots of outdoor recreation. We’ve previously written posts on Planning a Trip and Finding RV Campgrounds which describe our process. We have some exciting adventures planned including canoe trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area of Minnesota and a backpacking trip reached via seaplane on Michigan’s Isle Royal. We are excited to be visiting 10 new (for us) National Parks. Here is a summary overview of our travel plans:
We spent several weeks in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park region with stops in Sevierville, Tennessee and near Asheville, North Carolina. We enjoyed touring the southern half of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We spent time visiting family and friends in Virginia and Pennsylvania in late April before heading back to Colorado for some doctor appointments and preparing our mountain cabin to be put up for sale. Spring 2018 Itinerary.
We spent June & July in Colorado and Utah. We hiked in the Grand Junction region at Colorado National Monument. We spent time in Monument Valley, Utah and Cortez, Colorado to explore the Four Corners Region. Four Corners is the location where Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico all meet. Regional day trips included Monument Valley Tribal Park, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Natural Bridges National Monument, and Navajo National Monument. We also took time to visit Mesa Verde National Park for exploration of the cliff dwellings and other archeological sites. We next visited Pagosa Springs, Colorado and hiked in the San Juan Mountains! Summer 2018 Itinerary.
We spent the rest of July and most of August back in Fort Collins for doctor appointments and visiting one of our favorite regions including Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding National Forest (Roosevelt) and state/county areas. We went on a backpacking adventure in Colorado’s Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area of Routt National Forest. We took a brief trip via our Tesla to Grand Teton National Park where we hiked in Death Canyon and the Two Oceans Lake Trail. Our mountain cabin went under contract and we stuck around for closing in August.
We finally headed back out for a month in Montana visiting four of our favoirite spots: Glacier National Park, Missoula, Bozeman, and Yellowstone National Park.
We will be going east to visit family for Thanksgiving while also taking a U-Haul load of belongings to Virginia in early November. We have decided to clip our wings and return to part time RV’ing to spend more time with our aging parents. We will have a brief visit to Shenandoah National Forest for some fall leaf peeping while there.
In early December, we head back to Fort Collins, Colorado before heading south. We start in New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend National and State Parks in Texas.
From Texas we head west with stops in Las Cruces, New Mexico and Tucson & Apache Junction (outside of Phoenix), Arizona where we will be visiting Saguaro National Park, Tonto National Forest, and other area attractions. Our Arizona 2017 Itinerary lists numerous state park and national forest locations to visit in the Tucson and Phoenix regions.
We will be downsizing to a smaller RV which we will pick up at the Newmar factory in February. Our house in Virginia is supposed to be completed in March. Both of these are not firm dates, so we have not yet finalized plans for February and March.