Last summer, the push was on to complete a major construction project at one of our rental properties. Hoping we would be done by late August, but not knowing whether or not we’d actually be able to complete the project by then, Alan and I made no camping plans for the spring or summer of 2018. However, if all went well, we would be free to take some time off in the fall. I was reluctant to plan any type of extended or complicated vacation because I had visions of cancelling numerous reservations if the construction project wasn’t completed when we expected it to be. So, the decision was made to shoot for a couple of State Park visits within a full day’s drive from home.
March 23, 2019
March 18, 2019
Great Sand Dunes National Park - Playing in the Biggest Sandbox I've Ever Seen (National Parks Trip #2)
This post represents another installment in the series detailing the second of our three cross country National Parks camping trips with travel trailer in tow. At the time of this trip in 2010, our son, Ryan, was 16 and our daughter, Kyra, was 11.
Regular readers of this blog know that I spend a lot of time planning our travels, paying particular attention to campgrounds that are the best fit for our preferences and specific sites within those campgrounds. Some people view a campsite simply as a place to catch some z’s and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that because they often are. To me, the campsite is an integral part of our traveling experience, unless we’re specifically making time between point A and point B, in which case we do need just a place to rest our weary selves. Yes, Wally World has been our “campground” of choice on more than one occasion. But I enjoy selecting campsites that I know our family will really like and make the most of – whether that’s because of the seclusion, the view or the easy access to a lake or hiking trail.
Because I had identified Piñon Flats within Great Sand Dunes National Park as our go-to campground for this visit, I spent a great deal of time looking at the photos of the sites there on Recreation.gov. Many had beautiful views of the dunes and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains behind them, but the sites tended to be smaller and there were not a lot that I felt we could comfortably fit in with our 30’ travel trailer. I was having a difficult time deciding on a site based on what I was seeing on Recreation.gov and I had questions on more than one of the sites I was considering. What to do? Take a chance, book a site and keep our fingers crossed we would fit? Play it safe and stay at a private RV park outside the National Park? Neither one of those options appealed to me and I decided to try something I had never done before.
March 17, 2019
Just a quick update today while I’m working on a regular post . . .
I’m not sure when the change occurred, but RVParkReviews.com is now CampgroundReviews.com. (The change is reflected in my list of favorite places in the column to the right.) The content and web site design are still the same and you can find nearly 350,000 reviews of more than 18,000 campgrounds and RV parks on this extremely helpful site. It’s one of my absolute favorite trip-planning resources.
I’ll be back soon with another post. Meanwhile, have a good day and try to make it a better one for someone else!
March 06, 2019
Since I posted the most recent installment detailing the second of our cross country National Parks camping trips, a thought has been percolating in my mind that I’ve been having a hard time putting into words. Actually, I think it’s more about feelings than words and, although I’ve been pondering for weeks, I’m still having a difficult time expressing those thoughts and feelings.
When I wrote about our visit to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, I felt like I didn’t successfully convey just how much the opportunity to ride the tiny tram up to the top of the Arch really affected me. That got me thinking about a number of other experiences we’ve had in our travels. Let’s face it – I love to travel and I believe that all travel experiences enrich our lives in many ways. I remember almost every single one of our travel adventures in a positive light (although there are a few exceptions that I’d be just as happy to forget). Some served to relax and recharge after an exceptionally busy or stressful time. Some provided a sense of personal satisfaction as a check mark was placed next to a Bucket List item. Some simply brought the pure enjoyment of being in a magnificently scenic setting. But, every once in a while, we enjoy an experience so rich, so unique or so fascinating that it is forever imprinted on my mind, my heart and, maybe, even in my soul. Like I said, it’s really hard to explain, but I’m going to give it a try.