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Author Topic: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back  (Read 1231 times)

blw2

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Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« on: June 01, 2017, 09:16:25 AM »
Doing an insane trip trying to squeeze in 6 weeks+ worth into 3 weeks....
travelling with Kids, and DW likes to find places to stop such as museums, Zoo's, etc... along the way
My ideal light easy day is off the road by noon or 3PM depending, at some point of interest, not too far from a place to overnight....or if still early maybe drive another hour or two
I know we'll be doing a lot of long driving days, hoping to overnight at walmarts and such....
Probably 4 to 5 days pushing to get out to NM, but still stopping to see and play just a bit to break it up
 then we can slow down and see what we can see....
My hope is to mix in the long and easy drive days, with some zero or near-zero days mixed in here and there.  hopefully finding a CG every 3 nights or so to dump. 

Totally winging it..... but I think as long as we find fun along the way and get to the canyon and back, we're pretty much happy skipping any of it....

Other than "you're crazy", which I already know.... any comments? 

I know little about these places so I'm trying to get a better feel for where we might want to do a zero mile day or two, or what we should just skip...
I'm kinda thinking Santa Fe might be a zero mile day or nearly so, as an example.  I understand it's a nice little shops and restaurants kind of tourist friendly place.  DW likes that.
We did Sedona before and loved it, but plan on skipping it this time...just not enough time

tentative route:
over night perhaps at
Pensacola (Naval Aviation Museum),
Jackson or Vicksburg,
Dallas,
Amarillo
Albuquerque

maybe do something around ABQ...maybe the balloon museum?
maybe petrified forest?,
maybe meteor crater?

  prob need another stop between ABQ and the canyon, depending on sight seeing..... Flagstaff maybe?

South Rim of the Canyon

Then this is where I'm even more tentative....
after a day or so at the South Rim, maybe swing around up to the North Rim
Then I'm thinking about heading up to Page, AZ
Then maybe Monument Valley...but I'm not sure it's really worth the detour...looping around to Mexican Hat and around to the 4-corners area.  Looks like we'd be going backwards through monument valley....so does it make more sense to head direct to 4-corners and skip it?
Mesa Verda
Durango CO

then back down to Santa Fe
then over to OK City
& I-40 to Memphis
Then I-20 to I-65 back down

Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

UTTransplant

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 09:43:45 AM »
For Albuquerque, forget the balloon museum and go to Old Town. Visit the history museums near the square and just wander around. Take the tram up the Sandia Mountains to Sandia Crest and experience a different world than the valley plus incredible views.

I haven't been to Monument Valley yet, but the Four Corners area is one of my favorite haunts. Definitely spend time at Mesa Verde. Make sure you sign up ahead of time for the tours; they are absolutely worth it. Durango Silverton Railroad is also worth the entire day it takes.

In OKC, look at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. The OKC Bombing Memorial is very moving, maybe too moving depending on the age of your kids. Bricktown is a gentrified area near downtown that is fun.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
2014 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 240RKS
2015 Ram 2500 Diesel
http://toobusyforwork.com

John Stephens

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 10:25:01 AM »
I don't know if you'll be towing, or where in Florida you'll be leaving from, but last year, we made a similar trip, but with just the two of us and a 13 year old Sheltie. We drove from Cape Coral to Gold Canyon, AZ about 30 miles east of Phoenix in six days, overnighting when we could and staying in campgrounds twice in Texas. We took the southern route on I-10, something I won't do again due to the road conditions in Louisiana, whereas you're taking a more northerly route. Our trip was five weeks long, going all the way to Las Vegas before turning back and heading on I-40 until reaching the Arkansas border, then dropping down to Hot Springs, then up to St. Louis and finally to Mammoth Cave before heading back home. If you take out the week we spent in Vegas and the week in St. Louis, we would have made it in three weeks. Our total miles were 6,200. I would not suggest making that trip in three weeks without time to recuperate from the days on the road. I used to drive 15 hours straight when I was younger and loved it, but on this trip, I was a wreck by the time we got to our first destination after pushing 400-450 miles per day. If you can do it with kids and still be able to enjoy the trip, the sights and the destinations, you're better than me. In my opinion, your first comment was spot on - trying to squeeze six weeks into three. Good luck.

If you want to see the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert (all the same area), I suggest staying overnight in Holbrook. I wasn't overly enthused with the KOA there, but it was better than boon docking. It's close enough to the sights, however, to make launching your daily excursion an easy one. If you're thinking of heading to the North Rim, you may want to consider driving to the Grand Staircase Monument. You won't be that far away on your way there. And if you don't mind driving a bit farther north, think about Arches and Canyonland in Utah. That is, if you don't mind doing nothing but driving for the entire vacation. I have always liked Albuquerque but many think it is a dirty town. I second the idea of seeing the Sandia Mountains. Santa Fe is nice to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.

If you are wanting to see something different on the way back than what you saw on the way out, a different route obviously will be in order. If you don't want to take the time to head north, you may think about going south from the Canyon and catch Carlsbad Caverns in NM. It's not that far off of I-10 and you can then take US 285 from Carlsbad to Pecos where you can pick up I-20.
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

regval

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 11:29:37 AM »
We made a trip in June 2015 to destinations including the Grand Canyon on the way to Yellowstone NP. Towed a 30ft TT with a 2007 Chev 2500HD. Departed Lawrenceville, GA with the following stops on the way to Grand Canyon.

I20 from Atlanta to Vicksburg, MS.
Ameristar RV Park, Vicksburg, MS
https://vicksburg.ameristar.com/hotel/rv-park/
Visited Vicksburg National Military Park - Definitely worth the time.

I20 thru Dallas and Ft. Worth, Camped in Walmart parking lot, Hudson Oaks, TX. Several RVs parked there, no restrictions. Nearby campgrounds all booked.
I20 thru Dallas and Ft. Worth was in terrible condition, maybe better now but I doubt it.
Route to Amarillo: Texas Hwy 180 to Hwy 51 north to Hwy 920 to Hwy 199.
Hwy 199 towards Joplin, Hwy 114 towards Jacksboro, Hwy 114 to Hwy 281 towards Wichita Falls, Hwy 287 towards Chillicothe, TX and into Amarillo, TX. Roads were in great condition, better than Interstate. Great Texas scenery.

Camped at Amarillo RV Ranch RV Park  (Owned by Big Texan restaurant). https://amarilloranch.com/. Big Texan restaurant is home of the 72oz Steak dinner. If you can eat it in the time allotted, it's free. We didn't try but watched several try. Very large restaurant, great service. Free shuttle from RV part to restaurant.

Route Amarillo to Albuquerque: Hwy 87 south to Canyon, Hwy 60 west towards Dawn and Hereford and thru Friona and Bovina. Hwy 60/84 to Fort Sumner, Hwy 60 towards Encino. Hwy 285 north to I-40 and I-40    west to Albuquerque, NM. Camped at American RV Park, Albuquerque (http://www.americanrvpark.com/ ). Visited old town but not much else.

Route: Albuquerque, NM to Winslow, AZ.  Stopped and visited Petrified National Forest along the way. The park is definitely worth the time. What I found amazing was there were MANY signs in the park warning you not to disturb the petrified rocks, etc. However, once you exit the park there are thousands of specimens along the roads and many shops selling petrified artifacts.
Camped in Denny's parking lot adjacent to Flying J Truck Stop, Winslow, AZ. Several RVs parked there. No issues.
Route: I-40 West from Albuquerque to Petrified National Forest.  We Drove thru park and exited on Hwy 191 to St. Johns, then Hwy 1-80 to Holbrook and I-40 west to  Winslow, AZ.

Route: Winslow, AZ to Williams, AZ. Route: I-40 west to Williams, AZ then onto Hwy 64 to campground. Camped at Grand Canyon/Williams KOA campground and used it as a base to visit south rim of Grand Canyon. Drive from campground to park entrance was about 30-40 minutes each day. Stayed 2 days. http://koa.com/campgrounds/grand-canyon/

Traveled Hwy 64 north from campground to Grand Canyon National Park and back to campground. We stayed 2 days then departed north to Bryce Canyon NP and then on to Yellowstone NP via Salt Lake.

Good luck on your trip.
Reggie
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer
Lawrenceville, GA

"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 03:06:13 PM »
Thanks for the tips.  Exactly the stuff I was hoping for!  thank you!!!

I'm using Roadtrippers to save potential points of interests and stops....and have plugged most all of these in.  Maybe I'll even print this thread before we leave!

We won't be towing.  Sometimes that makes parking for sightseeing in the touristy towns a bit tough but we have managed so far...
    Normally we'd bring bikes, but we were discussing the other day that maybe we won't.  We hauled them to San Antonio and back a few years ago and never took them off the rack.  And again to the mountains last year, used them very little.  With this kind of trip it's more of a go-go thing and we aren't setting up camp typically for any length of time.  Maybe I'll bring mine as "emergency transport" or for hauling trash in a CG...and maybe DW's, and little folding scooters for the kids just in case we get to a CG and they want to scoot to the playground or whatever....

and yes, I figured I'd stay on more northerly routes.  we did I-10 over to San Antonio a couple winters back. ....and more than that I want to stay away from the heat!!!!
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

ArdraF

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2017, 04:13:39 PM »
Brad, when will you be doing this trip (heat) and how old are the kids (what to visit)?  There are lots of neat places to visit but maybe not age appropriate depending...

ArdraF
ArdraF
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PopPop51

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2017, 05:08:40 PM »
Don't bore yourself with I-75. From Ocala take Alt-27 to Williston, Chiefland, Cross City, Perry to I-10 at US 19. It's almost as fast and a much nicer drive than 150 miles of droning along I-75 to I-10.

My standard overnight stop near Pensacola is Avalon Landing RV Park.
Be warned that if you so much as go near the Naval Aviation museum you'll be there the entire day and want to come back for another.

Vicksburg if you're looking to explore some history. Jackson if you just want to sleep and move on.

Dallas: On a trip like this, just get through it as quickly as possible. Go back when you can stay a while.

Amarillo: Nothing to see here folks, move along.

Albuquerque: Old town, Sandia Peak Tramway and a sleeper: The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. Let the kids burn off some stream scrambling around Petroglyph National Monument.

GRand Canyon. One or two days is a nice introduction. You'll go back. Getting from Tusayan to North Rim is over 200 miles. Think hard about whether it's worth it for a quick stop.

Mesa Verde is a special place. Worth at least a full day. Even the drive in and out is spectacular. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAm4O8x33mY

Durango exists for the train. It's expensive but SO worth it. Allow a full day for the ride. More if you want to poke around the town. We stayed at Riverside RV Resort & Park which is about 10 miles North of town, but had a site that backed right up to the river.

Memphis: We stayed at Tom Sawyer RV Park across the river in West Memphis Ar. If the river isn't too high you can camp right at river's edge and have a great view of the barge tows passing by 24/7.

Yeah you're crazy. But you'll want to go back and do it in a more leisurely fashion.

>>By the way, I was in Jamestown last week and enjoyed seeing the occasional traffic in the pattern at JGG. Memories.


Paul--
2004 Ford Excursion V-10 ("Moose")
2010 Keystone Outback 270BH ("Squirrel")
2016 Mazda MX5 Miata ("Roadster")
##37 States So Far...##

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2017, 01:44:36 PM »
Ardra...great questions... this month, and kids 6-12

popop.... ahh, JGG.  Yes, Jamestown Settlement was our landmark to make the 45 degree entry for 31. 

Yes, I know only a couple days isn't really "enough" at the canyon, but at least the kids will get to see it.  I'd actually love to go back some day and do a backpacking trip down.  I'm still young enough but not too much longer.... maybe some day.  If it were up to me I think I'd skip the south rim totally.  DW & I have been there, stayed at El Tovar.  I figure it'll be crowded this time of the year.... but DW wants to go back.
With that, my thinking is that the North rim only makes a little sense if we'll be looping up towards Page anyway.... in which case we can get a taste of the south rim, hit the shops there, reminisce.... then hit the points along the drive around, desert view watchtower, etc... making the journey part of the destination....finally getting to see a view that none of us have before... for 80 or 130 miles off route....which is still a lot....so odds are good we'll skip it.
   but
      if we are skipping page, monument, 4-corners, and Durango it surely wouldn't make sense
This gets a bit more complex too, because we had to give up our reservation slot at the Trailer Village, so for multiple days at the south rim we'll likely be commuting out to Tusayan.  Thinking about that, maybe it does make some sense to head out to the North.... we will see....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

johnaye

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2017, 10:51:40 PM »
If you end up,going the South route, I 10, the Pima Air Museum in Tucson if fantastic.   
John and Becky
2004 Alfa See Ya DP
2008 Honda CRV

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2017, 07:01:55 AM »
Oh I'd like to do that!   Had thumb tacked it before I decided to try and stay north
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2017, 06:46:14 AM »
Thanks everyone for the tips

I figured I'd pay back a little, with trip updates.... sorta like Sarge and other here do. I enjoy reading those, so here' my abbreviated attempt. I'm behind, but hope to catch up in a few days....

So the first day DW and kids did "camp driveway" so we could get an early start.  First time ever for us I think.  We made it to Pensacola just past noon, with just enough time to do an abbreviated tour of the Naval Aviation Museum.  My 1st time there was many years ago on  business trip, when I had maybe an hour or so free before I had to catch a flight out...so I had done a jogging 1 hour tour of the museum an aviation buff could easily spend the day at.  This time we spent about 3-1/2 to 4 hours there. I could have spent much more time there but the family was just about finished after the long drive.

From the museum we tried to find a place for dinner down at the beach.  Parking was a bear, with a huge municipal lot with plenty of open spaces but no rv's allowed.  We called the Pensacola Beach RV resort.  We were planning to boondock but figured we'd give it a shot since they are right next door in walking distance to the boardwalk.Nothing available, but they were going to be willing to let us park long enough for dinner in their check-in lane but they were waiting for a late arrival..... SO we found a place just down the road called Landshark Bar and Grille, with a  large parking area, live music, and ok basic beach food.  Ended the evening at the Cracker Barrel out by the highway, where they let us park anywhere.  Lots of highway noise but otherwise ok.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

SeilerBird

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2017, 08:29:31 AM »
I have spent a lot of time living at the south rim. Many months, and I never got tired of the views. Every single day while out hiking I would stop and look at the canyon and actually say out loud "Dang this place is incredibly beautiful." I have been asked countless times as to what is my favorite or most recommended thing to do at the canyon. You didn't ask but I am going to volunteer the info anyway.

Hike down into the canyon. The view from the rim is mind blowing and one of the seven wonders of the world. But the further you go down into the canyon the better it gets. That might sound impossible but it is true. There are two main trails into the canyon from the south rim, Bright Angel and South Kaibab. Bight Angel is the trail the mules made famous so watch out for the presents they leave on the trail, and the South Kaibab is steeper. The good news is that the south rim trails are in the shade for most of the morning. Drink a ton of water and start as early as you can convince yourselves to get out of bed. The free park shuttle starts before 5 am and services both trail heads.

Notice I only said hike into the canyon, I did not say to hike to the bottom. A mile and a half should be the maximum for your first trip down. Bright Angel has a rest house and water supply at the mile and a half rest and on the South Kaibab there is also a rest stop at mile and a half with a rest room but no water. It is called Cedar Ridge. Go no further. It will be very tempting at that point to continue but save it for another trip. Hiking down into the canyon early in the morning is extremely easy, even for your six year old. But as you hike out you will only be going up up up and so is the sun going up up up. It gets harder and hotter the longer you hike. A mile and a half is a really easy hike for a first timer and it will be one of the highlights of your life.

If you go down the Bright Angel you will come upon a tunnel after you go a few hundred yards. Once you get through the tunnel (small tunnel, less than ten feet long)stop and look on the cliffs to your left. You can see the original trail (it was moved to keep people from adding modern graffiti to ancient graffiti) and right next to the trail is a bunch of Native American petroglyphs. Here is a shot of a Big Horn Sheep standing next to his petroglyph. This trail is over 1000 years old so the date of the petroglyphs is unknown but they are very old.

If someone in your party is not physically capable of hiking down a mile and a half then make the petroglyphs your final destination. I make it a point of being out of the canyon by 10:00 before the heat arrives. Watch for wildlife. You will see a lot more wildlife inside the canyon rather than on the rim. If you go down on South Kaibab after nine tenths of a mile you will run into Ohh Ahh Point. It is not marked. It does not need to be. Everyone around you will be going "Ohh ahh".

The two trails are as different as night and day. Bright Angel is in canyons and there is a lot of shade on the route. South Kaibab is on an exposed fin sticking out into the canyon. Ohh Ahh Point is at the tip of the fin and sticks way out into the canyon offering views up and down the canyon.

My second recommendation is to get on the Hermit's Rest Shuttle bus at around 6 pm and take it out to Hopi Point and view a sunset.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
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2016 photos:
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PopPop51

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2017, 10:02:24 AM »
Well written, useful description, Tom. It's really nice to have an experienced viewpoint.
We ventured into the canyon, but caution about getting back up kept us from going very far. Probably a good thing considering how late in the morning we started.
You've got me hankering to go back.
Thanks!
Paul--
2004 Ford Excursion V-10 ("Moose")
2010 Keystone Outback 270BH ("Squirrel")
2016 Mazda MX5 Miata ("Roadster")
##37 States So Far...##

SeilerBird

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2017, 10:24:41 AM »
Well written, useful description, Tom. It's really nice to have an experienced viewpoint.
We ventured into the canyon, but caution about getting back up kept us from going very far. Probably a good thing considering how late in the morning we started.
You've got me hankering to go back.
Thanks!
You are welcome. It is making me want to go back there too, but I have to wait till May of 2019. :o
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

PopPop51

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2017, 02:57:53 PM »
You are welcome. It is making me want to go back there too, but I have to wait till May of 2019. :o
Is that when the statute of limitations expires?  ;)
Paul--
2004 Ford Excursion V-10 ("Moose")
2010 Keystone Outback 270BH ("Squirrel")
2016 Mazda MX5 Miata ("Roadster")
##37 States So Far...##

SeilerBird

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2017, 03:45:40 PM »
Is that when the statute of limitations expires?  ;)
No, I am buying a new Tesla 3 with my February 2019 tax return and then this will be my shakedown cruise. The ultimate goal is number one on my bucket list, Banff National Park. ;D ;D ;D
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

ArdraF

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2017, 06:15:30 PM »
Tom, that's a neat photo of the bighorn sheep on rock and in rock.  We hiked a bit down one of the trails (not even sure which one) and loved it.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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SeilerBird

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2017, 07:37:10 PM »
Thank you Ardra, I am rather proud of that shot. But the sheep on the trail are so used to humans that they don't even get out of your way if you meet one going down the trail while you are headed up the trail. I have photographed baby sheep at a distance of a few feet with the mother standing right there unconcerned. They are really tame. Here are a few more, all shot within 20 feet of the Bright Angel Trail. I love the shot of the mules and the sheep. Almost everyone is getting out their camera. Hikers notice the lack of sun early in the morning, this is why I prefer to get up early and hike Bright Angel. At the Kolb Brothers Studio located at the Bright Angel trail head is a photo of Teddy Roosevelt on a mule on that very trail one hundred years ago.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 07:42:52 PM by SeilerBird »
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

ArdraF

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2017, 03:24:24 PM »
Oh how neat Tom!  I love that baby bighorn.  What a great shot of it!

ArdraF
ArdraF
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SeilerBird

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2017, 03:48:13 PM »
Oh how neat Tom!  I love that baby bighorn.  What a great shot of it!

ArdraF
Thank you Ardra. You have no idea how tough it was to resist the temptation to pet the little guys. They were right there in front of me and acting so tame and looking so cute. But I have my rules and I don't interfere with the wildlife I am trying to photograph.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

ArdraF

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2017, 05:05:55 PM »
I can identify with that temptation!  :o  He's darling and looks so pettable.  But I'll bet Mama would be right there butting you if the devil got the better of you!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

SeilerBird

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2017, 05:17:53 PM »
I can identify with that temptation!  :o  He's darling and looks so pettable.  But I'll bet Mama would be right there butting you if the devil got the better of you!

ArdraF
I am sure she would but that is not what keeps me away. It is wrong to do anything to domesticate a wild animal, especially in a National Park.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

ArdraF

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2017, 06:00:33 PM »
Totally agree - but we can have fun imagining!  ;D

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

SeilerBird

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2017, 06:12:08 PM »
Totally agree - but we can have fun imagining!  ;D

ArdraF
I don't have to imagine. I have three cats that think I should spend my entire day petting them. ;D
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2017, 07:14:46 PM »
Hey, really great SellerBird!!!  Thanks for that.  Some day I would love to hike down to the bottom.  When DW and I went to the south rim about 14 or so years ago, I hiked down a fair bit past the tunnel you are mentioning on Bright Angle.  I did not notice or know to look for the petroglyphs.  I'll look for them this time if we go.  I'm a bit nervous of my youngest daughter, 6 YO.  She has no fear and as I recall there are no railings.

Anyway,
Big update, been covering a lot of ground and haven't been online much. 

I'm wiped out.   Been doing relatively easy driving days for the most part, but tying with some activity each day......  And I guess I don't rest as well boon docking in parking lots.  I'm thinking a good target for me is find a CG every 2nd or 3rd night or so...  It's a learning curve I guess.  Haven't done much of this long distance stuff

So, after Pensacola, I was planning on cutting North around Mobile to catch I-20.  Well the kids had been begging to go play on the levee letters in Baton Rouge.  Let me explain..... a few years back we did a trip out to TX, and exploring Baton Rouge, just stumbled on the levee there, right near the USS Kidd museum ship.  The kids had a blast sliding and playing on the huge letters that spell BATON ROUGE.  We decided to surprise the kids and went there without telling.  Sadly, the letters were half submerged in the flood stage waters, but the kids still had fun.  Toured the ship and then moved on, landing in Shreveport for the night.  After dinner at the newly developed boardwalk shopping area there, we asked at Bass Pro.  Turns out they don't own the parking lot, but suggested we ask the mall people.  DW asked a security guard who only asked that we park out and as close to the end near Margaritaville Casino as possible.  She said she would pass the word to night security.  Quiet night with only a bit of train noise... 

I have to back up here to say that I followed the phone GPS down I think US 190 to US 71 out of Baton Rouge.  BIG MISTAKE!  No doubt shortened the life of my new tires on that nightmare.  The LA interstate highways weren't much better!  Roads there have not changed.

The next day leaving Shreveport, we found the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.  I called ahead for the scoop on parking.  There is a lot they use for field trip buses, but she was not able to get in touch with the folks that would unlock the chain...so she had given me alternate direction in case the chain wasn't down when we arrived.  An easy u-turn under the freeway overpass to the city pay lot, where I had to pay for two spaces.  The Perot is a really top notched museum, with lots of info on the oil industry, as well as dinosaurs and all sorts of science.    The kids' favorite stop so far.

I routed down Elm through through Dealy Plaza on the way out of town.  Didn't stop, just to see it.   Sobering.  I was surprised on how small the area really is. 

Ended up in Bowie TX, figuring to stay at the WalMart, who had given permission.  Dinner at a little Mexican food place, Dos Chills.  Pretty good food, ok priced.  Really crowded because of some sporting event in town.    Stopped on the way back to Walmart at a little county park to see the huge Bowie knife sculpture and a little walk.  Ended up just staying in the little honor system CG there.  $5 for the night.  Dump station Electric and water.   I think it was 10 spaces with two others occupied.  Nice park with muni swimming pool, jogging walking track around an open grassy field, about a mile or so around.... lots of folks out walking in the evening and the morning.  Nothing nice really but a great wayside stop and the park felt friendly if that makes sense...  I think the CG was built mainly for use when the rodeo is in action.... at the rodeo stadium in the same park.  Likely not a stadium, but you get the idea....

More later...
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

SeilerBird

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2017, 07:20:48 PM »
You are welcome Brad. You are correct there is no handrail on the trails anywhere. However I have hiked both trails dozens of times and never heard of anyone falling in. The trails are actually pretty wide. You really won't need to worry too much.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

Dream Chasers

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2017, 01:17:30 AM »
We were there in March this year and really enjoyed hiking both trails. Tom is right to suggest going early to beat the heat. Plus the trails will be less busy. You really get a different perspective and views hiking just a little bit below the rim.

40 miles west of Williams on Old Route 66 is the town of Seligman. Seligman was the model for Radiator Springs in the "Cars" movies.

We really enjoyed Meteor Crater much more than we thought we would. It was very interesting.

Safe travels.
Sheryl & Bobby and Roxie the Yorkie
Polk City, Florida
2015 Forest River Berkshire 34QS
2011 Honda CRV SE

jackiemac

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2017, 01:45:22 PM »
Looks like you're having a ball. Loving the updates. ☺
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

8th May to 30th October 2017 - Touring Western US

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2017, 10:02:50 AM »
One minor correction; Armarillo is home to the Palo Duro canyon (second largest in the US?) and the show "Texas". The show is well worth an evening and the dinner in the canyon was quite good. Recommended if you're here at the right time.

Ernie

Warning: There is a good road down into the canyon, but it is STEEP and WINDING.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 10:05:20 AM by Ernie n Tara »
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2017, 10:33:06 PM »
Little time to get on, and bad data signal so I didn't see your post Ernie n Tara till way past Amarillo
This is still a few days behind

After Bowie, we headed up to Amarillo, where we visited and RV Museum there.  Turns out it’s an RV dealership but he had quite the collection of old RV’s on free display, along with a few motorcycles and other stuff. 
Then we had an early dinner, or late lunch at The Big Texan Steak House.  Saw someone there attempting to do the 72oz steak challenge, sadly they failed.  Even when ordering from the “normal” menu, that place really makes it hard to not over eat!  It was kinda cheesy but fun.
From there, we drove down to Palo Duro Canyon SP.  Really very nice place.  Wish we’d know about it to make reservations.  Sadly no room for us but it was nice for a drive through and a short hike.  Finally landed at the WalMart in Canyon Tx where we joined a truck and couple other RV’s.

In Alburquerque, our first stop was the tram up to Sandia Crest.  Very pricey, $90 I think it was for the 5 of us, but was quite the experience for the kids.  Nice and cool at the top with a wonderful pine forest smell.  I could have stayed up there!  We headed back down, and just in time too, since a thunderstorm rolled through while we were still in the parking lot.
Diner at El Pinto, which carries a higher reputation that we felt it deserved…. Still it was good but overpriced.  Finally landed at the Cracker Barrel where we had permission.
I’ll say this, most of what we saw of ABQ was really very nice.  Including a trip to home depot to repair the closet rod that fell because the factory didn’t attach to structure well enough for the bumpy roads….and to fix the panty slide, also failed…. I had to do a double take with the mountain view coming out of the store.  I could get used to that!
The next day, we went to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and history.  They have quite a good collection of stuff there, showing the development of nuclear weaponry and nuclear science in general
After lunch in Old Town,, I was just too pooped to drive so we found a spot at the American RV Resort just West of town.  Very nice for what it was, and I have to say that’s the first time I’ve had escort to our site.  I’ll admit to being a little uncomfortable there….didn’t know if I should tip the guy or not.  We didn’t have the best site in the park by any measure, but it was ok for a night.  Most sites were clean, level, and nice.  The pool was a bit dirty but swimmable, and they even had a free continental breakfast.
 
Refreshed, we drove on Westward, where i started having overpressure alarms on a couple of my tires.  I guess I should back up and mention that due to the colder night temperatures in ABQ my tires were reading low in the morning so I swung by a discout tire to air them up.  They wouldn’t just add 2-4 psi like I asked, they tried to set them to 80 rear and 70 front, but their gauge didn’t match my TPMS, and they didn’t get them all the same.  The next morning I used my own compressor to air them to my target pressures.  As the temps rose in the desert, they went over.  Ugh!

Hope to get caught up tomorrow....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2017, 08:35:49 AM »
Just a quick note. Florida is sea level and you're climbing. There is no way for air to escape the tires so the differential (inflation) pressure goes up. It increases by about one PSI per thousand feet elevation.

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2017, 09:05:33 AM »
Yes, but the cold temps have the opposite affect.  Which is greater?  I bled out a bit when getting the alarms, but now in the 50 degree cool morning today, my lowest is about 74 psi.  Should be 80psi.  Debating about topping it up a bit, but I know in an hour or so it'll warm up and with driving it will be well above 80.  Regardless, I like to keep them all equal and on setpoint, but now they are a mess.  My little compressor is just too small and so I struggle to get it right.
Oh I need to point out that Camping World in ABQ wanted to charge me and make me wait for a tech to air them up.  DW wanted to do some shopping there so I went looking for an air hose while she shopped.

and I also need to get out today and figure out why the water heater isn't lighting on LP.  A mixture problem from the elevation perhaps?  The windy weather?  Spiders?

So...after ABQ
Petrified Forest and Painted Desert - We took a drive through, North to South.  It was a nice drive and I’m glad we did it.  I think DW was done by halfway through though.  She was expecting more from the ‘forest’.  Honestly, it did look like someone littered the place with leftover firewood.  Nice desert views and I was surprised by the variation in geology across short distances.  The other surprise for me was the drive up to Crystal Forest.  Narrow windy road right on the edge of shear drop bluffs with no shoulder at all.  I managed no problem, but it was extremely windy and I wouldn’t want to repeat it if towing a long TT with marginal tow vehicle.
 
We skipped the Crater.  DS & I kindof wanted to see it but it wasn’t a priority and it was getting late.  The girls weren’t interested so we passed.
 
Stopped for the night at Twin Arrows Navajo Casino near Flagstaff.  Found it with Allstays.  Joined the already large crowd of RVs and trucks, and it was getting late so we didn’t even ask.  I’m thankful to the Navajo for allowing it!
 
The next morning it was too early to visit Walnut Canyon and we didn't want to wait.  It wasn't planned stop and DW & I visited there 13 years ago....  From there we pushed onto the South Rim, where we still are.  T-Mobile is non-existent here and we are roaming on USCell or some such thing.  Almost useless data signal and no voice in most of the area.
 
We had given up our July Trailer Village reservations when we changed our trip dates, so after a day of visiting much of the South Rim, we ended up our first night in a dispersed area I found using Allstays off Fire Road near Grandview.  Maybe the best campsite I have ever been in….for sure the best in the RV!  I am jealous of you folks out West with such great wide open spaces and boondocking opportunities.  We went out for an evening walk in the area and stumbled across the AZ Trail, which passes very close to the site we picked.  We did a token hike towards Mexico, then an even shorter one towards Utah.  The kids were creeped out with the spot though because we had found a couple partial skeletal remains of what looked to be elk….and with them not used to being so far removed from other people they were just a bit scared.
 
The next day brought us more South Rim adventure, bus ride out to Hermit Point, and a short hike down Bright Angel.  Thanks to Sellerbird I seemed like an expert pointing out the hieroglyphs!
 
DW wanted to try for a space in the RV park here in Tusyan, but before visiting there to check I took a drive down Long Jim Loop Road to see the area Sellerbird had suggested a long time back when I first started planning the trip.  Found one really great spot with a bull Elk lying nearby lazily grazing.  A couple tenters but nobody else around.  Anyway, Camper village didn’t look like much too me….dusty and grown up and run down.  Maybe 10% capacity so plenty of room.  Their cheapest option was just under $40 for a 30Amp water/electric site…..and NO DISCOUNT offered for Good Sam or anything else.  Thanks but no….back to the Bull Elk site.  It’s a bit more trafficked and ‘urban’ so I didn’t relax quite as much but it was great for the night.  Charging our devices can wait till an RV park in Page, or by generator on the road.  Thanks Sellerbird!
 
I’ll try to post some photos when we get better signal….

Oh question to Sellerbird.... I can now see why you and so many others like it so much out here.....but why on earth then did you land in Florida?
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

SeilerBird

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2017, 09:27:38 AM »
We had given up our July Trailer Village reservations when we changed our trip dates, so after a day of visiting much of the South Rim, we ended up our first night in a dispersed area I found using Allstays off Fire Road near Grandview.  Maybe the best campsite I have ever been in….for sure the best in the RV! 
It is a wonderful campground. The last time I camped there we were the only people in the entire campground and it snowed on us and it was June. Me and my girlfriend took a short hike down the trail singing "Walking In A Winter Wonderland".
Quote
The next day brought us more South Rim adventure, bus ride out to Hermit Point, and a short hike down Bright Angel.  Thanks to Sellerbird I seemed like an expert pointing out the hieroglyphs!
I used to enjoy hanging out at the end of the tunnel and pointing out the hieroglyphs to hikers. Some people mentioned they had hiked the trail many times and never noticed them. There is no sign pointing them out and they are not mentioned in any literature anywhere probably to keep vandals from messing them up.
Quote

DW wanted to try for a space in the RV park here in Tusayan, but before visiting there to check I took a drive down Long Jim Loop Road to see the area Sellerbird had suggested a long time back when I first started planning the trip.    Charging our devices can wait till an RV park in Page, or by generator on the road.  Thanks Sellerbird!
There are outlets in the restaurants at Maswik Lodge and several other places on the south rim. I have spent dozens of nights camping there and rarely do you see another camper. It is like paradise to me.
Quote
Oh question to Sellerbird.... I can now see why you and so many others like it so much out here.....but why on earth then did you land in Florida?
I did not land in Florida on purpose, my RV died and no one could figure out how to get it running properly again so I took it as a sign from God that after ten years of full timing and driving around the country like a crazed pinball that it was time to hang up the keys and settle down. I lived on the left coast for over 40 years, the midwest for 10 years so I decided the east coast would be cool to live at since I had not spent much time there. I really love it here and I have a great location but I really do miss the canyon and all the beauty out west. I visited there last year and I will visit it again in 2019.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

PopPop51

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2017, 03:03:50 PM »
Brad,
 :)) to the trip reports. We're really enjoying them.
It's been five years since I was last in ABQ and at the Canyon. They're calling to me again though.
Glad you got to the Museum of Nuclear Energy. I pleasantly surprised when I stumbled on it.
Paul--
2004 Ford Excursion V-10 ("Moose")
2010 Keystone Outback 270BH ("Squirrel")
2016 Mazda MX5 Miata ("Roadster")
##37 States So Far...##

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2017, 08:13:23 AM »
I've been wanting to post more regularly, and include pictures.... just no time when you're going-going....and besides both cell service and wifi have been nearly useless out here.

After a very windy drive to Page from the Desert View Tower, and a nice stop for gawking and rock scrambling with the crowd at Horseshoe Bend, there was no room at the RV park in Page.  Tried to call the next place we could find so we just drove out.  Got lucky with a premium spot on a 'full’ Wahweap RV park.  This is a great park, part of the Glen Canyon NRA.  Day of relaxing, laundry, and biking /scootering the park looking for the Jack Rabbits that are all over the place… decided to stay another night.  Next day we did some more biking/scootering in the park, laundry, and relaxing….
(we didn't bring kids bikes, just their little razor scooters, to make things easier..)
Then a hot afternoon hike in the Waterholes slot canyon.  Nice time but hot.  Oh interesting thing to see what I'm 98.9% sure to be Guy Fieri’s Renegade super c a few spots down from us.  Didn't get to meet him.
 
The next morning we drove through monument valley to do the Forrest Gump run, then the Four Corners Monument and then on to Mesa Verde.  Had an interesting chat with the nice Navajo lady selling jewelry there at teh forest gump place in monument valley, about all the folks stopping to run in the road.....
Anyway, at Mesa Verde we got a campsite in the very unimpressive dry campground.  CG is not at all big rig friendly from what I have seen.  A few spots would accommodate something larger than ours but not many.  CG is in desperate need of mowing and general TLC.  Sad really, because the CG with just a little effort to mow, spruce up, and level a few sites, could be a really great dry CG.  They do have wifi there which is great, but you have to set up on the correct side of the bathhouses to get an almost usable signal.
 
The following day we toured Mesa Verde Long House and Balcony house.  Really a great time and worth the effort to do in my opinion.
 
Went into Durango.  Opted against the train ride because it’s expensive, but we were really impressed with the town.  We found free parking in the lot at the bus terminal (free after 5) where there are not rv spaces but enough room on a weekday at 4:30PM….  Enjoyed the train museum (free) which has an amazing collection of train stuff, but also some old cars, aircraft, and all sorts of military stuff.  Dinner and walking around the historic downtown rounded out the day….
Counted on the Walmart there, based on reviews on allstays, but arrived to find the signs that are mentioned in the reviews.  DW asked inside and was told no parking.  City ordinance.  We called the Home Depot down the road, who told us the city asked them to sign some agreement against RV parking just last week.  I guess Durango isn’t overly RV friendly.
 
Getting late, but we ended up driving down to the Walmart in Farmington NM, where there were no RVs but 2 trucks parked.  We had called ahead and were told it’s ok.  Woke up this morning to half a dozen or more trucks.  Parked in the lot behind the lawn and garden and auto repair, out back.  No problems.

And that catches me up.....finally!  I think we might tour some Aztek ruins today, then see what Santa Fe has to offer
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2017, 08:24:40 AM »
oh, one observation...
I had no idea that these rv rental fleets were so big! 
I have seen a few cruise america rigs, and el monte rigs here and there before...but never in the numbers I have seen out here.  Other rental companies too.....all class c's.
and I've seen a good number of rental  what I call "hippie camper vans" too. (the ones painted like some scooby doo van, so I don't mean that in a duragatory way)
Oh and there's even a few of these Jucy campervan rentals roaming about.
I just had no idea
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

SeilerBird

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2017, 08:31:21 AM »
Brad, keep up the trip reports, I am nothing but jealous, my old stomping grounds. Mostly those rental RVs are being rented by foreigners. And most foreigners want to visit Las Vegas.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
2016 photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/aXQPbnVpgzNvs4Jq8
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

jackiemac

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #37 on: June 16, 2017, 12:01:38 PM »
Brad, keep up the trip reports, I am nothing but jealous, my old stomping grounds. Mostly those rental RVs are being rented by foreigners. And most foreigners want to visit Las Vegas.
Vegas is pretty good depending on what you are looking for.  For us it is:

Cheaper flights
Great restaurants/ cocktails
Fantastic shows
Art galleries / photo galleries / themes in casinos
Close to Hoover Dam,  Lake Meadows,  Valletta of Fire, Red Rock Canyon, Death Valley, Mount Charleston

We aren't gamblers but do enjoy a night or two there at the start and end of a trip.

I would struggle to stay for a week or  more unless it was just purely for relaxing and sunbathing.  I have gone admit we haven't done as much since we bought our trailer.

 8)
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

8th May to 30th October 2017 - Touring Western US

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2017, 09:49:58 PM »
well we are out of the mass of rentals now.  Haven't seen any I don't believe since Mesa Verde.....

Aztec Ruins National Monument - we woke up early and drove the short way up to the Aztec Ruins NP, where we learned it wasn’t Aztecs that lived there at all.  This was a very interesting place….and in some ways better I think that Mesa Verde.  I especially liked the self guided tour format.
 
After the ruins, we made our way to Santa Fe for window shopping and dinner at the Plaza Cafe.  Nice little old diner on the square. 
 
Denied at the Walmart, so we called Sam’s club where we were given permission.  Quiet night except for a few trucks passing through after unloading in the wee hours.
 
Since high temperatures were forecaster, I got an early start and pushed on to OK City...just in time for a walk around the Bricktown Canal area and dinner.  Nice evening.
 
Then a late arrival at Roadrunner RV Park were DW made reservations earlier in the day so that we would have AC through the night.  Nice new park apparently a complete re-build after a storm a few years back.  Nice paved spaces with full hookup but very close to one another with little to no shade.  Park is Complete with underground storm shelters….. but no pool

As I was driving today, we finally made our way out of the Navajo country and started seeing signs for Cherokee stuff.  I we weren't pushing now I would love to have had time to search for a museum or something to learn about Cherokees....since we have learned so much about the ancient Pueblo people the last several days.


Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2017, 08:00:22 PM »
The next day we just pushed on South East.  Up early to air up the tires….I’ll bring that question up in another thread…… and gas up…. Then pushed on to Memphis, stopped in a riverside park in Memphis long enough for breakfast...mainly so the kids can say the trip included TN…. then trying for Destin, an after our longest on the road day at approx 525 miles…. we opted to stop in what turned out to be a nice little campground near Andalusia, AL called Cypress Landing Marina and RV Park.   http://clrvpark.com/    Level spaces, some pull through...looks like all full hookup with cable, a little store, boat rentals…. Looks like a relatively new place

I'll try to post some pictures when I get some time and signal.....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

John Stephens

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2017, 01:21:22 PM »
Brad, I'm not going to enter the fray about tire pressures and why they change. But I am curious to know why you had to top off your tire pressure so often. I took a similar trip to yours last year, traveling from Cape Coral, FL to Las Vegas and then back I-40 through the mountains and desert to Hot Springs, AR, then up to St. Louis and gradually worked my way back home through the Midwest for a total of 6,200 miles. I use Tire Minders on all my tires except the tow dolly because it has balancing beads that will throw off the readings. I set my pressure when I left town after weighing the rig at a CAT scale so the fronts would have 80 and the rears on the coach would have 85 psi per manufacturer's guidelines and for the entire trip, I never had to add air. When I got back home, the fronts had 78 and the rears had 82-84 after I was off the road for a few hours. I set my alarms at 10% above and below and they never went off for the entire trip. Is there a possibility that your tires are leaking more than they should?
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2017, 10:36:40 PM »
Brad, I'm not going to enter the fray about tire pressures and why they change. But I am curious to know why you had to top off your tire pressure so often. I took a similar trip to yours last year, traveling from Cape Coral, FL to Las Vegas and then back I-40 through the mountains and desert to Hot Springs, AR, then up to St. Louis and gradually worked my way back home through the Midwest for a total of 6,200 miles. I use Tire Minders on all my tires except the tow dolly because it has balancing beads that will throw off the readings. I set my pressure when I left town after weighing the rig at a CAT scale so the fronts would have 80 and the rears on the coach would have 85 psi per manufacturer's guidelines and for the entire trip, I never had to add air. When I got back home, the fronts had 78 and the rears had 82-84 after I was off the road for a few hours. I set my alarms at 10% above and below and they never went off for the entire trip. Is there a possibility that your tires are leaking more than they should?

no, not leaking I don't believe.... it had more to do with temperature change.  I started another thread on this.... but I'll answer here.  It had to do with starting the trip in florida.... with "cold" pressures being set at maybe 80 degrees F....
then in the desert, the temps dropped to maybe low 60's (don't remember exactly...) resulting in my cold pressures a good bit below my set points.
That is what started the chain reaction..... I aired them up, which resulted in over pressure once the afternoon temps climbed.
and all this was aggravated by my going to a tire shop where they would not simply add the delta I wanted but instead set the pressures to the setpoints (80psi max for the rears)..but by then they were warmed up.... and they didn't end up equal so everything was messed up after that....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

papachaz

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2017, 01:45:01 AM »
We made a trip in June 2015 to destinations including the Grand Canyon on the way to Yellowstone NP. Towed a 30ft TT with a 2007 Chev 2500HD. Departed Lawrenceville, GA with the following stops on the way to Grand Canyon.

I20 from Atlanta to Vicksburg, MS.
Ameristar RV Park, Vicksburg, MS
https://vicksburg.ameristar.com/hotel/rv-park/
Visited Vicksburg National Military Park - Definitely worth the time.

I20 thru Dallas and Ft. Worth, Camped in Walmart parking lot, Hudson Oaks, TX. Several RVs parked there, no restrictions. Nearby campgrounds all booked.
I20 thru Dallas and Ft. Worth was in terrible condition, maybe better now but I doubt it.
Route to Amarillo: Texas Hwy 180 to Hwy 51 north to Hwy 920 to Hwy 199.
Hwy 199 towards Joplin, Hwy 114 towards Jacksboro, Hwy 114 to Hwy 281 towards Wichita Falls, Hwy 287 towards Chillicothe, TX and into Amarillo, TX. Roads were in great condition, better than Interstate. Great Texas scenery.

Camped at Amarillo RV Ranch RV Park  (Owned by Big Texan restaurant). https://amarilloranch.com/. Big Texan restaurant is home of the 72oz Steak dinner. If you can eat it in the time allotted, it's free. We didn't try but watched several try. Very large restaurant, great service. Free shuttle from RV part to restaurant.

Route Amarillo to Albuquerque: Hwy 87 south to Canyon, Hwy 60 west towards Dawn and Hereford and thru Friona and Bovina. Hwy 60/84 to Fort Sumner, Hwy 60 towards Encino. Hwy 285 north to I-40 and I-40    west to Albuquerque, NM. Camped at American RV Park, Albuquerque (http://www.americanrvpark.com/ ). Visited old town but not much else.

Route: Albuquerque, NM to Winslow, AZ.  Stopped and visited Petrified National Forest along the way. The park is definitely worth the time. What I found amazing was there were MANY signs in the park warning you not to disturb the petrified rocks, etc. However, once you exit the park there are thousands of specimens along the roads and many shops selling petrified artifacts.
Camped in Denny's parking lot adjacent to Flying J Truck Stop, Winslow, AZ. Several RVs parked there. No issues.
Route: I-40 West from Albuquerque to Petrified National Forest.  We Drove thru park and exited on Hwy 191 to St. Johns, then Hwy 1-80 to Holbrook and I-40 west to  Winslow, AZ.

Route: Winslow, AZ to Williams, AZ. Route: I-40 west to Williams, AZ then onto Hwy 64 to campground. Camped at Grand Canyon/Williams KOA campground and used it as a base to visit south rim of Grand Canyon. Drive from campground to park entrance was about 30-40 minutes each day. Stayed 2 days. http://koa.com/campgrounds/grand-canyon/

Traveled Hwy 64 north from campground to Grand Canyon National Park and back to campground. We stayed 2 days then departed north to Bryce Canyon NP and then on to Yellowstone NP via Salt Lake.

Good luck on your trip.
Reggie

this is an awesome post to me for a few reasons, it's almost exactly the trip my wife and I have been discussing planning for next year, we're in NW GA up near Rome, so other than that hour or so difference, it'd be almost the exact trip. EXCEPT that we thought we'd come back a more northern route through SD and go to Mt Rushmore.

I'm going to bookmark this page and review it, for your post and for the OP's updates. Thanks for posting!
Chaz (DH) Jill (DW)
2013 Ameri-lite Ultralite 259 BH
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4WD

John Stephens

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #43 on: June 22, 2017, 08:50:46 AM »
Brad, it sounds like you may have been better off just leaving them the way they were. On our trip, we had good, consistent weather the entire way. We got lucky because the hot weather followed us wherever we went but never caught up with us. So maybe I just got lucky, but my tire pressures never changed enough to worry about topping them off. Where you experiencing variances of greater than 10%?
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

regval

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #44 on: June 22, 2017, 10:35:13 AM »
papachaz -
I live in the Lawrenceville, GA area and made the trip with my brother and sister, sort of a bucket list kind of journey. I'm the oldest of the three and my two younger siblings have health issues so you kind of get the reason for the journey. We planned a longer return trip, similar to what you have stated, but we had to cut the trip short after reaching Yellowstone and head back a more direct route.
Good luck on your trip and if I can be of any assistance, just drop me a PM.

Best,
Reggie
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer
Lawrenceville, GA

"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

regval

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #45 on: June 22, 2017, 10:37:03 AM »
Brad,
Great trip report. I really enjoyed your posts. Thanks for sharing the details of the journey !!

Reggie
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer
Lawrenceville, GA

"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2017, 06:13:57 PM »
this is an awesome post to me for a few reasons, it's almost exactly the trip my wife and I have been discussing planning for next year, we're in NW GA up near Rome, so other than that hour or so difference, it'd be almost the exact trip. EXCEPT that we thought we'd come back a more northern route through SD and go to Mt Rushmore.

I'm going to bookmark this page and review it, for your post and for the OP's updates. Thanks for posting!

Reading the post you quoted...I'm reminded of something for the petrified forest.
If you want a souvenir, I'd suggest considering to skip the gift shops.  I was shocked at the volume of stuff on display at multiple places in Holbrook.  I didn't stop to check pricing but I've got to believe I could have bought a log for what we paid for a few gravel sized pieces....well maybe not, but they had logs if you want them!
This place for example

John, you are right...I probably would have been better off.  What I probably should have done was nudged my upper alarm setpoint up a bit and left the pressures alone.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2017, 06:14:29 PM »
Brad,
Great trip report. I really enjoyed your posts. Thanks for sharing the details of the journey !!

Reggie

Thanks Reggie
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #48 on: June 25, 2017, 03:59:32 PM »
I remembered that I owe some pictures, and thought I'd try to sum this up.

1st shot is on the road in the petrified forest.... I was surprised how narrow the little road was and ho close to the edge with no guardrail.  This was the side road up to the Crystal Forest...not the main road.  Not sure I'd want to tow a long TT here.  Oh, it was very windy there too
2nd - another shot of the petrified forest view
3rd - standin' on the corner
4th and 5th - Sandia Peak Tram
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #49 on: June 25, 2017, 04:08:14 PM »
1) the campsite at American Rv in Abq
2) our 1st night at Grand Canyon, boondocking near Grandview Lookout Tower.  Maybe the best campsite I've ever found in the RV!  I am so jealous of the great dispersed area options folks out west have....
3) the second night at the canyon.  Probably can't see it but to the left of that leaning pine is a bull elk laying over there either grazing or chewing cud....
4) just the class C mine wishes it could be....
5) and the sea of rentals in the visitor center lot
6) that's as far as we got down the bright angel
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #50 on: June 25, 2017, 04:15:27 PM »
1) the campsite near Page.  Really great park.
2) slot canyon hike near Horseshoe bend
3) Is that Forest Gump?
4) had a great time at Mesa Verde
5) wooden ceiling they say was originally laid by the indians at Aztec Ruins.  I find that almost amazing....no way my house will be that goog when it's half that old!
6) This one is out of order..... a shot I took under the F-105 at the Nuclear Museum in ABQ
7 & 8) the campground's tornado shelters in OK City
9) the nice campground we found in Alabama
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #51 on: June 25, 2017, 04:17:28 PM »
I typed up a a little summary for my family....mostly thoughts I had when doing my early AM drives while the rest were sleeping.  Things we did.... We did and saw a lot!!!
but boiling it down....no regrets.  It really seemed like we were trying to go too far and do too much with the time we had to do it.  True enough there were countless places I would have just loved to stay a while longer, and there was so much that we really only got a taste instead of the "full experience"....but to anyone else contemplating a packed trip like this....I say just do it.

What did we do on our summer vacation?

Well, in only nineteen days we drove roughly 5,200 miles
 
Including Florida, we visited 12 states, 6 of them twice.
 
We saw rocks, and hills, and cliffs of all colors and sizes.  We saw vistas of nothing but clumps of grass as far as you can see to the horizon, except maybe a ghostly mountain way in the distance….. Or were those shadows?
 
We stood atop dizzying 1,000 foot cliffs and peered over…. with no handrails
 
We saw a pair of birds… that were probably buzzards or vultures soaring far below us and yet still high above the river below…. But I sure would like to think they were California Condors.
 
We saw so many views each  on their own are jaw dropping…. But together day after day become almost boring in a weird way… to some of us.  We drove right past more amazing views and scenic overlooks than almost can be imagined….without even giving them a look or thought
 
We drove on some of the worst roads in the country…. And some of the best too.
 
We had fun visiting places we've been before, but many others we have not.
 
One of us swam in the Mississippi…… maybe by accident, but I think it was a little bit on purpose maybe
 
We were serenaded by a cowboy.
 
We ate steaks, Navajo Indian food, junk food, pizza, and Mexican style food too.
 
We think we saw a famous chef, Guy Fieri…. But did not get a chance to meet him. 
 
We kept running where Forrest Gump stopped to go home.
 
We saw red rocks, and rocks of all colors.  Grasslands, and smelled Ponderosa Pine forests.
 
We rode a tram to peak over 10,000 ft, that was hanging by a wire over gorges hundreds of feet below.
We camped at near sea level, and almost 8,000 feet above the sea.   Along the way we stopped to see the highest point in Florida…. At 345 feet... to find they put a bathroom on it!!
 
We set up camp under the watchful eye of a bull elk casually lying and grazing 100 yards away.
 
We saw jackrabbits,and cotton tails too.  Rock squirrels and pretty blue birds we've never seen before. We saw wild bull elk, cow elk, and baby calf elk too.  We saw a whole heard of gophers(?), And a pretty black and white bird with long tail.  We saw cows, and horses, and more cows.  At one place we saw thousands of cows herded into a small stockyard….just a little sad that they were probably on there way to becoming steaks, and burgers, and such….  one early morning while everyone else was sleeping I saw a pair of pronghorn antelope, and a lone whitetail deer too.
 
We saw acres and acres of the ‘petrified forest’.... Which really looks more like a desert of wide ranging colors and types, randomly littered with trees cut down and cut to length and ready for splitting into firewood…. But instead of wood...its rock!
 
We met the grandson of a Navajo Code Talker, who taught us how the Navajo spin yarn and weave rugs.
 
My son enjoyed a Sprite at the historic Painted Desert Inn’s soda counter….
 
We hiked on the Arizona trail, and about a mile of the Bright Angel trail down in the Grand Canyon too.  We also hike a bit in the Palo Duro Canyon too.  Oh, and I can't not mention the slot canyon hike and rock scramble in Waterholes Canyon.  We visited a Navajo Nation village to get a permit for that one…
 
We met a pair biking from California to SC, and an 80 year old Korean that biked from the GC to Lake Powell.  I could not understand where else he had been or where he was going….
 
We stood on one foot in four states at once....and the family played a bit of four square there too.
 
We saw Wind Turbine farms that stretched for miles and miles.
 
We did some hiking and some rock hill scrambles too. 
 
We watched skits by the kids in the rv, and watched a bit of TV together as a family too.
 
We walked where the ancient pueblo people lived, and climbed the same cliff faces they did to get to their homes.  We learned that some built their pueblos on flat ground too, and we're mistakenly named Aztec….just because they knew how to build.
 
We never found Radiator Springs, but we saw some towns like it….with names like Cuervo that did not survive, and other such as Tucumcan that did.  We drove along a few of the sections of the old route 66 that are still there.
 
I saw thousands or maybe millions of places where I would love to drop my backpack, set up my tent, and just stay a while.
 
We visited museums….museums about science, we learned about the oil industry and technology, we saw dinosaur skeletons, and human bones too.  We learned about indians, birds, indians, and cars…..we learned about atomic energy, and the race to win a war….and saw the best museum about naval aviation in the country….probably the best in the world.
 
We experienced cold jacket weather, and also temperatures approaching 100.  We saw cloudless skies and rainy days too.  We even experienced some tornado watches and warnings the last night of the trip.
 
And best of all we lived as a family in approx 200 SF for 3 weeks…. And mostly had fun…. And grew to know each other even more!
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

regval

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2017, 04:27:45 PM »
I'm envious .....  Great summary and may you have many more opportunities to create more memories ...
 ;D   :))
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer
Lawrenceville, GA

"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

John Stephens

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #53 on: June 25, 2017, 05:05:22 PM »
Brad, you did and saw a lot in 19 days, including 5,200 miles of driving. That's one heck of a vacation!
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

blw2

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #54 on: June 25, 2017, 05:19:20 PM »
Brad, you did and saw a lot in 19 days, including 5,200 miles of driving. That's one heck of a vacation!

ha ha....Yes, and DW drove only a little bit of that..... something like 25 miles maybe.  It was only the second time she drove it....it was early one AM with light traffic and flat roads.  I talked her into it just so she had a little experience with it....just in case.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

PopPop51

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    • Uptown Tech
Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #55 on: June 25, 2017, 06:00:58 PM »
Brad,
I've really enjoyed your travelogue. Yes you were crazy, but crazy with the right attitude makes all the difference.
I've been chewing 'round the edges of heading back that way again. (It's been five years.) You've helped me realize that's way too long.
Thanks!
Paul--
2004 Ford Excursion V-10 ("Moose")
2010 Keystone Outback 270BH ("Squirrel")
2016 Mazda MX5 Miata ("Roadster")
##37 States So Far...##

jackiemac

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #56 on: June 25, 2017, 09:06:19 PM »
Wonderful summary Brad. Magical memories for the future 😎
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

8th May to 30th October 2017 - Touring Western US

mrgalen1

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #57 on: June 25, 2017, 09:19:46 PM »
PopPop could you contact me? I'm looking at an Outback 270BH.

John Stephens

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #58 on: June 25, 2017, 10:57:07 PM »
ha ha....Yes, and DW drove only a little bit of that..... something like 25 miles maybe.  It was only the second time she drove it....it was early one AM with light traffic and flat roads.  I talked her into it just so she had a little experience with it....just in case.

I had to force my wife behind the wheel after we bought our MH for a 17 mile drive down I-75 between exits so she could get used to it in the event something happened to me and she had no choice. But now that we're towing, she won't go near the wheel. The 6,200 miles we logged last year was all on me and that was why I was initially concerned about you trying to pull this off in 19 days. I knew how I felt after six solid days on the road without a break.
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

Peggyy

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Re: Florida - Grand Canyon - and back
« Reply #59 on: June 26, 2017, 05:48:19 AM »
Im following this post as we are planning to go next spring.  Love your photos!
GMC Sierra 2012
2016 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 264BHW Travel Trailer
sweet home Alabama

 

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