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Author Topic: Long awaited retirement trip finally here  (Read 2565 times)

Lynne

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #60 on: July 06, 2019, 07:34:55 AM »
John, just came across your blog here.  You certainly have had some challenges!  We live in Cape Coral too.  We have found Horner's on 41 in Punta Gorda to be very good and fair with most repairs on our rig. A few years ago we found ourselves with an issue in California.  The rear end of our rig lost suspension and something was dragging on hwy 99 where traffic flies!  We got off an exit in Modesto, called Horner's,  sent them a picture.  He was able to tell us it was the ride height adjuster and said it was an easy fix!  Now I was able to call a repair shop and explain what it was.  They said they could fix within a couple of hours!  $200 and about 3 hour delay!  We felt very lucky as it could have been so much worse!  Couldn't have been more appreciative of Horner's!
We retired in 2008 and have done many of the trips you have on your bucket list.  I have written itineraries which I would be happy to share.  Currently we are traveling through the Canadian Maritimes and plan to re-enter the states in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.   We plan to get back home around the end of September.   
Lynne and Don

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #61 on: July 06, 2019, 10:30:14 AM »
Lynne, it's good to know someone else on the Forum lives in the Cape. I used Rick Horner for the first three years we had this coach and he was outstanding with his help, knowledge, and ability and willingness to tell you when he was over his head and you should find someone else to fix your problem.. Probably the most honest mechanic I have ever found in my life.

If you haven't gone back to Horner's in the last couple of years, Rick retired and sold the business to Cathy, the service advisor who could never return a phone call, Brandon, the head mechanic who knows absolutely nothing about customer service, and a third party who I believe was the money man. I went back one time to get a quote on a basement a/c repair and was quoted $1,000 to do an estimate. Since Rick had told me a year before that he had no one there that could work on basement air, I asked the honest question if Brandon would be able to repair what was wrong after charging me that exorbitant amount for an estimate and he said, "Maybe, maybe not." I told him RV Tech in Fort Myers was an expert in a/c units and wouldn't charge me that much for an estimate, and he told me to go there and walked out of the room. I have never gone back. I really wish Rick was still there because I have a traveling story just like yours when he was on a fishing vacation in the Keys and still took the time to tell me what was wrong with my coach when we were on the road in S. Carolina.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

jackiemac

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #62 on: July 08, 2019, 06:19:51 PM »
John, it was our pleasure to meet you both and spend time chatting. We had a great time and will keep in touch!
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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

Travelling in the US till Nov 2019
Currently in site C145 Gros Ventre campground

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #63 on: July 09, 2019, 12:03:50 AM »
Jackie - you and Steve were great friends that will last a lifetime, and I really hope to see you guys again. Your dry sense of humor matched mine to a tee and we seemed to have a lot in common. The next time we meet, let's do drinks instead of lunch.

On Saturday, we stayed at the coach until 3:30 on the advice of the above named party to do at least one evening tour through the park to see the different colors from the sun being in a different position in the sky. We drove up to north of Gardner into Montana to see some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen in my life. I told someone afterward that what I saw reminded me of an old John Ford western starring John Wayne or the opening credits of Bonanza. Douglas firs, aspen, mountains, sometimes snowcapped and valleys in between the mountains and the forests, herds of cattle and elk, and a lot of prairie gophers dotted the landscape and the road. We didn't see anything larger than a cow as we were hoping on finding a grizzly or a moose, but we still have two weeks in Glacier for that.

On the way back between 7 and 9 PM, we drove through Yellowstone and saw what had been explained to us. We had taken the northern loop road a couple of times but this time, it looked completely different because of the different shadows and colors from the sun being in the western sky ready to set rather than straight up in the middle of the day. The sights were incredible and I wish I could have taken a video of the entire drive because I know I won't remember much of what I saw due to older age.

We ran into the worst traffic backup we have seen thus far due to the difference in hours of our visit. From 1/2 mile from the west entrance road on the north loop to getting into W. Yellowstone, we averaged 7 mph. What should have taken 30 minutes took over two hours. There were no animals to slow us down and no accidents. This was simply rubberneckers trying to see if one of the fishermen standing in the middle of the Madison river had caught anything. And people thinking that the boulder in the middle of the field was a live animal, stopping in the middle of the road and staying there waiting for the rock to move. We got back to the coach at 9:15, fed the dogs and had a late dinner. It was our last foray into the park and still a very enjoyable one.

The above comments must be phrased as advice for those who are thinking of visiting Yellowstone. It has been discussed before that early starts are better than late ones. If you want to avoid as much traffic as possible and see as much as possible, not worrying about finding parking spots, sacrifice your early morning vacation hours and get up about 5 or 6 AM and hit the entrance between 6 and 7. It will already be daylight and you'll have a better chance of seeing wildlife on the loop roads, particularly in the Hayden and Lamar Valleys. You'll also have a much easier time finding parking spaces at the major attractions, giving yourself considerably more time to enjoy them. You'll also beat the rush getting back out of the park as well as trying to get in. At 6AM, there is no line. At 7AM, there will a car or two in front of you. At 10AM, the line to get in the gate extends back to the main street in West Yellowstone, about a 1/2 mile, and then down the main cross street for another 1/2 mile or more. That means waiting in line for no less than an hour just to get in. Go early and avoid the hassle.

We rested on Sunday and got the coach ready for travel since it hadn't been moved in two weeks. We dumped the black tank and refilled it 1/3 with water, checked and filled the tires, checked the fluid levels and added a 1/2 quart of oil. One thing I forgot to do that slowed me down Monday morning was wiping down the jack rods and spraying them with WD-40. That cost me almost an hour the next day waiting for one recalcitrant jack to retract completely.

On Monday, we got up early for our 200 mile drive to Garrison, MT. Even though it was going to be a short drive, we knew it would be a longer day because we planned to do our monthly shopping at the Walmart in Bozeman on the way and also catch a PetSmart to buy a collar for Toby after he lost his a couple of weeks ago. Between the driving on city streets and the time in the stores, time got away from us and we didn't get on I-90 until almost 4PM.

The drive on US191 from Yellowstone to Bozeman was a difficult one. Forget about it being a mountain road; it was badly in need of road work with potholes a foot deep that had to be avoided at all cost. Due to the road condition along with the fact that it was very winding with a variety of grades, it took a lot longer than one would think when simply looking at the distance.

When we got on I-90, we had no issues other than quite a bit of roadwork being done that forced one direction into the other lanes for several miles. Aside from the work areas, the speed limit on this highway is 80 mph. That means nothing to me since I won't go over 65 anyway, but you do have to be aware of people running up on you quickly from behind unaware of your slower speed and trucks passing you at high speeds. We arrived at our RV park a little late but with no problems.

A couple of recommendations are in order regarding visiting Yellowstone. First, I will recommend Buffalo Crossing RV Park if you don't mind a city park that has few trees or grass and won't allow fires due to city ordinance. It is less expensive than Grizzly, which is taking advantage of Fishing Bridge being closed for the season and raising their rates from $64 per night last year to $94.50 this year. BC charges $65 per night and gives a Good Sam discount. Book your trip and make your reservations well in advance. I took a picture of one of the north entrance signs into the park showing a list of all the campgrounds with notations on every one other than Fishing Bridge indicating they were full. If you wait until you get there thinking you'll get lucky, you probably won't and then, you won't know where you're going to sleep while you're there. The RV parks outside the park will have openings for one or two nights during peak season, but you won't be able to book a week or two.

Second, if you're thinking of taking a whirlwind trip through Yellowstone, you'll miss most of the park and what there is to see. Someone else on the forum stated that you should figure on doubling whatever time you think of spending in the park, and then, you still won't see it all. He is right. I was very glad we decided to stay for two weeks rather than one, and we still ran out of time, needing another week. And don't think you're going to drive from one side of the park to the other averaging a mile a minute like you do on the highway. The speed limit is 45 at most and it drops to either 25 or 35 when you near attractions. Trust me when I tell you that you will not, under any circumstances, average more than 40 regardless of how reckless you drive simply because there will be too many things getting in your way, including rubberneckers and animals you really don't want to hit going any speed, much less 60 mph. Imagine what a 2,000 bison will do to your car if you hit it head on. There are many sharp curves that will offer you unexpected surprises in the middle of the road and if you're going too fast, you won't have time to slow down and avoid hitting something.

Tomorrow, we drive to just outside Glacier National Park and set up camp for two weeks at North American RV Park in Coram, MT.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #64 on: July 10, 2019, 02:20:18 PM »
Monday night, we stayed in Bernie and Sharon's Riverfront RV Park located in Garrison, MT, roughly halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier. The greeter who showed us our site told me they have very few people staying more than one night for this reason but they are always full during the summer months.

The park was nice with a lot of trees and grassy areas where you can walk your dogs. No dog runs or parks. No cable or OTA channels and the satellite service was poor due to the trees, so we did without TV. The site was exceptionally level, gravel, and the FHU's were shared with our next door neighbor. One electric box with a 30 and a 50 amp connection so I guess they position their patrons depending on their amperage needs. One water spigot with a splitter, but the water pressure was excellent at 55 psi. Each site has its own sewer dump.

The price was right at $31 after Good Sam discount. No need to exit your coach when you pull in because a greeter catches you as soon as you pull in the driveway and guides you to your site where he takes all your information and inputs in into an app on his phone. The owner stops by a few minutes later to take payment. If you pay by credit card, it is entered into her phone and you are sent an email receipt. No office to visit.

The one night stay was nice and quiet other than the railroad tracks nearby with the occasional train going by. If I was passing through this area again, I would use this park.

We drove from Garrison to Coram yesterday with no excitement. The roads, I-90 and US93 were in good shape in most places with a few problem spots as usual. The mountain regions were rougher and we climbed a couple of grades that I think were close to 10%, dropping our speed to the low 30's. The coach had no problems to my knowledge in making the trip.

We arrived at North American RV Park and Yurt Village a little after 3PM and found a very nice and neat park suitable to all ages, retired or families with children. They offer the seventh night free and we booked for two weeks, being told we were the first to stay that long in many years. Our site is reasonably level, gravel, and very large, being a corner lot with ample room on the exiting side. A white birch tree provides some shade.

There is a very small fenced dog park a short walk away but when I say small, I mean about the same size as our living room in the coach, so it's virtually no use to us with three large dogs. There is no place to run. We were told when we checked in that they are developing 40 new sites at the back of the park and if we wanted to let our dogs off leash there, we could. I won't do it because there is too much of a chance they will run if they see any animals around.

Even though this park is booked completely, it is quiet and serene. It is located a few miles from the west entrance to Glacier and 8 miles from Columbia Falls if you need a town for shopping or just looking around which is what I think we will do today. We were told by the office staff that there isn't nearly as much to do in Glacier as there is in Yellowstone, so we may have booked for too long. We don't care. This is how we wish to spend our retirement and this is an excellent place to waste some time and simply relax and unwind. The weather is considerably better than Yellowstone simply because it is warmer in this Florida boy's opinion. I wore shorts yesterday when we got in because it got up to 79. I don't think I saw it that warm the entire time we were at YNP. They are predicting storms and hail for much of Montana, but it's difficult to hear a weather prediction for this area when the local stations on television are coming from Billings on the other side of the state. And this is a pretty big state.

One thing on my bucket list that may be possible to scratch off is seeing the Northern Lights. If we can't see them while here, we may be able to catch them when we are in Canada, but the solar flare predictions for the next few weeks do not look good.

The Going to the Sun Road opened a couple of weeks ago, so we'll take a drive up there probably tomorrow and determine what we want to go back and see further.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #65 on: July 15, 2019, 01:02:47 AM »
There are some things that are simply beyond description; superlatives don't do them justice. The Going to the Sun Road is one of those things. We drove up that road from one end to the other on Friday after taking a couple of days to simply relax, work on the housecleaning, and washing the coach. We spent the better part of six hours on the road and taking pictures. We left the dogs in the coach, thinking the roads may be a bit too curvy and winding for them. Collies can have a tendency to get motion sickness and Cameron, our smoothie, demonstrated that when we packed up the dogs and took them to the Badlands with us.

While on the GTTS Road, we stopped at Logan Pass for a couple of hours and hiked to the Hidden Lake Overlook, about 1.5 miles up the side of a mountain. The trail was closed from there on to the lake because the salmon were spawning, giving the grizzlies the meal they have been waiting for. With the bear activity, there was no going nearer. That was all right with us because we were near our physical limit when we got to the overlook. We got a number of good photos of the mountains and surrounding scenery along with some cute marmots and squirrels.

The road from the Pass to St. Mary's only got better with more photo opportunities and some of the best scenery I have ever seen in my life with lakes in the foreground and mountains in the background reflecting off the water. There was very little in St. Mary's so we turned around and drove back, stopping for more photos while seeing the road from a different perspective. We plan on going back to the road at least one more time, if not more during our second week here.

I replaced the water solenoid for my ice maker thinking that may be the problem I have had with it for the last four years because the ice maker won't fill with water. That wasn't the problem, so I'm thinking of buying a new ice maker at Lowe's and installing it while we are here and have the extra time. I also replaced the stopper for the bathroom faucet that had rotted out and wouldn't stay open and will replace the kitchen sink faucet when I get to St. Louis and have access to a faucet wrench. Its nice to be able to make repairs when they are needed because we're living in the coach rather than traveling to it in storage.

Today, we visited friends I have known online for three years. Tomorrow, we will attempt to install a new ice maker and Tuesday, we will return to the park to try to see what we missed the first time.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

Lynne

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #66 on: July 16, 2019, 01:51:08 PM »
We enjoy reading your updates.   Wanted to mention we stayed on the St Mary's side when we were there in 2016.  There is a good restaurant there called Johnsons, up a steep road but excellent food and service!  If you do get back over there just check out the reviews!

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #67 on: July 16, 2019, 06:59:51 PM »
Lynne - thanks for the tip on Johnson's. We'll check it out the next time we're on that side of the park. We were there today but I didn't see your post until returning to the coach.

Yesterday, we bought a new faucet handle for our kitchen sink, since we have been using only the nub to turn it on and off, and with that thing, it's a little difficult to adjust the water temperature. We found the handle at Home Depot and then drove across the street to Lowe's to buy the ice maker because HD didn't have anyone that could take the time to find out if they even carried ice makers, much less know where they may be located. i also found some suits and bolts to secure the pet pal we bought while at Winnebago. That will take some drilling into the bottom of one of the outer compartments. By the time we got back from town, we didn't feel like doing anything but fixing dinner and eating, but I did try to install the new handle on the faucet, only to find out it isn't the correct one. So it has to go back.

Today, we decided to take US 2 across the southern end of the park to see what we could find. Judy had read that we might have a better chance of seeing wildlife in that area. We saw quite a bit of beautiful scenery but no wildlife. When we got to the other side near East Glacier, we decided to not double back since there really wasn't anything spectacular we wanted to see again. So we took Hwy 49 to Hwy 89 and took it to St. Mary.

If anyone is interested in taking that route, I suggest against it. Hwy 89 is being rebuilt. I don't mean it is being repaved or worked on or having potholes filled in; I mean it is being rebuilt taking a different path through the mountains and valleys. For over half the way from 49 to St. Mary, we had to follow a pilot vehicle over areas where the road had been taken out, leaving only dirt. In many areas, it was one lane and the traffic in each direction had to take turns. You can see where the new road will go since they have already cleared the brush and trees and put down the first layer of dirt for its foundation. I found it frustrating but interesting at the same time, being able to actually watch a road being built from the very beginning and see some of the engineering that must go into it. But what should have taken less than a half hour wound up taking nearly two hours. We were then able to take the Going to the Sun Road once again to get back to West Glacier.

I was glad we chose this path today rather than our other thought of having a picnic at Lake McDonald and drive on some of the secondary roads into the park. It was colder today than it had been, getting up to around 75 but being an uncomfortable 75 because it rained much of the afternoon. We had lunch at the West Glacier village cafe and then headed back to the coach since the pups had been left alone for almost six hours.

I tried to install the new ice maker when I got home but couldn't get the old one out because I didn't have the correct size socket wrench. I carry an old toolbox of my wife's from a previous marriage that was supposed to have all the necessary tools. I should have checked it myself before the trip because although it has a fairly large number of sockets, it doesn't have a ¼" for some reason. So this project also waits until we get to St. Louis when I know I can borrow the proper tools from a friend.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #68 on: July 18, 2019, 09:07:58 PM »
Yesterday, for the second time in a row, we took the path less traveled by driving up the outer road that wound in and out of the national park on the west side, almost all the way up to Canada. We saw a lot of pretty forest but few mountains and no animals. There were a couple of really good views of one of the many rivers and we tripped across an old town in the North Fork area called Polebridge that has a mercantile that opened in 1914 and is still serving the small community in the same building.

We drove back and had a very nice, but slightly cool, picnic at the shores of Lake McDonald. Since it was very cloudy, it was difficult to get a good picture of the lake and mountains in the background, and we decided we would have to go back and get better pictures on a clear day.

Tomorrow, we plan on getting up exceptionally early and be on the Going to the Sun Road by 6AM to get some better shots of Lake McDonald, Lake St. Mary, and maybe see some mountain goats and moose.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #69 on: July 19, 2019, 11:07:21 AM »
I got up at 5:20 this morning planning on hitting the main road in the park early enough to see some wildlife. The furnace was running in addition to the heat pump and that worried me, thinking that it must be below 45 degrees for the furnace to kick on. I checked the outside temperature on the dashboard and saw it was 42 degrees. Too cold for this Florida boy, I went back to bed. It's supposed to get warmer starting tomorrow, so we'll plan our early morning trip in another day or two.

We returned the faucet handle to Home Depot yesterday. Determined to get that ice maker installed before next month, I bought another socket set that I knew would have the correct socket to get those bolts out of the freezer. Sure enough, a 5/16" was the one, missing from my wife's set in the coach. So today, instead of going into the park in colder than desirable temperatures (it's supposed to only get up to 65 today), I'll install the ice maker and hopefully, have ice in about 24 hours or less. If it is only supposed to get to 65 in Coram, it won't make it to 60 in the park at higher altitudes.

We also tried a new restaurant for lunch yesterday while in Kalispell called McKenzie River Pizza, Grill and Pub. They serve good tasting thin crust pizza with good service, so if in the area, give it a try. We also did some more grocery shopping while in town since we don't want to have to buy anything but gas while in Canada. I'm going to try to get by without getting Canadian money and use only my credit card, sacrificing the 3% exchange fee for getting the tank filled once or twice in the five days we'll be there. We now have enough food to last us until we return a week from Sunday.

I called our park in the St. Louis area to see if they are still flooded and found they are planning on opening two days before we are scheduled to arrive. But, they said, it won't be pretty and they are going to cover all the non paved areas with straw to avoid having too much mud tracked into the coaches. I asked if the dog park would be open and was told no, it was solid mud. That caused me to rethink staying there since that dog park is one of the primary reasons we use that park every year when we are in St. Louis. I called another park that has a dog park a few blocks away and was lucky enough to get one of their last back-in spots. No pull throughs were available. The cost will be about $72 more than our first choice for the week, but the dogs are worth it. They still offer the seventh night free and their entire site is concrete for both the coach and the patio, with a small strip of grass alongside. I cancelled the first park and was told by the park ranger that she didn't blame us at all, but looked forward to having us back again next year.

Time to get to work on the ice maker.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

DavidM

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #70 on: July 19, 2019, 02:54:33 PM »
45 would feel real nice right now.  Heat index is at 108 right now in Maryland. 

Been enjoying your daily updates! 

Peggyy

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #71 on: July 19, 2019, 04:14:11 PM »
Please let me know what areas you had trouble breathing. I have asthma and want to be on top of this before we head there next week. Thanks!
2018 Winnebago Intent
2017 Jeep Wrangler
Winter Springs, Florida😀

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2019, 04:33:56 PM »
Thank you, David. I have been watching the weather across the nation and felt for the people who are suffering from the oppressive heat right now. We are headed to St. Louis after the west and they are seeing heat as high as yours. I have enjoyed not having heat indices between 105 and 115, the usual this time of year where we live in SW Florida.

I have the ice maker installed but don't know if it will work. I have been told to wait 24 hours to let it cycle, but when I plugged it back in, the new solenoid valve recently installed did not allow water to fill the maker. I don't know if it knows to wait until the freezer is once again cold enough to freeze water or not. If anyone knows for sure one way or the other, I'd appreciate hearing from you. I had to jimmy rig the wiring because the plugs didn't match up. I cut both plugs off and wired the individual wires together, matching them from a YouTube video I watched. I hope it's right. Right now, the wires are being held together from twisting them and taping them. When I get to a hardware store, I'll buy some shrink connectors and do it right.

It turned out to be a good day to stay in the coach. Intermittent rain and temps in the 50's make me not want to go out.

Has anyone had a problem with having things shipped to you when you're on the road? We bought a RugRat vacuum attachment from RVUpgrades.com while we were in Yellowstone. The park wouldn't allow shipments to be delivered there, so we used a local service called Send It Home, having it sent there for a reasonable sum and picking it up after a text message indicating the package had arrived. Well, the attachment quit working after five days so i called the merchant and they sent another out for replacement. I told them I had moved to a different location and they could send it directly to the RV park where we are, but somewhere along the line, they got confused and sent the replacement to Yellowstone instead of our park in Glacier. I got a message yesterday telling me the package was waiting to be picked up at the Yellowstone post office. I called the merchant again and explained what happened. They were kind enough to tell me they would get another replacement sent to me at the location where we are now and put in a claim to the post office for the package sent to the wrong location. Send It Home said they will look for the package for me and if found, will return it to sender.

But the replacement won't get here until after we leave for Canada. The front office of the park told me they will hold the package until we return from Canada, even though we will not stay in this park when we return. I thought that was pretty nice of them. It makes me wonder if anyone else has tried to have shipments made to them when they are on the move, and what kind of troubles they may have run into. Obviously, you have to stay in one spot long enough to survive the shipping time and that's why when I ordered two items from Amazon in Yellowstone, I had them shipped here and they were waiting for me when we arrived.

Peggy - my wife and I had difficulty breathing or catching our breath in virtually any location that had an elevation higher than about 5,000 feet. That's because we live at sea level only a few miles from the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. If you live in an area that has a naturally higher elevation, you probably won't experience the difficulties we had. Yellowstone had us trying to catch our breath even while sitting down because the park we were in was at 6,800 ft. The difficulty began though, when we were in Deadwood because its elevation was 5,800 ft. Most people get used to the higher altitudes after two or three days but we didn't. We are not very active seniors; we walk the dogs and go on short hikes, but that's about all, so we knew we would have greater problems than most. If you are more active and physical, you shouldn't have the issues we did. Bear in mind that anywhere you go in the mountains will get you above 5,000 ft. Right now, we are doing well because our park is only about 3,200 ft above sea level. When we go on the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier, we can feel our breath getting a little shorter, but unless we get out and start walking, the problem doesn't get really noticeable. i also think that it may simply have taken us a little longer than most because of where we live because now that we have experienced the higher altitudes for over a month, it seems to be getting better. Good luck with your trip and if you go higher, just remember to take things slowly.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

Peggyy

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #73 on: July 19, 2019, 05:32:01 PM »
Thanks. Remember i am a florida girl as well.  Hoping no issues will arise.  I had triuble at grand canyon last year.
2018 Winnebago Intent
2017 Jeep Wrangler
Winter Springs, Florida😀

ArdraF

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #74 on: July 19, 2019, 07:13:56 PM »
John and Peggyy, when we lived in the San Francisco area and wanted to go places like Zion or Bryce Canyon, we took the longer route down through Bakersfield, up to Las Vegas (elevation 2400'), and then north to the other places.  That area is a series of plateaus and we worked our way up gradually over about a week to higher elevations which helped us acclimate more easily.  If you can do that, it helps. Also, when you're out and about at higher elevations you need to concentrate on breathing more deeply.  Fill your lungs with air and hold for a bit before exhaling.  We do that when out hiking.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

John Stephens

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #75 on: July 19, 2019, 10:43:37 PM »
Ardra, thanks for the advice. I used to live in Vegas and would visit my brother in the east bay area. Taking the Bakersfield route was the only realistic way to get there. Trust me, if I knew I was going to have breathing problems as bad as I did when we began this vacation trip, I would have planned it out differently. When I lived in Vegas and went to places like Zion, I never had a problem with the elevation. I guess what I have experienced this trip is another exciting aspect of getting older.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

Peggyy

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  • Posts: 485
Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #76 on: July 20, 2019, 05:19:44 AM »
I think i might pack some canisters of oxygen. I heard they help!  John you must be doing better since you are still there?  You are a trooper!  And you got to meet Jackie! 
2018 Winnebago Intent
2017 Jeep Wrangler
Winter Springs, Florida😀

UTTransplant

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  • Posts: 1854
  • Cedar Falls, Iowa
Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #77 on: July 20, 2019, 08:16:01 AM »
When my MIL came to visit us in Albuquerque at 6000’ from 900’ Oklahoma, she really wanted to see some mountain views like the top of Sandia Crest at 11,000’. She had some breathing problems though, so her doctor recommended she take a bottle of oxygen with her. It helped a lot! She tried not using it, but she gave in to our encouragement at 8,000’ or so, and she should have done it earlier. She didn’t use oxygen at home, but it certainly was helpful at elevation.
Pam and Kevin plus Lily the cat
2018 Tiffin 37PA
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk toad
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Bill N

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Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #78 on: July 20, 2019, 11:22:48 AM »
I have no doubts you felt the oxygen deprivation John but Deadwood is listed as 4533 feet in elevation.  Wouldn't matter to me. If I walk over 50 feet I better have an oxygen bottle on to keep me from huffing and puffing (COPD).
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981, All SAC)
305BW, 44SMW, 321SMW, 15thAF,HqSAC
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-12 & Squeak-7, Winnie the ShihTzu - 2

John Stephens

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  • Posts: 710
  • Vacations begin when you leave the driveway
Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #79 on: July 20, 2019, 12:34:40 PM »
If I come back to the Rockies again on another trip, I'll discuss with my doctor in advance the possibility of taking oxygen with me. It's not something I will do readily because it will remind me of my father's passing from emphysema.

Peggy - We have been in higher elevations now for over a month and I am feeling much more comfortable. I attribute some of the reason to the fact that we are at around 3,200 ft. right now in our campground, but we drove the Going to the Sun Road again this morning and climbed to almost 7,000 ft in the car with no problem. I got out to take pictures on several occasions and had to walk up and down paths to get the best shot without any issues at all. Didn't even start breathing heavily as I did in Yellowstone. Like I said before, I think I simply took longer than most to get used to it because of the larger change in altitude from our home. If you have the opportunity to get canisters of oxygen and take them with you, I certainly would if I were you since you have asthma. It will be no big deal if you don't need them, but I would rather have them and not need them than need them and not have them.

Bill - I said we started our trip in Deadwood because it was the closest town to where we were. There was a 1,500 ft climb up to the Fish N Fry RV park south of Deadwood in the Black Hills. The manager is the one who told me the elevation there was 5,880 ft.

When I got up at 5:20 this morning and turned the ignition key, the temp reading said 37 degrees, worse than yesterday morning. But this was the last day for us to be able to get out early and see the road and all on it, so I got dressed, fed the dogs, and we left at 5:50 for the park, wearing our winter coats. I'm glad we did because at that time of day, you have no traffic to deal with, you can drive as fast or slow as you want, and you don't have to worry about finding a parking place when you want to pull over to take a picture or see a sight. By 8:00, we started seeing more cars and when we exited the park at 10:00, the line to get in was pretty long. We were able to see everything we wanted to see, got some really good photos, and got a little exercise although we didn't go on one of the hikes we planned to see several glaciers close up because we found out it was over 4 miles to the first view point and over 8 miles total, making it a round trip of close to 17 miles. I thought about beginning it anyway to see how far we could get before tiring out, but saw a bear warning sign immediately upon starting the trail. Since we never bought bear spray, I thought better of getting back to the car.

The rest of our day today will be spent working on the dogs and then cleaning up the coach. With three long haired dogs, we have to vacuum every other day if we want to keep the carpet in the coach looking respectable. Our trip to Glacier National Park is essentially concluded. Tomorrow, we will visit friends in Kalispell and Monday, we will begin the job of packing up and getting ready to travel again. And, Judy said she would wash the car. We'll see. Tuesday, we leave for Canada.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

Peggyy

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  • Posts: 485
Re: Long awaited retirement trip finally here
« Reply #80 on: July 20, 2019, 02:02:28 PM »
Interesting, my father passed with emphysema as well.  Sounds like you all are doing everything right!  I love reading about your journey. Thank you!
2018 Winnebago Intent
2017 Jeep Wrangler
Winter Springs, Florida😀