At this point in our planning, we had seven travel segments identified that we needed to account for.
While we don’t have to plan/book every night of the trip, many of the places we want to stay get quite full (especially sites that can handle a 33′ fifth-wheel plus 22′ truck). For summer weekends, most of the Oregon state parks were booked solid by January 1st, and some parks were booked solid even during the week. National Parks and state parks elsewhere are about as bad. Even private RV parks near popular locations had limited availability. This unfortunately meant that we needed reservations for many of our stays if we wanted popular locations (and we do). Even for areas we chose not to make reservations, we still need to allot a specific number of days so that we could plan the timing of the later reservations we need to make.
Making our reservations and the associated planning took us several months. As we leave on our trip, we’ve been done with our early reservations for a couple of months, although we’re still making occasional adjustments when availability opens up due to cancellations. I’m not going to list our entire current itinerary – hopefully you’ll find the blog interesting enough to follow along and find out where we end up. However, here is a brief preview of each travel segment.
Home – Texas
Due to the timing of a personal obligation and when we want to reach Texas, this will mostly just be four days of driving. We are hoping to sneak in a few hours of exploration at one of our stops.
4 days of travel, plus 9 days with Texas daughter
Texas – Grand Canyon
We have to cross most of Texas, all of New Mexico and a good chunk of Arizona. There will be a lot of driving, but we are hoping to incorporate a couple of interesting stops along the way.
8 days of travel, plus 4 days at the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon – Yosemite
We’ll be south of Death Valley on this segment. Planning for very hot weather and few stops.
2 days of travel
Yosemite – south Oregon coast
Besides Yosemite and Sequoia, we are also planning to include another scenic stop plus hopefully some wineries.
12 days in the Sequoia & Yosemite area, then 8 days of travel
Our stops (though not our time) are almost entirely planned on this segment due to the popularity of the parks on the coast. We’ll be spending a month on the coast, working our way from south to north. Annie will also be getting solar panels installed during this time.
32 days including an inland stop for her solar panel install
north Oregon coast – Black Hills
We are going to abandon the direct route for a while and meander through Oregon and Idaho before hitting the plains, mostly staying 2-3 nights at each stop. One factor in our planning for this travel segment is that we want to arrive in the Black Hills after Sturgis ends.
23 days, plus 4 days in the Black Hills
Black Hills – Home
With less than 1,000 miles to home and after 3 1/2 months on the road, we’re mostly planning one-night stops for this segment . However, we will meet up with our other daughter, son-in-law and grandkids for a weekend as we get closer to home.
5 days including a weekend with our midwest daughter
All of this is subject to change (stuff happens), but that’s what the trip looks like at this point. Over the course of an estimated 110 days, we are currently planning 37 stops ranging from 1-8 days each (3 day average). We are anticipating eight days of no hookups (power only from batteries plus solar and/or generator) and 36 days with full hookups (electric, water and sewer, which means that we can take long showers and do laundry). And my 7,000 mile estimate looks low, due mostly to the meandering route we’re planning from the coast through Idaho.
We’re very excited about most of our planned stops. We should be able to see a lot of interesting and beautiful areas and have a lot of photographic opportunities. We hope you follow along with our adventures over the next several months.