Another Quick Update

Craig and I decided to try and keep our original plans to start full time RVing this fall. We are going to take a trip to Florida in May to look at several RV dealers, a few RV parks and see what seasonal positions may be opening up for the fall/winter season. 

We have been busy clearing out our living space. Every day we sell, give away and donate clothing and other items. Furniture will be listed in August. We are going to try and get a truck in July or August as well. We have been looking, but inventory changes all the time. 



In May we will change our address and start to apply to seasonal work in Florida. I held Fort Wilderness for a month (the end of September until the end of October), but we will see some other parks in May. 

We would like to make a deal for an RV after we see some first hand, and pick it up in Florida in September. That way, we only have to drive a truck and not a travel trailer through New York, Connecticut, etc. while we are new to this! Then we will also be close to the dealer for several months in case anything needs to be worked on. 

We plan to start applying to seasonal work in Yellowstone and Grand Teton in the summer/fall so we have something set for May-October of next year!

Then, we will head out for Wyoming at the end of March 2018. We want to take 5-6 weeks to drive through FL, AL, TX, NM, CO and stay overnight in several places. We will try and follow the 2-2-2 RV rule. No more than 200 miles of driving a day, get to the spot by 2pm and stay at least 2 nights. I actually have to start holding some of the popular state park sites (like the Florida panhandle) this month. 

We will post more updates soon. Very excited!

RV Shopping 

Last Saturday Craig and went to look at some RVs with two of our friends. The only RVs we had looked at recently were Airstreams, so we were pleasantly surprised. 

Many of the floor plans would work great for full time living. There is much more storage space and room in the RVs we toured than the Airstreams we looked at. I expected them to be cheap looking, but the flooring, kitchens, wood and design were very nice. 

Some had large showers in the bathrooms and nice closets in the bedrooms. Several even had outdoor kitchens with a sink, grill and small fridge. One brand, the Mesa Ridge, had nice insulation and heat around the tanks. There were small fireplaces and heated seats!

We are pretty sure about the floor plan we want and several brands have that style. We are going to check some more out in person. It was cold, and many had the slides in so we could not get a great idea on true space. The dealer we visited has a spring open house where many will be fully open for touring. Hopefully we can see more of the floor plans we like ASAP.

 



Back From a Week in Florida

We just had a nice relaxing week in Orlando visiting friends and family. The weather was perfect-80 and sunny most days. It cooled down to 60’s at night. We visited some of our other favorite parks, the Disney parks.


Epcot’s new Festival of the Arts was a lot of fun. There were food booths, art displays, artist signings, classes, Broadway singers and living statues. 


When we got back this O Magazine was in the mail! We are going to look at some newer RV’s soon and see the floor plans. I will post pictures of our favorites.

National Parks Magazine and Some Pages to Check Out

 

So I just learned that there is a National Parks magazine. Why did I not know this before? Craig and I are going to try and find some back issues, but if you are interested you can read articles and subscribe on the National Parks Conservation Association page. Stay Wild magazine also has an issue about our national Parks free to read online.

You may also want to check out National Parks Traveler for some great stories and info. I am not sure if we mentioned them in the past. 

The National Parks Experience is releasing several films about the national parks.

I read an excerpt from Ranger Confidential by Andrea Lankford the other day and really enjoyed it. I am going to get the book for my Kindle and read it on our Florida trip next month.

Enjoy!

Quick Update 


2016 was an amazing year! Craig and I got to visit 4 new national parks (Glacier, Everglades, Biscayne and Dry Tortugas) and revisit 2 of our favorites (Grand Teton and Yellowstone.) We also had a great camping weekend with friends in Acadia National Park and hiked a must do-the Precipice Trail.


Our plans for full time RVing are a bit up in the air now with probable changes coming to the ACA. We will keep our eye on what happens and continue to save for an RV (hopefully an Airstream) and truck. We want to have a nice cushion to buy some land soon too. 


We had a wonderful time in Florida in October and are going back in January to see friends and family. We have no other plans right now for 2017. Our Alaska trip is being put off until we have more money saved. We will see what the new year brings! We know we want to see the Pacific Northwest soon. We also want to hike more of Yosemite. We hope you all have an awesome 2017! 

Mysteries at the National Parks

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A friend just told me about a new Travel Channel show called Mysteries at the National Parks. Here is their description:

America’s network of national parks represents vast, dense expanses of virtually unexplored wilderness — hotbeds for mysteries and the unexplained. Each episode delivers several haunting stories to add to the backdrop and natural beauty of some of the country’s most famous national parks.

I found some of the episodes on YouTube. They seem a bit cheesy, but I am looking forward to watching them during Halloween time. Enjoy!

 

The Precipice Trail-Acadia National Park


We had a great long weekend in Acadia National Park. One of the highlights was The Precipice Trail to the top of Champlain Mountain. The Precipice is an iron rung and ladder route up the steep cliffs along the east face.


Last year, we were not able to hike the Precipice  because the parking lot was packed. We did the Beehive instead. The Precipice is twice as long as the Beehive and harder. This year we took the park shuttle from Blackwoods Campground where we were staying with friends. It worked out great.


There is an 850 foot elevation gain up the trail and it takes about 1 and 1/2 hours if you go at a safe pace. Wear good hiking shoes and bring water. This hike/climb would be hard to do if you are afraid of heights! There are several exposed areas and narrow ledges. Sometimes you will have to wait on a ledge for others to climb. 

There are a few different trails you can take back down the other sides of Champlain Mountain.

I thought the Precipice Trail was amazing and challenging. I am glad we hiked when it was a cool 70 degree day out. It was definitely more like climbing than hiking. Have fun and be safe if you do The Precipice. Remember the trail is usually closed from March-August for Peregrine Falcon nesting.

Summer Road Trip


Hi everyone! We are heading towards the end of our summer road trip. Jackson, WY is next. We have been posting a lot of pictures on our Facebook page and Instagram feed, so check them out. Soon I will be posting more about walks, sights, hikes, the hotels and meals. 


We have been having a blast and can not wait to do this full time. We want to walk and hike every day. Whenever we saw an Airstream in the parks we were happy.


Death in Yellowstone (and Other National Parks)

The past few weeks several very sad but avoidable accidents have happened at Yellowstone National Park. In May, a lady taking a picture of an Eagle stepped into the road and got hit by a car. On Tuesday, a pair of siblings from Oregon walked 225 yards off the boardwalks in Norris Geyser Basin and one slipped and fell into a hot spring. The water temperatures in Norris are the hottest in the park and range from 199 to 449 degrees. The day before, a 13 year old was being carried by his father as they walked off the designated trail in the Upper Geyser Basin. They slipped and got burned in a hot spring. Many signs are posted at the geyser basins warning visitors to stay on the boardwalks and marked paths. Information packets in different languages are also handed out when you enter the parks.

Rangers and Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk have said that park visitation is already up 60% this year. It is the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service and with cheaper gas, social media interest and unrest overseas, people want to travel to the parks. 

There have been a lot of “crazy tourist” news stories already coming from the parks. I am sure you read or heard about the two tourists putting a Bison calf in their car to save it because they thought it was cold. Or High On Life, a group of Canadian tourists with a clothing line that blatantly ignored several National Park rules and then posted the pictures of themselves doing it to Instagram and Facebook. They have warrants issued for their arrests, but made it back to Canada. Then you have the woman petting a Bison– a wild animal that weighs over a ton and can move at 40mph. Park warnings say to keep 100 yards from Bears and Wolves and 25 yards from Bison and Elk. This woman also made news by approaching an Elk too closely.

In Glacier National Park a young man just died jumping into a pool of water in Running Eagle Falls. A climber died in Zion in March and last year there was an awful accident in Keyhole Canyon.  The last time Craig and I visited Yellowstone in 2014, a young girl fell at The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone the day we were there. Last year, a park employee made news when a bear attacked him while he was out alone running or walking without bear spray. On Monday a man fell while taking pictures in Acadia National  Park.

Throughout history accidents have happened in our wild places. Some are avoidable and some are due to weather and nature. I for one am glad there are still so many wild places left in this country and I hope they stay that way. Some great books to read before your trips are Death in Yellowstone, Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite and Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon. There are also a few other parks with books like these. They will give you a new found respect for the parks and the people that have to try and rescue visitors that make often fatal mistakes.


If you are visiting any National Parks during the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, do some research before you go, read the information and warnings at the parks, respect the animals in their home and respect the fragile ecosystems.  If you plan to hike, carry water and bear spray or join a Ranger led hike. Too many are carving and spray painting rocks, leaving trash everywhere and not following warnings. Please do not ruin it for those of us that love and respect these places. Go and have an amazing time and be an ambassador for our parks!

Going Minimalist 

These were all full last week-getting there!


After moving our stuff to Florida and back to Massachusetts, we got rid of a lot on our last move. We went from a big 2 bedroom house with a huge yard to a small loft that Craig can walk to work from. We knew we wanted to full time RV soon and then build or buy a small cabin.

Now that we are going on the road, we are trying to get rid of even more things. I have been selling Disney collectibles we got when we worked in Florida, purses, prints and more. Craig brings in kitchen items, cookbooks and knick knacks to work every week to see if anyone will use them. We have donated clothing and are giving away furniture. We will sell and give away our bigger furniture next summer. 

Things to donate


It is so nice to see shelves empty and clear. We still have a lot to go through, but every day more goes out the door. We have been really good about not buying anything new unless it is an item we really need. We will probably “shop” for camping gear on Craigslist before we go on the road. Otherwise we need very little. 

Soon all the shelves will be empty


I did get a new atlas this past weekend and it is great to see our planned routes on paper. 


We have been pretty minimalist for a while now, but we are loving getting rid of so many things. I wish we did it sooner, but we enjoyed our stuff while we had it. Now we can spend any extra on experiences!