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Old 06-13-2020, 05:10 PM   #15
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Returned from a week in Custer State Park in the Black Hills today. Campgrounds were reasonably full but cancellations did happen. Our favorite spot in Blue Bell sat empty most of the week. Talked with the host and the folks never cancelled, just didn’t show. One fellow got the site next to us one night on a cancellation. Easy to keep your distance from others in well spaced state park campsites with interactions with other campers happening from a distance. Wonderfully relaxing and almost felt like pre-Covid days.

Crowds were pretty light considering the time of year but there were plenty of folks around in Custer. Ate at a couple restaurants in the park, pretty light crowds. Staff wearing masks. The only really crowded area in CSP was Sylvan Lake. Packed. Ridiculous. Did some hiking and then got out of there as social distancing was problematic.

Drove over to Devil’s Tower. The crowd was larger and space confined due to construction and a closed trail there so didn’t stick around long as we didn’t feel social distancing was achievable. Btw, that’s a long freaking day going over there, driving through Spearfish Canyon and then winding up in the southern hills by the end of the day. Bushed.

We like getting away from people so camping is great for us. Those who are extraverts that get their stimulation from without will likely have the same stress from staying away from folks that they are finding in their every day lives.
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Old 06-13-2020, 08:07 PM   #16
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Busskipper, please don’t forget to entertain us with pics and stories along the way. Your pics and stories are much appreciated. Had some medical issues to address since January. Been at S&B since then, but Oh So Anxious to get back to the road. Soon, I hope. Your family trip sounds terrific! Safe travels.
Sorry to hear about the setback - the positive outlook is what gets us through the hard times, which we all have at one time or another. Start planning as the Good times will be here sooner than you think!

I'll try to post as much as possible - DW says to not encourage me, - - First part of the trip we will have two of the Grands with us so it will be interesting - plan to try to get them to help with the Navigation and to write a little about what they see and Enjoy.

Been a while between road trips so I expect it will take a few days to get back in the saddle, long days going out then A really full schedule to try to beat the Crowds and the Traffic, You know nobody goes to the NP's any more - they are much to Crowded!

We all opted out of the Family Reunion at the Beach - so we should maybe look at the beginning of something new - but - the Kids all Love the Beach!

Thanks again for the Shout out,

Bill
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Old 06-13-2020, 08:19 PM   #17
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Returned from a week in Custer State Park in the Black Hills today. Campgrounds were reasonably full but cancellations did happen. Our favorite spot in Blue Bell sat empty most of the week. Talked with the host and the folks never cancelled, just didnít show. One fellow got the site next to us one night on a cancellation. Easy to keep your distance from others in well spaced state park campsites with interactions with other campers happening from a distance. Wonderfully relaxing and almost felt like pre-Covid days.

Crowds were pretty light considering the time of year but there were plenty of folks around in Custer. Ate at a couple restaurants in the park, pretty light crowds. Staff wearing masks. The only really crowded area in CSP was Sylvan Lake. Packed. Ridiculous. Did some hiking and then got out of there as social distancing was problematic.

Drove over to Devilís Tower. The crowd was larger and space confined due to construction and a closed trail there so didnít stick around long as we didnít feel social distancing was achievable. Btw, thatís a long freaking day going over there, driving through Spearfish Canyon and then winding up in the southern hills by the end of the day. Bushed.

We like getting away from people so camping is great for us. Those who are extraverts that get their stimulation from without will likely have the same stress from staying away from folks that they are finding in their every day lives.
Sounds like the tide has turned - more people and less protection - in the West everything is just a few inches away - On the Map - that is a long drive for sure - in real Miles

Pretty sure we can all stay safe and continue to act as we have, staying in our own little Bubble - if it gets crowded just Drive on by - good chance we will be back again.

Thanks for the Trip report - it helps to Know.

Bill
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Old 06-14-2020, 06:57 AM   #18
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Just got back after two week trip from Houston to Missouri. Areas we went were fine. Private parks open and most have been for a while. State park was doing limited site availability but this is soon to end. My advise is keep up with state openings. Quickly getting back to normal. Most areas I was in no one using masks but they were distancing. We never ate out and brought two weeks food with us. Had great time. Take care


Enjoy the journey
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Old 06-14-2020, 08:19 AM   #19
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This summer we will be following a somewhat similar path as Busskipper with our 8 year old granddaughter and so far, everything seems to be at least open enough for us to get a lot of hiking in (except for the Canada part of our trip). We will be more than happy enough if all the trails we want to go on are open, grocery stores are open, we can find boondocking spots where we don't have reservations, and if our granddaughter can get her Jr. Ranger badges.

In the last 6 weeks, we've been in GA, TN, and Alabama State parks and they have been very active/full. Some places would not allow things like Jr. Ranger, while others did. Some places had ziplines, horseback riding, and pools open. Others had the lakeside beaches and playgrounds closed. Most had "contactless" check-in. It's been kind of a mixed-bag of what was open and closed, but it beat staying home staring at the same 4 walls!
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Old 06-14-2020, 09:10 AM   #20
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We have been out on the road for 14 days now with likely another week to go. Went from home in Tucson to Albuquerque to Angel Fire NM where we stayed with our friends for 4 days, we slept in our coach. From there we drove mostly up I-25 to and across Colorado south to north spending one night in Cheyenne.

From Cheyenne we crossed Wyoming from southeast to northwest spending a night in Cody. Drove to and through Yellowstone entering at the east gate and continuing west to West Yellowstone where we stayed at a very nice RV park - Yellowstone Grizzly. Yesterday we drove south through and out the south entrance of the park and are now in Moran about 30 miles northeast of Jackson in a gorgeous RV park, Buffalo Fireside. We will be here until Monday and then probably out on 20 following the Snake River into Idaho before heading south for a two or three day run back to Tucson.

Here are a few of our observations and thoughts:

The good, things are not nearly as crowded as usual but that is changing daily. While we enjoyed Yellowstone driving and riding the motorcycle nearly 700 miles throughout the park over 5 days. Every day the traffic got heavier and going south to the Grand Tetons the back up to enter the park northbound was approaching an hour or more though it being Friday may have contributed as a lot of visitors live close enough to visit for a single day at a time. Lots of plates from Idaho, Wyoming, Montana etc.

The places we stayed were all spotless and maintenance was thorough as they are glad to have guests once again. Every meal we have eaten for the last 3 months has been prepared by me and that won't change. We used hand sanitizer a dozen times a day and wear masks when entering any building. Folks are doing well being social while still distancing and the phrase "Happy Camper" is getting a whole new meaning.

The bad:

When Ron White famously coined the phrase "You can't fix stupid!" I am relatively sure he had just returned from a week in Yellowstone. We saw more morons than buffalo and in Yellowstone that is a very large number. A single buffalo along side the road and these chuckleheads just stop, right next it and start snapping pictures/selfies completely blocking the road. There are so many pullouts where you can safely get off the road and observe the wildlife from a reasonable distance but so many have to see how close they can get to the wildlife, Arrrrg!

The Ugly:

Other than the traffic in downtown Denver at one in the afternoon there hasn't been much ugly. Mostly gorgeous with breathtaking vistas out the wazoo. We did have 35 gusting to 50 for 2 hours coming out of Casper and snow flurries last Monday at West Yellowstone kept us in camp for the day but overall the weather has been great.

We are headed for a bike ride over to Jackson after breakfast and then some serious mileage exploring the Grand Tetons which are mind numbingly awesome by the way.

We are and have been having an incredible trip. Should have something north of 4K miles on the coach and Indian by the time we return home... where they have been fighting brush fires and triple digit temps. Yep, it has been a great time to be gone.

Stay safe out there folks.

Not meaning to hijack this thread, but how was Fireside? I cqn not find any reviews. I have Colter RV Park (full hookup) on my planner for Spring/2021, but I am concerned about my 41' motorhome in there. I have read Colter is tight. How far was GTNP? I will be staying at Grizzly for Yellowstone.

We will be leaving in 10 days for a short trip (3 weeks) to NW Arkansas and back.
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Old 06-15-2020, 04:47 AM   #21
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Ok - OP here, getting ready to leave today - 9:00 we''ll see how that goes - - other side of Ohio for the first day, well try to report back as we go and have Internet.

Thanks to all who have posted,

Busskipper

ready to go
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Old 06-15-2020, 05:45 AM   #22
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Ok - OP here, getting ready to leave today - 9:00 we''ll see how that goes - - other side of Ohio for the first day, well try to report back as we go and have Internet.

Thanks to all who have posted,

Busskipper

ready to go
Have fun, be careful and send us updates!!!
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Old 06-15-2020, 05:56 AM   #23
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Have fun, be careful and send us updates!!!
Ray,
No reservations just states and areas.

You should try it, really is not that hard.

Enjoy your trip too. We all just need to get out.

Bill
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Old 06-15-2020, 06:36 AM   #24
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Bill, I know y'all will have a great time. Have a safe trip. Itinerary sound just terrific.


Ray
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Old 06-15-2020, 06:57 AM   #25
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Talking No hijack in progress here...

Reubenray,

"Not meaning to hijack this thread, but how was Fireside? I cqn not find any reviews. I have Colter RV Park (full hookup) on my planner for Spring/2021, but I am concerned about my 41' motorhome in there. I have read Colter is tight. How far was GTNP? I will be staying at Grizzly for Yellowstone."


Fireside is awesome! Perhaps the most beautiful RV Park we have ever stayed at... assuming you like looking out at the snow covered grand Tetons. The park is large, I think they have 175 sites in several different areas. I have never seen so many beautiful large Class A's anywhere so you will have no issues getting in or out.

The roads and pads are gravel but smooth and level. Everything else is natural/wild grass {with weeds and wildflowers} but they mow every week. The Wifi is a tad slow due to the huge crowds with everyone on it especially in the mornings and evenings.

The restrooms and laundry facilities are immaculate and they do allow ground fires, each site has a small underground, brick lined fire pit and yes they sell firewood.

They have a small store, gas station and even a fairly well stocked bar {no bar stools but pool table} with package sales available. Nice friendly folks and the maintenance crew is great.

Even on Sunday afternoon folks were pouring in and the park is full up so make reservations as soo as possible. We rode my bike to Colter Bay for a look see and I was not particularly impressed and yes it looked fairly tight though we did not go through the campground itself.

Also we loved Yellowstone Grizzly, stayed 5 days and they are about one mile from the west park entrance. I heard a rumor that they were currently having issues with their water system after we left... I cannot confirm or deny so give them a call to check their status.

Sadly it is time for us to go and we will depart in a couple of hours headed down through Jackson, Hobart Junction and west on 26 through the Snake River Canyon to Idaho Falls before jumping on I-15 south through Utah.

You're welcome.

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Old 06-15-2020, 07:55 AM   #26
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We have been on the road for over 7 years now and in the past 3 years, travel in an RV has changed. More and more people have bought RVs and are hitting the road. Unless you book several months out ( 6 months and sometimes 12 months) you will not get a state, Corp or National Park on a weekend or holiday. The popular destination sites are swamped in the summer and holiday seasons.

In addition, many of the commercial are filled with permanent residents and that tends to make the place look trashy unless management really enforces the rules. Also, construction workers have found that living in an RV is much better than motel rooms.

We had always like to travel with little scheduling, except for major holidays, and now are considering coming off the road now. It is getting to be less fun and more work. Additionally, the cost of campsites has really gone up.

Ken
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Old 06-15-2020, 08:23 AM   #27
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We are in Branson, Mo right now and covid caution is marginal at best. At our age we take no chances and wear masks, distance and do our shopping with curbside pick up. This morning our campground is probably less than half full but many left yesterday. Saturday we decided to drive thru town just to see what it was like. It was bumper to bumper traffic, huge crowds in the old downtown area, shoulder to shoulder, and the parking lot full at the Branson Landing mall. We only saw a handful of folks wearing masks. We saw many Arkansas tags which is experiencing a big uptick in the covid count. Taney County, where Branson is located, has had very few diagnosed cases but with the onslaught of folks from all over this part of the country we decided to drive on.

I'm not being critical of those folks as life is about choices. Ours is to keep our distance. We do have a month long reservation in Estes Park, Co starting the day after Labor Day. Their county has had pretty high numbers and we are concerned. The campground is open but we may not get to do our usual hiking in RMNP. We may have to do more lawn chair activities.
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Old 06-15-2020, 08:40 AM   #28
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We just finished a 16 day, 2,500 mile trip from Denver through Santa Fe, Phoenix, San Diego, Las Vegas and Green River, UT.

Good:
1. Gas prices are down, even in California. We never paid more than 2.85 for unleaded.
2. Traffic was generally light but we did see lots of campers on the road.
3. Businesses are happy to have the business.

Bad
1. Masks and social distancing are few and far between in most areas.
2. Phoenix was allowing restaurants to dine in. We had take out and the bars were packed, etc. Iím not ready for that.
3. Hospitals are a mess. The wife had to visit an ER and it was pretty awful. It could partly have been the area, but also the amount of time it took for a CT scan, etc were longer than normal.

State and national parks were hit or miss. We visited the Saguaro National Park and admission was free but the visitors center was closed. We then went to the Cabrillo National monument. It wasnít free and the visitors center was closed.

I wouldnít travel without reservations unless youíre planning to boondock. We had to make a couple unplanned stops and finding a spot took a while. With campgrounds generally being at limited capacity, the spots available last minute are limited.

All that said, Iíd take off tomorrow again if I had the time.
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