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Old 04-28-2020, 09:32 AM   #1
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How Crazy are we Big Bend and other NP

We don't usually travel in the summer, but we really need a trip.

We are pretty sure our Toronto trip is not going to happen, so we are looking at an alternative that will be very different from our normal travels. We are usually heavy on museums and dining and light on hiking. This trip we are looking at National Parks and outdoor opportunities.

Our plan (for now) leave out mid to late July and head west from the Myrtle Beach area. We'll stop off in B'ham to visit family and from there begin the trip. We don't boondock so we will be staying in commercial parks along with state and national parks.

1. Work our way up to I-40 head west with no real stops with a detour up to Tulsa.
2. From Tulsa west to Cheyenne, OK. We visited in 2018 but it was raining so bad we missed most of the park.
3. Santa Fe, NM
4. Mesa Verde NP, CO
5. Petrified Forest (that is a maybe)
6, Albuquerque, NM
7 Carlsbad Cavern NP, NM (we plan to slow down in Roswell to look for aliens)
8. Big Bend NP
9. Seminole Canyon SP
10. Loredo & Corpus Christi (Scenic Route)
11. League City and Galveston (we ran out of time last year when visiting the Johnson Space Center)
12 - Head home, probably stopping in either Montgomery or Savannah for a couple of nights before returning home. We will of course have to find a place between Texas and Georgia for one or two nights.

Looks like it will be about 5,300 miles and we plan to be back home by Sept 17.

So most important question, recommendations for hiking boots that are snake bite proof?

How are the mountains in the southern part of Colorado?
Any route recommendations from Corpus Christi to League City/ Galveston area? We would rather avoid Houston.

and -
How blinking hot will it be?
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Old 04-28-2020, 09:51 AM   #2
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Snake boots: we have hiked many trails out west and in the rest of the country and while we once in a rare while see a rattler they have never ever been aggressive. In fact we saw one sunning itself on the trail in Idaho last year and it stayed and posed for photos. We didn't bother it and it didn't bother us. We may have seen a moccasin or two but there are so many black water snakes that we never knew for sure.

We just wear ankle high comfortable hiking boots.

Let me pass on the info we got from an ER nurse, she said virtually all of snake bites occur when the bitee was a young, white, male drunkard who picked up or otherwise harassed the snake.

As for your list, New Mexico parks are closed and the governor is signed on with CA to prolong the shutdown as long as possible. CO also has a dem governor and when and if it reopens is unknown.

Southern Texas especially Big Bend will be hotter than H$ll. We've been down there in July and cut our planned stay short and that was with a/c available in the camper. Just remember what General Sheridan said about Texas: "If I owned (west) Texas and Hell, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas."



We haven't been in the Rio Grand Valley so I don't know but doubt it will be a lot cooler except on the coast.

For summer go north and go up for bearable temps.
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Old 04-28-2020, 09:58 AM   #3
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Thanks, I've been concerned about the heat, and it is my understanding most states will open by the summer, no matter which party they have in the governor's mansion. It is also why we want to be back home by fall.
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Old 04-28-2020, 12:48 PM   #4
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We were serious hikers and never encountered a snake. We used regular hiking boots - low cut and ankle.

Big Bend would not be pleasant for you at that time of year. It's a hiking park and it would be too hot.

It's going to be iffy to plan a trip for this summer. I certainly wouldn't make a lot of reservations. The places you're going have a lot of RV parks in the area. You'll want electric for most of your stops. Petrified Forest can easily be a drive through with viewpoint stops and then return on I-40 to the nearest town for a RV park. If you're in the area I wouldn't pass it up. Painted Desert at that point is by viewpoints.
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Old 04-28-2020, 01:50 PM   #5
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Just about 50 miles south of Carlsbad Caverns is Guadalupe Mountains National Park, the other National Park in Texas. It is an extremely interesting place and worth a look. Tallest place in Texas, by the way. The geology is very unusual.

I hope you take a look. It does have a small campground near the Visitor Center, no hookups and no dump station, however. Basically a parking lot but the scenery there is world-class.
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Old 04-28-2020, 02:30 PM   #6
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How Crazy are we Big Bend and other NP

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Just about 50 miles south of Carlsbad Caverns is Guadalupe Mountains National Park, the other National Park in Texas. It is an extremely interesting place and worth a look. Tallest place in Texas, by the way. The geology is very unusual.

I hope you take a look. It does have a small campground near the Visitor Center, no hookups and no dump station, however. Basically a parking lot but the scenery there is world-class.

We stopped by Carlsbad and Guadalupe Mountains in March for the boys Spring Break before everything locked down. Neither should be missedó I may have like the Guadalupe Mtns better than Big Bend which is otherwise an incredible place.

Mesa Verde is also pretty incredible: definitely take one of the guided tours.
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Old 04-28-2020, 04:57 PM   #7
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Big Bend in the Summer? Yes you are crazy. I would expect tolerable nights and early mornings, but the day is going to melt you. Likely the RV will be warm inside even with the windows blacked out and the ACs running full time. It can be done. Heck I have been in Vegas in July -Aug for business, but it was not fun. I would recommend staying in Southern CO a little longer and do South Texas in the Winter/Early Spring.
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:14 PM   #8
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We are sitting in Lakehills at Medina Lake which is about 40 miles NW of San Antonio. Last Friday it hit 98 in San Antonio and it was over 102 in Eagle Pass. The rest of this week here it is to be around 92+.
So plan accordingly for heat in July here.
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:53 PM   #9
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Thanks all, looks like south Texas will have to wait for our next California trip, probably 2022, we're committed to Florida next spring.

Now, where to go? We don't normaly travel in the summer but we want to get away before fall.
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Old 04-28-2020, 11:10 PM   #10
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Now, where to go? We don't normaly travel in the summer but we want to get away before fall.
How about Michigan? The beaches are beautiful. From lower Michigan cross the Mighty Mac Bridge to the Upper Peninsula and return through Wisconsin along the lakeshore. Take the day ferry over to Mackinac Island. Go up to Paradise/Whitefish Point in the Upper Peninsula to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Tour some lighthouse along all shorelines. Michigan has the most lighthouses of any state. Explore the Traverse City area and Leelanau Peninsula. Beautiful. Sleeping Bear Dunes Nat'l Lakeshore is awesome. Platte River Campground has electric. Reservations a must - extremely popular. Stay at Munising and take the late afternoon boat cruise to see Pictured Rocks Nat'l Lakeshore. Stay at Fort Wilkins State Park at Copper Harbor.
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Old 04-28-2020, 11:55 PM   #11
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How Crazy are we Big Bend and other NP

I like 2 gypsies idea of upper Michigan. If you go you have to stop in Hell Michigan, just so you can say you been there and back.

We are going north and west. DW wants to see kentucky horse country so we are heading there first. Next towards Iowa and see what oddities we can find and then across the northern border of Nebraska up into the Badlands, Mt Rushmore area. From there probably over to Worland WY to catch up with some friends and if Yellowstone is open and there isnít a crowd we will stop there for a few days.

Yellowstone or not we will meander south through Colorado into New Mexico to find DW some pueblos and other ancient ruins. Then back up into Kansas to follow the grasslands of the Flint Hills south into Oklahoma. Arkansas is too hot and humid to do much in unless we donít get there until September. We will cross the Mississippi below Memphis and ride over to Northern Alabama. There is pretty cool areas there I have been wanting to explore. From there we will probably cut across North Georgia then back home.

Main thing for us is to avoid cities and crowds. We are just staying flexible and not making any hard plans to be anywhere at a certain time nor are we making any reservations. When we feel comfortable leaving home we are just going to load up and go.

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Old 04-29-2020, 01:01 AM   #12
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I’d opt for boots that provide support, comfort, and agility over “snake proofing” which you really shouldn’t need might not help anyway.

But on the subject of snakes, I’ve lived with rattlesnakes for over 20 years killing around a half dozen per year and relocating or letting about the same number go depending on whether or not they were in an area where they presented a hazard to kids and pets. But in every case, they just wanted to be left alone. Sometimes I even felt bad about killing them. Other times I didn’t. All you have to do is be somewhat cognizant about where you put your feet and you won’t have any issues.

Some useful stats consistent with those noted in a previous post:

In the United States, 7,000 to 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year.
55 percent of people bitten by snakes are male, ages 17 to 27.
85 percent of bites are to the fingers and hands.
13 percent of snakebites occur on the feet and legs, rarely above the ankle.
57 percent of snakebite victims were handling the snake at the time of the bite.
28 percent of snakebite victims were intoxicated.

Like winning the lotto, you’re more likely to be struck by lightning.

And the link:
https://www.outsideonline.com/230429...out-snakebites
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:57 AM   #13
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Great info,

We went back to the drawing board, aka RV Trip Wizard, saved the southern travels for a future trip west and looked north.

Seems much of what we came up with mirrors RickNC's route. Much still depends on pent up demand, how many road warriors will be out in late summer and have the same idea as we have about seeing the great outdoors.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:18 AM   #14
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Great info,

We went back to the drawing board, aka RV Trip Wizard, saved the southern travels for a future trip west and looked north.

Seems much of what we came up with mirrors RickNC's route. Much still depends on pent up demand, how many road warriors will be out in late summer and have the same idea as we have about seeing the great outdoors.
If you go to the U.P. you might want to go to the Gay Bar in the town of Gay.

https://thegaybar.com/

Say yeah to da UP too, eh?

Yoopers are good folks. Some of the road quality conditions are atrocious, though.

Also strongly consider the north shore area of MN on route 61. Most state park campgrounds will be full if open. If you go, Betty's Pies in Two Harbors. Duluth is a very friendly and scenic town that does cater to tourists. Unless you have reservations I would suggest going on weekdays unless you want to boondock, and that can be iffy.
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