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Old 06-10-2015, 04:58 PM   #1
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The Trip West

I don't know if this is the right forum, but here goes:

My wife mentioned she wanted a “camper” about three years ago. So, we looked and found a used 1995 Jayco Eagle bunkhouse model –as it turns out, it was a very nice camper and really enjoyed it. We needed a truck to pull it with, and after some internet searching and a couple of test drives, settled on a 2012 Ram 2500.

We got another travel trailer, a 2015 Jayflight 28BHBE. It was clear my sons would soon be longer than the bunk beds in the one we had, despite how much I liked it.

Last summer (in 2014), we decided on a trip west; I asked and received many good suggestions from the folks here on the forum.

Being the CDO type (that is Compulsive Disorder: Obsessive, which is nothing more than your normal obsessive compulsive disorder, but with the acronym in the proper alphabetical order, as it should be! ) I very carefully planned the trip and route, again with good suggestions from folks here on the forum.

The trip is 52 days in length. There are 12 travel days of between 300 miles and 350 miles each day. Roughly 8 days are devoted to the Badlands and Black Hills areas of South Dakota, roughly 18 days are devoted to the Yellowstone area, and roughly 14 days are devoted to the Grand Teton area.

While travel has been meticulously planned, the time spent at each area is fairly unscheduled. The only planning done outside of travel was to try to make a list of things to be sure to experience. The list is long, and I am certain only a small portion of the list will be accomplished.

My wife and older son (16 years old) are doing the entire trip. I will be at work except for a two week period during which I, my younger son (14), and my step-father will be joining the rest of the family by plane in Wyoming. We spent quite a few evenings this past winter researching routing, learning and practicing first-aid, and discussing, planning, and rehearsing safety on the road and on the trail.

We spent quite a few Saturday and Sunday afternoons in practice driving sessions. This is one thing I would not do again – I should have found someone else to work with my wife on the driving. When all is said and done, I think my wife is doing well, but it was not the right way to go about it .

She continues to find backing up challenging – so do I – but I feel if you wait until you are perfect you will probably never do anything.

I want to extend a big “thank you” to the many folks here on the forum. I appreciate the help and suggestions for this trip. If you suggested we do something on this trip and we end up not doing so, please do not be offended – there is so much I think I could do this trip ten times.

DAY 1
The trip began today – not much to say, as it is a travel day. I will update with the results of this first day of travel tomorrow. Here are pictures of our rig and my wife and older son, ready to go.
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Rig1 West2015 06102015.jpg   RigWithHandA West2015 06102015.jpg  
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Old 06-10-2015, 05:05 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are on a great adventure! We are leaving on our west coast adventure in two weeks. Central Canada to Vancouver Island and return home via Wa, Mt, Sd and Mn. Have fun and safe travels.
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Old 06-10-2015, 05:06 PM   #3
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Be safe and have a great trip!

(Another post today said that KOA reservations are ahead of last year. Point is, if you haven't already, you should plan a making CG reservations!)
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:09 PM   #4
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DJL1967, thanks and it sounds like you have a great trip coming up. Maybe I can go farther north in the future.

oldman_AZ, we made travel plans very cautiously due to this being a new experience - all nights reserved, and usually as far in advance as allowed. I noticed the national parks get reserved right away; basically, a year in advance.

Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:37 AM   #5
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Day 1 was a travel day from Erie, PA and heading west out of Pennsylvania, across Ohio, and into Indiana. This was all interstate driving. My wife said that she encountered several sections of road work requiring slowing down and speeding up as well as fairly persistent wind during the day and two thunderstorms. Fuel mileage was below average at 9.8 mpg (usually between 10 mpg and 12 mpg). My wife said there was one alarming moment when a tractor-trailer rig pulled back into the right line ahead of her after passing in the left lane – she said it was very close to the front of the truck. Here is a picture at the KOA campground for the night (I had to flip this picture - not sure why).
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:14 AM   #6
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"DJL1967, thanks and it sounds like you have a great trip coming up"

We did the East coast last summer and had a blast! Really looking forward to this trip and the kids can then say they traveled coast to coast across Canada.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:15 AM   #7
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Envious of your trip, enjoy!
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:39 AM   #8
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Wow what a trip! I'm originally from PA but live in Washington state now but I can remember my first trip West. You will be blown away by the sites you have planned to see. Be safe and enjoy the trip!!!! Keep us posted on your travels.
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Old 06-11-2015, 02:22 PM   #9
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Way to plan! My head is spinning. My advance planning consists of answering one question: Shall we go somewhere?
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:47 PM   #10
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Travelbug422, I was in Washington once - in Seattle. I went to the market where they throw the big fish. Bought some peaches, blackberries, and raspberries that were amazing. Ate until my belly burst (and subsequent other activity!) Never forgot that taste.

cekk, one of these days I will be retired and my planning will consist of flipping a coin at an intersection to choose left or right turn. Until the I am a slave to the calendar!
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