YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT RECENT BLOGS AND MORE
By Barry Zander’s blog readers
The mailbags are being emptied into our email Inbox, so it’s time to catch up with some of your comments sent to our email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three notes: I have responded to a few of your comments; Each new comment starts with the first few words in BOLD CAPS; and I’m saving a very informative note from Diane Lamirande of Quebec for an upcoming blog. Now for the your input:
THANK YOU. WE ARE NEWBIES to RVing having spent last year with a 5th wheel and now graduated to a Class A. This year will be our first real long distance trip up the East Coast into New England. Reading your post it as if you were standing over our shoulders during the planning process!
Admittedly, my husband did the majority of the mapping, locating campgrounds, etc., but it has been an arduous task for both of us. We aren’t comfortable enough yet to “wing it” as many of our experienced friends so we want the security of knowing where we will stay, get fuel and all that goes with these adventures. At least we know we are not alone pouring over maps, guides and endless searching on the Internet.
I did find your comment about working with reservation schedules for locations in the north eastern states amusingly familiar. (We too are currently on hold waiting for a park in New Hampshire.)
A safe & wonderful trip to you! Thanks for sharing your experiences!
Susan Fucci, Tampa, Fl
P.S. We will also be in the DC area during our trek. It would be a pleasure if our paths cross!
TWO THINGS TO BE AWARE OF [when traveling in the Maritimes] — few locations for propane fill ups, unless you have portable tanks and few dump stations. Often Home Hardware stores have fixed RV tank propane
A fellow RVer from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Jewell&Krane
AND ONCE AGAIN your article mirrors what is going on in our house. We just finished our plans, more or less, for this year’s trip. We are leaving on Monday and heading to Myrtle Beach (to visit friends) then into VA, DC, New England (husband does some consulting work up there each spring) and then the real trip begins, this year heading to New Mexico, Arizona, back to Colorado (was there last year) and North Platte, NE for Rail Fest. Then a quick run to the Chicago area to visit our daughters and then home, some time in October.
I totally understand the reservation challenges you mention as we, too, have experienced this recently. We are planning to stay in Greenbelt Park in MD – NPS (National Park Service) and 13 miles from the White House. Turns out, our timing puts us in DC around cherry blossom time. But their site states they NEVER fill up, so we are taking them at their word. But between the membership campgrounds (Thousand Trails, some Coast to Coast through a reciprocal arrangement with somebody else) and public vs. private combined with location it can really be a challenge.
On top of that, we prefer not to spend 8 hours on the road when we do move from place to place so I have to try to find little quick stopover places (Pilot/Flying J, Cabella’s, Camping World, etc.)
I think I’m done now but the only actual reservation made for any part of the trip after the consulting is at the Grand Canyon. The New England dates are a bit fuzzy at the moment so I have had to guesstimate and will be able to finalize once we know when my husband’s work will be done. But the advanced planning has at least told me where I want to stay and for how long. Definitely not a quick chore.
It is great, though, to search online for things to see and do and have the flexibility to say, “Hey, there’s a bunch of stuff here, let’s spend a week or more.” I am grateful every day for my wandering lifestyle and my little house on wheels (21′ Fun Finder, 2 adults, 3 cats.)
I love reading your blog and look forward to more of it during your travels this year! Linda Frechette
If you ever cross New Brunswick, Maritimes, we are 10 minutes from the Quebec border, exit 32 on the Trans-Canada Highway at our base RV Place in the summer and please stop and we will have a lobster supper or steak and lobster !!! We like to host our US friends when they pass along our nice Interstate.
Denise and René Boucher, presently in Fort Myers Beach for the Winter!
I RECENTLY READ YOUR ARTICLE on planning your route and found it very informative. One thought when traveling the New England states. We visited several years ago and chose a hub-and-spoke method, which worked quite well. We would find a campground central to the area we wanted to visit. Then we would plan day trips around the area to visit things we wanted to see and do.
In the New York city area we stayed in Poughkeepsie and took the trains into the city or drove to other places such as West Point. We did the same in the Boston area staying outside the city and using public transportation. Since distances were fairly short we could visit several states from one location. This also reduced our fuel costs since our truck was either parked at a station or driven without our rig.
Just an idea. Mark Moon
Thanks for the suggestion, Mark. It’s definitely a good idea that we’re trying to implement. That’s a big advantage of Northeastern travel.
THIS PAST SUMMER my beautiful wife humored me and tagged along to northern Idaho to experience two-and-a-half months of boondocking in a cow pasture while I drove a long-logger. Our hosts were my boss and his mother, but the real hosts were 15 cows, one horse with identity issues and however many chickens that managed to avoid becoming dinner either for us or the raccoons.
We’ve boondocked many times but that was the longest time span and we had a blast. The cows were especially entertaining and there was a steep learning curve regarding “cow-proofing” our front yard. As cows will be cows and never miss an opportunity for licking salt, it was common to wake up in the morning and find our BBQ knocked over from the less than graceful critters licking the grill after we cooked of all things, steaks.
Enjoy your trip. We’ll be heading back to our home in Cody, Wyoming, from the Coastal Bend of Texas at the end of April. In the last year-and-a-half we’ve only been home for three weeks and we’re looking forward to being back home with a real yard, shower and toilet. We love RVing and as a haz-mat tanker driver I can work anywhere I want but I think we’ve had enough adventure for now, at least until the ice starts to build up again in Wyoming. Joe Hunnicutt
[IN RESPONSE TO YOUR QUESTION about our stay in Rockhound State Park, New Mexico, it] was great. The campsites are big and well spaced, but only 5 or 6 can be reserved in advance. The others are first come first served, so make a reservation, or get there early. Check out time is 2pm. We had to take overflow camping in the group site the first night. It was cramped with four of us in 3 spaces, but we had electricity and water. The second night we had a reservation for site 17. A great, level site with a fantastic view.
It is supremely quiet with stargazing opportunities. There are no shade trees. There are some well-maintained hiking trails and rocks galore if you want to collect some. They allow digging and taking the rocks with you.
It is a desert park, so expect gravel sites and xeriscaping. Not much green grass, but well maintained and clean. The wind may blow so watch your awning. [I asked, because when we visited we were disappointed that we didn’t find what we consider “collectible” rocks. We liked the park itself.]
We love your posts and look forward to following you and Monique in this next adventure. We are planning a trip that will take us through DC and South Carolina next fall, so we will follow your trip closely.
If your route takes you through Amarillo, TX let me know. We would like to meet you. There are several private campgrounds nearby and Palo Duro Canyon State Park is about 20 miles from here, or there is plenty of room in the pasture behind our house if you want to park here. Thanks again for your input. Mickey
HI, FIRST LET ME SAY WE ENJOY your blog and all the trip reports, pictures, etc. Wanted to comment on the guy looking for recommendations on an RV. We have a 2008 Roadtrek Popular equipped with all we have needed in traveling this US and Canada. Sure, it is a tight fit for us at times, but can park any place, climb any mountain road, great gas mileage and best of all I can park it in our driveway and none of the neighbors complain. In 2011 we drove from Louisiana to Alaska. Only stayed in one place for any length of time, which was Kenai for our grandson came up to play summer ball. We visited all the towns on all the main roads, met some wonderful folks. Plan to return!
Once we returned home we rested 3 weeks and headed toward Nova Scotia for me to chase my Cajun roots. We traveled the entire Providence, along with Prince Edward Island and some of the places where I had worked in New Brunswick when traveling for the company I worked for. This past year we traveled I-90 all the way across South Dakota, East to West, seeing sites along the way, then up to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Decided it was time to ease toward home thru’ all back roads we hadn’t traveled before. Saw beautiful country. Now we know what “fracking for oil” is. Came upon places with only a four-mile block of phone coverage.
The Roadtrek has served us well … Yes, we could do with more storage, but have done without nothing and seen lots of God’s country that we have been so blessed to enjoy.
You guys have a wonderful enjoyable safe trip. Looking forward to reading your reports. If for no other reason to see what we may have missed. By the way our ages are 80 and 74, God has blessed us!
Martha & Billy
I HAVE RECENTLY STARTED reading (and enjoying) your blog on RV.net. Do you have a Facebook page for us to keep up with your travels?
[Yes, I have a Facebook page, which is relatively unused. For blogging, I have two concerns about using “social media” for postings. First, friends might be reluctant to stay in touch, afraid they may ask a question that’s in the blogs they don’t read, and, second, I feel one of the greatest value of my RV blogging comes from comments from you and other readers. I did a series during our trip to Alaska (more on that soon) -- we all learned a lot from the hundreds of knowledgeable comments attached to the blogs.] Larry and Ann Maynard
I stopped putting this blog together for a few minutes to respond to a Facebook message from my ol’ buddy Sam Casey in Florida. When I asked him if he had read my recent blogs, his response: Sam wrote: “I haven’t, Barry. But, I’ll take a peek. Travel safe.” That’s a perfect example.
And Sam wrote back last night with this comment: “BARRY, NICE ARTICLE. Enjoyed the read. While reservations aren’t my style (haven’t made one in 5 years), I understand the need for those on a schedule. Like you, I stay off the blue roads. Of course, full timing offers the advantage of hitting the highly popular areas during the “shoulder season.” http://www.uscampgrounds.info/ has been extremely helpful in locating campgrounds, particularly during the busy camping season. There’s usually a few sites held out for walk-ups in public campgrounds accepting reservations, with some parks being first come, first served. You just can’t beat the ambiance. Arriving on Sun-Wed will generally insure a spot through the weekend. There are quite a few gems in city and county parks across the country. If you aren’t already familiar with the site, perhaps it will help. Travel safe.”
I WANT TO LET YOU KNOW how envious most of us out there are of you two and your travels. I get your blog through rv.net. I would like to get them directly as they encourage me to get out there and live my dream. [Again, if they were sent individually, other readers would miss out on the comments.] I have been dreaming about full-timing since “Travels with Charlie” and Charles Kuralt and his travels “On The Road”. Granted, I was a bit younger but the feelings and dreams have never left me.
I’ve finally gotten the RV of my dreams and have, at last, retired. What is keeping me anchored to my current spot? Well, I really can’t justify the delay. I can only say that every time I read your blog I laugh and enjoy and am motivated to get up the next day and move a few steps closer to my goal. I’ve had some health issues w/one of my eyes but am beginning to manage that. One excuse swirling down the drain. The big issue is getting rid of all of my stuff, cleaning up my place and really getting my rear on board and off to new adventures.
I have plans to go east in the Fall to visit a friend in Myrtle Beach for Thanksgiving, January in Quartzite, February in New Orleans for Madi Gras and on to Alaska and across Canada, for the summer of 2014. Obviously, my plans are a bit grandiose for 2013/2014; however; I just feel so rushed to do all I must do before I slow down and fulfill the grander plan of seeing all of the national parks that I haven’t seen. Obviously, I need to do a better plan but haven’t gotten there yet.
Please continue to blog regularly and send me a direct connection to your Alaska adventures and your website when you get it the way you want it. I so look forward to all of your blogs of your trip through the East Coast and Canada.
Best to you for your travels and keep us posted w/all of the fun and especially the mistakes, Nancy
In response to The Road to Enon blog, WE ONCE SPONTANEOUSLY DECIDED to tent camp with canoe, two kids, and a dog. The idea was to get to Flagstaff Lake, put gear and all of us in the canoe, and paddle to the campsite. After several hours of driving and dark soon approaching we realized how ridiculous our plan was. Not to mention how far we’d have had to paddle. I whipped out our map of Maine and found Rangeley Lake State Park. We booked one of the last two available sites. When we got to the site with the campground wood, turns out to have been waste from a furniture maker, the kids built with the wooden “blocks”. We canoed on several ponds nearby and had a blast. We didn’t get lost, but made a major change in plans. That was one of the best camping trips we ever had. Now we have a teardrop a third kid and no pets. We also have a teardrop and rooftop tent. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do more exploring this summer!
I love reading about the adventures on this blog. We’re trying our best to enjoy as much as we can with our kids and will also be happy campers when we become empty nesters. I read your blog and live vicariously in the future. Thank you! Jacquie
And one more, from a blog comment follow-up conversation:
“Barry and Monique, It sounds like you have quite a trip planned. I’m just curious, though, how does Canada treat traveling with a firearm? I always have a handgun in my domicile regardless of it being our permanent residence or our temporary home (RV). We would like to tour Canada someday, but this is something for us to consider. Any thoughts?”
MY RESPONSE – You are not allowed to take firearms into Canada, and it’s a situation where the risk from trying to smuggle one in is much worse than any benefit. You’ll very rarely hear of any violence there, so why would you need to take a firearm? We took along bear spray when traveling through Canada to Alaska, which we feel is all the defense we need against the unlikely event of a crime against person. In other words, I recommend that you park your gun at the door. Barry
On behalf of our readers, thanks for your contributions. Comments from you put a much richer light on topics related to RVing.
From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.
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© All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved