Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Trip Planning

Between household chores and projects, doggie day care, tax prep, and MD appointments, I've been planning my Spring trip .  Not sure when I'll be leaving yet or when I'll be back.  Other than that, I have it loosely figured out. 

My route is dictated by the National Park Sites I want to see.  That makes loose planning very simple.  Now that I have the GDB, I don't have to plan in advance where I'll be staying.  I proved to myself during my winter trip that I can overnight just about anywhere.  How liberating!


Fort Donelson National Battlefield - Dover, TN

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial - St. Louis, MO

Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site - St. Louis, MO
Harry S Truman National Historic Site - Independence, MO


Homestead National Monument - Beatrice, NE
Scott's Bluff National Monument - Gering, NE
Agate Fossil Beds - Harrison, NE

South Dakota

Badlands National Park - Interior, SD
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site - Jackson, SD
Mount Rushmore National Monument - Rapid City, SD
Jewel Cave National Monument - Custer, SD
Wind Cave National Park - Hot Springs, SD

Wyoming - Colorado 

Devil's Tower National Monument - Devil's Tower, WY
Fort Laramie National Historic Site - Fort Laramie, WY
Rocky Mountain National Park - Estes Park, CO
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument - Florissant, CO
Salida, CO

That's 16 NP sites!  I'm beyond excited. 

Let me know if you have any other suggestions along the route. 


  1. Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park in Colorado! It's a beauty.

    1. Great suggestion! Although I've been there. For any of you that haven't - GO! It's almost an optical illusion.

  2. Sounds like a fabulous trip! I would 2nd Judy's suggestion for Great Sand Dunes (I've yet to make it there myself, but the pics always look awesome!). Salida, CO is a fun town--good boondocking too! In SD, I really liked Custer State Park-- it's so big it feels like a National Park with lots of wildlife.

    I was just at Truman Library a couple months ago-- fascinating history there. Since you're a burger lover, be sure to stop at Winstead's (there's one off I-70 near Independence)-- a KC tradition!

    But, my all time favorite national park in MO is Ozark National Scenic Riverways (specifically, Alley Spring near Emminence, and Big Spring near Van Buren). I stopped there last April and was blown away by the vibrant blue colors of the springs and bright green foliage. Yes, it's hillbilly country and limited cell signals, so not a good place to work, but an amazing and very unique detour for a night or two. Venture off the Interstate where you can-- some of the small towns in MO, KY, TN, KS, and NE are really interesting!

    1. Thanks Lynne. I lived in Salida for 3 months on a travel nurse assignment. If we weren't settled here, I would consider moving there. I'm eager to return and see it in the summer (versus the middle of winter when I was there).

      Winstead's it is!

      I plan to camp at Custer during my time in the Black Hills. I'm sure to have some buffalo visit my site there.

      I need to look into Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

  3. National Parks are the best - your trip plan looks great! There's a nice museum about the Oregon Trail in Kearney, Nebraska right off of the interstate. The building is a huge arch that spans the road. It doesn't have it's own exit so make sure to follow the directions on the website - Great Platte River Road Archway Monument

    As an added bonus they invite RVers to dry camp for free.:-)

  4. There's so much in Colorado you could spend a couple of weeks right there! It's so exciting to leave with no specific agenda and no date that you have to be back! Can not WAIT until you're on the road so we can be on the road vicariously!!

  5. Right outside Devil's Tower is an RV park with excellent shower rooms--each one is a private room. Unfortunately my blog entry about it is in the blog the internet ate so I can't tell you the name of it but it is literally at the gate of the park.

  6. If you're going to be in the Badlands after April 22nd you should stop over by Cedar Creek Lodge and say hi because that's where I'll be working this summer. :)

  7. It looks like you are going to be gone for a while!! I have the same kind of loose plan for my travels north through New Mexico in their state parks. No dates, come and go as I please - you're right, it's so liberating! :)

  8. What a great trip! We've been to most of those and loved every minute. Perhaps someday we'll get back out there.

  9. I have a very similar trip planned. Leaving end of May for about 6 weeks. Here's a link to a map of my trip that shows overnight stays (red dots) and points of interest (green dots). I start in Mass and will do about 5,000 miles.


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