NP trip late summer - Fiberglass RV
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:48 AM   #1
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NP trip late summer

We are planning a NW National Park trip from Mich. via the Upper Penninsula. We had considered including Glacier however now understand that in Sept. it can be not only cold there but snow and other road hazards may exist. We will stay further south and hit Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Mammoth Site and other stops along the way.


With all of the budget cuts to N.P.s and several along the southern border in the process of being seriously impacted ecologically by the construction of a "wall," we wanted to see as much as we could before these things happen.

We also decided against including a week or so in Colorado as that was far too ambitious for the time we have in September. We need to be back in Mich. to repack and plan for our 4-month winter escape. I also need to engineer a drain for our Coleman cooler so as ice melts it will drain under the TV. A couple of lab grade rubber stoppers with a hole, one for cooler and one for spare wheel well drain connected by a length of aquarium tubing should do nicely.

We will continue to Jekyll Island yet again for several months and travel the Atlantic side of Florida then cut access the lower part of the state around Jupiter to look at Venice again as a potential relocation spot and forgo living Michigan in the future.

Last winter we traveled from Jekyll Is. along the Gulf Coast to the south west and spent most of the winter in AZ with a stop in Santa Fe on the return route.
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:19 PM   #2
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We did a similar trip last year in late August early September. Glacier, Northern Cascades, ferry to the Olympic Peninsula, down the coast to see the big trees, up to Crater Lake then home through Teton, Yellowstone. Glacier and Yellowstone were busy. Both have web sites where you can monitor when the in park campgrounds fill. Useful in planning your arrival. Consider heading through the Bighorn mountains in eastern Wyoming on the way. Also Route 20 across northern Washington if you get that far north. Also be aware Mount Rushmore is free but to see it you must pay to park in the privately owned parking garage. We passed.
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:32 AM   #3
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I see you have Yellowstone on your list. The elevation of Yellowstone Lake is almost 8,000 feet, so winter comes early there as well. A few years ago, we were chased out by a blizzard on September 15.


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Old 07-31-2017, 10:48 AM   #4
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Your route looks like so much fun! If you can squeeze it in, Devil's Tower in Wyoming would make a great half day stop and we LOVED it. (it's over there between your F and G pins)

We also got snowed on in Yellowstone, in a tent, around the 15th of September a few years ago. Woke up to 24 degrees and two inches of snow! Have fun on your travels!
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:08 PM   #5
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Devils tower is on the route

Tnx Emij,

Devil's Tower is on the list.
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:21 PM   #6
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Going on somewhat similar trip but following the Oregon trail and going a bit further north to visit Custer/Little Big Horn Battlefield then following 12 all the way back to Minneapolis then up to Escanaba. Not getting down to Colo. Springs area this trip. Have family in Pueblo so have before, like that part of the country.


Hmm blizzard in mid September. Something to consider since Yellow Stone was on our list. Note to self, more heater :-)
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:03 PM   #7
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Great feed back from others who have experienced most/all or part of the route.

We generally escape Mich. winters by heading south and/or south west in mid-Nov.

Once back in Mich. in mid-April it is usually too nice to travel elsewhere. Given the high elevations and more northern exposures we may need to dedicate an earlier trip to Glacier and parts in the N. W. After 26 some years of living and working in Central American cold does not suit us well.

It recently got up to the mid 80 F here so we were able to remove one blanket from our bed.


We love our 16 Scamp however the insulation such as it is, does not provide much help. When still on the steep newbie learning curve in 2015 a failure to check propane in advance created quite a shiver at 2 MA when the furnace flamed out during a 26F snow storm in Las Cruces, N.M.

Thanks to many experienced folks we learned about carrying a small 110 V cube heater that prevents any such chill.

Also apologies for a brief attemp at humor re: Mt. Rushmore that has been removed.
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:14 PM   #8
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Vedauwoo in WY is just off the xway and is worth a visit. Room to boondock, too.
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Old 08-01-2017, 04:00 PM   #9
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When in SD a trip to see The Needles in the Custer
state park should be a must.

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Old 08-01-2017, 04:28 PM   #10
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Tnx Mike & Walt for the suggestions. Will look at these online to see where and what they are.

I am still working on our itinerary and I have not locked in any stops yet. Mrs. Bat Dude, MSc. (OK she has more than an MRS degree as well so yes I do listen to her ) is looking at RVParky and site reviews. I think we will wing it as FB folks seem to do and see when and where we stop aside from key NP and N. Wildlife Refuges. State POI places will be included as we roll out and back from Mich.

We can not leave any earlier than Sept 6th as we are committed to doing a 4-hour long dog show for our community. I am the MC and there are 6 events usually. Anyone with a hankering to enter the best kisser, best biscuit catcher, singer, trickster etc. is welcome to come for one of the 3 place awards. Also a Doggy dash over 200 meters. There is a local camp ground and space also in our parking ramp for a night or two.
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Old 08-01-2017, 04:29 PM   #11
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As well as Crazy Horse monument south of Mt. Rushmore about 20 miles.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:43 PM   #12
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As well as Crazy Horse monument south of Mt. Rushmore about 20 miles.
Absolutely. Crazy horse is amazing and a must see.

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Old 08-02-2017, 03:45 AM   #13
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WOW sounds like we woudl be carzy to miss it!
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:09 AM   #14
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Sage Creek campground in Badlands NP - Free with Bison roaming through the sites and great night skies. Horse Thief Lake campground (there's also a commercial CG by this name) in Black Hills NF (not too far from Rushmore and Crazy Horse). Custer State Park is worth at least a drive through.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:46 AM   #15
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Custer State Park is worth at least a drive through.
Especially The Needles. There are several places in the US with that name, but nothing else even remotely matches those in Custer SP.

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Old 08-06-2017, 08:36 PM   #16
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Absolutely. Crazy horse is amazing and a must see.

Walt
Just to balance things out, I'll mention that I didn't like Crazy Horse. There isn't that much carving finished so it didn't seem nearly as spectacular as Rushmore, and the building is pretty much a tourist trap with expensive stuff for sale.

The drive through Custer SP was much nicer IMO. I liked going through the narrow tunnels and seeing the wildlife and scenery.

Be sure to drive through Deadwood. What a cool looking western-style town.
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