|Spring is around the corner|
Wow, February is almost over and Spring is just around the corner. Here is a sneak peek into what we have planned for 2017.
It begins with a Spring trip.
This trip began with a bucket list destination, going to Disneyworld in Orlando, Fl. A magical place that can bring the whimsical child out of any person no matter their age. We have always enjoyed our trips to Disneyland in California even into our adult years. Disneyworld is bigger and has even grown bigger over the years and with Universal Orlando so close and its addition of the Harry Potter Experience we are ready to head east to visit both of these magical and fun places. We originally planned going here for our 1st big RV trip in the Spring of 2016 but when we put our house on the market in 2015 and not having it sold before the end of December we didn't want to be on the other side of the U.S when it did sell, so we decided it was best to push this trip into 2017.
Now that we had our destination we needed to decide on the places we wanted to visit getting there and back. Here is the basic route for the trip and will total almost 5200 miles.
I have been hard at work since January, when not skiing, getting the route planned. Being one of our biggest trips and with lots of stops I've been busy.
A few of the places we will visit:
Emerald Coast (Navarre, FL)
Disneyworld (Orlando, FL)
Rafting in the Blue Ridge/Smokey Mountains
The big unknown in RV traveling is how much advance planning should one expect. Our goal was to travel in the shoulder seasons which we hoped would be less busy and we would not have to compete as much for RV sites. We have also chosen not to do a lot of dry camping or boondocking in these 1st few years of RV trips. Statistics show RV, fifth wheel, and camper sales are booming and are at all-time highs. Besides the weekend RV'ers there are more retirees choosing to full-time in their RV and who move between winter and summer locations. This is creating more competition for RV park sites and the State Campgrounds fill up months in advance, especially around the holidays and on weekends. We originally thought we could be spontaneous in our RV planning but putting this trip together has opened our eyes that being spontaneous may not always be possible. When it comes to planning Mike and I are very different. I am a planner and feel more comfortable knowing or at least have several options ahead of time when it comes to where we stay; Mike wants to be flexible. He is the practical one and knows the uncertainty that comes with traveling in an RV and the mechanical or other issues that can delay our timelines. I am finding a balance between the two by making sure the places I need to reserve have cancellation policies that are reasonable and maybe as time goes on I can embrace more spontaneity.
Right from the start this trip required that we reserve our RV site at the only RV park on the Disneyworld property Fort Wilderness. Although it is large park we are a big rig and the recommendations were to reserve in advance. We then picked a date on when we could get to Orlando with the stops we wanted to make on our way there. The next popular location was New Orleans. With only 2 days there we decided to stay at the popular French Quarter RV Resort that is close to the downtown tourist area. To guarantee a spot here I needed to reserve that in advance.
Getting between Salt Lake and New Orleans we can be more flexible; adjusting travel miles and stops based on weather. The next decision was searching for a good beach location along the gulf coast where we could spend a week. In my search and calling around it became apparent that I was going to have to again reserve early. This continued to be the case when looking at stops in Georgia and Charleston. Due to a rally in New Brunswick I was lucky that I called early and reserved one of the last spots at the RV park I wanted to stay at in the area. Not sure if we just showed up without a reservation, because of the rally, that we could have gotten a space at the park. So, we ended up with advance reservation on at least 75% of the eastbound route. Many of the cancellation policies at the resorts are reasonable and will allow refunds and changes so I am hopeful the trip will not have any unexpected issues that I will have to adjust our schedule. The westbound part of the trip is looking to be easier and we don't seem to have to plan as much other than the Memorial Day weekend. We were planning on being in the Denver area over Memorial Day but the popular campground I was interested in was already booked for that weekend, in addition, most every weekend through the entire summer and I was looking at availability 5 months out. I made some adjustments in our schedule that will put us outside the Denver area for that weekend and then got a site at the campground arriving on Memorial Day and leaving before the next weekend. I'm glad I didn't wait any longer on that one.
We will have stops to visit friends in Hutchinson, KS, Melbourne, FL, and Charleston, SC. On our way to Charleston I will finally get to visit Savannah. After Charleston, we will spend some time in the Blue Ridge/Smokey Mountain area for several rafting day trips.
I've found planning the trip can be as much of an adventure as the trip itself, although sometimes can seem frustrating. With much of the upcoming trip planning completed I can now relax. Snow is still accumulating at the resorts and this year is turning out to be an exceptional ski season. Brighton Ski Resort has a 146-inch base, year to date snowfall is at 513 inches and most are calling the skiing conditions epic. Mike will spend his non-skiing time in March doing some work on the RV and get it ready for the trip.
Still early in the planning stage but this will be a loop in the northwest U.S. We will visit Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho on our way to, hopefully, attend a small Newmar Rally in Spokane in September. We will travel the Oregon coast south from Portland to San Francisco before heading back to Salt Lake City.
|January Powder Day at Brighton Ski Resort|