Running amok in our new, secret spot

Well, we’re back in the wilds, off in the boonies and deep in the wilderness where the wild things roam. Although we enjoyed our brief stint in civilization we were all overjoyed to let our hair down, blend back into nature and go amok in the privacy of our new great, big backyard. What’s even better perhaps is that we’ve found a gorgeous, remote and very quiet place to spend the craziness of Memorial Day Week-End, the details of which I’ll release shortly.

Which brings me to a question -> Am I the only one that dreads the big holidays? 

Even the beast seems happier out here

This week-end it seems everyone goes camping and for us full-timers that creates a dilemma, from a planning point of view. You see ideally I hate to plan, preferring to let the wind blow us in whatever direction smells best. New Mexico has been perfect for that with an abundance of first-come-first-serve sites (including the secret gem where we’re parked now), but I know when we go North into Colorado for summer I’ve got to plan the stops as well as where we’re going to be for those big, pesky holidays. I have to do this not only because CO is popular and has a ton of reservation sites (which get booked up fast), but also because our beastly size means there’s less choice of those forest mountain campgrounds that we love so much.

Thankfully I’ve got a system. This involves a stiff drink, some patience (admittedly intermingled with bouts of cursing), quite a bit of guessing, a few handfuls of luck and a multitude of hours pouring over cheap and natural campgrounds. And I’m proud to say I’ve done it folks. Many bottles later we have a full plan for June through August (all in the wilds) which I thought I’d share with others in case our paths cross:

  • June = New Mexico – Rummaging around Northern New Mexico. No firm plans here since we can rely on first-come-first serve sites
  • July = Colorado - This year we’re going to explore some of SW Colorado driving from New Mexico into Pagosa Springs, heading West to Durango and then following a meandering route up to Grand Junction.
  • August = Idaho – We’ll be crossing into Idaho via Wyoming and the Flaming Gorge (just on the tip of NE Utah) and then heading steadily West towards Boise. I’ve got a family reunion back in Denmark which I’m flying to from there after which things are open.

Visually I plotted our campgrounds into Microsoft Streets and Trips, and took a snapshot of the general routing for viewing. We’ve planned a combo of National Forest (NFS) and State Park stops all the way. Driving details may change, but most of the main campgrounds are locked in, so here we go (click on the maps for a bigger view):

JULY TRAVEL – SW COLORADO

AUGUST TRAVEL – SOUTHERN IDAHO

So, if anyone fancies a meet-up, just lemme know and I’ll give ya details of our dates at each spot. Our cellar is full…for now anyway.

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36 Responses to Back in the Wilds and Summer Planning

  1. Marsha says:

    On our way from OK City, we tried to get into every TX state park from the border to Houston and ALL of them were booked solid. Every CEO and forest park ALL booked. We had to stay in a campground. Thank goodness it was only $14 for the night.
    Your plans sound great. We won’t be out that way this year or we will try for sure to meet up with you two. Enjoy your secret spot.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Marsha,
      Yup, I know exactly what you mean. I know most people love the
      reservation system, but I have a hard time with it. I much prefer a good
      bunch of first-come-first-serve sites. What a bummer everything
      was booked up for you guys!
      Nina

  2. Mark S says:

    looks like a great plan Nina. I noticed you’ve mentioned the beast is sometimes a little big for the type of places you guys like to seek out. Have you thought about what you would buy if you could start over? Class C? Smaller A? Just curious what you guys think would be the sweet spot for you.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Mark,
      It’s a good question and one we talk about alot. I think the sweet spot might
      be something around 30-feet either smaller A, or 5th wheel or class C.
      Slides & floorplan make such a big difference, and I think 30 foot
      w/ slides would be a good compromise….still spacious enough,
      but also very versitile. There’s a whole lot more sites in the mountains
      that open up in that size-range.
      Nina

  3. Walt N Becky says:

    August in idaho !! perfect, come on up to McCall, You will LOVE it ! last day of career work is Monday ! yahoo, then onto Idaho to start the Full Timer Thing… keep posting love hearing from you guys. maybe we will cross paths in August.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oooooo…how exciting!! We’ll look at McCall and see how things go in Aug.
      If we make it there we will most definitely look you up!
      CONGRATS on the upcoming full-timing!!
      Nina

  4. Terry & Linda says:

    We are not up to the point of dreading the hoiliday weekends but we do approach them with some apprehension. We plan ahead and make sure we are locked in for the weekend. In addition to having a reservation, we have found that we often have to put up with boorish behavior by the holiday warriors. Good thing it’s usually only the 3 big summer holidays.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Indeed. I have to admit that the big weekends get rather too
      noisy & crazy for me too. We usually try to chose an
      out-of-the-way campground that’s not too popular, but sometimes
      it’s hard to plan it perfectly.
      Nina

  5. kayjulia says:

    I have learned to detest the holidays the weekend warriors are at their worst trying to do to much in to little time, distracted and sometimes drunk-not a good combination. I usually hide out for the holidays and wait till it is all over before venturing out on the highways and byways. That is just MHO of course.

    I will be following a similar route north through NM, then CO ver off into WY and SD then back again to ID to visit the grandkids for a few weeks then UT,AZ for the Winter.
    Have fun :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Kay,
      Yup, I agree on the “hiding”…that’s what we try to do too :)
      DO let us know if you’re planning to stop at any of the campgrounds we’re looking at.
      Would love to meet up!
      We’ll be here in Northern NM for a while, probably around Taos for a while and then
      heading back towards Heron Lake.
      Nina

  6. jil mohr says:

    How is driving the mountain roads in New Mexico and where you are planning on going this summer?….you know me not a fan of large number grades or winding curvy roads…;-)

    also if you are going to be in Idaho Falls they have a free city park there that is nice….

    • libertatemamo says:

      Jil,
      So far the roads in New Mexico have been good. We’ve driven
      some narrow roads (in Gila and Manzano Mountains), but nothing
      steep/scary. Most of NM seems to be higher desert plateau
      and the mountains rise out of that. So, you can drive around
      on the flatter roads most of the time. We’ll be spending the
      next month near Taos, Angel Fire, Santa Fe and then driving
      north into CO.
      Nina

  7. Daniel says:

    Hi Guys,
    Great route and plan,we did most of it and enjoyed the area very much.
    In Idaho we experienced a huge fire overnight next to the C.G next to Stanley but woke up in the morning covered with SNOW…that helped the firefighters.
    We too like to follow the “wind” what gives us the ultimate traveling flexibility ,we like it we stay ,we don’t like it we move..
    Have a great summer and visit to Denmark.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Daniel…snow! You know that’s the one thing we’ve avoided thus far in the RV.
      I wonder how much longer we’ll hold out before running into it.
      Glad to hear you guys liked the area. We’re looking very much
      forward to our trip up there!
      Nina

  8. I know we’re new and all, but my attitude towards the holiday weekends are different. It was only last summer that I was still “working in the normal sense” and the holiday weekends were the only time I could sneak away and camp with my sister and family.Yes, the campgrounds are busy with those trying to have too much fun in too short a time, but give the working stiffs a break! there are rude, boorish people wherever you go, whenever you are going, right? Overall, I still feel that we meet the nicest folks in a campground. The three days will be over fast enough, and we’ll have our quiet areas back again until July 4…happy Memorial Day folks, and remember, it’s really about those who have served, bless their souls!

    • libertatemamo says:

      We do enjoy the people we meet at the campgrounds, and
      I can totally understand why working folks want to get out.
      Nina

  9. How we’d love to meet up with you! But we are locked into California starting the middle of next week, and when our locked in plans are completed, then we’ll start heading back to southeast Arizona. But we’ll be with you in spirit, and perhaps in spirits as well!

  10. We had an awful time finding dispersed camping in Florida last Thanksgiving – EVERYONE was out camping and hunting that week! Damn holidays…. We ended up on the beach during the day and in parking lots at night, lol.

    When you get to Boise make sure to try some Basque food! Most of the restaurants we found were a little pricier (not in the $ range, mostly $$), but the food was delicious and culturally distinct.

    Looks like you guys have a great route! :)

  11. Hey guys,

    When in southern CO, check out the Bayfield area (just east of Durango) for some nice campgrounds. We were up there and most had riverfront and just all around great scenery.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thank you for the tip! We’ll definitely check it out. This will be all new territory for us.
      Nina

  12. Mark says:

    Nina, I feel your pain. No fan of the holidays here, too crazy. When I reach the point where home is where my RV is I am considering looking for nearby events such as Chili Cookoffs or Rib Festivals so I might feel somewhat compensated for toughing it out. If not I guess there’s always learning to live with the inevitable and a good bottle of wine or tequila.

    • libertatemamo says:

      A good drink will make many a merry night :)
      It’s not been too bad here this week-end. We had one big group of 10 tenters set-up
      near the campground, but they were not too noisy, thank goodness.
      Nina

  13. jil mohr says:

    thanks for answering…out of curiosity do you use the mountain roads book when planning your routes….

    • libertatemamo says:

      We do check it just to make sure there are no low tunnels or
      crazy steep roads or anything like that. It’s been useful for us a couple of times.
      Nina

  14. jil mohr says:

    re: the mountain books…thanks…i use them all the time and plan accordingly was wondered if you did for planning your NM/CO etc trip….good for me to know as I think we will do some of this next summer….depending on which way the wind blows of course :-)

  15. If you are planning on visiting Mesa Verde NP, you can get the Beast into several of the campsites inside the NP. There are about 10-15 sites which will accommodate a 40 footer. In 2009 we spent 11 days in the park over the Labor Day holiday. There is a lot to see and do in Mesa Verde and it is a lot easier if you stay in the park.
    Take a look at our blog of our stay for more info:
    http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/2009/09/colorado-august-25-27-2009-silverton-to.html
    By the way I love your blog/journal. Lots of great info.

    Al & Sharon

    • libertatemamo says:

      THANKS so much for the tip! We’re hoping to stay somewhere around
      there so will keep that one in our back pocket. Lovely pics on your blog,
      by the way!
      Nina

  16. Sheila says:

    I don’t know if your plans allow for a side trip over to the Salida and Brena Vista areas; however if you have the time I believe you guys would enjoy visiting these two historic towns. (You might have been there already, but if not look them up on the web.)

    Enjoy Ouray! We were there a few times back in the late 70’s. My gosh what a beautiful place!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Cheers for the tip Sheila! I’ll definitely look ‘em up.
      Always great to get ideas for places to go!
      Nina

  17. […] right in the heart of the Rockies. This year we’ll be spending a month or so exploring the southern and southeast reaches of the state. I have no doubt we’ll be just as enamoured. Colorado has a special vibe that […]

  18. TrailTJ says:

    When are ya’ll going to be in Ridgway? We’ll be there in July and would love to just meet you if our paths cross. We have been quietly following your adventures and wish we could spend more time on the road.

    While in the Ouray area, a hike to the Old 100 Boarding House is always a good choice.

    • libertatemamo says:

      We’re going to be there July 18-25th…do those dates work for you?
      We’re booked in at the State Park there (Elk Ridge loop if I remember correctly)
      Always interested to meet people on the road, so would absolutely love to meet up!
      Lemme know…feel free to send an e-mail.
      Nina

  19. Vickey says:

    Nina, what will you be using to plot your routes now that MS is discontinuing Streets & Trips? I like the labeling, pinning, and other customizing available. Not sure what else is out there that offers the same level of personalization.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sorry for the late reply. Missed this one the first time around.

      Honestly I have NO idea. Street Atlas by Delorme seems to be the only comparable product. I’ve never used it myself, but have heard others who have (and like it). I may give it a try. We’ll see.

      Nina

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