So - We decided that if we didn't do it now, we might not get the chance again. Barb and I have been blessed to have traveled around the world, seeing much of Europe, Thailand, Australia, Fiji and most of Hawaii, but never been to the western parks of the US.
At 73 our chances of having the opportunity and ability to travel much longer is getting shorter. This summer we said would be it.
We started planning by getting out a 3' by 4' map of the US and using the internet, a Readers Digest Book that Rick and Jo gave us called Most Scenic Drives in America and some AAA information laid out all the places with Red pins on the map which was mounted on cork board. We drew in all the scenic routes in the states west of the Mississippi and started charting our course.
We had to determine what would become of our responsibities here at home since we estimated we whould be 2 months. Of course we knew there was the exposure to getting saddle sore or tired of traveling and just come home early but we wanted to have it covered if we truly were to become like the 70's era hippies and wanted to continue our trip.
Greg agreed to house sit while we are gone, and Hannah Brown an OT in training is going to "replace" me helping Jenny with Josh. With those things covered, we believe we can travel and not be overly concerned for things going on at home.
We had a 6 year old car and so early on in our planning replaced it so we would be more sure of not breaking down in East Ying Yang.
We decided since there is a bedbug epidemic in the US, we would not take suitcases but buy plastic drawers that will stay in the car and we will take each nights fresh clothes into the motel in plastic bags, with the dirty ones coming out in plastic bags in the morning. Kovariks Hardware in Binghamton had spray and the clerk seemed to be an expert in the subject, providing documents on avoidance, and proper use of the spray.
The center row of seats in the van will not make the trip, giving us plenty of space for the drawers, with all the other essentials stowed in various specific containers (medicines, toiletries, etc.)
We also will be prepared should we not find a motel open somewhere - pillows and blankets and perhaps an air mattress - jury still out on the latter.
We made reservations for the first couple weeks well ahead of time since we would go to popular places first; Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Banff National Park, Glacier then to the Seattle area. We stopped making reservations since we were not sure how long to stay in the Olympic Peninsula area. Thats where we are with our planning today. We leave June 3rd, a Friday and head directly for Rapid City SD with just 2 overnights along the way.
I hope I will be able to keep up the posts and not succumb to fatigue when we get the the motels each night.