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Old 07-31-2013, 04:38 PM   #1
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As my wife and I anticipate receipt of our 19' next year, we are starting to dream about our travels. In our working lives, it's always been about the destination. Now, as we plan on traveling during retirement, the goal will be to enjoy the journey. I've seen how many keep the daily distance down. We will have solar, plan on staying in National Forest/Parks with our senior pass to keep the fees to a minimum. If our driving distance per day is low, our ability to stay on the road stays affordable. So my question is how do others decide what to see on their journeys?
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:39 PM   #2
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kstock11, camping in National Parks is very costly even for seniors. A full service site, without the yearly pass, in Jasper or Banff or the Hot Springs is nearly $55.00. The seniors rate will save you about $2.00.
They are however the most beautiful places I've been to. My wife and I spend most of our camping enjoyment out doors so we've spent very little energy on bells and whistles. Twin batteries and solar is about the extent of our mods. Provincial Parks on or very near lakes are our usual destination. Most Provincial Parks are "dry camp sites" ( water at taps only and pit toilets or a few flush. About every 4th day we take a private full service site to dump and refresh.
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:08 PM   #3
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Yep, the passes do add to the cost. I always have had an annual pass ($135.40 for our family) because of skiing, mountain biking, canoeing, hiking, etc, so I don't could in a daily Park Fee to my camping costs. It still is worth the costs to get to see some of the fantastic sites these parks have to offer.

I have camped in Jasper and Banff campsites a few times over the last few years. I go for the 'Primitive' sites for the most part. I know one of my favourites in Jasper is Wilcox Creek, and it is only $15.70 per night. This campground has really nice, large campsites, and in a gorgeous setting. They do not have showers, but do have good toilets, clean water, and a dump station. The most expensive in Jasper Park is Whistlers near Jasper townsite, with full services, is $38.50. Lots of prices in between those too.
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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As a resident in the states one of the best values out there is the America the Beautiful pass. At 62 you can purchase this for $10. With this, camping in National Parks/Forests is 1/2 price. I'm able to camp in the Great Smoky Mountains for $11 per night!
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:34 PM   #5
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Jim, what is considered a family in regards to a yearly pass? If I bought the pass could my daughter make use of it in our rig with her sister and two friends?
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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A Family/Group Pass is for one car/truck. Number of occupants doesn't matter. We have loaned ours out to visitors a few times too.
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:47 PM   #7
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Thanks Jim.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:27 PM   #8
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While I sure everyone has their own way of putting together a trip, what I do is read many, many travel & RV blogs written by people who actually travel. When someone describes or posts photos of a place that looks interesting to me, I copy a link to the page & stick it in my "Next Trip" folder. I also keep a text file for text clippings of interesting places in the same folder. When I'm ready to travel, I plan my route to hit as many of the interesting places as possible.

Another very useful set of three books is Photographing the Southwest: Southern Utah, Arizona, and Colorado/New Mexico. by Laurent Martres. While these books are designed as guides for photographers, they will lead you to some of the most amazing places in the Southwest. Better than any travel guide I've found.

Finally, talk to both locals & people in what ever campground you are visiting as well as the rangers and campground hosts at state & national parks. They will often make suggestions of local attractions that are not on any mass market guide, but can be wonderful places to visit.

These techniques have worked well for two long (111 day & 138 day) cross country trips as well as a short 37 day trip to Nova Scotia.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:34 PM   #9
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Thanks for the insights Jon. Your trips are what convinced me that the way to go is to limit the miles traveled per day. Seems like it makes more sense to cover 1000 miles in 10 days than hustle to the mid point, stay a while and hustle back. I have gotten to be an expert in the Southeast. Living in a tourist area, I have found many different things that most are not aware of here. Now, the branching out will begin!
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Mac View Post
Jim, what is considered a family in regards to a yearly pass? If I bought the pass could my daughter make use of it in our rig with her sister and two friends?
The annual Parks canada pass is a plastic card that you hang from your rear view mirror in your car. It is easily moved from one vehicle to another and is good at all National Parks across Canada.
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