Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: September 2020 Suggestions/Advice
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 > September 2020 Suggestions/Advice

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padredw

East Texas

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Posted: 01/13/20 07:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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Badlands/Blackhills; Great Sand dunes, Buena Vista area, Mesa Verde Colorado.


I will make a few comments about this choice of routes as I have extensive experience with most of it. I'l give some specific possibilities.

For the first days drive from central Texas you could go to either Caprock Canyon State Park (about 370 miles from Waco) or, if you only want an overnight convenient spot, to Ole Town Cotton Gin RV at Goodlett, Texas (about 290 miles). For the second day you could drive to Raton Pass, NM where there is a very nice overnight now called Raton Pass RV Park (about 350 miles from previous stop).

Great Sand Dunes is only 128 miles from Raton Pass, but I would suggest the possibility that you leave early and make Sand Dunes a day stop and drive on to Buena Vista for a late afternoon arrive the same day. After all it is only 100 miles on from Sand Dunes--a couple of hours.

Now, after Buena Vista I think you have to choose between Black Hills or Mesa Verde. They are opposite directions from Buena Vista. Either way is a good choice. If you choose Black Hills, I would certainly suggest that you make a visit to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. September is an ideal time as someone above has pointed out. Estes Park is an easy day's drive from Buena Vista and I can give you some suggestions about the route as I have made it many times.

From Estes Park to Custer, SD and the Black Hills is just a bit over 300 miles which makes a good day's drive. Many good camping choices in the Custer State Park and surrounding commercial campgrounds. I think the Black Hills could be the terminus of a two week trip.

Let's say 1 night at Ole Town, 1 night at Raton Pass, 3 nights at Buena Vista, 3 nights at Estes Park, 3 nights at Custer as an example, that leaves only 4 or 5 nights for return trip. And any one of those 3 night stays could easily be extended rather than adding any other stops.

Anyway, I hope this will help you in making final plans. You do have to be specific about miles and nights.

I could make just as good a case for going from Buena Vista through Gunnison and Ouray to Mesa Verde and back through Durango and Santa Fe. Just let me know by PM if you wish to see that possibility, or if I might answer any questions about either route.





southerngirl76

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Posted: 01/13/20 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow this is what I was was hoping for! I've now got lots of links and things to check out. I appreciate all the suggestions and advice.

And Busskipper - brown hair, green eyes....haha. I put all of that information in my original post so you guys don't have to ask. I see posts where there is hardly any info given and then it just takes longer to get solid info.

Off to research!

southerngirl76

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Posted: 01/13/20 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GDS-3950BH wrote:

At least someone gave you their opinion how you should go about raising your children from an education perspective. Not sure what that had to do with a family vacation, but these RV forums never cease to amaze, ROFLMAO.


I mostly skipped over that part. I've been homeschooling for 15 years.....I'm not stranger to unsolicited advice, I just roll with it.

southerngirl76

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Posted: 01/13/20 10:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

accsys wrote:

We have been all over the southwest a few times and, in our opinion, the Chaco Culture National Historic Monument has by far the best collection of "ancient" structures but it is also the hardest to reach. Our 2013 blog post has many pictures you might like to see.

We also visited Hovenweep and Mesa Verde in 2011 with pictures of those two available at our Cortez, CO blog post.

Just about anywhere you go in the desert SW will have an ancient structure or two. The biggest problem is time as you need to travel from place to place and many of them take awhile to get to.


Really enjoyed your blog post and photos. Thanks for sharing and adding to the info.

Busskipper

Arnold,Md/Superior, CO

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Posted: 01/13/20 10:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

southerngirl76 wrote:

Wow this is what I was was hoping for! I've now got lots of links and things to check out. I appreciate all the suggestions and advice.

And Busskipper - brown hair, green eyes....haha. I put all of that information in my original post so you guys don't have to ask. I see posts where there is hardly any info given and then it just takes longer to get solid info.

Off to research!


And I bet the DD is the of the Age and Looks that you need an Armed Guard at the door - (Joke)

You have a lot of good advice in this post - padredw Knows Texas and has likely traveled all these routes - his advice on CG's is likely Spot on - I use Wal*Mart in getting here to there, and Boondock often, seldom making reservations except on Summer weekends, so will seldom recommend a CG.

Durango and Aspen will provide relief for the DD - Mesa Verde and Canyon de Chelly will take care of the DS as to your stated wishes.

Alpine Loop and Owl Creek Pass along with the Bells and the Drive on Independence Pass to Aspen should keep you and your Hubby Happy so this might just work - Look for Devils Punch Bowl as a side stop on Independence Pass- if still warm all could take the Jump - usually others there in September - Punch Bowl Images - Quincy's for a Steak or Vegetarian Dinner at an affordable price in Buena Vista - along with K's for lunch.

Arkansas River and Crested Butte just across Cottonwood Pass, along with all the Collegiates and those Trails/Lakes..

Then The San Juan's - as close to heaven as I've ever found. Lake City if Ouray is too Busy/Big.

On and On .. Yes I love Colorado - Wal*Mart in Gunnison to resupply after Buena Vista area........

Sorry,getting excited - as we will likely do this Trip with the Granddaughters, both East and West, this Summer, Oh how I Love Colorado.

Last a link for Ouray - 3 Days in Ouray

Sorry I got carried away again but........


Busskipper
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southerngirl76

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Posted: 01/13/20 11:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the Grand Canyon ends up being our destination, how many nights would you suggest? If we visited Sunsest Canyon on our way and camped in the nearby national forest overnight then we could enter on the east side and take desert view drive to mather campground. Maybe 2 nights? What are some south rim things we shouldn't miss?

southerngirl76

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Posted: 01/13/20 12:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You would be correct about DD!

I am sick today and holding down the couch so this is a perfect time to research and plan! Colorado is my absolute favorite place. I grew up vacationing there. I have pretty much eliminated Yellowstone and am trying to decide now between Colorado or Arizona. Decisions, decisions.......

Busskipper

Arnold,Md/Superior, CO

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Posted: 01/13/20 01:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

southerngirl76 wrote:

If the Grand Canyon ends up being our destination, how many nights would you suggest? If we visited Sunset Canyon on our way and camped in the nearby national forest overnight then we could enter on the east side and take desert view drive to mather campground. Maybe 2 nights? What are some south rim things we shouldn't miss?


As it appears I'm the only one still on the Computer today - IMHO - Grand Canyon South is just Too Crowded to be an Activities destination if not making it a Major - Lottery Hike - down into the Canyon - North Rim in September and October for Me.

If that where the Choice then, Monument Valley - Page - Horseshoe bend of the Colorado - Lake Powell - Canyon de Chelly - possibly Mesa Verde or Chaco Canyon.

Not really much of an expert on the GC/south just - as Beautiful and Impressive as it is - think it's been 20 years since the last trip, with probably 4-5 trips to the North Side and loving it each time...............so

Will advise you to wait on others to comment, as it's not my sort of place.

JMHO,

For me Crowds are not why we RV - get me on a trail with more Animals than People, that will make Me smile.

southerngirl76

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Posted: 01/13/20 06:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Busskipper wrote:

southerngirl76 wrote:

If the Grand Canyon ends up being our destination, how many nights would you suggest? If we visited Sunset Canyon on our way and camped in the nearby national forest overnight then we could enter on the east side and take desert view drive to mather campground. Maybe 2 nights? What are some south rim things we shouldn't miss?


As it appears I'm the only one still on the Computer today - IMHO - Grand Canyon South is just Too Crowded to be an Activities destination if not making it a Major - Lottery Hike - down into the Canyon - North Rim in September and October for Me.

If that where the Choice then, Monument Valley - Page - Horseshoe bend of the Colorado - Lake Powell - Canyon de Chelly - possibly Mesa Verde or Chaco Canyon.

Not really much of an expert on the GC/south just - as Beautiful and Impressive as it is - think it's been 20 years since the last trip, with probably 4-5 trips to the North Side and loving it each time...............so

Will advise you to wait on others to comment, as it's not my sort of place.

JMHO,

For me Crowds are not why we RV - get me on a trail with more Animals than People, that will make Me smile.


Yeah I'm with you on the crowds. Not a fan. We went on a family cruise a couple of years ago at the request of my mother in law and it was totally not for me. It was so loud and crowded and I will not do that again. However, I figure I could handle a day at the south rim if it meant taking the kids to see it once. As of now I have ruled out Yellowstone and Blackhills for this trip. I'm trying to decide on Colorado - so many choices there, or Grand Canyon down to maybe Kartchner Caverns, Tombstone (to appease my husband's love of the wild west) Bisbee. I do so love Colorado though and my son has never seen mountains. Well traveled for a seven year old but never mountains.

I ran some things by my daughter today and she said "yeah mom that all sounds fun....I don't know how you will choose". Gee thanks kiddo! Haha

Janss

Sedona, AZ

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Posted: 01/13/20 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I guess you'll just have to flip a coin. Will you be taking a family vacation again in the next year or two? If so, just do the other choice later. But if another vacation won't be around the same time of year, I would do Colorado this time simply because of the good chance of catching elk rut season and beautiful golden aspens.

Of course, if you do a future trip during the heat of summer, you won't want to go to southern AZ!


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2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara

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