Friday, September 24, 2010

Free Days Tomorrow. Visiting National Parks Without a Campground Reservation.P & N.

By Bob Difley
metolius river2"The slowly fading recession seems to have energized campers this season as campground usage is up and reservations become harder to nail down.

This becomes a particular problem with those of us who procrastinate, make last-minute travel decisions, or find ourselves wherever our RVs lead us–and most of the time without campground reservations.

But don’t let that discourage you from visiting the national parks, you just need to practice some tricks and tips for increasing your odds of securing a campsite.

Many of our national parks (NP) are adjacent to or surrounded by national forests (NF) that will have alternative camping options, ranging from improved campgrounds to boondocking in un-designated campsites. You can use these options for first night camping followed by a strategy of obtaining a NP campsite the next day, or as your main campsite from which you can visit the NP by tow or toad, returning each night to you NF campsite.

It would be all but impossible to obtain a campsite in the NP after a day’s travel, arriving in mid-afternoon or later, since most NP fill well before noon, even on week days. A NF campsite will probably be your best bet, since most private campgrounds or RV resorts will lie outside the forest on private land and well away from the NP. They are also often filled by reservations for the summer months and have few–if any–first-come spots.

Follow these tips for your best chances of getting a campsite when you have no reservation and with minimal hassle and stress.
  • Research the adjacent NF for campgrounds, identifying those that will fit your rig, and the location of the area office. "
More at:

More free days slated for national parks, federal lands

"The Interior Department has announced more free admission days to round out the balance of the year. Here’s the schedule:
September 25 (Public Lands Day)
November 11 (Veterans Day)"
Free at Smithsonian, too.    Saturday 25th. Sept.

"To receive your free Museum Day Ticket please enter your information into the fields below. Your Ticket will be emailed to you after you submit your information. Please remember to print and bring your ticket to your selected participating museum."


Ray arrived to work and I left him trying to clean the gasket that goes under the luggage carrier on Pugsy, while I drove down the road to pick up Jay.  We haven't been up on the roof of Pugsy, the vintage motor home, to re-install it yet.  The gasket had old caulk and junk stuck on it.   Even though it has been soaking in soapy water for days, it is still difficult to get it all scraped off.

Pamala, my sister-in-law, and my brother Nigel, are now on the last leg of their "Trip of a Lifetime".

It was May 30th. that Pamala and Nigel flew into Houston from England.

They bought the Dodge 3500 5.7 diesel dually in Houston, and the Lance cabover camper near Oklahoma City.

They flew over the Grand Canyon in a chopper.

They have been on Route 66 from OKC to California.

They saw where our mother was born in San Francisco.

Then they crossed Canada, up to Alaska, crossed the Arctic Circle.

They have seen lots of National Parks, National Forests (and Walmart parking lots) all along the trip.

Then they went to Guelph, Canada to visit relatives.

On to a speed boat ride at Niagara Falls, and now they have left Chicago to do the other part of Route 66 from there southwest to Oklahoma City.

Then they will drive south back to here, the full circle.

They have been to rodeos in OK and Calgary.

They went 'muddin'' at Delta Junction Fair.

They should be here within a week.

Ray washed the Puddle Jumper (little station wagon) as it never did rain here.  Jay and I attacked my two rooms of carpet.   I did a thorough vacuuming, and he wielded the carpet steam cleaner.  There are always chairs, coffee table, etc. to be picked up and moved out of the way.  That was my job, too.  He also cleaned the couch with the upholstery tool.  So it should be all spick and span, ready for my guests.

Paco, the foster Chihuahua, and old Misty, the rescued poodle, didn't know where to put themselves out of the way of the noisy machinery today.


Gypsy said...

I wonder approximately how many miles they will have covered when they return to Europe. To their friends who have never left the U.K. it will seem like driving around the world. When I lived in Ireland I found that folks there had no conception of the size of the U.S., except for the fortunate few who came here and traveled around, whereas most stayed in the Northeast or flew to the West Coast.

pidge said...

What is that in the bottom picture? When I clicked on it, it took me to facebook, but said pic was unavailable. It looks like a cute little car, but can't make it out.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for letting me know, Pidge.
It went straight to their FB album instead of the picture of one very muddy vehicle.
It was taken when they went Muddin' at Delta Junction Fair.
They do this a lot in England with their Landrover.