Western Trip Summary

We started our first long RV adventure on June 27, 2015. We had made the decision just three weeks prior to move to California so Jess could enroll in the UC Davis Extension Master Brewers Program; we knew that when we returned we would have to kick things into high gear to prepare the house for sale (we had our floors refinished while we were gone). Looking back, it is hard to believe we got it all done. And it is still rather surreal that a year later we are packing up our California rental to move to Colorado.

Since it has been so long since our trip, the format for posts will be different from our California move. This summary post will be followed by posts focusing on our favorite/least favorite campgrounds, side trips made along the way, and anything else that may require a stand alone post. These stand alone posts will likely be due excessive length as a result of our poor self-editing skills. Some of our notes (including total gallons of diesel and mileage) have been misplaced in a cross-country move.

2015 Summer Trip
2015 Summer Trip

The trip was approximately 5200 miles, including side trips. We used about 345 gallons of diesel, averaging right around 15 miles per gallon.

We started our trip on June 27, 2015 and were back July 16, 2015. Just shy of 3 full weeks and resulting in an average of 273 miles traveled per day.

Family selfie just before leaving the driveway.
Family selfie just before leaving the driveway.

The trip started out on a rainy, mechanical break down note with Abby’s turbo resonator failing, but after our first day hiccup, it was smooth sailing. We had a great time visiting family and friends along our route. And they were always very kind in giving us a place to park, do laundry, and shower in a full size bathroom!

The whirlwind trip took us to four national parks, a national monument, a national recreation area, two national forests, and seven state parks. We definitely erred in wedged too many sights into our trip schedule; we learned from our errors on this trip and corrected them for future trips.

Campgrounds:

  1. Great River Bluffs State Park, MN – overnight rest stop only
  2. Palisades State Park, SD – 2 night stop, rest day

    Palisades State Park in South Dakota
    Palisades State Park in South Dakota
  3. Custer State Park, SD – 2 night stop (Grace Coolidge, Sylvan Lake)
  4. Yellowstone National Park, WY – overnight (Fishing Creek)
  5. Grand Teton National Park, WY – overnight (Lizard Creek)
  6. Bridger-Teton National Forest, WY – overnight (East Table)
  7. Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, UT – overnight
  8. San Juan National Forest, CO – 2 night stop (Junction Creek)
  9. Mueller State Park, CO – overnight

    2015_Mueller
    View of Pike’s Peak (under cloud cover) from Mueller State Park.
  10. Rocky Mountain National Park, CO – 2 night stop (Olive Ridge – technically just outside the park)
  11. Mormon Island State Recreation Area, NE – overnight
  12. Starved Rock State Park, IL – overnight
  13. West Branch State Park, OH – overnight

    2015_WestBranch
    View for our campsite in West Branch State Park, OH. Our last night on the road.

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