Monday November 25th 2019
Today started very early. I was up before five this morning to be on the computer at 8AM Eastern Standard Time. The reservation system for the state of Florida releases new sites in the state parks for reservations at 8AM eleven months ahead. My goal was to book a campsite in the Florida Keys for two weeks starting on October 25th 2020.
My research last week showed that six sites big enough to accommodate my RV would be available in one campground and a few more in another one. Promptly at the top of the hour I hit the enter key to book my first choice. Someone else beat me to it. The same applied to the next two attempts. On the fourth try I had success. I now have a site booked for two weeks in the Marathon Florida area. I’ll be able to range up and down the keys from there.
I have two weeks to figure out my next stop at the end of next year, but I really need to work on the six months between April and October. My problem is the volume of country to chose from and the much higher level of unknowns. The eastern side of the Rockies is my primary focus, but I really don’t want to get into the higher elevation until the end of May. The planning dilemmas start with finding a touring area for late April and May, and booking a place for the three big holidays; Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Many of the places in the snow belt don’t open reservations until after the new year. The other thing I need to guard against is a tendency to attempt to travel too much and try to do too much.
Right now I’m thinking I’ll stay in Utah most of April and May. At the end of May or beginning of June I’ll cross the Rockies into Wyoming. I’ll probably cross on Interstate 80 since it has more predictable grades. During the remainder of June and July I’ll tour in Wyoming and maybe the western side of the Dakotas. Right now, I think the Dakotas are a stretch. August will find me traveling south along the eastern side of the Rockies through Colorado. At the beginning of September I’ll turn east along the Interstate 40 corridor all the way to the east coast.
As I isolate particular places I want to visit and things I want to do, my current thoughts are likely to change. Given my understanding of Florida camping during the winter and general knowledge of the area, I expect I’ll have much of next winter booked before I have the summer figured out. Planning is necessary to get into the areas I want and to reduce the risk of not having a good place to stay. I still don’t like it. I would prefer to be much more spontaneous.