RV Travelers’ Bucket List

When I sent out my call for The RV travelers Bucket List, I hadn’t yet thought about how to organize the results.  I see a simple alphabetical list of states wont do.  My route will not be alphabetic.  And some suggestions sprawled across several states. So, I decided think regions.

In my earliest geography classes the country was divided up into four regions.  The Northeast, the South, the Mid-West and the Far West.

But in later classes, the divisions were finer: New England, the Middle Atlantic States, the Appalachians, the Great Plains, the Rockies, and the West Coast.

And today the jigsaw puzzle pieces are still smaller, the Northwest, Southwest, Mississippi Valley.

Travel themes need not be defined as regions.  They could be  history, for example:  The Lewis & Clark Trail, Route 66, Civil War Battlefields — or not regionally at all.  My travel Map will be overlaid with the locations of maritime museums, restored US fighting ships, and chocolate manufacturers who offer plant tours.

I looked in 1000 Places to See Before You Die.  They had some good ideas.  My organization is a slight variation of theirs

I am still not sure about what to do with the state that is adjacent to the confluence of the mid west, the Miss valley, the south, and abuts the Atlantic coast states.

Over 60 people shared their suggestions.  The RV traveler’s bucket list.  The list does not belong to me.  It belongs to everyone who contributed and those whose comments include future suggestions. I am the editor.  Leave your comments and your interesting suggestions that they will add value for us all. It will take a little time to get everything posted and the additions and corrections will likely begin before the whole list is up.  You can post your comments and your own additions in the box at the end of the page.

NorthWest

Washington

Komlculchan/Skuksan and Danish town near Stevens Pass (Mt. Baker)

Mt Rainier

Lower Hadlock, Ajax Cafe

Ilwaco, Beard’s Hollow.

http://www.skyvalleychronicle.com/MISCELLANEOUS-NEWS-ITEMS/NEW-BEARDS-HOLLOW-OCEAN-OVERLOOK-OPENS-NEW-ILWACO   (Marcella)

Route 20 to Winthrop (Jamie W)

Kalama, Washington

Gig Harbor is an interesting small harbor near Tacoma

Olympic Peninsula and into the Hoh Rain Forest.  Be aware though that it is typically rainy and cold.  Even in the summer I could find snow drifts eight foot and higher in the summer by the roadside.

Forks, Washington during the Loggers Rodeo.  July 4.  An inside look at the local logging culture. Forks, is, I recall, is the westernmost point in the contiguous United States.

Neah Bay. Neah Indian Reservation cultural center.

Bremerton, Washington, the Battleship Missouri

Port Townsend, an artist colony.

Sequim is a retirement community and one of the few sunshine patches on the Peninsula.

Port Angeles, where you can catch a ferry to Vancouver, Canada

Hike Gobbler’s Knob, nr Seattle

Seattle, the original REI.

Oregon

Columbia river (colleen)

Hells Canyon and the Columbia River gorge.  but it usually takes birders to want to get up into the Owyhee breaks and the high desert of the Snake River plain. (Alex)

Highway 97 from Redmond to the Columbia River gorge early in the morning in July to see the patchwork quilt of small farms covering the rolling hills of the valley. (Jim B)

Port Orford, and its arts colony . (Linda B)

Sisters (Colleen)

Crater Lake (Don M.)

Brookings, OR.

Gold Beach (the mouth of the Rogue River)

Florence and Klamath Falls

Bandon, the fishery and old military grounds

Florence and Cannon BeachTillamook cheese factory.

Portland, The Rose Garden

Mt. Hood (and the WPA-built lodge

Ashland, the Shakespeare Festival

OC&E Trail in Olene, OR

Idaho

Craters of the Moon NP (AL, Alex)

Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene; in southern Idaho, the

Sawtooth Mountains

Redfish Lake is pleasant (assuming you have room in your RV for a gallon of mosquito repellant – a shotgun might be about as effective);

Any fork of the Salmon river are good fishing

McCall, north of Boise.

John Day and the Jordan Valley over in the Columbia Plateau in southern idaho, (Alex)

Coeur D’Alene

CalNeva

CALIFORNIA

Eureka,CA, dont miss the Blue OX Millworks, maybe the finest collection of working Victotian woodworking machinery, also an old printing shop, forge, loom, etc. And now a charter school.
Foot of X St. the building was my first boat shop (1948 to 1952) Eric and Viviana Hollenback. (Dick Newick)

Mt Lassen .

Yosemite, half dome, the falls, the Ahwanee,

Death Valley

Eldorado National Forest website. access route I suggested is closed due to bridge construction until sometime in October.  Take Ice House Tie Road instead.  The Wrights Lake Campground (campsites reservation only) website has directions.

June Lakes loop in the east Sierras off of Hwy 295 (David George)

Ishi country in northern California. Have you read the book with that name?  If not, it’s a good story about California’s last living Indian.

Shasta County and the land described by Joaquin Miller in Life Among the Modocs.

Redding.

Ft. Bragg

Ocotillo Wells Vehicular Recreation Area: Adjoins the park on the southeast corner.

Historic & Points of Interest

Glass Beach, Eureka, CA (site of old glass factory – beach = LITTERED with pebbles!)

Salinas, John Steinbeck Museum.

Lake Diaz, Lone Pine, on 395.

Jawbone Canyon, (BLM)  E of Bakersfield.

Anza Borrega State Park.  The largest state park in the country.  Nearly the size of Connecticut.  Late March/early April for wildflowers.

NEVADA

Strombsburg City Park.  Rte. 81 Free. (in ’03)

Great Basin NP

Cowboy Poetry Festival

The trip from Los Angeles though the Mojave to Las Vegas and then up through the Virgin River Canyon to the top of western Utah
and down to Bryce is good. (Dirk
)

Southwest/Four Corners

ARIZONA

Sedona

Oak Creek Canyon (Colleen)

Havasu Falls on the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

Aravaipa Canyon Northeast of Tucson, Arizona is fantastic. Camp Verde has an interesting closed military fort, indian hieroglyphics, and the wondrous Julius Castle indian site.

Flagstaff

Prescott

Phoenix area, Buckeye Military Reservation to the West and Apache Junction to Florence Junction and the area near Superstition Wilderness to the East).

Oracle Junction north of Tucson and the area southwest that includes Benson, Green Valley, Bisbee and Fort Bowie National Historical Site

Tubac, an arts town, about 60 miles south of Tucson

Carlsbad Caverns

Havasupai Falls, http://www.havasupaitribe.com/waterfalls.html (ethan)

NEW MEXICO

Turquoise Trail

Santa Fe

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum,

Taos, good hiking and biking, offers an active bike club (http://www.taoscycleclub.com/BIZyCart.asp?ACTION=Home&CLIENT=CycleClub). The famous Ghost Ranch http://www.ghostranch.org/ near Abiquiu, The Ghost Ranch a offers retreat like writing, meditative and painting seminars.

The Valle Grande, Bandelier National Monument,

Atomic Museum near Los Alamos,

From Santa Fe take the old High Road to Taos – stop in Chimayo and see the restored church.  Drive to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge less than 5 miles outside of Taos – nice easy hike along the rim from the parking area.  Do NOT miss Earth Ship; take the tour – it’s an hour or so if you don’t have to wait You will Keep going and do the loop through (or take the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Rail) from Chama – very high county – to Antonito (you’ll loop up into Colorado) back down through Georgia O’Keefe’ Albuque.  Then loop back to Santa Fe.

UTAH

The trip from Bryce through southern Utah and to Four Corners and Durango on down the Chama River Valley to Taos and Santa Fe is also a good one. (Dirk)

TEXAS

San Antonio

Amarillo, The Big Texan Steak House for a slice of old Texas and great country music

Austin is my soul-mate city.  Getting crowed but worth it.

1) Texas Book Festival (Oct 16-17), http://www.texasbookfestival.org

2) South by Southwest Festival (March) http://www.sxsw.com 3) Austin City Limits (weekends if you can get tickets and October 8-10) http://www.aclfestival,com and

http://www.austincitylimits.org

4) Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas http://www.utexas.edu/academic/mcw/

5) great southwest cuisine, tons of libraries and cultural and sports events on the UT campus, the bats under the bridge, float and/or raft trips on Town Lake (and on nearby rivers, some of which advertise white water), the Broken Spoke cowboy bar, music everywhere, Lake Travis, BBQ and more.

Consider staying in Georgetown to the North or New Braunsfels or Fredericksburg in the Hill country to the West.  The latter two communities were settled by Germans.  Myron Florin used to play his accordion in New Braunsfels.

KANSAS.  Meade city park.  Free (in ’03) Highway 54,168.  East end of town.

FLORIDA

Try Panama Hatties in St Augustine. Great shrimp in beer.
http://panamahattiesbar.com/ Ref Wayne Marcus

25 Responses to RV Travelers’ Bucket List

  1. Valerie says:

    When do you leave! Have a wonderful time!

    • Dick Newick says:

      Your list includes Eureka,CA
      dont miss the Blue OX Millworks, maybe the finest collection of working Victotian woodworking machinery, also an old printing shop, forge, loom, etc. And now a charter school.
      Foot of X St. the building was my first boat shop (1948 to 1952) Eric and Viviana Hollenback.

  2. Carol F. says:

    Al,
    You’ve got a travel book in the making right here with your outline of sights to see in each location. Just fill it out with your own comments as you visit each spot…voia la!
    Happy travels!

  3. Carol Talbot says:

    Left my comment on the “about” page. When are you leaving? No LA ?
    C~

  4. Colleen Rae says:

    Al
    I always knew you were an organizer at heart, Al. You have the Northwest, Southwest complete. Well, maybe a few addtions, don’t forget Georgia O’Keefe’s museum if you go through Santa Fe, New Mex. It is fantastic.
    Also the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore. Ashland is a gorgeous little artist town even if it isn’t Shakespeare season.
    You do have a book in the making with your travels. Have fun!

    • allevenson says:

      Thanks, I added them. Don’t know how I missed Ashland.

      Yes, the book is in the pot. Tentative title, A Year on the Road. I wrote an outline and submitted it to my crit group.

      • Colleen Rae says:

        Terrific. I like the title, A Year on the Road.
        Beware of Texas! I’ve had a few close encounters and I don’t mean outer space ones! Mostly rural Texans aren’t very open-minded. (Sorry Texans). We got out of a small Texas town by the skin of our teeth. Thought we might get lynched. But that was the ’70’s.

      • Roger M says:

        I’ve never had a problem in Texas. It’s one of the most friendly, welcoming states.

  5. karen wittgraf says:

    I wish you beautiful scenery and bountiful nature- but, also, interesting people that you can write tales about!

  6. Dave LaR says:

    Not wishing to visit my dream upon you, but with some insight into your deeper-than-travelogue thoughts, I would think you would spend some of your insightful mind and broad, and broadening, experence with the puzzle of life; or maybe I don’t currently see this trip as the metaphor. My opinion, and of course that is what these “comments” are for, sightseeing is fun if you’re an overweight middle-aged tractor salesman from Iowa. You’re anything but that.

    I’ll keep watching …

    • allevenson says:

      I apologize for my good friend, Dave, for alienating all of my Iowa tractor salesmen pals. I can assure you they all have serious fitness programs and are not to be trifled with. And, lest you doubt it, there is a part of my mind that never ceases to work on many of Life’s puzzles. The big puzzles, what does it all mean, Alfie? Why are all women such enigmas and all men so not? Who really deserves the title, Best Cinnamon Bun in the Universe? A bakery in Alma, Nova Scotia or the one in Stone Mountain, Georgia. I really can’t decide and I will have to re-visit both before the trophy can be awarded. Stay tuned.

  7. Jeff Kingman says:

    That’s a great list there, mister. I hope you have a great adventure–I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun and insightful stuff to share. Actually, do you mind if I join you? Well, that might not work out, but hey, it don’t cost nothin’ to dream!

  8. Al,

    Both of my parents are gone now but after my dad retired, my parents sold, their house in Glendora (Southern Calif, Los Angeles County), bought a few acres in the high desert near Palm Springs and signed a contract to have a house built then left that job in the hands of the contractor–someone they trusted.

    All their furniture went into storage and off they went in a large SUV towing a trailer. They were gone for an entire years and visited every state except Alaska and Hawaii.

    I inherited all the pictures and post cards and have yet to sit down and visit them all.

    That was the trip of a lifetime for my parents (a dream of my father’s that came true) with some adventures along the way like the time something on the trailer broke and it couldn’t be towed.

    My dad left my mom and the trailer in the middle of nowhere and drove hundreds of miles to the nearest town to find a replacement part, waited a few days to get it and drove back to do the work himself.

    After they finished the trip, they moved into their new home in Morongo Valley and lived there for about 20 years before my father died. My mother stayed another decade then followed my dad.

    There is a part of me that would like to take a similar road trip but I’m not sure that will happen. Maybe reading your Blog will help satisfy that “want”.

  9. Pingback: Welcome | AL's Blog

  10. Marny says:

    Nice to hear from you!

    When in AZ make sure to do the Grand Canyon … all sides.

    The world is huge! Have you thought about joining a club that goes worldwide – all by motorcycle???

    Enjoy!

    Gentle as you go,
    Marny

  11. captmal says:

    Nevada, Moonlight Ranch, How could you miss that….who is this person posing as Al. May you have fair winds and dry decks…..

  12. Jana says:

    California:
    Ferndale ~ A step back in time

    New Mexico:
    The Albuquerque International Balloon Fest – October

    Texas :
    Dallas ~ Pioneer Cattle Drive – Statues
    Fort Worth ~ Downtown
    Save this site – there’s lots of information on ghost towns, etc. for Texas http://www.texasescapes.com

    • allevenson says:

      Thanks for the suggestions, Jana. I have many more notes for the Bucket List. I have only had time to sort and post for the Southwest. When I get an day to be AWOL from the Odyssey, I will update the Bucket List.

  13. Larry Morgan says:

    There is a lot more to Utah. I have over a thousands pictures and probably 30 web pages at http://utah.travelingmorgans.com/

    Don’t forget areas further east. There is so much to see in this wonderful country.

  14. EelKat says:

    I just started writing an RV Bucket List a few days ago than decided to find out if any one else had one, because I ran short of ideas. Thanks for posting this list, you’ve given me a few more ideas for my own!

  15. JOE-BUZZ says:

    GREAT STUFF! MY DAD DID A ROAD TRIP WITH MY MOM AROUND THE US AND HIT MEXICO AND CANADA, DURING THE DEPRESSION FROM DEC 6 TO AUG 20, 1931-32, WHEN HIS JOB DISAPPEARED. I HAVE AT HIS ALBUM INCLUDING A MAP HE DREW OF THE MANY STATES THEY VISITED AND THE MILES THEY DROVE…38 STATES, 18,000 MILES, 7 NATIONAL PARKS, 2 PROVINCES, 5 MEXICAN STATES, 2 NATIONAL MONUMENTS.
    NEXT TIME YOU ARE IN WALNUT CREEK, WE’LL HOOK UP AND I WILL SHOW YOU THIS TREASURE. I TRIED MY HAND AT DUPLICATING THIS TRIP AND DID 12,000 MILES/31 STATES/1 PROVINCE IN 60 DAYS IN 2006….NOT EVEN CLOSE TO THEIR TRIP, BUT MEMORABLE NEVERTHELESS. KEEP WRIDING…WE LOVE IT!

    JB

  16. janiebrew says:

    You are about to visit the Hamptons of the South according to the New York Times. It is also surrounded by memories and true Appalachian culture including operating stills. Looking forward to meeting you.

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