In Lust with a Campervan: National Parks Road Trip
I’m in lust with a campervan, and we’re going on a national parks road trip! I’m a woman of sudden enthusiasms, and my current obsession is getting a campervan and taking to the road.
But let me back up and fill you in a bit. There are many who know me—including my husband— as a nervous, route-checking travelphobe, the original lady hobbit who loves her little hole—and this whole thing seems like a midlife reversion to hippiedom.
Maybe it is. Who cares? Crazy or not, we’re doing it!
It all began with a Big Birthday, the big 5-0, that looms. (Come to think of it, this is not that sudden an enthusiasm.) For some years I’ve been talking about and planning for the trip I want to take to celebrate my (in undisclosed years) 50th birthday. It’s still a ways off—but I just don’t want to wait any longer. There’s an urgency to “just do it,” and excitement is rising, champagne bubbles in my veins—SO WE’RE DOING IT!
We bought our tickets, and this May Mike and I will drive across the States and photograph, blog about, and thoroughly experience the National Parks.
Our route begins in California, at our daughter’s house in San Jose, where we will buy camping supplies and pick up our van. Then, we go to peerless Yosemite National Park, which we haven’t seen since we were engaged back in 1985, a time when Mike loved me so much he carried both our backpacks while we hiked Tuolumne Meadows (oh wait, he still does that!)
We’re planning for a month, with something of a route planned that we can accomplish in that time. After Yosemite, we hit Great Basin National Park in Nevada, then Bryce Canyon, Utah, then Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona (I’m getting palpitations I’m so excited!) then Canyonlands in Utah, Dinosaur Park in Colorado, Antelope Island State Park in Salt Lake, and curving back around to Ruby Lake, then Humboldt State Wildlife Management Area, and Lake Tahoe, ending back up at our daughter’s in June.
The cool thing is, we plan to take all of you, our friends and followers—with us. I’m going to be blogging and writing essays (and whatever book I’m currently on by then, probably Lei Book 5) and Mike will be blowing the lenses right off his cameras with the sights we’ll see and share.
What I can’t believe, now that we’ve pushed the button and bought the tickets, is how long it’s taken us to do this Bucket List item.
Can we afford this? Of course not. Can we afford NOT to go? Of course not!
What’s on your Bucket List? What’s stopping you from doing it?
*P.S.* We are seeking sponsorships, friend meetups, and other crazy adventures during our trip May 6-June 5. Email me or Mike!
Sounds like fun! I love that you guys are doing it despite big reasons not to. I want to live with more abandonment and less caution. One day, I would love to eat my way through Europe.
It’s hard to do when building your family (as you are) we have a little freedom with the kids launched.
We’re intending a Big Adventure this year, driving across the top of Australia to Broome. It’s a long far. It will probably take at least a month. Looking at your itinerary, don’t do what we did on one trip and spend all your time driving and not enough seeing. It might be worth considering cutting back a bit on the stops and seeing a few things properly. Just a thought. Apart from that – life isn’t a dress rehearsal. Go and enjoy yourselves.
Oh wow. Look at that V.W. Bus. What a blast from the past.
Somehow it just makes me happy looking at it.
Toby, I am so jealous! I’ve been looking at camper vans off and on for a year or so. How fun for you, can’t wait to follow along on your trip!
Yeah we seem to be tuning into a national wavelength, not an original idea!
So excited for you guys! Have a blast – we’ll be watching every step of the way. Sounds like a trip of a lifetime – Good. For. You! David & Veronica
Thank you for the inspiration and for taking a look!
San Jose? Seriously? It is a small freaking world, lol – I was raised in Cupertino and my parents now live in Saratoga…
Oh, and we used to have one of those VW camper vans. Which we took on our annual trips to Lake Tahoe.
I am finding all of this very amusing. 🙂
All that aside, it sounds like a fabulous trip! 😀
We are thrilled!
Green with envy! I thought I would be going on elderhostel trips when I retired, but alas, my dear hubby doesn’t enjoy that type of activity. We have a lifetime pass to all the national parks… well worth the price if you qualify! Include Yosemite if you can, and take time for some hiking or a horseback ride while there. I’ll enjoy your trip vicariously!
How cool, never heard of that.
How inspiring! My bucket list is pretty long. Have fun Lady Hobbit and Sir Hobbit!
Ok, you are my heroes. That is so cool! You’re going to have a great trip that you’ll never forget. My first car was a VW camper, and I miss it dearly (but not the headache of it breaking down all the time.) I can’t wait to follow you via blog and photos! WOOHOO!
So great Toby. Do it!!! I love the strawberry blonde btw.
I have to tell you something funny. Each night my BF browses craigslist for various reasons including finding a cheap small truck to take to the worksite instead of taking his big nice gas guzzler. He also browses old cars like bugs (he’s one of those boys toys types). Constantly showing me pics of his finds. Well, one night he tells me, “babe I found the perfect one for you” and it’s a pic of this camper! Great minds dream alike.
I can’t wait to read about your travels across the country.
Sounds so fun. We’re planning on renting a Westphalia on the Big Island for a week. Maybe the mainaland next. I’m looking forward to the vicarious trip.
I once had a 1984 Vanagon Westy and a 1987 Vanagon Synchro that I used for camping all over CA and NV. Your story made me miss California, those camping trips… and Vanagons too 🙂 Mahalo