Chris loves unplanned adventures. The ones where you just hop in the car and go stopping at wherever the billboard advertisement leads you. I like the trip planned out day by day with hotels booked, places researched and reviewed. This time we are doing a little of both. Many national park lodges are booked up to a year in advance so we actually started booking hotels in June 2017. (I’m going to focus on money in a future blog because the first thing I get when people find out what we are doing is “How do you afford that?”) The first thing I did was research all the places we wanted to go. Chris and I went over each destination and decided if the spot would be affordable, kid-friendly, and feasible to reach during our time off.
We had a few places on our list that we had to mark off. One was a grueling hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon to visit Havasu Falls (pictured above from Google images). This place is on my bucket list. You have to get permits from the local Indians which can be a hassle. They release only a certain number of permits a year and you have to get them to answer the phone. They offer helicopter rides into and out of the canyon for a few hundred dollars a person. One day Chris promises we can do it, but go through a travel agency instead. These tour guides book everything for you including hiking permits and reservation permits. All you do is show up. This is also expensive, but something I have wanted to do since we found out about the reservation in 2001. The hike would be hot but that was something we looked forward to doing and seeing those blue waterways would be breath-taking. I guess I’ll take one for the team.
So, here’s the list of where we are going.
- Grand Canyon (North Rim)
- Zion National Park
- Yosemite National Park
- Northern California beaches and Redwood Forest
- Crater Lake National Park
- Craters of the Moon/Lava Hot Springs
- 4th of July at Jackson Hole
- Glacier National Park
We have a few other things in mind if it fits in:
- Let the kids see Las Vegas at night
- Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial
- Angel Island
- Ft. Bragg glass beach
- Kayak Smith River through the redwoods
- Blackfoot Indian Reservation
- Drive into Canada just to say we have been