One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling in our motor coach, BAM, is planning our Risk Blossoming trips and itineraries. This year, Tim spent a good part of November and December of 2018 arranging the coming summer of 2019. Here’s a little “behind-the-scenes” on where summer life in an RV gets started.
Tim’s Perspective – Planning: Part of the Journey
Planning in advance is critical with a 40-foot motor coach. Some of the nicest and most popular places to park BAM—places that can handle our size—are sold-out six or even nine months in advance. There are some premium locations, overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Oregon, that are booked 18 to 24 months in advance. All this studying actually allows me to live the trip before I live the trip.
Profiling and cookies provide me with lots of RV trip-planning websites, route planners, RV park associations, and general camping tips. For me, through trial and error, I have learned to visualize a general route. Then, adding one park at a time, I fit the summer together.
“Plan it and you will achieve it — Live the life that you dream”
Traveling with a Big Rig
I prefer not to drive more than 200 miles on moving days, and I like to book enough time at scenic locations to explore. BAM is large: 40 feet and 40,000 pounds with three slide-outs. We tow Willy, our Jeep Wrangler, and we need ample space to maneuver and park.
I look for sites that cater to “big rigs.” There are a lot of beautiful national parks, state parks, and area campgrounds out there. If you are tent camping or have a smaller RV or trailer, these can be the best places to camp. Mostly though, they are unable to handle a big rig. I look, instead, for what is termed an “RV resort.”
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
Risk Blossoming 2019
This will be our third summer on the road. Seattle will again be our base. Our first year (2017), BAM was our home for 155 days, and last year (2018), BAM was our home on the road for 110 days. This summer (2019), I have 154 days of Risk Blossoming adventure, in BAM, planned.
The first day, we will drive 150 miles to Cameron, AZ where, hopefully, the grand falls of the Little Colorado River will be flowing. The next day, we will move to southeastern Utah and Monument Valley, which has some of the darkest skies in the US. I am excited to attempt some night astrophotography, having enlisted some professional help.
Then we will move to Moab for a week to visit Canyonlands, Arches and Mesa Verde National Parks. Moving on, we will then stay a couple of days at Capital Reef National Park before heading to Idaho. At this point, we will be 16 days in and traveled only 500 miles.
After three consecutive travel days, we will reach a part of Idaho we have never visited before. For 11 days, we will explore the western part of the state while headquartering in BAM at McCall and White Bird.
Based on my research, I’m expecting this to be a majestically beautiful area between the Salmon and Snake Rivers. The Salmon River Mountains are to the east and Hells Canyon is to the west. We will explore daily. Our plan is to run the rapids in Hell’s Canyon again and fish for salmon during the spring run on the Salmon River.
As we continue to move toward Seattle, we will stop in Washington’s Eastern Cascades for the first of the summer’s “three-family” camping round-ups. We will meet our daughters and grandsons in Leavenworth, a Bavarian village that celebrates Christmas year round.
Finally, 40 days after leaving Phoenix, we will reach Seattle. That averages about 40 miles a day, although each travel day of 200 miles gives us four days to camp and explore.
In Seattle, we will celebrate our grandson Duncan’s seventh birthday. Then it’s five days of bonding with Duncan and younger brother Colton. Their moms will be camping on their own at an Eric Church festival at the Gorge Amphitheater on the Columbia River.
The first of July, we will head north to spend the next 30 days in Canada. Once again, we will have three consecutive days moving across southern British Columbia before extended stays in Revelstoke and Lake Louise.
Then, it’s a bucket list event: The Calgary Stampede! In November, I booked seats immediately above the gates at the rodeo in the third row for the chuckwagon races and scored tickets for both The Zack Brown Band and Sugarland Concerts. The credit card bill was loaded in December, but everything will be paid in full come July!
After the Stampede, we will drive about 80 miles southwest to Fairmont Hotsprings for a week.
This is the highest-rated RV resort in the Canadian Rockies. It includes various thermal pools and a chance for Deborah to enjoy all the spa treatments she deserves. Nails, hair, facials, massages—everything needed after 60 days on the road in BAM.
August is the hottest month of the year in most places in the US. The way in which I have planned it, we should expect mostly 65-degree days as we move through four different locations along the coast of Oregon.
We will begin in Astoria for our annual family vacation. And, yes, we drive BAM across the Astoria Bridge. For our grandsons, building sand castles and running on the Seaside and Cannon Beaches is just the best. Campsite meals and s’mores over the campfire are indeed tasty and have become a family tradition. And I think that wearing sweatshirts during the day and coats at night in August is just so fresh.
From Astoria, Deborah and I will move south to Lincoln City, then Newport, and finally Yachats. I have deliberately booked sites where we can have a view of the Pacific Ocean from each RV site we park BAM. Each day will include walks on the beach, where we can enjoy the views and breathe the cool, moist Pacific air. I anticipate that we will be truly living the life we have dreamed.
The summer will come to a close over Labor Day weekend at Port Ludlow, WA on the western side of the Puget Sound. It will be the summer’s final family camping get-together.
The boys beach comb. We dig clams, put out crab pots, and are hoping the salmon fishing will bring dinner. Cruise ships pass by daily, coming from or going to Alaska. It’s a great time to sit back and relax.
Wisdom Quest 2019: Portugal
The second week in September, Deborah will take off to Portugal, with J’Lein Liese, to lead their annual Wisdom Quest! Each of the past several years, Deborah and J’Lein have led a dozen successful women on international mastermind adventures.
In the past, they have visited Kenya and witnessed the wildebeest migration, trekked for the silverback gorilla in Uganda, experienced a spiritual journey to Nepal and Bhutan, luxuriated on the Amalfi Coast, explored Peru and Machu Picchu, and mindfully experienced Moscow and St. Petersburg.
This year, they are off to the Douro Valley in Portugal to visit and enjoy the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. While they are on their international adventure, I’ll start to drift back toward Phoenix in BAM.
Returning BAM to Phoenix
For me, this final leg is the unplanned part of the trip. Demand for RV spots for ‘Big Rigs’ like BAM seems to be reduced during late September and early October. To be honest, I haven’t yet picked a route. I have planned for one or two buddies to fly up and meet me in Seattle to join me on the drive home. Then, for 30 days or so, and probably about 20 rounds of golf, we will slowly migrate back to Phoenix.
It will be good to get home and re-join Deborah. It will be a busy three weeks as we prepare for a five-week trip to New Zealand beginning the second week in November. I planned the details for this trip last October. And of course, next summer (2020) will need to be planned before we leave for the land down under!
Our philosophy is: plan it and you will achieve it.
Live the life that you dream! Risk blossoming!!
Tim has truly become a masterful planner. From my perspective, this is a complicated and complex task. Everything has to fit perfectly together, just like a jigsaw puzzle. A day or two’s delay can affect the entire plan. Last year, I had to delay our departure due to a medical procedure, and Tim had to return to his plan and make numerous changes and adjustments! I am so thankful that he truly enjoys this part of the Risk Blossoming adventure.
“When you establish a destination by defining what you want, then take physical action by making choices that move you toward that destination, the possibility for success is limitless and arrival at the destination is inevitable.”
We hope you will join us throughout our adventures. If you are going to be nearby, I hope you will let us know! We love getting together with old and new friends while we are on the road. As we plan to be near a location that you know of an adventure, an interesting site, or a great restaurant, please share with us. Tim even plans time for opportunities and spontaneity!!
Explore. Discover. Grow.