Retirement Traveling – Part 1

My wife and I decided to put together a bucket list trip that included visiting many of the US National Parks in the western US. Our trip spanned 7 weeks and this article is an introduction to our trip.

One of the goals of our trip was to finish visiting all fifty states. We had already visited forty-six states to date, but we still had not seen North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Idaho. Not only did we visit these states, but we also visited twenty-one others along the way.

Our tip started and finished in New Jersey.  I am not an RV guy, and I could not imagine driving one of those behemoths over 10,000 miles in 7 weeks (actually we drove 11,300 miles on our trip.)  I am perfectly happy driving our car and stopping at a mix of hotels, Airbnb’s, and VRBO’s. We planned our trip so every 10 days we stayed at an Airbnb or VRB. This gave us access to a washing machine, dryer, kitchen, and grill. After 10 days on the road, we found our laundry was piling up and our clean clothes were dwindling. It was great to get all the laundry cleaned and folded for our next 10 days. We also really enjoyed grilling and cooking meals in a real kitchen. After a while, the restaurants’ menus all seem to be the same and we found that most of them had limited selections and limited help due to the pandemic.

As I mentioned before, we wanted to visit US national parks that we have not seen. We have the lifetime National Park Service Senior pass which gives you access to the parks. We were lucky enough to obtain one of these at the old price – just $10. Now they are $80, but since most national parks charge $30 to $35 it still is a real bargain.

Here is a list of parks we visited during our trip. In future articles I will have an in-depth discussion of each park, a few pictures, and tips and tricks we learned along the way. The following is a list of parks we visited:

Badlands – South Dakota

Mt. Rushmore – South Dakota

Glacier National Park – Montana

Yellowstone Park – Wyoming, Montana, Idaho

Grand Tetons – Wyoming

Arches – Utah

Canyonlands – Utah

Zion – Utah

Bryce Canyon – Utah

North Rim of Grand Canyon – Arizona

White Sands – New Mexico

Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado


Each of these parks had many attractions and all were completely different. Check back later for future articles.



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