Thursday, July 18, 2013

Playing Catch Up With My Blog

Island Park, ID

This is a "catch up" blog, plain and simple.  No pretty pictures.  No touring.  Just my attempt to catch up on our fulltiming lives of the past few days.  Sometimes fulltiming is just living. Not so exciting, but a necessary evil.  If you click away now I would certainly understand.

On Monday we moved from Cody, WY to Island Park, ID.  I did a bit of research on where we wanted to stay to explore and enter via the west gate of Yellowstone Park for a few weeks.  What I quickly discovered was that where I wanted to stay and what I wanted to pay in camping fees were two different things.

The nicest park in the West Yellowstone (town) area is a campground called Grizzly RV Park. We took a drive thru this park a few days after arriving in Island Park and it is very nice.  Unfortunately, the cheapest site with a discount this time of the year will cost $49.45 + tax per night.  In comparison, the closest KOA (and I am no fan of KOAs) was completely full, but if available a 30amp FHU during the week is $52/week night and $65/weekend nights + taxes.

Because we have to watch our budget as fulltimers and because I don't particularly like to pay for amenities I won't use, I started my search for a cheaper stay.  I found a park called Valley View RV Park located just 5 miles over the border into Idaho.  It's about 13 miles to the West Entrance Gate of Yellowstone NP vs. 6 miles for the KOA and 1 mile for Grizzly RV Park.  The best part was that the cost for 14 nights stay at Valley View RV Park was $28.59/night (taxes included).

I haven't taken any pictures of our campground or site yet, but let me say that it is comfortable and the staff seems friendly, but don't expect any concreted sites or fancy swimming pool or spa (there are none) here. It is situated across the road from Henrys Lake State Park and the surrounding mountain views are very nice.

With the campground selection made, I had to calculate my route between Cody, WY and Island Park, ID. If I took the direct route straight thru Yellowstone NP the mileage would be 147 miles and take 3:24 (according to Garmin).  I had driven the eastern portion of the Yellowstone route in our car earlier last week. From Cody to the East Entrance is not a bad drive for a MH, but once inside the park the road gets hilly, curvy and the traffic is usually very heavy this time of the year.  I decided to be a wimp and head north out of Cody to I-90, then west to a fuel stop at Belgrade, MT, then directly south to West Yellowstone.  That route is 328 miles and took 6 hours with a lunch and fuel stop.  I'm glad I took the longer route.


Tuesday and Wednesday were spent doing everyday chores.  Hey, no one said "fulltiming" would be exciting every day.  We did some laundry (make that Karen did some laundry), I cleaned the outside of the rig, and we took a drive into West Yellowstone (town) to visit the excellent NPS Visitor's Center.  We picked up plenty of literature to plan trips into Yellowstone and Grand Teton NPs during the coming days.

If you've stayed with me this long today,  THANK YOU for taking a look at our blog!
(If not, I promise it'll get more interesting in the upcoming blogs.)

9 comments:

  1. Shorts and snow look good together. I've been wondering how you would get to the west side. At 3+ hours, sounds like Cody is too far for a day trip from the west side. We're staying at Red Rock RV Park which is about 10 miles further from the park than you.

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  2. I forgot to ask - what sources do you use to find campgrounds.

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    1. We belong to the Tiffin Owner's Forum (TRVN) and get some recommendations there, but we rely heavily on rvparkreviews.com, but we also look at the Trailer Life Directory for an overview and go to individual states' websites for info. on state parks. We have a few books just on casino camping, State and National Parks, and one on Corps of Engineers Parks.
      Obviously, we also read a lot of folks blogs and use their experiences at parks.

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    2. Thanks for the info and I've used it already.

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  3. Into every fulltimer's life, some boredom must fall.

    Some of these campgrounds must think their sites are gold plated with the prices they charge.

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    1. ...and it gets even better when it grocery store shopping time. The nearest Walmart is over 50 miles away.

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  4. Even your ho hum days sound pretty good LOL!! You know,,, I have grown to even enjoy our ho hum days now and again. They keep me anchored.

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    1. Yes, we like to have "down" days occasionally. It gives us a chance to just sit back and relax and catch up on needed "stuff".

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  5. At least it's not 95 degrees like it was here today. Enjoy your selves, and rest up a bit.

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