Well, our week-long Sisters’ Southwest Roadtrip has come to an end. We’re back to reality, or some weird version of it that consists of social distancing, surgical masks, and widespread panic. Although I wish I was still driving through the desert of Arizona, oblivious to all things COVID-19, I want to rehash my experience and share with you all some thoughts we had and knowledge we gained along the way.
As I mentioned in my last post, we rented a campervan for our trip as a 2fer deal (“hotel” and transportation). Escape Campervans has 11 locations in the US and 2 in Canada. We picked ours up in Las Vegas, NV and dropped her off at the same location 8 days later. Escape has a huge fleet of different types of vans, and we got Bubbles! Check out the video below for a little tour by 5-star guide, Kelsie. Remarkably, we had absolutely zero issues with Bubbles. She was easy to drive, easy to covert from a dining area to a bedroom, and a great subject for photos. The best part was that we only paid about $750 for the whole week! That included a kitchen set, bedding set, propane grill, two chairs, and all 1612 miles that we racked up. Do yourself a favor and rent an Escape Campervan on your next trip!
Before the trip, we obtained an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass, which grants you access to over 2,000 sites managed by the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It’s only $80 and is good for 1 year. Think about it: there’s a $35 entrance fee for National Parks – if you visit at least 3 parks within a year, your pass is already paying for itself! Also, passes for seniors, military, or those with a permanent disability are free. Click the link above or visit your local federal recreation site to get one!
Snags Along the Way
Despite the lethal combination of two Rogers (one ex-Rogers, now Kenny, but two Rogers sounds better) girls, one van, and a week of adventure, we made it out alive and almost without any incidents. Here’s all we endured:
- Our campsite was stolen. Some b#$^% literally took our tag off of the post while we were away and posted up in the last available site. I was livid. Mostly because she played coy and acted like she hadn’t saved our tag in her car. What the?? Then…
- I backed the van off a small ledge trying to squeeze into a snowy spot that wasn’t totally a spot and got stuck. A nice French couple had to pull us out with their van. Bless. I’m still mad about the tag-snaggin’ b#$^%, though.
- Our reservation to skydive over the Grand Canyon was cancelled due to weather. Huge bummer. Now I have to get Kelsie two Christmas gifts next year to make up for this year’s “lost” gift. And I have to wait longer to check something off my bucket list. Womp womp.
- We arrived to Arches National Park a tad later than planned. I really, really wanted to see Delicate Arch at sunset so, when we pulled in a mere 8 minutes before sunset, I dragged Kelsie along the quick hi- oh, she told you she ran uphill while I huffed and puffed behind her for 1.5 miles? Okay, yeah, she’s right. Just this time! It was not fun but it really was worth the (short-lived) view at the end. Snag or subconscious souvenir? Pro tip: give yourself at least an hour to hike to Delicate Arch for sunset!
Besides that, we were golden! Learn from our snags and you’ll have the perfect adventure exploring Nevada, Utah, and Arizona.
Take Our Trip!
I’ve attached two files below: our packing list, as well as our itinerary and budget. I hope you are inspired to see this beautiful country and the land that has been conserved for us to explore and enjoy under the Organic Act of 1916. One week, y’all. That’s all you need for this one!
We’re already thinking about our next National Park adventure – but next time it will be in my RV! This trip was great insight for what’s to come for me. The biggest thing that I took away was a short list of features that I couldn’t live without on the road. These are things that I didn’t have the luxury of, but luckily can incorporate into my full-time RV life. They include:
- A fixed bed – flipping from dinette to bed to dinette every day got old real fast!
- My own bathroom – campground bathrooms are fine, but ya girl needs her squatty potty!
- Back-up cameras – see photo above
- Outdoor awning – when it rained in Arches, we had no choice but to get cozy in the van, even though it was warm and beautiful outside
And with that, the RV hunt begins! Wish me luck, friends!