Checking off the RV Travel bucket list

 Checking off the RV Travel bucket list

The Lake Superior Shoreline, near Copper Harbor, MI

I’m about to check off a couple more items from our RV travel bucket list, trips that will take us coast to coast on a summer travel schedule that will have us going from Cape Cod to the Oregon coast, with numerous stops and detours along the way.

The Cape Cod trip is from June 8-11th as we attend a sold-out Roadtrek International chapter rally of the Family Motorcoach Association that will be held in Brewster, MA. Jennifer and I will meet and visit with over 100 other Roadtrek owners, sharing highlights from our 60,000 miles of Roadtreking travel over the past two years. After a quick look around the Cape, we’ll turn around and get ready to begin the first of our bucket list tours.

The Lake Superior Shoreline, near Copper Harbor, MI
The Lake Superior Shoreline, near Copper Harbor, MI

Starting June 12, we’ll be doing a 3,500 mile stretch that has captured my imagination for a long time: The Great Lakes shoreline.

I have wanted to do this route on a bicycle for a long time. But since I don’t have two to three months to devote to that particular means of travel, I’ll do it in our Roadtrek Etrek, documenting the interesting places and people that are found on the shoreline for this blog and for the Verizon Wireless folks, who have been running many of my reports regularly for the past few months on one of their websites. Verizon likes my on-the-road reports because of the way our Roadtreking life is shared through technology and the ability to report our travel adventures while we are out there, using 4g LTE Internet connectivity and a hist of apps and tech tools that keep us connected. In other words, I’m a geek.

The Roadtrek Etrek fits right in with all that, of course, what with its solar power and all electric features that let us go days on end off the commercial power grid, totally self-contained and as connected to and surrounded by all the amenities and conveniences we have at home – even though we may be in a remote forest off a tree-canopied two track

We’ll travel the shoreline as it winds up and around parts of six states, starting in the Lake Erie wetlands near the Pennsylvania/New York border and all the way around, to the Lake Huron “Sunrise Side,” on up to the rock shores of Lake Superior into Northern Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota and down along past the spectacular sand dunes along Lake Michigan on through Chicago and up to Milwaukee where we’ll end the tour after a spectacular 4th of July Fireworks display.

Even with nearly a month to cover it all, we’ll have to hurry. But it’s one of those bucket list things that is made for a Roadtreking adventure. I have a list of places and stories I may check out but, except for the Milwaukee fireworks, Jennifer and I are intentionally keeping our schedule fluid. There will be some things that we will stumble upon and the last thing we want is to be locked into a schedule and have to miss something cool because we “have” to be somewhere else.

What’s the second bucket list tour?

Lesis and Claks navigated the Ohi, Missisiipi, Missour and Columbia Rivers before heading off by horseback
Lesis and Claks navigated the Ohi, Missisiipi, Missour and Columbia Rivers before heading off by horseback

This one starts in mid July and will have us retracing large parts of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the route taken by the Oregon Trail pioneers, starting in Pittsburgh and ending at the mouth of the Columbia River on Oregon’s Pacific Coast. And yes, Pittsburgh was the real starting pont. It is from there, on Aug. 31, 1803, on the Ohio River, that Meriwether Lewis first set off with his Corps of Disovery, joining up with William Clark on the Missisippi River before making their way to St. Louis and the Missouri River – America’s great river to the West.

There will be a slight detour to the Hill Country of Nebraska. Out there, where the Oregon Trail  became America’s first interstate highway, they sell a T-Shirt that says “The Original RV.” It depicts a covered wagon.  Almost half a million people made their way along that trail from 1836-1869. There are spots along it today where you can still see the ruts from their wagons.

Along the Snake River in Nebraska,  we’ll attend the Nebraska Star Party July 27-August 1. This area is one of the best places in the Lower 48 to see the night sky with no light pollution. Every year, hundreds of stargazers gather here to marvel at the night sky. Many camp in the middle of a field, boondocking with no lights or electric so their telescopes and cameras have nothing interfering with the starlight. Again, a perfect spot for out Etrek.

Typical country for many of the pioneers, as well as Leis and Clark. This shot was taken near the Absaroka Range in Wyoming.
Typical country for many of the pioneers, as well as Lewis and Clark. This shot was taken near the Absaroka Range in Wyoming.

As we rejoin and go back and forth between the Lewis and Clark and the Oregon Trail routes, we’ll report for the blog on the amazing history of what they saw and experienced every day, showing what it is like today and and how their discoveries and pioneering shaped a nation. We’ll stop for several days at the Family Motorcoach Association’s Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase in Redmond, Ore., Aug. 13 to 16. More than 2,500 motorcoach owners are expected to be in attendance. Jennifer and I will do two seminars there, before heading for the coast, where Lewis and Clark stopped before they turned around and headed back.

From there, we’ll slowly make our way back to Michigan, visiting Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park.

In all, these two big trips. along with some fun stops along the way, will have us traveling about 8,000 miles though early September.

Unless we find something else…. which, given our track record, is probably going to happen.

See why we love this Roadtreking life?

 

 

Mike Wendland

Mike is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road. He enjoys camping (obviously), hiking, biking, fitness, photography, kayaking, video editing, and all things dealing with technology and the outdoors. See and subscribe to his RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube, where he has hundreds of RV and travel related videos. His PC MIke TV reports, on personal technology are distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations.

18 Comments

  • My bucket list includes putting my feet into everyone one of the great lakes I have done 3 so far and have taken pictures. I write in the sand which Lake it is but when I got to Lake Superior where we were there was just rock so my husband and myself wrote it in rock. They are so beautiful! Upper peninsula is one of my favorite places to go. My next adventure this winter is to do the Ice Caves in Lake Superior. 🙂

  • I don’t know if you enjoy books on tape while traveling but as we drove part of the Lewis & Clark route through Idaho we listened to “Undaunted Courage” and at one point hit the exact location being described at the same time of year.
    Don’t forget we have a place to park your RV at Sunrise Acre – in Suquamish, home of Chief Seattle – much to see and do and beautiful views.

  • Doing 150 miles of the Missouri by raft this summer.

    • When? Where? I need to do this!

  • Mary: When? Where? I need to do some of that!

  • Well our trip is full, however you can easily do it in a canoe, they also have guided canoe trips. This is the Breaks of the Missouri in Montana 149 miles, flat water trip. http://www.uppermissouri.com/segments.htm

  • Have you gone to Isle Royale? That is on my bucket list, we pretty much travelled the Lewis and Clark trail in 2010. We also listen to the book as we travelled, spent 7 weeks in our trip out and back

  • Well I do not have a bucket list which leaves me very free to be spontaneous….june 1st I leave Mt vernon wa in my Mh to drive the Cassiar and Alaska highways to Fairbanks….a spur of the moment decision about a month ago.

    • Just read your post. I am your neighbor to the north, hometown Bellingham, WA. Have a safe journey.

  • Looks great mike. I’d personally like to see a lot of video coverage of yellwosrone and glacier. You always do such a great job on videos and I look forward to watching new ones

  • Jon Ross
    They talked about solar!

  • Plan to sit on the porch of The Grand Hotel and walk across the “big Mac” on Labor Day. Hometown is Bellingham, WA.

  • Kathleen Roy.thanks for your interest and wishes for a safe trip .Nice to hear from a neighbor.Smiles.

  • By the way…what is the”big Mac”?

    • The “Big Mac” is the Mackinac Bridge over the Straits of Mackinac between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan

  • Hey! I think I saw you last night on Highway 24, Hespeler Road, in Cambridge, Ontario. Hope you’re enjoying your trip!

  • Yup… That’s us. Here for a couple more days.

  • We traveled down the PCH in October – what a great trip! Here’s an account of our trip.
    http://michigantraveler.org/2014/11/10/the-pacific-coast-highway-october-2014/

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