National Parks Tour - 2012 Trip

National Parks Trip

Well it will soon be time for another motorcycle road trip.  We did a National Parks trip 2 years ago and it's time for another one.  There are 58 official national parks according to the National Parks Service web site and 35 of those are west of the Mississippi and within the 48 contiguous states.  So far we have visited all but 6 of these 35 and we are planning to visit 4 of those 6 on this trip.  We have also visited 6 more parks east of the Mississippi as well as one in Hawaii.  

There are actually a total of 397 areas covering more than 84 million acres in the National Park System.  Here's a current list of all of these sites including the 58 official National Parks.

The plan this trip is to visit Big Bend National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and Saguaro National Park.  This will leave Voyageurs National Park and Hot Springs National Park west of the Mississippi for a future trip.  We also need to visit Biscayne National Park and Congaree National Park, both east of the Mississippi, in the future.

I'm sure we'll also visit several other National Parks that we have previously visited as well as any National Monuments that we may see along the way.  Speaking of a route, we haven't really settled on one yet,  We have traveled US Route 395 through Oregon and California several times in the past but always going from south to north so we may take 395 north to south to start this trip.  We generally pull out the atlas each night in the motel and plan the next days route so we'll see what happens.

We had problems with our new Canon SD940IS camera during the last trip, probably caused when I dropped it, so many of our photos were out of focus.  After 2 trips back to Canon service, the camera is working very well and we will certainly be more careful with it this trip and in the future.

After thinking about it for several years, we purchased a GPS for this trip.  We decided on a Garmin Nuvi 550 since it is waterproof, motorcycle friendly, and reasonably priced.  The main reason for the GPS is not necessarily getting directions but finding the closest rest areas, gas stations, motels, etc.  Like most GPS's you can upload POI files (Point of Interest) for just about anything you can imagine.  A good source for these is the POIFactory web site.  So far I have added National Parks and Monuments, Super 8 Motels, free WiFi spots and a few others.  I will still be using my GPS logger for tracking each days ride and uploading the tracks to our web site to a Google map.

Time to get on the road, we hope you enjoy the trip.

Day 1 - August 27, 2012 Everett, WA - Kennewick, WA
Day 2 - August 28, 2012 Kennewick, WA - La Pine, OR
Day 3 - August 29, 2012La Pine, OR - Carson City, NV
Day 4 - August 30, 2012Carson City, NV - Hesperia CA
Day 5 - August 31, 2012Hesperia, Ca - Yuma, AZ
Day 6 - September 1, 2012Yuma, AZ to Tucson, AZ
Day 7 - September 2, 2012Tucson, AZ to Van Horn, TX
Day 8 - September 3, 2012Van Horn, TX - Alpine, TX
Day 9 - September 4, 2012Alpine, TX - Carlsbad, NM
Day 10 - September 5, 2012Carlsbad, NM to Gallup, NM
Day 11 - September 6, 2012Gallup, NM - Sedona, AZ
Day 12 - September 7, 2012Sedona, NM - Tropic, UT
Day 13 - September 8, 2012Tropic, UT - Ogden, UT
Day 14 - September 9, 2012Ogden, UT - Boise, ID
Day 15 - September 10, 2012Boise, ID - Everett, WA

Statistics and Wrap up

Complete Trip Map

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