Monthly Archives: March 2013

Top 25 Wildlife Sightings on our Trip

Sea lions, gators and bears, oh my…

We were blessed on our trip to see just about every major species of wildlife that one could hope to see while traveling in the western USA, Canada and Alaska.  Seeing and hearing wildlife in its element was a highlight of our trip.  Following are the Top 25 favorite wildlife sightings on our 10-month trip, our favorite sighting for each species.

    

1. Grizzly Bear

Grizzly bear standing upright in Denali National Park

Denali National Park, Alaska

The most exciting wildlife encounter was when a grizzly bear in Denali stood up, spotted a couple of backpackers, and took off after them.  I started snapping photos and shooting video from the safety of our bus, but I was worried that I might be making a snuff film.  Fortunately the young couple hopped on the bus in front of us before the bear could eat them.  We saw a total of 8 grizzlies on our trip, all in Denali National Park.

  

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Top 10 Favorite Dispersed Campsites

Dispersed camping is camping for free outside of established campgrounds on public land, typically on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land, national forests or national monuments in the United States, or Crown Land in Canada.  We dispersed camp about 1/3 of the nights on our trip.  Not only did this save us thousands of dollars in campground fees, it greatly extended our nature experience.  Instead of being surrounded by people, buildings, lights and noise in a campground, with dispersed camping we got to enjoy wide open skies, sights and sounds of wildlife, remarkable natural features, privacy, peace and solitude.

Following are our top 10 favorite dispersed campsites.  It wasn’t difficult to choose our top favorites, but it was challenging to limit the list to only 10 places.  We judged dispersed campsites based the criteria stated in our article, Top 10 Reasons We Prefer Roadside Camping.

 

1. Yoho National Park

Wapta Falls Rec Site (3 nights)
Crown Land just outside Yoho National Park
British Columbia, Canada

View of Wapta Falls from our RV

Our campsite had a spectacular, unobstructed view of the wide Wapta Falls, which was only 1/3 mile away and roared loudly.  Behind the falls rose two 10,000+ foot glacier-covered mountains.

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Blogging About Life in the Country

Timm driving the tractor

We went from camping in the middle of nowhere to living in the middle of nowhere!  Our RV trip of a lifetime is over, and now we’re settling in to our new home on a 180-acre nature preserve in Daniel Boone National Forest in southern Kentucky.  If you are interested, please check out our blog about life in the country:

Little Wolf Nature Preserve

Dune Buggies in Anza-Borrego

This video shows two dune buggies zipping through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California.  This is followed by a nice look at Elephant Knees, a large mesa with a fluted side that looks like a line of standing elephants.  Sorry about the smudge in the video, it’s actually dust in the lens from the desert wind.

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Life After Trip

Timm saying goodbye to the Grand Canyon

On November 5, 2012, we hiked the final hike on our adventure of a lifetime.  We had hiked 835 miles over 292 days, and this hike was our grand finale in the Grand Canyon.  On that final day, we felt sadness that our year-long vacation was coming to an end.  We also felt a great sense of accomplishment, having visited 94 parks in 17 US states and 4 Canadian provinces.  This was even more than the 65 parks we had planned to visit on our very ambitious itinerary.  But most of all, we felt gratitude that we were fortunate enough to fulfill a lifelong dream, something that not everyone is able to do.

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