Whitman’s Sampler Tour

On paper, two months seems like a ridiculous amount of time. Contemplating living out of a campervan for approximately 66 days (give or take the occasional hotel) can seem, well, challenging, to say the least. But trying to see and do everything in America that intrigues me in that whisper of a fragment of a second? Impossible. When more rational minded folk look at my anticipated route, “ambitious” has been the overarching response. So, I’ve decided to consider it a “Whitman’s Sampler Tour.” A taste of this, a nibble of that, and later I can come back and order from the all you can eat menu at the places I want to revisit. Soak in the scenery on the road, stop at a park and hike for a bit, hit the top hotspots in town, and be on my way. With that in mind, I present the current itinerary. Feel free to make suggestions of “Must Dos” in and around these areas, or point out any glaring omissions.

  • Mammoth Cave, KY
  • Nashville, TN
  • Memphis, TN
  • Austin, TX
  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, TX
  • Balmorhea, TX
  • Valley of Fires State Park, NM
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Taos, NM
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison, CO
  • Arches National Park, UT
  • Four Corners Monument
  • Mesa Verde National Park, CO
  • Monument Valley
  • Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
  • Grand Canyon
  • Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, UT
  • Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
  • Zion National Park, UT
  • Valley of Fire State Park, NV
  • Death Valley National Park, CA
  • Santa Barbara, Solvang, Morrow Bay, Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey, CA
  • Yosemite National Park, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
  • Redwood National Park, CA
  • Florence, OR
  • Silverton, OR
  • Portland, OR
  • Mount Hood National Forest, OR
  • Long Beach, WA
  • Olympic National Park, WA
  • San Juan Islands, WA
  • Vancouver, BC
  • (some random places in central Washington)
  • Glacier National Park
  • Devil’s Tower, WY
  • Custer State Park, SD
  • Wind Cave National Park, SD
  • Badlands National Park (Mount Rushmore) SD
  • De Smet, SD (Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead)
  • Dyersville, IA (Field of Dreams)
  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, IN
  • (undecided place in OH or PA)
  • HOME!

9 thoughts on “Whitman’s Sampler Tour

  1. Wow! What an itinerary!
    We drove from San Francisco, South, to the ‘turn off’ for Las Vegas. The Big Sur is one of my most favourite places on this earth. We drove it in a day. Big mistake! Every time we drove around a bend, one of us spotted something stunning, squealed & we HAD to stop & explore or gape, or both! In two hours, we had only gone 20 miles…. Happy times ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so excited for you! I have friends in many of these cities, and I would love to introduce you to them in case they may be up for a hike or a drink as you pass through. Let me know as you firm things up how we might facilitate this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sedona is worth a stop while in AZ.
    Canyonlands National Park is not far from Arches if you can fit it in…but I’d definitely see Arches first.
    I have a good book of hikes for Grand Canyon that you are welcome to borrow.
    And, finally, while in San Fran, you MUST go to Giordano Bros. Yes, yes, there are a million things to do in San Fran and surrounds (for example, you should definitely go to Sonoma or Napa while you are there). But only one Adam DeMezza.
    LOVE that you are doing this. VERY excited for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1. Wall Drug at the north end of the Badlands. Super awesome.

    2. You need to go to Mitchell, South Dakota. It’s on the way from the Badlands to DeSmet. My mom was born there, and it’s the home of the Corn Palace. NO trip to SD is complete without it.

    3. Glad to see you’re going to Custer State Park. A visit to the Black Hills Forest is mandatory. Get yourself some Black Hills gold!

    Just some initial thoughts. You know I’m going to have a million of them.

    Liked by 1 person

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