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Old 06-15-2015, 06:44 AM   #1
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Westward ho! Pennsylvania to California and back June-July

UPDATED with journal and photos. We decided to drive all the way to the Pacific Coast and have changed up our itinerary.

I've jumped on a few other threads, but thought I'd start my own about our trip and try to keep it updated as we go. We're heading west at the end of this week from our home in the Philadelphia area, probably as far west as Colorado, then north to Yellowstone, Glacier, and likely Alberta (Banff/Jasper). In 2013 we did a similar trip, but taking in more of the southwest (NM, Arizona, Utah, then north to Yellowstone and Glacier).

It will be my wife and I, and our 10-year-old son in our 2WD 1998 white SMB with a big blue stripe on the side and bikes on the back (see pic below). Our son is a great traveler and is the one who bugged us to do this trip.

Our van, say hi if you see us!
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:55 AM   #2
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to Colo, Wyo, Mont, Alberta

Awesome Brian, we're headed out when you are and taking the same route to CO. Maybe we'll see you along the way! There is some awesome boondocking near Jackson/Tetons on Shadow Mountain. That's where you'll find us probably! I'll be happy to put you on that spot.
Oh, when you are leaving Rocky Mountain and headed up towards Wyoming, check out Poudre Canyon. It's a beautiful day or so drive and lots of good campgrounds along it. It is highway 14 just north of Ft. Collins. You could really do an out and back and continue your journey, so you could spend any amount of time you like on it.

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Old 06-15-2015, 09:22 AM   #3
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to Colo, Wyo, Mont, Alberta

Thanks, and hope to see you! We're leaving either Thursday night after work, or oh-dark-hundred on Friday morning, depending on how things play out. Should be in Colorado by Monday or Tuesday, latest. CG reservations in Maroon Bells are Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:29 AM   #4
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to Colo, Wyo, Mont, Alberta

Keep an eye out for my silver penthouse SMB (Yakima box on top) - I'll be popping around CO somewhere the same week(s) you guys are. Heading out on 6/22 - probably be around Tin Cup Pass and maybe Engineer Pass later next week. Just cruising looking for hikes that aren't still too snow-covered.

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Old 06-15-2015, 01:42 PM   #5
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to Colo, Wyo, Mont, Alberta

Hey Grumpy, are we likely to still run into a good bit of snow at higher elevations?
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:50 PM   #6
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to Colo, Wyo, Mont, Alberta

Possibly. There was a lot of late rain (low) / snow (high) in May. I've not been out yet, so can't say for sure, but I am staring up at Mt Evans (14000+ ft) and it looks pretty white. Roads where you can take your rig are all open (except real high like Mt Evans is still closed). Not sure what we'll find for hiking trails, and maybe some jeep roads, up high (especially on north faces that don't get direct sun).

If you have specific locations in mind you should check locally (sheriff or NFS), but most 2 wheel drive roads are fine, and I would expect most if not all campgrounds and such should be open.
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:44 AM   #7
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to Colo, Wyo, Mont, Alberta

Heading over to Carbondale this weekend if you get into the roaring fork valley a few days early.
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:16 AM   #8
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to Colo, Wyo, Mont, Alberta

I'll be down in the maroon bells area on the 27th... If you're still around for some reason, look for a white 4wd van with a CCV top that looks lost.
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:19 PM   #9
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Westward ho! Pennsylvania to Colo, Wyo, Mont, Alberta

Left last night to try and get some driving in before we hit tropical storm Bill, but hit some really nasty severe thunderstorms on the leading edge of it. Got across PA Thursday night after work, and tonight are just west of Louisville, Ky., in Corydon, Indiana, hunkered down in a motel while the storm hopefully passes by overnight. About 700 miles or so at this point. We had hoped to be farther along, but I had to work a half day today telecommuting while my wife drove the van for the fist time ever at Interstate speeds (she did great). Hoping to get well into Kansas by tomorrow night.
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:54 PM   #10
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to Colo, Wyo, Mont, Alberta

If you hit Denver and need a break, shoot me a message. We'll meet you for a beer.
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