Yesterday was the first day of Summer Vacation for the kids. Lillian and Mitchell celebrated by singing a variety of songs that they could think over about summer. They then headed to grandmas for the day.
We celebrated by going to work.
We have been gearing up for a fun summer of #cricketcamping. We have trips booked from Memorial Day to Labor Day. We’d been looking forward to Yellowstone this summer. When it came time to book, every campground that would work for us was already booked. So we booked a week in Yellowstone for July -- July 2017 that is.
So where are we headed this summer?
We are camping Memorial Day weekend at Riverside RV Park and Resort in Sevierville, TN. This is the Gatlinburg/Smoky Mountains National Park area. We been before and they do have something for everyone. There is great hiking waiting for us in the Smoky Mountains National Park. SMNP is home to over 1600 flowering plants and the largest protected bear population east of the Mississippi River.
We just received confirmation today that we are spending the last week of June at Periwinkle Park on Sanibel Island, FL! You have to book far in advance to stay on the island during peak season, or join us off-peak during the summer. But $50 a night on Sanibel seems like a great find. Aside from basking in island life for a week, we plan to escape to Everglades National Park for at least a day trip.
Our big adventure that is replacing Yellowstone this year is the Dakotas. We are tackling both North and South the first week of August with a long list we want to see and do. In nine days, we will visit three National Parks; including Theodore Roosevelt, Badlands, and Wind Cave, a handful of National Monuments and State Parks, and clock about 2000 miles. To cover this much ground, we will be on the move and have three campgrounds lined up to make it happen. We are starting to the north at Cottonwood Campground in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We will work our way south to Cedar Pass Campground in Badlands National Park, and end to the east at the Ingalls Homestead in De Smet.
Finally, for Labor Day weekend we are camping at Catherine’s Landing near Hot Springs National Park. HSNP is the second closest National Park to us, first is Mammoth Cave National Park, and a destination we haven’t visited. We came across Catherine’s Landing originally looking to visit Memorial Day. It was fully booked. We’d already decided we had to camp this destination and moved our date to visit back to Labor Day.
That is our plan: six National Parks, six uniquely different campgrounds, and over twenty nights in the Cricket. Hopefully by Labor Day we are still singing “Summertime (and the Livin’ is Easy)” as we conclude our first summer #cricketcamping.
Shane and Jessica
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