10 Trailer Tales from California’s Desert Parks

Teardrop trailers sure look cute and romantic, but what’s it like actually sleeping in one? Today we’re sharing what we learned as we camped in a teardrop trailer in three parks in southern California. Find out what additional equipment you may need to bring with you, the best situations to use a teardrop, and whether we liked it in the end. We also talk about the best seasons for visiting different parks in our mail bag section. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Picking up the trailer
  • Why winter may not be the best season for teardrop camping
  • The camping sites and hikes we enjoyed in the Mojave Preserve, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley NPs
  • Finding romance on Valentine’s Day in the national parks
  • The importance of researching what season is best in what park

Links:

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

09 Five National Park Hidden Gems

You’ll often see the same handful of National Parks topping the “best of” lists, but there are some real hidden gems out there too that are worth visiting. In this episode, we’re sharing our top five parks that have lower visitation numbers. We discuss how we got to these parks, what there is to do in each one, and what we loved about them. From island hopping at Dry Tortugas to hiking along a border river in Big Bend, join us as we venture through some of these lesser known parks.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Taking a boat to Dry Tortugas NP
  • Big Bend NP along the Rio Grande River
  • Karen sneaks Carlsbad Caverns onto the list
  • The archeological sites at Mesa Verde NP
  • Taking in the beautiful landscapes at Great Basin NP
  • Why Lassen Volcanic NP is like a mini Yellowstone

Links:

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

08 Katmai National Park: Bear Watching

Of all the experiences we had while traveling to the U.S. national parks, bear watching in Katmai National Park is at the top of the list. Tucked away in a remote part of southwest Alaska, Katmai is truly a unique and exciting place to visit. During certain weeks each summer, visitors are pretty much guaranteed some phenomenal bear watching. Join us on this episode to hear stories about our incredible bear encounters and our recommendations for planning your own trip to Katmai.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why Katmai became a national park in the first place
  • Where it is and how to get to there
  • What to do (and not do) if you have a close encounter with a bear
  • Tips for the best places to view the brown bears in the park, and
  • Our “interesting” bear encounters while visiting the park

Links:

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

07 Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Join Matt and Karen as they descend 750 feet underground to explore what Karen thinks is one of the most magical places in the entire U.S. national park system: Carlsbad Caverns. Matt’s not a huge fan of dark, scary holes, but he puts on a brave face during the couple’s multiple visits to this enchanted part of the Chihuahuan Desert in southern New Mexico. You might want to have a flashlight or two close by when you listen to this episode, just in case the lights go out and you need to self-rescue your way back to daylight. That’s one of the lasting effect these cave visits had on Matt: he never goes anywhere now without at least a couple light sources with him.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The variety of cave tours offered at Carlsbad Caverns
  • Which caves Matt and Karen visited
  • Why Matt’s not a fan of caves
  • What to know if you’re planning to attend the bat flight program
  • The ranger speech that made Karen tear up
  • Why Karen is thinking about becoming a scientist

Links:

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

06 Zion National Park: Hiking The Narrows

Standing in waist-deep water while looking up at the towering canyon walls, the scene was breath-taking. Or, maybe it was the cold water splashing our midsections that was taking our breath away. Join us as we hike The Narrows, one of the most magnificent areas of Zion National Park. On today’s episode, we talk about our experiences while hiking up the Virgin River through The Narrows, what to bring if you’re thinking of doing it yourself, and other how-to tips.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why we’re wearing the same clothes in all of our National Park sign pictures
  • The best time of year to hike The Narrows
  • What to bring and what not to bring
  • Why you might need a permit
  • What we did for work before quitting our jobs to visit the National Parks

Links:

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

05 RV Adventures in Arizona

Have you ever wanted to take an RV on an adventure into the National Parks? So did we, so we rented one in Arizona and toured the southern part of the state for a week. Join us as we explore Chiricahua National Monument and other National Park units from the comfort of a 19-foot recreational vehicle. Along the way, we learn about the dos and don’ts of RV life, meet the nicest people in the RV community, and lament the untimely demise of Matt’s tennis shoes.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Renting an RV from Cruise America
  • Going to a gigantic RV show in Kansas City
  • Hiking in Chiricahua National Monument
  • How to use the dump station at an RV park
  • RVing versus tent camping

Links:

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices