May, 2009

Considering the economics of the times, we decided to take a cheap vacation to parts of the country many people don't think of as vacation areas, Eastern Oregon and Idaho. We did however wander into Wyoming to take a look at the Grand Tetons and then up to Yellowstone, one of the countries premier vacations spots.
It wasn't hard to make it to Burns, Oregon in one day from the San Francisco Bay Area in our little camper, and found Chickahominy to be a pleasant little campground - especially for $8. Going East, Hells Canyon was amazing, and largely overlooked. From here we crossed Idaho, and found parts of it, ah, scenically challenged. Boise was a pleasant surprise however. Clean, cultured, with beautiful old buildings and gardens. Their museum areas are well worth a day alone. Craters of the Moon NM was another surprise. Plan to spend a day there if you like unusual scenery and hiking. Grand Teton is well worth a few days to explore and  Yellowstone of course came as no surprise. Many people spend their whole vacation there, and with good reason. $25 gets you in for a week and it'll keep kids (young and old) entertained for days. So how much was our 'cheap vacation'? Our food bill came to $200. That's camp cooking which we enjoy, and includes good beer (no Bud Lite for us). You have to eat anyway, so that's a wash. Our gas came to $415 for 2650 miles or 15.5mpg, not bad for a fully self contained little camper. Lastly, our park fees came to $68! About half were free, with the most expensive being $16 for full service. Expect to pay about double that if you're not retired (one of the few advantages to getting older). In sum, we enjoyed two great weeks for under $500.