By Bob Difley
When you became a fulltimer, did you look forward to relaxing, taking it easy, and enjoying life more? And then you got on the Interstates Highway System and rushed from one tourist attraction to another, Whoa, Slow down. Don’t just focus on your next destination. Many of America’s most scenic drives wind across and through remote public lands, such as our national forests (NF) and land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Though not receiving the same publicity as our National Parks and Monuments, the National Scenic Byways (NSB) and the especially notable All-American Roads are mostly low-traveled, two-lane roads that showcase historic, scenic, and cultural treasures that define America.
But since they are often remote, you sometimes cannot find private campgrounds with typical amenities, such as hook-ups, along the way and unfortunately may have to cover the whole route in one shot — from a RV resort at one end to one at the other. Unless, of course, you have honed your boondocking skills and are comfortable camping either in primitive (no hook-ups) government campgrounds or boondocking in the open forest.
These skills enable you to take your time, stopping often, even for a couple of days at a nice forested campsite, and exploring the area more fully. Some have hiking and biking trails, waterfalls, scenic overlooks and hot springs you would have to skip if you weren’t able to boondock along their routes — or spend time and fuel driving in and out of the forest from a developed campground at its extremities.
Scenic drives like Idaho’s Payette River NSB follow wild and scenic rivers where you can spend a few hours or a couple days rafting the exciting rapids with a river rafting outfitter, or stay a couple days in a forest service campground along the Salmon River within walking distance to hot springs that flow through bathing pools and into the river.
At the National Scenic Byways Program’s Website you can request a free map and guide to the 150 scenic byways to help plan your summer adventures.
You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.