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Bucket List a Bust

One of the things on our Bucket List is to travel out West.

We have never been to the northern part of the Western United States and wanted to see the amazing beauty that abounds this area. We have been to Utah, Arizona, and southern Colorado, but not Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. So, I spent many months planning our trip.

I took recommendations from friends and made a trip itinerary that would include the Badlands, Wall Drug Store, Minute Man Missile, Mt. Rushmore, Petrified Forest in Black Hills, Deadwood, Sturgis, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park, Wind Cave, Hot Springs, Dayton Mercantile, Big Horn National Forest, Custer Museum, Little Big Horn, Distilleries, Big Sky, Shyrock, Glacier Nation Park, White Fish, Hungry Horse, Polebridge, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton and Jackson Hole.

I tracked my trip on a spreadsheet and determined when to call for reservations. We wanted to keep our costs down, so we would boondock a lot and stay at USACE campgrounds. You can make your reservations 6 months in advance at ACE campgrounds, so I planned ahead to see which sites looked like they would work best for us considering our length. I would study the campgrounds by using Google Earth and information or pictures I could find. Knowing that large campsites go quickly and they are limited, I would reserve the sites we wanted exactly at the 6-month time frame. So, my reservation coordination took a lot of time. I scheduled these dates in my calendar 6 months ahead to notify me that I need to make a reservation. I also sent myself a scheduled email to also remind me.

The good news, I was able to get the sites I wanted and got them all scheduled and payments sent.


On our last trip back home from Quartzsite, AZ this winter, the price of diesel started going up and up. We have the EFS card for savings. If you don’t have one and use diesel, you need to get one to help you save on diesel. By the way, they are going to start giving discounts on gasoline too, so you might want to get this free card now at

The price for diesel has gone crazy. When we left to make our way to Arizona for the winter, we were paying $2.77 per gallon. By the time we left Arizona and got home, it had risen to $4.57 per gallon. We were used to paying a little over $2 per gallon to as low as $1.50 a gallon prior to that.

We get between 5 and 6 miles per gallon with the big truck. Many others that I have spoken to that have pick-up trucks or motorhomes also get around the same mileage. But now that diesel fuel prices are going crazy, we started having second thoughts about our trip. Even with the hours, days and weeks I had put into setting up this itinerary many months ago, it is now going to be way more costly than we thought to do this trip.

At the time of this blog, the average cost in that area with the discount card is about $5.50 per gallon. The news tells us that it will continue to rise and there may be a shortage. This entire trip is about 6000 miles and at the rate things are going, it will COST US $1 PER MILE. That’s $6000 just for fuel for this trip. Then you have the cost for the campgrounds, entertainment and food.

Well, you’ve guessed it, we have canceled our out west trip. We are very sad about this and have lost money for all the cancellations. USACE charge $10 to $18 for each cancellation. The parks will probably have a lot less visitors this summer due to costs of fuel and would be a good time to go, but the cost is just too high for us. We are hoping we can do it next year.

In the meantime, I am recovering from my Total Knee Replacement Surgery and since we are on the houseboat on Lake Lanier, GA, we will take the houseboat to a few islands and enjoy time on the lake. We will probably take a couple of trips with the RV to near by states just to get out there and relax. We start to get itchy to get on the road and that will be better than nothing.

I wonder how many other people are staying put or taking short trips due to the cost of fuel. Let me know in the comments.

P.S. If you are interested in the spreadsheets I use, go here for more information:

Thanks for visiting our website.

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