Pick up new trailer – check ✔️… rig tested – check ✔️… unpack gear – check ✔️… destination selected ⁇ – still very unclear!

We definitely are living the good life on the Californian coast. The weather is near perfect, we need for nothing, and have have no commitments. Yet we are still NOT stress-free!

Daily we struggle with where to go next. Don’t get me wrong, and definitely don’t feel sorry for us. However, when the world is your oyster, and any place within a day’s drive is a possibility… making a decision of “what next” can be paralyzing.


We have no complaints… frankly it’s all degrees of good!

With so many options available to us, we try to narrow it down to manageable bits. Cooperatively Tracy and I have created our very own personal destination selection process. It’s not rocket science, but it works for us.

camping rythyms tracy jt1
We prefer more nature to concrete – Warren Peak Trail , Joshua Tree National Park, California
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The wilder the best – Panorama Loop, Joshua Tree National Park, California

Destination Selection Process

First we brain storm all the places we want to explore. This list is often very large and humanly impossible to achieve. There are so many wonderful and interesting places worth enjoying while we are on this side of the grass.

Second… we whittle down the list to a reasonable size considering our available time and energy levels.

The third phase of this process is selecting camping locations close too or within our short list of destinations. However we learned this is far more difficult than we first anticipated.

With thousands of northern snowbirds pecking for the same camping crumbs, many of the best campgrounds were already fully reserved, while others are far too expensive for our humble nest egg! So with these restrictions in mind, the following camping stylings evolved.

camping rythyms palm desert
On the weekends we stayed closer to the city – Bump & Grind Trail Hiking Trail, Palm Desert, California
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Private campgrounds on the weekends & government parks during the weekdays – KOA Campground, Santa Cruz, California

Camping Stylings

During the weekdays we stay in government parks on a first come first serve basis. These parks generally have lots of spots available from Monday to Friday, however during the weekends they are often fully books months in advance. We generally preferred the government parks. They are cheaper, closer to nature and often without water and electricity. This is where the Escape Pod thrived!


On the weekends, we pay more eggs and stay in private RV parks. There is definitely “less” nature, however there are fringe benefits. The private campgrounds are generally closer to shops and restaurants, plus they have laundry facilities and WiFi. So on the weekends we replenish the pantry, do our laundry and catch up on news and emails. All good.

Recap… the weekdays are 5 days of exploring the wilds… and the weekends are 2 days of dusting ourselves off and completing chores.

This camping rhythm is our stress management road trip strategy.

camping rythyms tracy zoo
There are some advantages of staying closer to the cities on the weekends – Living Desert Zoo, Palm Springs, California
camping rythyms tracy relaxing
We prefer the wilds.. it’s always better the further you are from the city – Joshua Tree National Park, California


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