Short jog into Utah; amazing Kentucky couple and their favorite travel apps

When we passed through northeast Utah, we camped for the night at Lodgepole Campground in the Ashley National Forest 20 miles south of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

Lodgepole Campground is cut out of a lodgepole pine and quaking aspen forest at 8,000 feet elevation off US Hwy 191, about 26 miles north of Vernal, Utah.

This shady campground is pretty typically forest service featuring 35 sites with picnic tables and fire pits; no hookups; water nearby; flush toilets. Fee: $16/night; $8/senior pass.

After eating breakfast I went in search of the camp host for suggestions on the best / most scenic route north toward the Grand Teton National Park.

Lucky for me the camp hosts were not on duty, because in the next site was a couple tent camping. I  asked if they knew anything about the way north –they said “a little” and we started talking.

It was like striking gold–they knew a lot.

Lynn Cruz and Rick Paul from Frankfort, Kentucky, were in the middle of a three-week road trip which took them as far west and north as Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.

Lynn, a retired clinical researcher, and Rick, an art and design university professor, married after meeting eight years ago on Match.com and have been traveling each summer since.

This year they chose to car tour and tent camp. They also “enjoy B&B’s and locally-owned motels in small towns,” said Lynn. And also “airplane camping where you pack your equipment and rent a car” once you reach a destination.

Both Lynn and Rick are tech-savvy and said their iPhones have become indispensable travel accessaries.

“You can keep up with your email, pay bills and check your bank account, let family know where you are heading via texts (iMessage), check weather, find an urgent treatment center, look up places to camp and eat, be alerted to changing road conditions, find nearest stores, and can be used like a mini-GPS to get directions,” said Lynn.

Their most popular travel apps and why –

Trip Advisor — “Reviews are left by patrons and you can find good hotel prices because not all highly-rated places cost the same. Many locally-owned businesses are rated highly. Restaurants and attractions are rated too.”

iExit — “When traveling down the Interstate highway, it will tell you what is located at the Exit you are approaching.”

Best Road Trip Ever — “Tells you interesting places where you are that you otherwise might not know existed even in places where you think it is just boring to drive through…not always so!”

WiFi Hot Spots — “We buy a large unsweetened tea at McDonalds and enjoy their free WiFi to send and receive, and not use any of our data plan. Once in a tiny town with only a couple of local restaurants, we parked our car in front of a tavern and used their WiFi.”

Allstays Camp & RV — “Sites, locations, numbers, photos, and reviews.”

RecGovCamp — “US Dept of Parksrecreation.gov sites plus reservations online.”

RA Camping — “ReserveAmerica.com sites.”

RiverGuide — “Gives you any information you want about most waterways.

Nature — “The Nature Conservancy information.”

Every Trail — “Information on trails.”

Maplets — Allows “you type in an area and you can get maps of the city, museum layout maps, airport layouts, local attractions maps, etc. Cool app.”

Photos by Julianne G. Crane (Top) Lodgepole Campground. (Bottom) Lynn Cruz and Rick Paul from Frankfort, Kentucky, use their iPhones and numerous travel apps when touring the USA.


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