Ultimate Public Campground App OKC to Amarillo: Review
Time to plan a road trip worthy of a 62+ go-getter, the kind who’s on a budget and eager to make the most of a Senior National Park Pass. Parks, Monuments, Seashores, Historic Places..those are easy enough to figure out. But how about budget-crimping overnights? Technology can really help here, especially the Ultimate Public Campground App. Bye bye expensive motels and sleeptime in a parking lot. Hello all the mod cons: picnic table, camp spot, restroom, friendly neighbors, reading by lantern, starry nights…Dare we imagine a shower?
So, lay out your maps on the kitchen table, start up your MacBook or handheld device, and we’ll look at the features and benefits of the Ultimate Public Campground App. Better still, how might it throw a soupçon of extra sparkle into your next road trip?
Ultimate Public Campground App
This app can be used as a standalone or hooked into the Road Trip Planner App. The current cost (2016) for Mac is $7.99. One cheap night and it’s paid for.
There are iOS and Android versions as well, and a companion app for Canada: Ultimate Canadian Public Campground Project.
Where are we going?
Aahh, you guessed right! Oklahoma City to umm El Paso? Yes, indeedy. Family’s calling.
Google it up and what do you get? Voilà: Variations on a theme of INTERSTATES. Typical. Could we maybe at least have a little more excitement?
Your adventuring can-do kicks in….What if you allocate three days to get to the all-important reunion instead of driving straight there? No hay problema: time is on your side these days.
The maps are in front of you… Where oh where, BINGO: Carlsbad Caverns. A little cave tour with a ranger, or maybe two…A caveman diner…Neanderthal square dance…Lucy lunch.
Let’s check it out with Google Maps:
Hmmm… 3 pretty much equivalent options to Carlsbad Caverns. But no way José, are you driving 8+ hours in one go.
Could you maybe stop for the night en route? You boot up the Ultimate Public Campground App. It maps a whopping 26,570 public campgrounds in the US, with popup details.
Nothing on the I-44 route especially grabs your fancy. And, while there are quite a few public campgrounds, they’re of the more expensive—county, state, municipal, utility—variety. You want federal, ‘cos they’re generally the cheapest if you have an NPS Senior Pass.
So you look at the I-40 route. Gosh: there’s a National Monument you’ve never heard of called Alibates Flint Quarries, 30 miles north of Amarillo. That’s a little bit out of your way, but “nothing ventured, nothing gained”, so the saying goes.
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
Now you look up Alibates Flint Quarries. Where have they been hiding all these years? Wow! The nth degree of awesome, fascinating, and spectacular. You can even get a ranger talk if you time it right? An arrowhead-making demonstration? A leg-stretch?
That could take a few hours if you really get into it, and it might get kinda late. Then what?
Ding ding ding, the Ultimate Campground Project shows National Park campgrounds all around Lake Meredith NRA, smack next to those flint quarries. You click on all 13, eliminate a few ‘cos you’d rather have running water and a real restroom, and halleluja! They’re FREE. That generally means a tad “primitive”, but you’ll take it.
For the good of the order, you GoogleMap it all up, and you’re half the way to Carlsbad Caverns, plus an excursion-boondoggle-overnight off route 1 1/2 hours. Wheee!
Pack the car
Early to bed, early to rise, and all that.
After you putter around at the Alibates Quarries National Monument and Lake Meredith on Day 1, it’s time to get on the road bright and early on Day 2.
Scrabble around in mental cobwebs. Didn’t Ted and Sunny mutter about Amarillo and Cadillacs? A Cadillac farm or some crazy thing? Well, I’ll be… Cadillac Ranch plain as plain on a Google Map. And it’s right on the way to Carlsbad Caverns. Close enough.
Are we there yet? Not at Carlsbad Caverns, let alone El Paso. You were last seen taking selfies at the Cadillac Ranch….
Carlsbad Caverns are for another day and another post…
Photo credits. Featured image and top, Alibates Ranger Tour: CCO Public Domain by M Brenner/NPS. UC icon: screenshot. Top panel… Oklahoma City Greetings: CC BY 2.0 by Matthew Rutledge via Flickr. El Paso postcard, Greetings from El Paso, TX: CC BY 2.0 by Boston Public Library via Flickr. Alibates views…Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument and Getting to the Quarries: Public Domain by NPS via Wikimedia. Flint panel…Alibates, flint is everywhere and Flint rocks in the park and Flint arrowheads: Public Domain by NPS via Wikimedia. Ultimate Public Campground Project: screenshot. Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo TX, Caddie Dog: CC BY 2.0 by Punk Toad via Flickr.
[*For the curious, the W 1637 on the app campground tag indicates mileage from the user’s as-of-this-minute location.]