I'm the girl who makes it happen. And I am good.
Just like a master carpenter, the quality of my "work" is directly proportional to the quality of my tools and the amount of effort I am willing to invest. Time is not an issue. I'll spend as much time as necessary to find just the right spot. As for the tools, one of my most powerful planning tools is the Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) web site.
Stecoah, North Carolina. It was just close enough to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) that we were easily able to see the main attractions there, but still have time to check out the Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway.
This cabin, which is easily big enough to sleep six, with no sofa beds involved, rents for between $90-$120/night or $550-$635/week. It has a fully-equipped kitchen, linens, satellite TV, active hummingbird bird feeders on the huge porch/deck, a fabulous front porch, and charm galore. Especially if you're into the whole cabin decor thing (bears and moose) like I am.
The cabin was almost perfect. The only drawback was scarcity of nearby restaurants. And liquor stores. I must admit, nothing beats an ice-cold beer after a long motorcycle ride. Except maybe a frozen margarita, but those take time.
Anyway, if you are prepared and pick up a few provisions en route, you will be set.
This is not the only place we've ever rented through VRBO. There was the pair of ADORABLE little cabins in the Black Hills. Hubby and I stayed in one and our friends, Kathy and Barry Spice, stayed in the other. Hubby and Barry rode their motorcycles to South Dakota. Kathy and I flew out and met them. We got to ride around exploring for a few days and then fly back home.
Our cabin was called The Cub House. Guess what it was full of?
Our cabin was the smaller of the two. But I LOVED it because it was full of bruins. I'm not sure if this one is still available for rent, which is a shame.
If you're a motorcyclist, the Black Hills should definitely be on your bucket list. I can do without the whole Sturgis rally thing. Huge crowds just aren't our thing. But the Black Hills area is just gorgeous. (And Oz, I agree Spearfish Canyon IS one of the best roads in the country.)
|Another shot from the Great Smoky Mountains trip.|
|Here I am with my V-Star 1300 Tourer.|
|Here I am again with my favorite Hubby.|
We've stayed in several great properties found through VRBO. There was an awesome spot on a little lake near Medicine Park, Oklahoma. And there's this spot, which I am beyond excited about, where we'll be staying for a few days with some friends in September.
When it's just Hubby and me, we only need small places. But the available properties come in all shapes and sizes. If you're traveling with a group, staying in one of these places is the way to go.
If you're planning a trip this year, check VRBO out. (This is a completely unpaid endorsement.)
Oh yeah, and would you like to see more pics from our Great Smoky Mountains trip? I uploaded them to Flickr today especially for you.
If you do find a place on VRBO, let me know. I may be looking for that spot in New Jersey I mentioned yesterday.
UPDATE: The SD cabins I mentioned are still available, just through a different service. They call it the Rockbottom Cottage. There are actually three cabins on the property, at least two of which are available to rent. Dan and Arlette, the hosts, live in a house on the property so are on-site pretty much all of the time to meet all of your needs. They're super-nice, gracious hosts. As with most properties of this type, daily maid service is not provided, but they do swap out your towels on a daily basis. And did I mention the place is on a creek? You can walk right to a state park/forest via an adjoining trail. There's a road bridge very close to the property, too, which gives you a bird's eye view of a cliff swallow colony. The cabin is within about 5 minutes of Keystone, which means Mt. Rushmore is right around the corner and there's also easy access to Custer State Park, another little piece of paradise. Can you tell I liked the place? My pictures from the trip are available on Flickr.