Bob Livingston Talks About Some Great Places for You to Visit in 2009

Trailer Life’s Publisher Shares Some of His Favorites in the West

Sunday, January 04 2009 10:39 Mike Harris   Tips & Guides
If there's anyone who can offer our readers some great vacation ideas and favorite places to visit in the West in 2009, it's Bob Livingston, senior vice president of  Affinity Media, and publisher of Trailer Life and MotorHome magazines, and the Good Sam Club's member magazine Highways.

So, I asked Bob, an avid RVer, to share with you some of his preferred getaway destinations, places that might be a little less visited and might be even thought of as a secret spot of his.

"Wow, there are so many great places to visit in the West, and my favorites? I'm not sure I should be telling you about those," he said chuckling. "If I talk about them, maybe the word will get out and more people will start going there."

But after some gentle arm twisting, Bob agreed to share some of his favorite vacation and destination places.

"Well, it depends on where in the West you want to go, and what season it is," he said. "For example, I like it in Durango, Colorado, even in the winter. I like the northwest area of New Mexico, and especially Santa Fe. I think Yellowstone and Grand Canyon are fantastic, but I like to visit more of the out-of-the-way places."

Great, I thought. Now we're getting some where. "OK, Bob, start naming names," I said.

And he did.

"Probably one of my favorite places is the Metolius River area in Oregon," he confessed. "It is one of the jewels of the West. It is a pristine river, and there are beautiful camping spots there, both private and public."

It's that good?

"Absolutely. It is a beautiful river. You can fly fish (catch and release only) and it's a real  challenge for flyfishing anglers. I love the way it meanders. Three days would be good there."

I did a bit of digging and found out that the Metolius River is crystal-clear and spring-fed, and is known as one of Oregon's premier fly-fishing rivers. It is located just east of the Central Oregon Cascades. It is roughly 100 miles from the cities of Salem, Albany, and Eugene to the west, and about 40 miles from the cities of Bend and Redmond to the east.

A good Web site for information is and it is maintained by the Metolius Recreation Association, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to unify and coordinate the efforts of local businesses in promoting the recreational and scenic values of the Metolius Recreation Area.

How about another ‘special place,' Bob?

"Clio, California," he said. "It's a great little town, a fantastic community. And there are a couple of nice campgrounds there. I especially like to visit the high country in the Sierra to see the turning of the leaves."

More digging on my part.

Clio, I discovered, is a very small town (population around 90) in northern California's Placer County, and located in the High Sierra range. A good road to get into the area is California highway 89. There are lots of hiking trails and camping opportunities, and you'll find plenty of open space -- Plumas National Forest,  Lassen National Forest and Tahoe National Forest -- and the Feather River area -- are all around Clio.

More, Bob, more.

"I love Brookings, Oregon. It's a great place," he said. "We like to camp at Alfred A. Loeb State Park and it's right on the river. But if someone wants more of a resort experience, they have some great resorts there, too."

Alfred A. Loeb State Park is shaded by a myrtlewood forest, and the campground is located along a bend of the scenic Chetco River. The park is 10 miles inland from Oregon's southern coastline, and offers year-round camping.

For more information, visit the park's web site at and if you go there, I hear one of the first impressions a visitor has is the scent of the myrtlewood forest, some say a crisp, bay leaf aroma. Many of the trees in the park are supposed to be more than 200 years old.

Maybe one more special spot, Bob?

"Try Idaho's Lolo Pass," he said. "It was one of our trip highlights."

Lolo Pass is part of the Clearwater National Forest, and is located on the border of Montana and Idaho along U.S. Highway 12. It is approximately 45 miles west of Missoula, Montana, 100 miles east of Kooskia, and 175 miles east of Lewiston, Idaho.

On of the big attractions, I found out, is Lolo Pass's connection to Western history.

On Sept. 13, 1805, the famed Lewis and Clark expedition, following the Lolo Trail, spilled out of the thick woods and came upon a series of lush meadows near what is now Lolo Pass.

According to the U.S. Forest Service this spot is now known as Glade Creek Camp. On the expedition's return trip in 1806, Lewis and clark again crossed these meadows, but this time did not stop to camp. According to history, The members were anxious to proceed down Lolo Creek to Lolo Hot Springs and enjoy a hot bath.

The views from the trail are supposed to be breathtaking. For more information about Lolo Pass and Lolo Trail, visit

Livingston has many more favorite places in the West, as well he should.

He is an not shy about his passion for RVs. He spends most of his free time behind the wheel of some type of RV, traveling to RV parks and visiting with fellow enthusiasts.

Then there's his background.

While working as a sports journalist, Livingston's career path changed dramatically after building his first RV 36 years ago-a process that developed unexpectedly after purchasing a used van. He became infatuated with the RV lifestyle and took an editorial position with Trailer Life and Camper Coachmen magazines in 1971.

He has since held editorial positions with Trailer Life, MotorHome and Woodall's, moving up the ranks from editorial assistant to assistant technical editor, technical editor, editor, executive editor, associate publisher, and on to his current role.

Other favorite places of his include Pismo Beach, California, Lees Ferry, Arizona (part of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area), and camping near the West Yellowstone River, north to the Madison. And he said he goes to Mammoth Mountain every year for hiking, fishing and the town's jazz festivals.

"There are three things that make a great trip for me," he said, "fly fishing, hiking and bicycling. That takes care of it for me."


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