Don't ask me why, but images of the pioneer days have always stuck in my head.
Maybe I just watched too many episodes of Little House on the Prarie as a kid, but the idea of living in the country and trekking across the plains in a covered wagon still seems like fun.
Then again, I would really like adding a few creature comforts to that fantasy, like hot coffee and cold drinks.
It may sound like a dream, but it's a reality at a popular new camping - or "glamping" - spot outside Yosemite National Park.
Welcome to Yosemite Pines
In Groveland, California, a short drive from the entrance to Yellowstone National Park, you'll find the Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging.
The family-friendly campground includes space for tents and RVs, deluxe cabins, and new glamping (glamour camping) destinations.
History lovers will get a kick out the latest additions: six Conestoga covered wagons that can be rented for a pioneer-themed stay.
The design says "wild west," but step inside each wagon and you'll notice plenty of modern conveniences:
- Heating and air conditioning.
- King-sized beds and bunk beds, with room for four or six people.
- A microwave.
- A refrigerator.
- A Keurig coffee machine.
Each wagon also comes with an outdoor picnic table and a grill/fire pit, the perfect place to sit under the stars.
The closest your stay in the wagon comes to "roughing it" is when you need to use the bathroom. There's no indoor plumbing, just a nearby restroom (with showers).
But guests also have access to the park's other features: there's a swimming pool, bocce ball and volleyball courts, hayrides, and a petting zoo.
If you're dying to step inside one of the wagons, get in line. They've proven to be very popular, and rates run up to $279 in the busy season.
Interested in slightly more recent vehicles? You can also rent a vintage Aistream trailer or RV from Yosemite Pines, if you prefer.
The Utah Trail
If driving out to California with your family sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, Yosemite pines is not the only destination for pioneer-inspired glamping.
You can also hitch your wagon up at Utah's Capitol Reef Resort , which features gorgeous views of the nearby national park of the same name.
Located just north of Grand Canyon National Park, this 58-acre resort caters to guests looking for a scenic location and comfy lodgings.
Along with a variety of luxury cabins, there are Conestoga wagons and even teepees for rent in sight of the beautiful red rock cliffs.
Like Yosemite Pine's models, Capitol Reef's wagons sleep up to six guests, with central air and separate shared bathrooms.
The teepees, meanwhile, feature one king-sized bed and a flat screen TV, with private seating areas and bathrooms.