Most Recent RV And Camping Blog Posts
Even those of us who visit Texas frequently and spend a big chunk of our time traversing it leave most of the Lone Star State untouched.
Our Texas RV Travel Bucket List continues.
At Goliad State Park, tour the beautiful reconstructed Franciscan Mission Espíritu Santo, home of the largest ranching operation in Texas in the 18th century © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Goliad is one of the few places in North America where you can visit both an 18th-century Spanish-Colonial mission and presidio (fort) complex, to understand the roles of the Catholic Church and the Spanish military in settling the New World.
At Goliad State Park, tour the beautiful reconstructed Franciscan Mission Espíritu Santo, home of the largest ranching operation in Texas in the 18th century. Enjoy the serenity of this Spanish colonial church and view exhibits that explore the history and daily life of the missionaries and Indian converts—including some of the original artifacts they used.
Across the river,... [Read more...]
Just before the first snows fell in Taos County, NM, Terry and I were in the mood for a new trail for our typical Saturday morning hike. One of the few local trails we had not tried was Gavilan Trail in Hondo Canyon on the way to the Taos Ski Valley. We had avoided that trail upon the advice of a fellow hiker who had quipped, “I call that fall on your butt trail,” and went on to describe how steep and unpleasant her hike had been.
Nonetheless, looking for something new, we decided to give it a try. We checked out the map and instructions provided by the Carson National Forest and had learned that it was named Gavilan Canyon as gavilan means “hawk” in the Spanish language. The trail was said to ascend quickly, like a hawk, gaining 2000 feet in the first section of the trail, though it was only 2.2 miles long and the total elevation gain was only 2,200 feet. We reasoned that must mean that the trail would level out nicely after about the first mile. The forest service literature confirmed... [Read more...]
I will admit that I have never gone to Walt Disney World with kids. I went as a kid when I was 8 or 9 years old and I went during our honeymoon but so far we have not brought our kids to WDW. Part of me is looking forward to it while part of me is a little bit anxious about what to expect. Don’t take me wrong, we have brought the kids to places like the zoo and museums but haven’t explore the theme parks option yet. And knowing that WDW has changed quite a bit since our last trip there in 1998 – well I know that not only my own kids will be in awe with the magic we will find there.
So as I dream and slowly consider this a possibility for 2014, my husband thought it would be a great idea to plan in advance. We know what we want to see and where we would stay. But having books and such helps us to determine what options we could incorporate in our trip. Today I would like to present you a book written by a lifelong Disney fan who has visited the WDW over 100... [Read more...]
December 4, 2013 by Rex Vogel · 1 Comment
Art Himsl owns the only 1937 Chris Craft motorhome ever made.
Art Himsl and his one-of-a-kind 1937 Chris Craft Motorhome. (Credit: David Krumboltz/Contra Costa Times)
I didn’t know Chris Craft made motorhomes, and it turns out that they didn’t. They made one-and-only one—this one—and it is owned by Art Himsl.
“They started to build this vehicle in 1937 in San Francisco, probably as a prototype as it took from 1937 to 1941 to complete,” Himsl told David Krumboltz, a columnist for the Contra Costa Times.
“It was built with an aluminum skeleton covered with Grade A linen aircraft fabric, like that found on old bi-wing airplanes. The fabric was stretched over the entire body except for metal around the windows. The original power plant was a Plymouth six-cylinder engine rated at 82 hp and the vehicle was registered as a Plymouth House Car.”
The engine was adequate as the vehicle was very light because of the fabric body.
“Of course, everyone thought the... [Read more...]
Well, it’s that time of year again: time for all good parents and partners to think about St. Nick surprises for camping and RVing friends and family members. Here are a few neat ideas for stocking stuffers this year to get you jump-started on your shopping.
Remember, according to tradition, at least in the Midwest from where I hail, St. Nick comes the night of December 5th and leaves his goodies in stockings hung from the mantel. Or, if you are mantel-less, he leaves a simple pile of goodies or stuffs them in a sock or stocking left somewhere near the front hallway or front door of your home or RV.
And, while lighting accessories are always a good stocking stuffer, I have profiled nice solar and hand crank flashlights and efficient headlamps in years past, so I will not add them again here. But they are always a good St. Nick’s gift. But for new ideas for this year, here goes:
A colorful mini-emergency radio. Listed at only $29.95 from LLBean, this handy radio is 2.5 inches high by... [Read more...]
If you are an RV owner and live in the northern part of North America, you know that you need to remove your battery from your RV when you are shutting it down for the winter. If you didn’t know – well you know now…
Since we had the RV we usually brought the battery home and stored it in our basement. But during the past summer, my husband got some marvelous tips from a support employee for the genius chargers. We had chargers before but we never really got some “education” on how to deal with RV batteries and such during the winter time. So after we purchased a G7200 NOCO charger during the summer (after the previous two chargers failed us in a short period of time), my husband called to ask a question and got great information from the person on the other side of the line.
The G7200 is a fully automatic switch-mode battery charger and maintainer. It restores batteries to their original capacity, recovers slightly sulfated batteries, charges batteries in cold climates, rescues... [Read more...]
Being a travel savvy family, we wanted to share our favorite travel-friendly finds that fit in with our on-the-move lifestyle. Here we’re sharing some of our favorite travel-friendly products that would make great gifts, whether you live in a stationary house or one that moves about…
These fun, educational, colorful building toys are super for all ages! These construction toys are unique; they are very powerful magnets that are encased in brightly colored, durable plastic. Magformers come in 14 geometric shapes in 9 bright colors. There are 65 different components available, which range from simple shapes to remote controlled wheel sets. Magformers have won several awards for their ingenuity and are great for free play.
Magformers are super for both in the house, and on the road; the pieces stick together so they don’t take up much space and don’t get lost under the seat. They are durable, and you can use them anywhwhere;... [Read more...]
November 27, 2013 by Rex Vogel · Leave a Comment
Many will be on the road traveling today and throughout this Thanksgiving weekend.
Thanksgiving is the biggest travel weekend in America, and RVers are out in force, back on the road, crossing the country in their RVs to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends. And many Snowbirds are traveling south to their favorite Sunbelt roost to avoid the rigors of another northern winter.
I have so much to be thankful for! I give thanks to my partner—my wife Dania, my co-pilot—and our family and friends.
With a lifelong love of travel, a condo-on-wheels has always been our destiny. Yes, we’re living our dream! We’ve wintered in Southern California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Alabama.
Our RV travels have taken us to over 40 states and four western provinces.
I am thankful as Canadian Snowbirds that we have the opportunity of celebrating Thanksgiving in October (Canadian Thanksgiving) and again in November.
Thanksgiving offers the opportunity to reflect on life, liberty, and the pursuit... [Read more...]
As is typical for me, and I assume most people this time of year, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I started thinking about all of the things I have to be thankful for. Research has shown that if we regularly become aware of and express our gratitude for all that we have, we tend to be happier and more contented people. Thus this is a good practice to engage in more than just once a year. Also, while my list changes slightly every year, there are some staples that I remain thankful for every time they are in my thoughts.
Kate and Meghan, with my grandpuppy Maddie in the background
The most obvious of these are my children. Each a wonderful human being in their own right, I am humbled that I have had but a small part of bringing these beautiful people into this world. Kate is extremely bright, but also a warm human being who can make me laugh in an instant. Ryan, also incredibly bright, is our adventurer; always game for a new hike, camping trip or mountain climb. He pushes us... [Read more...]
November 24, 2013 by Rex Vogel · Leave a Comment
When Hank Williams wrote Jambalaya in 1952, he captured the essence of the Cajun self-proclaimed passion for good food and good friends.
Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site in St. Martinsville explores the cultural interplay among the diverse peoples along the famed Bayou Teche. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The Acadians who settled in the bayous and swamps of Southern Louisiana developed a unique and authentic cooking style.
Louisiana has an appetite for food, music, and fun that is best summed up in the Cajun phrase laissez les bons temps rouler—let the good times roll.
Based on a survey of 1.3 million people across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Louisiana as the nation’s happiest state.
Many reasons likely led to this distinction, but I’m certain that the Bayou State’s incredible cuisine played a major role. Bite into boudin and see if a smile doesn’t break out.
Here, you don’t just eat. You dine with gusto.
Cajun... [Read more...]
My two previous posts have discussed our August, 2013 visit to Chaco Canyon, a World Heritage Site in northern New Mexico. This post will discuss some of the images these ancient ancestors of modern Pueblo, Navajo and Hope peoples left behind on the walls and rocks of this ancient village in an attempt to communicate with each other.
The spiral, a common petroglyph drawing
A self guided trail from Pueblo Bonito to Chetro Ketl, two previously discussed Great Houses in the Chaco Canyon settlement, takes visitors past some of the more unique and impressive petroglyphs. Most likely intended as visual communications to symbolize clans, record important events during migrations and act as memory aids for recalling stories and ceremonies, petroglyphs memorialize clan migrations for descendants of the canyon peoples. Rock images can give us great insight into the lives and culture of ancient peoples and tell us about their homes, tools, foods and other tangible possessions. Even though the meanings... [Read more...]
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Contact: John Sullaway
Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory
Top Extended Stay RV Parks Chosen by the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory
The Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory has just released its list of the Top Extended Stay RV Parks in North America. Compiled by the guide’s editors and consultants, the list is tailored for travelers seeking RV resorts that provide amenities and social activities for vacations stays in some of North America’ most popular regions.
The Good Sam RV Travel Guide’s top Extended Stay RV parks are:
Mesa Regal RV Resort, Mesa, Arizona
Sun Vista RV Resort, Yuma, Arizona
Val Vista Village RV Resort, Mesa, Arizona
Valle Del Oro RV Resort, Mesa, Arizona
Indian Wells Carefree RV Resorts, Indio, California
La Pacifica RV Resort, San Diego, California
Mad River Rapids RV Park, Arcata, California
Palms River Resort, Needles, California
Santa... [Read more...]
Florida – a destination for numerous snow birds (i.e. Canadians) during the winter time. For us the name represent a dream – bringing our kids for an extended field trip experience in Orlando. But Florida is much more than just Orlando and Theme Parks. It’s a state to discover and to experience. I wish we could stay for six months when we are there because there is so much I would like to do. But we have to be realistic and one month is more in our budget.
But what can you visit while in Florida. Well to get a better idea of the things to do, the places to stay, and the restaurants to visit, I decided to check out the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Florida. This book will highlight all the fun places to visit and much more.
The book is divided in four sections – each of them dedicated to a specific aspect of Florida.
Introducing Florida: Discovering Florida, Putting Florida on the Map, A Portrait of Florida, Florida through the year, The History of Florida.
Miami Area by Area: Downtown... [Read more...]
November 19, 2013 by Good Sam Team · 1 Comment
Check out the following snowbird tips and info from our Snowbird Destinations newsletter, delivered every month to your inbox. Get advice on everything from social activities to side trips, and use this information to get a great start for that long-term trip to the Sunbelt.
Keep an eye on your inbox for future editions of Snowbird Destinations.
Get to know Your Roost
Don’t settle into a snowbird destination without exploring the area’s history, attractions and recreation opportunities.
Check out national, state, county and regional parks, national wildlife refuges, national and state forests, scenic byways, fisheries and fish hatcheries, nature parks and centers, aquariums, wildlife and zoological parks, and game reserves. Many offer guided tours and hikes, educational seminars and talks, and opportunities to observe and photograph birds and other wildlife. Take up bird watching. Many of the colorful birds found in Sunbelt regions are tropical species, reaching their northern range... [Read more...]
Pine Mountain RV Resort is far from your typical RV resort, park or campground. In fact, it’s recreating outdoor recreation and relaxation. Take your ideal natural environment and mix it with your favorite hotel experience, and you have Pine Mountain RV Resort – an RVC Outdoor Destination. See why this property has better value and start redefining your vacation experience.
Pine Mountain RV Resort offers a wide range of amenities and activities for the whole family to enjoy. 119 total RV sites that are big-rig friendly, with full-hookups, 30/50 amps, free Wi-fi and cable TV. New modern cabins with loft, furnished with G.E. appliances, pillow top mattresses, flat screen TV, full kitchen, porch, grill and amazing views. Don’t forget about our trendy and furnished yurts with climate controls, fresh linens, skylights, and picnic table. At Pine Mountain RV Resort, guests can enjoy a large state of the art saline swimming pool, hot tub and kiddie pool. Many activities available... [Read more...]
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