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Month: February 2010

Outdoor Ethics: A Culture of Respect

February 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Stuart Bourdon, Camping Life Magazine. What are good outdoor ethics? There is no shortage of inspiration when considering the subject. A renowned scientist and scholar, exceptional teacher, philosopher and giant of environmental philosophy, Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) is considered by many to be the father of wildlife ecology. Leopold observes in his essay Round River that “the outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television, or radio, but rather the complexity of the land organism. Only those who know the most about it can appreciate how little we know about it. The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: What good is it?” Another well-known environmental author, Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), made the statement, “from the forest and wilderness come the tonics and barks which brace mankind.” Think how refreshed we feel, how much better we can suffer the civilized world after spending some time in the wild lands of this Earth. Modern... [Read more...]

Diving Right in to Tent Camping

February 11, 2010 by · 4 Comments 

Diving Right in to Tent Camping

        What our family knows about tent camping right now could fill the front  of an index card. We own a tent and 3 sleeping bags, and that is about it as far as camping supplies go.  Our camping experience has been limited to a few Cub Scout outings and many backyard excursions.  All of this is about to change.  Since we moved to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains four months ago, all that my 10-year old son David and I have been able to think about is camping.  He has always loved our very basic aforementioned camping experiences, but I was just along as the dutiful mom.  I cannot give any logical explanation for my sudden, intense desire to camp.  All I can figure is that it must be because of where we now live.  Maybe the mountain view has finally gotten to me?  My new obsession is definitely to my son’s delight.  Is my husband Dennis delighted?  Not so much, but thankfully he’s willing to go along for the ride.      I have to be honest and tell... [Read more...]

RV Shows Can Help Cure the Winter Blues

February 10, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

I was standing at my mail box at the end of our driveway.   All around me big chunks of snow and ice were piled waist high  that were left by the big snow plows that had come by earlier that morning.  I looked over to the shelter where we park our Cedar Creek fifth wheel camper.  The ground around the edge of the camper was snow free, but the drive leading out to the highway was impassable. As I sorted through the mail a bright yellow post card caught my eye.  It was the announcement for the annual Richmond Camping and RV Expo. The show is pretty much an annual event for Nancy and me.  Attending the show helps to break the winter blues and gets us charged up for the excitement of the approaching camping season. For the uninformed, or perhaps just misinformed, a RV is NOT just a big drivable motor home. RV is short for Recreational Vehicle.  RVs cover the range from folding camper trailers, often called pop-ups or just PUP for short, to million dollar drivable motor coaches built... [Read more...]

The Santa Barbara Zoo: One of the Best Days We Ever Had!

February 10, 2010 by · 6 Comments 

The Santa Barbara Zoo: One of the Best Days We Ever Had!

Western lowland Gorilla at the Santa Barbara Zoo in California. When people hear the name, “Santa Barbara, California” they tend to think of movie stars, expensive convertibles and art on the beach. But did you know that Santa Barbara has a zoo? And not just a little put the animals in a cage zoo. This zoo has awesome habitat enclosures and the animals seem very content and happy. This zoo is a great excursion for the whole family. The average time required to walk leisurely through the whole zoo is 2 ½ hours. (But, we took most of the day.) The Santa Barbra Zoo is fully accessible to the disabled. Which was nice for us, we took my mother on this trip and she was in a wheelchair. Meerkat The Santa Barbara zoo has such a variety of animals! There are about 500 animals living at the zoo. From the Elephants, lions, and giraffes to the penguins and eagles to the creepy crawly insects to the snakes the kids (and myself too) could not get enough. We went to visit some of the animals twice.... [Read more...]

A Closer Look At Charlie’s Bunion

February 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A Closer Look At Charlie’s Bunion

On a recent spring vacation, in the mood for a bit of hiking, my family and I headed out to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our nation’s most visited national park celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2009. Special events to commemorate this momentous occasion were planned throughout the year to showcase the topography, history, crafts and lore of the Smoky Mountains. Upon our arrival, we were faced with 850 miles of hiking trails, including 72 miles of the Appalachian Trail, more affectionately known as the AT, which runs through the park as well. In our quest for adventure, we decided to hike a four mile section of the AT, from Newfound Gap Road, a major intersection for tourists, park visitors and day hikers, to a rocky outcropping called “Charlie’s Bunion.” This unique formation was so- named before the park was formed. Reportedly several gentlemen hiked to the top of the mountain to observe damage caused by a recent flood. They happened upon it and one of them remarked,... [Read more...]

Family Friendly RV: 2010 Heartland Sundance XLT 285BH

February 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Family Friendly RV: 2010 Heartland Sundance XLT 285BH

2010 Heartland Sundance XLT 285BH Previously $31,594 – Now $26,833 30 ft. Fifth Wheel w/Rear Bunk Beds, Pantry, Booth Dinette & Jack Knife Sofa Slideout, 3 Burner Range, Double Kitchen Sink, Bath w/Angle Shower, Private Toilet Area, Queen Bed w/Storage Below, and Much More! Offered from Bill Thomas Camper Sales in Wentzville, MO. Learn more about this 2010 Heartland Sundance XLT 285BH! Find more great RVs on

Rewarding RV Travel in a Motorhome

February 9, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Rewarding RV Travel in a Motorhome

Submission by Guest Bloggers, Chuck & Nancy Hanson. We travel for 5 months a year in our Motorhome…visiting different States and meeting grand people. We have been doing this over 9 years and each spring we look forward to hitting the road again. RVing is a grand lifestyle…try it sometime. The sight and wonders you see along the highways and back road of this wonderful country. Join us in RVing throughout the U.S. See things, do things and meet fabulous and interesting people each day. Enjoy life each day and feel blessed! Chuck & Nancy enjoy rating and inspecting campgrounds for Woodall’s. They live in Arizona when they aren’t in the field.

Do You Celebrate Valentine’s Day? by Debbie Block

February 9, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Do You Celebrate Valentine’s Day?  by Debbie Block

    Randy and I don’t do anything special for this day because we like to think we show love throughout the year and we don’t need a particular commercial day to celebrate our love for each other and for others. But I have to tell you if I’m at all honest that when Randy skipped this day the first year after we were married, I didn’t think it was cool at all. I bought him a shirt and tie (‘cause that was back when he had to wear the dreaded necktie) and a huge beautiful card that took an hour to pick out and I couldn’t wait for him to open it and couldn’t wait to see what he got me. I got NOTHING. It took me a good day or two to get over it, and it took his constant explaining how he feels about card stores saying when we should be in love instead of just always being in love. OK, now I completely believe in this modus operandi concerning Valentine’s Day. Of course, he’s had 31 years to prove that his position is the right one. I get flowers every month or more (yes,... [Read more...]

Desert Desserts – Traveling the Best American Deserts

February 9, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Desert Desserts – Traveling the Best American Deserts

Far from being the desolate wastelands many imagine as they speed through them on the Interstate going to somewhere else, America’s deserts are thriving ecological communities. Article Courtesy Camping Life Magazine, Written by Stuart Bourdon. Tumble weeds and blowing sand. That’s the image most often used to portray the American deserts, but the truth is these arid ecosystems offer a diverse plant and animal life, intriguing geological formations, starkly dramatic scenery, and fascinating history lessons. Best of all, the winter and spring are perfect seasons to visit. Four distinct desert biomes, each with its own unique ecosystem, exist either entirely or partially in the United States: the Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan. Because of its elevation (largely above 4000 feet) and northerly latitudes, much of the Great Basin region can be darn cold in the winter months, so for this story, we’ll stick primarily to the generally lower, more southerly and warmer climes of... [Read more...]

How to Pick the Best Campsite: Tips to help you get the best site for your money

February 8, 2010 by · 9 Comments 

How to Pick the Best Campsite: Tips to help you get the best site for your money

Article Courtesy Camping Life Magazine, Written by Stuart Bourdon Having a wonderful camping experience is a combination of factors. Some of those are providential, and a few are completely out of your hands. Luckily, there are some you can control. It’s impossible to control the weather, but you can keep track of it and update your gear as conditions dictate. And the campground may not always offer many choices, depending upon its size and reservation level. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and enjoy. The good news—with proper planning, quick and accurate assessment in the field, and some flexibility, you should be able to find just the right spot in any campground. Private and public campgrounds both have a place on the outdoor destination roster. Which you choose often has to do with your style of camping. Private campgrounds (KOA, Jellystone, etc.) offer a more controlled and manicured park-like atmosphere where the focus is often on activities (movie nights for kids)... [Read more...]

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