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Month: April 2011

A Visit to a Living Ghost Town…

April 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A Visit to a Living Ghost Town…

On one of our days visiting Montana, we were looking about for something to do while we were waiting for Yellowstone’s West Entrance to open and decided to take a drive around the countryside. Little did we know the unexpected adventure that awaited us. Our first indication that something was out of the ordinary was a drive past a large old log structure with a sign out front stating “Robber’s Roost.” Upon further exploration, we confirmed that the place had, indeed, been a hideout for outlaws in the distant past. Robber's Roost, Virginia City, MT We continued our drive after stopping to snap a photo of the structure and entered Virginia City, MT, home of one of the most colorful pioneer mining camps that ever existed. After a bit of research we learn that dramatic tales of the early days in this vicinity are common. The town bills itself as a living ghost town as a remarkable gold deposit was discovered in nearby Alder Gulch in the spring of 1863 leading to a stampede of gold... [Read more...]

What is an “RSS Feed” and Why Would I Want One?

April 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

What is an “RSS Feed” and Why Would I Want One?

Everyone has a favorite site on the internet (Woodall’s Family Camping Blog perhaps?) that they visit a least a couple times a week. And if you are like most people, maybe you have “bookmarked” that site or added it to your “favorites” on your web browser. But bookmarking a site has its pitfalls: 1) You have to click and search each and every website yourself (that is a lot of clicking!) 2) You can miss information when you forget to check all your “bookmarks” 3) You often go back to the same page over and over again to check to see if they have anything new on their site But now there is a way to get updates on all your favorite websites, all without having to surf the internet at all. “RSS”—which is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication—is a way to build your own custom “internet magazine” and have your favorite websites send you their newest articles, photos, and videos.  RSS Feeds delivers bite-sized chunks of a website and puts them in an easy to read... [Read more...]

“There’s a Buffalo on the Trail!”

April 10, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

“There’s a Buffalo on the Trail!”

With all of the amazing adventures to be had in discovering the geysers and hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, it is easy to overlook the wildlife to be experienced there, but opportunities are endless to get a close-up look at a multitude of creatures you would hare pressed to find anywhere else. Larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined at 2,219,789 acres, the park contains over 7 species of ungulates (bison, moose, elk and pronghorn), 2 species of bear, 67 other mammals, 322 species of birds, 16 types of fish and the gray wolf. Bison in Yellowstone Upon our first drive through the park the day the west entrance opened for the year, we stopped numerous times to see wildlife grazing in the meadows along the road. We easily spotted herds of antelope, elk and bison on our journey. On one occasion while we were stopped, we noticed what first appeared to be a flash of activity out in one of the meadows, and upon closer examination, it appeared to be a gray wolf chasing an antelope—looking... [Read more...]

Relaxation and Camping…

April 10, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

How do you relax while camping? How do you relax while camping with children? My husband and I have been camping for a long time with children in tow, so I know exactly how much effort it takes to pack the gear, organize the meals, hook up the camper, drive to a destination, park the camper (!!)  and then set up camp. Over the years, I’ve learned that some of our most relaxing trips have taken place at seaside locations. There’s something about the beach that soothes my soul.  Of course, the beach experience here in the Pacific Northwest can be a little different from the warm sunny experience found on beaches of the East Coast. More often than not, a beach day here in the coastal Northwest includes a healthy dose of fog and mist.  If the vacation gods are smiling on us, then we might get a pinch of sunshine as well. Nonetheless, beaches are my favorite place to relax. Sometimes, I just bring a beach chair and sit at the shore with a few cooking magazines and a good book.... [Read more...]

Santa Fe Skies Solar Power Project

April 8, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Santa Fe Skies Solar Power Project

Santa Fe Skies is an 11-year-old family built, owned, and operated RV Park overlooking the beautiful mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico. This “Big Rig friendly” park offers 20/30/50 amp electric service to all 98 sites. This has allowed the park to remain up to date with the power requirements of the modern recreational vehicle. This does however mean that their annual electric bill is rather high. Image courtesy Santa Fe Skies RV Park As the power company (PNM) asks the Public Regulatory Commission for an electric rate increase, Santa Fe Skies is in the process of building a solar power plant to offset the increase in rates as well as reduce their environmental impact. Santa Fe Skies RV Park owner John Brown says investing $1.3 million now to install an array of solar panels—and getting 30% of that back in a federal rebate—will make a huge difference in the park’s long-term prospects, reports Woodall’s Campground Management. “From a park-owning standpoint, not only... [Read more...]

Tips and Tricks on Traveling Long Distances with Young Children

April 8, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Tips and Tricks on Traveling Long Distances with Young Children

Since we started traveling with our  during the spring, summer and fall seasons about three years ago, we have discover that doing long distance with kids can be tiresome at times.   To reduce the problems that traveling with kids can bring, we have discovered some easy to do tips and tricks.   I want to share here what we have found helpful for our travels with four kids. A) Planning before leaving I am a planner.    Ask our family and friends and they will confirm that our family likes to plan…  sometimes we do spontaneous things but for traveling – planning is a must.  I make sure that we don’t forget anything (like I did once by forgetting necessary clothes for my husband and oldest son one year when we went camping… Since then I have lists to go through while packing!). The most important thing to do before leaving is planning and know what to pack.   Often, we have the tendency to forget that kids gets bored easily while on the road.  We think of packing clothes,... [Read more...]

Government Shutdown – Our National Parks are at Risk of Closing

April 8, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Government Shutdown – Our National Parks are at Risk of Closing

On a blog site that primarily focuses on Family Camping Issues it is generally taboo to bring politics into the discussion – especially when the general political views of the author are thrust upon the readership. . Still, the events unfolding before us today do merit a non-partisan commentary. Let me make it perfectly clear right up front that I am neither a Democrat or a Republican nor am I a member of the newly organized Tea Party.  I am an American and owe nothing to any political party or the organized resistance that arises from their party disputes. Yet, I always vote and have done so in every state and national election since the day I turned 21 – some 44 years ago.  I have voted for Democrats and Republicans with equal distribution.  You see, I vote for the man or woman that impresses me the most as someone that is honest, sincere, and capable of representing the people of this great and beautiful country as a leader focused on keeping us that way. Many have disappointed... [Read more...]

Family travel on a budget…

April 6, 2011 by · 7 Comments 

Family travel on a budget…

Traveling with 10 kids, we should be pros at RVing on a budget.  I don’t know that we’ve arrived, but we have learned a few things along the journey.   I’d like to share a few of the ways that we cut costs, and are therefore able to do more things during our trips.  When it comes to saving money, a little planning goes a long way (though not manditory!LOL): Find the Chamber of Commerce or City Visitor’s Center.  If you are planning a trip, contact them and they are usually happy to send you a tourist packet – be sure to ask for a city map and any coupon books that they have!  Coupons are not just for grocery stores!   If you are just driving into town, stop by and ask for the same – also, don’t forget to ask what the locals like to do in town; the best eateries, attractions, parks…are not necessarily the most popular/advertised ones.  Free is Good!  Like the Fort Worth Stockyards, the Fort Worth Water Park, the Fort Worth Botanical... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: “iPods, iPads, iPhones, and now rpods? This Is Why God Made Tents.”

April 6, 2011 by · 8 Comments 

We (briefly) contemplated buying a Forest River rpod travel trailer over the weekend. http://bit.ly/dnHnfG  Yup…that’s a  phantom photo rpod hovering over a Grand Canyon ledge, much  like that woman I wrote about who almost made orphans of her children as they watched her  praise the Sun God or some such nonsense. Thanks for the photo, husband. For those of you who haven’t channeled your inner tear drop lately, the rpod is a tiny, totally cool, self-contained trailer shaped like a tear drop. Now, the more observant among  you may have noted the word “pod” after the  “r.”  How could they do that to us?  Who, in the 21st century, would torture the RVing public by  naming something with yet another “pod” in it? Don’t they have focus groups to check that stuff out ? And if they do, would someone invite me to be in one?  If you don’t believe it’s tough keeping  all these virtually identical names straight, talk to our poor  RV guy. I kept saying... [Read more...]

Campers Choose Their Favorite Campgrounds For March

April 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Campers Choose Their Favorite Campgrounds For March

Woodall’s is searching for North America’s Favorite Campground, and is asking RVers and campers to help us. Throughout this year, campers have multiple opportunities to nominate their favorite campground by going to www.woodalls.com/myfavoritecampground and casting their vote. At the close of the year, a grand prize winner will be named North America’s Favorite Campground, but Woodall’s will be counting the votes throughout the year, and announcing the monthly winners of the sweepstakes as well. The campground that received the most votes in the month of March was Candy Hill Campground ! Located in the historic Shenandoah Valley, between the Blue Ridge and the Appalacian Mountains, Candy Hill Campground offers year-round camping with beautiful tent sites, RV slips, and wonderful cabins. There is even a nice campground store that offers everything a camper might need. The staff is warm and friendly, and make guests feel very welcome. The second place winner was Pismo Coast Village... [Read more...]

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