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Month: January 2013

Moundville Archaeological Park, near Tuscaloosa, AL…

January 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Moundville Archaeological Park, near Tuscaloosa, AL…

We recently spent 2 weeks near Tuscaloosa, AL, volunteering with a Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief build. While we were there, we stayed at the Moundville Archaeological Park, in Moundville, AR; about 20 minutes south of Tuscaloosa. The MAP is a small park, about 26 acres, that consists of a museum, ancient Indian mounds, replica Indian huts, beautiful walking paths, and a small campground. At the entrance to the park is a Orientation building, where you can speak with a park ranger, find park information, and watch a well-done, informative film on the park and surrounding area’s history. We really appreciated the film as we knew nothing about the area before we watched it.  We found the staff here to be very informative and education oriented - when they found out that we homeschool, they gave us some information on the park, including some activity sheets for the kids, that made our stay much more interesting! The grounds contain over a dozen Indian mounds, built around... [Read more...]

More Space Heater Fires Destroy Pets & RVs

January 30, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

More Space Heater Fires Destroy Pets & RVs

Whether camping or just relaxing in your recreational vehicle, fire safety is essential. A fire started by a space heater in a travel trailer spread to a second trailer, a car, and a home just. (Credit: Avra Valley Fire Department) In an earlier post I reported that four small dogs died and an RV was destroyed in a fire caused by a propane space heater. In today’s post I report on two RV fires caused by careless use of space heaters. Arizona Fire Started by Space Heater A fire started by a space heater in a travel trailer spread to a second trailer, a car, and a home in Picacho, reports the Arizona Daily Star. When units from the Avra Valley Fire District arrived on scene they found heavy flames and smoke coming from a masonry-built home, Patrick Calhoun, spokesman for the fire district, said in a news release. A car and two travel trailers also were ablaze. It took two engines and two water tenders to extinguish the fires. “The fire was believed to have had started in one of the... [Read more...]

Vicksburg National Military Park, MS…

January 29, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Vicksburg National Military Park, MS…

We recently had the opportunity to visit Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi, and while the cold, wet weather did dampen our visit a bit, we still thought the park was intriguing and beautiful.      Vicksburg was an important location in the Civil War; the army that controlled Vicksburg pretty much controlled the Mississippi River and it’s important role as a vital supply route for the Confederacy. Located high on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi, Vicksburg had a commanding control over the ships passing beneath, all in gun range from the bluffs. Both the North and the South desperately wanted/needed to control Vicksburg, and the result was one of the bloodiest campaigns, and one of the most decisive turning points in the Civil War.  Vicksburg was not an easy quest – it took her being under attack and then seige, from April of 1862 to July 4th, of 1863, before the Union could claim her as under Union control.       While we were at VNMP, we chose... [Read more...]

Hit the Trail

January 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hit the Trail

Hit the Trail From Education Outdoors About the game Can you be the first hiker to hike 100 miles in the new dice / card game “Hit the Trail”? “Hit the Trail” comes packaged in a mini backpack which includes 72 cards, 3 dice, and pencil. How the game is played: Deal 7 cards out to each player. Each player picks a card and lays it face up. (This is where the strategy comes in) Do you pick a lower point card or a higher point card? Youngest player then rolls the three dice – trying to match one of the die or combination of dice to their card amount which is face up. Each time the die/dice combination match the players card that is face up, the player gets to move the card into their “mile pile” trying to be the first to hike 100 miles. But, beware of getting caught with a “cooler card” – like the mother bear & cubs in the trail. If you get caught with one of the three cooler cards – you loose 10 miles. Other twists in the game include bonus rolls if the player’s... [Read more...]

The Forest in Winter

January 27, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The Forest in Winter

Several weeks ago I wrote a post about hiking the Picuris Peak Trail with our son, Ryan, when he was with us this past summer. During the month of August our youngest daughter Meghan joined us and was interested in spending some time out of doors. More a biker than hiker, we decided to take Meg to the same trail for a bike ride along that forest road. However, the rutted and hilly roads that were simple to navigate when hiking proved much the opposite when operating on two wheels. After about 15 minutes, Meghan called it quits and proceeded to walk her bike back to the car. In my mind, that was to be the end of our time on that trail until the following summer; but I was mistaken. Open Meadow at the beginning of the trail In fall, Terry and I ventured out to that same area of the Kit Carson National Forest to cut firewood for winter. We found the forest road reasonably navigable in our Durango and also noted the abundance of 8-10 foot evergreen trees, suitable for Christmas trees. The day... [Read more...]

Camping with Pets

January 25, 2013 by · 5 Comments 

Camping with Pets

With more and more campgrounds accepting pets and offering on-site pet amenities, more pets than ever are being included on camping trips. Camping with Pets Camping with pets can be a very enjoyable experience for both owners and their animals with a little preparation and planning. While camping can be a very affordable vacation option, being able to bring pets eliminates the need for a boarding facility. Owners and pets can enjoy their vacation together, an experience that isn’t always available on other types of vacations, according to a New Hampshire Campground Owners Association news release. Sylvia Leggett, owner of Roberts Knoll Campground in Alton, New Hampshire, and member of the New Hampshire Campground Owners’ Association Board of Directors, has been camping with her three golden retrievers for many years. Leggett has noticed an increase in the number of campgrounds that allow pets, with many adding pet-friendly services. “That’s why many people camp, so they can be outdoors... [Read more...]

Alabama Mardi Gras Comes to Kentucky

January 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

To escape winter in north-central Kentucky, we decided to head south to the Gulf Coast and chose an RV park near Gulf Shores, Alabama, for the month of January. As we toured the area, we noticed that slowly the Christmas decorations were being replaced by Mardi Gras colors. Rex, the King of Carnival, selected the Mardi Gras colors in 1892. Purple stands for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. Wreaths, banners, tinsel swags and signs started appearing in shop windows and on homes. Trees were redecorated with new ornaments and garlands in those special hues. Stores displayed hats, beads and party supplies. Bakeries hung signs encouraging hostesses to “Order Your King Cake Now!” King cake is a brioche-type pastry, rolled or braided into a circle. It is flavored with cinnamon and sugar-frosted in Mardi Gras colors. A token — a coin, a bean, or a tiny plastic baby — is hidden inside. Whoever gets the token is the king or queen of the party. Nowadays most bakeries won’t put... [Read more...]

Modding your RV – think outside the box…

January 22, 2013 by · 3 Comments 

Modding your RV – think outside the box…

or in this case, Inside the Closet!!! While not everyone travels fulltime with 10 children, most of us with RVs would like to modify them in some little way to meet our needs better. For some, that means adding shelving, or pulling down valances and adding black out curtains, or changing out that plastic toilet for a ceramic one more like the house, or even painting some of your inside walls. In many instances, modding your RV is a lot like remodeling your house. There are certain, very glaring differences sometimes, like making sure of the width of outside walls so any screws you use on the inside don’t go through your gel coat on the outside. Some aren’t so glaring, like remembering that any weight that you add with your mod makes a permanent impact on your GVW. And some are handled just like they would be in a house, like hanging wire shelves or painting. For our tribe, it has taken some permanent, and sometime extensive mods to get our crew to comfortably fit in our... [Read more...]

Disabled Americans Get Long Awaited RVing Advocate

January 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

For people with disabilities, travel and outdoor recreation is rewarding but can also be challenging. While families with disabled members know that RVing affords the most comfortable and unrestrictive travel experience, finding campgrounds and facilities that meet or exceed federal accessibility standards can be hit and miss – until now. RVing Accessibility Group, founded in 2011, announced today that the organization is expanding its services from providing accurate campground accessibility information, education, and resources to the disabled RVing community to include helping campgrounds improve accessibility through assessment and consulting services. “The genesis of RVing Accessibility Group (RVAG),” said founder and chairman of the board Mark Douglass, “stemmed from too many bad experiences making reservations with and staying at campgrounds claiming ADA accessibility and compliance only to find out upon arrival that they were not.” For Douglass, a disabled 20-year RV enthusiast,... [Read more...]

Made in the Shade at Big Tree RV Resort

January 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

True to its name, Big Tree RV Resort boasts towering oaks that shade the 55-plus resort’s grassy, full-hookup sites. After parking your rig on one of the 392 concrete pads and plugging into the with 30/50-amp power, guests may be tempted to stay put, fire up the grill or unfold the lawn chair for a mid day snooze in the shade. Don’t feel like being sedentary? Throw some iron at the horseshow pit or wield a paddle on the shuffleboard court. Anglers can hone their fishing skills at the catch-and-release pond. Slow things down by taking a relaxing dip in the heated pool or oversized hot tub. For a more adventurous swim, journey to the many great gulf beaches located just over an hour away. If you prefer to stay dry, venture out to nearby Arcadia for a stroll strolling along the city’s historic, southern colonial streets. Drive for an hour south for Port Charlotte, home to the Charlotte Stone Crabs baseball team, which is a Class High-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, which also hold... [Read more...]

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