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Category: State & National Parks

Top 5 Christmas Gifts For the RVer in Your Life

December 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Top 5 Christmas Gifts For the RVer in Your Life

It’s the time of year when Christmas carols fill the air, the smell of fir trees (or cactus or palm trees, depending on your location) waft through the RV, jolly thoughts of eggnog and food—and gifts are exchanged. Following are 5 gift ideas on what to give the RVer in your life or even add them to your own Christmas wish list. 1. Good Sam Club 1.5 million RV owners are members of the Good Sam Club. Membership benefits include 10 percent discount on the regular night camping rate at 2,100+ Good Sam RV parks and campgrounds, up to 30 percent discount at Camping World; discount on fuel purchases at Pilot Flying J Travel Centers, and four free issues of MotorHome or Trailer Life magazine. Also, you may join a local chapter, attend Samborees, and enjoy RV caravan tours to a variety of destinations such as the Rose Bowl Parade and Alaska. A Good Sam Club membership is $25.00 per year. Two and three years memberships are also available for $45.00 and $59.00 respectively. For additional information... [Read more...]

RVing ’round Texas

December 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

RVing ’round Texas

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. Goliad 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...]

Happiness is a Texas Bucket List

November 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Happiness is a Texas Bucket List

From West Texas to the Panhandle to the Gulf Coast, El Paso to Texarkana to Brownsville, from outdoor enthusiasts to foodies to culture buffs, there’s always something to see and do in Texas. Our Texas RV Travel Bucket List continues. Monahans Sandhills State Park Monahans Sandhills State Park is only a small portion of a dune field that extends about 200 miles from south of Monahans westward and north into New Mexico. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Monahans Sandhills State Park consists of 3,840 acres of wind-sculpted sand dunes, some up to 70 feet high, in Ward and Winkler Counties, about a half-hour’s drive west of Odessa. These sand hills once presented an enormous problem for pioneers and their wagon trains as they moved through the state. The Native Americans of the area, however, frequently camped in the area after discovering that pure, fresh water could be obtained by digging a trench between dunes. This water has also been the source of nourishment for one of the... [Read more...]

Chief Plenty Coups State Park, Billings, MT…

November 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Chief Plenty Coups State Park, Billings, MT…

This past week our family went to the Chief Plenty Coups State Park in SE Montana.  Located just 40 minutes south of Billings on the Crow Indian Reservation, the park is a little known gem! Our group arrived shortly after lunch, and spent two and a half hours exploring the well done museum/visitor’s center, Chief Plenty Coups’ house, and the acreage that makes up the park. The first place that we checked out was the museum, which is a terrific balance of informational displays for adults and hands-on activities for the smaller bunch (and a few olders when they thought I wasn’t looking ). It was bright, clean, and concise; the whole museum is very well done; I was impressed (if you’ve been to MT, you can appreciate that comment – we don’t usually put a lot of money or effort into making our state parks/campgrounds desired destinations – maybe I should say didn’t – I would love to see that change)! Inside the museum were informative... [Read more...]

12-Year-Old Boy Finds 5.16-Carat Diamond at Crater of Diamonds

September 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

12-Year-Old Boy Finds 5.16-Carat Diamond at Crater of Diamonds

While traveling to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to spend some summer vacation time with family there, the Dettlaff family from Apex, North Carolina, decided to drive 100 miles out of their way to have some fun at Crater of Diamonds State Park. They’d experienced gem mining in the mountains of their own state, but had never visited Arkansas’s diamond site. Their first visit to the park on July 31 proved to be a lucky and memorable one when 12-year-old son Michael Dettlaff found a 5.16-carat, honey brown diamond after surface searching for less than 10 minutes in the park’s diamond search area. Excited when park staff confirmed that his find was a diamond, Michael was even more surprised when it weighed in at 5.16 carats. Grateful for the blessing of a diamond find, the Boy Scout named his gem the God’s Glory Diamond, according to park staff. Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said, “It is thrilling any time a child finds a diamond here at Crater of Diamonds State Park. Michael was excited... [Read more...]

New River Gorge National River Receives Flagship RV Park

September 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

New River Gorge National River Receives Flagship RV Park

The National Park Service (NPS) is constructing a new flagship campground with power and water hookups and drive-in sites for recreational vehicles at the southern end of the New River Gorge National River. New River Gorge National River © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The new Meadow Creek Campground is located on the banks of the New River about two miles downstream of the Sandstone Visitor Center. The park’s flagship campground will provide expanded amenities to visitors including a variety of individual campsite types and one large group camping site, as well as a number of conveniences including communal water spigots, vault toilets, and a camp host, according to a NPS news release. The campsites in the first phase of development—four walk-in tent-only sites, 17 drive-in car sites, and five drive-in RV sites—will offer electricity at all sites and individual water hook-ups at some sites. An amphitheater for park interpretive programs and a public boat launch will serve both... [Read more...]

She Ran Calling ‘Wildfire’

September 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

She Ran Calling ‘Wildfire’

A classic 70’s tune gave us the lyrics, “She ran calling ‘Wildfire’…..” Then a love song, but today, possibly the beginnings of a disaster. With rainfall low, and temperatures and winds high, wildfires are currently raging across the West from Montana to Colorado and California and heavily taxing first responder assets. Many families travel in their recreational vehicles to get away from the city and into remote areas of the wilderness. The serene environment is therapeutic to most, and can be an effective stress reliever. However, it is important to remember that during the summer and autumn months, as foliage begins to dry out, the landscape becomes extremely susceptible to wildfires. A wildfire (also known as brushfire or forest fire) is basically an uncontrolled fire that typically occurs in remote areas. Depending on wind conditions, these fires can travel over forty miles in a day, taking down timber like it’s made of cardboard. However, wildfires will consume not... [Read more...]

Take Camping to a Whole New Level

September 2, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Take Camping to a Whole New Level

Forget about soggy sleeping bags and competing with rocks and debris on the cold, hard ground on your next camping trip. The Tentsile Stingray is universally versatile three-season tent. It offers occupants a spacious triple hammock interior, accessed via a hatch in through the floor or via a large side door. It can be set up on the ground or suspended at any height. (Source: tentsile.com) Take your camping to a whole new level and be inspired by the tranquil calmness you will find when you hang out in the trees! Tentsile was conceived as a range of portable treehouses, combining the comfort and versatility of a hammock with the comfort and security of a tent. Tentsile recently launched a new suspended tent called the Stingray that lets you rest high up in the trees. Designed for three-season use, the 13 pound tent accommodates up to three people plus their gear. The UK tent maker touts this tent for a wide variety of travel styles, for backpacking in the woods, and even as disaster relief... [Read more...]

Zion’s National Park for RVers

August 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Zion’s National Park for RVers

While on our road trip this summer we made it a point to go to Zion’s National Park. With breathtaking views, it was a brief but impressive stop that we would recommend to anyone driving through southern UT. Will My RV Fit? Epic views are everywhere but the canyon floor is very narrow and hard to navigate During the peak season (translation: When there is no snow) Zion’s seeks to minimize traffic by forcing everyone onto trams that run through the park. This is a great idea for environmentalists, but part of their idea didn’t involve expanding parking very much. Hence, for the entirety of Zion’s RV park there are about 20 RV parking spaces, only half of which are pull through. In fact, parking in general is very limited. This meant that some of those precious RV spots are taken by tiny desperate cars. We were not happy about this, but since those people come from foreign countries, we couldn’t voice our complaints. We ended up lane hogging until we were able to fight for a spot... [Read more...]

Free National Park Entry This Weekend

August 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Free National Park Entry This Weekend

Enjoy the beauty in our national parks such as such as Yosemite Falls for free Each year on August 25, the National Park Service celebrates its birthday by opening up the gates to the park and allowing entry for free.  This year, that date falls on a Saturday, and the park service is celebrating it’s 96th birthday in style. Connect With Others The National Park Service works together with its charitable foundation, the National Park Foundation to celebrate what they call “Founders Day” by sponsoring different activities in parks across the country. They also encourage you to share birthday wishes, post videos, photos and stories on their website http://www.npsbirthday.org/. If you can’t make it to a National Park on short notice, the Travel Channel is celebrating by playing episodes of Best Parks Ever throughout out the day. Other Free Days As it turns out, most national parks will be having more free days this fall. On September 28th, most parks will be open free for National... [Read more...]

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