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Category: The Road Less Traveled

Foraging And Fishing in Cordova, Alaska

September 11, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

I was very fortunate to visit Cordova, Alaska last week. The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association hosted a fall press trip so they invited me plus four other food writers/professionals to visit the area.  The Copper River region is most well known for the ultra rich wild salmon that is pulled from the local waters. This Alaskan salmon is revered worldwide, and in Seattle there is always lots of hype when the season’s first catch arrives at the airport! While in Cordova, Amy, Shauna, Danny, Joelen and I toured the fishing village, met fishermen and artists, fished for coho, and foraged for wild cranberries.  When we arrived on Tuesday afternoon, the winds were howling and the rain was falling in force. The second day wasn’t much better, but we all managed to grab a rod and fish off the shore for about an hour. We didn’t catch anything, but we certainly had a few nibbles. Without a doubt, we enjoyed the adventure with our guide from the Orca Adventure... [Read more...]

KATY’S KITCHEN – A Piece of the Story about our Country’s WWII era “Secret City”

August 20, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

KATY’S KITCHEN – A Piece of the Story about our Country’s WWII era “Secret City”

If you read the July 2011 issue of Highway’s, the official publication of the Good Sam Club, you most likely noted a short article near the back of the magazine about “The Secret City”, now incorporated as Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Current history books used in most of our public schools now tell some of the story about this secret city built almost 60 years ago.  There is an increased awareness and interest about the role Oak Ridge played in bringing World War II to an end and how it propelled our nation into the “Atomic Age”.. If you can imagine for a moment our government building a city complete with houses, roads and services that no one outside of a circle of selected officials knew anything about or even where it was –  a city to initially house 13,000 families and 30,000 permanent residents – a city costing millions and millions of government dollars –   and citizens outside of this selected circle knew absolutely nothing about what the project was... [Read more...]

A Recent Quiet Paddle…

July 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A Recent Quiet Paddle…

In my last post, I wrote about the peace we feel when kayaking on any of the wild, unspoiled lakes in northern Wisconsin. On a Sunday morning this past  September, while camping at the nearby campground, it is the lake with which we are most familiar that is our destination, Anvil Lake in eastern Vilas County. As we are feeling a bit lazy this morning, we do not hit the water until nearly 7:00 a.m., but still the lake is as smooth as glass.  As we paddle out, no other traffic, human or water-going, is evident. The sun is up, the temperature warm. There is no wind. As we pull away from the dock, we observe a loon twenty feet ahead and to the left of our course. We pull right a bit more so as not to frighten him. We like to paddle this lake as, it is not only near our cabin, but several pairs of nesting loons reside here and we like to observe them from a distance. We have seen them before eggs have hatched, with very young offspring and doing what appears to be teaching the young to fish. Loon,... [Read more...]

A Quiet Paddle…

July 13, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

A Quiet Paddle…

While many of the activities we enjoy while camping involve the entire family, Terry and I do share a favorite pastime in which the rest of our family does not typically engage, due largely to the time of day at which we do it: paddling. A common vacation destination for a long weekend is the northern part of our home state of Wisconsin and we have taken to exploring as many of the wild lakes in northern Wisconsin as we can manage to visit. Anvil Lake, Vilas County, WI We had been avid paddlers for many years, spending many happy hours during our now-teenaged children’s toddler and early school years in our Oldtowne canoe. Since they have been old enough to stay on their own, however, we’ve graduated to a tandem kayak that we enjoy paddling. We like to get out as early as we can rouse ourselves, often on Sunday mornings of a camping week or weekend, ideally hitting our chosen waters by 6:00 or 6:30 am, which explains why we do this sans children. One particular area of the northwoods... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Whitefish, Montana: Come Now!

July 11, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Whitefish, Montana: Come Now!

Whitefish, Montana.  Even Hollywood stars love it, “discovering” it in the early ‘90’s, with most eventually  moving on to wilder pastures. Tom Cruise came to our front door at the family’s Whitefish lake house,  looking for Emilio Estevez’ place near by. Ask me how thrilled we were and how very cool we acted, like we didn’t know who he was or anything. I was the Queen of Casual.  Oh…that grin…I’m sure Tom was equally impressed with us. Whitefish, where Julia Roberts dumped Kiefer Sutherland three days before they were to marry, while Sutherland was building their home-to-be  in Whitefish. We sat next to Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick more than once at a local Whitefish café. Again, we exhausted ourselves projecting disdainful cool. Tons more famous people called Whitefish their second (or third, for fourth, or fifth) home back then, but I can’t remember the names…oh yea, something about Steve McQueen getting kicked out of town on his motorcycle a long,... [Read more...]

Alaska Is The Must-See Destination

June 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I was poking around the Woodall’s site this morning and was very happy to see that Alaska is listed as the June Must-See Destination for Woodall’s. You can read the full story for yourself, but I am happy to be able to offer my own tidbits  because I lived in Alaska about five years ago. Fortunately, we were able to camp extensively throughout the state while living there. We can assure you that it takes a lot of organization and planning when traveling and camping throughout America’s Last Frontier. When we did so, our children were about 11, 8, and 3 years of age. With our travel trailer in tow, we traveled all the way to Denali National Park for Father’s Day weekend that year. We camped on the Kenai Peninsula along the Russian River on July 4th. And, we spent numerous weekends overlooking  Resurrection Bay at a municipal campground in Seward. Thankfully, I had lots of wonderful neighbors who camped with us or  gave us tips and advice for navigating the... [Read more...]

Honoring Santo Nino

June 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Honoring Santo Nino

As we were driving away from the Santuario de Chimayo on this Holy Saturday past, we noticed another shrine nearby. Upon further inspection, we discovered it was the Santo Nino Chapel, also located right in Chimayo, NM. The shrine to Santo Nino The  story of Santo Nino begins in Spain during the time of the Moors, Muslim conquerors of Spain. In Atocha, just outside Madrid, many Christian men had been imprisoned and only children were permitted to visit the prisoners and bring them food.The women of the village prayed to Our Lady for help and soon word spread that a young child was visiting the prisoners. Surprisingly, his basket was never empty of food and the gourd he carried, always filled with water. He was considered a manifestation of Jesus Christ as the Holy Child, thus, the “Santo Nino”. In 1492, the Catholics drove the Muslims out of Spain and Spanish colonists subsequently brought the worship of Our Lady of Atocha and her Holy Child to Mexico. As in Spain, they were... [Read more...]

The Annual Pilgrimage to Chimayo–Part 2

May 15, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

The Annual Pilgrimage to Chimayo–Part 2

As described in a previous post, each year during Holy Week, Christians from New Mexico and the surrounding area undertake a journey, typically on foot, to the small village of Chimayo. They are headed toward the Santuario de Chimayo, the site of a miracle back in the 1800s. It is believed to have been the site of many healings over the years. In fact, the Tewa Indians, who inhabited the area even before the Spanish, had considered it a site for healing long before the Spanish settlers arrived. Upon their arrival, the Spanish called this parcel of land “the pasture,” unaware of its healing propensities until the crucifix appeared to Abeyta. Originally a spring had bubbled up from the area, rich in iron and other minerals. When the spring dried up, Indians still came for the dirt for healing and sacred uses. While the land had been inhabited by Native Americans in ancient times, Pueblo Indians later moved in and names the rose-colored mountain nearby “Tsi Mayoh,” sacred mountain... [Read more...]

HISTORY AWAITS US UNDERNEATH OUR RV TIRES (If only the dirt could talk!)

May 13, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

HISTORY AWAITS US UNDERNEATH OUR RV TIRES (If only the dirt could talk!)

Often history can be right under the tread on our RV’s tires, and we fail to see it.  Such is the case of the campground my friend Chris and his family own and run in Central Virginia. I wrote about Chris last week – mostly his dilemma over rising operating costs and irresponsibility on the part of some campers.  What I did not share was when and how the campground began and has continued to exist for the past century and a half.  It is an interesting story – one that I am sure many other campgrounds may share. This particular campground is on a working family farm.  They plant soybeans and corn in two of the fields while maintaining a large part of pasture for hay.  They have about forty head of beef cattle along with the usual coops of chickens, a few hogs, two mules, a horse, and some goats.  The lake on the farm is home to many wild geese and domestic ducks. I listened intently as Chris began his story: “The farm goes back to my great grandfather who bought the... [Read more...]

The Annual Pilgrimage to Chimayo–Part 1

May 11, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

The Annual Pilgrimage to Chimayo–Part 1

During Easter Week this year, we happened to be traveling through New Mexico listening to Taos, New Mexico’s solar radio station (for those interested, it is the most powerful solar radio station in the country and plays a wonderful eclectic collection of interesting music. I often listen to them while at home in Wisconsin as well at www.ktao.com). During the broadcast, a comment was made about the annual “Pilgrimage to Chimayo” occurring during Holy Week. The Chapel Grounds Intrigued, and looking for something new to explore, we inquired at the Visitor’s Center in Taos, NM about what the pilgrimage was all about. The woman we spoke with explained that every year during Holy Week, people make the journey to Chimayo, New Mexico from wherever they happen to be, Taos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, even Colorado and other parts of the country. The pilgrimage is typically completed on foot; the day the journey begins depends on the individual’s starting location. As Chimayo is approximately... [Read more...]

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