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Category: Holidays on the Road

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Avid Outdoorsperson in Your Life

December 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Avid Outdoorsperson in Your Life

As some of you know, every December I follow up my St. Nick Stocking Stuffer ideas of inexpensive gifts for the outdoor lover with a post about Christmas gift ideas. The time has come, so here are my suggestions for your outdoors-lovers: 1)      The High Gear Altimeter/Barometer/Compass. As someone who routinely hikes at elevation, I find an altimeter invaluable when engaging in outdoor recreation, whether it is driving the camper to a new location (it is very helpful to be aware of elevation when moving the camper) or heading out on a hike. This model from L.L.Bean.com provides not only your elevation but also a barometer for weather changes, which are also important to know and a compass. A handy little tool, it sells for a mere $50. The L.L.Bean website indicates this item is currently sold out so you may want to put it on your list for next year, but it would be very helpful to have. The website suggests an alternative, the Touchkey Weather Station for only $39.95, which does not... [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...]

It’s St. Nick Time Again!

December 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s St. Nick Time Again!

Well, it’s that time of year again: time for all good parents and partners to think about St. Nick surprises for camping and RVing friends and family members. Here are a few neat ideas for stocking stuffers this year to get you jump-started on your shopping. Remember, according to tradition, at least in the Midwest from where I hail, St. Nick comes the night of December 5th and leaves his goodies in stockings hung from the mantel. Or, if you are mantel-less, he leaves a simple pile of goodies or stuffs them in a sock or stocking left somewhere near the front hallway or front door of your home or RV. And, while lighting accessories are always a good stocking stuffer, I have profiled nice solar and hand crank flashlights and efficient headlamps in years past, so I will not add them again here. But they are always a good St. Nick’s gift. But for new ideas for this year, here goes: A colorful mini-emergency radio. Listed at only $29.95 from LLBean, this handy radio is 2.5 inches high by... [Read more...]

Our favorite Travel-Friendly gift ideas…

November 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Our favorite Travel-Friendly gift ideas…

Being a travel savvy family, we wanted to share our favorite travel-friendly finds that fit in with our on-the-move lifestyle.  Here we’re sharing some of our favorite travel-friendly products that would make great gifts, whether you live in a stationary house or one that moves about… FOR KIDS: Magformers: These fun, educational, colorful building toys are super for all ages!  These construction toys are unique; they are very powerful magnets that are encased in brightly colored, durable plastic.  Magformers come in 14 geometric shapes in 9 bright colors.  There are 65 different components available, which range from simple shapes to remote controlled wheel sets.  Magformers have won several awards for their ingenuity and are great for free play. Magformers are super for both in the house, and on the road; the pieces stick together so they don’t take up much space and don’t get lost under the seat.  They are durable, and you can use them anywhwhere;... [Read more...]

Thanksgiving: Giving Thanks for Our RV Lifestyle

November 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Thanksgiving: Giving Thanks for Our RV Lifestyle

Many will be on the road traveling today and throughout this Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving is the biggest travel weekend in America, and RVers are out in force, back on the road, crossing the country in their RVs to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends. And many Snowbirds are traveling south to their favorite Sunbelt roost to avoid the rigors of another northern winter. I have so much to be thankful for! I give thanks to my partner—my wife Dania, my co-pilot—and our family and friends. With a lifelong love of travel, a condo-on-wheels has always been our destiny. Yes, we’re living our dream! We’ve wintered in Southern California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Alabama. Our RV travels have taken us to over 40 states and four western provinces. I am thankful as Canadian Snowbirds that we have the opportunity of celebrating Thanksgiving in October (Canadian Thanksgiving) and again in November. Thanksgiving offers the opportunity to reflect on life, liberty, and the pursuit... [Read more...]

On Giving Thanks…

November 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

On Giving Thanks…

As is typical for me, and I assume most people this time of year, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I started thinking about all of the things I have to be thankful for. Research has shown that if we regularly become aware of and express our gratitude for all that we have, we tend to be happier and more contented people. Thus this is a good practice to engage in more than just once a year. Also, while my list changes slightly every year, there are some staples that I remain thankful for every time they are in my thoughts. Kate and Meghan, with my grandpuppy Maddie in the background The most obvious of these are my children. Each a wonderful human being in their own right, I am humbled that I have had but a small part of bringing these beautiful people into this world. Kate is extremely bright, but also a warm human being who can make me laugh in an instant. Ryan, also incredibly bright, is our adventurer; always game for a new hike, camping trip or mountain climb. He pushes us... [Read more...]

Put Your Passion on Your Plate

November 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Put Your Passion on Your Plate

When Hank Williams wrote Jambalaya in 1952, he captured the essence of the Cajun self-proclaimed passion for good food and good friends. Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site in St. Martinsville explores the cultural interplay among the diverse peoples along the famed Bayou Teche. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The Acadians who settled in the bayous and swamps of Southern Louisiana developed a unique and authentic cooking style. Louisiana has an appetite for food, music, and fun that is best summed up in the Cajun phrase laissez les bons temps rouler—let the good times roll. Based on a survey of 1.3 million people across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Louisiana as the nation’s happiest state. Many reasons likely led to this distinction, but I’m certain that the Bayou State’s incredible cuisine played a major role. Bite into boudin and see if a smile doesn’t break out. Here, you don’t just eat. You dine with gusto. Cajun Country Cajun... [Read more...]

Good Times Happen in Kentucky

November 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Good Times Happen in Kentucky

Thousands of snowbirds pass through Kentucky every year and miss out on some of the most incredible natural wonders and cultural treasures anywhere. Kentucky Welcome Center, I-65, Exit 114 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved From horse racing and Bourbon Country, to the culture of Appalachia, Civil War significance, and Abraham Lincoln, Kentucky is a state enriched with deep traditions, important history, and authentic heritage. Every mile we’ve traveled along the highways and byways of the Bluegrass State has led us to new discoveries: National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Mammoth Cave National Park in Cave Country, Grand Ole Opry of Kentucky in Renfro Valley, Cumberland Gap, Red River Gorge, Natural Bridge, folk arts and crafts in Berea, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, horse farms, and Bourbon Country. Once an Indian hunting ground where Native American civilizations flourished as early as 13,000 years ago, Kentucky is bounded in the north by the great Ohio River and in the west... [Read more...]

Deer Crashes Through RV & Charges Sherriff

November 6, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Deer Crashes Through RV & Charges Sherriff

A deer smashed through the front of a travel trailer wall after being hit last weekend in south-central Utah on state Route 89. Deer found in camper after crashing through the camper’s wall. (Photo courtesy of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office) Expecting to find a dead animal inside the camper trailer, a responding officer opened the side door and got charged by a seemingly unharmed, three point buck, reports Dixie Press Online. At approximately 3 p.m., Sunday, a woman reported to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office that she hit something on SR-89 near mile post 134. Division of Wildlife Resources Conservation Officer Micah Evans arrived on the scene and noticed that trailer had a large hole in the front of it, with no blood around it. After opening the door and expecting to find a dead animal inside, he snapped a picture of the unscathed deer. The flash spooked the deer and caused it to charge him. Evans jumped out of the way as the buck leapt from the trailer and bounded over... [Read more...]

Top 10 National Wildlife Refuges Scenic Drives

October 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Top 10 National Wildlife Refuges Scenic Drives

To really explore a national wildlife refuge, of course, you’ll want to get out of your vehicle. But when time is limited or you want to get the lay of the land before you set out on a trail, a scenic drive should be considered. For all us ‘let’s-check-it-out-first’ types, here’s a sampling of some super national wildlife refuge drives to whet your appetite for further exploration. 10. Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Michigan Photographers do a wonderful job at capturing the beauty of Seney National Wildlife Refuge. (Credit: fws.gov/Dawn Kopp) Seney National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. The refuge is located in the east-central portion of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, halfway between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. A seven-mile ride along Marshland Wildlife Drive leads past wetlands and open water and through deciduous and coniferous forests in the Great Manistique Swamp, an old lumbering... [Read more...]

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