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Category: Holidays on the Road

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...]

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...]

It’s a Dog’s Life at Grand Canyon Railway RV Park

September 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s a Dog’s Life at Grand Canyon Railway RV Park

Set in the mountain community of Williams, Arizona—Gateway to the Grand Canyon—the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park an ideal place to unwind and relax. The Observation Dome is an unforgettable experience, thanks to a glass-enclosed streamliner that offers panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. (Source: thetrain.com) Adjacent to the historic train depot, the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park is just two blocks from Route 66 and downtown Williams. Canyon Railway RV Park offers three types of RV spaces: pull-through sites, buddy spaces, and back-ins. All 124 sites have full service utilities with 50-amp electric service, cable TV, wireless Internet, access to the indoor swimming pool and hot tub at the adjacent Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. The property has coin-operated laundry machines and a common picnic area with gas grills and a fire pit. Daily rates are $39. Grand Canyon Railway Pet Resort While pet parents enjoy a trip to the Canyon, their furry friends have something to wag about at... [Read more...]

Human Encounters with Bears Turn Deadly

August 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Human Encounters with Bears Turn Deadly

Recent media reports detail numerous human encounters with black bears. This black bear wants his food and he is waiting patiently. DO NOT FEED BEARS! (Source: Thomas J/travelooce.com) In most instances the bears became food-conditioned, lost their natural fear of humans, and become a threat as they roamed in search of an easy meal. These bear was either relocated or euthanized by rangers because they posed an obvious human safety risk to campers. Several samples of these reports follow. Black Bear Killed at Yellowstone Campground The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that a black bear that refused to leave a Yellowstone National Park campground after getting a taste of human food there was killed by park staff. The 142-pound adult male black bear entered the Canyon Campground and came within six feet of a man and woman eating. The campers backed off, and the bear ate some of the food off their table. It then went through their garbage and pawed at their tent. As the bear left their campsite,... [Read more...]

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

August 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas—often dubbed the Silent Killer— that is toxic and the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States. Carbon monoxide can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations and can be particularly dangerous in recreational vehicles. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Appliances fueled with gas, oil, kerosene, or wood may produce CO. If such appliances are not installed, maintained, and used properly, carbon monoxide may accumulate to dangerous and even deadly levels in recreational vehicles, cars, homes, or poorly ventilated areas. The symptoms of poisoning are similar to flu or food poisoning and include headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Although not always experienced, the initial symptoms of carbon monoxide are similar to an upset stomach or the flu (but without the fever). The symptoms include: Dizziness Fatigue Headache Nausea Irregular breathing It is critical... [Read more...]

Mount Washington Traffic Increasing

July 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Mount Washington Traffic Increasing

New Hampshire’s Mount Washington has the reputation of being “Home of the world’s worst weather”. Originally called Agiocochook by native Americans, the mountain boasts some of the planet’s most severe weather, and retains the world record for wind speed, 231 mph © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Severe storms, including snow, can happen at any time of the year. The combination of severe winds, cold, and wetness can exhaust the strongest hiker. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the White Mountains of New Hampshire—and in the Northeast—and is therefore a very popular attraction for RVers and other sightseers and hikers. As a result the most widely used trails can be quite crowded, and however you climb the summit will have crowds, many having come up by the Cog Railway or the Auto Road. Mount Washington Cog Railway The beauty of the mountains and the thrill of ascending the Northeast’s highest peak are just as enchanting today as they were in 1869, when... [Read more...]

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