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Category: Holidays on the Road

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...]

National Parks without the Crowds

July 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

National Parks without the Crowds

RVers love national parks. Visitors can explore Congaree National Park by canoe, kayak, or on foot by using the over 25 miles of hiking trails and 2.4 miles of the Boardwalk Loop Trail. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved From snow-capped glacial peaks to meandering coastal shorelines and from white sand deserts to steep gorges and canyons, some of America’s most awe-inspiring natural attractions are found within its extensive national park system. Most people know about the popular and most-visited parks including Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, and Zion. Coping with crowds at national parks can get tiresome, especially during peak travel seasons. America is jam packed with national parks but the problem is that the most popular are just that—popular. They’re often crowded with loud tourists, littered with garbage people simply can’t seem to take home with them, or slowed down by traffic jams as tourists stop to take pictures of wildlife or search for... [Read more...]

The Truth Is Here: A Great Place to Crash as UFO Festival Invades Roswell

July 2, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The Truth Is Here: A Great Place to Crash as UFO Festival Invades Roswell

“…In early July 1947, a mysterious object crashed on a ranch 30 miles north of Roswell” Well, at least my momma knows what species I am. As the story goes, sixty-six years ago, a rancher named W.W. Mack Brazel checked his sheep after a thunderstorm and found debris made of a strange metal scattered in many directions. He noticed a shallow trench several hundred feet long had been gorged into the desert landscape. Brazel said he was struck by the unusual properties of the debris and dragged large pieces of it to a shed. A day or two later, Brazel drove his rusty pickup down to the county seat of Roswell (New Mexico) and reported the incident to Chaves County Sheriff George Wilcox, who reported it to Maj. Jesse Marcel, intelligence officer for the 509th Bomb Group, stationed at Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF). In their book, A History of UFO Crashes, UFO researchers Don Schmitt and Kevin Randle say their research shows military radar had been tracking an unidentified flying object... [Read more...]

Outdoor Recreation as an Economic Engine

June 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Outdoor Recreation as an Economic Engine

Millions of Americans and Canadians take pleasure in the pursuit of enjoyment in the outdoors. Sabino Canyon is a natural desert oasis located in Tucson’s Coronado National Forest and is home to spectacular desert landscapes and abundant wildlife. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved But we rarely consider the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry on local communities and the entire country. Newly released information from three separate and diverse studies provides a revealing look at the outdoor recreation industry as an economic engine that employs millions of Americans and Canadians and contributes billions of dollars to the economy. These studies were commissioned or conducted by the Outdoor Industry Association, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Park Service. The Conservation Economy in America, commissioned by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and conducted by Southwick Associates, reports the economic impacts of direct investments into... [Read more...]

Ancient Desert Water Hole: Montezuma Well

June 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Ancient Desert Water Hole: Montezuma Well

Montezuma Well is a detached unit of Montezuma Castle National Monument located approximately 11 miles north of the park. It’s not actually a well and has nothing to do with Montezuma but being wrongly named doesn’t detract at all from its serene beauty. It’s NOT a well and Montezuma was never here! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved This unique geological feature is a limestone sink formed long ago by the collapse of an immense underground cavern. This continuous flow of warm, fresh water has created a lush, verdant oasis in the middle of desert grassland. Such a reliable source of life-giving water has lured humans for thousands of years, although Montezuma was never one of them. Early settlers to the area believed that the exquisitely-preserved five-story cliff dwelling belonged to Aztec emperor Montezuma. In truth, the “castle” was built by the Sinagua and was deserted a century before Montezuma was born. Yet the name stuck to both the ruins and the beautiful pond which... [Read more...]

Top 5 Ways to Survive a Dust Storm

June 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Top 5 Ways to Survive a Dust Storm

A dust storm usually arrives suddenly in the form of an advancing wall of dust and debris which may be miles long and several thousand feet high. In a scene reminiscent of the 1930s Dust Bowl, on October 18, 2011, Lubbock, Texas went from light to dark in an instant, as the 8,000 foot dust cloud, traveling at a whizzing 70 mph, swept through. (Image via YouTube) Dust storms that turn day into night are a hazard to drivers. Dust storms can strike with little warning. Blinding, choking dust can quickly reduce visibility, causing accidents that may involve chain collisions, creating massive pileups. Dust Storms are among nature’s most violent and unpredictable phenomena. High winds lift dirt particles or, in the case of sandstorms, sand, into the air, unleashing a turbulent, suffocating cloud of particulates and reducing visibility to almost zero in a matter of seconds. Nearly all dust storms are capable of causing property damage, injuries, and deaths, and they can occur in any arid or... [Read more...]

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