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Category: Summer 2011

People-Powered Transportation

May 29, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

People-Powered Transportation

One of the great things about summer is that it is time to bring out the people-powered modes of transportation.  With the warm sunny days, and the kids out of school, you see a larger number of these people-powered machines on the road, in the campgrounds, on the trails, and just about anywhere else you can imagine. (Photo Caption: Bicycle) Naturally the most common are the bicycles in all their forms (racing bikes, off-road bikes, stingrays, stunt, tandems, recumbent, and many others), but you will also see things like skateboards and in-line skates.  But, as we have traveled around the country, we have seen a few others that are very interesting. (Photo Caption: Folding Bike) Yes, we have bikes; an 18-speed “hybrid” (sort-of a light-duty mountain bike or a heavy-duty road bike) for me, as well as a 7-speed folding bike that is easier to carry.  But we have also added a couple of more items to our people-powered fleet of vehicles.  The first one we picked up came from our stay... [Read more...]

I Like Who I Am When I’m Here…

May 29, 2011 by · 7 Comments 

I Like Who I Am When I’m Here…

One of my family’s favorite destinations for summer trips is Taos, NM. While we usually head west over the summer from our home in Wisconsin, we always try to make a stop in Taos. We love the place for a variety of reasons: the kids especially enjoy the rafting, camping  and horseback riding experiences we have here, Terry and I look forward to the multitude of hiking trails we can visit, we all enjoy the delicious food and cultural experiences and Meghan and I enjoy the shopping opportunities. But, most of all, I like who I am when I’m here. Taos is a place that moves in its own time and by its own rules. Clocks are not strictly followed; they are more of a suggestion than a strict order. It is the mountain, not Father Time, that rules here. The pace is unhurried; the attitude mellow. If you are going to a show, it may start a bit late, or perhaps a few minutes early. That’s alright—walk right in. Taos accepts everyone for who and how they are. During a recent visit, we listened... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Summer Secrets for Turning Teens Into Happy Campers

May 26, 2011 by · 13 Comments 

Let’s take a look at actual statements that  12-16 year old students wrote about family camping, taken from a teacher ( who shall remain nameless) who intercepted hundreds of notes over the span of her 25 year career:  “ They’re making me leave for, like, most of the summer. Like I want to live in the RV with them.” “Everyone will talk about me when I’m gone.” “They said I can’t play internet video games even if the stupid campgrounds have Wi-Fi. That stinks.” “Alex/John/James/Andy/Garth/Michael/Ian/Brenan/Juan/Gage will probably dump me. I mean,  I’m going to be gone half the summer. I would dump me, too.” “Ask your parents if I can stay with you for the summer; then maybe I won’t have to go.” “They said texting is out; that I’m supposed to act like I’m a member of the family when we’re RVing and not ignore them. I wish I were in another family.” This is serious stuff for adolescents. If you look closely, you’ll note the above quotes don’t... [Read more...]

Okanagan, the Napa of the North

May 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Okanagan, the Napa of the North

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, The long brown trail before me leading wherever I choose. —Walt Whitman The beautiful sunny Okanagan Valley in southern British Columbia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The attraction of recreational vehicle travel is to see the country, visit new places, meet interesting people, and experience the freedom of the open road. As we explore North America by RV, natural beauty abounds when least expected, and surprises wait at every turn of the road. Each journey we take represents a passage, whether it’s an adventure to a new province or state, a day trip to a new attraction, or an outing with friends! Today, “we’re on the road” to an adventure in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. The Okanagan’s superb, natural beauty is one of the reasons visitors keep coming back every year. The Okanagan is characterized by a dry, sunny climate, beautiful landscapes, and numerous lakes. This region... [Read more...]

Rent An RV!

May 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

If you are thinking of making the leap in the RV lifestyle or if you want the comfort of an RV for an upcoming road trip but you don’t want the hassle of owning one, then I suggest you rent an RV.  Admittedly, we own our travel trailer so we haven’t had to rent an RV very often in the past.  However, about four years ago  my husband ventured back to Alaska with our son and on that trip they rented an RV. To cut the costs considerably and to have more manly fun, they teamed up with some good friends who were game for the adventure as well.  They rented their RV from Great Alaskan Holidays in Anchorage  because the company  offered transportation from the airport directly to the rental facility.  The company’s comprehensive website also made it easy to plan in advance and ask lots of questions in preparation for the trip.  The RV, pictured here, was relatively compact but it served them well. The four of them stayed in it while visiting Anchorage and then cruised... [Read more...]

THE POOR MAN’S AIR CONDITIONER – It is easy to make this one!

May 24, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

THE POOR MAN’S AIR CONDITIONER – It is easy to make this one!

It has been a hot day.  The temperature has hovered near 100 since mid morning.  An early afternoon thunderstorm has added to the already stifling humidity.  Clouds have moved out of the sky and there is no breeze.  Welcome to a typical summer day in Central Virginia. Our camper is sitting on a site in one of Virginia’s State parks – Lake Anna.  We have no hookups and generators are not allowed after 8:00 p.m…  The Ranger made his rounds about an hour ago and reminded us to silence the machines.  The night air retains the heat and humidity of the day. When we decide to go to sleep for the night I lay on the bed as the sweat pours out of my body, soaking the sheet below.  I cannot sleep.  It is too darn hot and the fan next to me doesn’t move enough air to evaporate the moisture on my skin. Does this sound familiar?  It doesn’t have to be this way – you can be cool and comfortable with a simple to make “Poor Man’s Air Conditioner” sitting at the foot of your... [Read more...]

Are You Ready for the Road?

May 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Are You Ready for the Road?

Memorial Day weekend kicks off those lazy, hazy days of summer. State and national parks are great spots for family camping. Pictured above is campground at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The long weekend is perfect for a camping getaway to enjoy biking, boating, fishing, golfing, hiking, paddling, photography, or bird watching. More than 30 million people nationwide will travel more than 50 miles during Memorial Day weekend, defined as the period from Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30 says AAA, an increase of 0.2 percent. “In 2010, Memorial Day travel experienced a gain of more than 14 percent,” AAA-Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai told the Washington Post. “Many travelers have told us they’ll compensate for higher fuel costs by cutting back in other areas of spending.” They’ll pay more too, with gas running just a bit less than $4.00 per gallon, compared to $2.85 this time last year reports TulsaWorld. But while... [Read more...]

Stop Bugging Me!

May 23, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Camping is a wonderful way to escape the endless challenges of everyday life–work, email, phone, chores, and many other things. Unfortunately, the  most amazing camping trips can quickly sour when mosquitoes take over and start to eat away at the party! I abhor bug bites, and my children are quite allergic to them. This isn’t a huge problem in the Seattle area because there aren’t many mosquitoes around here. However, when we travel to the East Coast or when we travel throughout Alaska in the summer, mosquitoes can be a huge  annoyance. Over the years, I tried various products,  but about eight or nine  years ago I discovered an all-natural bug repellant from one of my favorite stores in Seattle–The Herbalist. Located in a residential neighborhood, this privately-owned shop is simply wonderful and their own custom-blended bug spray–B.O.O.– is awesome. Consisting of a blend of essential and herbal oils, the spray is designed to simultaneously repel... [Read more...]

Bring your home with you this summer…on a budget

May 23, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Bring your home with you this summer…on a budget

“Get your motor runnin’ Head out on the highway Lookin’ for adventure And whatever comes our way Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen Take the world in a love embrace Fire all of your guns at once And explode into space.” Cruising Scenic Utah Highway 12 in a Diesel Pusher motorhome. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved It could be the theme song of every RVer, though it’s not likely what Steppenwolf had in mind when they recorded Born to be Wild in 1968. Recreational vehicles continue to grow in popularity. For the most part, seniors remain the driving force behind the market, although young families are showing increasing interest in having an RV for family vacations. The pull of the road and the freedom that comes with it is what attracts most recreational vehicle owners—and despite the cost of fuel, it’s a relatively cheap way to go. And when you look at the cost of RV ownership over time, it’s still one of the most reasonable vacation options there... [Read more...]

Summer Heat and RV Refrigerators

May 23, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Summer Heat and RV Refrigerators

(Photo Caption: Summer in the RGV) So far as full-timers, summer has meant that it was time for us to leave the lands of palm trees and endless sunshine to head North and find cooler weather (the last few years we have gotten our tans during the winter, and then lost them during the summer—the opposite of most people we know who are not full-time RVers or snowbirds).  The location on the Oregon coast where we spent last June and July only hit 70F a half-dozen times while we Summer Weather Forecast  were there.  However, for personal reasons we have stayed put longer than normal this year, so have been dealing with real summer weather (high 90s and low 100s with lows around 80—and I won’t even mention the humidity!).   So, this is our first experience with our refrigerator not being able to keep up with us (or, should I say, the heat). Fridge I learned a lot about RV refrigerators over the last few weeks, and feel that this is an appropriate “summer-themed” topic.  For instance,... [Read more...]

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