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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...]

RV Tire Blowouts Increase as Temperatures Rise

August 12, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

RV Tire Blowouts Increase as Temperatures Rise

The danger of a RV tire blowout increases as the summer temperatures rise. Always check the pressure and condition of your tires before taking your RV on the road. The damage as a result of a tire blowout can be extensive, as the rubber and steel belting from the tires separate and cause spinning and flying shrapnel damage to the RV and in some cases the vehicles around them. Always check the pressure and condition of your tires before taking your RV on the road. If proper safety measures are taken, most tire blowout damage can be avoided. Air Temperature is as Important as Air Pressure If you’ve driven more than about a mile, friction with the road, flexing of the tire casing, and flexing of the tread begins to heat up the air inside the tire. A very general rule of thumb is that a properly inflated/loaded tire, when up to operating temperature—one hour or more of operation—will typically run about 50 degrees hotter than the ambient temperature, according to valortpms.com. Inflation... [Read more...]

RV Parks & NIMBY

July 17, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

RV Parks & NIMBY

With an aging population and more retirees, an increasing number of snowbirds and full-timers, and a booming Recreational Vehicle industry, additional campgrounds and RV parks are required. While RV parks offer numerous benefits, public opposition to any proposal for a new development often follows. Local residents become concerned about rumors such as rising crime in the area, decreasing property values, increasing traffic flow, and general urban sprawl and growth. Numerous residents oppose any planned construction simply because it is too close to their own home or neighborhood, often with the connotation that such residents believe that the development is needed but should be further away. In other words, Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY). Quite often, the NIMBY arguments are based on some emotional issue without regard for logic. NIMBYs cause a lot of things to NOT get done including the approval for building a RV park. Other forms of NIMBY include the NOPE (Not On Planet Earth), the BANANA... [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...]

RVers Pays for Deceiving Border Officials

May 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

RVers Pays for Deceiving Border Officials

Once again RVers and other travelers entering Canada, attempting to dodge a few extra dollars in taxes, ended up paying significantly more for their misdemeanor after their schemes were uncovered by Canada Border Services Agents (CSBA) at border crossings in North Portal and the Estevan Highway during March. CBSA agents report that one example occurred on March 1 when a Saskatchewan resident importing a motorhome declared its value at $21,500. CBSA officers conducted a routine secondary examination and found an Internet listing for the motorhome and after contacting the sellers, determined the motorhome had actually been purchased for $36,500 and therefore had been undervalued at the port by $15,000, reports the Estevan Mercury. The motorhome was seized and only returned to the purchaser after he had paid a penalty of $8,485.13 to retrieve it. If the motorhome had been correctly declared, the taxes owing would have amounted to $771. In other border related incidents, CBSA officers reported... [Read more...]

7 Tips for Planning a Successful Camping Trip

May 20, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

7 Tips for Planning a Successful Camping Trip

If you are going on a camping trip planning is essential. Camping at Arches National Park, Utah. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Whether you are a retired senior planning the trip of a lifetime, a snowbird, family looking for an economical way to vacation, or a couple looking to get away from the stresses of the work week, camping provides the perfect alternative to the conventional holiday. It also allows you to experience the fresh air that camping in the countryside offers and to meet new friends. But like any getaway, whether it’s for a weekend, a month, or an extended period, camping requires careful preparation to ensure all goes smoothly. When you think of what you’ll need for a road trip, a common list unfolds. Food, beverages, snacks, paper products, lawn chairs, maps, and GPS are all normal items you might bring along. Packing List The night before leaving on the camping trip will be less hectic if you plan ahead what to pack. Be careful not to over pack, take only... [Read more...]

Top 10 Most Visited National Parks & National Park Week

April 23, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Top 10 Most Visited National Parks & National Park Week

More than 282 million people visited America’s national parks in 2012, an increase of more than 3 million over 2011. It was the sixth highest annual visitation in the history of the National Park Service, despite nearly 2 million fewer visitors as a result of park closures caused by Hurricane Sandy. Since 1916, the National Park System has recorded more than 12 billion visits. There are familiar park names in the Top 10 lists. Gateway National Recreation Area in New York lost nearly 1.2 million visitors from 2011 because of Hurricane Sandy yet still made the Top 10 list of most visited National Park Service sites. Most Visited Places of the National Park System (2012) 1. Blue Ridge Parkway (15,205,059) 2. Golden Gate National Recreation Area (14,540,338) 3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (9,685,829) 4. George Washington Memorial Parkway (7,425,577) 5. Lake Mead National Recreation Area (6,285,439) 6. Lincoln Memorial (6,191,361) 7. Natchez Trace Parkway (5,560,668) 8. Gateway... [Read more...]

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