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Month: January 2010

Head for the Hills

January 31, 2010 by · 4 Comments 

Head for the Hills

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, courtesy of the National Park Service We’ve been to a lot of places, but one of our all-time favorites has to be the Black Hills of South Dakota.  We went  to visit the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and ended up doing so much more.  Indians, presidents, buffalo and badlands – the Black Hills have it all. Less than a day’s journey from our home, our drive was a pleasant one. There are lots of campground choices in the area, but on the recommendation of some friends, we chose Rafter J Bar Ranch as our base camp.  To this day, we compare every campground against it, to see they can come close to our experience at “Rafter J’s.” Outside of Hill City, the location is beautiful, with rolling hills and mature pines all over the property.  There’s a wide range of amenities and many sites have full hookups.  We really liked the fact that we had lots of space and privacy at our site, and we were right across from the extremely well-maintained... [Read more...]

Find Your Own National Treasure

January 31, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Find Your Own National Treasure

Grand Teton National Park, National Park Service photo I come from a long line of campers.  When I was a kid, we’d hit the road for a month every summer.  This almost always included at least one national park visit along the way. The memories made on these trips are still some of the fondest for me. That’s why — years later — I’m carrying on the tradition with my own family. While we can’t hit a different national park every summer, most of our big vacations are centered around one of these majestic beauties. This nation’s parks are truly its treasures. As different as the states themselves, each on has its own character and charm. The scenery and beauty alone make the trip worthwhile, but there are a whole host of advantages to taking a family camping trip in a national park. The family at Yellowstone National Park To start with, they’re economical.  If you can do without hookups or own a generator, nightly rates start as low as... [Read more...]

Rocky Mountain High–Part 3

January 29, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Rocky Mountain High–Part 3

Seeing the snow flurries beginning to fall was enough to prompt us to pack up our snacks and begin our descent. As he had at the start, Ryan took off almost at a dead run, finding it much easier to descend a mountain than to climb it—though he had few problems with that either. We take a deliberate but more leisurely pace, enjoying the view and snapping a few more pictures of the amazing scenery on our way. We, also, find it much easier going down than making the climb. We are more able to pay attention to the fields of colorful wildflowers and the amazing mountain vistas than we were when climbing past them. We pick up our pace as we are feeling strong and gravity has a part in carrying us on our journey. Twin glacial lakes visible on the descent It is then that we look back, after descending for about 30 minutes, only to notice lightning on the summit. Looking up, we note that the sky has become cloudy and dark and there are brief bursts of light occurring regularly up on the summit.... [Read more...]

Rocky Mountain High – Part 2

January 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Rocky Mountain High – Part 2

The day of our Mt. Elbert, Colorado climb dawns sunny and clear. At 14,433 feet above sea level, Colorado’s highest peak is the tallest of the 54 “Fourteeners”, or peaks over 14,000 feet, found in the state. Wanting to get an early start to avoid the lightening strikes that are prevalent in the afternoon hours, we leave our cozy RV bright and early at 6:00am.  As we begin our 30-minute drive to the North Trailhead, the temperature is 46 degrees. The trailhead is a busy place this morning. There are several groups of hikers preparing to start out, including one family with young children and a group of young people speaking a language I did not recognize.  We are forced to wait to use the restroom facilities, worth the wait, as they will be the last facilities we will encounter until the end of our hike, but that costs us some precious time. It is 6:52 when we are finally able to begin our trek. The first mile or so of the hike is a steep uphill climb,  involving an elevation gain... [Read more...]

Camping With Your Crock Pot

January 24, 2010 by · 6 Comments 

Camping With Your Crock Pot

I must admit I have a bit of a crock pot obsession. I’ve got three of them and I still don’t have my “dream” crock pot (Yes, I’m cool like that, I dream of crock pots). I’ve got a 5-quart pot for the camper, a 6-quart pot for the house and a 2-quart pot that goes between the house and the camper. I know some of the cooks complain about not actually getting a break when they’re camping with the family, because there’s still the cooking and cleaning for all the meals, but my crock pot really seems to cut down on a lot of that. I use the crock-pot bags by Reynolds to make clean up easy. Toss your meal into the crock-pot bag and your good to go. The meal cooks it’s self while you’re out enjoying your vacation with your family. When you’re done eating, just take the bag out and toss it. If by chance there’s leftovers, you can store them in the bag in a container in the fridge. I know you’re thinking, but I don’t want a pot roast while camping, well that’s... [Read more...]

Family Camping at Knoebels

January 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Family Camping at Knoebels

We try to take a picture by the clown every year. I’m not sure what the best part of camping at Knoebles is. The amusement park is free entry, so you can just pay for the rides you like (which is great for us older crowd who can’t go up, down, spin around and then keep our dinner down). There is a beautiful zero entry pool, that’s about $6 a person for the whole day. Then there’s the outstanding food, it’s always in the top 10 for amusement parks (try the peanut butter vanilla milkshake, you won’t be disappointed). So while the campground it’s self, that only offers electric hook-ups is kind of rustic, the fun of everything else, makes up for it. But the best part for us is we camp with extended family that whole week. My cousin R2, has been camping there since he was a kid with his aunt and uncle. So when he got married (to my oldest sister’s friend from JR high) and had kids (Broseph and Brosetta) he decided to carry on the tradition. Plus my oldest sister MFAE (most... [Read more...]

Rocky Mountain High–Part 1

January 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Rocky Mountain High–Part 1

In our travels around this beautiful country, mapping out our vacations and weekend trips to enable us to climb the highpoint of each of our 50 states, Mt. Elbert, Colorado was a recent destination. During the winter months, we had reserved a site online at a national forest campground located in the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. With a view of two pristine glacial lakes, it was a restful place to spend the nights before and after our summit. As we often do, we spend the day prior to our highest climb to date gathering information. When checking in at our campground located in the San Isabel National Forest, we ask the host about the trail to the Mt. Elbert summit.  She informs us that the South trail is the only one to use, as the North is considerably more difficult. She explains that, in her younger years, she climbed both trails many times and warns that we had better be in great climbing shape. We leave her site a bit concerned as our guidebook, whose information and route... [Read more...]

Gettysburg’s hidden jewel

January 22, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Gettysburg’s hidden jewel

We enjoy Gettysburg, PA a lot. It’s close enough for a weekend trip, has lots to do and see. Plus our home park for Coast-to-Coast is there. So we visit there at least three times a year. One of the hidden jewels of Gettysburg is Eisenhower’s farm http://www.nps.gov/eise/index.htm. There you can learn about Ike’s presidency and how he hosted heads of state at his home with wife Mamie. It’s incredible to think you can stand in the same room that Eisenhower and Nikita Khrushchev sat in to talk about the Cold War. Hubby and the crew checking out the motor pool If you go the third weekend in September you’ll be able to be part of the WW II living history encampment. It’s like having access to walking, talking history books. Our teenage boys look forward to this trip every year. There are many countries, both Allies and Axis that are represented. You really get a good feel for the uniform, the supplies and the general feeling of that era. There are even those dressed as air raid... [Read more...]

To the Top of the Mountain

January 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

To the Top of the Mountain

Ryan, Terry, Diane and Meghan Berry with our canine traveling companions at the summit of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont. We are a family of highpointers. We travel around this beautiful country mapping out our vacations and weekend trips to enable us to climb the highest point of as many states as we can reach. Starting our quest in 2005 with the highpoint of New Mexico, where we were camping at the time, we have since completed 31 total highpoints.  Highpointing has become a family passion. Highpoints vary widely, including everything from drive up locations to all-out mountain climbs. Most are something in between. Wheeler Peak was our first at 13,161 feet above sea level, involving a hike of 14 miles. Predicted hiking time was approximately eight hours; our venture took more than nine hours because we inadvertently took a wrong turn on our way down, which took us more than a mile out of our way, much to the dismay of our two unenthusiastic teenagers who had been required to accompany us.... [Read more...]

Welcome to the Woodall’s Official Blog

January 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Welcome to the Woodall’s Official Blog

On behalf of Woodall Publications I’d like to welcome you to the Woodall’s official RV destination and family camping blog. Our vision for this blog is simple: to develop a place where people who enjoy camping with friends and family can come together to explore new camping ideas share old ones; A place where moms and dads, grandmothers and grandfathers alike can read how others grew closer to the children in their lives through the joy of the great outdoors, and where inexperienced RVers and campers of all ages can come for advice and help from a community of expert authors and guest authors, all who are fellow campers who have hiked a mile (or more) in their boots. Woodall’s has been around for a lifetime of experiences as a company, serving the RV and camping industries. In fact, 2010 marks our 75th anniversary of the company and the 2011 edition of our campground directory will be our 75th anniversary edition. Over the years, the eyes of this company have seen more changes than... [Read more...]

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