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Month: January 2011

Bluebonnets, Chicken Fried Steak, and Deer

January 24, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Bluebonnets, Chicken Fried Steak, and Deer

(Photo Caption: Hill Country Winery) One other stopping point on our way from New Mexico to South Texas is the Texas Hill Country.  We always enjoy our stay in this part of Texas because there is so much to do—and it is close to San Antonio and Austin. When in the Hill Country there are a few things that, at least in my opinion, must not be missed.  The first three of these things are food…Chicken Fried Steak, Barbeque, and Barbacoa.  While these are served in other places, the Hill Country seems to make them better than other locations.  Of course, you can always find incredible German food by visiting Fredericksburg, and you should always stop at the many wineries you will come across.  Another thing to watch for in the Hill Country are the wildflowers; many wildflower festivals happen in various cities across the area, but since the Bluebonnet is the state flower, it is important to recognize the Bluebonnet Festival in Burnet, Texas (Burnet is recognized by the Texas state legislature... [Read more...]

Tortilla Flat, AZ, Population 6.

January 23, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Tortilla Flat, AZ, Population 6.

If you happen to find yourself around Apache Junction, Arizona, with time on your hands and a desire to check out the ‘scenery’, you may just want to take a drive over to Tortilla Flat.  Your drive through the Tonto National Forest will take you on a twisty, erratic (but nicely paved) road that winds through miles of rugged desert.  With interesting rock formations, lots of saguaro and barrel cactus, and a forest worth of palo verde trees, the drive is a must for those new to the Arizona desert environment.  Along the way, you will come to beautiful Canyon Lake (pic on left), which is a popular destination for water sports during the summer.  Continue on, and you will soon find yourself in the town of Tortilla Flat.  Population 6.    Tortilla Flat is an old mining town, and is a popular tourist destination.  It is known for a few unique attractions, our favorite being the Prickly Pear Ice Cream.  Prickly Pear is a type of cactus, which they have in abundance... [Read more...]

The Stowe Experience–Part 3

January 23, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

The Stowe Experience–Part 3

We had planned and scheduled our trip out east that year to allow us to complete as many high points as we were able during our 12 days on the road so summiting Mt. Mansfield was the initial reason for our stop in Stowe, VT. Situated in Smuggler’s Notch State Park, Mt. Mansfield is 4,395 feet high. However, unlike most other state high points, some kind souls have thoughtfully constructed an Auto Toll Road that will take visitors most of the way to the top of the peak. Terry, Meg and the puppies on the way up! The Toll Road is a beautiful drive, in addition to being quite an interesting experience, with much of the road taking the car more vertical than horizontal, at least in parts. We did not feel threatened at any point, however, but would not want to make the drive in the winter, if that is even allowed! As we had picked up a $2 off coupon on our stop at the Stowe Visitor’s Center when first arriving in town, we paid $21 for our car full of riders to use the road. Once at the top... [Read more...]

WARNING!! An Extremely Contagious Camper’s Disease is on the Increase.

January 22, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

WARNING!! An Extremely Contagious Camper’s Disease is on the Increase.

After many years of RV camping experience, one thing that I have learned is that many fellow campers and I share a common psychological disorder.  In fact, it is so severe many Psychologists  consider it a disease. A disease so severe that it is easily transmitted from one camper to another any time they gather together. I have a name for this disease.  You won’t find it in a medical dictionary or any psychology textbooks that I am aware of.  In fact, I am not even sure it has been officially identified. I call the disease (or disorder), Tinkeritus.  I  define this as, “The inability to leave things as they are or, more specifically, to leave things alone.” Every RV we have owned has suffered the effects of at least one of its owners having this disease.  You see, it really doesn’t make any difference how the RV is designed or equipped at the factory.  I simply must make it different – or, as I see it, more efficient and better. Nancy has caught me on numerous... [Read more...]

Going For The Gold in Girdwood!

January 22, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Going For The Gold in Girdwood!

Have you ever gone gold panning? I have. It is  lots of fun! When we lived in Anchorage, Alaska, we took our children on many day trips. One of our favorite destinations was Girdwood. Located about forty miles south of Anchorage, historic Girdwood has a lot to offer. There’s the  awesome Alyeska Resort, scenic views, a great bakery and the wonderful Double Musky Inn. One weekend, we spontaneously decided to try our hand at gold panning. It was getting late in the day. We were about ready to leave Girdwood and drive  home, but I was reading a little tourist brochure while sitting in the front seat. The brochure casually mentioned the Crow Creek Gold Mine. My children and I  were  quite excited to visit this remote historic mine, so my husband immediately agreed to venture down a long dirt road in order to find it.  At the turn of the last century, Girdwood was a gold mining town and the Crow Creek Gold Mine is a historic treasure.  Nestled in the Chugach Mountains, the mine... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: “How to Earn Money RVing: Chapter 1″Doing It Online”

January 21, 2011 by · 7 Comments 

  So you want to earn money on your computer while running amuck in your RV?  Consider this:  how did you earn money before you joined the elastic-wearing, black water-dumping, tent-popping  hordes? Your answer may reveal how to earn income from your RV.  You’re an expert at something. What is it? Let’s explore approaches to earning income online: Let’s say you were a teacher.  What does that qualify you to do from an RV? True, you (hopefully) no longer hold recalcitrant, desk bound children captive. However, you probably  retain the knowledge, communication and organizational skills it took to work with the darlings. Those skills are marketable.   Online tutoring companies such as  www.smarthinking.com or www.tutor.com or www.tutorvista.com value those skills.  I enjoy tutoring online for Smarthinking.com on many levels; not the least of which is working from our RV! Or,  maybe you’re a writer or “wanna be writer. ”  Find, then study, blogs you like.... [Read more...]

What Is In Your Portable Pantry?

January 20, 2011 by · 12 Comments 

What Is In Your Portable Pantry?

If you have an RV, a camper or a travel trailer, then you have the pleasure of stocking a portable pantry. I  stock my portable pantry every summer. Each fall, we clean it out completely and then right before Memorial Day I make a list and stock it with some basic items, such as peanut butter,  pasta, rice, graham crackers, salt, sugar, tea, and coffee.  When we traveled throughout Alaska and down the Alaska Canada Highway during the summer of 2006,  I learned that it was essential to have a well-stocked pantry because grocery stores were often hours away! Over the last few years, I’ve  learned to include canned  items such as soups, wild Alaska salmon, and baked beans.  All  of these items store easily and can be transformed in a flash. The canned wild salmon makes a great  salad when I mix it with celery, lemon, and a little mayonnaise.  The salad can then be served on a sandwich or dolloped  onto crackers for an impressive little canape. The baked beans easily add... [Read more...]

The Campground Pizzeria From Seward to Yellowstone!

January 17, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Pizza is a perennial favorite with my family. We enjoy it at home and while camping. Over the years, I’ve served a lot of pizzas while traveling the highways and byways of the Pacific Northwest. I’ve loaded frozen pizzas into the oven. I’ve cooked it from scratch. I’ve served takeout pizzas  purchased while traveling. And, I’ve crafted unusual ones over a campfire. Before leaving home,  I often stash the Amy’s organic  frozen pizzas into the bottom of  my little camper freezer because they are compact and cook quickly in my camper oven. They make a great kid friendly snack and are always there when I need them.  I started using the Amy’s pizzas when we lived and camped in Alaska about five years ago. I purchased the pizzas in packs of three from my local Costco. Amenities were few and far between when we traveled and camped throughout  America’s Last Frontier, so I needed to always have a family friendly option on hand. My children... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Lose 55 pounds in ten minutes for $149.00

January 16, 2011 by · 13 Comments 

See the Nook? Would you like to lose, say, 55 pounds or more,  in 10 minutes for only $149?  I did it, by getting a Nook e reader. Ok, the pounds I lost weren’t human flesh  (apologies those of us trying to lose ballast); they’re dead weight and space wasters in RV’s, tents, or homes and are known as “books.” I know, I know…books are lovely in homes but if you’re downsizing to a condo, 5th wheel,  or cardboard box, think about it. I’m a maniacal reader. To the point of insanity. In addition to pleasure reading like a fool, reading has always been integral to my teaching and writing careers. Reading is my hobby, my joy,  my career (when not writing), and my friend. In truth, my love of reading is central to who I am. So, the thought of giving up or not having access to my zillions of books while camping or RVing  was totally out of the question. Then I realized, it’s not about the books…it’s about reading. And that’s when my brilliant husband... [Read more...]

The Stowe Experience–Part 2

January 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Stowe Experience–Part 2

One of the first things we did in Stowe, VT when we visited on an RV trip a few years ago, other than set up camp and eat pizza, was take a tour of the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. It was quite a complex with several buildings and a large number of outbuildings. They can also boast the largest parking space and RV parking area I have seen this side of Disney World! Even the biggest rigs should have no trouble pulling in here! They really go out of their way to make their establishment accessible to everyone and to make it easy to visit. The Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory complex is located in nearby Waterbury, VT, a few short miles from the town of Stowe. The company actually started in the nearby city of Burlington and was  established by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, two childhood friends, who turned a $5.00 correspondence course on how to make ice cream into a way to provide an exceptional product and make a few bucks in the process. Founded in 1978, it grew to... [Read more...]

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