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Month: July 2011

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Idiot Proof, Healthy, Easy, Summer Crock Pot Stew

July 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s summer in northwest Montana. Harmony and Understanding converge at exactly this point come July and August. Read more about Montana campgrounds and things to do in Montana. Yesterday, we left for Glacier Park (a mere 35 minute drive) and came home to a healthy, hot meal that had cooked outdoors in the crock pot during our Park adventures. I had thrown the recipe together in literally ten minutes, but it tasted way better than that. I love my crock pot bubbling away on a table outside the RV. Thank the Lord for shore power! The RV stays cool inside because the cooking action is outside. Last week I cooked an awesome turkey breast in the crock pot outdoors. Many moons ago I submitted a blog about how to cook a great turkey breast in a crock pot. You might check that out. Note: I have since discovered the turkey breast needs to actually fit in the crock pot, so you may want to assess that more carefully than I did at point of purchase! I had criteria for the crockpot recipe: 1) Ingredients... [Read more...]

Another Quiet Escape in Wisconsin

July 31, 2011 by · 8 Comments 

Another Quiet Escape in Wisconsin

In a recent post, I profiled one of our favorite northwoods campgrounds, Anvil Lake Campground, a simple Forest Service campground located in Wisconsin in the Nicolet National Forest. However, our favorite such camping spot, also in the Nicolet is the beautiful Franklin Lake Campground a few miles away in essentially the same neck of the woods. It was to this lovely spot we first brought our son camping when he was barely six months old. It was Memorial Day weekend in 1992 and a frosty one at that. Temperatures plunged to freezing during the night and he slept in my sleeping bag with me in his snowsuit. In fact, he spent the entire weekend in that snowsuit. I think that early experience served him well as he is our child that most loves the out of doors, accompanies us on every camping or RV trip even at age 20 and, is an avid hiker and climber. As I write this we are preparing for our annual trip out west where we have planned to climb two more “Fourteeners” (peaks in excess of 14,000... [Read more...]

Exit Glacier At Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska

July 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Exit Glacier If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Alaska this summer, seriously consider visiting Exit Glacier at Kenai Fjords National Park. We hiked to this glacier five years ago when we lived in Anchorage and we were fortunate enough to visit the glacier again early in July of this year. We had taken a day trip from Anchorage to Seward and spontaneously decided to visit the glacier after leaving Seward. Glaciers abound in Alaska. Thankfully this glacier can be easily (and affordably!) enjoyed by taking a short hike. Unlike other glaciers around the state,  there’s no need for a boat or a helicopter to view the glacier. You just need some good supportive shoes, a bottle of water, and a little extra energy. On the midweek  day that we visited, the park wasn’t terribly busy. The sun was shining and the views were amazing. We took a different trail on this trip and, to be perfectly honest, we were quite shocked to see how far the glacier had receded since we were... [Read more...]

Prescott: Everybody’s Home Town

July 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Prescott: Everybody’s Home Town

A little farther afield, but still an easy day trip from Verde Valley is Prescott—the former territorial capital of Arizona. Nestled in a stunning mountain bowl and surrounded by one of the largest ponderosa pine forests in the West, this beautiful town is steeped in history with an authentic taste of western heritage. The 1916 Yavapai County Courthouse, constructed of white granite and ringed by towering pines, is the centerpiece of Courthouse Plaza. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Modern Prescott has the advantage of not really being very modern. Banners proclaim Prescott as “Everyone’s Home Town.” You won’t find high rises, but the downtown businesses clustered around the 1916 Yavapai County Courthouse and its plaza are thriving. The courthouse, constructed of white granite and ringed by towering pines, is the centerpiece of Courthouse Plaza, a popular public gathering place that features two bronze statues by noted Western sculptor Solon Borglum, brother of the creator... [Read more...]

Savor Local With Your Mobile Kitchen!

July 29, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Now that summer is in full swing, I’m wondering if you are savoring local cuisine while camping and RVing around the country.  I’m not currently camping, but I am traveling on the East Coast and have been enjoying all the wonderful produce at farmers’ markets up and down the eastern seaboard. Last week, I was at the Chestertown Farmers Market on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Corn, honey, zucchini, peaches, blackberries, melons and cantaloupe were available. I can assure that I ate quite a few ears of local corn, which to me seemed unusually sweet and fresh this year.  I’m now down in Florida and have been enjoying local tomatoes and freshly squeezed orange juice.  Tomorrow I will start my day at the wonderful Fort Pierce Farmers Market, which is located right on the Intracoastal Waterway. Are you hunting down local produce and regional foods while traveling this summer? If so, please chime in and tell us about them. It’s worth remembering that when you... [Read more...]

CAPE LOOKOUT NATIONAL SEASHORE – Home of one of North Carolina’s Historic Lighthouses

July 28, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

CAPE LOOKOUT NATIONAL SEASHORE – Home of one of North Carolina’s Historic Lighthouses

Monday was not a good beach day. The wind was blowing between 20 and 25 knots.  Umbrellas were flying like kites and the fine, dry sand unaffected by the ocean’s waters cut into your body like thousands of little razors. We decided to hang around inside the camper.  I finished my book by James Patterson, 4th of July, and started a second by Glenn Beck, The Overton Window. The first was an excellent paperback thriller with a surprise ending.  The Overton Window is getting interesting but is more political than mysterious – both are great beach books. Tuesday was not much better weather wise.  The wind had died down but the sky’s were overcast and numerous thunderboomers rolled overhead.  We decided to hit an afternoon movie at the local cinema. We have not watched the first part of the current Harry Potter movie, so felt we should wait on viewing the second.  The entire series has become way too complicated as it is.  Zookeeper seemed like a good alternative.  Boy was I ever... [Read more...]

On the road with kids in tow…

July 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

I LOVE to travel with elementary aged kids – they are so involved, and are great travel companions!  Since they are also generally quite opinionated at this age, and making certain decisions for themselves, we will skip the ‘dress’ and ‘food’ ideas ;), and get straight to the ‘things to do in the car’ ideas!  I’m going to steer clear of electronic gadgets (specifically gaming stuff) because either you have them and allow them, or you don’t (we don’t).      One of the best things that you can do on any trip, with any children, is to get them involved!  For this age, it is a great time to have them be involved starting in the planning stages.  Let them help look through state planners, camping idea books/mags, or destination brochures (if you help them, the internet can be a great place to find site specific destination ideas also).  The kids will be more invested in the trip if they feel that they have a part... [Read more...]

Huh? What’s That? NO!

July 26, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

If you’ve heard this story anywhere else, you should know that it’s true and it’s mine. It was after 8 PM on a Thursday and I was at our vet’s office with one of our dogs; Sam, short for Samantha. Sam was a Golden Retriever-Collie mix. She was a beautiful dog; steady as a rock, loyal and a member of our family. The reason she and I were at the vet’s was because she had returned home about an hour before with a badly cut paw. She’d been out behind our apple orchard in the stream we had there and had probably stepped on some broken bottle glass. I knew she’d been in the stream because she was also muddy and it had been dry for the past few days. And I knew that it was probably a broken bottle that she’d cut herself on because our stream was full of broken glass. Several month’s ago, I caught a neighbor’s two sons—a couple of future felons—throwing empty bottles off the hillside at the back of our property and down onto the rocks in our stream. The bottles were the... [Read more...]

Using Audubon apps in your expeditions

July 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Using Audubon apps in your expeditions

Audubon Guides – A Field Guide to Birds, Mammals, Wildflowers, and Trees From Green Mountain Digital I am quite impressed with the Audubon apps so far. This particular app contains four apps in one – so you can save a bit of money when you purchase it. I am quite impressed with the quality of the app and the flexibility of using it. Being the type of person who loves to identify the species I encounter in my outdoor activities, I was very curious to explore the apps and see if I could identify something I didn’t know before. The Audubon Guides app will help you identify birds, mammals, wildflowers, and trees.   All guides feature professional color photographs, in-depth descriptions of each species, fast and easy navigation, state-of-the-art search functions, real time availability, life lists, sightings and photo albums. Audubon Birds – A Field Guide to the Birds of North America features over 750 species of North American Birds, from Chickadees to Condors... [Read more...]

A Quiet Escape in the Northwoods

July 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A Quiet Escape in the Northwoods

When most people think about the northwoods of Wisconsin, the very popular vacation destination cities of Eagle River, Minoqua and Boulder Junction come to mind. They are vibrant exciting vacation spots and boast many full service RV parks and wonderful campgrounds with every amenity you could imagine; places such as the Hi-Pines Campground and Resort in Eagle River and the Patricia Lake RV Resort in Minoqua. These parks offer every accommodation one could hope for in an RV park including full hookups, cable wifi, supply stores, clubhouses and innumerable recreational activities. However, sometimes when we want to visit the northwoods, we are seeking a quiet escape to simply enjoy being out in nature. We also enjoy the challenge of dry camping for periods of time; kind of a test for us as to how minimalist we can be in terms of power, propane and water consumption. At those times, it is the simple Forest Serviced campgrounds in the located in the Nicolet National Forest to which we retire. One... [Read more...]

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