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Month: October 2011

An Alpine Village in the Southwest?

October 19, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

An Alpine Village in the Southwest?

Located in northern New Mexico at a base elevation of 9,200 feet above sea level, the tiny village of Taos Ski Valley, NM is surrounded by green forests and high mountains. First incorporated in 1996, it is New Mexico’s 100th municipality, yet it boasts the world class Taos Ski Valley Resort. The Rocky Mountains surrounding the village provide fabulous skiing during the winter months as well as beautiful hiking and horseback riding terrain in warmer weather. In fact, New Mexico’s highest peak, Wheeler Peak, overlooks the town, standing at a majestic 13,161 feet. We visited Taos Ski Valley this summer, as we had to pass through the village while en route to our Williams Lake hike, and were again struck by the resemblance to a village one might find in the Austrian Alps. Ski run during summer Architecture in the valley is reminiscent of an alpine community and appears as if it was plucked out of the “Sound of Music” set. While we have yet to personally experience the Ski Valley... [Read more...]

B.C. Walmart Says No to RVs

October 18, 2011 by · 15 Comments 

B.C. Walmart Says No to RVs

They are usually known as a welcoming sight for RVers in need of a place to stop for the night or a few days before continuing on with their journey. SmartCentres, which owns the Kamloops, British Columbia shopping centre, installed large new signs on the lot reminding customers there is no overnight parking for RVs or trucks. (Credit: bcnews.ca) Besides being a big-box retail store, Walmart parking lots across North America have generally been hospitable to the traveling camper. But, anyone hoping to stay in the Kamloops, British Columbia, Walmart parking lot for an extended period of time can expect to be turned away, reports Kamloops This Week. This past summer the company SmartCentres, which owns the shopping center, installed large new signs on the lot reminding customers that overnight parking for RVs or trucks is not permitted. Sandra Kaiser, vice-president of corporate affairs for SmartCentres, told KTW the no-overnight rules were always in place, but not enforced stringently until... [Read more...]

A Hike in the Desert…Part 2

October 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A Hike in the Desert…Part 2

In search of a dry hike, we decided on our trip this summer to head to the Abiquiu, NM area to hike the Chavez Canyon trail. After a circuitous journey, we park our car and begin to walk, we hope in the right direction, down the trail. We are relieved to see two other cars in the parking area. The start of the hike... Rather than seeing the Canyon, however, it is clear we have come upon the Christ in the Desert Monastery. Always in the lead, Ryan heads to the door to ask for directions and by the time we arrive, he is engaged in conversation with a monk with the calmest, most serene presence I have ever experienced. It was almost palpable. The first slot canyon Suddenly, it makes sense why the group would be located in this remote, yet peaceful place. Apparently they offer retreats at this location where the rest of us can absorb some of this calm and peace as well. It is tempting, but we are soon off in the correct direction. In talking with the monk, we discover we have walked about... [Read more...]

ARRGGGGH!!!!!! (Finding a digital TV signal)

October 13, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

ARRGGGGH!!!!!! (Finding a digital TV signal)

It was around five o’clock before we finally pulled off the highway into a nice, cozy little campground away from the traffic noise of the Interstate. Once on our site I pushed some buttons to lower the leveling jacks, run out the slides and open the awning.  Both water and power were right at the side of the RV where it was easy to hook-up.  Boy, I love this push-button automatic stuff – it makes setting up so much easier than the old way. This campground offers no cable hook-up and the canopy of huge trees overhead renders the satellite dish useless. I want to catch the six o’clock news and then the National News that follows.  I have about 30 minutes to get the TV tuned in. My only choice is to find the terrestrial stations in the area.  So, I crank up the “Batwing” TV antenna with the Wingman attachment and turn on the TV. Since all of the TV stations are now digital, as is the TV, before I can even think about positioning the antenna I have to hit menu on the remote,... [Read more...]

San Antonio: An Enchanting City

October 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

San Antonio: An Enchanting City

Texas is big, beautiful, and diverse. It’s easy to think of Texas as a whole country—800 miles wide and nearly that far from north to south. The state encompasses sunny seacoast to mile-high mountains, dense forests to cactus-studded desert, and great cities to small villages and towns. The first thing many visitors notice about the Alamo is its small size, especially when compared with the buildings of the surrounding city. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Texas is the only state that was once a sovereign nation, the republic of Texas. Texas had its own armed forces including a Navy, currency, and representatives to the United States. Arguably, the state’s most beautiful city, San Antonio has much to offer. Fantastic museums, San Antonio River Walk, La Villita, HemisFair Park, Tower of the Americas, El Mercado, King William Historic District, and, of course, The Alamo are but a few of its highlights. And if you like the Alamo, you’ll love the San Antonio Missions National Historical... [Read more...]

Favorite Camping Trips — Old Sturbridge Village and Wells State Park, Massachusetts

October 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Old Sturbridge Village is the largest outdoor living history museum in the Northeast. It’s located on Route 20 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. It portrays New England Village life from 1790 to 1830. Friendly and knowledgeable costumed characters, known as history interpreters, play the roles of Sturbridge villagers. They can be seen each day carrying out their private lives and trades. They’ll answer whatever questions modern day visitors’ might have to turn a day’s visit into an educational and pleasant experience for the whole family. It’s time travel at its best. As stated in their website, “Old Sturbridge Village’s purpose is to provide modern Americans with a deepened understanding of their own times through a personal encounter with New England’s past.” Wander along a country road and stop to chat with a farmer plowing his field or with women baking bread in a fireplace oven. Listen to the clanging of the blacksmith’s hammer as it strikes the red-hot hot... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Benefits and Liabilities of RV Consignment and God Is in Charge of Timing

October 9, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

There’s a reason I named my blog, “Saga of an RV Rookie… ” rookie being the operative term; as in, every single thing we do related to RVing is for the first time, including figuring out the right time to go full-time. At this point, I’m inclined to say something about RV virgins, but I probably should desist and move on to the overwhelmingly fascinating world of RV consignments; but more important than that, I’ll address how God reminds us He is in charge of the plans. Now, just so you know, you are number one on my mind when I write for Woodall’s. I always want to bring a benefit to you, so you think it’s worth your time to read what I have to say. I try to share something I’ve learned, bought, or experienced that will help you in some way. In this case, I’d like to share what I’ve learned about the thrills and joys of RV consignment. Here we go: They say (whoever they are) that most people get 3 RVs before they get the “right one.” It turns out... [Read more...]

A Hike in the Desert…Part 1

October 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A Hike in the Desert…Part 1

After our rainy hike in the Taos Ski Valley, we were in search of a drier expedition to entertain us. A glance at a book listing remote hikes in New Mexico led us to a hiking trail up into Chavez Canyon. This was especially appealing as it was located in an area of New Mexico we had never visited. As an added benefit, to reach the unmarked trail head we had to travel through Ghost Ranch, the part of this beautiful state that Georgia O’Keefe made famous and where she found inspiration for her magnificent paintings. The drive to Chavez Canyon The other criteria that we were searching for was a hike that contained one or several slot canyons. Ryan was especially eager to do a bit of climbing; the rest of us were intrigued and willing, but less confident in our ability to negotiate that type of terrain. So it was with a great deal of excitement and anticipation that we set out the day following our soggy climb into new territory. Heading northwest from Taos, we first passed Abiquiu, the... [Read more...]

I REMEMBER WHEN…. (Chapter 13 – The Camporee)

October 7, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

I REMEMBER WHEN…. (Chapter 13 – The Camporee)

I had just graduated from Cub Scout Webelows to the Boy Scouts.  This was my first “Camporee” and as such, my first experience camping with a new and older group of scouts. Our Scout Master was a Korean War Vet everyone called George.  He often reminded us of his “camping” experiences in the cold, rain and mud with little or nothing to protect himself from the elements.  According to George, this is what makes boys into men. About twenty of us had arrived at our camping site on Norris Lake joining with several other scout troops.  We cleared our area of debris and pitched out tents.  Most of us had pup tents – each scout having half a tent and needing a scouting buddy with the other half to make a full tent. After pitching our tents, we would dig a trench around the perimeter to promote good drainage should we have rain.  There were no floors in the tents so we placed our sleeping bags on top of a poncho laid directly on the ground. George had a much nicer tent with walls... [Read more...]

Chinese Company Copies the SylvanSport GO

October 6, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Chinese Company Copies the SylvanSport GO

In an earlier post, Meet the GO! by SylvanSport, I reported on the GO, a lightweight, reconfigurable, pop-up trailer manufactured by Brevard, North Carolina-based SylvanSport LLC. Meet the Go! All ready to Go! (Credit: sylvansport.com) SylvanSport has learned that Wuyi Tiandi Motion Apparatus Co. Ltd., a manufacturing company operating out of Zhejiang, China has begun manufacturing and selling counterfeit versions of the popular SylvanSport GO, according to a press release. Designed and manufactured entirely in the U.S., the SylvanSport GO has been widely praised for its innovative design features. The GO “was copied down to the color scheme and even the marketing support materials,” said Tom Dempsey, founder and president of Sylvan Sport. Sylvan Sport said that “this is an unusually blatant example illustrating the increasing problem of many of China’s most accomplished companies achieving their success by pilfering the intellectual property of other industrialized nations.” The... [Read more...]

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