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Month: November 2011

Lost On the Mountain! One Massive Hike, Part 2

November 6, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Lost On the Mountain! One Massive Hike, Part 2

Continuing our story about summiting Colorado’s 2nd highest peak, Mt. Massive, this past summer while on our annual trip out west, we soon encountered more adventure than we bargained for. In spite of the fact that our hike had multiplied from 6.2 miles to a rather “massive” 13.6 miles the day before, Meghan, the non-hiker among us, decided to undertake the journey with us. This meant that all three dogs would accompany us as well, which thrilled them all! We were up at 5 am and enjoyed a breakfast of granola bars, juice and, for Terry and me, coffee for a quick bit of energy. We tend to eat light before and during a hike and enjoy a celebratory meal afterwards. We packed up our snacks for the trail (almonds, dried cherries and cranberries, peanuts) and loaded up plenty of water. Once the excited puppies were leashed up, we were off. It was 5:40 am. We arrive at our revised trailhead at 6:22 am and pose for a few pictures before heading out. It is 44 degrees and 6:33 when we start... [Read more...]

Hairy, Crazy Ants Are On the Move

November 5, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Hairy, Crazy Ants Are On the Move

Do you hate fire ants? Well, the good news is that fire ants have practically been wiped out in parts of America. A male Nylanderia pubens (hairy, crazy ant) specimen is seen in Starkville, Mississippi, November 6, 2009. (Credit: AP/Mississippi State Entomological Museum, Joe MacGown) The bad news is they were wiped out by something much, much worse: the crazy, hairy ants—and they’re on the move and no one’s really sure what to do about it. The flea-sized critters are called crazy because each forager scrambles randomly at a speed that your average ant, marching one by one, reaches only in video fast-forward. They’re called hairy because of fuzz that, to the naked eye, makes their abdomens look less glossy than those of their slower, bigger cousins, reports the Associated Press. They’re on the move in Florida, Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. In Texas, they’ve invaded homes and industrial complexes, urban and rural areas. They travel in cargo containers, hay... [Read more...]

An Alaska Travel Roundup

November 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Denali National Park/Melissa Trainer I was very fortunate last week because the State of Alaska invited me to attend the Alaska Media Road Show.  Held  at the luxurious Four Seasons Biltmore in  Santa Barbara, this annual  event brings together top travel writers and key players in Alaska’s tourism industry. As many of you know, I write quite a bit about Alaska.  I lived there with my family and we traveled extensively throughout the state while we were there.  We covered a lot of territory and ventured to many amazing  remote locations during that time. We knew that  we could be self sufficient with our travel trailer and we utilized our trailer to the max.  We knew that amenities were few and far between on many of the remote roads, so we learned to pack accordingly.  Our trailer was an absolutely priceless tool for navigating the region.  Even though our three children were all under the age of 11 at the time,  we were all willing to take the road less traveled.... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Montana’s Soup Nazi: If you hate spicy curry, stop reading and look for a recipe that features pablum.

November 3, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

Did you see the Seinfeld episode about the Soup Nazi? It was about some maniac nut who made the best soup in Manhattan. They mentioned Mulligatawny stew (soup) in that episode, but I didn’t know what it was until last week (some of us are late bloomers). Nor did I know it is so terrific! I tasted my first Mulligatawny, made by a friend of mine recently returned from India. It won’t be my last. I loved it! Mulligatawny looks like our Montana autumn and heats like the wood stoves firing up around here. Recipe for Indian Mulligatawny ( as stolen from my buddy): Prep Time: about ten minutes or less Cook Time: 20 minutes or less. Servings: 6-8 Ingredients • 1 whole chicken breast, cut into little pieces • Salt And pepper To Taste • 4 Tablespoons butter • 1 whole onion, diced. • 3 cloves minced garlic. • 1/4 cup All-purpose flour • 1 Tablespoon curry powder (or less, if you’re heat sensitive. I add more!) • 32 ounces, fluid chicken broth • 2 cups half-and-half • 1... [Read more...]

The California Desert Holds Some Secrets…

November 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The California Desert Holds Some Secrets…

Fall is an ideal time to experience southern California’s desert region at the foot of the awe-inspiring Santa Rosa Mountains. As autumn air turns crisp across the country, weather in Indio remains warm enough to enjoy the sun throughout November and December. Visitors and locals enjoy the warm weather at nearby Lake Cahuilla where they can go hiking and shore fishing. Avid golfers spend autumn hours on Indio’s tournament-level golf courses – some of the best in the country. Visitors can enjoy Indio’s outdoor living this autumn at Indian Wells RV Resort, where they’ve got volleyball, horseshoes,  a driving net for golfers and three swimming pools. This fall, the local Coachella Valley History  museum is hosting the Mexican American Family Festival every Thursday. But the autumn action truly heats up in Indio during November. On November 5th, Indio hosts its Harvest Festival Arts and Crafts Fair. Local craftsmen and artisans gather at the festival to show off and sell their... [Read more...]

MUCH MORE THAT JUST A GPS (The Rand NcNally RVND7710 cont.)

November 3, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

MUCH MORE THAT JUST A GPS (The Rand NcNally RVND7710 cont.)

RV’ers take note – this thing is much, much more than just a typical GPS. My Garmin Nuvi is an excellent GPS product.  It always finds an address and routes me there.  But, it lacks many of the extended features offered in the Rand McNally RVND7710 specifically designed  for folks driving RV’s. At first, I was disappointed in the RVND7710.  The address interface was unfamiliar to me and I could not get the docking software to recognize my serial number or access the full manual. But (always a but) I quickly discovered that everything I needed to learn and remember about the operation of the RVND7710 was right in front of me programmed into the unit and accessible under TIPS, TUTORIALS and FAQ that appear as an operator option immediately after the unit boots up.  I absolutely did not need an online or printed manual – it was all programed into the deice! Thankfully, the RVND7710 also includes an AC power adapter.  This allowed me to “play” and learn how the unit... [Read more...]

One Massive Hike…Part 1

November 2, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

One Massive Hike…Part 1

As some of you may know, we like to plan at least one long hike to do while on our two week summer trips. This summer it was another of Colorado’s 14ers (peaks in excess of 14,000 feet) that we chose: the 2nd highest Colorado peak, Mt. Massive. Setting up in Colorado Standing an impressive 14,421 feet and containing a total of five summits over 14,000 feet on its own, Massive is more a region than a mountain. Its majesty can be seen from miles away as it towers over all but its sister peak, nearby Mt. Elbert. Nonetheless, Massive is our destination over the summer of 2011. We had made reservations at our favorite site in Lakeview Campground in the San Isabel National Forest and arrived just after 1 pm on July 27th to set up. A half hour later, we are off to check out the trailhead for our hike the following morning. I have spent a great deal of time researching this hike as climbers had gone missing on nearby peaks earlier this summer and trail conditions had been marginal in some... [Read more...]

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