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Month: January 2012

Montezuma Castle and Well N.M., AZ…

January 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Montezuma Castle and Well N.M., AZ…

While we were in the beautiful Verde Valley a couple of weeks ago, we were sure to visit Montezuma Castle and Well National Monuments in addition to Tuzigoot N.M. We were glad that we did Tuzigoot first, because, while it is interesting and a great place to visit, it doesn’t hold a candle to Montezuma Castle! Course, the nice thing about Tuzigoot is that you can walk to and in the actual ruins, while the Castle is up out of reach. Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well are one park on the NPS webpage, and they share a Jr. Ranger program, but they are in separate locations about 6 miles apart. We went to the castle first. Montezuma Castle is an incredible cliff dwelling. We have seen quite a few cliff dwellings over the last couple of years; in fact, when I told the kids that we were going to MC, and that is was a cliff dwelling, I had a couple of kids that said, “not another cliff dwelling!” LOL! So, spirits as they were, I drug them along anyway so that we could earn... [Read more...]

Mount Mitchell Drive Receives Scenic Byway Designation

January 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Mount Mitchell Drive Receives Scenic Byway Designation

The Mount Mitchell Scenic Drive is the latest route to receive an official “scenic byway” designation from the state of North Carolina. Recognized for its outstanding beauty and unique cultural features, this 52-mile drive begins atop 6,684-foot Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi and traverses a national forest, state park, and National Park Service land. Welcome to Mount Mitchell State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved “It’s a beautiful corridor for a number of reasons,” says Jeff Lackey, manager of scenic byways for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). ”It has scenic quality, and also a tremendous amount of cultural and historical aspects, which is rare in a byway experience.” “When you go around every curve, you’ll find something new and interesting,” says Wanda Proffitt, a local DOT board member and advocate of the route. The route begins on N.C. 128 in Yancey County atop Mount... [Read more...]

Patti Faustini: Part 1 of How you can benefit from the Eastern Montana/North Dakota Bakken Oil Boom: There’s oil and jobs!

January 30, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

Patti Faustini: Part 1 of How you can benefit from the Eastern Montana/North Dakota Bakken Oil Boom: There’s oil and jobs!

There’s oil in them thar prairies of Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota. And where there’s oil, there’s money to be made: and in the case of the Bakken oil boom, lots of money. If you can spit in the face of a “wild, wild west” mentality, read on: Part 1 of this series, special for Woodall’s’ readers, will address the Bakken oil story, and the money to be made. Part 2 will address the pros and cons of making that money (and there are many of both), and Part 3 will address specific realities of RV life in oil boom country. Bakken Oil Shale Production: The Bakken (it’s the largest light sweet crude reserve in North America) is comprised of shale rock that covers over 200,000 square miles of Montana, Saskatchewan, and North Dakota. It’s estimated there are over several hundred billion barrels of oil there, but much of it is located within the actual shale itself. This does not make for easy extraction, which is why the oil has languished there (more or less) since... [Read more...]

Congaree National Park: A Hidden Gem Expands

January 29, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Congaree National Park: A Hidden Gem Expands

Congaree National Park is a relatively unknown park—a hidden jewel in the national park system. Congaree National Park provides a sanctuary for plants and animals, a research site for scientists, and a place for you to walk and relax in a tranquil wilderness setting amidst giant hardwoods and towering pines. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The National Park Service, Trust for Public Land, and Friends of Congaree Swamp, and others recently celebrated Congaree National Park’s 35-year history and the park’s acquisition of 1,840 acres of Riverstone property, The Times and Democrat reported. “The Riverstone property, which connects the eastern and western sections of the park, was Congaree National Park’s highest priority for acquisition. We are pleased to be celebrating this latest addition to the park during our 35th anniversary year,” said Tracy Swartout, Park Superintendent. In June 2011, the final 434 acres of the Riverstone property were protected, completing... [Read more...]

Beating the Winter Blues…

January 29, 2012 by · 5 Comments 

Beating the Winter Blues…

As the daylight gets shorter when winter approaches  and out sunlight decreases in November and December, many of us in northern climates (and even some in more southern climes) start to experience what is commonly known as the “winter blues.” Add to this, the fact that many of us are not engaging in our favorite pastimes of camping and RVing during this time of the year and things can get downright depressing! While the medical term is “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or SAD, most of us just know this as the blues. Further, many feel they just need to suffer through it; that there is nothing they can do to minimize the symptoms they are experiencing. But there is much you can do if you are affected by this loss of light. First of all, many medical people report that increasing your intake of vitamin D, either in the form of food or by supplement, can make up for the loss of sunlight that winter brings. While you will always want to be sure to check with your physician or other medical... [Read more...]

Tuzigoot National Monument and Jerome, AZ…

January 28, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

Tuzigoot National Monument and Jerome, AZ…

We recently spent a week and a half near Cottonwood, AZ (which is located between Sedona and Prescott). Because of it’s elevation of 3300 feet, the nights were chilly, some of them getting below freezing enough that we would have to unhook our water overnight. Despite it being cooler than I had anticipated, we still enjoyed our visit very much, and the days warmed enough that, during a few of them, the kids wore out the rope swing hanging temptingly out over the creek that bordered the park, and the kids spent many afternoons at the basketball court and playground. We had such a fun time meeting a few other fulltime traveling families, and we had the opportunity to spend a morning with my aunt and uncle that live in Prescott. We also took a few days to check out the surrounding area; and found that Cottonwood boasts quite a lot to do within a short distance! One of the first places in the Verde Valley that we went to was Tuzigoot National Monument. Tuzigoot is a 110 room pueblo... [Read more...]

How it’s Made – A Guitar is Born

January 27, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

How it’s Made – A Guitar is Born

Did you know that in the state of Pennsylvania there is a town called Nazareth?   And in this town, you can have the opportunity of visiting…..; C.F. Martin & Co. For over 150 years, The Martin Guitar Company has been producing instruments that are recognized all around the world.   These instruments are in the highest quality and their construction is very precise. We had the opportunity to visit the factory back a few years ago and we really enjoyed it.    In 2008, we embarked on our first ever trip with our RV and we experience many interesting things.   Visiting a guitar factory was one of our highlights in our trip. We had planned the field trip with the kids before arriving in PA because I had purchased the book Watch It Made In The U.S.A. As a visitor on the factory tour, you will be shown how the guitars come to life through the hands of the people working at C.F. Martin & Co.  Tours are done regularly between 11am and 2:30pm Monday to Friday.    There is... [Read more...]

SAVE 75% or MORE ON YOUR NEXT CORDLESS TOOL BATTERIES (Yes, I like saving money!)

January 25, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

SAVE 75% or MORE ON YOUR NEXT CORDLESS TOOL BATTERIES (Yes, I like saving money!)

Battery powered tools can be the mainstay for many RV’ers that like to be prepared for both unexpected needs and maintenance when away from home. I carry a full complement of 18-volt Ryobi power tools, including a drill, flashlight, reciprocating saw, handi-vacuum, and a small chain saw.  Other tools such a air compressors, radios, saber saws, circular saws, and leaf blowers also operate off of the same 18-volt nickel cadmium battery pack.  I find myself frequently using the drill with a socket that fits scissors jacks to quickly raise or lower the jacks.  The drill also serves as an electric screwdriver that recently came in handy when the base of our bed broke apart.  Both the reciprocating saw and the 10” chain saw are great for cutting gathered firewood from downed trees or limbs.  Of course, you are limited to small diameter wood. Using portable battery operated tools requires several spare batteries as well as a proper charger.  If the batteries are old and weak and can... [Read more...]

Death Valley National Park…

January 25, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

Death Valley National Park…

One of the National Parks that has surprised me the most was Death Valley.  I expected it to be a vast valley with nothing but barren sand dunes for miles and miles.  I didn’t give it much thought, but just figured that it was worthy of it’s National Park status due to the fact that it is deemed the hottest spot in the United States.  And to be honest, the only reason that we gave it a day’s worth of our time was because we are on a mission to collect Jr. Ranger badges from every National Park that offers them!   view from the Furnace Creek visitor's center Since the park covers 3 million acres of land, there is plenty of park to explore!   We drove in through Death Valley Junction from Pahrump. We left with enough fuel to last the day, and that is one tip that I would highly recommend for anyone driving the park – it’s a big park!  While there is fuel at Stovepipe Wells, it is about $1.50 more per gallon than if you just fill up before leaving... [Read more...]

Crater of Diamonds State Park Report Successful Year

January 22, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Crater of Diamonds State Park Report Successful Year

Looking back over the past 12 months, the year 2011 has been a successful one for park visitors who hunted for diamonds in the 37 ½-acre search area at Arkansas’s diamond site, the Crater of Diamonds State Park. David Anderson with his recent find, a 3.83-carat diamond he named the Wolverine Diamond. (Credit: katv.com) According to Park Superintendent Justin Dorsey, over 500 diamonds were found by visitors last year. Of the year’s diamond finds, 30 weighed over a carat each. The year’s largest diamond find was an 8.66-carat white diamond found in April. And on December 12, David Anderson of Murfreesboro found the year’s 535th diamond. His 3.83-carat pear-shaped, yellow diamond marks the fourth largest find for the year. Park Interpreter Margi Jenks said, “This has been a great year for our park visitors here at the Crater of Diamonds. During every month this year, a visitor unearthed a diamond weighing over a carat. And in April, six diamonds weighed over a carat including the... [Read more...]

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