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Month: July 2012

RCMP Musical Ride

July 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

RCMP Musical Ride

The image of the red-coated Mountie in broad-brimmed Stetson hat is associated with Canada round the world. But there is more to the Mounties than just a romantic image. RCMP Musical Ride performance at Edmonton, Alberta (Amberlea Meadows Equestrian Centre), July 23, 2010 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved From the beginning of its history, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has served Canada and its people by establishing law and order in the frontier reaches of this vast nation. Representing a colorful tradition and ceremony through the horse and the scarlet uniform, the RCMP created a spectacle known around the world as the Musical Ride. The Origin The Musical Ride originated from the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) as they made the Great March West across Canada in 1874. Although the original NWMP were scattered in small groups over tens of thousands of miles of unsettled prairies, they routinely practiced both mounted and foot drills. In this time, Sergeant Major Robert Belcher... [Read more...]

Beat the Heat

July 9, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

Beat the Heat

Record-setting heat waves across North America have pushed the mercury to new and often dangerous heights. Sure, climate-controlled RVs can keep us safe for the ravages of high temperatures, but we can’t stay in our vehicles all the time. Picnics, hikes, open-air potluck meals and outdoor sporting activities expose us to the hot sun, and often put us in danger of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Caused by dehydration, heat exhaustion can lead to a potentially fatal heat stroke. During heat stroke, the body loses the ability to cool itself by sweating. The body overheats, putting internal organs in grave danger. Heat-exhaustion victims are often nauseous, disoriented and suffering muscle cramps. Heat stroke victims may suffer seizures, fainting and dry, hot skin. Call 911 if you suspect heat stroke. Heat disproportionately affects the elderly, but even young, fit campers are at risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation,... [Read more...]

WHATS A TOAD? – A RV Newbie’s Vocablulary List

July 8, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

WHATS A TOAD? – A RV Newbie’s Vocablulary List

I couldn’t help but laugh at Dalin Brinkman’s July 5th blog sharing his dismay over the vocabulary folks new to RVs encounter. Later in the day, I began to think more seriously about Dalin’s dilemma. The part of me that is still a teacher kicked into high gear.  I remember all too well how overwhelmed my beginning students were when they were exposed to an entirely new vocabulary during my first few lectures. I decided to try and do something that just might give those still wet behind the ears with RV lingo a leg up on understanding – so I did what I would do with my students and whipped up a vocabulary list with simplified definitions intended to help them get started. Please, for those readers that are veteran RVers and accomplished linguist in the field, keep in mind that this is my seat-of-the-pants first time attempt to provide such a listing on this blog site.  If you have an obscure term or RV related abbreviation you want to add, please feel free to use the comments section. ... [Read more...]

A Community Builds a Church–Every Year!

July 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A Community Builds a Church–Every Year!

Located in the small New Mexico town of Ranchos de Taos sits one of the oldest Catholic churches in North America. St. Francis de Asis Mission Church has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Every year the faithful parishioners and friends lovingly restore this beautiful and unusual church in a two week process in early June called “Enjarre” which means “remudding” or plastering. Built more than 200 years ago, the church is made entirely of adobe. Prior to being designated an Historic landmark in 1934, the church was surveyed for two months. This resulted in the creation of 32 hand drawn architectural drawings, all of which are located in the Library of Congress. The drawings are unusual because this structure, being made of adobe, does not have straight lines. Baselines and other methods were used to capture the church’s irregular shapes and dimensions. This year’s “Enjarre” took place from June 4th to June 16th. An Enjarre is successful because of the commitment... [Read more...]

End of the Road: Assisted-living RV Park

July 7, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

End of the Road: Assisted-living RV Park

Pearl and Bud Crispell hit the road in their recreational vehicle the day after they retired in 1976. And for decades they traveled the country at will living in their 40-foot motorhome. But, as is the eventual story of all road warriors, the day came when they hit the proverbial ‘end of the road’. Unable to manage some aspects of their life and care, living on fixed incomes, and not wanting to become a burden to friends and relatives, the Crispells pulled into the country’s only assisted-living RV Park, the Escapees Care Center in Livingston, Texas, according to AOL Real Estate. At 93 and 90, Pearl, a retired nurse, and Bud, a former IBM engineer, are not without age-related health issues. But her mind is “sharper than my husband wishes it was,” Pearl says. And she has no desire to trade the small confines of their RV for a bigger “land-based residence,” as Escapees call conventional houses. “We didn’t retire to entertain our family,”... [Read more...]

One Week in Niagara Falls Canada

July 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

One Week in Niagara Falls Canada

We had a week’s vacation in mind and had previously always camped in a tent. For the past year, we were considering buying a medium-sized RV but holiday time sneaked up on us before we got time to purchase one. So we trekked across the border from Buffalo, and continued down the QEW toward Toronto, with the hope we’d find something in the Niagara Region – either a motel or rental trailer. Fortunately, just before crossing the Garden Skyway bridge in St. Catharines, we stopped at a tourist information center right on the highway. We picked up a copy of the OPCA (Ontario Private Campgrounds Association) directory and started making some calls. We needed a place that could accommodate two die-hard campers and their teenage son. So we ended up in this cool place near Welland called Bissell’s Hideaway because it had everything – one-acre pool, acres of rolling land, water slides and best of all rental cabin-style trailers. www.bissellshideaway.com. The first day we began to plan our... [Read more...]

A Shoreline Away from Water? RV Vocabulary Challenges

July 5, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

A Shoreline Away from Water? RV Vocabulary Challenges

Owning your first RV has a lot of challenges. One of which is the whole set of new vocabulary words that come with it. I was in for a rude awaking this week as I took my motorhome into the repair shop for the first time. As expected, the mechanic came back with a litany of repairs. He spoke with a worry so great it made it sound like my RV was on fire and the only way to put it out was throwing thousands of dollars of cash on it. Mechanics Love RV Newcomers I tried to get through the tone of his voice to what he was really saying. It was at that point that I knew I was in over my head. He said, “Your shoreline is having a problem.” My what? I don’t even live near a lake and there is no shoreline in my driveway. What is he talking about? I didn’t dare ask for clarification. I’ve learned that asking any naive question about cars to your mechanic starts to make them salivate like Pavlov’s dog. All of sudden items you have never heard of need to be fixed in ever increasing numbers. I... [Read more...]

The Annual Siege of Fort Erie, In Ontario

July 5, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

The Annual Siege of Fort Erie, In Ontario

Step back into a time of red coats, black powder and gray fortress walls. The sights, sounds and smells of a British Garrison come alive within the walls of this War of 1812 Fort during Canada’s largest annual battle re-enactment event, the Siege of Fort Erie, happening August 11 & 12, 2012 in Fort Erie, Ontario Event highlights include battle re-enactments on Saturday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 8 p.m., where hundreds of re-enactors will participate in Drummond’s Night Assault on the Fort. Wander through the camps and experience the life of a soldier. Follow the action up-close and then experience a dramatic Lantern Tour of the Fort under attack at 9 p.m. A memorial service honoring all of those who fell in battle will be held on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. and the last battle re-enactment of the weekend, the American Sortie will be held on Sunday at 1 p.m. Entrance includes Day Programs or Evening Lantern tour. Battles are free. Adult: $12.25 (13+), Children (6-12): $7.95 plus tax,... [Read more...]

Visiting the CN Tower

July 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Visiting the CN Tower

Last month, for the first time in my life, I went up an iconic attraction in the city of Toronto – the CN Tower.    I know it is kind of weird that in my 14 years living in Ontario and 43 years of my life I have never went up the famous tower and observed the landscape. So on our wedding anniversary; we decided to go with the kids on top of it.   The kids were thrilled to experience this and I was delighted to finally have a chance to experience it.     Once our tickets were purchased (and I will expand on the price later), we entered the tower and waiting to go through an enhanced security system that makes you think of airports.   I guess that will all the terrorist attacks in the past it makes sense to have a top-notch system. Our tickets gave us access to the glass floor  and LookOut section as well as the SkyPod.  Just before entering the tower, you will be asked to get your picture taken in front of a special screen.   At the end of the tour, you could decide to purchase... [Read more...]

More Campers Stay Connected

July 3, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

More Campers Stay Connected

Tablets, smartphones, and other devices are becoming popular at campgrounds across the U.S. Scanning smartphones, tablets, and laptops is as much a part of vacations as slathering on sunscreen, according to a Michigan State University study. The results, which will appear in the forthcoming issue of Annals of Tourism Research, show that easy online access and ubiquitous personal devices have made the digital divide disappear, even for folks on holiday, according to a news release. “Not that long ago, travelers would need to find a payphone or send postcards to brag about their vacations. Now they just log on and send photos and text,” said Christine Vogt, MSU professor of community agriculture, recreation and resource studies, who co-authored the study with Kelly MacKay of Ryerson University (Canada). “Our results show clearly how the changing nature of IT behavior in everyday life is spilling over into our vacations.” The study showed that people using smart phones have tripled. The... [Read more...]

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