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Month: August 2012

A Walk in the Sage…

August 29, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

A Walk in the Sage…

Looking for a hike close to Taos one recent day, we recalled a trailhead we had seen while driving down State Highway 68, heading for Santa Fe, that seemed to be just minutes from our home. We headed out in a southerly direction on 68 and, though it too more like15-20 minutes to reach, we were rewarded for our efforts with an entire trail system focused on getting to and traveling along the Rio Grande Gorge. The scenery was amazing! Our first dilemma was deciding which trail to choose as there were a number heading out from the trailhead. To decide between the two main trails, we consulted a couple heading back in after a hike on one of the trails. They recommended the Trader’s Trail as it was easier for two persons to walk side by side as the other trail was single track. It also headed directly toward the Gorge, leading to awesome views the entire hike! We set out side by side headed directly toward the Gorge. The scenery only improved as we neared our destination. We also realized... [Read more...]

Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies

August 28, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies

If you are looking for an exciting vacation with beautiful views then consider exploring Forest Service lands in the Northern Rockies for beautiful landscapes, scenic byways, historic trails, and diverse wildlife. For sheer beauty and allure, few regions match the Northern Rockies. Discover a convenient new way to research and plan absolutely incredible Rocky Mountain travel adventures—the Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies. Beartooth All-American Road The Beartooth Scenic Road has 10,000 mountain lakes, 20 peaks reaching more than 12,000 feet in elevation, and 12 national forest campgrounds. Witness the rare transition of lush forest ecosystem to alpine tundra in just a few miles on the highest elevation road in the Northern Rockies. International Selkirk Loop All­-American Road The public lands along the loop are home to the largest diversity of wildlife in the lower 48 states. Travel the Selkirk Range of the British Columbia, Idaho, and Washington Rocky Mountains to see... [Read more...]

The South Boundary Trail–the Right Way

August 26, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

The South Boundary Trail–the Right Way

Last Sunday morning, Terry and I were looking for a hike to do alone as we needed to get an early start. We had plans to attend a free outdoor concert in the afternoon at a ski resort in the area and did not want to miss it. Therefore, we would do this one Meghan-less. He suggested that we head back out to the South Boundary Trail we had checked out earlier in the summer and hike it in the right direction from the start to see what it was like further up. Our plan was to be out about 2 hours. We hiked out briskly, though both of us (especially me) were feeling sluggish that morning. In about ten minutes time, we reached the fork and now knew to stay to the right and keep climbing. After about half hour, we reached the point where we had turned around on our previous attempt. We pressed on. A view of Taos, NM from the South Boundary Trail The climb continued; the trail remained the same, a bit rocky but well worn. This Sunday morning we did see evidence of bikers using the trail, though... [Read more...]

Wild for Blackberries in the Pacific Northwest!

August 26, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

At long last, the wild blackberries are ripe and ready for picking out here in Seattle. I’ve long loved these plump shiny berries and every August have made a concerted effort to pick and freeze the berries for the winter months. Admittedly, it can be a downright prickly task gathering these berries from the thorny brambles, but the payoff can be decadently delicious in the cold winter months when I turn them into a crisp or a cobbler!  Last week I braved the brambles and gathered my first five pounds for the season. I transformed one pound into a simple blackberry syrup by heating the berries with sugar and a little water until the berries started to break up and thicken. The remaining four pounds went into the freezer. Do you gather wild blackberries when you travel and camp throughout the Pacific Northwest? And, if you aren’t in blackberry territory, do you gather any other type of wild berry when you are out and about camping and hiking? Maybe salmonberries, cranberries,... [Read more...]

Tick-Borne Diseases Are No Walk in the Park

August 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Tick-Borne Diseases Are No Walk in the Park

Several months ago I posted an article on ticks and Lyme disease based on information from the non-profit Rhode Island TickEncounter Resource Center: Top 10 Things Everyone Should Know about Ticks…And Stay Disease-Free Stages of the life cycle of a deer tick. (Credit: canlyme.com) The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA) and the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation are also spreading the word about one of the seasons’ biggest — but rarely mentioned dangers — the Deer or Blacklegged tick that transmits Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. People become infected with the Lyme disease bacteria when they are bitten by an infected blacklegged tick. Immature ticks (larvae and nymphs) are so small that they can be difficult to see. However, all stages of ticks need to feed on blood to continue on to the next stage—therefore these tiny ticks can be an important threat. Campers and hikers and others engaging in outdoor activities should be aware that ticks... [Read more...]

Savor those Campgrounds in September…

August 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Pacific Rim National Park, Vancovuer Island, British Columbia September has always been one of my favorite months for vacation. Alas, now that my children are in school, I don’t get to vacation during the last official month of the summer, but when my children were very little, we always took a week out on the beach. The beaches and campgrounds are blissfully quiet, and the summer sun has started to shift towards that autumn light.  Birds are migrating, and the leaves are starting to turn. Campsites are easier to find, so the travel itinerary can be a little looser and more subject to whim and spontaneity at this time of year. It’s also easier to nail a prime campsite (at a reduced price!) at the last minute. Furthermore, the nights aren’t too cold, but they are noticeably chillier and even more amenable to a warm cozy campfire. Homemade chili and hot cocoa are brought front and center on the menus again. Do you have any favorite last summer destinations? Photo by Melissa... [Read more...]

Do the Puyallup Fair in Western Washington

August 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Puyallup Fair by Carolyn Trainer Do you ever use your travel trailer or mobile home to visit special state or county fairs? Indeed, it can be a great way to see the local flavor of a region!  In Western Washington, we enjoy the Puyallup Fair every September. This year the Fair runs from September 7 to 23 in Puyallup. With full hookup RV parking available at the fair, it’s a convenient way to experience all that the fair has to offer at your leisure–rodeos, concerts,  art contests, food competitions, rides, marketplaces, historical displays, and animal exhibits and livestock. My children love this event and it’s a seasonal “must do” now. I particularly enjoy the agricultural exhibits, the food displays, and the live animals. Do you have any special fairs in your region? –Melissa A. Trainer  

Hello Helena (that’d be in Montana ;)…

August 22, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Hello Helena (that’d be in Montana ;)…

Growing up in an area, one often takes for granted the unusual and interesting destinations and activities of the locale. We often don’t take advantage of and enjoy the sites and sounds that are right in our backyard, but reserve such tourist-y behavior for when we are on the road. Such was the case with us. Until this summer. We have been on the road for 3 years, and while we spend our winters playing tourist in some much warmer states than our beloved Montana, we come home for the summers and find we fall right back into the everyday routine, forgetting that there were/are fabulous things to do right here at home too! Recently, I vowed to take a day each week and DO something. It didn’t have to be big, but it did have to be something special – something that ‘visitors’ do – something that my kidlets would think was fun and unusual. At first, we would find ourselves traveling out of town for our Tribe Trips as we call them, but then it hit me that there... [Read more...]

50 Things To See or Do See in Your RV Before You Die

August 20, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

50 Things To See or Do See in Your RV Before You Die

You might have read it or flipped through it or seen it on a shelf and thought, “I should pick that up.” 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 It’s the national bestseller, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.” The list, which includes everything from Asian sailing excursions to African horseback riding sites, might be mouthwatering to the wannabe world traveler. For most, however, the financial ability to travel the world simply isn’t there. But have no fear. Sometimes the best adventures are those in your own backyard. Here, in alphabetical order, are 50 things to do or see in your RV before you die: Acadia National Park, Maine People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Thanks to the robber barons that used the park as a private playground in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the... [Read more...]

CAMPING WITH A CPAP

August 19, 2012 by · 6 Comments 

CAMPING WITH A CPAP

CPAP is an acronym for “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It is a mode of respiratory ventilation commonly used in the treatment of sleep apnea. Ten years ago, very few individuals owned or used CPAP machines at home.  Now, the numbers of people using CPAP have risen quickly as sleep study technicians and doctors are prescribing them to their patients. It all started for me last winter. I would awaken in the morning feeling as if I had never been to bed.  I was tired and took frequent daytime naps.  My wife, and bed partner, noticed one night that I appeared to stop breathing (she was still awake – reading a book).  It really scared her because she thought I had a heart attack and was dead.  Fortunately, I was not dead – I apparently had an episode of sleep apnea. I made an appointment with my primary care physician to see about my chronic fatigue.  After he did the customary exam, he told me that he would set up an appointment for a sleep study. How can anyone sleep... [Read more...]

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