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Month: July 2013

Summer Weekend Backpacking…With Kids

July 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Summer Weekend Backpacking…With Kids

What better thing to do on a hot summer’s day than take a hike with the family?  Not just a short hike, but a weekend-long backpacking-type hike.  Backpacking again (for our fourth time), almost a year after our first time, feels like a piece of cake (for the most part).  We have gotten smart with how much weight we are carrying (or NOT carrying, for that matter) and have adequately adjusted our expectations of the kids (5 and 2). We realize the kids can only hike so fast, with lots and lots of breaks, and of course, can only go so far without completely melting down in the middle of the hot, sunny trail.  Our (forty-pound) two year-old is an enthusiastic hiker who loves to “walk” and rarely wants us to “hold him.”  On the other hand, our over-50-pound, five year-old daughter would much rather “nap in our pack” than hike the whole way.  In the end, she regrettably doesn’t get carried, but does require frequent “rests,” while our son mostly hikes (albeit very... [Read more...]

Family friendly RVing in Helena, MT…

July 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Family friendly RVing in Helena, MT…

Helena, MT has a lot going for it!  It is in the heart of the Rockies, it’s Montana’s state capital, and it is conveniently located between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks. But for us RVers, Helena does not have the benefit of offering much in RV site accommodations! There is one lone RV park, located 10 miles north of the city limits, called the Lincoln Road RV Park.  And while I hear that it is a nice park to stay at, it is, as they have stated themselves when we have tried to make reservations, ‘more of a retirement community park’ - leaving many traveling families high and dry when it comes to a place to stay if they are considering visiting this lovely city. A few weeks ago, thanks to some fabulous fulltime friends, we discovered a campground, right outside of city limits, that we did not know about even though I/we have lived in the Helena community for nearly 40 years.   The local Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds has a 22 site campground... [Read more...]

Learning history while rving

July 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Learning history while rving

Do you take the time to learn more about the history of the area you are in when you are traveling with your family? We try as much as we can. But right under our nose – at the campsite where we are parked – there was some history to discover. Actually, I knew about it. It has been 10 years since we started parking our RV at Logos Land Resort on highway 17, in Cobden, ON. We knew an historical discovery had been made there but I never thought of writing about it. This discovery is linked to the travels made by Samuel de Champlain. Who is Samuel de Champlain? Well Samuel was born around 1570 in France. He was a gifted man who became an explorer, map-maker, write and governor of New France. Starting in 1603, he made twelves voyages to New France. He is credited with starting the first permanent colony at Quebec City. Apparently in 1605, at Port-Royal, Nova Scotia, Champlain started the Order of Good Cheer in order to avoid his men to get bored and restless on long winter nights. Each... [Read more...]

Small Town Americana: Where History Comes Alive

July 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Laura M. Kidder, Rand McNally Rand McNally, a Good Sam travel-planning information partner, loves to celebrate small towns. During Rand’s summer Best of the Road contest, folks discuss and vote for their favorite communities across the country. In a series of articles created just for Good Sam, Rand highlights the Americana that makes small towns fun, friendly, flavorful, patriotic—and beautiful. A road trip across America is as much about timelines as it is about maps. White-clapboard Colonials surround New England village greens; quarry-stone Victorians dot Midwestern whistle stops; earthen pueblos line Southwestern town streets. Some communities do more than just preserve their historic architecture—they also preserve and showcase the culture that brings history to life. Here are a few picturesque Colonial, antebellum, and frontier towns where lived-in history meets living history. To see what people are saying about other beautiful, historic small towns and to vote... [Read more...]

Wildflowers of the Southern Rockies

July 28, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Wildflowers of the Southern Rockies

On a recent hike in the southern Rocky Mountains of New Mexico, we were taken with the spectacular wildflowers blooming along our trail. We observed more varieties than we could count, bloom on top of bloom, and photographed the most prevalent varieties. As we were hiking in northern New Mexico, we were encountering wildflowers that populate the southern Rocky Mountain region. I have attempted to put name to face, as it were, so I can share with you some of what we saw. One of the most prevalent, at some of the lower elevations, was the Plains Prickly Pear Cactus. Spouting bright yellow blooms, this species blooms for only 24 hours then dies. Other buds then take their turn in succession. It is a sight to behold. The Purple Harebell was another beautiful sight. Also called the “Bells of Scotland” it is a member of the bellflower family and generally inhabits subalpine meadows and slopes, which is where we encountered it, and can also be found in high elevation coniferous woods. The... [Read more...]

Good Sam Road Trip Planner

July 27, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Good Sam Road Trip Planner

Oh the places we can go Here it is, the middle of summer. We’ve already taken the family on the “Summer Vacation” to the beach. But I still really want to take the RV out a few more time before football season starts but I’m just not sure where to go. I sort of want it to be fairly close to home because I don’t have a lot of time, yet I want it to be far enough away so that it “feel” like a mini vacation. If you are in the same boat as me, may I suggest checking out the newest camping tool from Good Sam? If you go to this site http://trips.goodsamclub.com you’ll be able to search for places to go, camping spots – Good Sam, Private and public campgrounds and you can even click a toggle that will give you all the available things to do in the area. Say you want to get away within two hours of your house? First you’ll want to click on “Create a Trip” this will prompt you to fill in where you’re starting –... [Read more...]

Mount Washington Traffic Increasing

July 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Mount Washington Traffic Increasing

New Hampshire’s Mount Washington has the reputation of being “Home of the world’s worst weather”. Originally called Agiocochook by native Americans, the mountain boasts some of the planet’s most severe weather, and retains the world record for wind speed, 231 mph © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Severe storms, including snow, can happen at any time of the year. The combination of severe winds, cold, and wetness can exhaust the strongest hiker. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the White Mountains of New Hampshire—and in the Northeast—and is therefore a very popular attraction for RVers and other sightseers and hikers. As a result the most widely used trails can be quite crowded, and however you climb the summit will have crowds, many having come up by the Cog Railway or the Auto Road. Mount Washington Cog Railway The beauty of the mountains and the thrill of ascending the Northeast’s highest peak are just as enchanting today as they were in 1869, when... [Read more...]

Taking a Lake George Escape in New York

July 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Taking a Lake George Escape in New York

Summer is in full swing, and that means it’s time for some fun in the sun! Dust off your RV, get out your swimsuits out and come on down to Lake George Escape. The RV resort is  located on 178 acres of plush woods and meadows in Adirondack Park.  Don’t have an RV? No problem! Lake George Escape has Adirondack log cabins for you to rent with full kitchens, showers, and cable TV.  Want to camp in a more traditional way? The resort also has 132 tent sites! Enjoy a pond-front, sun-bathed or wooded site during your stay at our five-star resort! Sit back, relax, and enjoy rustic upstate New York. No matter how or where you stay at the resort, you will enjoy all of the activities available. Lake George Escape’s recreational activities begin where most other campgrounds’ would come to an end. The resort has everything RVers want to keep them busy and have fun. Enjoy miniature golf, tennis, ping-pong, volleyball, shuffleboard, rentable canoes and kayaks, tubing and swimming—all... [Read more...]

Learning more about Canada at the Museum of Civilization

July 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Learning more about Canada at the Museum of Civilization

As part of our recent visit to the Museum of Civilization, we have also explored part of the historical and cultural exhibition on the First Peoples Hall.   The museum highlights various parts of the history of Canada and it’s always nice to go see artifacts up close and personal while visiting. The First Peoples Hall contains over 2000 artifacts that come from Canada’s Aboriginal peoples from sea to sea.    You can see gigantic totems in the Grand Hall and explore the diversity of the First People in Canada.   There are numerous crafts made by Aboriginals as well.   I am in awe of the creativity of the First Peoples even to this day. It wasn’t the first time we explore this specific section of the museum.  In the past, the kids were able to discover various games that Aboriginal kids would play in order to develop the skills they would need as adults. Elsewhere in the museum, you will also discover the Canada Hall which will take you through a journey of 1000 years of... [Read more...]

Run UP a Mountain? Maybe…

July 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Run UP a Mountain? Maybe…

Every year since 2008, the Taos Ski Valley has scheduled an event that nearly defies logic. Held last year in association with their Oktoberfest Celebration on September 15th, the Taos Ski Valley Up and Over 10K Trail Run is just as it sounds. Participants run up and over one of the ski hills for 10 kilometers, gaining 2612 feet in altitude in the first three miles. After they reach the highest point on the run, they turn and run down. As the inviting commercial says, “It’s all downhill from here.” The $30 entry fee grants the participant a fee tee shirt commemorating the event, lunch after the event, numerous other “goodies” and bragging rights to completing one of the highest altitude 10 K runs in the country. The run starts at 9,207 feet and ends up at just under 12,000 feet above sea level. After lunch, a favorite local band will play on the outdoor stage so the runners and their fans can dance the afternoon away. Last year’s event lists 107 finishers; the winner completing... [Read more...]

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