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Category: Nature & Wildlife

Triassic Park: Petrified Forest

April 5, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Triassic Park: Petrified Forest

We recently toured Petrified Forest National Park, one of the world’s largest and most vibrantly colored assemblies of petrified wood, historic structures, and archeological sites. We entered a mysterious world of ancient trees turned to stone along the 0.75-mile Crystal Forest trail. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The experience exceeded our expectations. The park is actually composed of two sections: the north section is a colorful badlands called the Painted Desert, and the southern section contains most of the petrified wood. The park consists of a 28-mile road that offers numerous overlooks and winds through the mesas and wilderness. Visitors can also choose to hike a variety of trails ranging from easy to difficult. The land below is awash in burnt sienna, deep maroon, dusty purple and sprinkled here and there with vibrant green plants. While touring Petrified Forest National Park, we used OK RV Park at nearby Holbrook as our home base. Located 26 miles west of the park along... [Read more...]

A Fascinating Canal Tour & Museum in Augusta, Georgia

April 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A Fascinating Canal Tour & Museum in Augusta, Georgia

On your way through Georgia? Consider stopping for a few days to check out Augusta!  Our family spent a few weeks camping there last month while helping with disaster relief cleanup efforts after ice storms crippled the area. While we were there, we found so much new to see and do!   Augusta has an incredibly diverse downtown area, with lots of family friendly destinations within a few blocks. One of our favorites, was the Augusta Canal Petersburg Boat Tour and Discovery Center. Originally built in 1854 to provide hydro power for the textile mills that were a vital part of the economic growth of Augusta, the canal still provides hydro power; the Enterprise Mill building, which now houses the canal museum (Discovery Center) as well as numerous other offices, produces all of it’s own power and sells surplus to the electric company thanks to harnessing the canal water force. Our day there started with a 45 minute guided tour of the Augusta Canal in a Petersburg boat.  On the tour,... [Read more...]

Beat the Heat: Treating Poison Oak Rash at Home

April 2, 2014 by · 8 Comments 

Beat the Heat: Treating Poison Oak Rash at Home

More Home-Remedies for the Insufferable Poison Oak Rash: Can you tell I have now been suffering for almost a week from a poison oak rash that my husband brought home to me as a gift? It happens once a year, it seems, when my husband comes home from work with the dreaded statement: “I got into a little poison oak today.”  And, every year my response is the same: “I’m sorry to hear that,” (thinking, “sucks for you, glad it isn’t me”). But lo and behold, a few days after his incessant scratching and once I have done multiple loads of his dirty laundry, I come down with an equally bad case of it. Which leads me to here: Hopelessly COVERED  in the insufferably ITCHY poison oak rash. SO I write this in hopes that you will heed my warning about this plant and steer clear of it and its brutal effects on your normally beautifully-soft skin. There’s nothing like the hugely grotesque blisters, leaking their pus everywhere, and hot burning itchy pain associated with them, to remind... [Read more...]

So You Want to Buy an RV???

April 1, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

So You Want to Buy an RV???

Are you ready to make the investment for your next BIG toy? Considering buying a recreational vehicle? If so, you might want to consider first renting different styles/sizes of RVs, before making a choice on which one to ultimately purchase. There are many things to consider, including price, size (length), and type (fifth wheel, gooseneck, or ball hitch). Not to mention all of the extras, such as sliders, electronic add-ons, and such. To ensure you feel comfortable with the choice you will eventually make, why not take a couple practice runs and rent different RVs from Camping World RV Rentals? This way you will hopefully avoid having buyer’s remorse once the big purchase has been made and you are “stuck” with your choice. Spend a few weekends or even weeks over the summer when you can try different RVs to really zero in on what you would feel comfortable with owning long term. Some things to take into consideration when thinking in terms of size…many campsites have a maximum length... [Read more...]

Tanglewood RV Campground, Winston-Salem, NC…

March 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Tanglewood RV Campground, Winston-Salem, NC…

Today find us pulling out of a wonderful park in North Carolina; the ‘RV Tanglewood’ Campground, located just west of Winston-Salem in Clemmons, NC.  This well manicured, 44 site RV park (no tents allowed), is conveniently located just off of I-40, but is blissfully lacking in road noise and traffic!  We had a lovely stay here, and there was so much to do without even leaving the park!      The campground is adjacent to a 1100 acre public park that boasts all sorts of fun amenities such as TWO award-winning golf courses, and a driving range, an inexpensive grill/restaurant in the clubhouse, horseback riding, pedal boats, fishing, and tennis courts!  Just looking to relax?  The park features extensive paved walking paths for leisurely walks, biking, or jogging on.   Be sure to check out the Manor House, which is a bed and breakfast; even if you aren’t interested in staying at the Manor House, they have an incredible Arboretum maintained by master gardeners.  ... [Read more...]

Tried and True Remedies for Poison Oak

March 31, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Tried and True Remedies for Poison Oak

Best Ways of Surviving Poison Oak—most recently tried and found to be true. With summer right around the corner and more outdoor time being scheduled—here is a little warning for those who want to avoid a red, swollen, itchy, uncomfortable, pus-filled, raised and blistery rash that lasts about a week (and oftentimes longer).  Pay close attention since these plants (poison sumac, ivy, and oak) grow everywhere in the United States (with the exception of Hawaii, Alaska, and some desert areas of the southwestern United States) and look different depending on the region. First off, Avoidance Is Key! Look out for these three-pronged leaves that tend to grow near creeks, streams and riverbeds.  They sometimes have little white flowers and often grow in shaded areas of trails.  Also, the leaves tend to change color in the fall, from yellow to red.   If you know you will be in an area where it grows, wear protective clothing that covers skin where you could come in contact with plant. First... [Read more...]

Big Sky Country Beckons the Outdoorsy

March 30, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Big Sky Country Beckons the Outdoorsy

Once you have experienced Montana, a mountainous, scenic land with the biggest skies you have ever seen; only then will you fully appreciate all that it has to offer and understand why they call it “The Big Sky Country.” With relaxing hot springs, golf courses, and ample outdoor recreational activities, visitors will be amazed by this wondrous, stunning paradise. There is abundant wildlife and big game to be found on the large areas of Deer Lodge National Forest near Georgetown Lake and other public lands nearby.  Hunting is available to the public in many areas and many local establishments provide hunting licenses for visitors and locals alike.  While a permit may be necessary for some of these, visitors may hunt any of the following: bear, fowl, mountain lion, moose, deer, and elk. With countless streams, rivers, creeks, and mountain lakes, there are numerous other activities to choose from as well.  Kayaking, white water rafting, canoeing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and... [Read more...]

Sedona Named Top Destinations

March 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Sedona Named Top Destinations

Sedona, Arizona has been ranked as one of the Travelers’ Choice 2013 Top 25 Destinations in the United States. Located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon, another scenic destination, Sedona is renowned for its stunning rock formations such as Cathedral Rock. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Coming in at lucky 13, Sedona is pleased with the abundance of positive feedback and awe-inspiring reaction of both long time visitors and newcomers, according to Chamber news release. “Sedona is a true oasis, a vacationer’s paradise in the middle of the Arizona desert. Here, you’ll find resorts and spas, canyons and red rock formations,” said TripAdvisor. “Bell Rock and Oak Creek Canyon are great hiking spots, and the dramatic architecture of the Chapel of the Holy Cross is a religious experience itself. When the sun dips down below the horizon it introduces the best show in Sedona: the night sky.” “On behalf of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism... [Read more...]

Good Grub, Trophy-Sized Fish, and Microbrew–only in Montana!

March 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Good Grub, Trophy-Sized Fish, and Microbrew–only in Montana!

Ready for some excellent fishing, delicious sandwiches, baked delicacies, and the best microbrew you ever tasted?  Head to Georgetown Lake, just a few miles outside of Anaconda, Montana and enjoy the locally-inspired specialties. Eat like the locals at one of the delicious restaurants and enjoy one of their famous pork chop sandwiches and delicious local delicacies of baked buttterhorns (donuts) and sweetie pies (pastries).  Then top it off with a yummy Montana microbrew (beer produced in a small local brewery).  After dinner, you might also want to check out the Copper Village Museum and Arts Center, which features interesting exhibits with local art and history.  Just 14 miles west of Anaconda, the picturesque Georgetown Lake offers a vast selection of countless activities year round.  Nestled in the middle of three enormous mountain ranges, Georgetown Lake is located 6,425 feet above sea level and extends for over 3,700 acres.  The three scenic mountain ranges surrounding it are... [Read more...]

The USS New Jersey & seeing our deploying soldier off…

March 29, 2014 by · 3 Comments 

The USS New Jersey & seeing our deploying soldier off…

In February, our family hauled our 40′ toy hauler from sunny Floriday, to freezing New Jersey.  Obviously, we had to have a really imploring reason for traveling up north during the winter, and we did!  Our oldest son was deploying overseas, and we had the chance to spend some time with him before he left. We had left our home state of Montana last November, and we had not seen him since.  We could text and call him anytime, but it’s not the same as getting to see him, as you snowbirds who leave your families up north, well know.  We knew before we left this winter that he would be deploying, and it would be from New Jersey, so even tho we ‘did’ the east coast last year, and did not intend to go there again so soon, we found ourselves heading that way again this year.  We spent Christmas in TX, 3 weeks in Louisiana ( <3 ), then went over to FL for a few more weeks.  Our son let us know the tentative dates for a 3 day pass his unit had been told they would... [Read more...]

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