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Category: Outdoor Recreation & Hiking

Three Key Tips for Comfortable Spring Camping

April 19, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Three Key Tips for Comfortable Spring Camping

If you are anything like me, you are eager to get out camping for that first trip of the year. In most parts of the country, that means camping when the weather is decidedly cooler than when camping in summer. It can also be some of the best camping of the year as the crowds are smaller and you may very well have the campground or RV park to yourself.  So, don’t be afraid to venture out in less desirable weather. And there are some simple things you can do to ensure your comfort during these times: Your moisture wicking base layer will keep you warm and dry 1)     Layers—Dressing in layers is your best hedge against cold. If you start with a base layer of some moisture-wicking fabric, then top that with a mid weight layer, you should be warm in most places with a light jacket. The moisture-wicking component is important in the event you become too warm. This type of fabric is designed to wick moisture away from your body. Cotton, on the other hand, formerly my first choice for... [Read more...]

Another Snowbird Season Ends as the Northern Migration Begins

April 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Another Snowbird Season Ends as the Northern Migration Begins

As refugees from the frozen north, snowbirds escape winter at home by migrating southward each fall. Located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona is renowned for its stunning rock formations such as Cathedral Rock. Sedona is also a popular stop over snowbirds on their northern flight. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved These snowbirds are mostly seniors that live part time in the Sunbelt and spend summers in the Northern states and Canada. They are gilded nomads, prosperous enough to own a recreational vehicle, a temporary second home, or condo unit. Snowbirds desire some place warm and relatively free from crime, and an active lifestyle that may involve boating, fishing, swimming, dancing, hiking, biking, 4X4ing, golf, shuffle-board, or pickle ball. Some prefer the Pacific or Atlantic coast or Gulf of Mexico with their sunny beaches, while the preference of other is the arid desert of the Southwest. Warm weather hubs such as Arizona, Texas, Florida, and California are tops for their... [Read more...]

Spring Camping to Celebrate the End of Winter

April 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Spring Camping to Celebrate the End of Winter

For those outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy winter sports, especially of the spectator variety, there is an event not to be missed at northern New Mexico’s Taos Ski Valley. The first weekend in April each year typically marks the end of the ski season and usually there are some hijinx to enjoy for both skiers and spectators alike. This year it was the inaugural Dos Equis Air Bag Championships. Participants had to pay a $10 entry fee, then ski down a chute which led them up a 15 foot ramp after which they would land in a massive airbag to break their fall. Intrigued, we made it a point to get there to watch a number of these feats and were not disappointed. One competitor in mid-flip above the airbag. The event was open to skiers and snowboarders 21 and over. Participants were rated on their technique, how much height they achieved off the ramp and their costumes. While some did not don festive garb, we did note several appropriately attired hot dogs and a male skier in a two piece bikini.... [Read more...]

Get Organized NOW for Summer Family Camping

April 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We are getting organized now for our summer family camping trip in May for Memorial Day. Why now, a month and a half early?  Well, we have kids, for one, and we have things that we need to buy, so getting organized ahead of time is the best way to save some money on all the expenditures that inevitably come along with summer family camping. We plan to kick off the summer by camping with friends at the lake this year.  I have already started making a mental checklist as to what I plan to bring. It’s a good idea when summer family camping with kids to start thinking about what you will need, ahead of time, for many reasons. For instance, water shoes are a must for kids to wear at the lake. Now, if I waited until the last minute, I would have to pay full price for a pair of water shoes that they will only use a handful of times this summer. By thinking ahead, I can start looking for water shoes (or other camping necessities) at online sales (like Camping World), thrift stores, garage... [Read more...]

Georgia Gems: Downtown Augusta & Thurman Lake

April 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Georgia Gems: Downtown Augusta & Thurman Lake

While camping in Georgia last month, we spent a day discovering the downtown Augusta area. Located in a small radius are many great stops. We started with a visit to the Augusta Canal and Discovery Center. We also visited the Augusta Museum of History, which focuses on the area’s history, from first settlers to current trends. Because Augusta is home to one of golf’s major tournaments, The Masters, the museum features multiple golf pro statues and several rooms brimming with golfing exhibits. The museum has sections devoted to local transportation (and have a Peterson boat, a full size steam train, a trolley the kids can play in…), James Brown, the Civil War and a local hero.  The museum is also the location of the city’s Visitor’s Center (and a small gift shop), so it’s a great place to start your Augusta explorations. On Saturdays, a tour trolley originates from the museum that gives you a fun tour of the area.  Across the street is the historic... [Read more...]

Biking With Kids While Camping– A Must!

April 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Biking With Kids While Camping– A Must!

This is our daughter’s first ride on the WeeRide in 2012–she LOVED it! While camping with kids, having wheels of some kind is a must. Biking with kids while camping really is one of the funnest activities you can do when camping with kids. We love taking the kids on bike rides since you can go a lot further on bikes than you can walking. Before you set out on the bikes though, it’s best to make sure the route you plan to take is kid-friendly and that you have a helmet for each child. Ideally, you would take a trail that is made for hikers, bikers, and runners (separated from cars). Otherwise you have to constantly pay close attention to the car traffic and stay right with your child, unless of course they are small enough to be in a bike trailer or attached bike seat. With our two, we have our youngest (3) on the seat behind me on my bike and our daughter (6) is either on the WeeRide Co-Pilot Child Trainer bike behind her Dad or on her own 20-inch purple bike. Either way,... [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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