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Category: Outdoor Recreation & Hiking

A Return to Chama

March 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A Return to Chama

You may recall a post I published last winter about a wonderful winter weekend in Chama, NM. For the past 40 years, the small town of Chama has been hosting a delightful weekend-long series of events catering to the outdoors lover. The events include both diagonal and freestyle cross country ski races of several lengths for participants of all abilities. There are also snowshoe races and a variety of family events. In addition, clinics are provided to improve skiing technique, educate participants about proper wax selection and applications. And workshops are offered, such as Yoga for Skiers, throughout the weekend. Terry, before the race An entire community event, restaurants and hotels run specials to attract visitors. There is a chili competition at a local community center and the High Country Saloon offers free Green Chile Stew and chips and salsa to all visitors. Further, live entertainment is provided Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday, after all races are... [Read more...]

Click and Explore North America

March 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Click and Explore North America

Use Good Sam Camping’s Explore tool for travel itineraries, tourism info and great destinations in every state and province in North America. Select your destination on our handy interactive map and start planning your adventure today! From the Explore Tab home page, find your desired state or province on the interactive map and click (you can also choose a state from the list on the right-hand side). Each state/province page gives you three ways to learn about your destination: • The Welcome section provides an overview of the state you’re visiting. Learn about each state’s regions and get a sense of your destination’s climate and character. The Arizona Welcome section, for example, covers the state’s northern region, popular snowbird roosts and Native American heritage. • The RV Trip of a Lifetime section suggests itineraries to some of the most compelling attractions in each state and province. Check out great steaks along the Oklahoma leg of the Chisholm... [Read more...]

Top Destination RV Parks

March 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Top Destination RV Parks

Hang out with Mickey in Disney World or contemplate the sheer power of Niagara Falls. Stay at the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory’s  Top Destination Parks for great camping experiences near some of North America’s most popular travel spots. Check out popular destinations during the day and relax in comfort in the evening at RV parks that make it their business to take care of fun-seeking travelers. Many parks on this list specialize in serving visitors to nearby destinations. Memphis Graceland RV Park and Campground, for example, is situated just two minutes from Elvis Presley’s legendary home and is linked to the “official site of the King of rock ‘n’ roll.” Staff members are eager to help guests plan their visits to this legendary residence. Feel like racing? make a visit to Charlotte Motor Speedway, which offers camping in the infield of the South Carolina raceway. Some parks enhance the customer experience by facilitating visits to... [Read more...]

Why You Should Visit Dauphin Island, Alabama

March 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Why You Should Visit Dauphin Island, Alabama

We recently took a day trip down to Dauphin Island, Alabama.  Located less than an hour from Mobile, and on the southwest edge of Mobile Bay, it is a 15 mile long barrier island that often goes undiscovered by I-10 travelers.  We were on a tight schedule with only a few days to spare until we needed to be in Orlando, and we have a big rig (40-foot toy hauler) and weren’t sure what the campgrounds down there would be like, so we left our fiver in Mobile while we drove down for the day. Once we got there, we were wishing like crazy that we had more time and would have brought our RV down.  (There are several campgrounds on Dauphin Island, so be sure to go to the Good Sam Campground Directory to check them out and see which one would best suit your needs/wants). Dauphin Island was charming. It has a distinct small-town feel, where kids are still free to ride their bikes around the neighborhood after school, where you can walk to the local snack shop for an afternoon treat, where the... [Read more...]

Alabama Gulf Coast Named Top Tourism Attraction

March 4, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Alabama Gulf Coast Named Top Tourism Attraction

Alabama’s Gulf beaches and Gulf State Park are the largest tourism attractions in the state, overwhelmingly so, according to the new attendance figures released last week by the Alabama Tourism Department. Sparkling turquoise Gulf waters and stunningly white sand await the RVer on the Alabama Gulf Coast. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The state’s largest stand-alone festival events, located about 20 miles apart, are also located in the Gulf Coast region. The Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival (March 14-16, in 2014) and National Shrimp Festival (October 9-12, in 2014) in Gulf Shores come in at the top two spots among event promotions staged over a single weekend. The relatively new Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival (June 13-14, in 2014), which takes place in between the other two in Foley, is also rising up the state’s annual top 10 festival list. According to the 2013 annual report, Mobile’s three-week long Mardi Gras celebration draws the largest attendance... [Read more...]

A Bull of the Woods in the Winter

February 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A Bull of the Woods in the Winter

One of our favorite hiking trails in the Taos Ski Valley is the Bull of the Woods Trail, which leads hikers up to the Wheeler Peak Trail, that hikers take to summit the high point of New Mexico. Those not heading to the summit may follow the trail up to the Bull of the Woods Pasture, a lovely mountain meadow that makes a great spot for an impromptu picnic lunch. Up until this month, however, we have only experienced this trail during non-winter months. Last weekend, up for a new adventure, Terry and I headed up to the Ski Valley with the goal of conquering a snow-covered Bull of the Woods Trail.  Much of it was firmly tracked and serene, just as we had imagined. It was a lovely day and a pleasant hike. The YakTrax I had on my hiking shoes prevented me from slipping and the solitude we found on the trail was regenerating. Ski runs are visible from the trail in winter However, it was not without peril. On several sections of the trail, most of which were about six to ten feet in length and... [Read more...]

Valley of Fire State Park: Simply WOW!

February 12, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Valley of Fire State Park: Simply WOW!

The lights! The glitz! The shine! Sculpted, chiseled, and twisted red rock formations more dramatic than most others we have seen dominate the park’s 42,000 acres. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved From the bizarre to the beautiful, Las Vegas has it all: New York, NY, The Venetian, Caesars Palace, and Paris—and the Bellagio water fountain show. When the neon of Vegas becomes too much, head out to Valley of Fire, Nevada’s first state park, so designated in 1935. With its blood-red sandstone cliffs and weird rock formations, there’s an other-worldly feeling here. Valley of Fire State Park is 55 miles—and a few light-years—northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and on exit 75. Sculpted, chiseled, and twisted red rock formations more dramatic than most others we have seen dominate the park’s 42,000 acres. We felt as though we had been transported to the alien surface another planet. The Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great... [Read more...]

Poche’s Fish n’ Camp – Louisiana Cajun Camping!

February 6, 2014 by · 5 Comments 

Poche’s Fish n’ Camp – Louisiana Cajun Camping!

While we were exploring southern Louisiana off of I-10, we spent four nights at Poche’s Fish n’ Camp. Located just a few miles east of Lafayette, in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, this RV park was the perfect place to base camp out of and to also spend a few days relaxing. Poche’s has lots of “Louisiana-flavor” and is very unique! The office is a small wooden cabin that’s decorated with all sorts of fishing paraphernalia, and there is a small store (2 shelving units) inside that features popular products like laundry soap and canned pork and beans. We were tickled with our site at Poche’s—in all, there are 88 sites that are long and level. Most are concrete pads that will easily accommodate a 40′ class A with a toad parked across the front (there are a few pull-thus, but most are back in).  Each site has a fire ring, and the sites have full hookups; both 30 and 50 amp are available.  All sites have nice grassy yards, and the grounds are obviously... [Read more...]

On Hiking in Winter…

February 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

On Hiking in Winter…

Winter is a great time for hiking. While winter hiking was not a favorite activity of mine when living in the Midwest, once we moved to the Southwest, winter weather just can’t keep me indoors.  In fact, at least once or twice every week my husband and I find ourselves headed out for a hike. But when hiking in the winter, it is important to be prepared and to have the correct equipment. Winter conditions can be unpredictable, so a reliable source of weather information is essential, as is common sense. Even if you have a hike planned for the day, if the temperature is too cold or a serious storm is brewing, put it off until another day. While it can be magical hiking in light snow, it is not worth taking your life in your hands if the snow is heavy, which could make it impossible for you to get back safely, or if it is accompanied by high winds. A “glacier” in our path My ever-trusty hiking poles are something that accompany me on every winter hike, and most hikes the rest... [Read more...]

Czeching Out La Grange

January 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Czeching Out La Grange

We headed to the Central Texas town of La Grande to “Czech” out what might just be the “Best Little Day Trip in Texas.” Texas Quilt Museum © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The events of La Grange’s famous Chicken Ranch inspired the stage play, movie, and the lyrics of a popular song, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Then there’s the ZZ Top song that still fuels Texas folklore. The brothel is no longer around—it was officially closed in 1973 after operating for more than 130 years. The building was sold and hauled to Dallas where, for awhile, it served as a restaurant that served—what else? Chicken. Later, the building burned to the ground. All that’s left these days is the legend and some fading memories. However, there’s still plenty to do in this town. For starters, we Czeched out the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center. This museum gave us a feel for the culture and early days of Fayette County when thousands of Czech immigrants populated the area. The... [Read more...]

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