Good Sam Camping Blog
TEST Header
Category: State & National Parks

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...]

Taking it easy in Monroe, Louisiana…

January 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Taking it easy in Monroe, Louisiana…

We recently spent two weeks visiting Louisiana.  We were pleasantly surprised by how much there was to do there.  We spent a few days in Shreveport, where we stayed in a Louisiana state park, went bowling, visited a local nature center and a great science museum, and we found a yummy Cajun restaurant and even got to hold a gator! Next we took I-20 over to Monroe, where we found a few more fabulous stops! Monroe is home to the the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum. This free museum covers military history from WWI through Vietnam and specializes in covering aviation-related service members. The museum features displays on individual service members, including their story and memorabilia from their lives. The museum is small, but there is so much history packed into it! When we visited, there were two gentlemen there who acted as guides. They were very knowledgeable and had a passion for their topic! We spent about an hour and a half there but didn’t even visit all the exhibits... [Read more...]

Top 6 Birding Hotspots in Southeastern Arizona

January 27, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Top 6 Birding Hotspots in Southeastern Arizona

Southeastern Arizona is an ecological crossroads, where the Sierra Madre of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts all come together. Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve is home to 260 species of birds including the vermilion flycatcher. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The abrupt rise of mountains like the Huachucas from the surrounding arid grasslands creates “sky islands” harboring rare species and communities of plants and animals. If you are a birder, Southeastern Arizona is the place to go. Birding enthusiast are attracted to this unique region with many arriving in recreational vehicles. The following are our suggestions for where to find the best birding spots. Generally, they are located along streams and rivers or in forested mountain canyons. Some will have nearby RV parks or forestry campgrounds but will require a drive in your toad/tow vehicle. 6. Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve Between the majestic Santa Rita and beautiful red Patagonia... [Read more...]

Shreveport, Louisiana – hold a gator!!!

January 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Shreveport, Louisiana – hold a gator!!!

For our last stop in Shreveport, Louisiana, we went to Gators & Friends.  G&F is a combo petting zoo and exotics park.  You purchase your admission in a cute gift shop that offers everything from stuffed alligators to dried alligator heads.  In the gift shop, you can also buy large cups of animal feed for $2. (the food is for hand feeding some of the domestic animals)  Immediately out the back door will be your first glimpse at gators.  Lots of gators.  The alligators are grouped based on size so they don’t eat each other! A little farther behind the gift shop, there is a big walking loop that is bordered by pens of animals.  Everything from ring tailed lemurs to kangaroos, camels to goats, chital deer to capibara.    The kids enjoyed feeding the geese, ponies, and goats (they had The Cutest new kids in there too!); personally, as a mom, I loved the container that the animal food came in! LOL!  The food came in large hot beverage containers, and the kids could just... [Read more...]

Shreveport, LA – full of good clean fun!

January 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Shreveport, LA – full of good clean fun!

We just finished up a visit to Shreveport, Louisiana.  While we have been through Louisiana several times, we have always taken I-10 and never really stopped and explored.  This is the first time that we have ventured north, and we sure are glad we did! During our 3 days in Shreveport, we found all sorts of fun things to do, so whether you are a snowbird, or a family on vacation, here are a couple of our favorite local picks… One of our very favorite destinations was Holiday Lanes – a fun, clean, smoke-free bowling alley in Bossier City (NE Shreveport)!  Not your typical RV destination to be sure, but definitely added a fun and memorable aspect to our Shreveport visit!  We loved Holiday Lanes! The lanes were very well maintained, and even the settee area was classy and comfy with leather couches!  The alley has an enclosed adult lounge complete with large screen tv and pool table, and a pro shop.  The alley is both adult, and family friendly! We were impressed by how... [Read more...]

Welcome the New Year with a New Tradition

December 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Welcome the New Year with a New Tradition

For most of us, New Year’s traditions revolve around indoor activities—eating and watching football. Catalina State Park near Tucson, Arizona, offers three First Day Hikes of varying length and difficulty. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved However, an outdoor activity could make your holiday rituals even more fun and an invigorating way to kick off the New Year. America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature, and welcome the New Year with friends and family. State parks nationwide have added First Day Hikes to their January 1 program schedule. All 50 states are participating in the third annual event that invites families and friends to celebrate the New Year amid the sights, sounds, and wonder of our natural world with fun, guided hikes. “Last year, First Day Hikes hosted 22,000 people, who covered... [Read more...]

Top 5 Christmas Gifts For the RVer in Your Life

December 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Top 5 Christmas Gifts For the RVer in Your Life

It’s the time of year when Christmas carols fill the air, the smell of fir trees (or cactus or palm trees, depending on your location) waft through the RV, jolly thoughts of eggnog and food—and gifts are exchanged. Following are 5 gift ideas on what to give the RVer in your life or even add them to your own Christmas wish list. 1. Good Sam Club 1.5 million RV owners are members of the Good Sam Club. Membership benefits include 10 percent discount on the regular night camping rate at 2,100+ Good Sam RV parks and campgrounds, up to 30 percent discount at Camping World; discount on fuel purchases at Pilot Flying J Travel Centers, and four free issues of MotorHome or Trailer Life magazine. Also, you may join a local chapter, attend Samborees, and enjoy RV caravan tours to a variety of destinations such as the Rose Bowl Parade and Alaska. A Good Sam Club membership is $25.00 per year. Two and three years memberships are also available for $45.00 and $59.00 respectively. For additional information... [Read more...]

RVing ’round Texas

December 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

RVing ’round Texas

Even those of us who visit Texas frequently and spend a big chunk of our time traversing it leave most of the Lone Star State untouched. Our Texas RV Travel Bucket List continues. Goliad At Goliad State Park, tour the beautiful reconstructed Franciscan Mission Espíritu Santo, home of the largest ranching operation in Texas in the 18th century © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Goliad is one of the few places in North America where you can visit both an 18th-century Spanish-Colonial mission and presidio (fort) complex, to understand the roles of the Catholic Church and the Spanish military in settling the New World. At Goliad State Park, tour the beautiful reconstructed Franciscan Mission Espíritu Santo, home of the largest ranching operation in Texas in the 18th century. Enjoy the serenity of this Spanish colonial church and view exhibits that explore the history and daily life of the missionaries and Indian converts—including some of the original artifacts they used. Across the river,... [Read more...]

Happiness is a Texas Bucket List

November 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Happiness is a Texas Bucket List

From West Texas to the Panhandle to the Gulf Coast, El Paso to Texarkana to Brownsville, from outdoor enthusiasts to foodies to culture buffs, there’s always something to see and do in Texas. Our Texas RV Travel Bucket List continues. Monahans Sandhills State Park Monahans Sandhills State Park is only a small portion of a dune field that extends about 200 miles from south of Monahans westward and north into New Mexico. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Monahans Sandhills State Park consists of 3,840 acres of wind-sculpted sand dunes, some up to 70 feet high, in Ward and Winkler Counties, about a half-hour’s drive west of Odessa. These sand hills once presented an enormous problem for pioneers and their wagon trains as they moved through the state. The Native Americans of the area, however, frequently camped in the area after discovering that pure, fresh water could be obtained by digging a trench between dunes. This water has also been the source of nourishment for one of the... [Read more...]

Chief Plenty Coups State Park, Billings, MT…

November 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Chief Plenty Coups State Park, Billings, MT…

This past week our family went to the Chief Plenty Coups State Park in SE Montana.  Located just 40 minutes south of Billings on the Crow Indian Reservation, the park is a little known gem! Our group arrived shortly after lunch, and spent two and a half hours exploring the well done museum/visitor’s center, Chief Plenty Coups’ house, and the acreage that makes up the park. The first place that we checked out was the museum, which is a terrific balance of informational displays for adults and hands-on activities for the smaller bunch (and a few olders when they thought I wasn’t looking ). It was bright, clean, and concise; the whole museum is very well done; I was impressed (if you’ve been to MT, you can appreciate that comment – we don’t usually put a lot of money or effort into making our state parks/campgrounds desired destinations – maybe I should say didn’t – I would love to see that change)! Inside the museum were informative... [Read more...]

« Previous PageNext Page »