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Category: Other Great RV Routes

Road trip!

May 24, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Road trip!

It’s the Memorial Day long weekend—the unofficial start of summer—and for many travel-wise Americans that means one thing: Road trip! Let's Go RVing on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The tradition of taking a road trip dates back about 3,000 years. The first road trip likely occurred in ancient Egypt around 1200 B.C., when Ramses II hit the road in his chariot. Similar ventures—using the well-loved automobile—began in Germany in the 1880s. As the car’s popularity grew, so did the practice of taking to roadways for a carefree holiday. The road trip became an easy, breezy travel idea that’s affordable and accessible—and in America today there is no shortage of highways, byways, and back roads. Answering the call of the open road is practically an American rite of passage—and today more and more are taking to the open road in a recreational vehicle. 5 Great All-American Road Trips These 10 distinctive all-American road trips, inclusive... [Read more...]

Natural Stone Architecture: Natural Bridges National Monument

April 3, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Natural Stone Architecture: Natural Bridges National Monument

Natural Bridges National Monument covers a relatively small area in southeastern Utah. It is rather remote and not close to other parks, and as a result is not heavily visited. A trail into the canyon underneath Owachomu Natural Bridge is a short distance from the overlook. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Since natural bridges are formed by running water, they are much rarer than arches, which result from a variety of other erosion forces. Natural bridges tend to be found within canyons, sometimes quite hidden, whereas arches are usually high and exposed, as they are often the last remnants of rock cliffs and ridges. Unlike Arches National Park, with over 2,000 classified arches, there are only three bridges here. The area also has some scattered Indian cliff dwellings, pictographs, and scenic white sandstone canyons. The pinyon and juniper covered mesa is bisected by deep canyons, exposing the Permian Age Cedar Mesa Sandstone. Where meandering streams cut through sandstone walls, three... [Read more...]

Steep Cliffs and Towering Spires: Dead Horse Point State Park

March 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Steep Cliffs and Towering Spires: Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park is perhaps Utah’s most spectacular state park. The park lies on the same broad mesa as The Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park. The meandering Colorado River 2,000 feet below Dead Horse Point. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Dead Horse Point is a peninsula of rock atop sheer sandstone cliffs about 6,000 feet above sea level. Two thousand feet below, the Colorado River winds its way from the continental divide in Colorado to the Gulf of California, a distance of 1,400 miles. The peninsula is connected to the mesa by a narrow strip of land called the neck. From the overlook, canyon erosion may be viewed on a grand scale. This erosion process has taken approximately 150 million years. Much of it is caused by the river slicing down into the earth’s crust as land is forced upward. These powerful forces are still sculpting the fantastic shapes of the precipitous bluffs and towering spires. Vegetation and wildlife in this desert environment... [Read more...]

Discover San Antonio’s Mission Trail

March 18, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Discover San Antonio’s Mission Trail

The chain of five missions that were established along the San Antonio River during the 18th century stands as a reminder of Spain’s most successful attempt to extend its New World influence and control. Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purisima Concepción de Acuña. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Representing both church and state, these missions were charged with converting the local Native Americans, collectively called Coahuiltecans, into devout Catholics and productive members of Spanish society. More than just churches on the Spanish Colonial frontier, the missions also served as vocational and educational centers, economic enterprises involved in agricultural and ranching endeavors and regional trade. Missionaries taught the Coahuiltecans farming skills and gave them religious instruction. Before the Spanish came, there were no horses in Texas and no gunfire, except for the raiding Apache. A vast frontier had never been touched by a wheel or felt the blade of an iron ax. Among... [Read more...]

Rio South Texas: Nature’s Wonders

February 29, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Rio South Texas: Nature’s Wonders

The Rio Grande Valley nature scene is filled with many wildlife hot spots. We’ll continue our tour of the top nature hot spots in the Rio Grande Valley with a visit to the World Birding Center. The World Birding Center (WBC) The World Birding Center (WBC) is a network of nine unique birding sites in the Lower Rio Grande Valley along a 120-mile corridor following the Rio Grande from Roma to South Padre Island. The mission of the World Birding Center is to protect native habitat, while increasing the understanding and appreciation of birds and wildlife. Drive through subtropical Texas to share the borderlands mix of Texan and Mexican heritage, and take time to look for any of the more than 500 bird species that have been documented in the region. Ted Eubanks, a well-known birder and nature tourism expert, was involved with the creation of the WBC starting in the late 1990s. His company, Fermata Inc., conducted the original feasibility study for the project, titled “Using a World Class... [Read more...]

Mount Mitchell Drive Receives Scenic Byway Designation

January 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Mount Mitchell Drive Receives Scenic Byway Designation

The Mount Mitchell Scenic Drive is the latest route to receive an official “scenic byway” designation from the state of North Carolina. Recognized for its outstanding beauty and unique cultural features, this 52-mile drive begins atop 6,684-foot Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi and traverses a national forest, state park, and National Park Service land. Welcome to Mount Mitchell State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved “It’s a beautiful corridor for a number of reasons,” says Jeff Lackey, manager of scenic byways for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). ”It has scenic quality, and also a tremendous amount of cultural and historical aspects, which is rare in a byway experience.” “When you go around every curve, you’ll find something new and interesting,” says Wanda Proffitt, a local DOT board member and advocate of the route. The route begins on N.C. 128 in Yancey County atop Mount... [Read more...]

Red Rock Country: Sedona

December 6, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Red Rock Country: Sedona

Sedona is an Arizona destination not to be missed—a must-see wonders. Sedona has developed into a center for traditional and contemporary arts and offers a variety of galleries, boutiques, and specialty shops. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Sedona easily makes the “A” list of RV destinations in the U.S. due to its rugged western appeal and colorful rock formations. Tourists come from around the world to absorb the natural wonders of Red Rock Country and Sedona, its centerpiece. Located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon, another scenic destination, Sedona is renowned for its stunning rock formations such as Coffee Pot Rock, Cathedral Rock, and Courthouse Butte, as well as its surrounding lush forests. Sedona is located in both Coconino and Yavapai Counties and is surrounded by Coconino National Forest. Sedona has developed into a center for traditional and contemporary arts and offers a variety of galleries, boutiques, and specialty shops. In 1950, surrealist painter Max Ernst moved... [Read more...]

An Alaska Travel Roundup

November 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Denali National Park/Melissa Trainer I was very fortunate last week because the State of Alaska invited me to attend the Alaska Media Road Show.  Held  at the luxurious Four Seasons Biltmore in  Santa Barbara, this annual  event brings together top travel writers and key players in Alaska’s tourism industry. As many of you know, I write quite a bit about Alaska.  I lived there with my family and we traveled extensively throughout the state while we were there.  We covered a lot of territory and ventured to many amazing  remote locations during that time. We knew that  we could be self sufficient with our travel trailer and we utilized our trailer to the max.  We knew that amenities were few and far between on many of the remote roads, so we learned to pack accordingly.  Our trailer was an absolutely priceless tool for navigating the region.  Even though our three children were all under the age of 11 at the time,  we were all willing to take the road less traveled.... [Read more...]

♪♪♪♫-A-Three-Hour-Tour-♪♪♪♫

September 18, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Let’s say you’re in the New England area and are planning a visit to far eastern Long Island, New York. You want to take your RV but, in light of my last post, you’ve decided that you don’t want to face the island’s infamous Long Island Expressway traffic. Well, there is an alternative. How about a nice boat trip. Yes, a boat trip — actually a ferry — with your RV onboard? It’ll cut about 300 miles off your trip by not driving all the way from the New London, Connecticut area along I-95 to New York and then the Throgs Neck Bridge and eastward via the Long Island Express Way, I-495 all the way out to the end of the island.  Instead, the Cross-Sound Ferry Services will carry you and your RV from New London, CT to Orient Point, Long Island, New York across the Long Island Sound and back in just 3 hours. A three hour tour? You might ask where you’ve heard that before? Well, that was on Gilligan’s Island, not Long Island. And that was on the SS Minnow, not... [Read more...]

Chill-out on Utah’s Patchwork Parkway

August 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Chill-out on Utah’s Patchwork Parkway

Weather alert: “A heat warning for daily high temperatures above 100 degrees has been extended for all desert areas.” At an elevation of 10,350 feet above sea level, Cedar Breaks National Monument is the highest national park in Utah. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Sweltering heat is typical for the Southwest desert region this time of year. With triple digit temperatures the Southwestern standard, how do you deal with this incessant heat? Load up the recreational vehicle and escape the scorching summer temperatures with a road trip to the cool mountain air of southwestern Utah. Utah’s Patchwork Parkway (Scenic Byway 143) beckons travelers to enjoy a change of scenery and a drop in temperature. This scenic byway serves as the western gateway from the arid Great Basin of western Utah to a breathtaking route across Utah’s high plateaus, connecting to Heritage Highway 89 and Scenic Byway 12, Utah’s first All American Road. This dramatic 55-mile scenic course links the historic... [Read more...]

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