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Category: Scenic Byways/Historic Routes

Digital Photography and RVing: A Natural Fit

March 9, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Digital Photography and RVing: A Natural Fit

The only thing better than ‘right now’ will someday be the memories of right now! Digital is not difficult to shoot and good results are achievable, but one must know the basics of photography as the fundamentals remain the same, irrespective of the recording medium. Pictured above is Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved You’ve probably an RVer because you love to travel, you want to see the natural and manmade wonders of North America, or you just don’t like being tied down to one place. Whatever the reason, are you keeping a visual record of your RV travels? Do you take photos of your RV memories? If not, why not? Traveling in an RV allows us to move at a slower pace, which gives us a chance to see things that often times go unnoticed. RVing gives us an opportunity to get closer to and experience the beauty of nature. In addition to hiking, biking, boating, nature study, and birding; photography is a natural activity to... [Read more...]

50 Things We Love About Texas

October 23, 2012 by · 11 Comments 

50 Things We Love About Texas

1. Texas Hospitality 2. Paso Del Rio, or River Walk, the Jewel of the City (San Antonio) 3. Fresh from the Gulf shrimp and oysters When in the Clear Lake/Galveston area we head for Rose’s in Seabrook for a supply of shrimp. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved 4. Exploring the pine and hardwood forests of the Piney Woods of East Texas 5. Saying howdy 6. The Alamo 7. Texas’ wide open spaces 8. Hiking Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, north of Fredericksburg 9. Tex-Mex, especially in far South Texas 10. The way small-town drivers wave to everyone they pass 11. The timeless beauty of Presidio La Bahía near Goliad, and its rural setting 12. Stopping for lunch at almost any small-town BBQ joint and sitting elbow-to-elbow with folks you have little in common with except that you all love good ‘cue 13. Blue Bell Ice Cream. Wow! 14. The wind-swept, dynamic rippling sandscapes in Monahans Sandhills State Park is one-of-a-kind 15. Stopping for kolaches at a small-town bakery 16. Driving... [Read more...]

Bits and Pieces – On the Road Again

October 15, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Bits and Pieces – On the Road Again

While I love to write, our recent adventures have left little time for sitting down at the computer and keying up a blog.  I have more ideas than hair on my head (BTW – I am not bald) but by the time the opportunity to write gets here I am too doggone tired from all of the day’s exciting activities and end up going to bed! Just to give readers an idea of what is going on, we left the zip code address in Virginia right after Labor Day.  Since then we have traversed across North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and into Kansas.  Our plans are to leave our current spot in Hutchinson and head south to Branson, MO, for a few days taking in many of the shows, exhibits, tours and having some just plain old fun.  From there we may swing north again to Elkhart, IN, to see Amish Country and the birthplace of our RV.  Since we are expected in North Myrtle Beach, SC, by November 1st for a two week stay with friends in  our Cedar Creek RV Owners... [Read more...]

2012 National Parks Fall Foliage Guide

October 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

2012 National Parks Fall Foliage Guide

As summer comes to a close, the bright blues and greens that characterize the sunshiny season are replaced by a deeper, more vibrant palette. But there are so many destinations to choose from, each with their own unique rainbow of fall colors. The National Park Foundation (NPF) wants you to get outdoors and enjoy one of nature’s most spectacular seasons in your national parks. In announcing the 2012 National Parks Fall Foliage Guide the NPF says, “These parks boast exceptional fall colors, however they represent only a few of the national park sites where foliage lovers can enjoy the spectacular spectrum of the season’s palette.” The list below includes information on region-specific flora as well as estimated timing on the peak of their colors: Nez Perce National Historical Park (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington) Peak foliage times range across the rivers, canyons, prairies, and mountains of this park which overlaps four states. The short-grass prairies of White Bird Battlefield... [Read more...]

Top Fall Color Hotspots in National Forests

September 26, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Top Fall Color Hotspots in National Forests

Fall colors are about to burst all over the country and the U.S. Forest Service wants you to get outdoors and enjoy one of nature’s most spectacular seasons in your national forests. “Autumn is a wonderful time of the year to plan a trip to see the beauty of your national forests,” said Tom Tidwell, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service in an agency news release. “As tree experts, we have incredible resources on our website to help you plan a great adventure this fall season.” From coast to coast, state and local economies are boosted because of the fall season and for many rural communities, fall color tourism is a major source of revenue. Hotels, restaurants, and local shops rely on the influx of dollars generated by fall visitors. For example, the New England area receives an estimated $8 billion in local revenues annually due to fall activities. Throughout the Midwest, millions of visitors hit the road to enjoy the sights. In the West, the mountains provide destinations filled... [Read more...]

Birding Hotspot: Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, NM

September 1, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Birding Hotspot: Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, NM

UFO sightings may have put Roswell, New Mexico, on the map, but at nearby Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, strange creatures are more than visitors. Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. Visitor Center can be seen in the distance. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved They inhabit odd sinkholes, playa lakes, seeps, and gypsum springs fed by an underground river. Straddling the Pecos River the Refuge consists of an assortment of water habitats. Numerous seeps and free-flowing springs, oxbow lakes, marshes and shallow water impoundments, water-filled sinkholes, and the refuge namesake, Bitter Lake, make up these unique environments. Scattered across the land are over 70 natural sinkholes of different shapes and sizes. Created by groundwater erosion these water habitats form isolated communities of fish, invertebrate, amphibians, and other wildlife. Located where the Chihuahuan Desert meets the Southern Plains, Bitter Lake National Wildlife... [Read more...]

Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies

August 28, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies

If you are looking for an exciting vacation with beautiful views then consider exploring Forest Service lands in the Northern Rockies for beautiful landscapes, scenic byways, historic trails, and diverse wildlife. For sheer beauty and allure, few regions match the Northern Rockies. Discover a convenient new way to research and plan absolutely incredible Rocky Mountain travel adventures—the Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies. Beartooth All-American Road The Beartooth Scenic Road has 10,000 mountain lakes, 20 peaks reaching more than 12,000 feet in elevation, and 12 national forest campgrounds. Witness the rare transition of lush forest ecosystem to alpine tundra in just a few miles on the highest elevation road in the Northern Rockies. International Selkirk Loop All­-American Road The public lands along the loop are home to the largest diversity of wildlife in the lower 48 states. Travel the Selkirk Range of the British Columbia, Idaho, and Washington Rocky Mountains to see... [Read more...]

Hello Helena (that’d be in Montana ;)…

August 22, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Hello Helena (that’d be in Montana ;)…

Growing up in an area, one often takes for granted the unusual and interesting destinations and activities of the locale. We often don’t take advantage of and enjoy the sites and sounds that are right in our backyard, but reserve such tourist-y behavior for when we are on the road. Such was the case with us. Until this summer. We have been on the road for 3 years, and while we spend our winters playing tourist in some much warmer states than our beloved Montana, we come home for the summers and find we fall right back into the everyday routine, forgetting that there were/are fabulous things to do right here at home too! Recently, I vowed to take a day each week and DO something. It didn’t have to be big, but it did have to be something special – something that ‘visitors’ do – something that my kidlets would think was fun and unusual. At first, we would find ourselves traveling out of town for our Tribe Trips as we call them, but then it hit me that there... [Read more...]

Savoring a Local Sweet in Homer, Alaska

July 17, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Mixed Berry Danish, Two Sisters Bakery, Homer Alaska While traveling throughout Alaska last week, I was fortunate to be able to visit Homer for a mere 36 hours. Located at the end of the Sterling Highway on the Kenai Peninsula, Homer abounds in seaside charm. Known as the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World, Homer boasts an abundance of camping and RV sites. The main drag sits along The Spit, which juts out 4.5 miles into Kachemak Bay.  All of the campsites along The Spit feature seaside views and fabulous breezes. When I was in Homer, I must admit that I did not camp.  This was my first trip to there, and we stayed at The Driftwood Inn, an old-town style inn that is located in the historic section of town. The Driftwood also has a waterfront RV park and very basic amenities. Our room was clean and simple. The bathroom was down the hall. Our beds were bunk beds! Before I checked in, I was told to check out Two Sisters Bakery, which was just a short walk down the road. Only complimentary... [Read more...]

Utah: The Ultimate Road Trip

July 17, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Utah: The Ultimate Road Trip

Utah is a place of unfathomable natural beauty—with its unique natural formations, colorful history, and culture, and exciting recreation opportunities—it is a state that contains the best elements of the great Mountain West and the Desert Southwest, from red rock splendor to mountain peaks with The Greatest Snow on Earth®, Utah is a four-season world-class travel destination. Hiking and photography are two favorite activities at Zion National Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Home to five national parks, Utah is the perfect place for your next family road trip. Utah’s five spectacular national parks stretch across the southern half of the state. Each park offers the traveler unique, world-class scenic vistas, and geological phenomena. In fact, Utah’s National Parks feature some of the most astonishing landscapes in the world. Each park shows off a completely different scenic view of the state’s natural beauty. These national parks are perfect for camping, mountain... [Read more...]

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