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Category: Holidays on the Road

Human Encounters with Bears Turn Deadly

August 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Human Encounters with Bears Turn Deadly

Recent media reports detail numerous human encounters with black bears. This black bear wants his food and he is waiting patiently. DO NOT FEED BEARS! (Source: Thomas J/travelooce.com) In most instances the bears became food-conditioned, lost their natural fear of humans, and become a threat as they roamed in search of an easy meal. These bear was either relocated or euthanized by rangers because they posed an obvious human safety risk to campers. Several samples of these reports follow. Black Bear Killed at Yellowstone Campground The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that a black bear that refused to leave a Yellowstone National Park campground after getting a taste of human food there was killed by park staff. The 142-pound adult male black bear entered the Canyon Campground and came within six feet of a man and woman eating. The campers backed off, and the bear ate some of the food off their table. It then went through their garbage and pawed at their tent. As the bear left their campsite,... [Read more...]

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

August 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas—often dubbed the Silent Killer— that is toxic and the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States. Carbon monoxide can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations and can be particularly dangerous in recreational vehicles. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Appliances fueled with gas, oil, kerosene, or wood may produce CO. If such appliances are not installed, maintained, and used properly, carbon monoxide may accumulate to dangerous and even deadly levels in recreational vehicles, cars, homes, or poorly ventilated areas. The symptoms of poisoning are similar to flu or food poisoning and include headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Although not always experienced, the initial symptoms of carbon monoxide are similar to an upset stomach or the flu (but without the fever). The symptoms include: Dizziness Fatigue Headache Nausea Irregular breathing It is critical... [Read more...]

Mount Washington Traffic Increasing

July 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Mount Washington Traffic Increasing

New Hampshire’s Mount Washington has the reputation of being “Home of the world’s worst weather”. Originally called Agiocochook by native Americans, the mountain boasts some of the planet’s most severe weather, and retains the world record for wind speed, 231 mph © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Severe storms, including snow, can happen at any time of the year. The combination of severe winds, cold, and wetness can exhaust the strongest hiker. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the White Mountains of New Hampshire—and in the Northeast—and is therefore a very popular attraction for RVers and other sightseers and hikers. As a result the most widely used trails can be quite crowded, and however you climb the summit will have crowds, many having come up by the Cog Railway or the Auto Road. Mount Washington Cog Railway The beauty of the mountains and the thrill of ascending the Northeast’s highest peak are just as enchanting today as they were in 1869, when... [Read more...]

National Parks without the Crowds

July 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

National Parks without the Crowds

RVers love national parks. Visitors can explore Congaree National Park by canoe, kayak, or on foot by using the over 25 miles of hiking trails and 2.4 miles of the Boardwalk Loop Trail. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved From snow-capped glacial peaks to meandering coastal shorelines and from white sand deserts to steep gorges and canyons, some of America’s most awe-inspiring natural attractions are found within its extensive national park system. Most people know about the popular and most-visited parks including Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, and Zion. Coping with crowds at national parks can get tiresome, especially during peak travel seasons. America is jam packed with national parks but the problem is that the most popular are just that—popular. They’re often crowded with loud tourists, littered with garbage people simply can’t seem to take home with them, or slowed down by traffic jams as tourists stop to take pictures of wildlife or search for... [Read more...]

The Truth Is Here: A Great Place to Crash as UFO Festival Invades Roswell

July 2, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The Truth Is Here: A Great Place to Crash as UFO Festival Invades Roswell

“…In early July 1947, a mysterious object crashed on a ranch 30 miles north of Roswell” Well, at least my momma knows what species I am. As the story goes, sixty-six years ago, a rancher named W.W. Mack Brazel checked his sheep after a thunderstorm and found debris made of a strange metal scattered in many directions. He noticed a shallow trench several hundred feet long had been gorged into the desert landscape. Brazel said he was struck by the unusual properties of the debris and dragged large pieces of it to a shed. A day or two later, Brazel drove his rusty pickup down to the county seat of Roswell (New Mexico) and reported the incident to Chaves County Sheriff George Wilcox, who reported it to Maj. Jesse Marcel, intelligence officer for the 509th Bomb Group, stationed at Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF). In their book, A History of UFO Crashes, UFO researchers Don Schmitt and Kevin Randle say their research shows military radar had been tracking an unidentified flying object... [Read more...]

Outdoor Recreation as an Economic Engine

June 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Outdoor Recreation as an Economic Engine

Millions of Americans and Canadians take pleasure in the pursuit of enjoyment in the outdoors. Sabino Canyon is a natural desert oasis located in Tucson’s Coronado National Forest and is home to spectacular desert landscapes and abundant wildlife. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved But we rarely consider the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry on local communities and the entire country. Newly released information from three separate and diverse studies provides a revealing look at the outdoor recreation industry as an economic engine that employs millions of Americans and Canadians and contributes billions of dollars to the economy. These studies were commissioned or conducted by the Outdoor Industry Association, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Park Service. The Conservation Economy in America, commissioned by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and conducted by Southwick Associates, reports the economic impacts of direct investments into... [Read more...]

Ancient Desert Water Hole: Montezuma Well

June 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Ancient Desert Water Hole: Montezuma Well

Montezuma Well is a detached unit of Montezuma Castle National Monument located approximately 11 miles north of the park. It’s not actually a well and has nothing to do with Montezuma but being wrongly named doesn’t detract at all from its serene beauty. It’s NOT a well and Montezuma was never here! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved This unique geological feature is a limestone sink formed long ago by the collapse of an immense underground cavern. This continuous flow of warm, fresh water has created a lush, verdant oasis in the middle of desert grassland. Such a reliable source of life-giving water has lured humans for thousands of years, although Montezuma was never one of them. Early settlers to the area believed that the exquisitely-preserved five-story cliff dwelling belonged to Aztec emperor Montezuma. In truth, the “castle” was built by the Sinagua and was deserted a century before Montezuma was born. Yet the name stuck to both the ruins and the beautiful pond which... [Read more...]

Top 5 Ways to Survive a Dust Storm

June 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Top 5 Ways to Survive a Dust Storm

A dust storm usually arrives suddenly in the form of an advancing wall of dust and debris which may be miles long and several thousand feet high. In a scene reminiscent of the 1930s Dust Bowl, on October 18, 2011, Lubbock, Texas went from light to dark in an instant, as the 8,000 foot dust cloud, traveling at a whizzing 70 mph, swept through. (Image via YouTube) Dust storms that turn day into night are a hazard to drivers. Dust storms can strike with little warning. Blinding, choking dust can quickly reduce visibility, causing accidents that may involve chain collisions, creating massive pileups. Dust Storms are among nature’s most violent and unpredictable phenomena. High winds lift dirt particles or, in the case of sandstorms, sand, into the air, unleashing a turbulent, suffocating cloud of particulates and reducing visibility to almost zero in a matter of seconds. Nearly all dust storms are capable of causing property damage, injuries, and deaths, and they can occur in any arid or... [Read more...]

Inscription Rock: El Morro National Monument

June 13, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Inscription Rock: El Morro National Monument

“Paso por aqui, el adelantado Don Juan de Oñate, del descubrimiento de la mar del sur a 16 de Abril de 1605.” El Morro is Spanish for headland or bluff. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Translated, the inscription proclaims: “Passed by here, the expedition leader Don Juan de Oñate, from the discovery of the Sea of the South the 16th of April of 1605.” While Oñate’s inscription is the oldest Spanish carving found on El Morro, he was not the first Spaniard to see the mesa. In March 1583, Diego Pérez de Luxan, chronicler of an exploring expedition led by Antonio de Espejo, recorded in his journal that the party had camped at a location he called El Estanque de Peñol (The Place at the Great Rock). However, no record of the expedition’s passing has been found on the mesa. People had been carving messages on Inscription Rock in the high desert of northwestern New Mexico for centuries before de Oñate, the first Spanish Conquistador to organize a colony in New Mexico, came... [Read more...]

Joys of a Texas Bucket List

June 6, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Joys of a Texas Bucket List

Texas is big and brawny in every way, a state brimming with natural assets. Whether visiting rugged mountains, sandy beaches, wild canyons, or the piney woods, the “Lone Star State” pleases travelers in a million wonderful ways. After leaving the pool, spring waters ebb slowly through the cattails, rushes and reeds of San Solomon Cienega. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Our Texas RV Travel Bucket List continues. Balmorhea State Park Balmorhea State Park is located on less than 50 acres in the foothills of the Davis Mountains. For thousands of years San Solomon Springs has provided a cool, wet respite for anyone who happened by this desert oasis. The pool as it now stands was built in the mid-1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and holds more than 3,500,000 gallons of clear spring water with a constant temperature of 72 to 76 degrees. The pool covers 1.75 acres and reaches depths of 25 feet, making it a mecca for desert-bound scuba divers. The huge pool is fed by the springs... [Read more...]

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