Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category
Avoid the “Are we there yet?” from the backseat by providing each child with their own map each morning at breakfast. (I would provide a map of our “before lunch” route to one child and an “after lunch” map to the other one.) You can print such a map from Google maps on the internet or from a mapping software you might have on your computer or use a road atlas map.
Briefly talk about the route, giving the child some idea of what might be waiting up ahead, such as a town with a funny name or a river with a history. You might want to highlight the planned route, may be not. Give the child a pencil and have them make notes on their map about what they see along the way. Maybe there is a 10-ft cowboy that waves at passing traffic, a herd of black cows with a white cream center (we called them Oreo cows) beside the road, or a really fun rest area they will want to remember.
Remind the child, they are the co-navigator and should let the driver know the name of any upcoming river or town and if there is some turn or change in the route coming up.
Some things to talk with the child about so they might be more aware of what they are going to see are:
Do the number signs look different for State, County, and US routes?
How does the map tells us if a route is State, County or US?
What are mile-marker?
Does every route have mile-marker? Why would mile-markers be important?
Are the mile-marker numbers going up or down? What do you think that tells us?
Whether heading to the grocery store or a favorite camping stop, the ride there can be really boring for little passengers. There are just so many times “She’ll be around the mountain” can be sung. A possible alternative is “The State License Plate Game.” Basically, you print out the Game “board”, hand a copy to the little passenger along with a crayon, pencil, whatever, and have them find and scratch out as many of the state licenses as possible. The one with the most states is the winner. The prize could be anything from picking a lunch stop to an extra 30 minutes by the campfire. You can also challenge the passenger to find the license plate for the state where Uncle Tom lives, or where Grandma and Grandpa live, or where they live, or where a special place is located.
It is suggested the “State License Plate Game” be attached to a hard surface, like a clipboard or clipped to a bookcover.
Thanks to www.thedatingdavis.com.
“We want to camp in June. We are a small family with two pre-school children and a big dog. What campground would you suggest?”
Okay, I am paraphrasing but you get the idea. We get this question, or some variation, almost every week. I know finding the “prefect” campground is a challenge but a key is to narrow down your selection criteria.
From the above I have a bunch of holes that need to be filled in such: Where, like state, do you want to camp?; What mode of camping will be used?; Are they tent campers, car campers, or maybe they have some recreational vehicle (RV); Is that RV a Class A, pop-up travel trailer or something in between? and, What are your “must-have” amenities?
I suggest making a list of what your “perfect” campground “must have” as a starting point. For Fred and I the requirements are different but we agree our top “must have” is a lack of crowds. So with this in mind I look for a campground without a lots of whiz-bang fancy attractions. In a private campground that means no playgrounds, swimming pool, restaurant or such. In a state or federal campground we stay away from places with big lakes, whitewater rivers, and super outstanding fishing and head for campgrounds off a paved road and less than 50 campsites.
For me (and this is my list only), a private campground must have full hook-ups, a laundry, clean bathrooms, hot showers and not be priced beyond reason. Fred would add wifi and enough separation between sites to put out the awning. In a state or federal campground, I want trees, at least one trail, potable water, a bathroom, and quiet. Fred wants a level parking apron, a good amount of sunshine, and a water spigot really close by. (Notice Fred’s wants are difficult to determine until we get to the campground.)
So what would be on your “must have” list? Okay, now you know what you want, which would you prefer — public or private campgrounds? Do I need to say we tend to opt for campgrounds in national forests and grasslands? But a lot of folks go for private campgrounds while others are happy with a Walmart parking lot campsite.
Okay that’s a good start but where does one go to locate information about campgrounds? The problem with answering this question is there are so many places to go for campground information. You can use one of the telephone book size directories like the one published by Trailer Life and Woodall. And then there are numerous websites, like ours, ForestCamping.com, that list hundreds of campgrounds. Toss in “word-of-mouth” suggestions and you can be completely overwhelmed even before you take a look at what’s available via today’s technology and apps.
We are getting away from those phonebook directories and going more with an app Fred has on his smart phone. One reason is it includes reviews and another reason is the app will actually guide us to the campground. However, on problem with Fred’s campground app is huge. I would like it better if I could use some filters so my choices would be limited to campgrounds with, say, a laundry and are dog friendly.
Fred loves spam. If given a choice between Spam and breakfast sausage, I think Spam wins 9 out of 10 times. There is always a can of Spam in the pantry. The preferred preparation is fried crispy.
One problem I have always had with Spam is slicing it. Getting it evenly thin enough to fry up nice a crisp was a challenge until I discovered my wire cheese slicer. I hate taking anything in the motorhome that serves only one function. While my wire cheese slicer has long done double duty producing even slices of butter, refrigerated cookie dough, and a variety of cheese, applying it to a brick of Spam never entered my mind until recently. Brilliant! No fuss. No mess. Each slice is the same thickness for its entire length. Why didn’t I think of this sooner.
Actually, this is good for skin that has suffered abuse from winter or summer.
February was a long stretch of freezing temperatures, high wind, and super low humidity as my skin’s condition can verify. After all the abuse, I made the decision to try my old standby skin conditioning treatment – yogurt with a little ground oatmeal. The results were fabulous.
Here’s what I did: First, I scooped out a generous 1/4 cup of plain yogurt;
Using about a tablespoon of yogurt from the 1/4 cup, I mixed in a scant tablespoon of finely ground old fashion oatmeal;
Next I draw a delicious hot bath, mixing in the remaining yogurt;
Once in the bath, I applied the yogurt and oatmeal mixture to my face, shoulders, and elbows and just soaked.
After the water cooled, I rinsed all the yogurt and oatmeal off. Although it probably isn’t necessary, I do rinse again using fresh, warm water. A brisk toweling to dry and my skin is radiant, soft, and flake-free. Now, I am ready for Spring and my short-sleeved outfits.
PS-This is great for skin that has had too much sun and wind from summer time fun.
Whether a tent, car, and rv (recreational vehicle) camper, a tool box is an important. I’m not talking about an assortment of tools you might need to rebuild engine but some basic stuff to correct small problems like a tear in a tent, hanging a line to dry wet swimsuit, or change out a blown fuse.
Here are tools all campers should have in their toolbox. Make sure all tools fit your hand comfortably.
Hammer – 16-ounce curved-claw model. It’s lightweight and effective.
Screwdriver – a multi-bit ratchet screwdriver is best. It will save you weight (won’t need more than the one), money (no need to buy any others), and time (no need to reset the tool after each turn).
Pliers – slip-joint for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts and needle-nose pliers for twisting wire and reaching into tight places.
Hardware – a variety of nails, screws, eye hooks, and cup hooks along with wire and lightweight durable string. S-hooks and clothespin can be useful, too.
Adhesives – Carpenter’s glue for wood and paper, Super glue for almost everything else, but tape such as masking, duct, and electric, is probably more useful.
An rv camper will find a socket and ratchet set useful.
One of the highlights of our travels in 2011 was a Guided Auto Tour through Picketwire Canyon (available starting 3/1/13). It is a recommended “Must Do” for anyone visiting the Comanche National Grassland in southeast Colorado. A personal favorite stop on that tour was at the meandering dinosaur tracks near the Purgatoire River.
What I have just learned is, within the area covered during Picketwire Canyon Auto Tour, there have been upwards of 50 locations bearing dinosaur bones discovered since 2001 and four of these areas have been excavated. The discoveries were made by Passport in Time volunteers and a task force of volunteers selected by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, a Forest Service partner, is taking on the task of stabilizing and storing the fossils.
So far, the remains of Ceratosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, Allosaurus, and a limb bone possibly from a Stegosaurus have been found at what is called the “River View” quarry. FYI: Ceratosaurus and Allosaurus are meat eaters while Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, and Stegosaurus are plant eaters. Apparently, meat eating dinosaurs shed their teeth, like sharks, and a bunch their teeth have been found. The theory is bones were washed in and stacked up on a gravel bar in the river, thus the “toss dinosaur salad” image. It is thought many of the dinosaurs dead up river then either their partial skeletons or full carcasses washed down river, became lodge on an ancient sandbar, only to be chewed up by carnivores (meat eaters), thus, accounting for the tossed and strewn about fashion of the bones.
And to think we were there and, besides walking in dinosaur footsteps, we could have been walking on dinosaur bones! I want to go back!!!!
Took some friends from Fairbanks, Alaska to a magical place, Council Rocks. Click here of a photo album of this location.
Like too many trails, the one to Council Rocks isn’t well signed. We sort of ended up making our own.
Recent snow and rain produced numerous puddles and this pond in the scooped out boulder.
While waiting for the men to catch-up, Robin admired Council Rocks interesting geology.
This is view from the top of Council Rocks. Little wonder why Cochise and his band found safety in the jumble of rocks known, collectively, as the Dragoon Mountains.
Yosemite National Park is impressive. It is also congested, busy, and too commercialized for my tastes. For a long time, the Inyo National Forest‘s Mammoth Lakes area was my preferred “go to” alternative to Yosemite. Then it seemed everyone had discovered it, too. However, much to my delight, there are still places you go and thing you can do and still feel the solitude and enjoy the wonder of a national forest. I guess it is all a matter of how an area is developed and managed.
One example of the Mammoth Lakes area’s development and management is the newly completed Mammoth Lakes Trail System. From granite crags to trout-stocked lakes, pine forests to alpine meadows, there’s 300-miles of trails providing access all seasons, interests, and abilities, for the motorized and non-motorized alike. The network of trails connections to three wilderness areas, Devils Postpile National Monument, the Pacific Crest Trail and more. With 300-miles of designated and maintained trails visitors to Mammoth Lakes have the opportunity to experience the area’s beauty and wonder plus the many miles means visitors are spread out over a larger area so there are less crowds and congestion.
It has been years since we last visited the Mammoth Lakes area. We have been tempted to return but just haven’t. Now that I know about the completion of the Mammoth Lakes Trail System, and considering how much I like hiking, I think the Inyo National Forest‘s Mammoth Lakes area is got to be moved closer to the top of our “To-do” list.
It just goes to show ya, you can have a nice weekend of camping even when the night-time temperatures drop into the teens. The sunshine all day gave us the false impression of warmth but the brightly sparkling stars in the cloudless night sky clearly declared very cold temperatures.
I’m not a fan of temperatures normally found in the freeze box of my refrigerator but that’s what we had. And here are some of the techniques we used to continue camping comfortably here are Catalina State Park.
Of great importance is not having our fresh water and sewer lines freeze. (Have had both happen to us and, trust me, it ain’t pretty.) The best way to keep external water supply line from freezing is to detach it. We filled the on-board tank and use it at night, reconnecting the water hook-up during the day. When the tank got low, we just refill the tank. After disconnecting the water hose we drained all the water we could from the hose, curled it up and stowed it under the mh. We have also stow that hose in the shower stall.
Although Catalina State Park didn’t have sewer hook-ups, normally a sewer hose is handle likewise. You would use the on-board holding tanks to collect grey and black water until they are full. Now, connect the sewer hose, empty the
tanks and put the sewer hose away, after making sure all the water is out of the hose.
During the day, to help conserve propane use, we run a little cube shaped electric heater. During the night, we’ll rely on our mh’s furnace. And leave cabinet doors open to insure some warm air circulates into the deep, dark recesses.
Two other points: Hiking is a great way to warm up and, I think since we are burning more calories staying warm, calorie counting diets should be put on hold <G>.
You are currently browsing the archives for the Travel category.