I know it is December but travling in your RV has a lot of opportunities available. I personally have a couple of rules, they are, go south in the winter and north in the summer. One thing I have discoverd is that you have to plan ahead for your trips.
Traveling this time of the year can be fun and enjoyable. But unlikely changes in the weather, most recently the snow storms that occured in North Carolina, can throw a wrench in your trip without warning. Be flexible and have alternative plans. Make your trips work for you. A small change in plans can save your trip.
The Utah State Aggies, my almamater, are playeing in the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque. Our plans are to take the RV out to the game, meet up with other Aggies, then take a different route back. It appears that the weather is going to cooperate both traveling to and coming back from Albuquerque.
We have watched and read about preparing for these kind of trips, so going through our pre trip list is a must. Those people who RV on a regular basis have given those of us who are amateurs great advice.
Trial and error is a great way to learn, but learning from other’s mistakes may save us from frustrating experiences. Be your own worst critics and don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
Recently we purchased and RV, a Unity FX Leisure Travel Van, and we are about to take it on our and its madden voyage! As a private pilot I feel very comfortable getting in the cockpit and operating any single engine and some multi engine airplanes. But the RV has me really nervous. Dealing with the hook ups and then emptying the grey and black tanks, filling up the fresh water tank, getting everything leveled and then, the most important function, making sure both TV’s work, has me a little concerned. No pun intended, you just have to go get your hands dirty! This is one of those situations that the practical experience is the only thing that will build your confidence! Looking at videos and dvd’s can only take your so far. At some point you need to take the plunge. That time has come.
I know there will be some frustrating moments, it’s handling the challenges as they come up will be the real test. Also, being in close quarters with your spouse when something goes wrong and neither one of you have clue what to do, will be the biggest challenge! We have always traveled really well together, but in a confined space and nowhere to escape, per say, the situation exists for a little tension. Only time will tell, that’s why the first adventure is only going to be 360 miles and relatively close to the dealership where we bought the RV. Why take a chance!
Don’t get me wrong, we are both very excited about traveling around the country, seeing new places and experiencing new things like the worlds largest ball of twine – as long as those experiences don’t include RV break downs.
I intend to write the Outdoor Quarterback Blog on the road. Our intentions will be to travel to NFL Cities, watch and report on NFL games as well as fish, hunt, bike and explore other outdoor adventures when the opportunities present themselves. We are both history buffs and are looking forward to seeing as many of the historical sites as we can. We have a lot to look forward to.
I know this is going to be an adventure in many ways. I will keep you posted on the good, the bad and the ugly!
Since I had both of my knees replaced the one activity that is easy and enjoyable with very little stress on the joints is cycling. Cycling is a great cardio exercise and is a activity you can do well in to your senior years. For me it is a quiet way to scout several of my hunting areas. Many times I have ridden up on groups of deer undetected.
On most nice days, both morning and early evening, I see large groups of cyclist all around, it looks like a mini Tour De France! I assume they are part of a cycling club. They dress alike and seem to ride together regularly. What a great way to inner act with a group of people with a similar passion. My guess is they all find a way to socialize as well!
My neighbors oldest son just completed the Bike Across Kansas, 414 miles I believe. I enjoy the exercise part of cycling but those riders who take on a challenge like that are very dedicated and determined. I guess I was the same way about football, but 414 miles on a road bike, that is impressive.
The guys who take on the Tour De France are amazing, much like those who run marathons, like my oldest daughter. I guess it becomes addictive. I know I am not that much into it. For the casual cyclist in our area the county parks and recreation department, in partnership with local cities, have developed a trail system for walkers, joggers and cyclists. You can ride, run or walk for more than 20 miles! Well beyond my desired distance.
I ride a cross over bike, more of a mountain bike than a road bike, with a seat built for comfort. I am one of those active outdoor enthusiasts who looks for any way to spend time outdoors. Cycling is one of those activities that can fill the void of no fishing, hunting or football and exercise at the same time. Try it you will like it!
Statistically speaking the Baby Boomer generation is joining the RV frenzy! More RV’s are being built than at anytime in our history. One of the major reasons is that the Baby Boomer generation are all at retirement age and are looking for things to do. Boomer’s want to travel but with the issues taking place outside the US, people don’t feel safe traveling abroad. So the Boomers have taken to the RV’s. People admit they have seen very little of the US and would enjoy experiencing the history and sites of our country and Canada, so the RV business is booming thanks to the Baby Boomers!
As a Baby Boomer myself, I have fallen in to the RV trap. My wife and I have ordered a RV, which will arrive sometime next February. In the meantime we are watching every U Tube video and listening to pod casts regarding RV’s and traveling in a RV. Some of the video’s are very good and provide some very valuable information about RV’s in general. There seems to be one major issue most people want to discus and those are the issues concerning your grey and black tanks. It appears there are many practical ways to deal with those problems, some good some bad. Everyone as an idea of which equipment should be standard on all your trips, which is very good advice, some you many have never thought of.
Some of the videos, featuring families who RV during the summer months with their children, are very entertaining. They do provide the names of organizations who provide camping locations and RV parks throughout the US and Canada such as the Good Sam Club or Family Motor Coach Association. What I am finding is that there is a lot more to this RV thing than just putting gas in the tank and driving down the road. Thinking you can pull over anywhere at any travel park, turn out the lights and go to bed is a recipe for loosing a lot of sleep! Like anything else, when traveling, planning ahead will always make the trip much more successful. In today’s RV world making reservations at a RV park is a necessity if not mandatory. In many of the National Parks, securing a reservation is standard operating procedure. What we are learning is, don’t leave home without knowing you have a place to park your RV for the night or for the week or you may end up very disappointed!
More to come on this new adventure we are undertaking, we are just getting started and have a lot to learn.
The last chance camping trip before school starts and activities begin is a great way to end the summer, don’t miss out!
The last chance to camp with the family before school gets started is closing in. Once school starts and the activities begin, it’s hard to get everyone on board to spend the weekend camping and enjoying what the outdoors has to offer. I am not necessarily talking about taking a long road trip, just find a facility close by that allows overnight camping, load up your tent or camper, including the kids and spend a couple days of quality outdoor time. Do a little fishing, wildlife watching, hiking or bike riding, anything to promote the outdoor experience. I am sure the entire family will enjoy getting away from the house for a few days before the fast pace of school begins. These are the types of experiences that create life long memories, family traditions and family entertainment.
I wish I could have had more of these types of family experiences, but sports and having a father in the military prevented that from happening. As a father myself we tried to do things that involved the outdoors on a regular basis. Float and canoe tips, fishing and cycling where always the most fun, and yes they included camping, cooking out and building camp fires where stories about Camp Tepee Tonka became legendary . Now my kids are grown with families of their own and they still talk about those camping adventures.
I am going to make sure the grand kids get to experience the enjoyment of camping and exploring the outdoors. Don’t miss the opportunity to use those last few days before everyone gets wrapped up with school, sports and other activities and go spend quality family time in the outdoors. No excuses!
You can check with your state parks division, or a national organization such as American Camp Association, acacamps.org, to find suitable facilities which allow overnight camping. Make sure you have permission to build a camp fire. There are some states who are in a drought situation, so open firers may not be allowed. Just make sure you check. In most parks and camping areas, signs are posted regarding campfires. Enjoy your adventure.
Great trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota, home of Mt. Rushmore. The Black Hills were awesome, saw deer and buffalo at Custer State Park. Drove on the Needles Hwy, saw the Corn Palace and Wall Drugs. Mt Rushmore was worth the trip alone. I have always made fun of South Dakota, my wife is from there, but the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore should be on your bucket list.
Recently I took a trip with my oldest daughter and two of my grand kids along with my wife to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Before I tell you about the trip I need to explain a little history with me and South Dakota. First my wife was born and raised in Sioux Falls SD, I spent one summer, while we were in college, working there. I have always given her a hard time about SD and to some up the humor and the hard time I gave her, we were watch a movie, comedy, and one lines in the movie was “if you don’t start doing your job we are going to ship you to South Dakota”. From that point on I have always joked about her home state.
On our recent trip we went to Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, drove on the Needles Highway, panned for gold and toured the gold mine. On our way to Sioux Falls we stopped at the famous Wall Drugs and then on to Mitchell to visit the famous Corn Palace. Of course my wife and I had done and seen all of this before, but my oldest daughter, now 40, and my grandson and grand daughter had not. To my surprise my daughter was more excited about seeing the free ranging buffalo than anything else. Of course Mt. Rushmore was impressive, but having the buffalo walk in front and in back of our vehicle was pretty impressive. I have hunted my entire life and I have seen a lot of wildlife, bears, elk, moose, deer, antelope, Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Lion and etc… but I must admit seeing free ranging buffalo was pretty impressive, especially some of the herd bulls. It is hard to imagine how big they truly are until you are within close proximity of one, which we were. And to think what the Native Americans used, for a long time, bows and arrows, to take down these massive animals. They did not have the compound bows like we have today or the carbon arrows with razor sharp broad heads. No, they used bows and arrows made of wood and broad heads made of chiseled stone as well as spears. As a professional hunter, primarily a bow hunter, I can’t tell you how impressed and amazed I am.
But, back to the story. If you haven’t made the trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota you must make it part of your bucket list of things to do and see, it is impressive not to mention historical. There is something for the entire family.
Enjoy the adventure.