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ON TO THE LA FAIRPLEX — RECALLING THE PAST

October 8, 2014 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our E-mail Digest or RSS Feed. We will then send you the stories that are posted each day in an e-mail digest. We use a service called Feedburner for delivery of these emails. You will receive an e-mail from Feedburner after you subscribe and you must click on that email to activate your subscription. Thanks for visiting and enjoy all the information! RV.Net Blog AdminBy Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers It’s wonderful being retired!  BUT it’s too early in life to stop being productive.  That’s my excuse for not publishing more often on RV.net.  I’ve gotten myself too involved in our newly adopted community in the mountains and my entry into photographic art to sit down and write.  I apologize to the thousands of readers who followed our adventures in Alaska and throughout North America in recent years. I’m writing now to invite you to come visit us for the big RVIA Show this Friday through next Sunday, October 9-19 [http://www.thebestrvshow.com].  Monique and I will be manning Booth No. F-12 (on the left aisle as you come in the main tent entrance).  If you happen to be there this Friday, the 9th, we’ll be away from the booth for an hour beginning at 4:30 giving a seminar on Tips for RVers.  In our years on the road full-time, we learned a lot that we are ready to pass on to new and veteran RVers. This is the 62nd edition of the show held annually at the Los Angeles County Fair... Read more



OUTSIDE OUR RV AFTER DARK

July 30, 2014 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers It’s dark, very dark.  We’re in a park with very few lights to distract us from appreciating our nighttime surroundings.  We are cradled in silence.  This is what nature camping is all about. But wait!  As we lay back in our outdoor recliners, letting go of all the cares of the day just passed, we see lights.  We hear sounds. Tiny lights are overhead, thousands of them, maybe millions, maybe billions, but who’s counting?  We pick out a series of stars that we recognized from National Park ranger talks as being constellations.  We never could envision all the mythical arrangements seen by Romans and Greeks thousands of years ago, but we know the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia. Like an exercise in finding familiar figures in the clouds or focusing on the spaces between clusters of leaves, we don’t concentrate for very long on the arrangements we know but rather on the twinkling and steady shining specks across the panoply of sky.  Thankfully, our moon is nowhere in sight. And speaking of clouds, there’s that wispy area – not clouds, but the billions of stars visible in the Milky Way.  That bright unsteady glow in the east is Venus; the faint orange dot is Mars. Red flashing dots blink far away.  An airplane taking businessmen to tomorrow morning’s meetings.  Grandma en route to her annual visit with the kids.  College students off to see friends or to lounge on blistering sand beaches.  We’re... Read more



BACKING UP, PARK RANGERS AND BAJA

March 19, 2014 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers “Hi Barry, is it you who writes the RV blog?” arrived today in my inbox.  That was how Keith, with whom I worked in the ‘70s, contacted me [Believe it or not, there are other Barry Zanders in the world, including one who may have skipped out without paying at a restaurant I frequented with potential clients]. “It is I … with my wife Monique, we are the Never-Bored RVers.” “Fantastic! Yes I’ve read your blogs, and they are very informative. We started RVing two years ago. We bought a Forest River Wildcat and have taken it out the past two summers and plan to do more this year. [My wife and I] usually go out West since my son lives in Lander, WY, and we both love the West.  I [now work part time] for my association and can basically do the work anywhere I can get a WiFi hookup so we should be traveling more. On our bucket list is to visit all the primary National Parks and have been to almost 40 of them. So maybe we’ll meet on the trail somewhere. “We’re headed out in July for a trip up through Wyoming and then down to Lake City, Colorado and Angel Fire, NM.  Are you going to be out that way in July /August?  Do you still have your “bumper-pull”?  I saw the photos of your rig in deep sand in Mexico.” Keith brought up two points that got me thinking.  First, there are 58 U.S. Park Service National Parks.  He mentioned his dissatisfaction with the rangers at one of them.  I... Read more



ANGELS IN MEXICO

March 12, 2014 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers Our drive down Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula took us along Hwy. 1, a very narrow and winding passage with no room to move off the blacktop.  Through desert and rocky hills, it passes scarce outposts of civilization where few people, if any, speak English. POW! We heard the blowout on a trailer tire.  I looked to the right and realized we were 10 feet from a Pemex gas station, the Mexican-owned system of fueling stops with mini-markets.  I pulled in just POW! enough to get us out of the road.  Ten minutes later the “Green Angels” arrived to change my tire. The Green Angels is a posse of government-sponsored multi-talented people, ready to help and protect tourists plying the remote spaces of Mexico.  Fantasy RV Tours, with whom we were traveling, had hired them to escort our RV caravan for the entire trip, and, I assure you, no members of our troupe were as thankful to Our heroes -- Tony & Isaiah have them along as Monique and I. I have often written and spoken about how RV caravans are not journeys where rigs all travel in a queue.  That’s obviously not always true, because on our 1,200-mile round-trip, our 14 rigs mostly stayed together, almost always in sight of the rig in front of us.  It’s not a command, but it seemed like the best way to travel these precarious roads. When one travel trailer in our band tried to leave room for a motorhome to exit first from a resort RV park, the truck... Read more



ANSWERING QUESTIONS & COMMENTS FROM YOU

January 12, 2014 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers Yesterday I was macerating.  What’s that, you may ask.  Check out my website at http://ontopoftheworld.bz/category/barrys-travel-blog-3/ for a full explanation with photos.  I first learned about it six years ago in Key West but didn’t try it until this week.  Monique are I are in the throes of preparing for 10 days in the high desert of Arizona, where we will witness an expanse of nothingness blossom, beginning with the huge white canvas tent already up and awaiting us and up to a million folks with interests common to yours.  That cavernous tent will contain endless RV-related booths [look for us behind booth No. 401 next to one of the western entrances].  Outside on the perimeter of the tent will be more service and product vendors including gem and mineral sellers, plus a long RV repair garage.  Beyond that is free parking flanked by hundreds of flea-market-type booths. Me leaving the show a couple of years ago -- OVERLOADED! Across Interstate-10 is the desert town of Quartzsite, which, in addition to rock and “collectibles” shops now has fast-food restaurants and cafes, groceries, gas stations and other essential services.  On down the road … or really roads … are private RV parks (we’ve heard differing stories about whether there are spaces available or not) and radiating outward even further are miles of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) scrub lands, where RVers park for free, boondocking... Read more



OUR PERSONAL MESSAGE TO YOU

December 30, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers This is our 57th posting to RV.net this year – a voluntary, unpaid effort for which our reward has been getting to know you through your comments and crossing paths along the highways and byways of North America.  In the past year, we stopped in 30 states and 4 provinces, each of which has made us richer by allowing us to get to know more people and being able to share our experiences with you. Memories of our Travels in British Columbia It’s tiring to realize that we stopped in 93 different places for at least one night in 2013.  And it’s amazing that since not knowing anything about RVs just eight years ago, we have now rested our rig 476 times in every type of camping spot imaginable.  Ah, the adventures we have had, meaning there are still lots of stories to tell! Getting to know the people of North America: that’s what I always consider the best part of RV traveling.  We appreciate the variety of scenery on our journeys and take great interest in the history of places, both of which continue to earn us the “Never-Bored” label, but it’s mingling with people that really sticks with us. In line with that, I want to add a message of condolence.  We, the readers of RV.net and other blog sites, have lost a friend with James "Butterbean" Carpenter the passing of James “Butterbean” Carpenter, who was a frequent contributor to the comments section.  I have more to say about Butterbean... Read more



WHEN ISN’T A PULL-BEHIND AN RV?

December 26, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers At the end of my previous RV.net posting, I printed a comment from reader Mary Hansen and my response.  Mary wrote: “The description ‘Vicki’ gives doesn’t really clarify (how to make a reservation at Recreation.gov) for me. It’s a very convoluted description. In addition, it didn’t address our situation: we drive a small motorhome (on wheels with cooking and other living accommodations) AND we tow a small car. Is our car a trailer? Which sort of lot would we fit on? Thanks for trying to clarify the situation for us all (love especially your photo mash-up!) but you didn’t include a toad in your pics either!” I sent a follow-up question to Recreation.gov, which resulted in this email [I bold-faced elements in her response]: Dear Barry Zander, Thank you for using Recreation.gov for your camping needs.  It is my pleasure to assist you today. We are sorry for any confusion the website terminology has caused.  

For the purpose of making a federal camping reservation at www.Recreation.gov, an “RV” refers to an all-inclusive wheeled camping unit that may be driven on its own (often known as a “motor home.”)  A “trailer” is referencing a wheeled camping unit that is being pulled or towed by another vehicle.  (Many campgrounds include fifth wheels in the “Trailer” category, because a fifth wheel is not drivable on its own.) 

If... Read more



BUSY PLACES: NATURAL SPACES

December 22, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers Monique and I are looking forward to saying “Hello” to fellow RVers at the giant show in Quartzsite, Arizona, January 18-26. I’m going to ask your indulgence for a while.  To keep my often too-long RV.net blogs a bit shorter, I want to give you the gist of my articles and suggest that you log onto my website for the rest of the story.  Today’s edition is a perfect example.  I wrote an article a year ago about the destinations chosen by RV.net readers.  Since it vanished somewhere between Point A and Point B, I’ve republished it on my website:  http://ontopoftheworld.bz/.  And I should add, I’m not trying to sell anything (unless you’re interested in one or more of my photos of North America). BUSY PLACES: Enough pregame chatter, time to get to the good stuff.  Recently I came across two “favorite lists” that I found interesting.  The first lists the “Travelers’ Choice 2013” of favorite cities to visit published by TripAdvisor.  I’m not sure how the “travelers” made their selections, but the number of attractions in the selected areas probably influences it.  For instance, New York, the #1 choice, has dozens of museums, historic sites, entertainment, etc. The sights and sounds of Chinatown in San Francisco make visiting a memorable experience. So now, the Top 10 American cities, from the Big Apple to the Big Easy:  After New York comes San Francisco, then Chicago, Las Vegas... Read more



WHEN IS A TRAILER AN RV?

November 18, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers I’ve been confused for years by the terminology on two park reservations sites:  Recreation.gov and ReserveAmerica.com.  When asking what type of site I’m looking for, among the choices are “RV” and “Trailer.” We have a trailer, but it’s also an RV; so, which one is the correct selection.  After mentioning this to a friend earlier this week, I decided to get the definitive answer on behalf of all owners of RVs of the various classes.  Here’s what I was told by Vicki, customer service representative for Recreation.gov, ReserveAmerica.com, and ActiveNetwork.com: Dear Mr. Zander, Thank you for using Recreation.gov for your camping needs.   It is my pleasure to assist you today. A “standard site” will accommodate 1 RV/trailer/wheeled camping unit with 1 tent, or if there is not an RV/trailer/wheeled camping unit on the site, it will accommodate up to 2 tents.  An “RV only” site will only accommodate 1 RV/wheeled camping unit (no tents allowed) and “Tent only” will usually accommodate up to 2 tents unless specified otherwise.  I hope this information will assist your further. We appreciate your business and I hope you enjoy the beautiful camping season. That does answer my original question.  Thank you.  But my next question is, “What is a ‘trailer,’ as differentiated in the list of types of sites from an ‘RV’?” Vicki replied: An RV is one large... Read more



THE PASTA TORTURE

November 15, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers A warm evening in a wooded campground somewhere in North Dakota, I think.  We were invited by our neighbors, Dan and Terry, to join them around their campfire while we sipped on our BYOL cocktail.  Danny was feeling good … good enough to share a revelation he had the night before: “When I was in the Marines years ago,” Dan began, “I’d come home from a deployment and usually once or twice a week Terry would fix spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.  I never really liked that dish … I was sure I told her that early on.  But she still served it.” At that point Dan sat back in his canvas chair, took another swig and continued.  “I retired in ’87 and we’ve been happily married over all these years, but she still makes spaghetti and meatballs at least once a week. “Last time she put it in front of me, I mentioned that I really don’t like spaghetti and meatballs.  I looked up at her sitting across the table and saw the glare in her eyes.  That’s when she confessed, ‘All these years, and you never asked.  Every time I’m mad at you, I fix you spaghetti and meatballs because I know you don’t like it’.” That sounds like a healthy marriage to me. A note to future Alaskan and Canadian Maritimes travelers. I’ve finally gotten all the “experiential” blogs from our trips to these bucket-list lands up on my website:  OnTopOfTheWorld.bz.  Based on comments from readers, I’m sure... Read more



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