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ANGELS IN MEXICO

March 12, 2014 by Barry & Monique Zander · Leave a Comment 

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 Admin 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... Read more



In a camping rut? Try wildlife refuges

March 1, 2014 by Bob Difley · Leave a Comment 

By Bob Difley Are you in a rut? If you’ve been RVing for a couple of year or more you likely have found favorite spots that you return to year after year. But you probably also realize that these are not the only campgrounds that will ever like, so why not venture out into new places, take different routes, or camp in places you wonce wouldn’t have considered? I’ve been guilty of the same complacency at times, but when I changed my habits I found great spots, terrific places to camp, hike, ride my mountain bike, or look for birds and wildlife. It just takes a commitment to once in a while do something, go somewhere different. OK. Once you make that commitment, may I suggest you check out this country’s wildlife refuges. In addition to all the state wildlife areas around the country, the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service manages the world’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants. Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida’s Pelican Island as the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the System has grown to more than 150 million acres, 551 national wildlife refuges, as well as other units of the Refuge System, plus 37 wetland management districts. That is a heck of a lot of land that belong to each and every one of us – what is designated as public lands – and open for many kinds of recreational pursuits beyond hunting. The guide book to the refuges that I have... Read more



Exploring New York’s Hudson River Valley

June 23, 2013 by Bob Difley · Leave a Comment 

By Bob Difley Exploring the Hudson River Valley Western RVers tend to think that the only true wild areas in the United States lie from the Rocky Mountains west. But Easterners know the secrets of the Hudson River Valley that runs from New York City north through lush forests for 150 miles and is navigable all the way to Albany. In between you will find thousands of acres of preserved open space land with hiking trails, scenic river views, and challenging ridgetops just waiting to be explored. But it didn’t always look like the great forests surrounding the river would survive as the population spread out from the exploding metropolis of New York requiring millions of board feet of timber to build houses, barns, and factories. The River became the highway for commerce and movement of goods and, unfortunately, as a convenient depository for waste from factories, farms–pollution from thousands of acres surrounding the river. In a new DVD Bill Moyers explores the history, the people, and the efforts by some dedicated preservationists to reverse the degradation of the river and to preserve the surrounding hills for the enjoymnent of the people, and not just for the profits of the large companies that sought to extract its wealth. If you are planning a camping trip to the Hudson River Valley, Bill Moyers: On The Hudson–America’s First River, is a 231 minute documentory that explores how the early settlers, expansionists, conservationists, fishermen, entrepreneurs,... Read more



RVING SWITCHBACKS – EAST, WEST, NORTH, SOUTH

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers I prepared an article years ago about the types of places you can park your rig, updating it several times — everything from private campgrounds to national parks to retail outlets and many more – 17 more to be exact.  If you’d like a copy, please email your request to neverboredrvers@gmail.com. It’s free. Annapolis, capital of Maryland. What a neat place!  We spent a day walking the streets of this interesting town, reveling in all-thing-Annapolis: historic homes and buildings, including those housing state From left, "Big Al" picks out crabs for us in St. Michaels, a town that celebrates its seafood, and we're ready for a feast in Annapolis government, the Chesapeake Bay waterfront, seafood, shops, and, most notable of all, the U.S. Naval Academy.  Very prestigious, and the midshipmen are all so handsome; that is, all except the midshipwomen, who Midshipmen -- with female middies in background at right are dolls.  I don’t mean to be sexist about this, but we were astounded to see how many of the middies are female.  And they all, both women and men, look so young and fresh. During the past week, we have qualified to put three more stickers on our map of states visited as RVers.  We stayed across the Potomac in Maryland while visiting Washington, D.C.  Then, we crossed the never-ending Chesapeake Bay Bridge near Annapolis (really only 4.3 miles, but it goes on and on) to the... Read more



IN THE SHADOWS OF SHENANDOAH

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers A continuing saga, which I call “Micro-Blogs” … In the uplands, the trees were just starting to come into their spring greenery.  In the valleys, the bright yellow forsythia, white and pink shrubbery and wildflower blossoms and lush green everywhere kept us enchanted for mile after mile (much akin to fireweed in the Yukon Territory). Looking out from Skyline Parkway at the Blue Ridge Mountains So Babcock, West Virginia, was a pleasant enough state park, but it wasn’t in its glory when we visited in mid-April.  Nor was Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, one of the most visited national parks in America.  The rhododendron bushes were leafy but have not yet bloomed, so we missed out on their rich hues, but the Shenandoah Valley is a place of beauty. Once we arrived at Shenandoah River State Park, Virginia, we were surrounded by healthy forests that we always enjoy, sprinkled with colorful trees, butterflies and the beautiful Shenandoah River. This valley is a tourist’s paradise, with its abundant caverns open to the public.  We picked the most renown, Luray Caverns in Luray, for a trek underground.  We seem to gravitate toward caves in our travels, having gone underground in at least a dozen and maybe closer to two dozen — that makes us expert cavern tourists. Far beneath the surface of the Earth is an enchanting lake, seen in Luray Caverns in Virginia A vintage Mercedes-Benz in Luray's... Read more



WILMINGTON, NC. – MADE FAMOUS IN ‘LINCOLN’

April 26, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Leave a Comment 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers A continuing saga, which I call my Micro-Blogs … Unless you are one of the few who didn’t see the movie “Lincoln,” you know that the Town of Wilmington, North Carolina, was a key target for the North in cutting off supplies for the Rebel army.  Once it was taken, Southern forces had an excellent strategy to hold Ft. Fisher, but the North's gunboats had too much power for them to sustain their position. the Civil War was all but over. While Monique and I have been immersed over the past two weeks in American Revolution and Civil War history, honestly, it’s not something we soak up.  Yet, it’s hard not to appreciate the do-or-die struggles that resulted in America’s independence and at the Civil War that ended with the return into the Unionof the states that seceded. When Patrick Henry proclaimed, “Give me liberty or give me death,” he and the other patriots were truly facing execution if they lost, or at least loss of their bountiful way of life.  Same was true in the Civil War.  Southerners putting their lives on the line to defend their agrarian culture against the Northern Army, also made up of men willing to die for what they believed. I ask that you remember that every member of our Armed Services today faces that same call to duty.  They put their lives on the line to secure our freedom. The antiquity of the Wilimington Cotton Exchange Building is evident in a star at the end of... Read more



THE PLIGHT OF A MILLION BATS

April 10, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Leave a Comment 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers Another spontaneous detour on our 6-month journey across America took us to Russell Cave National Monument just over the state line from Chattanooga outside of Bridgeport, Alabama. The beginning of seven miles of Russell Cave The “why” to visit there: it’s “an archaeological site with one of the most complete records of prehistoric cultures in the Southeast. Thousands of years ago a portion of Russell Cave’s entrance collapsed, creating a shelter that, for more than 10,000 years, was home to prehistoric peoples. Today it provides clues to the daily lifeways of early North American inhabitants dating from 10,000 B.C. to 1650 A.D,” to quote the National Park service handout. The “caution” of visiting this remote park is the RV parking is very limited.  There are two spaces for RVs and buses, but I gave up maneuvering into them with our 50-foot truck and trailer length, parking instead across car spaces.  Luckily, since only two other visitors showed up while we were on site, there was plenty of room for us.  Smaller rigs, 5th wheels and motorhomes probably have less trouble than our 28-foot TT. And at this point, I’ll mention that when Ranger Antoine Fletcher was listing the numerous species of animals in the park, he said they have about everything but Bigfoot.  I corrected him immediately – our trailer is a Bigfoot.  We were also impressed to hear there are more than 700 varieties of... Read more



Wyoming DOT’s solution to highway accidents caused by migrating wildlife

December 15, 2012 by Bob Difley · Leave a Comment 

By Bob Difley “Everyday in the U.S., 190 million motor vehicles hit the road, and one million animals get hit by motor vehicles. That’s counting cars, buses, motorbikes, and trucks, but not ATVs, snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles. The figure includes mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, but not insects and bugs, who somehow never count.” wrote Mark Matthew Braunstein on the Culture Change website.  http://www.culturechange.org/issue8/roadkill.htm “For every dead animal counted, three or four more die unnoticed. Even at 55 m.p.h., we smell the remains of far more dead skunks than we see. The walking wounded die far from the road, so only instantly killed animals are seen and get counted.” For those of us who call ourselves wildlife watchers these numbers are appalling. These numbers are the result of many factors, such as more highways being built, many of these highways cutting off wildlife migration routes and breeding grounds, urban and suburban populations expanding into wildlife habitat, lack of fencing keeping wildlife off busy highways, and reduction of wildlife habitat forcing populations to seek additional space away from protected areas. Unfortunately, the protection of wildlife is often derided as the agenda of wacko liberal environmentalists. But kudoos have to go out to the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WDOT) for tackling a problem where pronghorn antelope migrate 170 miles from Grand Teton National Park south to... Read more



Travel Management Plans will change forever how you use the national forests and BLM land

June 2, 2012 by Bob Difley · 22 Comments 

By Bob Difley As many of you boondockers know by now, the National Forest Service (FS) is in the process of implementing their new Travel Management Plans (TMP) throughtout the nation’s forests. These new rules, once approved by each individual forest, will apply to everyone who uses a national forest for driving and camping, designating which roads you are allowed to drive on and where you are allowed to camp or boondock. Allowed driving roads will be limited to only those legal roads built by the FS, usually with specifications that will support cattle trucks, firefighting equipment, and logging trucks, and therefore presumably suitable for RVs as well. All illegal roads will be designated and driving will not be allowed on them–that includes off-road vehicles if you happen to be towing one. Camping and vehicle parking will only be allowed within 30 feet (or one vehicle length, depending on the forest) from the side of the road unless in a designated “dispersed camping area.” These areas and roads will be defined on Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) that will be available free online, from rangers, and at  ranger stations and regional offices. Not following the rules will result in a fine after a period of up to a year (as long as you are not a flagrant violator) for informing and explaining the new rules to the public. The FS has been putting the TMPs together for several years and has asked users and the public for their input all along in the process,... Read more



ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT ALASKA?

November 7, 2011 by Barry & Monique Zander · 55 Comments 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers Ah, Alaska is in the air … or at least in the thoughts of many RVers. Last week I received the following email from a couple in Florida: “We are new owners of a 40 ft allegro bus, never had an RV before. My husband wants to take a trip from Florida to Alaska but not through Canada. We have been there. Please give me your experiences and what time of the year is best.  I will follow this blog [more on this below*].   It is very educational and fun.  We have no friends that have RVs.” An interesting email, to which I replied:  Monique and I went up through Washington State to Oliver, B.C., over to Banff and up to Whitehorse.  There were many notable sights and experiences, but following the Canadian Rockies was the highlight.  If you haven’t purchased “Milepost, Alaska Travel Planner,” that’s where you should start your planning. Unbelievable Beauty for Hundreds of Miles Along the Canadian Rockies [I am assuming that by not going through Canada, she means that they don’t want to cross the border from Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, or from Minnesota.  “Milepost” gives several alternate routes with crossings in Montana and Washington.] I have often written about journey-versus-destination travel. Depending on your time and financial resources, my suggestion is to start as the weather warms up and work your way across America visiting places you haven’t been.  There... Read more



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