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ANSWERING QUESTIONS & COMMENTS FROM YOU

January 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 AdminBy 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,... Read more



SOME THOUGHTS ON CARAVANS … AND A CORRECTION AND SUGGESTION

June 13, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Leave a Comment 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers I’ll devote this edition of the blog to a question from a reader and my response to her.  As you know if you’ve been following this series, we are a little over a week away from hooking up with a caravan for a 48-day trip into the Maritime Provinces on the east coast of Canada. Following is the question and my answer: From Lois Thurston, I was sitting here thinking if I want to do an Alaska cruise when I saw your post that you took a caravan tour to Alaska and I thought thats how I want to see Alaska, so thank you!  I have been doing a little research but do you have any advice on picking the right company to use? Thanks for your blogs I really enjoy them and also learn from them. Barry’s Response In answer to your question about choosing a caravan company, I have two quick suggestions — 1) pick a company that has lots of caravans to different places, and 2) ask the company about the wagonmaster’s style. 1)  I don’t know of any caravan companies that have gone out of business, but I think a well-established company is probably safer.  Among other things, the campground owners and others they deal with are more likely to court their business and try hard to keep them happy.  Ask for catalogs from each of the companies, which can be found by an internet search. 2) We had no desire to sign up with a caravan company until I happened to meet a wagonmaster for one of the big companies and set... Read more



FROM MOUNTAIN HIGH TO SEA LEVEL

June 11, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Leave a Comment 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers We summited Mt. Washington, an important mountain near Gorham, New Hampshire.  In addition to being the highest peak east of the Rockies and the very first tourist attraction in America, Mt. Washington is also known for having recorded the highest wind speed of any place in the world – 231 mph, which blew by in April 1934. As regular readers of our articles know, we don’t try to tell you all the statistics and details about everything we see, preferring to whet your appetite to see for yourselves.  But there are a few things about our Mt. Washington visit that you might find interesting. First, at the start (mountaineers might call it “base camp”), they warn you that it’s not for the faint of heart.  The 8-mile narrow road with no rails overlooks gorges, and cars heading downhill are required to stop to allow the upward bound to pass by without losing momentum. There are four traditional alternative ways to reach the top.  1) climb on foot four or five hours along one of the steep trails; 2) take the stage coach van to the top; 3) hop aboard the cog railway; or 4) drive your own vehicle (no RVs allowed for obvious reasons) at your own pace.  Those who pay the toll to drive, as we did, get an enjoyable CD that guides them along, plus gives history and tales of the mountain for the motorists’ listening pleasure.  In addition to factual and safety information, the narrator speaks about those who have... Read more



HOT, HOT, HOT IN NEW ENGLAND

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers With almost 500 campsites at Salisbury State Beach Reservation (“a state paaak,” as they say around here), we pictured Sunday morning at the dump station as being a line of rigs as long as Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  Our first strategy for avoiding the check-out-dumping-rush-hour was to wait until most campers departed by 11 a.m., but when we didn’t see any packing-up activity by neighbors at 7:30, we decided to make a run for it early.  We were first in line at the dump and out of there 20 minutes later.  Most campers were locals wanting to stretch out their weekend as long as possible. There’s not much to report since the Cape Cod blog a few days ago, but since we’re moving inland into Vermont and New Hampshire, where we won’t have hookups, and since we’ve received some helpful comments from readers, I’ll send this out anyway. Mussels await the return of high tide along the Merrimack River shoreline. Friday, with our trailer parked at Salisbury, we drove a very few miles to tour the New Hampshire coast.  Like most of the shoreline New England villages, the settings for homes are wonderful.  Rhododendrons and wild roses are blooming, so it’s a colorful experience. Two places we found interesting:  Portsmouth Harbor and Hampton Beach.  I’ll let two photos tell those stories. With temperatures in the mid-90s last Friday, swarms of area residents went to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire,... Read more



LIVING HISTORY IN NEW ENGLAND

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers “History”: Remember Fifth Grade when you learned the words “Plymouth Rock”?  And there were all those other names, like Lord Baltimore, Benjamin Franklin, Jefferson Davis, Roger Williams, William Penn, Benedict Arnold, etc., etc.  Since arriving in the colonial states of the East, we often find these names as part of the landscape on the narrow roads we A Motorhome nests among the Provincetown area dunes travel. If it's New England, there's gotta be a lighthouse photo Plus others, like “Moby Dick” author Herman Melville, The Kennedys’ hide-away Hyannis Port, Explorers John Cabot and Henry Hudson, Captain John Paul Jones, and seaman Nathan Hale, Chappaquiddick, portrait painter Gilbert Stuart, radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi … around every curve is another name that I had heard but with which I had not become personally acquainted.   There are many more and, I’m sure, many more to come in the weeks ahead. The bell rang – move to “Geography” class.  In doing a bit of research on the computer (working off battery in our dry-camping situation) I discovered that there are only four Maritime Provinces.  It changed in 2001 when Newfoundland and Labrador officially merged.  The other three, Prince Edwards Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have stood their ground, so to speak. Moving along to “Science.” I mentioned that I did online research.  Here’s fact that amazes us: ... Read more



YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT RECENT BLOGS

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers Readers have responded to my recent blogs with information that I think you’ll find interesting. John Kyler asked, “What reference material did you use to locate your campgrounds?  It sounds like a little nerve-wracking, but enjoyable trip.” BARRY’S RESPONSE: The way I select campgrounds is by turning where Monique says to turn.  After we agree where we want to be and what we want to see, such as Washington, D.C., as the planner and navigator, she puts her heart and soul into routing us, She takes her time pouring over maps, travel guides and articles torn from RV magazines, researched further on the Internet.  Once she has the route carved in stone and we actually hitch up, we use her routing as a basis, but go wherever our wanderlust directs us. Freedom is Wonderful, which brings us to an important message:  This is the Memorial Day Weekend, a time when we honor our nation’s servicemen and women who have given their all to keep America free, whose service to our country has preserved our access to a free press; preserved our right to worship in the way we want or not to worship at all; to be entitled to fairness before the law; to learn and discover; to travel where we want in the RV best suited for our lifestyle.  Like I said, Freedom is Wonderful.  To those who have died over the centuries for our liberty, we give our deepest thanks. Now, to resume our travel planning.  We try not to make reservations,... Read more



A FIVE-PART BLOG

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers YORK AND THE HOGS — As today’s title suggests, there are five parts to today’s blog, beginning with our discovering an interesting area to visit when you’re traveling in the Northeast.  The place is York County, Pennsylvania, between Harrisburg and Baltimore.  It proudly calls itself Another "Hog" owner arrives at the factory. No photos are allowed in the production plant. “The Factory Tour Capital of the World.” Before going further about all that’s available in that area, I’ll start out by saying that the only tour we took was the Harley-Davidson motorcycle factory.   Realize that technology is not high in Monique’s sphere of interests and I’ve never longed to straddle a “Hog,” but whattaplace! The robots that paint and form parts are magnificent.  The workforce’s devotion to producing a precision product is inspirational.  Everything on every motorcycle that goes through the stations is checked and rechecked all along the assembly lines. Most of the process is done by men and women because almost every bike is different. Large and small, various colors and models, some with ultimate accessories, others lean and mean – robots can’t be programmed to cope with the variety.  [And unlike Ozzie Nelson when the Nelsons went through the U.S. Mint in the 1960s, I didn’t ask for a free sample.] When we were staying near York, we carefully chose which factories to tour... 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



MS Streets and Trips to Plan Your Travels

April 26, 2013 by Chris Guld · Leave a Comment 

Long before we took to the road in our RV, we had a computer training center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida called Computer Savvy.  We were a Microsoft Authorized Training Center and one of the classes was Mappoint.  Mappoint was a very expensive mapping, routing, and demographics database program.  As an authorized training center we had our own copies of all the software, including Mappoint.  So, after we sold the training center and became RVers – we figured we’d give Mappoint a try for planning and navigating our travels.  Mappoint’s inexpensive little brother is called Streets and Trips.  We installed it on our laptop, bought the USB GPS receiver for it and found a place to mount the laptop in the cab of our 30 foot Class C motorhome.  That was our sole mapping and navigation program for our first few years on the road – 2003-6. Here’s the very first video we made about MS Streets and Trips. Then came the Garmin dashboard GPS, the Rand McNally, and Google Maps on our Android smartphones.  Streets and Trips had to take a backseat while we played with all these new toys.  But, we still used Streets and Trips when we had time to sit at our computers and dream about our future plans.  There’s a lot of good things to be said about all of those while you’re driving and want voice-directed turn by turn directions, but nothing beats Streets and Trips for the planning part.  Now, with our new MS Surface Tablet that... Read more



REFLECTIONS FROM THE ROAD

April 4, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Leave a Comment 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers We’ve been traveling cross-country for two weeks now on our way to the Canadian Maritimes from California.  I’ll let you know more about the travels in Part 3 of this article. PART 1 – FREE OVERNIGHT PARKING – From my “I wish I could find the picture I took Department,” I send along this: In Mark Polk’s March edition of RV Consumer Magazine — http://issuu.com/rveducation101/docs/rv_consumer_magazine_march_2013/1?utm_source=RV+Consumer+emag+this+Month+March+2013+++&utm_campaign=RV+Consumer+magazine+RV+101&utm_medium=email — he has a brief item about Walmart parking, which probably applies to all one-night on-the-road no-charge parking places.   He mentions how putting down the jacks on hot asphalt to level the rig can damage the parking lot surface. We have seen several instances of what we feel is parking-lot abuse during our travels, but none so memorable as the Scamp mini-trailer on the edge of a parking lot with awning out, rug down, barbecue going and chairs and tables all arranged.  It looked like the owners had set up camp for the week. We try not to be judgmental, but put yourself in the role of store manager.  You can understand why he or she would think about putting the lot off-limits for overnight RV parking.  Most managers of businesses work hard to preserve an image of a clean property.  We hope you consider yourself their guests. PART 2 – TRUCKIN’ AND RVers Anyone... Read more



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