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Sequoyah’s Cabin

June 8, 2009 by Nick Russell · 438 Comments 

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sequoyahs-cabin-2

On a back road in eastern Oklahoma a small state park preserves the cabin of one of the most influential Native Americans of all time.

Little accurate information is available concerning the life of Sequoyah, sometimes known as George Gist or Guess. He was born in the 1760s or 1770s, probably in Tennessee, and was the son of a Cherokee woman and a white or half-breed trader. Sequoyah was raised by his mother in the traditional Cherokee tribal manner and became a silversmith or blacksmith. He never learned to speak or read English, but around 1809 he became interested in writing and printing, which he recognized as a powerful civilizing force.

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Swine Flu Originates in California?

May 2, 2009 by Brian Brawdy · 9 Comments 

THIS JUST IN. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, there is a growing body of evidence of a possible start of the Swine Flu in California, not Mexico.

To that end, I am calling on Congress to order the immediate closing of the border with California. Additionally I demand that the states of Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon mobilize their respective National Guard Units to secure not only their borders with the Ground  Zero Swine Flu state but the stockpiles of TamiFlu as well while their respective health departments of each state should use all means necessary to distribute face masks to its 12,890,407 citizens.

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A California RV Park Between the Highest Peak and Lowest Valley

April 30, 2009 by rv.net · 3 Comments 

Trailer Life Cream of the Crop Campsites: Boulder Creek RV Resort—Lone Pine, California

Nestled between Sequoia National Park and Death Valley is the town of Lone Pine. You may recognize the area from any number of movie and TV show westerns filmed in the nearby Alabama Hills over the years.

alabama-hills-cattle-pocketBoulder Creek RV Resort is a pet-friendly Good Sam Park located off Highway 395. There are 82 RV campsites, each with full hookups (30/50 amp), cable TV, a picnic table and BBQ ring. Maximum vehicle length for pull-thrus and back-ins is 50 ft. The park has good interior roads, some paved and some dirt, with dirt sites.

Free WiFi Internet and clean, modern bathroom facilities (with showers) are provided for your comfort and convenience. The clubhouse has a big screen TV, fireplace, full kitchen, tables and chairs for your group gatherings. Enjoy a free continental breakfast each morning while you read the daily papers. LP gas, firewood and laundry facilities are also available.

Cool off in the outdoor pool or unwind in the spa. The resort also features horseshoes, a playground and recreation field for a bit of outdoor fun. The onsite convenience store sells groceries, beverages and basic RV/camp supplies. For a full list of amenities, see the Trailer Life Campground Review.

welcome-officeRates: The nightly rate for two people is $33, and each additional person over age 5 is an extra $5 per night. Weekly and monthly rates are also available. AAA and Good Sam members receive a 10 percent discount!

Area Attractions: The campground sits near the base of Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the Lower 48, so you won’t have to travel far for great hiking trails and sweeping mountainside vistas. Several trails on the mountain accommodate hikers of varying experience and skill levels. Due to the popularity of the climb, the park service has several regulations in place to preserve the natural quality of the trail area. Learn more about hiking Mt. Whitney.

Bring your rod and cast a line in Lake Diaz, just a mile and a half from the campground. The lake has a boat launch ramp so you can get out on the water to fish, water ski or just cruise around. There are several creeks in which to fish as well. Read more about fishing spots in Lone Pine.

How about a round of golf? The Mt. Whitney Golf Course has 9 holes tucked away at the foot of the Sierras. Greens fees range from $15-$22 depending on number of holes and day of the week. Senior and junior discounts are available.

rv-site-slideoutI hope you brought the toys along to kick up dust along the dirt roads! Quads, dune buggies and bikes are all welcome to play so long as you stay on established, open roads. Cross-country rides are forbidden to protect the fragile desert ecosystem from crushing vehicle tires. Maps of forest service roads are available at the Mt. Whitney Ranger Station.

If nature watching is more your style, Lone Pine and the Eastern Sierra have plenty of migratory and permanent feathered residents. Find out more about birding the Eastern Sierra and view a map of birding trails to help plan your adventure. Don’t forget the binoculars!

Climate: The elevation in town is about 3700 ft., so pace yourself until you get accustomed to the altitude. You may as well stay a few days to relax and enjoy all the sights! This leeward side of the Sierra Nevada Range receives very little rain, so expect dry summer conditions with temperatures in the upper 80s F (remember to drink plenty of fluids). However, because this is a mountain region moderate wind with rain showers aren’t altogether uncommon.

If you’ve visited the area before, be sure to rate your stay at Boulder Creek RV Resort on the Trailer Life Directory website, or leave a comment below to spread the word about your experience at this quality RV resort!

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2009 Pomona RV & Travel Show – June 19-21st

April 21, 2009 by rv.net · 2 Comments 

If you’ll be in the southern California area in June 2009, make plans now to attend the 2009 Pomona RV & Travel Show! This year the RV show joins Summer Fest ‘09 at the Pomona Fairplex June 19-21st. One price admits you to the Boat, RV, Travel, Home, Outdoor, and Computer Spectacular.

Highlights of the show include:

  • “Screaming Deals” – show only special pricing.
  • Ultimate Camp Cooking with comedians Pat Mac and Mike Faverman!
  • Shop for an RV in air conditioned buildings or outdoors under the trees!
  • Other events at the Fairplex during the weekend will include the 45th Annual LA Roadster Show and Wine and Cars Under the Stars events. (Separate admission is required for these two events.)
  • On-site financing.

Visitors can also register at the show to win one of three remaining Keystone RVs in the Live Your Dreams Sweepstakes. Other prizes include The Rally 2010 dry camping registration, a one-year Good Sam Emergency Road Service membership, a one–year RV Handyman Club membership, a Woodall’s Campground Directory, and a one-year Good Sam Club membership.

For more information visit AGI Events.

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Birds of a Feather . . .

April 4, 2009 by Bob Difley · 4 Comments 

By Bob Difley


peregrine_falconAn instinctive and as yet not completely scientifically explained phenomenon occurs in fall and spring that is among the most extraordinary events in the natural world. If the migration of RVing snowbirds between the colder climates of the Pacific Northwest and Canada to the deserts of southern California, Arizona, and Texas come to mind you are only partially correct.

We snowbirds acquired that moniker by copying the real thing, the vast migration of birds of the avian class, rather than the homosapien. The decision to move from cold climates to warmer ones when the temperature drops and winter storms threaten, and to cooler climates when the sun can cook your fried eggs on the hood of your truck is logical, comfortable, and healthful. Yet, ornithologists agree that birds don’t just wake up some morning and over coffee and travel brochures make logical decisions about where it would be most comfortable to spend the winter.

That is the part that science has yet to fully explain. What triggers certain bird species to fly south in fall? Why do some go to one location and others to another? What internal mechanism enables them to follow an established flyway, a route that they track year after year? There are no road signs or large arrows painted on the ground pointing the way. Are there designated bird leaders, wise old birds or old crones who have made the trip many times previously and lead the others in the great exodus?

Adding to this list of questions, Tom Wood and Sherry Williamson, founders of the Southern Arizona Bird Observatory, have been studying the habits of hummingbirds in southeastern Arizona for many years, including a stint as managers of the Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve, the world renowned hummingbird habitat.

Their studies involve capturing hummingbirds in a clever net arrangement of Tom’s design. They are placed in a small bag and weighed, examined for body fat and general health, and banded. (Can you imagine fixing a tiny metal band –numbered, of course—on the leg of a bird that usually measures less than four inches in length and is weighed in grams.) Sherry then holds the bird up to a feeder where is gulps a drink, rests for a few seconds in Sherry’s open palm, and flies off. Remarkably the same birds have been recaptured year after year.

We’ve all heard about the swallows returning to Capistrano with such consistency that their arrival date can be predicted with uncanny accuracy. Each year 10,000 sandhill cranes from Alaska and Canada, flock in to the Willcox Playa in Arizona to spend the winter. It is an awesome sight to see the sky filled, nearly blocking out the sun, with the cacophonous croaking of thousands of these nearly four-foot tall gray wading birds as they lift off the dry lake in the early morning to fly to their feeding grounds in nearby fields and return in massive squadrons at sunset.

How and why do all these birds make this great migratory decision and find their way as if guided by radar? I don’t know. But with this information we can predict with a great level of accuracy what species of birds we will find in any given area at specific times of the year, which is a big help for us birdwatchers.

If you are planning to attend The Rally in Albuquerque this month try to attend my Beaks and Feathers seminar to learn more about birdwatching for RVers.

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Overnight Parking in Rest Areas – California

April 23, 2008 by Jim O'Briant · Leave a Comment 

Some RVers like to park overnight in rest areas, and others don’t.

Those who do generally cite convenience. Rest areas are right along the highway, it’s easy to enter and exit, and there are usually rest rooms and often other amenities.  Those who don’t will mention a number of reasons, ranging from noise and fumes from idling trucks, to traffic noise from the nearby highway, to concerns for personal safety.

Each state has its own laws, rules and/or regulations regarding what is or isn’t allowed at their rest areas. Today we’ll look at California.

Caltrans (California’s Department of Transportation) has a website with lots of good information about rest areas in the state, beginning with this page, which lists all of them:

www.dot.ca.gov/hq/maint/ra/Statewide.htm

The list shows all 86 California Rest Areas, their location including GPS Coordinates, and the amenities to be found at each rest area. It also indicates rest areas that are currently closed, along with their estimated date of re-opening, and this feature is updated regularly. When rest areas are in pairs (both directions on a divided highway or interstate), Caltrans’ GPS coordinates are usually in the center median between the two. Most of the other GPS coordinates on this page are accurate, but I’ve found it necessary to refine some for the www.overnightrvparking.com/ database.

You’ll find a link to a page with California’s rest area rules and regulations. Here are some — but not all — of the rules that pertain specifically to Overnight RV Parking:

You may:

  • Park in any designated parking place
  • Stay up to 8 hours in any 24 hour period.
  • Dump sanitary wastes from RV holding tanks and portable devices at designated dump stations.
  • Use small stoves and heaters (except on wood tables) if you do it safely.

You may not:

  • Block vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
  • Camp or pitch a tent.
  • Park, to do something away from the rest area such as hike, camp or hunt.
  • Use The Department of Transportation’s water, electricity or gas for unauthorized use.

This page also has links to three interactive maps, Northern, Central and Southern California, on which you can click on any rest area location to reach a page devoted to that rest area.

Future blogs will discuss OvernightRVParking in rest areas in other states, in no particular order.

Jim O’Briant
www.OvernightRVParking.com

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