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Adventures in RVing:  Bad Boondocking Manners

Some friends recently joined my wife and I for what we thought would be a quiet weekend of boondocking along a reservoir in the Washington Cascades. Work schedules allowed us to arrive on a Thursday evening virtually assuring us "first dibs" on the best camp spots. Upon arriving we pretty much had the place to ourselves and we selected a place overlooking the lake with the closest RV (unoccupied) about 100 yards away. Friday found us on a long bike ride away from camp. Upon returning we discovered we had neighbors less than a desirable distance away from us. However, it soon became apparent that the situation would continue to deteriorate when we discovered our neighbors were part of a club as more of their members began to arrive Friday night and fill in between us and the already too close neighbors.

While there are few official boondocking (aka dispersed camping) rules issued by federal land managers, there is understood boondocking etiquette by those that boonddock on a regular basis.  A recent blog entry by Wheelingit pretty well sums the 7 do's and don'ts of boondocking etiquette which are as follows:

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Great Escapes: Silver Queen of the Rockies

For the last two centuries, gold rushes have been common in many western states, but silver has also put many towns on the map. Georgetown, Colorado is one example of a silver rush mining camp that became a vibrant town thanks to the first silver discovery in 1864. Unlike other mining towns of the day, Georgetown wasn’t destroyed by fire, so many nicely restored historic buildings still stand, along with Victorian homes, churches, and several museums. Designated the Georgetown/Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District (Silver Plume is small nearby town), it’s definitely worth a stop. In addition to admiring the original architecture while strolling through the Silver Queen of the Rockies, you can also choose to ride the steam-powered Georgetown Loop Railroad, do a little fishing in Georgetown Lake, and watch for big horn sheep in the hills above town.  

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The Full-Timing Nomad: The Biggest Downside of Full-Time RVing is Internet Connectivity

To adventurous souls, the full-time RVing lifestyle appears to have it all. Travel to anywhere you want, with no schedule, no rules, nobody to answer to but yourself. On the surface this way of life seems worry-free and carefree but if you follow this blog or my other one at LiveWorkDream you know that full-time RVing has its trade-offs. 

For example, as a full-time RVer you might miss many of the hobbies and activities that made you happy when you lived in a sticks-and-bricks house. I miss being able to maintain a garden, or having enough space to showcase flea market finds. But once I remind myself about the costs and hassles associated with having a big house and yard, I come back down to earth and remember why I love full-timing. 

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The 19th Hole: Featured Golf-RV Resort: Riverside Golf Club in Western Washington

Less than two miles from the non-stop drone of Interstate 5 near Chehalis, Wash., you’ll find the peaceful and serene Riverside Golf Club that also features a cozy RV park. With several holes running adjacent to the Chehalis River, the par 72 Riverside Golf Club stretches to 6,155 yards from the tips, and is open year round.

This beautiful 80-year old course has lots of history and lots of character. “I really liked the 19th hole placement overlooking the 9th green,” said Rick Krebser, a visitor from nearby Olympia, referring to the popular Rooftop Bar. “There’s nothing like a cold beverage and some heckling to finish off a round.” Krebser also liked the 175-yard, par 3, 11th, which featured a challenging and sloping green. “My favorite though, is the finishing hole, a short 332-yard, par 4, which I parred the last time I played. Also, the greens throughout the entire course were fast.”

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RV Travel Tales: Revisiting Jackson, Wyoming

Thirty summers ago, I traveled to Jackson, Wyoming—known to us only as Jackson Hole. We had planned to enter West Yellowstone’s south gate when we received a phone call that my father-in-law had suddenly died. Plans immediately changed; our travel partners packed their RVs to head back to Arkansas while my late husband and I booked a flight home from the Jackson Hole Airport. We left behind our fifth-wheel with a warning from the person who rented us storage space that if we did not return for it by September 15, the trailer would be snowbound for the winter. We went back in late August and drove our unit home. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_ARLINE-Downtown-Jackson-WY-800x533.jpgA lot of changes have occurred over the past 30 years, not only in my family, but with the four couples who traveled with us that summer in 1984. Four out of the ten who made the trip to Wyoming are still living, and I am the only one who continues the RVing lifestyle. On a day trip from West Yellowstone with Lee, I once again visited Jackson, driving through Idaho farmland and across Teton Pass at an elevation of 8,432 feet at its summit. Following Wyoming Highway 22, we dropped to 5,672 feet into Jackson. I saw changes in the northwestern Wyoming town. According to the latest census, population today is 8,647. And on that particular Monday in late July, Jackson bustled with tourists and traffic.

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The Healthy Traveler:  Tips for a Great RV Stay on the Beach

When most people think of a vacation at the beach, they think of sipping a margarita or watching their children make sand castles on a gorgeous strip of coastline. The problem is most beach front property these days has been snapped up by developers, and whiling the day away on a chair reading the latest Grisham novel is more expensive than it's ever been. Thankfully, RVers can still do the beach vacation on the cheap, but you’ll need to be on the lookout for good beachside RV parks and dependable free beaches. RV camping is perhaps the best way we have left as Americans to experience the thrill of a beach vacation without paying for the posh, packaged "resort" experience.

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The Silver Gypsy: The Wider World

It is always interesting to visit other churches.  I went with my kids to the Peakland United Methodist Church my first Sunday in Virginia.  The second Sunday I went with my son-in-law’s parents to the Chestnut Hill United Methodist Church.  They were the same denomination but completely different in delivery.  Tracey’s church presented the 20+ kids that had just attended their Summer Bible School.  

b2ap3_thumbnail_SUMMER-2014-VA-012.jpgWe were given stories and examples of their work but the most fun was when all the kids were up in front singing and dancing to the songs they had learned.  You could almost tell who had missed a few sessions or maybe just weren’t paying attention.  They were the ones that were at least a step and a half behind the rest when it came to swirling around in a circle or clapping their hands to the rhythm.  They were adorable and oh so lost…dancing that is.  I’m sure with that enthusiasm, grace, and sincerity, they were on a path straight to heaven’s doors.   All the congregational songs were also straight from long ago Summer Bible School, Jesus Loves me and Jesus Loves the Little Children.     

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Adventures in RVing: When There Are No Trees!

It has been a long hot summer here in the Pacific Northwest. Sitting in an air conditioned RV is not my idea of camping, so when I received an offer to climb Mt. Rainier, I jumped at the chance to go "camping" where it wouldn't be so hot! Our guide thought we should camp on Ingraham Glacier, also known as High Camp. High Camp is further up the mountain than Camp Muir where the majority of climbers camp then wake early to attempt the 14,410 ft. summit. Being at the higher location meant we had less elevation to gain, less distance to travel to the summit, could "sleep in" until midnight and it would be quieter as there would be fewer fellow campers than at Muir. It all made sense to me, so I was in full agreement. 


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Great Escapes: International Rose Test Gardens in Portland, Oregon

It’s easy to see why Portland, Oregon is nicknamed the “City of Roses” — all it takes is one visit to its famous International Rose Test Gardens.  Located in Washington Park, you’ll also find a zoo, forestry museum, Japanese garden, and miles of forested hiking trails in this beautiful area in Portland's West Hills. The Gardens feature more than 10,000 plantings in 500 fragrant varieties, and is the oldest public garden of its kind in the United States (established in 1917). Whether you’re a green thumb or a wannabe, a stroll here is especially nice during peak bloom season— usually April through October, depending on Mother Nature. And if you like to shop, visit the Rose Garden Store, a non-profit museum store, for a wide variety of rose and garden themed items.

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The Full-Timing Nomad: Don't Do This To Your RV

Everyone wants to feel at home in their RV. Through the years we've watched many of our full-timing friends make a variety of interesting, beautiful and useful modifications to their rigs such as: 

● Ripping out old carpet and replacing it with laminate flooring
● Building computer work stations
● Repainting cabinets and walls
● Recovering window treatments
● Installing low VOC eco-friendly countertops
● Adding bunk beds for the kids
● Building aquarium shelving 

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