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Recent blog posts
The Healthy Traveler:  RVing with a Health Condition

People all across the nation are living with serious health problems. It could be high blood pressure, blood clots in the legs, diabetes or something else. If you see a doctor regularly for any condition, then you may be concerned about getting in the RV to make a long drive to another state. However, you don’t have to let your health condition stop you from making the most of your vacation time. Here are some tips to help you travel safely when you have a condition to keep a watchful eye on.

Talk with your Doctor

Make an appointment to see your doctor four to six weeks before you leave for vacation. You can discuss dealing with time changes and if they’ll impact your medication schedule, if you need destination-specific vaccines and whether there are health concerns in the area you’re traveling to. Make sure that our medications are current and have them filled ahead of time so that you won’t run out while you’re enjoying your RV adventure.

b2ap3_thumbnail_health.jpgSmart Snacking

The last thing a diabetic or heart patient wants to do is spend a few days living on fast food. Avoid this problem by planning on stopping for healthy meals and taking along appropriate snacks. Snacks that are high in protein and low in sugar are a better choice than chips and cookies. You should also pack plenty of water so that you can cut back on your soda intake while you’re traveling.

Medication List and Emergency Contact

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The Silver Gypsy: Mission Trip - Part 2

Tracey Norvelle’s continuing story:  

We worked two days, and then had a play day, so we had four work days and two play days altogether.  On one of our play days, the Mission rented motorcycles with Dominican drivers.  We rode behind the driver and hung on.  I was hanging off the back side taking pictures.  We visited an old church constructed with materials from Christopher Columbus’s original church in 1492.  We spent the whole morning there and at the Visitor Center.  The Mission brought our lunches into Luperon, and then we went to an abandoned resort on the ocean and went swimming for several hours in the warm water.  It was gorgeous. 

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Adventures in RVing: Backing Up!

As my wife and I RV about the country, there is one thing we constantly see other RVers struggle with. That one item is backing up the RV. Therefore, I thought I would share the following truckers tip regarding backing up.

Safety experts in the trucking industry teach the acronym of GOAL to keep things simple and safe. Many RVers have adopted this acronym as well. Following is one of many GOAL descriptions you will find online:

b2ap3_thumbnail_Goal-1.jpg"What's your goal? To get the rig SAFELY backed into the campsite with as little fuss as possible. Notice we put safety first. There's much to be said about that. Fuss is at the other end of the spectrum. Yes, if you're in a crowded campground, we know there'll be plenty of rubber-neckers who will have nothing better to do than watch you struggle to get into the site. For most, though, it gets better with practice. 

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Great Escapes: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

“Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” is not entirely accurate when it comes to the animals you’ll see at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. But wolves and cougars and elk sure are, along with moose, bison, birds, beaver, otter, and many other forest and wetland animals. This 725-acre wildlife in Eatonville, Washington doesn’t have a yellow brick road, but following its paved pathways through the woods provides an opportunity to see more than 200 animals native to the Pacific Northwest. When you’re tired of walking, take the narrated tram tour through the free roaming area where bighorn sheep, mountain goats and more graze by the side of the road. There are also several zip lines if you’re feeling adventurous, and miles of unpaved trails for hiking.

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The Full-Timing Nomad: Seven Things Every New Full-time RVer Should Know

Do you have the full-time RVing dream? Is hitching up and rolling away for good something you just dream about or are you working hard to hit the road? If you're making plans to ditch the stick house and roam like a gypsy, here are seven things I've learned in seven years on the open road. 

1. There's no perfect campsite. Have you ever watched this amusing scene unfold? You're settled into a campground when a new temporary resident pulls in. They circle the wagons at least five times while slowing down and pointing out different spots, until finally the camper stops at the original one that caught their eye. Save yourself the time and effort; the first campsite you see is probably the best one for you. Don't burn daylight looking for paradise, it's right in front of you! 

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The 19th Hole: Cutter & Buck Introduces 2015 Men’s Golf Collection

Getting a jump on next year’s fashion trends, Cutter & Buck men’s golf collection for spring 2015 will usher in high-performance pieces, top-quality fabrics, and attractive colors that collectively will take on springtime’s unpredictable weather.

“Next spring we’re inviting men to light up the links with bold brights in solids and stripes, plus woven-inspired prints with high-wattage color,” said Jake Rawson, Cutter & Buck’s Global Director of Sales- Golf.  “As always, we have a great mix of lightweight layering and weather protection pieces and, of course, all of our favorite essentials.”

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RV Travel Tales: Traveling the Beartooth Scenic Highway

One late spring day, we traveled from West Yellowstone, Montanta, across Yellowstone National Park to the northeast entrance and the Beartooth Scenic Highway. Yellowstone is awesome, but vast! We drove about 70 miles to get out of the park onto the Beartooth Highway and then, at least, another 70 miles to Red Lodge, Montana. Of course, we stopped to take pictures of wild life and mountains—and streams and trees! Traffic is crazy. If an animal is spotted, everyone stops on both sides of the highway and it’s often a circus—as it was when a Mama bear and two small cubs were foraging close to the road. Some people walked dangerously close. People do not realize that a Mamma Bear, although looking docile, could suddenly turn and charge if she feels her cubs are in danger. The cubs ran up and down trees, but we never got a clear shot at them. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_ARLINE-Driving-Beartooth-on-the-Edge.jpgHeralded as one of the most scenic drives in the United States, the Beartooth Highway, a National Scenic Byways All-American Road, climbed a series of steep switchbacks, giving us views of the snow covered Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains and open high alpine plateaus dotted with glacial lakes and forested valleys. On some slopes, the mountain rocks peeked from snow blankets like a caramel colored tapestry veined with black streaks. Beartooth Highway is one of the highest and most rugged areas in the lower 48 states, with 20 peaks reaching over 12,000 feet in elevation, including Granite Peak, Montana’s highest at 12,799 feet. The road itself has the highest elevation of any highway in Wyoming (10,947 feet) and in Montana (10,350 feet), and is the highest elevation for a highway in the Northern Rockies. I’m not sure if snow ever melts. I’ve been on the highway in late July when snow banks were higher than my head.

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The Healthy Traveler: Choosing Healthy Snacks for Long Road Trips

When you’re heading out on a long trip, you need to make some dining decisions ahead of time. Will you pack a lunch to eat on the road or stop at a restaurant? Whether you’re planning on eating out or while you’re behind the wheel, don’t forget to allow for snacks. Driving can leave you hungry, and grabbing a bag of chips or popcorn at the gas station isn’t good for your heart or your waistline. A better option is to pack some healthy snacks that you can eat while you’re driving or while you’re taking a break at a rest stop.

Trail Mix and Dried Fruit

Choose blends that don’t have any chocolate for a healthier and temperature-stable mix. The great thing about these snacks is that they’re appropriate for any weather, so you won’t have to worry about them melting in the RV while you’re getting gas or checking out the world’s largest skillet. Larger bags tend to be more cost-effective, and you can portion them out in snack-size bags for instant portion control.

Breakfast Bars

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The Silver Gypsy: Mission Trip - Part 1

The Senior Youth Group from Peakland United Methodist Church out of Lynchburg, VA, worked on all aspects of the Dominican Republic Mission Trip Project for nine months or so before leaving.  Six out of the 18 were returns from the Mission Trip in 2012, including my daughter, Tracey Norvelle, and my grandson, Will.  The funds for their flights, on-site mission food, and supplies, were furnished by fundraising, donations, and individuals, plus the church paid a portion of the cost for individuals who were part of it. 

The group was scheduled to fly United Airlines from Raleigh, NC, to Newark, NJ, on June 14, then on to Santiago, Dominican Republic.  United Airlines cancelled the first flight segment.  Frantic calls went out to all the participants the evening of June 13 to immediately meet at the church, with suitcases packed and ready to go.  In four quickly rented vehicles, they left church and drove throughout the night to Newark, NJ.  They landed in Santiago around noon on Saturday and were driven in vans to the Mission’s camp near Luperon, the Dominican Republic.
                                                                                                        

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Adventures in RVing: Boondocking With Gators

While our RV travels currently take place primarily across the western United States, I am constantly adding places to my database that allow boondocking (aka dispersed camping) for that day when my wife and I can expand our horizons.  I recently came across the following on the "RV the South" blog.
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Respect the Baby Alligators When Using One of Louisiana's New, Free, Primitive Campsites

Question: What's the name of the largest wetland in the U.S.? Answer: The Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana. If 'you'all is not from around heah," then a few intriguing terms might be new to you. Bayous, bald cypress swamps, and of course, one everyone knows, "alligator." 

Now the good folks of Louisiana's Department of Natural Resources would like folks to become more familiar with the basin. To prove it, they've opened up a project that provides free primitive camping sites on state-owned property along the Atchafalaya Basin. 

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