I may be showing my age a little bit, but there are some days where all I’d like to do in my RV is have a nice…brisk…sit. And I’m telling you, we have an awesome recliner that suits the bill just beautifully. The Eurochair from Lippert is a great little recliner that doesn’t take up much room in the RV. All it needs, space-wise, is 7″ at the top, and 12″ clearance at the bottom to be opened fully. They’re covered in Alternate Latte upholstery and packed with high density foam, which is dang comfy.
So let’s picture it in our minds OK? It’s one of those sweltering hot July days in TX and we’re at our favorite State Park for the weekend. Luckily we’ve found a spot in the shade and it’s not too crowded. This morning we woke up early and went for a hike down to the water. The park offered a beginner archery class at 11, and then we followed that up with a good lunch. Now what is better than taking a little siesta in our new Eurochair Recliner? Have a little nap through the heat of the day so we’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed when it’s time for thjat sundowner and some star gazing this evening.
I’m telling you these things are comfy. Is there much better than kicking up your feet at the end of a busy day, maybe with a frosty beverage of your choice in one hand and maybe a fan blowing on you? So check one of these recliners out and have that comfort you deserve. Not only that but you can do the Archie Bunker thing when your grandkids try to sit in your chair! “Get outta my chair kid!” you can mock growl, winking at them as the get up. The benefits of age people. Click right HERE for more information.
Well y’all we’re headed into that part of summer where we here on the Gulf Coast start paying closer attention to the weather. Hurricane Season is here with it’s powerful storms and side effects as well. Anyone who has lived in the Gulf Coast region of America for any length of time can regale you with tales of Hurricanes past. Hurricanes like Ike, Rita, Katrina, Alicia, Andrew, Mitch, or even those classic baddies from the 60’s like Carla, Camille, or Beulah. All of them wreaked havoc due to their incredible wind speeds, torrential downpours, or the storm surges they created. So with that said, if you’re down here enjoying the coast this summer or if your RV is in a semi-permanent berth within shouting distance of the beach…are you prepared?
We’re offering a new quiet running Yamaha generator for a couple hundred dollars less than their list price that would be a perfect back up electrical supply this hurricane season. Plus it is truly lightweight and portable, only weighing in at twenty seven or so pounds. It supplies electricity at 12V and is perfect for use with your RV’s AC/DC converter. It holds a smidge over a gallon of fuel and that gallon will provide a 12 hour run time between refueling. Yamaha has innovated up some Noise Block technology that will allow this generator to run for those 12 hours and not drive you out of your mind or make you feel like you’re listening to a lawn mower all darn day! Another great feature of this little guy is the fact that the folks at Yamaha have thought in the long term and installed a shut off valve between the fuel tank and the carburetor so when the generator is being stored for extended periods, the carburetor won’t have old fuel sitting in it clogging everything up. If you’re interested in learning more, just click HERE!
Lindsey G/Flickr Creative Commons
North Dakota has one of the lowest population densities in the continental United States. According to Wikipedia (which is never ever wrong) North Dakota sits at #47 out of the 50 states with just Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska having a lower number of folks per square mile. Being sort of out-of-the-way contributes I reckon because North Dakota is right up there slightly to the left of middle on the Canadian border. I-94 runs east/west from Fargo on the east side towards Miles City Montana on the west side…and I-29 runs north/south through Fargo paralleling the eastern border up towards Winnepeg in Canada.
BUT, isolation aside, there is plenty to see and do in North Dakota. Teddy Roosevelt National Park is a glorious natural wonderland where the bison still roam. The park is separated into two entities, north and south, and as a matter of fact, Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch is located right between them. The southern park is the busier of the two, so if getting away is your thing head to the northern unit.
Over in Williston, ND you will find the Fort Union Trading Post which is a National HIstoric Site. Fort Union is a reconstructed outpost on the North Dakota/Montana border right on the Missouri River. I believe it was one of the first ever registered National Historic Landmarks because of it’s role in the fur trade from the early years of America’s westward expansion in the late 1820’s all the way to the end of the 1860’s. Today it hosts historical reenactments, Archaeological exploration, and is a wealth of information about the trade between settlers and Indians tribes.
If you’re traveling with kids and dinos are their thing, then stop in at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismark. There are plenty of dinosaur fossils put together in full displays to make the dino lover in your kids or grandkids mighty happy! And remember before you hit that trail for that far off land, hit us up at the website for all your parts and accessories!
Will Keightley/Flickr Creative Commons
I remember a summer visit to Phoenix one year. When the friend I was visiting asked me wanted I wanted to do most I said, “Find 73 degrees!” And you know what? We did! We took a day trip up to Flagstaff, AZ and rode the ski lift up to the top of Humphreys Peak at the Arizona Snow Bowl and it was awesomely amazing. The view, the peaceful quiet trip up the mountain at treetop height. It was so serene and beautiful. And no 120 degrees like the ol’ Valley of The Sun there down in Maricopa County!! So here’s my suggestion for all you Texans sweltering in the heat this summer, when making your travel plans, why not include a stop where there’s a ski lift? New Mexico is a day away and has more than a couple you can ride during the summertime!
The closest to us here in Texas (I think) is Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, NM. Albuquerque of course is that famous place Bugs Bunny should have turned left and is located on I-40 in north/central NM. The ski lifts at Sandia Peak can be reached either by taking the tram, which is an awesome very steep cable car ride with stations at the ski resort above and the tram station below, or you can drive up to the ski area. The tram ride is a beautiful scenic trip, and about $25 for an incredibly unique view, but if you prefer your own wheels or have a thing about heights, then the drive is just as scenic…but at a different angle. Round trip lift tickets to the top and back are only $12 and it’s a great feeling.
Also available in New Mexico are the chair lifts at the ski areas around the Taos area, ie Red River, Angel Fire, Taos Ski Valley, etc. These are located north of Santa Fe and are located in and around Highway 64. Remember to pack a jacket!!
www.pplmotorhomes.com for all you parts and accessories
Ketzirah Lesser & Art Drauglis/Flickr Creative Commons
As a Texan, there are just some states you don’t hear about much down here. Vermont is one of those. Nothing against you Vermonters, but we could fit your entire state onto I-35 between Austin and Dallas, and you guys are a looong way away. BUT, it is summertime and folks head north to chase that cooler weather, so I thought today we could talk about heading up to Vermont, and some of the things you can see and do there.
Prior to doing some research on this article, the only thing I really knew about Vermont was that Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is from up thataway. Here are a few more completely AWESOME things I found out about Vermont:
- 80% of the state is covered in forest
- there are no billboards on the highways, and that is state law
- it looks and feels like a Norman Rockwell painting
If that isn’t enough to make you want to head up north, their average high during July is only 81! Lakes, streams, hiking, biking, hills, mountains, and all of it at a reasonable temperature…sign me up.
If you’re an interstate highway user, you can traverse the entire state on the east side on Interstate 91, or east to west on Interstate 89. The Green Mountains run through the middle of the state on a north/south line. However, most roads are the smaller state highways which are not traffic heavy and occasionally blocked by cattle moving from pasture to pasture. Life seem to moves slower there, the way it used to down here before hustle and bustle became our reality.
If skiing is your thing, head to Stowe. This tiny little town seems to be the epicenter of the skiing world in Vermont, so in summertime you can ride the ski lifts up to the top for incredible views, and alpine style hiking. If you like nature, and green things, and fall-like temps…head to Vermont!
goblinbox_(queen_of_ad_hoc_bento)/Flickr Creative Commons
This is Texas y’all. We like gravy on everything. I don’t think I could even point to a moment in my life when I didn’t know what gravy was…maybe before I had teeth. Anyhow, seeing as how we are in Texas, we don’t just do the plain old brown gravy that is smothering meals all over America. No sir. We also do Chili Gravy. The spicy mix of the standard Anglo-fied brown gravy and pure Tex Mex chili sauce. So if you make your own enchiladas for example, wouldn’t it be nice to drown it in some home made Chili Gravy? Let’s get started.
Since this is an old-school recipe, we’re going to use lard today. If you don’t feel particularly old-school you can of course replace the lard with vegetable oil…but it’s not going to taste as good. Tee Hee.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
- quarter cup of lard (or your new-fangled vegetable oil)
- quarter cup of flour
- two cups of chicken broth
- two teaspoons of chili powder
- half teaspoon of black pepper
- teaspoon of salt
- one and a half teaspoon of powdered garlic
- two teaspoons of cumin
- half teaspoon of dried oregano
What you do is heat the lard in a skillet on medium heat, and add in the flour. Stir it for a few minutes and stop when it’s made a roux, which should be a light brown. Blend in all the dry ingredients while continuing to stir for a minute or so, then add in the chicken broth, stirring the whole time. Then you turn the heat down low, and let simmer for fifteen minutes. If you want to adjust the thickness afterwards, use water…sparingly…until you get the desired thickness.
This gravy will add that perfect bit of zing and Texas-ness to any dish you care to use it on! And don’t forget to swing by our website and let us help you with any parts or accessories you require to get on down the trail!
mobilius et mobili/Flickr Creative Commons
Fort Sumner is located in eastern New Mexico at the junction of Hwy 60 and 84. You can reach it easily by coming north out of Roswell, west from Clovis, or turning south in Santa Rosa off of I-40. The original fort was built in the 1860’s to help contain Navajo and Apache Indians but after the end of the Civil War the fort and it’s buildings were sold to private citizens and the town began springing up.
If you’re a fan of the Old West, then Fort Sumner is definitely a place you’ll want to visit. Once of the first true cattle drive trails (The Loving-Goodnight Trail) ended at Ft Sumner when the cattlemen drove beef there to feed the Navajos who’d been moved there by Kit Carson, thus being right at the beginning of the cowboy era of the American West.
Needless to say though, Fort Sumner’s main claim to fame is as the sight of the death of Billy The Kid. Pat Garret surprised Billy The Kid at night while Billy was cutting a piece of meat for a snack. Billy famously asked, “Quien es?” (Who is it?) before being gunned down by Garret. Naturally, the legend was born in that moment as well. Many people are divided on whether or not Garret gunned down the right man that evening, or if Billy survived and lived to a ripe old age in Texas. If you think Billy died in Pete Maxwell’s place, his gravestone is nearby and can be visited.
Another interesting fact about Fort Sumner is that the Air Corps had a training base there during WWII which was used post-war by NASA as a launching spot for their high altitude balloon program. If you traveled to Fort Sumner through Roswell, you may recognize the significance of the balloons in the story of the UFO landing in Roswell back in 1947.
Miguel Discart/Flickr Creative Commons
Like it or not, Texas has had a long and storied relationship with professional wrestling. Mom may not have liked it, but you have to admit…watching professional wrestling is a guilty pleasure for a lot of us. Whether you’re throwing popcorn at the TV or laughing at the horrible acting during the promos…wrestling is thoroughly entertaining. Even the “Doubting Thomas” super-skeptics get into watching as close as possible to spot the “fake” hits and falls.
Needless to say, it doesn’t matter what generation you belong to…Texas has represented itself in the highest tier of professional wrestling going back 50 years. From Stone Cold Steve Austin to Eddie Guerrero to The Undertaker to name some of the most famous modern day wrestlers, to The legendary Von Erich family, the Funks, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Dusty Rhodes who were some of Texas’ most famous wrestlers from the 70’s and 80’s, all the way back to the classic era of the 60’s with the likes of Ivan Putski, Texans have been the creme of the crop.
All of this is celebrated in Wichita Falls at the Professional Wrestling Museum and Hall of Fame. If you’re headed east or west across the Red River edge of Texas, you’re more than likely going to pass through Wichita Falls. It’s located on highway 287 and is the southern terminus of I-44 coming out of Oklahoma. The Professional Wrestling Museum is full of exhibits and paraphernalia associated with Texas wrestling past. Also, since the Hall of Fame is located there and there are numerous gatherings throughout the year with autograph signings and get-togethers.
So if your husband has dutifully walked quietly behind you at the quilting supply stores or art galleries or antiques stores and participated in all those things you like to do, give him an hour or so to wander through the wrestling museum. You may not like the road conversation for the next hour or two, but I bet he’s smiling and chuckling.
Corey Balazowich/Flickr Creative Commons
Roanoke Island in North Carolina is, believe it or not, one of the oldest continually occupied settlements in North America. Originally settled in 1585 under the organization of Sir Walter Raleigh, Roanoke saw the first birth of an American settler named Virginia Dare. Oddly enough that first colony soon gave rise to one of America’s oldest unsolved mysteries as well when the colony and everyone in it vanished by 1590 leaving no trace of what happened to them. Archaeologists and historians are still working to solve that mystery.
Fast forward 450 years or so and it’s 2016 and Roanoke Island is a charming destination between mainland North Carolina and the famous Outer Banks. To get there simply take Highway 64 off of I-95 towards the Atlantic and you’ll cross Croatan Sound from Mann’s Harbor over to Roanoke Island where the main towns are Fort Raleigh City on the north end, and Manteo and Wanchese just south of there.
There is a beautiful campground in Wanchese called The Refuge which is on 345. They have almost 60 sites, 44 of which are available for year long leases, the rest are day use and are located right on the water. From here you can easily visit Nag’s Head, Cape Hatteras, or the birthplace of aviation…Kill Devil Hills.
This is a beautiful part of the United States, and very unique as well. If you like history, there are the light houses, Fort Raleigh, and all the old houses. If you like outdoor activities, well…this area is slopping over with just that! From all the water-borne stuff like boating, skiing, canoeing, swimming, and fishing, to the land-based stuff like hiking, photography, horseback riding, and just plain old sitting…Roanoke Island has you covered. Just outside the campground at The Refuge is the Roanoke Island Nature Reserve where you can wander to your heart’s content.
Remember folks, please come visit us at the website before you hit the road…we’re glad to help get you squared away!
Back in 1776…240 years ago this weekend…the Founding Fathers of our nation were still arguing and compromising, drafting and redrafting the document that would declare the independence of the 13 colonies from their King and Country, George the III and England. It is one of the most important pieces of political writing in recent history as it is one of the first, and certainly longest lived, guarantees of personal liberty for individuals. We are all created equal. Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness have sense-forth become Rights not Privileges, and these are affirmed before everyone. Because of that document, we spearate from England and after a long bloody war, we are truly independent. Other great documents follow.
For the first time in recorded human history the modern concepts of liberty and freedom are spelled out. We can believe what we want. We can say want we believe. We can worship how we wish. We can defend ourselves from tyrants at home and abroad. We are supposed to be served by our government, not the other way around. These are but a few of the changes brought about by our Declaration of Independence, and we lucky few who were born here, or who have become citizens, are members of the greatest nation on Earth.
This weekend please enjoy your burgers, and hotdogs, and fireworks, and beers, and get a little too much sun, spend time with your families, and celebrate the freedom and liberty that is yours. But while you’re enjoying yourself, please do no forget that your liberty and freedom are threatened every waking moment of every waking day. Be vigilant in it’s defense. Never allow the word security to take the place of freedom in your vocabulary. That way your future generations will enjoy the same Rights as you and your ancestors enjoyed. Long Live The Republic, and the Freedom for Which It Stands!