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The SHENANDOAH Valley On The Road: BALSAM RANGE A True TrailBlazer: Global Noble


CIRCLE NO. 158 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50


VOL. 36 n ISSUE 3

APRIL 2014 CONTENTS Message from Marguerite Tech Topics

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Who’s in the Kitchen with TrailBlazer

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TrailMix: Thousand Trails in the 1970s

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Activities & Events

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Spotlight: Spring RV Checklist

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Updates & Upgrades

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I Knew I Was a TrailBlazer

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A True TrailBlazer: Global Noble

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On The Road: Balsam Range

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Features:

The Shenandoah Valley

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Virginia’s Historic Triangle 40 Ask RV Bill 48

With incredible scenery, historical sites, wineries, shopping and an abundance of natural beauty, the Shenandoah Valley offers something for everyone.

Advertiser Index 50 Crossword Puzzle 50

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Club Calendar 51 Member Deals 54 Sudoku Puzzle 62 Classified Advertising

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On Location 66

Fifes and Drums at Colonial Williamsburg Photo Credit: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation On the Cover: Homestead carriage ride in Hot Springs, VA. APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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CONTACT US TODAY!

1-888-808-8925

WWW.ZONECAMPINGPASS.COM/REFERTHEZONE *Details and qualifications for participation in this promotion may apply and are set forth on page 63 of this magazine.


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MESSAGE FROM MARGUERITE

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company that hits a 45 year milestone in part owes its success to the employees who carry out the company’s mission and embrace the vision that steers the company down that path to success. If you think about one of the first “employees” of Thousand Trails, of course, it’s Milt Kuolt. In the early days of Chehalis, Milt was known to be out there doing whatever needed to be done, from sales to financing, from management to maintenance. As we celebrate our 45 years, I would like to recognize the efforts of all our employees. I would also like to share with you the stories of just a few people who have been with us for quite some time and whose stories have been brought to our attention by supervisors and peers alike. Like Milt, these people have worn many hats in their years with Thousand Trails, doing whatever needed to be done to ensure the experience for the member was as expected. Our TrailBlazer staff spoke with each of them and found out why their Thousand Trails experience has been a lasting one. Take Nancy Geddes, for example. Currently the Preserve Manager at La Conner in Washington, Nancy originally came on board at Snowflower for what she thought would be a short time. “I had a small business of my own and many of the people at Snowflower would come into my work,” she recalls. “During my own business’ slow season, I went up to work at the preserve and here I am 23 years later.” Through the years, she worked at several California preserves and has been at La Conner for the past seven years. “If someone told me I’d be here all these years later, I would have said ‘you’ve got to be kidding,’” she said. “But it was a good

fit for me. I love the outdoors and I like interacting with the members and being on this beautiful property.” Don Haymore has been at Lake Minden for 30 years. It’s where he started and it’s where he will retire from later this year. Don was instrumental in creating the Lake Minden Family Farm, which was up and running during the 1990s. “It was great to see the kids come down to visit who had never seen an egg hatch or interacted with farm animals,” he recalls. “We essentially had a working farm and the kids could help clean the cages, gather eggs, and feed the animals.“ Of his thirty years at Lake Minden, Don says it has been a great fit for his skill set and his love of the outdoors. “It’s been fun,” said Don. Dave Lyons started at Morgan Hill in 1981 and is currently the Preserve Manager at Wilderness Lakes, and likens managing a preserve to “running a little city.” ”The campers want a safe, clean place with plenty of things to do,” he said. “And it’s our job to make sure that is what they get.” While he notes that flexibility and opportunity in his roles at Thousand Trails have kept him here, it’s the camaraderie with the members and staff that make the job work for him. “It’s the greatest job – out in the park talking with the folks.” So, here’s to you – and there are many more stories like this to tell. I look forward to highlighting our employees and members throughout this year of celebration. I don’t know about you, but I am so glad to say goodbye to winter. Spring is here and our preserves are ready and waiting for another season of camping fun. And when you pass a preserve employee, give them a smile. We’re all here to make the best camping memories possible.

Marguerite Nader President & CEO

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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MISSION STATEMENT TrailBlazer provides exclusive news and information for the members and guests of Equity LifeStyle Properties Family of Resorts. Each issue enhances the recreational lifestyle of its readers through a lively mix of camping and travel features, resort profiles and product features. www.trailblazermagazine.net

EDITOR Joan DeAno Rykal TBeditor@equitylifestyle.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Susie Bue ADVERTISING SALES 877-252-9320 TBads@equitylifestyle.com TRAILBLAZER (ISSN 0747-2293) is published monthly except bimonthly Nov./Dec. and Jan./ Feb. by MHCTT Memberships, LP, c/o Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc., Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606. An annual subscription is $20. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to TRAILBLAZER, 2325 Highway 90, Gautier, MS 39553. Canada Post Publication Mail Agreement 41461526.

TrailBlazer Magazine

Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800 Chicago, IL 60606 www.trailblazermagazine.net

Address Changes for TrailBlazer can be sent via email to TrailBlazerAddressChanges@ EquityLifestyle.com NEW Subscriptions 1-877-252-9320

TTN & LTR Reservation Services (From United States and Canada) 1-800-288-7245 • 228-497-3594 April 1 to August 31 Mon. - Fri. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. September 1 to March 31 Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time 24-hr. STAR Line: 1-800-859-7827 228-497-3594 Member Services 1-800-388-7788 Resort Parks International Reservations 1-800-456-7774 ELS Reservations 1-877-362-6736 PRINTED IN THE USA

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APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

Clerbrook Golf & RV Resort: A Blue Heron dances on the golf course. - Bob Miller, Holt, FL

Now Win $50 EACH Issue!

Pics from the Parks Photo Submissions Do you have a winning photo from your visits to our preserves and resorts? We’d love for you to share it with us and what’s more, your submission will now be entered into our photo contest. Winners will receive a $50 American Express Gift Card. Each issue we will select ONE “winning” photo from the submissions received (all submissions must be received by midnight on the last day of the month.) Winning photo will be posted on the TrailBlazer website as well as in the magazine. Photo submissions should include a brief description, including location of your photo, your name, city and state and sent to: TrailBlazer_photos@equitylifestyle.com or mail to: Equity LifeStyle Properties, Attn: TrailBlazer Photos Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800 Chicago, IL 60606 Emailed photos should be high resolution. Photos are not returnable and become the property of Equity LifeStyle Properties and may be used for publication on company websites and promotional purposes. One winner will be selected EACH month from submissions received. The winner will be announced in a future TrailBlazer issue and on the website.


PICS FROM THE PARKS Sturbridge: A weekend that was truly reflective of fun and beauty. - Gus Robinson, Bethel, CT

Lake Conroe: Sunset at the lake - Bonnie Varieur, Willis, TX

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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WANT TO BE A

LUCKY WINNER?

Thousand Trails is offering members the opportunity to win a

$1,000 American Express Gift Card

To earn entries into our monthly drawing simply pay your 2014 dues on time and camp at your favorite TT Preserve.

LUCKY W INNERS!

Lucky winners, Michael and Donna Pavelock from Huntsville, TX, were camping at Lake Conroe when they were presented with a $1,000 gift card. Will you be pictured here next month? Michael and Donna are pictured here with Lake Conroe Resort Manager, Terry Munoz

Get Out and

Ca mp

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When you pay your annual dues for 2014 in full, you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a $1,000 American Express gift card. There will be one drawing/one winner each month from January through December 2014. In addition, once you pay your dues in full, each time you camp at a Thousand Trails Preserve in 2014, you will receive an additional entry into the drawing. The drawings are limited to persons who are of legal age. The drawings will be held at our corporate office on the 10th day after the end of each month. Winners will be notified by mail, phone or in person if camping at a Thousand Trails preserve. The odds of winning will depend on the number of entries, but are not expected to exceed 1:100,000. Winners are responsible for federal and state taxes on the award. You may also enter the drawings by printing your name, address, day and evening phone numbers, and email address on a 3� x 5� piece of paper and mailing it to the Sponsor in addressed, stamped envelope. You are limited to one mail-in entry which must be postmarked by December 15, 2014. This promotion is sponsored by MHC Thousand Trails Limited Partnership, Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606.

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER


Tech Topics by Paul and Kerri Elders

Blooming April beckons to travelers of all descriptions. Spring is springing, birds are singing, and RVers everywhere are ready to hit the road to adventure. Priceless opportunities for sightseeing, photography, golf excursions, and backcountry explorations expand as far as the eye can see. This month, we’ll take a look at a few common-sense tips to make your springtime travels easier. Fix those steps, level that RV, and learn what it takes to find a good fit in a used RV. SHOPPING FOR A USED RV: When you’re on the hunt for a used RV, it pays to do a bit of thoughtful shopping. You’ll be living and traveling with your new-to-you RV for a long time, so you want to do everything you can NOW to make sure you’ll be a Happy Camper LATER. Here are just a few things to keep in mind while you’re shopping for that perfect fit: Do a walk-around exterior inspection of the RV and then give it a careful inside inspection. It’s a good idea to check the areas where the inside walls meet the ceiling, looking for water stains or signs of separation or swelling, especially around air conditioners, antennas, windows, and roof vents. Open all cabinet doors, checking closely for water stains or the odor of mildew and check for misaligned or “sticking” doors. Investigate these areas with a flashlight, if necessary. See if the refrigerator, air conditioner, heater, water heater, water pump, slideouts, batteries, and levelers (if so equipped) work properly. Also take a look at the stove, oven, microwave, and any TVs or other electronics, if possible.

the money necessary to redecorate.) If you just can’t stand mauve or dark blue and don’t want to spend the money to change it, keep looking. Ask the owner/dealer to supply you with all manuals and warranty information before you close the deal. LEVELING HINTS: One thing’s sure: nobody needs to roll out of the bed in the middle of the night to know their RV isn’t level. The time spent leveling your RV for an overnight stay is well worth the effort. Not only will you sleep better, but water will drain properly and your appliances (like LP cooktops and refrigerators) will work more efficiently. And the good news is that it only takes a few minutes to get your rig level when you’re setting up camp. Generally speaking, the easiest way to level an RV is by choosing a level campsite. But if your favorite spot isn’t as level as you’d like it, there’s a super simple old school solution: the humble bubble level. If your RV’s not level, it can be in a snap!

If opting for a motorhome, it’s worth your time to inspect the motor, drivetrain, and chassis as though it were a used car or truck. Take a test drive, checking the smoothness of the transmission, acceleration, ease of steering, pulling power on an uphill grade and the responsiveness of the brakes. When you return from your test drive, park in an adjacent space and then check its previous parking spot for oil or transmission fluid leaks. See how deep the tire’s treads are and check for dry rot, especially on “hidden” inside tires. Not good? Negotiate!

Whether you have a motorhome, a fifth wheel or a tagalong, you can easily use leveling blocks and a leveling bubble to level your RV from side to side. Have your co-pilot direct you as you carefully drive your RV’s tires up on leveling blocks, leveling the RV side-to-side, using the bubble level as your guide. Then, for trailer owners, it’s a simple matter of disconnecting your tow vehicle and raising or lowering the front jacks to level your travel trailer or fifth wheel from front-to-back. Check the bubble level and you’ll know when your rig is spot-on level. Done!

This sounds nitpicky, but after you’ve checked everything out and you’re ready to buy a previouslyloved RV, be absolutely sure you can live with the rig’s color scheme (or that you’re willing to spend

THINK SAFETY FIRST: Even with the brightest of porch lights, those very dark black steps at your rig’s entry point can be a challenge to negotiate in the darkness. Luckily, there’s Continued on page 62 APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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WHO’S IN THE KITCHEN

with TrailBlazer?

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The Lee Brothers Cookin’ Southern, Y’all rothers Matt and Ted Lee are natives of Charleston, South Carolina, and they can definitely dish it out when it comes to Southern cuisine and cooking. The authors of multiple cookbooks (including their latest, The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen), they also founded The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue (www.boiledpeanuts.com), which specializes in southern pantry staples. Matt and Ted were kind enough to provide TrailBlazer with three oh-so-Southern and simple recipes from The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor.

Field Pea Salad with Gingered Beets and Lemon Serves 4 • Time: 20 minutes preparation, 20 minutes to 1 hour simmering

Ingredients: 4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste 1 pound fresh, or 8 ounces dried, shelled field peas, such as red cowpeas, lady peas, pink-eyes, black-eyes, purple hulls, crowders, or zippers 1 pound fresh red beets, peeled, trimmed, and cut into small dice (2 1/2 to 3 cups)

One 3-ounce piece of fresh ginger (about 4 inches long), peeled 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/3 cup grapeseed, peanut, vegetable, or mild olive oil 1 bunch scallions (white and green parts), chopped (3/4 cup) 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions: 1. Pour 2 1/2 quarts water into a heavy-bottomed 4-quart stockpot, add 2 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and bring to a boil. Rinse the field peas in a strainer or colander, and add them to the boiling water. Cook until the peas are tender, maintaining the level of the cooking water just above the peas, about 20 minutes if you’re using fresh field peas and 1 hour if using dried. 2. While the peas cook, pour 1 quart water into a small saucepan, add 1 teaspoon of the salt, and bring to a boil. Add the beets and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, and run them under cold tap water to cool. Then arrange the beets in a single layer on paper towels spread across a cutting board, and let them dry while the peas finish cooking. 3. Grate the ginger onto a cutting board, using a ginger grater or a Microplane. Set aside 1/2 teaspoon of the 10

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

grated ginger. Gather the rest of the grated ginger and place it in a mound in the middle of a double thickness of paper towel. Pick up the corners of the paper towel and gently press the grated ginger over a small bowl to extract the juice; you should have about 2 tablespoons. Pour the ginger juice into a large bowl and add the lemon juice, mustard, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly until the dressing is emulsified. 4. Drain the peas in a strainer and run them under cold tap water to cool; you should have about 3 cups cooked field peas. Shake the strainer to get rid of excess water. Add the peas and the reserved grated ginger to the dressing, and toss to coat. Add the beets and scallions, and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and the pepper. (Covered, the salad will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.)


Pimento-Cheese Potato Gratin Serves 6 • Time: 10 minutes preparation, 35 minutes cooking

Ingredients: 3 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds 3/4 cup heavy cream 3 shallots, finely diced (scant 1/2 cup) 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red chile flakes 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 9-ounce jar roasted red peppers or piquillo peppers, with their liquid 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)

Directions: 1. Heat the oven to 375°F, with racks positioned in the middle and the top third of the oven. 2. In a 3-to 4-quart stock pot, bring 2 quarts water and 2 teaspoons of the salt to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Then drain, and set them aside. 3. Combine the cream, shallots, chile flakes, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the jar of roasted peppers in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chile flakes have begun to stain the cream, about 2 minutes. Add half of the cheese and stir until it melts, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.

4. Layer roughly a third of the potatoes in a 6-cup baking dish, overlapping them slightly so that they fit in an even layer. Scatter half of the roasted peppers on top of the potatoes (cut up any peppers that have remained whole so that they lie flat), and repeat layering potatoes and peppers until all the peppers and potatoes have been used. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes and peppers, and agitate the dish to distribute the liquid throughout. Cover with aluminum foil and bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes. 5. Uncover the dish, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, and place the dish on the top oven rack. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and gently browned on top. Serve immediately.

Caesar Salad with Catfish “Croutons” Serves 4 • Time: 30 minutes

Catfish Croutons Ingredients: 1 pound catfish fillets (about 3 fillets), cut into 1-inch chunks 1/3 cup whole or lowfat buttermilk 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour 1/4 cup white or yellow fine stone-ground cornmeal 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cups peanut oil

Caesar salad Ingredients: 1 large head romaine lettuce, sliced crosswise into 3/4-inch-wide strips 1/3 cup whole or lowfat buttermilk (preferably whole) 2 tablespoons high-quality store-bought mayonnaise, such as Hellmann’s or Duke’s 2 anchovy fillets, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 clove garlic, finely grated 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions: 1. Put the catfish pieces in a medium bowl, pour the buttermilk over them, and toss to coat. Pour the flour, cornmeal, salt, and black pepper into a gallonsize locking food storage bag, and shake it around to combine. Lift the catfish pieces from the buttermilk,

place them in the bag, and turn the bag gently in your hands until the pieces are covered in the dredge. 2. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet until it reads 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Using a wide slotted spoon or a skimmer, transfer a batch of the catfish pieces to the hot oil. Fry the fish in batches, taking care not to crowd the skillet, turning the pieces once as they become golden-brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the fried catfish to a plate lined with a paper towel. 3. Put the lettuce in a large salad bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, mayonnaise, anchovies, lemon juice, garlic, and salt together. Pour the dressing over the greens and toss with tongs to coat evenly. 4. Divide the salad among 4 luncheon plates or salad bowls, and then scatter the catfish croutons on top of the greens. Serve immediately. Note: If you happen not to be a catfish fancier, any firm, sweet white-fleshed fish that holds up to frying— whiting, tilapia, and cod are others—works perfectly in this recipe. APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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TRAILMIX

All In The Family

Thousand Trails Continues To Grow In The Super ‘70s

Leavenworth - Leavenworth, WA

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nce Chehalis was up and running, the Kuolt’s looked to expand the dream and find a location for a second campground.

According to Lois Kuolt, in her book, We Called it Thousand Trails, the plan was to find a location that offered a different climate and scenery than Chehalis, so they looked toward eastern Washington State. For an entire year, they worked with land brokers and real estate agents, searching for the ideal location. And they finally found it just outside the charming town of Leavenworth. In the early 1960s, the town underwent a facelift of sorts and it was transformed into a Bavarian village. With the mountains as the backdrop and the storefronts and buildings sporting a Bavarian motif, the town became a popular tourist destination. Today, more than two million people visit the town of Leavenworth each year.

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In the book, Lois writes of their excitement at finding the perfect acreage just outside this charming village. “Leavenworth was ideal,” she said. “The tourists were built-in, there was plenty of shopping, sunshine, flowers and beer gardens in the summer, and there was snow sledding, skiing and snowmobiling during winter months.”


La Conner - La Conner, WA

The acreage of the Leavenworth preserve was a bit smaller than that of Chehalis, but it had the added plus of being surrounded by forest land and just a few miles from sparkling Lake Wenatchee. Just about a year after Leavenworth first welcomed members in 1975, land for a third preserve, and a second Washington location, was purchased in Mt. Vernon. The Mt. Vernon preserve offered easy access to fishing and golf courses as well as sightseeing opportunities to the San Juan Islands. Onsite amenities focused on family fun and included a horseshoe pit, miniature golf course, a sauna, swimming pool and wading pool. Of course, the Cascade Mountains as a backdrop and the lush location of the Skagit Valley added up for a beautiful, natural camping experience.

proximity to lakes and rivers and hiking and trail opportunities combined to create top-notch, one of a kind, camping. Cultus Lake is nestled in the verdant Fraser River Valley, while Bend sits on the Little Deschutes River. La Conner is less than a mile from the shores of Puget Sound and nearby to the quaint fishing village of La Conner. Lake of the Springs sits at the foothills of the Sierra Mountains and offers guests access to a private 120-acre lake. Thanks to these beautiful locations, not to mention a friendly enthusiastic staff, Thousand Trails was offering an unparalleled experience. By 1979, the membership base had grown to 13,000 families. These families were enjoying “America’s Finest Family Camping” and creating long-lasting relationships with other members. It was definitely a family experience.

Within short order, land purchases were made in British Columbia, Canada, Bend, Oregon and a first California location in the town of Oregon House.

And, a magazine was introduced to keep everyone apprised of all the things going on in the Thousand Trails world – it was called TrailBlazer.

And while the portfolio began to expand into new locations, all the preserves offered many of the same natural amenities. Lush forested locations,

By Joan DeAno-Rykal

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Calendar - APRIL 2014 ACTIVITIES & EVENTS CALENDAR

MEMBER APPRECIATION EVENTS Saturday - April 19, 2014 All Thousand Trails Locations Check with properties for a list of times and events

ALABAMA Hidden Cove April 19: Member Appreciation Day: Learn how to make reservations and other tips at the New Member Orientation and enjoy some delicious ice cream at the Ice Cream Social. ARIZONA Verde Valley April 19: Easter & Member Appreciation: Hop on over and join us for an Eggcellent time. The Easter Bunny might just leave something for you at our Member Appreciation Meeting. BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA Cultus Lake April 18-20: Easter & Member Appreciation Weekend: We kick off the season with a weekend of fun! At 11 a.m. on Saturday we will have a Bike Parade and decorating contest (weather permitting.) At 1 p.m., we will have a free Ice Cream Social, followed by an orientation presentation for newer members at 2 p.m. in the Family Centre. In the evening, join us for Cook’s famous burgers and hot hogs at 5:30 p.m. And, we will be showing a movie in the Rec Centre at 8 p.m. (check the bulletin board for title.) On Sunday, rain or shine, we will have an Easter Egg Hunt at 11 a.m. so meet at the Rec Centre to begin the hunt! Also, note our special deals: Members, bring your guests to the preserve for one free night. Please call the preserve directly at (604) 858-3932 to reserve your guest(s) site. Members still need to make their own reservations. On this special weekend, we will be assigning sites for both the member and their guest(s). CALIFORNIA Lake Minden April 4-6: Happy Birthday to Lake Minden: It’s going to be all fun and games as we celebrate Lake Minden’s 28th Birthday with a weekend of great games and fantastic activities. There will be silly contests and competitions, and of course, cake and ice cream. Have your cameras ready for some great photo opportunities as the Float and Fly RC Planes take off and land on the lake with some pretty impressive flying in between. April 11-13: National Pet Day: This weekend is going to the dogs and cats. We’ll have some doggone good and cat-tastic activities including a cutest pet photo competition, a doggie talent contest and a recipe share for homemade pet treats. We’ll also be doing pet-themed scrapbooking, card making and art journaling, so bring your pet and your favorite pet photos and join the fun. RC Boats will be racing on the lake so don’t forget to check them out. April 18-20: Easter Everywhere: Join us Saturday for egg

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(Events may be subject to change)

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dying, bunny crafts, and the ever popular Annual Easter Potluck Dinner. We’ll also have a “Bunny” scavenger hunt and paddle boat races. On Sunday bring the kids for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. April 25-27: Is it a Bird, Is it a Plane - It’s Both: Watch the big beautiful Float and Fly Radio Controlled planes take off and land on the lake. But that’s not all that’s flying around Lake Minden. Grab your camera and help us celebrate National Bird Day on a nature/bird walk. We’ll also have a nature walk/talk for the little ones. Take a jewelery, card/scrapbooking or art journaling class and incorporate birds or planes into your projects. April 12 Bike around the Buttes The 29th Annual Bike around the Buttes benefit is for the Yuba-Sutter Children’s Type 1 Diabetes Support Group. The course is a mostly flat ride through the beautiful Sutter Buttes, the world’s smallest mountain range. The ride consists of three courses around the Sutter Buttes, a 17.5 mile course, a 40 mile course, and a 100 mile course. The ride comes with rest stops along the way, support and gear vehicles in case of emergency, and includes a BBQ lunch and live music after the ride. Century Course 6:30-7:55 a.m.; Classic and Full Course 8-11 a.m. Please visit bikearoundthebuttes.com for more information or to register. Lake of the Springs April 18-20: Hip Hop Weekend: Starting things off at the Craft and Variety Fair you may find some really hip stuff. Kids will have a hopping good time at the Kids’ Fishing Derby. Bring the family and join in on the fun decorating Easter Eggs. Join us for an Easter Ham Dinner. Then you will have a Hippity Hoppity good time at the Family Dance. Sunrise Services Sunday morning followed by a visit from the Easter Bunny at the Easter Egg Hunt. April 21-25: Line Dance Festival with Marion. Come join the fun with dancing, food and friends. April 26: Enjoy John Carter at our Family Campfire singalong and then join us for a family dance with DJ Mike Allen. Morgan Hill April 19-20: Easter Weekend: Join the fun in a coloring contest, egg dying and Easter crafts. Bring the kids to enjoy the movie, “Hop” on Saturday. On Easter Sunday, join the park for a great egg hunt. Palm Springs April 11-12: End of Season Party Weekend. As our season draws to an end and our members head home or on to other adventures we celebrate the season with a Friday Night at the Movies featuring a family movie in


April 11-13 Coachella Fest Held at the Indio Polo Grounds, just seven miles from our preserve, this is the musical festival of all festivals. Visit: www.coachella.com for ticket information and the lineup for both weekends. April 25-27 Stagecoach Festival County music at its finest. There are three different stages with performers all day long. Some of the headliners this year include Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Crystal Gayle and Loretta Lynn. For more information visit: www.stagecoach.com. Event is held at the Indio Polo Grounds, just seven miles from the preserve. Pio Pico April 5: Casino Night is now the first Saturday of every month at 6:30 p.m. This is a fundraiser for the Jamul Kiwanis - $5 buys you $300 in chips. Play to win 50% of the total earnings. The more you play the more $$$ you could win! April 6: The 2014 Campagnolo Gran Fondo of San Diego will be making a pit stop at Pio Pico. Be a part of one of San Diego’s largest bicyclist tours! April 11-12: The Jamul Kiwanis 6th Annual Hot Rod & Chili Cook-Off! Kicking off the fun-filled weekend is a dinner with live music and dance on Friday. Event is on Saturday and includes raffle prizes, beer garden, multiple vendors, a DJ and band, kid’s playground, 50/50 drawing, and of course food! April 19-20: Easter ‘Egg’stravaganza!: On Saturday the kids can enjoy egg coloring, an Easter Egg Hunt, and pictures with the Easter Bunny! On Sunday, the Pio Pico Chapel will be holding an Easter Service for all guests to enjoy. April 25-26: Protect our Environment: This weekend includes environmentally friendly crafts. You can donate and plant a citrus tree (to help build our very own citrus garden), and enjoy a predator presentation put on by San Diego’s Sky Hunters. At the end of the night bring your family to enjoy a free bag of popcorn and a movie on our outdoor cinema screen! And, don’t forget, every Tuesday-Friday we have set aside specific time for members to play games and enjoy our Activity Center. April 17-May 4 San Diego National Horse Show One of the oldest and most prestigious equestrian competitions in the Western US, the Del Mar National Horse Show is comprised of a week each of Western, Dressage and Hunter/Jumper competition. Held at Del Mar Fairgrounds, just 43 miles from the preserve.

Ponderosa April 19: Join us, along with the Easter Bunny, for Ponderosa’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt. We’ll start off in the Family Lodge, where everyone will design their very own Easter Basket to use on the hunt. We’ll also have games and prizes and more surprises.

ACTIVITIES & EVENTS CALENDAR

the Recreation Lodge with FREE popcorn. Saturday will feature games in the pool area including tic tac toe golf and bean bag toss. We end the day with dinner and poolside entertainment. April 18-19: Easter Weekend will be filled with lots of activities for our youngest, and young at heart members and our young at heart members. The Easter Bunny will be making a stop here and will be hiding some very special Easter surprises. Make sure you check the activity schedule when you check in so you don’t miss out on any of the FUN!!!

April 5-6 and April 12-13 El Dorado Passport Weekends Don’t miss this once a year, all-access pass to wine-andfood pairings, music and friendship in our region-wide party. During two glorious spring weekends each year, 32 El Dorado wineries host the region’s annual wine and food event. Wine Tour of Fame features plenty of luscious wine and food pairings, barrel tastings, enjoyable art and music, and fun-loving participants. Warm weather and green surroundings along the wine trail add to the excitement of this springtime event. Sponsored by the El Dorado Winery Association. For information call (800) 306-3956 or visit www.eldoradowines.org. Rancho Oso Every Weekend in April: Join the fun and hop on board the famous Rancho Oso hay wagon to take a tour of our beautiful resort! Wagon will drop off passengers at the barn for the barn tour and the Stock Dog and Bucking Bull demo at 11 a.m. at the arena on Saturday. Don’t forget to call the stables at (805) 683-5110 and book your unforgettable horseback ride for ages eight and over. Of course, your little buckaroos can get their first ride on a big horse, led by one of our friendly wranglers! This is a great “photo-op” for your scrapbook. The spring weather is perfect for hiking, riding, photography, or wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley, only a scenic half hour drive away. Don’t want to drive? You can arrange a guided winery tour with several local tour companies who will pick you up here! Later on Saturday, join us for the Ice Cream Social to make your favorite sundae! Keep the weekend sweet with our Candy Bar Bingo too! Check out our delicious weekend meals at the Stone Lodge Kitchen! Visit our website at www.rancho-oso for updated activities and menus. Turtle Beach April 19-20: Happy Easter! Bring your children and grandchildren for egg decorating and games. We will have an Egg Hunt (be sure to look for the Golden Egg!) The perfect end to a perfect day will be a movie with popcorn and candy. Come join the fun! Wilderness Lakes April 5: Casino Night (must be 21 and older to play.) April 12: Family Movie Night. April 19-20: Easter Weekend: On Saturday, Sunny Sunshine and Twinkles The Clowns will be here for face painting and balloon figures. We also have 1296 Easter Eggs to decorate! In the evening, Dominic’s Karaoke is here. On Sunday we will have our Easter Egg Hunt with prizes. April 26: JD & Debbie McBriety’s Cornbread Washtub Band.

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ACTIVITIES & EVENTS CALENDAR

FLORIDA

MAINE

Orlando April 4-6: Taste of Italy: Friday night enjoy an Italian favorite with our Spaghetti Dinner, followed by entertainer, Lou Renshaw in the Ballroom singing favorites. On Sunday, enjoy a performance by Jerry Jones. April 18-20: Hippity Hoppity Easter Weekend: Start off our celebration on Friday with a Loaded Baked Potato Dinner followed by a Bunny Hop Dance in our Ballroom. On Saturday enjoy breakfast with the Easter Bunny as we serve Peeps and Pancakes in the Rec Hall. Peter Cottontail will host our Member Appreciation Easter Egg Hunt and crafts for kids at noon. Join us on Sunday for our traditional Easter Ham Dinner with all the fixings to be served at 1 p.m. in the Ballroom.

Moody Beach April 18: Welcome Back Weekend: Moody Beach is open again and ready for you to come prepare your site and chat with your old friends after a long winter. Come for Free coffee and doughnuts on Saturday morning. April 25: Indoor Family Fun Weekend: Enjoy time spent with friends in our Recreation Hall or the Members Lounge playing board games, Darts, Shuffleboard or cards. Enjoy $1 Hog Dogs and Chips on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Peace River April 19-20: Easter Weekend: We are having an Easter Luncheon for our Member Appreciation and our monthly Birthday Celebration for all those born in April. Ladies - don’t forget to wear your Easter Bonnets!!! Perhaps we will have a parade!!!

Sturbridge April 11-13: Welcome Back Weekend: Enjoy the first weekend of our camping season with some old friends around the campfire. April 18-20: Easter Weekend: Come and have fun with Easter Egg coloring and Easter Egg Hunts, plus Easter crafts.

ILLINOIS

Bear Cave April 4-6: Intrepid Camper’s Weekend: The snow may still be around, but we welcome all you hardy camping souls to celebrate opening season at Bear Cave. Please join us for our annual chili cook-off, hot dogs, s’mores, Bingo and board games. Bring your travel pictures to share. Enjoy the movie, “Same Time, Next Year” in the Lodge Movie Room. April 11-13: Let’s Make It Blossom: Let’s recycle, swap, and donate unwanted goods. Bring any unwanted, non-perishable item to the office and the Bear Cave staff will gladly prepare you a surprise camper medley dinner. April 18-20: Easter Eggstravaganza! Join Bear Cave for an eggcellent celebration on your three-day holiday! We will be hunting for glow–in-the-dark eggs at night, viewing the movie “Hop”, and enjoying a pancake breakfast on Sunday. April 25-27: Home Grown Michigan: A world renowned horticulturist will share with us his visions of the food industry and its direct impact on family farming. We will learn the techniques to grow affordable produce right here at Bear Cave. Savor the tastes of Michigan all year long---learn the skills of produce preparation and storage. Bring your favorite toppings, as we will be grilling home-made pizzas with local ingredients. Create a flower pot dessert or enjoy a nature craft session.

INDIANA Horseshoe Lakes April 25-27: Easter Weekend: Hop on over Friday for an adult gathering and join us on Saturday for an Easter egg hunt and celebration! Indian Lakes April 18-20: Easter Weekend: Hop on over for some fun. Activities this weekend will include our annual Egg Hunt with prizes, egg coloring, jellybean guessing contest, crafts, games, coloring, word searches, and mazes. KENTUCKY Diamond Caverns April 18-20: Easter Weekend - Join in Fellowship! Come Hungry! Continental breakfast served Sunday morning. Worship together at the church service afterwards.

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Gateway to Cape Cod April 11-13: Welcome Back Campers! Enjoy your first weekend of camping. April 18-20: Easter Weekend: The Easter Bunny will still find you even if you are camping! There will be lots of eggs to hunt for! April 25-27: Spring Fever Weekend: Get out and see what spring has brought into the campground. How many new flowers and types of wildlife can you spot?

Three Flags RV Resort Easter Weekend: April 18-20: Spend your Easter Holiday with us! Enjoy your Saturday morning with coffee and doughnuts for Member Appreciation Day! End your weekend with an Easter Dinner. Bring your favorite side dish or dessert to share!

Pine Country April 18: Open For Business! We are opening EARLY! Come enjoy Easter Weekend with us! April 25-27: Welcome Back/Jumbo Games Weekend: Enjoy jumbo games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Connect Four, Chess, and Checkers. Join us for complimentary Doughnuts and Coffee on Saturday morning - meet the staff and say hello to old friends.

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MASSACHUSETTS

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MICHIGAN


OREGON

Las Vegas April 5-6: Fools Gold Weekend: There is an age-old story that somewhere in the park there is gold; mined and hidden years ago by travelers and forgotten. Until now! Join us on a quest to find it. You’ll have to complete the task and gather clues to where it’s at. April 19-20: Easter Weekend: Join us Saturday afternoon for our Annual Easter Potluck in the Activity Center. Easter Service at 9 a.m. on Sunday in the Activity Center.

Bend/Sunriver April 20: Easter Day: Easter Egg Hunt at 11 a.m. (rain, snow or sunshine.) Kids, ages 1-12, bring your baskets or buckets and get ready to find lots of Easter Eggs.

NEW JERSEY Lake and Shore April 18-20: Happy Easter! Come and enjoy your Easter at the shore and give back to the community at the same time! We will have plenty of fun activities for the entire family, including Easter Egg dying, Easter Egg hunts, crafts, games and plenty of candy. We will even have a special Easter Egg Hunt for the adults! After all the Easter fun come to our first-ever Campers for a Cause Potluck Dinner and Dance hosted by the one and only DJ Sonja! Bring a side dish to feed 10 and have the chance to donate to a good cause! NEW YORK Rondout Valley April 4-6: Opening Weekend: It’s been a long, long winter so come camping to enjoy getting out of the house and visit with all your camping buddies. Fishing Season has begun so bring all your fishing gear and take your kids fishing. April 18-20: Easter Weekend: Hop on as we bring back Easter Dinner. Please bring a dish to share. April 25-27: Celebrate the wonderful world we live on and enjoy our walking trails and get back to nature this weekend in honor of Earth Day (4/22). NORTH CAROLINA Forest Lake April 5: Meet and Greet: Covered dish supper at 5:30 p.m. in the Family Lodge. Enjoy DJ John Chucci from 7 to 10:15 p.m. April 19: Easter Celebration/TT Member Appreciation (RSVP Required.): Full day of Easter activities including Easter Egg Hunt and Saturday night entertainment with DJ John Chucci at the Family Lodge from 7 to 10:15 p.m. OHIO Wilmington April 18-20: Welcome Back Weekend: Dust off your marshmallow sticks, clean up your sites, and get ready to camp! Take a break for potluck on Saturday and meet your neighbors.

ACTIVITIES & EVENTS CALENDAR

NEVADA

April 5-6: Pacific CityAnnual Home and Garden Show 27th Aprilat 19:Tillamook Easter egg coloring and egg hunt activities at the resort. County Fairgrounds April 5-6 Special Glass Art Drop of 100 hand-crafted glass art pieces – floats, sand dollars or crabs – along the 7.5 miles of Lincoln City beaches, weather and ocean conditions permitting. FMI 800-452-2151, 541-996-1274, www. oregoncoast.org April 18-20 Great Oregon Coast Garage Sale Over a hundred garage sales throughout the Lincoln City area Seaside April 20: Easter: Easter Egg Hunt at 11 a.m., rain or shine! Kids up to age 12 bring your baskets or buckets and get ready for the hunt!! Whalers Rest April 5: Celebrate Whalers Rest 30th Birthday with FREE hot dogs, hamburgers and birthday cake at noon. April 12: Enjoy Bill’s Homemade Potato soup with biscuits at noon. April 19: Member Appreciation Day! Breakfast served from 9 to 10 a.m. FREE Italian sodas for all following the Manager’s Meeting at 11 a.m. April 20: Easter Egg Hunt at 11 a.m. April 26: Earth Day Celebration PENNSYLVANIA Circle M April 11-13: Season Kick-Off: Spring cleaning and campfire story night, plus hot dogs with all the fixings and marshmallows and crafts for all ages. DJ on Saturday night. April 18-20: Hop in to a Happy Easter: Events include Easter Egg Hunt and Saturday night Karaoke. Meet the Easter Bunny and find the eggs filled with candy and prizes. April 25-27: Learn about Earth Day, plus Movie Night on Saturday. Gettysburg Farm April 11-13: Opening Day and spring cleaning, plus Member Social on Saturday night. April 18-20: Easter Celebration. Hershey April 18-20: Easter Weekend: Perfect weekend not only for an egg hunt, but the Annual Fishing Derby.

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ACTIVITIES & EVENTS CALENDAR

PA Dutch April 4-6: Spring Cleaning. April 11-13: Welcome Back Weekend features Candy Bar Bingo Friday at 7 p.m., and Saturday Wagon Ride at 2 p.m. followed by Soup and Sandwich Social at 5 p.m. you bring the dessert! April 18-20: Potluck Weekend features Friday night Karaoke at 7 p.m. and Saturday Potluck Dinner at 6 p.m.

Colorado River April 19: Easter and Member Appreciation Weekend: Hippity Hop on over and join us for an eggcelent time. We will be Easter Egg hunting at 1 p.m. followed by a tasty Member Appreciation meeting with cake and ice cream at 2 p.m. April 20: Easter Sunday: We will be having our Easter Services at 10 a.m.

Scotrun April 4-6: Spring Cheer: Sunshine and Daffodils April 11-13: Spring Cleaning. April 18-20: It’s No Yolk: Celebrate the incredible egg. You can decorate them and we will hide some and you can find them in our Egg Hunt on Sunday. April 25-27: Annual Fishing Derby: 7 a.m. to noon, rain or shine. Come on, the trout are waiting!

April 12-13 50th Annual Bluebonnet Festival The Festival boasts more than 250 juried exhibitors (home décor, gardening, artists, craftsmen, jewelry, clothing, etc.), delicious country-style food, live entertainment and music, and tours of the historic community. A Children’s Activity Corner provides pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, barrel train and more. A special Wildflower Photo exhibit will be on display at the Chappell Hill Museum Exhibit Gallery during April and May. The Bluebonnet Festival was declared the “Official Bluebonnet Festival of Texas” by the Texas Legislature and was voted #7 as “Most Popular Festival in Texas” by Texas Highways magazine. For information call Chappell Hill historical society.

Timothy Lake North & South April 18-20: Hippity Hoppity Easter Weekend: Spring is just about here as Easter marks the beginning of a great season planned! Fantasy Karaoke will be joining us just in time to get your vocal cords warmed up for the season. Come see a great Magic Show by Doug Young Saturday afternoon in the Activity Center. Join us for some great Easter activities such as Ham Potluck Dinner, Easter Egg Hunts, Pictures with the Easter Bunny, and many more activities for all ages. Most events will take place at Timothy North. TENNESSEE Cherokee Landing April 19-20: Easter Weekend: Hop on in for our Member Appreciation Event! Bring the kids for Easter baskets, egg hunt, games, arts and crafts, and more fun. Natchez Trace April 18-20: Eggstravagant Easter: Celebrate Easter with us! We will be dying eggs, playing games, and the Easter Bunny will be here! April 25-27: Spring Fling: We will be cleaning up the park and restoring its beauty for the summer season. Movies, suppers, and crafts make for a great weekend! Come join the fun! TEXAS Bay Landing April 18-20: Easter Weekend: Hop on over for our Easter activities. The Easter Bunny will be here to help us celebrate. Angie will have all kinds of goodies cooked up in her kitchen. Find the Golden Egg at our three different age group Egg Hunt and win the huge prize. Free cake and ice cream will be served. Don’t forget to decorate your own bonnet and basket for the contest. We will be having an Adult Flashlight Hunt starting at dark so bring your flashlights to find your Golden Egg. April 10-13 Arts Festival Showcase of fine arts also features food and live concerts. Hours are Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Held on Main Street in Fort Worth, just a 30-45 minute drive from the preserve.

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Lake Conroe April 5: Kids’ Fishing Weekend: There’s fish in them thar ponds, so kids, bring your poles and let’s catch ‘em. Prizes will be awarded so be sure to sign up in the AC for the big fish-off. Afterwards we’ll treat ourselves to an Ice Cream Social. April 12: Fruity Weekend: Don’t miss out on Lake Conroe’s Famous Fruity Bingo this weekend. One o’clock – grab a date and don’t be late. We’ll have apples and oranges and bananas and other fruity treats for you to win! April 19: Easter & Member Appreciation Weekend: Hop on over and join us for our Easter Egg Hunt and have your picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Let’s see who finds the golden eggs!! Don’t forget there will be an adult Egg Hunt after dark. April 26: Cajun Fest Weekend: Crawfish races, games on the pavilion and some finger-lickin’ good crawfish, boudin sausage, corn on the cob and potatoes. There will be dancing at the pavilion in the evening. April 4-13 Montgomery County Fair & Rodeo Fair and rodeo event held at the Montgomery County Fair Grounds, just five miles from the preserve. Lake Tawakoni April 19: Join us in celebrating April Birthdays and all our Members. Cake will be at the Family Center during our Member Appreciation meeting. Lake Texoma April 5: NASCAR Weekend: Let’s go racin’! If you have a need for speed this is the weekend for you with golf cart races and obstacle courses. We’ll see who’s the fastest! April 12: Eggstravaganza: This weekend is all about the egg. We’re going to hunt them, decorate them and maybe even have a contest or two! April 19: Preserve Birthday Party & Member Appreciation: We will be celebrating our 30th birthday! Join us for cake and ice cream and celebrate 30 years of camping at Lake Texoma. April 26: Baseball Weekend: Bring your bats and glove as we kickoff baseball season in Texoma. Continued on page 22


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Spotlight | Spring RV Tips Springtime is Travel Time! Here’s a quick checklist to help get your RV in tip-top travel-ready shape. Let’s get this travel season off to a great start!

CLEAN AND STOCK: Do a quick cleaning of your RV before hitting the road: vacuum, dust, and clean the windows, SLEEPING SITUATION windshield, and outside mirrors theymake need or it. break Open the windows air in outthe the interior, Choosing the right sleeping bag ifcan your night’sand sleep running roof vent fans to bag be sure everything’s in working Testbody, the air conditioner great outdoors. A sleeping should be the proper size order. for your and and water pump. Clean the refrigerator with a baking soda/water solution, rinse temperature rating for your climate. A sleeping bag for 35 degrees and higher and air dry. Stock the rig with the necessary blackwater and graywater chemicals, bathroom tissue, temperatures is usually your best bet for the spring season. For more information paper towels, extra batteries, and other essentials. Fill the propane bottles. Check and reon shopping for the right sleeping bag, check out this REI blog post. stock storage bays. Don’t forget to pack your freshwater hose! BATTERY CHECKUP: Proper battery maintenance is a must: battery terminals should be cleaned with a wire brush, and, optionally, a baking soda paste. After thoroughly cleaning, apply a thin coat of Vaseline (or spray the terminals with a light lubricant, such as WD-40). Next, check the water level in all cells and fill with distilled water (never use tap water). Using a trickle charger (and always in a well-ventilated area), bring the battery back to a full charge. To prevent any possible disconnect sparking, always unplug the charger first, and then disconnect the charger cables connected to the battery. Also be sure to check and replace batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector. If you have any battery-powered clocks, radios or weather radios, check their batteries as well. Insure all electronics (TVs, radios, DVD players, etc.) are in good working order. 20

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER


LIGHTS AND BULBS: Check signal lights, headlights, and brake lights. Check interior 12-volt lighting, and purchase some extra 12-volt bulbs for those “just in case” emergencies on the road. Also make sure you have a flashlight and extra batteries stored somewhere in the rig. Inspect the fire extinguisher. OUTSIDE: Check your dump valves for smooth operation: the slide mechanism should operate smoothly and seal completely when closed. Check the operation of your basement storage compartments, and grease with a light oil, if necessary. Check slideout operation and lubricate, if needed. Inspect slideout seals. Operate your generator and have it serviced, if needed. ROOF INSPECTION: Check for roof leaks, and repair, if necessary, before “hitting the road.” There are few things worse than suffering from a leaky roof when you’re far from home! Check the propane heater vents and hot water heater vent (usually on the side of the rig) and the blackwater venting system (usually on the roof) for animal/bird nests or debris. HOSES, WIRING, FLUIDS AND MORE: Visually inspect your RV’s suspension components, including shock absorbers. Check and clean the air cleaner, if needed. Inspect hoses, fuel lines, electrical wiring, and belts. And remember to check all fluids: radiator coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, and oil. If the RV has been in storage more than six months, consider changing the oil and filter. Inspect windshield wipers, replacing if necessary. TIRES, WHEELS, AND BRAKES: Inspect your RV’s tires closely, looking for cuts or other visible damage on both sides of the sidewall and inspect for sun damage (dry rot). Check the tread for uneven wear (indicating a possible alignment or wheel balance problem). Inflate tires to the proper pressure. CHECK AND TIGHTEN LUG NUTS: Using a torque wrench, tighten lugs to about 85 pounds. Inspect the trailer wheel bearings and repack with grease. Check out towbar and towing connections; grease fifth wheel hookup, if applicable. Check jack operation. Have your RV’s brakes checked by a qualified technician: the condition of the brake linings and brake magnet should be checked annually for wear and heat damage. By Paul and Kerri Elders

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Continued from page 18

ACTIVITIES & EVENTS CALENDAR

Lake Whitney Throughout April: Every Monday is Potluck Lunch and every Thursday is Potluck Dinner. Join us on Saturdays for Ice Cream Social followed by Candy Bingo. Also, our Community Garden is in the works! Everyone is invited to help make it grow! April 5: Flower Photo Contest! Come to the park for details! April 12: Photo winner will be named. April 18: Adult Easter Egg Hunt. April 19: Kids hunt Easter Eggs with the Easter Bunny! Medina Lake April 5: It’s Backwards Day: We will do everything backwards today. Greet someone with a goodbye or play golf backwards. We will also have a craft sale, kids’ craft and Ice Cream and Cake Social to celebrate April birthdays and anniversaries. April 12: Dice Day is here so let’s roll the dice for Candy Game, T.T. Dice, LCR, and yard dice. April 18-20: Easter Weekend includes Friday Fish Fry at Top of the Trail Cafe and Member Appreciation event on Saturday. Easter events include egg dying, Easter Egg Hunt and visit from the Easter Bunny, plus free ice cream during the Ice Cream Social. April 26: Tournament Day: Let’s see if you have what it takes to be a winner in shuffleboard, mini-golf, pool and more. Throughout April Cowboys on Main Enjoy Western displays and strolling musicians at the Bandera Courthouse on Main Street every Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. in nearby Bandera. VIRGINIA Chesapeake Bay April 4-6: Mother Earth Weekend: Introduction to Trailblazer Club for Kids: fun activities that teach kids how they can contribute to the protection of our environment. Kick-off to the 2014 Ronald McDonald “Pull-Tab” program, a recycling program that raises money for out-of-town families in need of housing while a child is hospitalized. Start saving your soda can pull tabs and bring them to Sandy in Recreation. April 11-13: Pies and Pickles: Can you bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy? Whether you are renowned (as you will discover, we like this word) for your pies or a novice, bake a pie of your choice to be entered in the contest. After chowing down on pie, it’s time to get back into Pickleball-fighting shape as we return to a regular schedule of TT’s most popular court sport. April 18-20: Easter Weekend A weekend full of our traditional Easter activities! At the dance, strut and sashay in your most garish and outrageous Easter bonnet for the Easter Bonnet Parade. (Gentlemen, we dare you!) Member Appreciation/Orientation is Saturday. Please RSVP to (804) 695-2825. April 25-27: NASCAR Weekend: Start your engines! Root on your favorite driver at the outdoor big screen with Brad. Kids, build a race car to run in the CBSCAR (that’s Chesapeake Bay Stock Car Auto Racing for the uninformed.)

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April 5-6 Daffodil Festival All-day entertainment includes storytellers, magicians, singers and bands. Pets and their owners are invited to participate in the “Magnificent Mutt Show” where everyone is a winner. Guided tours of Brent & Becky’s Bulbs are a short bus ride away ($). Fine Arts & Fine Crafts Shows feature local and regional artists. Follow your nose to the food court for fresh seafood, BBQ, funnel cakes, fries, burgers, chicken, and more. Children will enjoy clowns, face painting, balloons, games and pony rides. Daffodil bulbs are on sale with fall delivery. There is something to please the entire family...truly a full day of family fun. Held at historic Court Circle, 6509 Main Street, in Gloucester, For information visit www. visitgloucesterva.org/daffodilfestival Harbor View April 12: Opening Weekend: Chili Cook Off - share your Chili for dinner, prize will be awarded for Best Chili! Judging will be done by all that participate. See Mary Jane for details. April 19: Member Appreciation: Enjoy Coffee and Doughnuts at 10 a.m. with the manager. Bring your thoughts and questions. Virginia Landing April 25-May 4 Annual Flounder Tournament Annual flounder fishing tournament with a top prize of $2,000. Entry fee is $35. Register at wachapreaguemarina. net. For information call (757) 787-4110. Event is held in Wachapreague, just 12 miles from the preserve. Williamsburg April 18-20: Easter & Member Appreciation/Orientation: Events include annual Egg Hunts, Easter Crafts, Wagon Rides, Wacky Golf Tournament and Bingo. Members are invited to attend an orientation on how to maximize the benefits of their Zone Camping Pass Membership. WASHINGTON Birch Bay April 12: Karaoke Sing-along Party. April 19: Easter Egg Hunt at 1 p.m. and TT Family Easter Potluck. Chehalis Throughout April: The Happy TTrails’ horse trails are open for you equine enthusiasts (reservations required). March 26-April 6: Spring Break-ation: Family Center will be open for indoor entertainment: Movies, crafts, puzzles, games, Ice Cream Social and good times! Bring your Xbox, Wii, PlayStation, etc and enjoy our new Gaming Center in the downstairs Activity Room. April 18: Join us for a fun Easter Egg Craft and later treat yourself to an ice cream sundae or a “Brownie Pop.” April 19: Easter Egg 500, Party & Potluck! Continued on page 46


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& PDATES UUPGRADES Check here each month to see what’s new at the preserves and what’s in the works.

UPDATED ENTRANCE

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NEW POOL FURNITURE


LAKE & SHORE

OCEAN VIEW, NJ

Upgrades are scheduled at New Jersey’s Lake & Shore. Some of the highlights include improvements to the entrance, the pool and beach area, as well as the playground and mini-golf course.

Options & Recommendation Here’s a quick overview of what’s in store for this

Options & Recommendation Jersey Shore gem.

#1

#1 Moderate upgrade

The Entrance: The entrance is slated to have new road signage as well as new asphalt.

#2

#2 Major renovation and re12 foot 4 Pod Playgro 11 foot 3 pod playground with configuration The Welcome Center: The Welcome Center will be expanded and receive a fresh, updated look that includes new flooring, lighting, a new counter and new interior doors. The restrooms in the Welcome Center will also be updated.

scription climbing wall and to Replace all pavers with capacity of 53 total user Replace carpet, boarders, Pool Deck & Pavilion: The poolcapacity deckMultiple will be of 58 Keystone Brick to make expanded, a new fence will be installed around the obstacles, Make coarse ADA perimeter, and there will be new landscaping as playing surface wider, Install well as new pool furniture. A brand new pavilion, compliant, add 1 fountain, 2 loop approximately 500 square feet, will be added, new high quality carpet, add a that will provide shade as playground desired by pool Will guests. holes, and one piped hole. be Install playground material Install mater couple new obstacles, fix Area: Beachnew sand course. will be added to virtually brand Work provided by Burke set in 9Beach provided by Burke in 12 double the size of the existing lakeside beach cracked concrete. to accommodate additional lounge space and

inches of sand $40,000

commended

sand

lakeside recreational activities.

$120,000

Playground: A new playground will be installed near the beach.

$31,362

= Recommended

Mini-Golf Course: New carpet will be laid and course will receive an updated look.

$40,000

We will keep you posted as the work progresses, but all signs point to a great summer of family fun at Lake & Shore. Note: The scope of this project is subject to change.

NEW PLAYGROUND BY THE BEACH

UPDATED MINI-GOLF

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At South Jetty, Florence, OR

The Perry family

I Knew I Was a

T

TrailBlazer

his month, TrailBlazer would like to introduce you to the Perrys, a family that has been full-time RVing for two years now and just visited their 50th state capitol building! They decided to take the phrase “Life is a journey and only you hold the map” to heart and hit the road with enthusiasm. Learn more about this month’s TrailBlazers here.

full-timers. We have met so many friends, gotten so many tips from fellow full-timers and learned all about the value of Thousand Trails. We have stayed at 28 Thousand Trails locations in the last two years.

TB: How long have you been camping and RVing? Who introduced you to it? Tell us how it all began!

CP: We are filled with great memories. When we started we thought the memories would be of the amazing places, but we discovered the people we met and visited along the way were the icing on the cake. We will always remember Thousand Trails Orlando. We were able to visit Disney World and find a great church nearby. We had such positive experiences there with other full time families building new friendships and making lifetime friends that we can’t wait to see again. One amusing story happened this past October. We met a couple of other families at the Hershey Preserve in Pennsylvania. What a great place to celebrate Halloween. Our kids had the best time trick or treating at all of the campsites. We had such a good time with the families we met that when they moved to Circle M in Lancaster we decided to follow them so we could have one more campfire with them before moving on.

CP: We have been full-time campers for two years. Marc and I had no camping experience before that. Camping, we decided, would allow us the freedom to travel to each state capitol and educate our children formally and informally as we traveled. We had a sign in our sticks and bricks house that said “Life is a journey and only you hold the map.” We decided our journey should include spending quality time with our children. TB: How did you first hear about Thousand Trails? CP: We learned about the Thousand Trails membership from Fulltime Families. We actually met Kimberly Travaglino at Gateway to Cape Cod (Rochester, MA) when she knocked on our door and asked if we were 26

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TB: What is one of your fondest camping memories? How about one of your fondest TT memories?


TB: What type of camper are you/what equipment do you use? What do you prefer and why? (ex: fifth wheel, RV, tent, cabins, etc.) CP: We have a 39-foot Newmar Cypress fifth wheel and a Freightliner Sport Chasis. At first we thought we would like a Class A, but decided a fifth wheel was the best fit for our family. It really is nice to have two separate bedrooms. We are very blessed to have had memorable safe travels in Great White, our truck. TB: Where have you gone that you wouldn’t have otherwise, if it hadn’t been for your Thousand Trails membership? CP: We would definitely not have spent so much time in Texas if we didn’t have a Thousand Trails membership. We were able to see hundreds of deer at Medina Lake, decorate Christmas trees with other campers at Lake Whitney and spend hours hiking at scenic Lake Texoma. TB: What is your favorite part about the outdoor lifestyle?

Caroline at Carolina Landing Preserve in South Carolina

CP: We love hiking and biking. Our children, Marcus and Caroline would tell you the pools are their favorite. Just being together as a family has made us realize we don’t need a lot of stuff to clutter our lives. We began with a one year plan to tour all 50 state capitol buildings, a goal which we just completed as we visited Hawaii just days short of being on the road for two years. We enjoy sharing our travels on our blog unpredictableperrys. wordpress.com. As of now we have no plans to return to a permanent residence. TB: Can you finish this sentence? I knew I was a TrailBlazer when…

Verde Valley Preserve, Cottonwood AZ

CP: We knew we were trailblazers when our goals shifted from accumulating things and filling our lives with business to spending time just being together and discovering new places and friendships. I recently read the quote: “Travel is the only thing that you spend money on that makes you richer,” and I agree! ■

At Medina Lake in Texas

Caroline and Marcus at Thanksgiving at Three Flags, Wildwood, FL APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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I

n late November 1959, Noble and Dean entered Mozambique, a Portuguese colony in southern Africa that had been under Portuguese authority since explorer Vasco da Gama first landed there in 1498, when he circumnavigated the Cape of Good Hope. While the plan was to visit the Gorongosa Game Reserve, the pair first had to learn a bit about the driving conventions in Mozambique. Even though in Portugal, located on the European continent, drivers use the right side of the road, Mozambique honored the left hand side, similar to British Rhodesia and South Africa. While in Cape Town, the words “Left Hand Drive” were actually painted on the bumper of the “Roadrunner,” as a reminder to the American team, and those words remain to this day. Another issue was the roads themselves. “The road we were on was beautifully paved but it was only one car wide,” said Noble. “Also, there was not much traffic in Mozambique in the days of our visit so we encountered an impala running down the middle of the road. We followed it at 30 mph for about a quarter of a mile.” Unfortunately, as they neared the game reserve, they found the roads had been washed out so it was closed. They proceeded to the city of Tete, 228 miles away, and were welcomed by locals who were intrigued by the two strangers. “After our dinner, they loaded us up with beer, peanuts and tripe, compliments of the restaurant owner,” recalls Noble. “The next day we crossed the Pungwe River on a raft secured to the sides of the river via a wire/cable and driven by a native with a hand ratchet – one vehicle per trip,” said Noble. “We picked up a farmer and a crocodile hunter and delivered them to a farm down the road. We did this frequently because we had room on the top of the Jeep thanks to its flat roof and side rails to hold on to for safety.” However, as they ventured further down the river they found low water levels, as the rainy season had not hit yet, making river travel no longer an option. “So, we were forced 150 miles out of the way to reach the towns of Mungari and Changara where we met up with the Portuguese Administrator, Mr. Pereira De Bulka, and his wife and four children. They took good care of us, treating us to ‘barely chilled’ beer as they had no electricity,” said Noble. “So what did we do with that beer? We put them in our ice box and cooled them.”

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The pair eventually reached Tete via the Zambezi River. Tete was an important town with about 10,000 white settlers as well as over 100,000 natives. In Tete, Noble and Dean were treated to lunch by the owner of a Philco Distribution Co. who also helped refill the pair’s water supply. “Because there was very little safe water to drink, it all had to be filtered which took some time as our water tank in the Jeep held 12 gallons,” said Noble. “To be safe, I dumped a tiny jar of 100 purifying halazone tablets in the water tank with each fill. We went through over 100 jars on our trek.” Leaving Tete they moved on to Nyasaland, a British Protectorate. “We were invited to the home of Mr. Gordon Kerr, a Customs and Immigration officer we met at the border. We camped in his backyard.” They also enjoyed Lake Nyasa, which was 365 miles long, anywhere from 10 to 50 miles wide, and over 23,000 feet deep. “We swam to our hearts’ content.” They also spent time with the Homer Cox family, owners of the Ku Chawe Inn where the pair rested and were well fed by the family. This gave Dean a chance to catch up on his birding notes while Noble reveled in meeting with the local businessmen. As always, adventures were had, long-lasting relationships were formed and the pair experienced new cultures and customs. “Our truck was always a magnet for natives and served our purposes well beyond my expectations,” said Noble. Next up - on to Tanzania, where they meet Clary Palmer Wilson and enjoy a safari and a stay on a 5,000 acre sisal plantation. ■


CIRCLE CIRCLENO. NO.102 129ON ONFAST FASTFACTS FACTSCARD CARDPAGE PAGE5050


28th Anniversary

May 15-18, 2014

SPRING GULCH

FOLK FESTIVAL 2014 entertainment

John Gorka BeauSoleil The Boxcars Nora Jane Struthers Tom Chapin & The Party Line Mary Gauthier Mustard’s Retreat Plus Many More

Choose from 2 Packages

3-NIGHTS, $149/COUPLE $25/COUPLE for a day ticket (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) (Limited availability. Must check-out no later than May19, 2014. Cannot be combined with any other offer. 3-night package on standard and value site types. Offer not valid on rental units. Reservations required. Use promo code TBFF14)

FOR RESERVATIONS CALL (717) 354-3100 Event will be held at the Spring Gulch Resort - 475 Lynch Road, New Holland, Pennsylvania

www.SpringGulch.com


APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER CIRCLE NO. 112 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50

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OntheRoad WHETHER YOU SPEND LIFE ON THE ROAD FOR PLEASURE OR WORK, IT’S NICE TO HAVE THE COMFORTS OF HOME AS YOU TRAVEL THE HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS. TRAILBLAZER CHECKS IN WITH FOLKS WHO SPEND A FAIR AMOUNT OF TIME ON THE ROAD TO SEE JUST WHAT MAKES THEIR HOME AWAY FROM HOME. THIS MONTH, WE CHATTED WITH HOT BLUEGRASS BAND, BALSAM RANGE.

BALSAM RANGE

B

alsam Range is among the most exciting and buzzworthy acts on the acoustic music scene today. From somewhat inauspicious beginnings at a local pizza parlor in Haywood County, North Carolina, Balsam Range emerged as a musical phenomenon created by a gifted group of hometown friends. With a special brand of high energy bluegrass, roots and Americana flavoring, these guys serve up a tasty live performance on the road. Founded in 2007, Balsam Range consists of five friends who’ve blended their unique individual experiences and backgrounds to form a distinctive sound. Since bursting onto the scene, Balsam Range has made a lasting mark in the world of bluegrass and acoustic music. Together, Tim Surrett, Buddy Melton, Darren Nicholson, Marc Pruett, and Caleb Smith creatively blend bluegrass, folk, gospel and jazz into a compelling new acoustic music experience. The band was honored with the 2011 International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA) Song of the Year Award for “Trains I Missed” and, more recently, won Album of the Year for Papertown at the IBMAs, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Papertown, spent an impressive five consecutive months as the #1 album on the Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey and produced four #1 singles: “Any Old Road (Will Take You There),” “I Could Do You Some Good,” “Born Ramblin’ Man,” and “Row By Row.” 32

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Balsam Range

Among the opportunities that have come their way, Balsam Range may now count a Hollywood connection among their credits. The band was chosen to provide music and appear in the movie, “Careful What You Wish For,” set for release in 2014. The film stars Paul Sorvino, Dermot Mulroney and Nick Jonas. Both innovative and collaborative in spirit, the players also teamed up with their pal, John Driskell Hopkins, to create an album of John’s original tunes. Hopkins is a founding member of the Zac Brown Band, with which Balsam Range has shared the stage on several occasions. Balsam Range travels the road in a custom 2002 Freightliner Sprinter 2500TL. As a band, they are musical road warriors, but individually, they are also outdoorsmen, campers and RVers. With a former band, bass player, Tim Surrett spent nearly four years touring in a 30-foot motorhome with a trailer. Fiddler/singer Buddy Melton has a special memory of life in an RV. He spent many years traveling with his wife, daughter and his parents in an RV. “I remember one particularly fun trip. We were in the White Sands area at the time, one of my dad’s favorite places. On that particular trip, it was my wife, daughter, my parents and me. We were traveling in a 42-foot American Tradition. It was nice … very roomy, two slideouts and a diesel engine with a lot of power. We took a lot of vacations in that thing.”


“When my daughter was only a few months old we traveled across the U.S. in an RV,” Melton continues. “She learned to crawl in the RV on that trip. It was also the year that we started Balsam Range.” TrailBlazer caught up with these RVing fans after the IBMAs in Raleigh, North Carolina, What’s your favorite thing about traveling in your Sprinter? Buddy: We have satellite TV which keeps us entertained. It prevents long, boring conversations. We enjoy things like the “Andy Griffith Show.” There’s also a lot of baseball and “SportsCenter.” If Darren gets control, it’s a crime show. If Caleb or I get control of the remote, we look for golf. Tim secretly wanted to be a baseball announcer so sometimes we turn off the volume on a game and let him announce! What are a few favorite things onboard? Caleb: Comfortable seats … that’s the most important thing of all. Buddy: Yeah, heated leather captain chairs! It’s especially fun to turn them on in the summer when Marc is trying to nap and he wakes up begging for someone to turn on the air conditioner.

Balsam Range

Balsam Range traveling in the Sprinter

What are a few favorite destinations and why? Darren: I love South Carolina or any place with historical significance. Buddy: I’m a big national park fan myself! Marc: I’m happy any time we’re headed home, but the Nashville and Raleigh areas are a lot of fun. Really, we find something memorable everywhere we go. Buddy: There’s a cool little vibe about camping and RVing. You meet a lot of like-minded people. It’s relaxed, you get to appreciate a slower pace, and meet really interesting and good people. What are a few favorite venues and why? Darren: We love playing the Grand Ole Opry! Caleb: Oh, yeah! And we’d love to play Red Rocks in Colorado. It just looks like such a spectacular amphitheater. Tim: Merlefest is a great venue and we love Thompson Bowling Arena on the campus of UT Knoxville. Buddy: It’d have to be the Ryman for me! It just has so much history …which is a big part of the reason we play music anyway. Marc: The next destination is always my favorite. What are some favorite meals onboard/on the road? Tim: We’re a bunch of guys, so usually we eat whatever is at the next gas station. We like to keep the Sprinter stocked with plenty of bottled water and crackers.

Balsam Range performing

Caleb: I’ve camped all my life. Breakfast is my favorite part. Something about eating in the cool outdoors and that fresh morning air. Darren: When we stop at a steak house, it’s a good day. If you couldn’t be in Balsam Range, what would you do? Tim: I guess I’d find a way to make a living, probably as a nuclear physicist.[laughing] Naw, I’d find a way to work in the music business in some way. Darren: [smiling] I’d try to invent something. I’d like to invent the thermostat. Buddy: I’d just try to catch up on all the things I’m behind on at home. For more on Balsam Range, visit www.balsamrange.com APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Come See The Shenandoah Valley “Oh Shenandoah, I long to see you…” – Shenandoah lyrics

By Lynn & Cele Seldon

I

f you’re longing for the ideal mid-Atlantic destination, the Shenandoah Valley is the perfect place to see. The varied attractions and incredible convenience of the Shenandoah Valley are what attracts thousands of visitors annually. It is easily reached by interstate, via I-81, I-64, and I-66 and, is within a one-day drive for half the population of the U.S. Once there, the area generally stretches north-to-south, 200 miles from the Winchester area down to Roanoke. Made famous by song and history, Shenandoah is a Native American word meaning “daughter of the stars.” This picturesque area is flanked by wooded hills and mountains, ranging in elevation from around 3,000 to about 5,000 feet. The “Valley” proper is generally 10 to 20 miles wide and features many small towns and lots of rolling farmland. I-81 runs the entire length of the beautiful Valley, making it convenient for quick stops at points of interest. However, for those with time, historic Route 11 offers a slow-paced drive, with even more to see and explore along the way. The entire length of the Shenandoah Valley also features smaller roads, leading to many friendly towns and tourist attractions. This is certainly a region for leisurely driving and lingering. There’s incredible scenery year-round, historical sites, world-famous caverns, renowned wineries, antique shopping, and a full array of tourism services. Along with the people and places, Civil War sites in the Shenandoah Valley draw many visitors. The location and geography of the Valley gave it significant military importance during the Civil War. Stonewall Jackson even said, “I have only to say this—if this Valley is lost, Virginia is lost.” The outstanding Civil War Trails program (www.civilwartrails.org) is prevalent throughout the Valley as the “Avenue of Invasion.” The program features maps, lots of background about various Civil War Trails sites, specific driving routes and more. While the Civil War is a main focus for many visitors, the Shenandoah Valley’s various attractions, activities, dining, and accommodations draw others. From spring wildflowers to summer activities and through to legendary fall foliage and winter sports, the Valley is popular from north to south year-round. The large Virginia portion of the Shenandoah Valley begins in the Winchester and Frederick County region. Here, visitors can take in the Winchester, VA - Civil War reenactment


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The historic Homestead has welcomed twenty two U.S. Presidents


scenic beauty of the area, step back in time, visit unique historic landmarks, discover the relocated Discovery Museum, shop, dine, enjoy professional theater, experience the largest fireman’s parade on the East Coast (part of May’s famed Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival), and even visit an apple orchard to pick their own apples. Winchester changed hands more than 70 times during the Civil War and there were three major battles in 1864. Many special programs, reenactments, living history demonstrations, tours, and more will commemorate the 150th anniversaries of the Second Battle of Kernstown, the Battle of Third Winchester, and the Battle of Cedar Creek. Nowhere else but Winchester can one stroll the streets that George Washington, Stonewall Jackson, Admiral Richard E. Byrd, and Patsy Cline have all walked. Patsy Cline Historic House now welcomes visitors, as does George Washington’s Office Museum and Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters. The Winchester-Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau (including their Civil War Orientation Center and more) can provide lots of information. Berryville and Clarke County to the east provide more history, culture, and outdoor activities. A walking tour highlights a variety of residential and commercial buildings representing the town’s 200-year-old history, while driving tours feature the historic districts in the county. Next, Front Royal and Warren County provide the entrance to Shenandoah National Park, famed Skyline Drive, and more than 370 miles of trails in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Visitor Center in the old Southern Railroad Station on Main Street is the perfect starting place, with many brochures—including a walking tour of historic downtown. As the “Canoe Capital of Virginia,” popular outdoor activities include canoeing and tubing, as well as hiking, horseback riding, and excursions to George Washington National Forest or the Appalachian Trail. Near Front Royal is Skyline Caverns, one of the only places in the world to feature anthodites, the “orchids of the mineral kingdom.” Deep in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Route 11 passes through Shenandoah County, with incredible beauty as mountains rise to the skies on both sides. Along the way, friendly towns are perfect places to stop for a look at smalltown Valley life. Antique lovers linger at the Strasburg Emporium or one of many other shops along the way, while history buffs love the Museum of American Presidents and Stonewall Jackson Museum at Hupp’s Hill. Traveling south, Woodstock boasts the oldest county courthouse still in use west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The helpful Shenandoah

County Travel Council office near I-81 has literature and travel information, including the new O Shenandoah County Artisan Trail and the Shenandoah County Wine Trail. Next, it’s time for a stroll through Edinburg’s or Mount Jackson’s quaint shops and eateries or a side trip up to Bryce Resort for four-season fun (including their new Bryce Resort Mountain Bike Trail, with mild to wild rides). While in Mount Jackson, Route 11 Potato Chips (see “Hip Chips in the Shenandoah Valley” on page 39) is a must-stop. Visitors to New Market will want to head to the 300-acre New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, and 19th century Bushong Farm. This is where 257 VMI cadets bravely turned the tide of battle in 1864. Ten cadets perished. May 16-18, 2014, marks the 150th anniversary of the fierce battle with many events. East of New Market, the Luray and Page County area draws many visitors to its historic streets and colorful caverns. The town is also a great base for exploring the surrounding mountains in the Shenandoah National Park, George Washington National Forest, and along the Skyline Drive. Luray and surrounding Page County are perfect for backroads driving. The Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce in the renovated train station downtown provides information on self-guided tours of the area and lots more. Luray also lures many people to historic Luray Caverns. This large facility features tours along paved walkways and more. Luray Caverns includes the world’s only stalacpipe organ, which features stalactites being struck by electronically controlled rubber-tipped plungers and resulting in music of symphonic quality. Highlights include 140-foot-high ceilings, a crystal-clear wishing well, and formations resembling fried eggs, sunny-side up. Other Luray and Page County attractions include the White House, which played a critical role in the Civil War in 1862, and Luray Zoo—A Rescue Zoo, which was established in


Deep in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Route 11 passes through Shenandoah County, with incredible beauty as mountains rise to the skies on both sides.

Roanoke, VA - Mariners Landing

1957. Additional activities in this outdoors-oriented area include canoeing on the Shenandoah River, horseback riding, biking, hiking, camping, golf, and fishing. The drive down to Harrisonburg and Rockingham County passes through Civil War battlefields preserved in farmland and an abundance of history. Harrisonburg is the home of James Madison University, Eastern Mennonite University, and nearby Bridgewater College, and the charming city is also surrounded by the giant playgrounds of George WashingtonJefferson National Forest and Shenandoah National Park. Highlights of the bustling area include the Virginia Quilt Museum, Court Square Theater, the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, White Oak Lavender Farm, and the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Biking and fishing (especially with Mossy Creek Fly Fishing) are particularly popular, as are sampling local microbrews and farm-to-table restaurants after communing with Mother Nature. Harrisonburg Tourism & Visitor Services in the HardestyHiggins House Visitor Center on Main Street (which also includes the Valley Turnpike Museum and Civil War Orientation Center) can provide information about the entire area and many special events, including the immensely popular Rockingham County Fair in August. Out around Dayton, several attractions draw tourists, including The Shops at Dayton Farmers Market, The Heritage Museum, and the Daniel Harrison House, an 18th century home depicting life in the Valley in 1749. Endless Caverns is another big Rockingham County draw, with stunning displays of calcite formations, winding passageways, large rooms, and an underground stream. The drive down to Staunton is short and sweet. This hilly and pretty town, one of the Valley’s most varied stops, deserves more than just a brief visit. Highlights here include downtown (just one of Staunton’s five National Historic Districts); “Jumbo” (a remarkable antique fire engine); the stained glass windows created by Tiffany Studios for historic

Trinity Church; the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum; the American Shakespeare Center; restored Sears Hill Pedestrian Bridge; and the Frontier Culture Museum, featuring 17th, 18th, and 19th century working farms, and also the Artisans Center of Virginia. Staunton also has a renowned music (and music festival) scene, as well as tasty farm-to-table dining. West of Staunton, Waynesboro is another ideal Shenandoah Valley base or destination, with many attractions in town or nearby. The Shenandoah Valley Art Center has art exhibits, studios, classes, lectures, workshops, and performances, while the Waynesboro Heritage Museum nearby features area artifacts, Civil War relics, Indian arrowheads and tools, and many other items relating to the area’s past. The P. Buckley Moss Museum houses the permanent collection of the famed artist’s work and is also ideal for that perfect Shenandoah Valley souvenir or gift. Other highlights of the Augusta County area include Grand Caverns, with towering stalactites and halls; Natural Chimneys, towering 120 feet above the Valley floor; Plumb House Museum, near the site of the Battle of Waynesboro; Viette’s Beautiful Gardens; and Fishburne Military School, a leading private military educational institution. Other points of interest in Bath County include nearby Jefferson Pools, Lake Moomaw, the Garth Newel Music Center, and the historic village of Warm Springs. Lexington appeals to travelers with its abundance of history, outdoor adventure, and scenic beauty. A 19th century college town, Lexington is home to Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and Washington & Lee (W&L). Favorite stops include the VMI Museum (with personal items from Stonewall Jackson and the celebrated Henry Steward Antique Firearms Collection); the George C. Marshall Museum (featuring VMI grad Marshall and World War II history); Lee Chapel & Museum (last resting place of Robert E. Lee, the Stonewall Jackson House; the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery; APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Harrisonburg - Edith J. Carrier Arboretum. Photo credit - Christine Anderson

and narrated horse-drawn carriage tours through Lexington’s restored downtown. Other Rockbridge County possibilities include great Appalachian Trail access from Buena Vista and Glasgow, plus many other outdoors opportunities; the Virginia Horse Center, with events many weekends; classic Hulls Drive-in (built in 1950); Virginia Safari Park; the Theater at Lime Kiln, featuring live music and more (Lexington has a thriving cultural scene); the Brownsburg Museum; Rockbridge Vineyard; and Wade’s Mill, a working waterpowered flour mill. South of Lexington is Natural Bridge, one of seven natural wonders of the world and well worth a visit—including other nearby attractions like the Natural Bridge Zoo and fun Natural Bridge Speedway. Activities for outdoors enthusiasts range from hiking, canoeing, and cycling to fishing, horseback riding, and llama trekking. Just a few miles further south, the Roanoke Valley beckons. Roanoke is the Valley’s largest city and is the southern end of this famous region. It is known as the “Capital of the Blue Ridge” and “Star City.” Roanoke is justifiably famous for its historic Roanoke City Market, where farmers have been selling their fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers for more than 130 years. Roanoke features a burgeoning foodie scene, thanks to several renowned restaurants, microbreweries and wineries, and a taste of it all with Roanoke Food Tours. Also in the heart of downtown is Center in the Square, a multicultural complex housing art, history, and science museums, a theater, and a planetarium. The stunning Taubman Museum of Art is a short walk away, with varied special exhibits and events and a permanent collection of more than 2,100 pieces ranging from the 10-foot “Art World” sculpture to the 1 ½-inch square photograph, “Maggie on Beach with Dog,” and from 3,500-year-old Egyptian ceramic figures to modern Roanoke artists. Other options in Roanoke’s thriving downtown include the History Museum of Western Virginia and the O. Winston Link Museum, which is dedicated to the work of photographer Winston Link, who documented the last days of steam along the Northern and Western Railway in moving black-and-white and color photography, audio, and video. 38

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Nearby, up by the famed Roanoke Star, the Roanoke Star and Mill Mountain Zoological Park is an accredited zoo exhibiting endangered species. West of Roanoke is Salem, highlighting antiques and sporting events, as well as Dixie Caverns. Bedford and the National D-Day Memorial (the 70th anniversary of D-Day is June 6, 2014) is about 30 miles east of Roanoke. Finally, sprawling Smith Mountain Lake to the southeast is a glistening Shenandoah Valley gem and a fitting end—or beginning of any exploration. ■ Visiting Virginia? Turn to page 62 for a list of Thousand Trails locations in the area as well as a highlight of upcoming events.

For more information visit www.virginia.org and www.visitshenandoah.org Shenandoah Valley native and frequent TrailBlazer contributor Lynn Seldon is a veteran travel writer and photographer. He was born in Winchester and is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. One of his many travel books, Country Roads of Virginia, features the Shenandoah Valley and other parts of Virginia and is available through his website (www.lynnseldon. com). His upcoming novel, Virginia’s Ring, which is based in Lexington and Richmond, Virginia, is also available through his website. Main Street in downtown Lexington, VA.


In The Shenandoah Valley Situated just off Route 11 near Mount Jackson, Route 11 Potato Chips is quite simply a must-stop. This Shenandoah Valley success story produces renowned potato chips found at Cracker Barrel and many mid-Atlantic stores, as well as at this modern production facility (which includes a viewing window to see the chips being made.) Route 11 Potato Chips owner Sarah Cohen says fans of her hip chips really love these options:.

Sweet Potato Mama Zuma’s Revenge Lightly Salted Available lightly salted or topped with cinnamon and sugar, the natural sugars of the sweet potatoes caramelize in the fryer for a complex taste treat. Moms love them because a single ounce of these chips supplies 120% of the RDA for Vitamin A.

Let’s just say these chips are hot in the mouth and The original hand-cooked Route 11 on the market. It’s the generous helpings of dried standard setter. habanero and chipotle powder that make this Route 11 the “hottest chip in the market.”

Dill Pickle

Chesapeake Crab

Still our kind of southernstyle crunch and taste.

They use a spice blend found at many mid-Atlantic crab houses for this popular line.

Route 11 Kitchen, Mt Jackson, VA Photo credit - Route 11 Potato Chips

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The Historic Triangle & More Virginia’s Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, plus Plantation Road By Lynn & Cele Seldon

When many Virginia visitors think of the Old Dominion, they think of plantations and the “Historic Triangle” of Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. These historic havens have become synonymous with the history that Virginia visitors crave. However, it’s not history out of some boring textbook. It’s living history in many ways and it’s all easy to explore in one long trip or several shorter trips. 40

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The Hi


istoric Triangle

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Colonial Williamsburg - Photo Credit: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Courtesy Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org

Photo Credit: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Courtesy Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org

Williamsburg Colonial Williamsburg: Governor’s Palace gardens. Photo Credit: Kelly J Mihalcoe Photographer LL. Courtesy Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Colonial Williamsburg In a state blessed with so much history, Colonial Williamsburg can provide many days’ worth of historical exploration. More than a million annual visitors can’t be wrong. Williamsburg was once the capital of a colony that extended all the way to present-day Minnesota. It was a seat of preRevolutionary War political rebellion. Today’s restored Colonial Williamsburg portrays 18th-century Williamsburg as it appeared on the eve of, and during, the Revolution. It covers 301 acres of the town laid out in 1699 by Royal Governor Francis Nicholson. Bisected by mile-long Duke of Gloucester Street, the Revolutionary City is enhanced by a 3,000-acre greenbelt. There are more than 85 original structures, hundreds of major reconstructions, and more than 40 exhibition buildings containing more than 225 rooms, with furnishings from a 100,000-item (and counting) collection. There are also 90 acres of gardens and greens, 15 exhibition sites, 10 shops, more than 30 trade presentations, several museums, historic interpreters, and many special and ongoing programs. There’s obviously much to see. Any visit should start with a stop at the informative Visitor Center. Opened in 1957, the Visitor Center provides parking information (including for RVs), tickets, bus service, and reservations. Orientation begins with a 35-minute film, “Williamsburg--The Story of a Patriot.” 42

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Highlights within the historic area include the Capitol; the reconstructed Governor’s Palace, completed in 1720, but destroyed in 1781; and the wide variety of shops where costumed milliners, wigmakers, postal workers, and many others are plying their trades. Along with other dining options, operating taverns include Chowning’s, Christiana Campbell’s, Shields, and King’s Arms. For shoppers, Merchants Square is an ideal place for that perfect gift or weekend memory. Eating and shopping are definitely a part of the Colonial Williamsburg experience. There is a wide variety of ticket options for adults and children, as well as many package possibilities that include accommodations and dining. Colonial Williamsburg also provides a perfect base for exploring Yorktown and Jamestown, the other two points of the renowned “Historic Triangle.” Be prepared, however, to spend more than just a day or two exploring the historic riches of the area.

Y


Yorktown Yorktown was the site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War and the surrender of Lord Cornwallis to General George Washington in 1781. The National Park Service Visitor Center features “The Siege of Yorktown,” a 16-minute film, a museum with artifacts related to the 1781 siege, including tents used by General Washington, rangerled programs, and information for self-guided tours. Visitors can drive the battlefield and encampment tour roads, visit the Moore House where surrender negotiations took place (open seasonally), see the site of the British surrender, and view exhibits about Yorktown’s Civil War history at the National Cemetery Lodge. The Monument to Victory and Alliance, the Nelson House, home to Thomas Nelson, Jr., signer of the Declaration of Independence, and other historic sites are located within the town. The Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution, chronicles America’s quest for nationhood. Thematic gallery exhibits and the film, “A Time of Revolution” highlight the experiences of ordinary men and women who lived during the Revolution, trace the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution, and examine how people from many different cultures shaped a new society. Outdoors, historical interpreters engage visitors in everyday life during the Revolutionary era. Visitors can learn about a soldier’s life in a re-created Continental Army encampment and, on a re-created 1780s farm, help with chores such as weeding the garden and processing flax. The museum continues to welcome visitors daily as it transforms

into the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, to open in late 2016. Since 2005, Riverwalk Landing has linked the Yorktown Victory Center and Yorktown Battlefield in a one-mile pedestrian walkway on the York River. A beautiful waterfront venue, designed in the spirit of colonial architecture reflected in Yorktown’s historic buildings, offers a variety of shops and riverfront dining. Visitors can arrange to rent a bike, take guided Segway adventure tours of the village, or sail on the schooners Alliance or Serenity. A free trolley runs daily from spring through fall, offering many stops throughout town.

Yorktown Battlefield. Photo credit Bill Crabtree Jr. Virginia Tourism Corporation

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Visitors can witness archaeology-in-action at the 1607 James Fort excavation; tour the original 17th-century church tower and reconstructed Jamestown Memorial Church; take a walking tour with a ranger or living-history interpreter through the historic townsite and view representations of many of the buildings that once stood in the town; watch costumed glassblowers at the Glasshouse; and drive the scenic Island Drive. Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia, evokes the world of America’s first permanent English colony through the film “1607: A Nation Takes Root,” gallery exhibits and outdoor living history. Expansive exhibition galleries featuring more than 500 period artifacts provide an overview of Jamestown’s beginnings and the first century of the Virginia colony and describe the cultures of the Powhatan Indians, Europeans and Africans who converged in 1600s Virginia. Outdoors, visitors can board the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, replicas of the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607. Plus, they can explore life-size re-creations of the colonists’ fort and a Powhatan village. Costumed historical interpreters describe and demonstrate daily life in the early 17th century.

Plantation Road Williamsburg and Richmond are connected by much more than a beautiful country road. Williamsburg was the original state capital, before the Old Dominion’s headquarters was moved to Richmond. Today, nearby I-64 makes the trip a blur, but nearby Route 5 allows visitors to linger in the present and enjoy leisurely glimpses into the past. In a drive of less than 60 miles, the road between Williamsburg and Richmond winds through more than three hundred years of Virginia (and U.S.) history on the home front. The drive is like a trip to visit several wealthy friends at their large, and varied, country estates. Once you leave the outskirts of Williamsburg on Route 5, the history lessons begin quickly. Most drivers are drawn to the large number of Virginia historic markers. Cars are constantly pulling over for roadside history lessons, culled from the distinctive signs all along Virginia’s historic roads. Route 5 explorers will also notice the attractive Virginia Byway signs (including a cardinal, the state bird) denoting the historic and scenic importance of this road. The first plantation after leaving Williamsburg is Sherwood Forest Plantation, which is open to visitors (for a small fee) for self-guided ground tours, as well as house tours by 44

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

Schooner Alliance - Photo Credit: County of York. Virginia Tourism Corporation.

The historic Jamestown (or “Jamestowne”) area offers a wealth of activities for exploring the first permanent English settlement in North America and more. The Visitor Center at Historic Jamestowne features exhibits with hundreds of Jamestown artifacts and an introductory theater presentation. At the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, visitors learn about the excavation of James Fort and view more than 1,000 artifacts.

Jamestown

Jamestown

appointment and during special events. Sherwood Forest was the home of President John Tyler and is considered the longest frame house in America, at 300 feet. It has been a working plantation for more than 240 years and is still occupied by members of the Tyler family. There’s even the family’s pet cemetery nearby. Try to time your driving for a stop at Charles City Tavern, about 12 miles west of Sherwood Forest, for lunch or brunch. It’s housed in an 1889 farmhouse that sits on a 2,000-acre working farm. Their creative fare includes a don’t miss “Virginia Poutine”—French fries topped with pimento cheese and Surry bacon gravy.


Berkeley Plantation sign

Westover Plantation iron fence

Plantation Road Back on Route 5, look for the turn to Westover Church on the left. The original church was built nearby in 1613 and this site and “new” building were adopted in 1730. If you’re enjoying Route 5 on a Sunday, try to time a visit for morning services at this true country church. Just down the road on the left are two plantations for the price of one drive down a country road. Called “Virginia’s Most Historic Plantation” for good reason, Berkeley Plantation is one of the most popular stops on Route 5. Plus, the grounds of Westover Plantation are also well worth a visit. The half-mile dirt road to Berkeley was designed for carriages and built in 1725. A sign asks drivers to drive “leisurely.” This historic mansion was built in 1726 (the initials of Benjamin Harrison IV and his wife Anne are on a datestone over a side door) and has since played host to George Washington, many more succeeding U.S. presidents, and thousands of tourists. The Colonial-clad tour guides will point out many unique features. Some great tidbits you’ll learn during the tour include “Taps” was composed at Berkeley in 1862 while Civil War Union forces were encamped at the plantation; William Henry Harrison, Governor Benjamin Harrison’s third son, was born at Berkeley and went on to become the famous Indian fighter “Tippecanoe,” the ninth president of the U.S., and grandfather of the 23rd president of the U.S. If you’re visiting in early November, be sure to call in advance about the Virginia First Thanksgiving Festival, an annual celebration on the first Sunday in November. In 1619, Captain John Woodlief came safely ashore here (two years before the colonists arrived in Massachusetts) and they have since celebrated the event annually. This popular event includes historical reenactments, crafts, Indian dancers and exhibits, music, and some great Virginia food. By taking the other fork in the road, plantation lovers in the know head to Westover Plantation to tour the grounds, gardens, and outbuildings (small donation requested) or visit the interior’s downstairs rooms during special events. This home, built around 1730 by William Byrd II, only opens its grounds (you can’t go inside) for touring. Situated directly on the James River, the best view of the buildings and grounds is found by walking across the lawn instead of following the path. Check out the small structure by

the ice house, which contains passageways leading to the river in case of attack by Indians. On the other side of the house, look for the iron fence with supporting columns topped by unusual stone finials cut to resemble an acorn for perseverance (from little acorns great oaks grow); a pineapple for hospitality; a Greek Key to the World for knowledge; a cornucopia or horn of plenty; a beehive for industry; and an urn of flowers for beauty. The last of the Route 5’s plantations is situated less than 20 miles outside of Richmond. Like many stately mansions, the ride up to Shirley Plantation is along a tree-lined road. Shirley was founded in 1613, just six years after the settlers arrived in Jamestown to establish the first permanent English Colony in the New World. The brick structure is one of the nation’s prime examples of Queen Anne architecture. It has been the home of the Carter family since 1723 and the 800-acre working plantation is still owned and operated by the ninth and tenth generations of the original family. It was the home of Anne Hill Carter, mother of Robert E. Lee. As they do today, many prominent Virginians enjoyed the hospitality of Shirley Plantation, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Look for the plethora of pineapples, a Colonial symbol of hospitality, in the hand-carved woodwork of the house and the 3 1/2-foot pineapple finial on the peak of the rooftop. The history- and anecdote-packed tour is excellent and a tour of the grounds along the James is invigorating. Next, Civil War buffs flock to Fort Harrison, one of many large battlefields that are part of the Richmond National Battlefield Park. There is a small museum and visitors center, where you can get background on Fort Harrison’s role in the War Between the States as well as a useful map. Fort Harrison was bloodily captured by the Union forces of General Ulysses S. Grant in 1864 with more than 15,000 Yankee troops. The battle served as the beginning of the downfall of Richmond, the Capital of the Confederacy, six months later. There’s a pretty and (now) peaceful walking tour and drive through the park before heading back to Route 5. As you enter Richmond along the James River, the modern skyline looms ahead, but the memories of a unique past are just a few miles behind you. ■

Visiting Virginia? Turn to page 62 for a list of Thousand Trails locations in the area as well as a highlight of upcoming events.


Continued from page 22 ACTIVITIES & EVENTS CALENDAR

It all starts at 10 a.m. with our Manager’s Meeting in the Family Lodge. Kids can gather downstairs in the Activity Room for a fun game or two. The Easter Bunny and his “helpers” will be hiding the eggs (more than 500 of them!) outside the Lodge. When the hunt begins, see who will find the Golden or Silver Eggs for a special prize! After the hunt, bring your favorite dishes to the potluck. We will be baking a delicious Easter Ham as our contribution! Then get comfy with the kiddies and enjoy the movie “Hop.” Popcorn provided. April 20: Don’t forget Easter Sunrise Services with Dr A at the Chapel in the Woods! Check your newsletter insert for times. Grandy Creek April 18-20: Easter Weekend: Hop down the bunny trail for this spectacular weekend. There will be egg dying, craft time, an Easter Egg Hunt for all the kids and lots more! La Conner April 19-20: On Saturday at noon, come dye Easter Eggs in the Family Center. We will provide eggs and dye. On Sunday, beginning at 8:30 a.m., the Easter Bunny has planned a wonderful Egg Hunt just for you! We break into age groups and the one who finds the Golden Egg wins a fabulous prize. Breakfast will be served both days. Throughout April Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Every spring hundreds of thousands of people come to enjoy this celebration of spring as millions of tulips burst into bloom. As with all things governed by Mother Nature, the tulips bloom according to their own schedule sometime during the festival. The festival is designed as a driving tour for the visitor as there is no one “site” that you go to for your visit. This is because the farmers in our valley raise tulips as an agricultural crop and the 100s of acres of blooming flowers are scattered throughout the Skagit Valley. In addition to the flowers, festival visitors enjoy taking in one of the many events and activities that happen only during April. These too are scattered throughout the Skagit Valley.

Long Beach April 19-20 Long Beach Razor Clam Festival This historic festival includes live entertainment, free clam digging lessons, the Second Annual Clam Chowder Taste Off, contests and music. There will also be a cooking in the huge frying pan. Event is held in downtown Long Beach, just 2.5 miles from the preserve. April 25-27 Peninsula Arts Association Spring Show This annual spring Art Show features artists from all over the region, displaying work in five different categories. You can cast your vote for the People’s Choice Ribbon. Art will be available for purchase as well as raffle prizes. All proceeds benefit the PAA High School Graduate Scholarship Fund and Art Enrichment program. Held at the Peninsula Arts Association in Long Beach, just 3 miles from the preserve. Paradise April 25-27: Back to Nature Weekend: View all the improvements we’ve made over the winter and enjoy our fishing, trails and campfires. Thunderbird April 25- 27: Earth Day Weekend: Saturday Coffee with the Manager will start at 9 a.m. Enjoy doughnuts and coffee as we prepare for our Earth Day Celebration.

Watch for our Theme Weekend supplement coming soon.

Calendar Events are also listed on our website. Visit www.trailblazermagazine.net to see events.

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RING COLONIAL WILLIAMSB O L P X URG E With

Image purchased from iStock. by Getty Images

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2013

While you’re exploring the historic districts of Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Busch Gardens and Jamestown, why not take advantage of everything along the way? Microsoft Streets & Trips 2013 can help you discover interesting stops near your route, wherever you go. Starting and ending at the Thousand Trails Williamsburg RV & Camping Resort, check out the following places and more. • • • • • • • •

147 RESTAURANTS 34 LANDMARKS 26 GAS STATIONS 10 ART GALLERIES 14 GOLF COURSES 5 NIGHTCLUBS & TAVERNS 6 MUSEUMS 4 NATIONAL PARKS

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YOUR TECH QUESTIONS ANSWERED!

Q:

BILL, WE MET YOU A FEW YEARS BACK AT THOUSAND TRAILS MEDINA LAKE.

A:

In regard to the kitchen slide, I’ve seen this gouging of the laminate floor in the past and unfortunately, adjusting the slideout will most likely not cure this problem. I believe what’s happening is either a screw has come dislodged and/or has

My name is Ciro de la Vega and my wife is Alice. We own a 2010

come loose and is protruding below the bottom of the slideout

Cameo F35SB3 triple slide and I have two information requests.

floor. As the slideout comes in and goes out, the screw gouges

1. Recently, I have noticed that the kitchen slide, when in the closed position, is gouging a spot in the laminate flooring. I have figured that the slide needs an adjustment to raise the inside corner, but I am not sure how to do it. There are no indications that the floor is dragging at any other point except in the front inside section. 2. My RV is equipped with a Thetford Style II (“High” - bone) commode. It appears the waste ball seal and/or waste ball have decided to quit holding water in the toilet. I have manually cleaned and lubricated the seal. It helped a little, and now it holds water for about a couple of hours rather than two minutes, but that’s about it. My questions are: Is replacement by a semi capable individual (me) a possibility? Is it necessary to remove the toilet? Do I need any special tools to remove and replace the seal? Should I replace both the seal and the ball? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Ciro de la Vega Huntsville, TX

the flooring. Removing such a screw can be pretty difficult, so be patient. With your slideout in the out position, bring it in 90% of the way. Install the wedges of wood under the lip of the slideout and retract the slideout, letting it ride up on the wedges to gain some access underneath. Be careful not to let the slideout ride too far up on the wedges as it could damage the slideout mechanism. Remember to use the wedges of wood to lift up the slideout from the inside of the RV. Get down on the floor with a bright light and begin hunting for the loose screw. If you can locate where it is, try to reach it with a coat hanger and try to wiggle or pull it out if it has come loose. If this screw is still set firm in place and continuing to damage your floor, you may have to take it to a shop and pay to have this tedious job completed. In regard to the toilet issue; personally, I like the Thetford toilets, especially the porcelain Style Plus Series. Unfortunately, the way in which these toilets are assembled make them very difficult to work on. Rebuilding these toilets is almost always unsuccessful - Murphy’s Law usually prevails where you buy hundreds of dollars’ worth of replacement parts and still can’t get it to work. That being said, my recommendation is to replace the toilet with the Aqua Magic Style Plus. I believe this model is more durable

GOT A QUESTION FOR BILL? SEND AN EMAIL TO AskRVBill@equitylifestyle.com

and it is easier to repair in the future than the other models. The toilet itself is very easy to replace. Simply remove the nuts from the two hold-down bolts and the water supply line and lift the toilet from the flange. The new toilet will come with a new seal and new bolts that will be the correct style and length, so be sure to use them.

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T

N

E•

• PE

ERS • TAKE •

OT

Q:

OV •L

because it’s going bad. Although it’s coming off fairly easy, there is a glue residue. Can you tell me what to use to remove the glue residue without harming the paint? Looking forward to your answer,

two, well-behaved Boston Terriers. Our 7-year-old Jack Russell has

Dan and Alice Stone

a nervous breakdown every time we travel in our 2014 Airstream

A:

Trailer and it seems to get worse when the furnace or roof A/C blower comes on. The Labrador has no problem at all and the Jack

Dan and Alice, thanks for your question. Removing the Diamond Shield film and the glue from any type of vehicle is definitely a chore. Try a product called Goo-Gone, available at most hardware stores. You will need to soak the glue residue with Goo-Gone over a period of time to actually try to get it to release. The glue residue varies from coach to coach as it is affected by sunlight and age. Use the Goo-Gone to soften

is fine if he is in the truck. Is there possibly a frequency tone that might be bothering the Jack? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Leslie and Jim McClain

A:

Yes, traveling with animals is a challenge, especially when they

the glue and remove the glue with a warm hand towel and a plastic

are not used to their new “home” environment. The inquiry about

scraper. Body shops use wide plastic scrapers for applying materials and

a frequency tone is not likely as the air conditioner is 120-volts AC

they work quite well for all types of applications. You may be able to

and the furnace is 12-volts DC. Both spin at a much different rpm

soak a few rags in the Goo-Gone and drape them over the motorhome

and because of the lower voltage, the furnace would emit a totally

to allow the remover to soak in to the glue residue. Goo-Gone has a

different tone. I would think that if there were a bothersome tone,

pungent odor so I like to wear a mask and use gloves when handling

the Lab would show some signs of irritation, but maybe not. Maybe

the useful product.

there is a behavior response that has been conditioned in your Jack

Q:

for some reason that is causing him to react to certain noises. Try and

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS...

figure out if he is fearful of any other common household noises at home and address those issues to help him adjust better when in the RV. I noticed that you said the Jack is ok when he is inside the cab of the (familiar) truck and uncomfortable when inside the (new) trailer. Consider looking into crate training your dog and/or helping

added to your engine? They say it will help add more mileage to

to keep a “spot” that is just for him. Try using a familiar dog bed, his

your automobile. If this is possible, I will install on my truck and if that

regular bedding and/or crate that you use at your permanent home

works, on my RV.

that also can be used when you set out on a RV adventure to help him

Thanks, Danny

adjust. New smells and the increased stimulation of an unfamiliar

A:

environment stress a sensitive dog. Remember that dogs rely on

Good question, Danny, as we are all concerned about gas mileage with

leaving him in the truck, in moments of fear does not help to deal

today’s fuel prices. I’ve tried these hydrogen fuel cells to no avail. Simply

with the problem at hand. Look for ways to help calm and reassure

said, I think that they are more of a headache than they’re worth. If the

him. Consider looking into a Thundershirt, which is a snug wrap that

system is in place I believe that there could be damage to the engine

has helped several dogs we know overcome frightening situations.

over a period of time from the hydrogen fuel and a certain amount of

Try using a simple word such as “good quiet” in a soft, soothing voice

moisture that comes with it. It is questionable whether you would save

when your dog is at home and in a peaceful state. Rewarding with

enough fuel to ever pay for the device and its maintenance. The best

just your voice (not a treat) will build confidence and encourage

advice for fuel management is to keep an eye out that you are operating

good behavior. We hope that you ALL will be enjoying your new

at optimum tire pressure and that you regulate your speeds as much as

Airstream very soon! Woof-woof!

possible when driving your truck or your RV.

you as their pack leader to be calm and confident while providing them with new opportunities to trust you. Certainly crating him, or

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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CROSSWORD PUZZLE

ACROSS 1 Last of the Mohicans 6 Home Box Office (abbr.) 9 Repose 12 Hollow stone 13 Tree 14 Us (Ger.) 15 Lagoon 16 Goddess (Lat.) 17 Own (Scot.) 18 Inborn 20 Keen 22 Desert plant 24 Television channel 27 Amer. Dental Assn. (abbr.) 28 Bird 32 Air 34 Presidential nickname 36 Indian music 37 Glass-furnace mouth 39 Survey 41 Cistern 42 Brown vesuvianite 44 East 47 Principal commodity 52 According to (2 words) 53 Belonging to (suf.) 55 Eng. poet 56 Compass direction 57 Rhine tributary 58 Wife of Baler 59 No (Scot.) 60 Fiddler crab genus 61 Handwriting on th wall

Answers on page 64

Reader Service

Free Product Information For product information, complete the Fast Facts card circling no more than 25 numbers, and drop in the mail. You can also visit our website www.trailblazermagazine.net for links to our advertisers’ websites. FF# Advertiser

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112 Bradford Exchange - Chevy Bel Air Cuckoo Clock...............31 116 Carefree RV Resorts................................................................65 104 Equity LifeStyle................................................................ 54-59 157 FirstStreet/Easy Climber....................................................... 19 158 FirstStreet/The Perfect Sleep Chair......................................... 2 160 FirstStreet/Walk-In Tub........................................................ 23 129 FirstStreet/Wow Computer......................................................29 132 GEICO.....................................................................................67 169 Microsoft Streets & Trips........................................................47 128 SkyMed �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������68 50

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

DOWN 1 Fruit 2 No (Ger.) 3 Crest 4 Jewish month 5 Rom. author 6 Pronoun contraction 7 Animal sound 8 Ruminent’s stomach 9 Haw. feast 10 Initial (abbr.) 11 Anglo-Saxon slave 19 French art group 21 Russ. despot 23 Pole in Gaelic games 24 Public vehicle 25 Family relative 26 Thus (Lat.) 29 Civil Aeronautics Board (abbr.) 30 Oriental potentate 31 Women’s Army Corps (abbr.) 33 Scientific name (suf.) 35 Unfledged hawk 38 Lamb (Fr.) 40 Range 43 Blaubok 44 Home landscape 45 Isle of Napoleon 46 Wind indicator 48 Wings 49 Carnation 50 Solitary 51 And other: abbr. (2 words) (Lat.) 54 “Blue Eagle”


CLUB CALENDAR APRIL 2014

TT SINGLES

Central California

PRESERVE HIGHLIGHTS

TTWest/FMCA

April 25-27: Lake of the Springs, CA May 23-26: San Benito, CA Contact Jane Davis at (209) 467-3278 or email to janedjd@pacbell.net; Becky Staffeld at (408) 253-6995 or email to bstaffeld@att.net.

May 16-18: Lake of the Springs, CA Members of Thousand Trails and FMCA meet at Northern California Preserves bimonthly. Contact Bob Litfin at (408) 226-6529 or email to clitfin@ USA.com. Reservations are required two weeks in advance.

Northwest

TT of Texas/FMCA

April 25-27: Chehalis, WA May 23-25: Seaside, OR Contact: Director Marybeth Turner at (206) 255-9363 or email to Marybeth.Turner@ seattle.gov; Winnie Hoyteniuk at (604) 858-9757 or email to winnie@smartt.com (British Columbia); Daphne Bailey at (503) 590-8566 or email to daphnebailey07@comcast.net (Oregon); or Linda Christofferson at (360) 653-3648 (Washington).

TT Travelers Southern California

April 7-9: Palm Springs, CA May 5-7: Oakzanita, CA Contact: Cecil Brown, Wagonmaster at cecilbrown@hotmail.com or call (951) 323-1714.

TTN So Cal Weekenders

April 4-6: Pio Pico, CA May 2-4: Oakzanita, CA We are a group of TTN members who meet once a month at Southern California preserves. All ages welcome; we have both working and retired members. No dues, just fellowship. Email: ttnweekenders@earthlink.netwebsite: http:// home.earthlink.net/~ttnweekenders/

May 2-4: Lake Texoma, TX New members must be a member of TTN and FMCA. Contact Connie Farrar at (817) 454-4612 or email to ttnfmcachapter@gmail.com. Our website is: ttnoftexasfmca.com. We also have a blog site: www.ttfmcaralliesandmore.blogspot.com

Bounders United (BUTTN)

April 7-10: South Jetty, OR May 12-15: Pacific City, OR Wagonmaster will be Tom & Pat Kennedy. Bounders United/TTN are TTN members who own Bounder motorhomes and belong to Bounders United. For more information, contact Tom or Pat Kennedy at (360) 794-4903 or email at BUTTNs231@gmail.com.

TT East Trail Buddies

We are an FMCA chapter exclusively for TT Members. We have three rallies each year at TT preserves on the East Coast. For more information, please contact Club Secretary Peter Kamenik at (410) 287-8440 or email to trailbuddiestteast@gmail.com

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THOUSAND TRAILS PREFERRED RV DEALERS

Check out member specials on parts, service and sales by visiting our preferred RV Dealer partners listed below, or visit with them directly at our next Member Appreciation Day.

A&L RV Sales Christiana, TN - www.alrvsales.com

Charlie Obaugh RV Staunton, VA - www.charlieobaughrv.com

Alpin Haus Amsterdam - Port Jervis - Saratoga, NY - www.alpinhaus.com

Clear Creek RV Silverdale, WA - www.clearcreekrvcenter.com

Al’s Trailer Sales Salem, OR - www.alstrailers.com

Country Camping Corner Matthews and Kings Mountain, NC www.countrycamping.com

American Family RV Chesapeake, VA - www.americanfamilyrv.com Bama RV Dothan, AL - www.bamarv.com Baydo’s RV of Chehalis Chehalis, WA - www.baydosrvs.com Big Country RV Bend, OR - Redmond, OR - www.bigcrv.com Blade Chevrolet RV Mt. Vernon, WA - www.bladerv.com Boat n RV Ridgeland, SC - West Coxsackie, NY - www.boatnrv.com Browns RV McBee, SC - www.brownsrvsuperstore.com Campers Inn Jacksonville, FL - Leesburg, FL - Macon, GA - Raynham, MA Merrimack, NH Kingston, NH - Mocksville, NC www.campersinn.com 52

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

Crossroads Trailers Newfield, NJ - www.crossroadstrailers.com Curtis Trailer Center Schoolcraft, MI - www.curtistrailercenter.com Ellis Travel Trailers Statesboro, GA - www.ellistraveltrailers.com Floyd’s RV Norman, OK - www.floydsrvs.com Funtime RV Tualalin, OR - www.funtimervinc.com Hayden’s RVs Richmond, VA - www.haydensrvs.net Keystone RV Center Greencastle, PA - www.keystonervcenter.com Lakeside RV Sales Anderson, SC - www.lakesidervsales.com


THOUSA N TRAILS D PREFERR DEALER ED S

La Mesa RV Orlando, FL - Ft. Myers, FL - Port St. Lucie, FL - Sarasota, FL - Yuma, AZ - Sacramento, CA - San Diego, CA - www.lamesarv.com

See Grins RV Gilroy - Morgan Hill - CA - San Martin, CA www.seegrins.com

McMahons RV Colton, CA - Palm Desert, CA - Westminster, CA www.mcmahonrv.com

Smart Choice Auto Group & RV Sales Jersey Village, TX www.smartchoiceautogroup.com

Media Camping Fairless Hills - Hatfield - Media, PA - www.mediacamping.com

Sunbelt RV Center Belton, TX - www.sunbeltrv.com

Patterson RV Wichita Falls, TX - www.pattersonrv.com

Sundown RV Center Atwater, CA - www.sundownrv.com

Paul Evert’s RV Country Bullhead City, AZ - Coburg, OR - Fresno, CA - Laughlin, NV www.rvcountry.com

Super Deals RV Inc. Douglasville, GA - www.superdealsrv.com

Princesscraft RV Round Rock, TX - www.princesscraft.com Roy Robinson RV Marysville, WA - www.royrobinsonrv.com RV’s For Less Knoxville, TN - www.rvsforless.net RV Value Mart Litiz, PA - Manheim, PA - www.rvvaluemart.com

TAC Trailer and RV Moyock, NC - www.tactrailerandrv.com Tacoma RV - Tacoma, WA - www.tacomarv.com Vogt RV - Ft. Worth, TX - www.vogtrv.com Welcome Back RV Outlet - Athens, TX www.welcomebackrv.com Western Travel Sales - Lyden, WA www.westerntravelsales.com

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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THOUSAND TRAILS MEMBER DEALS AT ENCORE RV RESORTS APRIL 2014

MEMBERS ALWAYS SAVE 20% OFF DAILY RATES 10% OFF MONTHLY RATES ALL ENCORE RV RESORTS NATIONWIDE ALL THE TIME!

O’CONNELLS AMBOY, IL SPRING GULCH NEW HOLLAND, PA

NARROWS TOO TRENTON, ME

www.RVontheGo.com 1-888-443-7301 Subject to availability. Reservations required. Rates based on a standard site. Stays of 30 days or less are subject to $3 per day resort fee. Electric not included for stays of 30 days or longer. Rates do not include taxes. Amenities vary by resort. Cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. Rates exclusively for members of Thousand Trails, NACO, Mid-Atlantic, Leisure Time and Outdoor World. Offer not valid on holidays and special events; certain restrictions may apply. Two week maximum stay per resort at discounted rate.

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CIRCLE NO. 104 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50


WESTCOAST OREGON WASHINGTON &CALIFORNIA

WA

OR

CA

MT HOOD VILLAGE RV RESORT

WELCHES, OR

TALL CHIEF RV & CAMPING RESORT

FALL CITY, WA

TAHOE VALLEY CAMPGROUND

LAKE TAHOE, CA

PALM SPRINGS

PALM DESERT, CA

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SOUTHEAST FLORIDA 50% OFF / WEEK

(Valid Thru 4/30/14)

BARRINGTON HILLS, HUDSON, FL BULOW PLANTATION, FLAGLER BEACH, FL CLERBROOK GOLF & RV RESORT, CLERMONT, FL HIGHLAND WOODS, POMPANO BEACH, FL LAKE MAGIC, CLERMONT, FL PINE ISLAND, ST. JAMES CITY, FL SOUTHERN PALMS, EUSTIS, FL SUNSHINE TRAVEL, VERO BEACH, FL TERRA CEIA, PALMETTO, FL TOBY’S RV RESORT, ARCADIA, FL VACATION VILLAGE, LARGO, FL

ALL FLORIDA PROPERTIES 50% OFF WEEK

FL

(Valid Thru 5/1/14 - 10/1/14)

PROMO: FL14W

40% OFF OFF A / WEEK 40% WEEK ALL REMAINING ALL REMAINING FLORIDA PROPERTIES PROPERTIES FLORIDA

RAMBLERS REST VENICE, FL LAKE MAGIC CLERMONT, FL

(Valid Thru 4/30/14)

(EXCLUDES FIESTA KEY, ROYAL COACHMAN, SUNSHINE KEY RV RESORT & MARINA)

20% OFF OFF A / WEEK 20% WEEK (Valid Thru 4/30/14)

FIESTA KEY, LONG KEY, FL ROYAL COACHMAN, NOKOMIS, FL SUNSHINE KEY RV RESORT AND MARINA, BIG PINE KEY, FL

Discount taken off weekly rate. Subject to availability. Reservations required. Rates based on a standard site. Stays of 30 days or less are subject to $3 per day resort fee. Electric not included for stays of 30 days or longer. Rates do not include taxes. Amenities vary by resort. Cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. Rates exclusively for members of Thousand Trails, NACO, Mid-Atlantic, Leisure Time and Outdoor World. Offer not valid on holidays and special events; certain restrictions may apply. Two week maximum stay per resort at discounted rate.

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AZ

SOUTHWEST ARIZONA & TEXAS

VENTURE IN SPECIALS!

NM

TX

Venture In RV Resort is perhaps best recognized for its extremely comfortable climate. With its location in the White Mountains, this RV resort in Arizona sits at an elevation of 6,300 feet, making the environment a pleasant 25 to 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix and Tucson and great for outdoor enthusiasts. Open May through October, make Venture In your summer RV Resort getaway!

MAY OPENING SPECIAL: $199! PROMO: TTAZV14M

VENTURE IN SHOW LOW, AZ

THREE MONTHS $999 PROMO: TTAZV14S (Valid May, 2014 - September, 2014)

30% OFF / WEEK PROMO: TTAZV14W (Valid May, 2014 - September, 2014)

30% OFF / MONTH PROMO: TTAZV14M (Valid June, 2014 - September, 2014)

ALL OTHER ARIZONA AND TEXAS ENCORE RESORTS 50% OFF / WEEK (Valid May 2014 - September, 2014

PROMO: TTAZTX14W 50% OFF / MONTH (Valid May 2014 - September, 2014

PROMO: TTAZTX14M (50% off Exclusions: Venture In, Whispering Palms, Sunrise Heights, Apollo, Casa Del Sol Resort East, Casa Del Sol Resort West, Central Park Village, Salome, KOA

www.RVontheGo.com 1-888-443-7301

Subject to availability. Reservations required. Rates based on a standard site. Stays of 30 days or less are subject to $3 per day resort fee. The three month stay promotion is not available for single Zone holders. Electric not included for stays of 30 days or longer. Rates do not include taxes. Amenities vary by resort. Cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. Rates exclusively for members` of Thousand Trails, NACO, Mid-Atlantic, Leisure Time and Outdoor World. Offer not valid on holidays and special events; certain restrictions may apply. Two week maximum stay per resort at discounted rate. Available to members that currently have access to Thousand Trails Verde Valley Preserve, excluding Zone Camping Pass holders. Certain restrictions may apply and offer is subject to change.

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NORTHEAST

MAINE NEW HAMPSHIRE NEW YORK PENNSYLVANIA VIRGINIA NORTH CAROLINA SOUTH CAROLINA NEW JERSEY

ME

NY

NH

PA

NARROWS TOO TRENTON, ME 40% OFF DAILY RATE

Valid April - June 12, 2014 & September 3, 2014 - Close

$399 $199 /A WEEK WEEK/ (Valid throughout 2014 )

LAKE GEORGE ESCAPE, LAKE GEORGE, NY

www.RVontheGo.com 1-888-443-7301

LAKE GEORGE ESCAPE LAKE GEORGE, NY

Subject to availability. Reservations required. Rates based on a standard site. Stays of 30 days or less are subject to $3 per day resort fee. The three month stay promotion is not available for single Zone holders. Electric not included for stays of 30 days or longer. Rates do not include taxes. Amenities vary by resort. Cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. Rates exclusively for members` of Thousand Trails, NACO, Mid-Atlantic, Leisure Time and Outdoor World. Offer not valid on holidays and special events; certain restrictions may apply. Two week maximum stay per resort at discounted rate. Available to members that currently have access to Thousand Trails Verde Valley Preserve, excluding Zone Camping Pass holders. Certain restrictions may apply and offer is subject to change.

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MIDWEST ILLINOIS INDIANA WISCONSIN TENNESSEE ALABAMA OKLAHOMA KENTUCKY

COME VISIT OUR THREE NEW WISCONSIN PROPERTIES OPEN IN MAY!

WI

IL

IN

• BLACKHAWK CAMPING RESORT, MILTON • LAKELAND CAMPING RESORT, MILTON •NESHONOC LAKESIDE CAMPING RESORT, WEST SALEM

40% OFF DAILY RATE

Valid April - June 12, 2014 & September 3, 2014 - Close

NESHONOC LAKESIDE MILTON, WI

6 WEEK STAY FOR ONE LOW PRICE (Valid Only May 1, 2014 - June 15, 2014 or Sep. 6, 2014 - Closing)

$299 FOR 6 WEEK STAY INDIAN LAKES, BATESVILLE, IN YUKON TRAILS, LYNDON STATION, WI

$399 FOR 4 WEEK STAY TWIN MILLS, HOWE, IN TRANQUIL TIMBERS, STURGEON BAY, WI FREMONT JELLYSTONE PARK, FREMONT, IL

$499 FOR 4 WEEK STAY O’CONNELL’S JELLYSTONE PARK, AMBOY, IL ARROWHEAD, WISCONSIN DELLS, WI

ARROWHEAD WISCONSIN DELLS, WI

TRANQUIL TIMBERS STURGEON BAY, WI Subject to availability. Reservations required. Rates based on a standard site. Stays of 30 days or less are subject to $3 per day resort fee. The three month stay promotion is not available for single Zone holders. Electric not included for stays of 30 days or longer. Rates do not include taxes. Amenities vary by resort. Cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. Rates exclusively for members` of Thousand Trails, NACO, Mid-Atlantic, Leisure Time and Outdoor World. Offer not valid on holidays and special events; certain restrictions may apply. Two week maximum stay per resort at discounted rate. Available to members that currently have access to Thousand Trails Verde Valley Preserve, excluding Zone Camping Pass holders. Certain restrictions may apply and offer is subject to change.

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Celebrating 45 Years Please Share Your Memories With Us Join in the celebration and share your memories. Our 45-year milestone has provided a long, long time to create camping memories, fine tune your favorite camping recipes and take a whole lot of pictures. Please share your camping stories, recipes and photos with us. We will select a winner from each of the following submissions. • Best Then And Now Photo

Then

Now

This photo, submitted by Michelle Heinze, of West Sacramento, CA, depicts Michelle’s husband as a young boy at Bend/Sunriver. He is in front of the lodge. The second photo depicts their daughter in front of the same lodge.

• Best Camping Story

• Best Camping Recipe

All submissions can be sent via mail to TrailBlazer Magazine, Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606 or via email to Celebrate45@equitylifestyle.com. All submissions must be received by midnight on August 31, 2014. Winners will be announced in the November/December 2014 issue of TrailBlazer.

Saturday, July 19, 2014 Come Celebrate 45 Years Of Making Camping Memories At Your Favorite Thousand Trails Location. More Details To Come.

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FORKS IN THE ROAD…

Baseball great Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi didn’t realize it then, but he was describing the choices at Resort Parks International (RPI). RPI parks, along with our Encore connection and Enjoy America!, provide great destinations and fun places to stay along the way on your annual trip home, regardless of where those Yogi forks in the road want to take you. Laughlin at night in Bullhead City, AZ If you have been south for the winter, it’s time to start planning that trip home. Of course, the weather can dictate choice of route as it always has, but according to our members out west, there are a couple of favorite roads that provide many opportunities for creating memories and having fun along the way.

Several of you may have been enjoying Cactus League winter ball and just leaving metro Phoenix. A big hit with many is heading due north to intersect I-40 in Flagstaff. What we today know as I-40, a major east- west highway, is one of those great forks in the road. Going back in time, the highway was often referred to as the Will Rogers Highway. This old route followed the railroad west and became a major highway for both tourism and commerce. In 1926, the road became famous and was dubbed “Route 66” and began in Chicago and ended at the Pacific Ocean. Heading east on I-40 will provide numerous forks in the road and most are a lot of fun. Heading west on I-40 for a hundred miles brings you to the next great fork, Hwy 95. Hwy 95 is the second important road for RVers headed home. It’s a great example of taking that fork in the road and finding great locations to stay at with plenty of fun along the way.

Starting as far south as Yuma, and for many miles to the north, Hwy 95 follows the Colorado River. Actually, old 95 has two forks, one fork takes you on the east side of the river, while the other takes you on the west side. But both will get you to Parker, Havasu City, Needles, Laughlin or Las Vegas. If a few days of fun and entertainment are what you’re wanting, our newest RPI affiliate, Silver View RV Resort, is right across the river from Laughlin in Bullhead City. This new resort is well established with over 600 trees and is perfect for big rigs too. The area has become the Mecca for winter RV enthusiasts. Whatever you’re seeking the Bullhead-Laughlin area has it.

or take that first fork in the road, make sure you have RPI on your team. Call 1-800-635-8498 and get ready to pick your forks. Here at RPI, we’ll cover all your bases, that’s what we do best!

For more information, to see a list of resorts or to make reservations, visit us online at www.resortparks.com.

Not a Member? Join RPI Plus now for Only $39.95

Call 1-800-635-8498

Heading north on Hwy 95 from this point is simply one fun fork after another, with choices including the Canyonlands of Utah, Salt Lake City or Reno. You can choose what memories you create.

As a member, you can:

From the California coast and Arizona desert regions all the way to the East Coast or north to the Canadian border and beyond, you are truly in RPI Country! So before you start the trip

Offer valid only for new RPI Plus memberships.

If you’re like most, this is simply the start of a good long trip home. Many people choose to spend weeks heading home enjoying the beauty of America in the springtime.

• Camp for $10 per night at RPI affiliated locations. • Rent cabins for as low as $299 per week. • Save 50% off one or more nights at over 500 campgrounds through Enjoy America! • Reserve sites nationwide through one toll-free number. You must be a NACO, LTR or Mid-Atlantic member to qualify for this offer.

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Tech Topics continued from page 9

an easy and inexpensive way to make entering or exiting your rig at night a little safer. Buy a roll of inch-wide white reflective tape at your local hardware store or RV supply center. Clean the step’s surface as recommended by the tape manufacturer, then run a strip of tape along the top outer edge of each step, across the full length of the stair step. The reflective tape will clearly highlight the edge of each step, and you’ll be able to see exactly where you’re stepping, even if your porch light is a little dull! No matter where your travels take you, you’ll be ready, willing, and able to handle anything you encounter. Happy trails, trailblazers! ###

Paul and Kerri Elders are freelance writers; visit their list of RV Industry Links at RVLinker.com. Their cookbook, The American Gourmet Collection Cookbook, is available at Amazon.com.

Visiting Virginia? Check out these exciting events for 2014

and plan to stay with us while you explore Virginia Calendar of Events • April 25-May 4: 87th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival • April 26-May 3: Historic Garden Week at Berkeley Plantation • April 26-May 3: Historic Garden Week/Throughout Virginia • July 19-20: 150th Commemoration of the 2nd Battle of Kernstown • September 19-20: 150th Commemoration of the 3rd Battle of Winchester • October 17-19:150th Commemoration of the Battle of Cedar Creek • November 2: Virginia Thanksgiving Festival at Berkeley Plantation •

Thousand Trails Locations Chesapeake Bay, Gloucester, VA Harbor View, Colonial Beach, VA Lynchburg, Gladys, VA Virginia Landing, Quinby, VA Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA

For preserve information and reservations visit www.ThousandTrails.com 62

APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER


Classified Advertising WORLDWIDE RV TOURS AND RALLIES Mexico, Canada, Alaska, Overseas & USA, Rose Parade, Balloon Fiesta, Kentucky Derby & more! Free vacation guide (800) 952-8496 or www.fantasyrvtours.com SCRUBR Odor-Free Dishcloths & TREKR Self-Cleaning Washcloths Perfect for RVing and camping. They dry fast, rinse clean, and don’t get smelly. (858) 653-0401 www.lunatecgear.com

TO ADVERTISE WITH TRAILBLAZER SEND AN EMAIL TO TBads@equitylifestyle.com

Terms and Conditions for 2014 Referral Promotion Terms and Conditions: For each Eligible Referral (as defined), you will receive a $45 Visa® Prepaid Card through July 19, 2014. In addition, for each Eligible Referral, you will receive one entry in a drawing for the following prizes: (i) Grand Prize is either a trip to Hawaii or a 7 night Caribbean Cruise, valued at $4,000, includes roundtrip coach airfare for two adults from the continental United States to either Hawaii or Florida, and hotel/cruise accommodations for 7 nights; (ii) Second Prize is a trip to either Las Vegas, San Francisco or Orlando, valued at $2,000, that includes roundtrip coach airfare for two adults from the continental United States to either Las Vegas, San Francisco or Orlando and hotel accommodations for 4 nights and (iii) ten (10) Third Prizes waiving payment of the winners’ annual dues for 2014, not to exceed $525 each. The trips do not include taxes, meals, beverages, transfers, gratuities, activities and other personal expenses. Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash. The drawing will be held at our corporate offices on or about January 7, 2015. The winners will be notified by telephone. The odds of winning the drawing depend on the number of entries and are not expected to exceed 1:10,000. For this promotion, an Eligible Referral is a person who (i) purchases a new Zone Park Pass from us between January 1, 2014 and December 14, 2014, and (ii) lists you as the referring member. This offer is only for members in good standing of Thousand Trails and its affiliates. Due to legal restrictions, residents of AZ, FL, NV, NY, PA and TN are not eligible to participate in the drawing and you will not receive an entry in the drawing for purchases made by residents of AZ, NV, PA or TN. We reserve the right to extend, modify, suspend, or terminate this promotion at any time for any reason; however, any rewards earned prior to the suspension or termination of this promotion will be honored. Employees of Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. and its affiliates are not eligible to participate in this promotion. All local, state and federal income taxes are the responsibility of the recipient. Accordingly, we recommend that all participants consult a tax advisor about reporting rewards for tax purposes. We will issue the required 1099 to each participant and to the IRS when the total value of awards you are eligible to receive equal or exceed $600 for one year. This advertising is being used for the purpose of soliciting sales of resort campground memberships. This document has been filed with the Department of Licensing, State of Washington, as required by Washington law. Value, quality, or conditions stated and performance on promises are the responsibility of the operator, not the Department. This filing does not mean that the Department has approved the merits or qualifications of any registration, advertising, or any gift, prize, or item of value as part of any promotional plan. This promotion is sponsored by MHC Thousand Trails Limited Partnership, Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606. APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Find The Evergreen Tree An evergreen tree is hidden somewhere in this issue. Drop us a postcard telling us where you found it, and if your card is drawn you’ll win a $25 American Express Gift Card! Jeannie Butterfield from Corona, CA found the evergreen tree on page 19 of the January/February issue. Did you find the tree in this issue? Send your entry (postcards only) to TrailBlazer Evergreen Tree, Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606. Postmark deadline is April 30, 2014 and remember – the tree could be a different color and size.

Fast Facts entries will be entered in our Monthly Drawing to

win a $25 American Express Gift Card! This month’s Fast Facts winner is

Edward H. Santo of Cape Coral FL

Answers - Crossword puzzle can be found on page 50

TT

G EA R

ThousandTrailsGear.com

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APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

Answers - Sudoku puzzle can be found on page 62


It’s your money. Save it well.

50%off $399 Daily Rates*

Per Month*

Florida Baker Acres · Zephyrhills · 813-782-3950 Big Tree · Arcadia · 863-494-7247 Blue Jay · Dade City · 352-567-9678 Citrus Hill · Dade City · 352-567-6045 Country Squire · Paisley · 352-771-5614 Daytona · Daytona Beach · 386-761-2663 Dunedin · Dunedin · 1-800-345-7504 Ellenton Gardens · Ellenton · 941-722-0341 Glen Haven · Zephyrhills · 813-782-1856 Grove Ridge · Dade City · 352-523-2277 Homosassa River · Homosassa · 1-800-471-3722 Horseshoe Cove · Bradenton · 1-800-291-3446 Kissimmee South · Davenport · 863-424-1286 Lakeland · Lakeland · 1-888-622-4115 Majestic Oaks · Zephyrhills · 813-783-7518 Marco Naples · Naples · 239-774-1259 Mill Creek · Kissimmee · 407-847-6288 Pleasant Lake · Bradenton · 941-756-5076 Rainbow Village · Zephyrhills · 813-782-5075 Rainbow Village · Largo · 727-536-3545 Red Oaks · Bushnell · 352-793-7117 Riptide · Key Largo · 305-852-8481 Settler’s Rest · Zephyrhills · 813-782-2003

Save Nationwide from April through May 2014, get more for your money with these exclusive rates. Excludes Canada.

Shell Creek · Punta Gorda · 941-639-4234 Southern Charm · Zephyrhills · 813-783-3477 Spanish Main · Thonotosassa · 813-986-2415 Sweetwater · Zephyrhills · 813-788-7513 Tropical Palms · Kissimmee · 800-647-2567 Waters Edge · Zephyrhills · 813-783-2708 California/Palm Springs area Indian Wells · Indio · 760-347-0895 Massachusetts/Cape Cod Campers Haven · Dennis Port · 508-398-2811 New Jersey/Atlantic City Long Beach · Barnegat · 609-698-5684 Shady Pines · Galloway Township · 609-652-1516 North Carolina Ft. Tatham · Sylva · 828-586-6662 Texas Austin Lone Star · Austin · 512-444-6322 Sandy Lake RV Resort · Carrollton · 972-242-6808 Travelers World · San Antonio · 1-800-755-8310 Treetops · Arlington · 800-747-0787

*Special offer valid for first time visitors only, good for new reservations. Not valid holidays and special events. Site are limited and may sell out. Offer subject to change at any time. Electric not included on stays more than 21 days. Please call the park of your choice to book your stay.

It’s your time. Live it well. Live carefree. carefreeRVresorts.com CIRCLE NO. 116 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50

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T

he Spring Gulch Folk Festival began more than 25 years ago and has become a much-anticipated gathering of talented musicians and artists filling the weekend days with music, singing, dancing, workshops, crafts and plenty of wonderful food. Held on the grounds of Encore’s Spring Gulch Resort, the event is a true festival of family fun. This year’s event, scheduled for May 15-18, includes performances by Tom Chapin and BeauSoleil. For a preview of the 2014 entertainment lineup, entertainment packages, and more information see page 30 or visit www.SpringGulch.com.

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SAVE TODAY. VACATION TOMORROW. See how much you could save on RV insurance.

for your RV

geico.com | 1-877-434-2678 | local office

CIRCLE NO. 128 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50

Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C.APRIL 20076; a Berkshire Inc. subsidiary. Š 2014 GEICO 67 2014Hathaway | TRAILBLAZER CIRCLE NO. 132 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50


No Copays • No Deductibles • No Claim Forms

Join Our Travel Club

what would you do in an emergency? SkyMed members simply call our toll-free number and speak to a caring SkyMed representative 24 SEVEN 365. NO pre-recorded phone messages.

Members have access to thousands of beautiful resorts and luxurious hotel accommodations around the world at exclusive prices not available to the public. There will be travel opportunities promoted to members offering flights at discounted prices, cruises, excursions and dream tours you can sign on as part of our group of SkyMed connected travelers.

18 EmErgEncy TravEl SErvicES wiTh ThE SkymEd UlTimaTE TravEl Plan 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Hospital-to-Hospital Emergency Air Transport Vehicle & Vessel Return Visitor Transportation Transportation for Recuperation Nearer Home Commercial Carrier Medical Escort Flights Ground Ambulance Helicopter 100 Mile Waiver

9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

SkyMed Plus (Pet Return) Minor Children / Grandchildren Return Primary Driver Disability Physical Remains Return Escort / Companion Transportation Return Transportation After Recovery Incidental Expense Allowance Organ Retrieval Organ Recipient Transportation Global Emergency Travel Services

www.skymed.com/thousandtrails 68800-475-9633 APRIL 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

• No membership fee to SkyMed members • A place to interact with other SkyMed members and our travel experts to share ideas, seek advice and exchange experiences • Exclusive trips and specials for members • One stop service for online booking options • The lowest available prices and fares • The best travel insurance options • The comfort of knowing you are secure within the trusted SkyMed group of companies

Watch for SkyMed seminars when you travel. It could save your life!

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

TrailBlazer Magazine - April 2014  

TrailBlazer is the memebership magazine for Thousand Trails campgrounds

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