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JULY 2014  $2.00 www.trailblazermagazine.net

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On the Road: John McCalmont A True TrailBlazer: Global Noble JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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VIVA LA TREND!

The new Trend™ and Viva!™ offer a bold, fuel-efficient new take on Class C motorhomes. Designed from the ground up to take full advantage of the new gas-powered Ram ProMaster chassis, they deliver comfort and amenities far beyond what you’d expect in a coach this size. • Integrated European styling cues • Industry’s first three-point dinette seat belts • Flex Bed dinette converts to queen-sized bed • Large StudioLoft bed with electric lift • Swivel cab seats, powered awning and more

See them online, call 800-643-4892 for more information, or see one now at your nearest dealer. ©2014 Winnebago Industries, Inc.

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JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

GoWinnebago.com • GoItasca.com

CIRCLE NO. 165 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50 CIRCLE NO. 124 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50


VOL. 36 n ISSUE 6

JULY 2014 CONTENTS Message from Marguerite 5 Tech Topics 8

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Who’s in the Kitchen with TrailBlazer

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TrailMix: TT By the Numbers

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Activities & Events

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Spotlight: It’s All About TT

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Updates & Upgrades

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I Knew I Was a TrailBlazer

26

A True Trailblazer: Global Noble

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On The Road: John McCalmont

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Features: America’s Halls of Fame

36

Texas Hill Country 42 Ask RV Bill 48

Honoring the best isn’t only reserved for sports. Come along on the ride as we visit America’s halls of fame that recognize not only sport figures, but musicians and more.

Advertiser Index 50 Crossword Puzzle 50

42

Thousand Trails Member Deals

54

Four Paws on the Road

61

Sudoku Puzzle 62 Classified Advertising

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Winding Roads 64 On Location 66

Talking rocks, singing cowboys, and some beautiful countryside can all be found in the Texas Hill Country. TrailBlazer takes a look at this Texas treasure, beginning on page 42.

JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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WE’RE CELEBRATING 45 YEARS SO WE’RE GIVING YOU

$45!*

RECEIVE A $45* VISA® PREPAID CARD WHEN YOUR REFERRAL PURCHASES A THOUSAND TRAILS CAMPING PASS!

YOUR REFERRAL ALSO ENTERS YOU INTO OUR 2014 DRAWING FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THESE GREAT PRIZES.

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YEARS 1969-2014

*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

MESSAGE FROM MARGUERITE

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e’ve been spending this year celebrating 45 years of making camping memories – and all of that has been leading up to the biggest day of the celebration: Saturday, July 19. That’s when the preserve-wide party happens. Every preserve will mark this milestone in their own way and whether the party be big or small, it’s definitely going to be fun. Please join us for the festivities! Fun aside, there’s more to the celebration than the parties and contests. There is the underlying message that this concept, developed and nurtured by Milt and Lois Kuolt, was definitely something people were looking for. And that something has endured for four decades. Here we are 45 years later and what we have to show for it all is generations of families enjoying the outdoors, spending precious time together and making memories. The years have rolled by and things have changed but there is that thread that continues to weave itself into the Thousand Trails story. The thread contains pieces of you and your family, of their family and of the families to come. It is strong and long and colorful. It’s got pieces of your camping stories and pieces of all the Thousand Trails preserves where you spent time together. It’s a common bond that holds us all together as the Thousand Trails family.

three generations on an annual camping trip to Chehalis? Does it have a picture of Grandpa smiling at his great-grandson as he reels in his first fish? Does it come in the form of a recipe that’s been handed down from family to family? Or maybe in the tried and true, generations-old tip on making the best s’mores ever? As we celebrate 45 years and look to the future for plenty more milestones like this one, we want to know how far back your memories go. You know our story – now we want to know yours. Send them to us at TrailBlazer Magazine/ 45 Years of Memories, Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606, or email to TBeditor@equitylifestyle.com. We’ll compile them all in a future issue so your stories can be shared with your Thousand Trails family. Summer is here, so come celebrate with us and make more memories!

Marguerite Nader President & CEO

What stories can you share with us? Is it one about

JULY 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 DESIGNERS Mindy Drexler 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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JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

Pio Pico: Miniature golfing with Amiee, Amber, Kaley & Lilly Kim Benz, Lakeside, CA

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 www.trailblazermagazine.net.


PICS FROM THE PARKS Lake Gaston, NC: Fishing at Sunset – Cynthia Agoglia

Fontana, CA: Louisa and Clark go mushroom picking! – Gerald Bulf

JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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TECH

TOPICS

by Paul and Kerri Elders

Black water Tips:

The wonderful thing about RVs is that they’re fully self-contained homesaway-from-home, complete with their own water systems, electrical systems, and sewage systems. But some of these systems work just a little bit differently than the ones you’re used to in a conventional house. And sometimes, these systems require a little bit of extra care. To help control odor from your RV’s black water holding tank, we recommend you always use a prepackaged commercial chemical preparation designed for this purpose. Some RVers want to use homemade chemical treatments in their black water holding tanks; these concoctions usually call for household chemicals like pine oil, borax, etc. Unfortunately, homemade treatments are not safe alternatives to commercial products, and some can actually damage the seals and connections in the drain valves, holding tanks, and sewer lines. Make it a habit to deodorize the tank immediately after dumping it so you’ll never forget to treat the tank. Most RV toilets are marine-type; some have two pedals: one for dumping and flushing, the other for filling the bowl with water. Some designs use one pedal for both purposes; push down on the pedal to empty the bowl and use your foot to pull up on the pedal to refill the bowl with water. Drain valve additives can be added to keep the toilet’s valve lubricated. This should be done 8

JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

Summer is in full swing!

It’s time for fireworks, fireside marshmallow roasts, and lightning bug collections for the kids and grandkids. This month, we’ll take a look at some quick tips to make caring for your RV’s black water system easier. We’ll also investigate a few simple suggestions for improving the road handling of your RV. routinely to prevent wearing out the valve seals. If the seals degrade, odors from the black water tank can, and will, permeate the interior of the RV, which anyone will agree, is NOT a good thing. Always allow at least a quarter of a tank of water to accumulate in your black water tank before dumping any solids. This will help prevent a buildup of solids in the bottom of the holding tank. It also helps ensure a good, thorough flushing of the holding tank when you dump. Use a small rinsing wand, as needed, to periodically rinse out the black water holding tank. Tuck a container of waterless hand sanitizer into the storage bin where you keep your tank dumping supplies and use it before going inside the RV to do a more thorough hand washing with soap and warm water. This simple tip can help prevent spreading germs from the sewer system to your RV’s front door handle and your sink faucets. After you’ve dumped the tank and closed the dump valve, add the proper amount of deodorizing chemicals or enzymes via the toilet. Then add about an inch of water to your holding tank (by holding down the pedal on the toilet or pulling up on it, depending on your rig’s specific model), and you’re back in business!

Road Handling Hints:

Most RVers are excellent drivers, but sometimes, long distance driving can

leave us tired and thoughtless. Work at staying well within the speed limit and never let other drivers pressure you to drive any faster than you feel comfortable driving. Nervous tension can build, exhausting you and stressing your body and mind. Just slow down and enjoy your trip. The impatient guy in a big hurry will quickly pass you by. If he honks, don’t get mad. Let it go. Always remember that YOU are the lucky one who’s getting to enjoy an exciting vacation. He probably desperately NEEDS one! Change lanes deliberately, especially during wet driving conditions. Sudden changes in direction can cause an RV, like any wheeled vehicle, to swerve and become hard to control. If you feel uncomfortable driving through mountainous terrain, by all means SLOW DOWN. Take your time. Stop and take a break if necessary. If it’s raining, turn OFF the cruise control. It’s something we rarely think about, but if your tires start to hydroplane, the cruise control can complicate matters by “speeding up” the drive axle, which is bad news when the tires re-grip the pavement. Better safe than sorry; save the cruise control for dry conditions. Always use your turn signals and your rearview mirrors. Be evermindful of your blind spot and check it often. And, when backing up, ALWAYS make absolutely, positively sure you know exactly what’s behind you before you move! Continued on page 62


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IMPORTANT CONSUMER INFORMATION: Jitterbug is owned by GreatCall, Inc. Your invoices will come from GreatCall. All rate plans and services require the purchase of a Jitterbug phone and a one-time set up fee of $35. Coverage and service is not available everywhere. Other charges and restrictions may apply. Screen images simulated. There are no additional fees to call Jitterbug’s 24-hour U.S. Based Customer Service. However, for calls to an Operator in which a service is completed, minutes will be deducted from your monthly balance equal to the length of the call and any call connected by the Operator, plus an additional 5 minutes. Monthly minutes carry over and are available for 60 days. If you exceed the minute balance on your account, you will be billed at 35¢ for each minute used over the balance. Monthly rate plans do not include government taxes or assessment surcharges. Prices and fees subject to change. We will refund the full price of the GreatCall phone and the activation fee (or set-up fee) if it is returned within 30 days of purchase in like-new condition. We will also refund your first monthly service charge if you have less than 30 minutes of usage. If you have more than 30 minutes of usage, a per minute charge of 35 cents will be deducted from your refund for each minute over 30 minutes. You will be charged a $10 restocking fee. The shipping charges are not refundable. Jitterbug and GreatCall are registered trademarks of GreatCall, Inc. Samsung is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. ©2014 Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC. ©2014 GreatCall, Inc. ©2014 by firstSTREET for Boomers and Beyond, Inc.

CIRCLE NO. 159 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50


?

Who’s Cooking in the Kitchen with

This month we’re excited to bring you some wonderful camp recipes from Barbara Tidwell’s new cookbook, “The Culinary Camper.” Barbara has spent years as a camper and outdoor enthusiast and has worked in a variety of camp positions including camp cook! There are main courses, side dishes, fish and seafood, poultry, beef, pork and lamb recipes as well as great desserts offered in “The Culinary Camper.” There are also plenty of “How-Tos” and other great culinary camping tips. We’ve shared just a few recipes here and we’re giving five lucky readers a chance to win a copy of this perfect camping companion. See details on page 64.

River Chicken

Equipment: • Cooking Spit (or battery operated rotisserie) • Cooking Twine • Foil • Plates • Cutting Board Ingredients: • 1 whole roasting chicken • 1 small bag flavored cooking chips, crushed (or other rub of your choice) Prepare the Spit: If a fire isn’t already burning, set up a large fire. Light the fire and let it burn down for at least an hour until you have some nice hot coals. When the fire has been burning for a while, place the spit supports an appropriate distance apart on either side of the coals. If you are using a rotisserie, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for set up and use to avoid injury. Prepare the Chicken: First remove the giblets from the inside cavity of the chicken and dispose of them or save them for a broth or gravy later. Slide the chicken on the spit rod, inserting the rod into the cavity of the chicken. Push carefully until the rod passes completely through the other end of the chicken. The spit rod may be very sharp so be careful to avoid poking your hand. Secure the chicken with the spit forks if possible. Open the bag of cooking chips or grab your rub and rub the contents over the entire surface of the chicken. Use cooking twine to tie the legs to each other and bend the wings behind each other and tie them down. After handling raw meat, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. You can use surgical cloves to keep hands from contaminating anything else while preparing chicken. Cook the Chicken: Place the spit rod onto its supports, suspending the chicken over the fire. The flames should rise to just below the chicken and barely kiss the chicken. It will take approximately 2 hours for the chicken to roast. You will need to manually turn the spit a quarter turn every 10 minutes or so if you do not have a motorized spit so that all sides cook properly. Watch the chicken – skin should start to brown slightly after several minutes. After about an hour of cooking, the juice should being dripping from the chicken. At this point you may wish to turn the spit more often to keep the juices flowing around, rather than out of the chicken. Turning the chicken also helps to baste it. If the chicken seems to be cooking too quickly, splash a little water on the fire to slow down the burn and thus the cooking. If it seems to be cooking too slowly, add a bit more wood to the fire. After a few hours the chicken should be a dark golden-brown color. Use a meat thermometer to make sure it is cooked through. Remove the spit rod from the supports. It will be very hot so use gloves. Slide the chicken off the rod and onto the cutting board. Set the spit rod back on its support or someplace safe to cool. Let the chicken stand in foil for about 20 minutes to rest. Carve, serve and enjoy!

S I H T WIN COOKBOOK! See details . on page 64

JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER


Lasagna

Equipment: • Dutch Oven with lid • Nonstick cooking spray • 25 coals (17 on top and 8 on bottom) Ingredients: • 1 package no-boil lasagna noodles • 1 jar red sauce or Alfredo sauce • 4 ounces ricotta cheese • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated • 1 pound ground beef (or ground pork, poultry or sausage) • 1 bunch fresh spinach • 1 packaged sliced mushrooms For camping, I recommend the no-cook noodles for this to make things easier. Spray your Dutch oven with nonstick spray. Spread a thin layer of sauce into the bottom of the Dutch oven. Arrange the noodles so that there is a single layer on top of the sauce with a little overlap. Then add a layer of sauce on the noodles. Next, add a thin layer of meat, a layer of spinach and a light layer of ricotta cheese. Finally, add a little mozzarella cheese. Repeat layering process 4 or 5 times until the noodles are almost gone. Cover with a final layer of noodles and pour remaining sauce over noodles. Top with mozzarella. Cover Dutch oven and place onto heat. Cook at 350 degrees with 25 coals (17 on top and 8 on the bottom). Cook for 45 minutes.

Cowgirl Rice

Equipment: • Knife • Saucepan • Dutch Oven • Spoon Ingredients: • 4 ounces beef jerky • 2 tablespoons olive oil • ¼ onion, finely chopped • 1 clove garlic, minced • 1 tomato, chopped • 1 cup rice • 1 bay leaf • 1 ½ cups water • 1 tablespoon parsley • 1 tablespoon basil • 1 dash salt and pepper, to taste Soak the jerky in water for at least two hours. Remove jerky from water and cut into half inch cubes. Add water to Dutch oven and bring to a slow boil. Add onion and garlic and stir in jerky and tomato. Raise heat and cook another minute and add the rice, spices and bay leaf, stirring to mix well. Cover and cook until rice is done and water is soaked up (depends on the type of rice used.)

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie

I made this pie in my RV. This can also be done using a Dutch oven. Equipment • Pie Pan • Cast Iron Dutch Oven • 25 Coals Ingredients: Chocolate Filling: • 1 ½ cup sugar • ¾ cups butter, melted • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour • ½ cup 100% unsweetened cocoa • 1 or 2 shakes of ghost salt • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 3 large eggs • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans • 1 9-inch pie crust Salted Caramel Topping: • ¾ cups sugar • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice • ¼ cup water • 1/3 cup heavy cream • 4 tablespoons butter • ¼ teaspoon table salt • 2 cups toasted pecan halves • ½ teaspoon sea salt Chocolate Filling: preheat oven to 350 degrees or start your fire. Stir together sugar, butter, flour, cocoa, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in large bowl. Add eggs and whip until everything has blended. Add chopped pecans, mix and pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. If you’re using a Dutch oven, bake at 350 degrees using 35 coals (17 on top and 8 on bottom) for 35-40 minutes. The filling will seem uncooked, but this is normal. It will harden as it cools. Cool on a wire rack. Salted Caramel Topping: Bring the sugar, lemon juice and water to a boil in a saucepan over a camp stove. Be sure not to stir the mixture – just swirl the pot from time to time. Watch for the sugar to change color to a nice brown and continue for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add butter. When butter has melted, slowly add cream. Continuously stir the mixture until boiling stops and all ingredients are mixed. Stir in the table salt. Arrange pecan halves on top of the chocolate filling. Top the pecans with the caramel mixture. Let the pie cool for 15-30 minutes before sprinkling the sea salt on top. The caramel mixture will thicken and keep the pecans in place. JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Thousand Trails by the

NUMBERS

24,107

SITES

MORE THAN

F I F T Y SPECIES OF TRE E S

One of the most wonderful things about Thousand Trails preserves is all the lovely trees! We’ve got oaks, and elms and alders, too. And some quite unusual, so we’ll name a few…sassafras, zelkova, bois d’arc, mesquite, persimmon and manzanita.

Shaded, waterfront, sunny, quiet, remote, in the mix – no matter what kind of spot you’re looking for to set up camp, we have plenty! Through the windmill, over the water and in the cup – are you ready for the challenge? The mini-golf courses at the Thousand Trails preserves could even give Tiger Woods a run for his money!

61

845 holes

125 lake

Did you know that Bocce Ball was first documented in 5200 B.C.! The popularity of the sport has lasted through the years and is obviously a favorite at Thousand Trails preserves with our offering of bocce courts. 12

JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

Some have fishies, big and small, some provide water fun for one and all.


45

If you “love” tennis, then let us court you at Thousand Trails!

Gallons of Water

33

4 Million

Year s

126

106

Get in the swim of things when staying at Thousand Trails – relax poolside, take a dip or swim a lap in one of 106 of pools that combine to total 4 million gallons of water when full.

Do you have a heck of a bank shot? Or perhaps your kick shot has people talking? Whatever your specialty, you can rack ‘em up when you stay with us.

es

Old

16,3

Similar to badminton, but played with a ball instead of a shuttlecock, pickleball is fast becoming one of the most popular court games. Come jump on the bandwagon at TT’s pickleball courts.

06

30

Whether you have NBA aspirations or just enjoy a game of H-O-R-S-E, your hoop dreams can come true at a Thousand Trails preserve.

Tota l Acre s All numbers are approximate.

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JulyEvents Thousand Trails Preserve

Activities and Events YE

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Don’t forget the biggest event of July – our July 19 events to be held preserve-wide as we Celebrate 45 Years Y E A- 2R0 1S4 1969 of Making Camping Memories. Check with your favorite preserve for specific details.

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Hurray, it’s July! We’re celebrating America, we’re celebrating Thousand Trails and we’re celebrating a summer of fun. Listed here are just a few of the theme weekend events set for July. A complete listing of all preserve events can be found at www.thousandtrails.com or in our Theme Weekend directory, which can be found on the TrailBlazer website at www.trailblazermagazine.net.

2014 THeme weekends

www.ThousandTrails.com

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JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

Food Glorious Who doesn’t love getting together with friends and family, especially when food is involved? These preserves have foodie events planned – and that includes dessert!

A Wine and Cheese gathering is scheduled for the adults at Bay Landing (Texas) during the weekend of July 4-6 while kids can enjoy a movie night. A South of the Border Fiesta complete with a Chili Cook-Off is scheduled July 11-13 at Chestnut Lake (New Jersey). Cultus Lake (British Columbia) will host a Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, July 19. Competitors are asked to bring a pot of chili that feeds 15.


Activities and Events

Food!

Following the judging, you can enjoy a bite of the competition for just $3.50 per bowl. Timothy Lake North (Pennsylvania) is also cooking up some fun with a Chili Cook-Off scheduled for July 25-27 with a $75 gift card going to the top prize winner! Not only is Chehalis (Washington) hosting participants of the annual STP bicycle race during the weekend of July 11-13, but they are throwing a Spaghetti Feed during the evening of Saturday, the 12th. Plus, Sunday morning will feature an extended pancake breakfast, complete with cinnamon rolls, from 7 to 10 a.m. In keeping with their Ball Game themed weekend, Lake Minden (California) will host a Hot Dog Cookout on Friday, July 11. Enjoy Brown Bag Bingo after you’ve had your fill of franks. A Summer Salad Smorgasbord? That’s right, Peace River (Florida) is asking everyone to come and share a platter of their favorite salad – taco, tomato, macaroni or potato – It’s your choice. This salad extravaganza will coincide with the July 19 Member Appreciation and Thousand Trails 45 Years Celebration. And, to top it all off, there are chocolate-themed events set for Kenisee Lake (Ohio) and Mt. Vernon (Washington) July 18-20, Forest Lake (North Carolina) July 26 and Wilmington (Ohio) July 25-27. Don’t miss all this yummy fun.

JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Holidays in July Activities and Events

Several preserves have chosen to celebrate some of their favorite holidays in July. So get ready to Christmas Carol, Trick or Treat and hunt for Easter Eggs! Christmas dinners and dances, decorating contests and plenty of Christmas cookies are to be enjoyed when Christmas comes early to Thousand Trails at Christmas in July celebrations at the following preserves:

Bear Cave, Michigan................. July Circle M, Pennsylvania............... July Cultus Lake, British Columbia...... July Diamond Caverns, Kentucky....... July Gateway to Cape Cod, Massachusetts...........................July Gettysburg Farm, Pennsylvania... July Grandy Creek, Washington........ July Indian Lakes, Indiana................. July Lake and Shore, New Jersey...... July Lynchburg, Virginia.................... July Moody Beach, Maine................ July Oakzanita, California................ July PA Dutch, Pennsylvania.............. July Pine Country, Illinois................... July Pio Pico, California.................... July Rondout Valley, New York.......... July St. Clair, Michigan..................... July Sea Pines, New Jersey............... July Sturbridge, Massachusetts.......... July Williamsburg, Virginia................ July

18-20 25-27 11-12 11-13 25-27 25-27 25-27 18-20 25-27 19-20 18 26-28 25-27 18-20 25-26 25-27 25-27 18-20 25-27 18-20

For more holiday magic, you can Trick or Treat as Oregon’s Bend Preserve celebrates Halloween on July 19. New Jersey’s Sea Pines Easter fun includes a Deviled Egg Taste-Off and an Easter Egg Hunt on July 11-13.

And Now For Something Completely Different: Leave it to our preserves to put a spin on the ordinary or come up with some out of this world events to keep you surprised. Check these out: Pacific City (Oregon) will be “Frozen in Time” July 12 with an Ice Cube Holding Contest, Snowball Toss and Ice Cream Bingo. You may be shaken and stirred at Whalers Rest (Oregon) the weekend of July 11-13 during the 007 Weekend Fun that involves sleuthing and crime solving.

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JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

What’s a beauty pageant without a bevy of beautiful women? It’s what Lake Gaston (North Carolina) calls their annual “Womanless Pageant” as the men walk the runway and strut their stuff the weekend of July 18-20. Take me to your leader; or at least to La Connor (Washington) as the preserve hosts their Aliens Weekend July 18-25. Relive the fun of your Senior Prom or make even better memories at Gateway to Cape Cod (Massachusetts) during the weekend of July 18-20. Hours of fun are planned, including Saturday night entertainment.


Local

Events including a wide variety of new and returning craft vendors, food vendors, great entertainment and, of course, peach related foods. Held in historic downtown Marysville, just 20 miles from Lake Minden Preserve. For information visit www.marysvillepeachfest.com.

Activities and Events

Idyllwild (CA) July 12-13: 5th Annual Idyllwild Lemon Lily Festival & A Little Bluegrass Held at the Nature Center in downtown Idyllwild, event features local arts and crafts vendors, a pioneer town, educational exhibits and speakers. There will also be a native plant sale. Free Bluegrass music in the Center of Medina Lake (TX) Town. Event hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Summer Buckle Series Rodeo All less than three miles from Idyllwild Fridays in July Preserve. For information visit www. Every Friday evening, beginning at lemonlilyfestival.com. 8 p.m., enjoy rodeo entertainment featuring bull riding, steer riding, calf Whalers Rest (OR) roping, barrel racing, mutton busting July 11-13: Lincoln County Fair and more. Held at the B.R. Lightning & Rodeo Ranch, just 12 miles from Medina This county fair is filled with fun Lake Preserve. For information call activities for everyone and lots to eat (830) 221-6511. and do, including barrel racing, carnival rides, pony rides, antique fire trucks, and Grandy Creek (WA) a 4-H Animal Fair with domestic and July 3-6: Sedro-Woolley creative exhibits. For more information Loggerodeo visit www.townandcountryfair.com. Family fun for all includes a Kiddie Event is held in Newport, less than a Parade and family night at the carnival, 15 minute drive from Whalers Rest a street dance, logging show, Blues Preserve. Jamboree, and, of course, the famous Chainsaw Carving competition. Held Diamond Caverns (KY) in downtown Sedro-Woolley, just 10 July 12: 18th Annual miles from Grandy Creek. For more Duncan Hines Festival information visit www.loggerodeo.com. Named a 2014 Top 20 Event in the southeast by the Southeast Tourism Wilmington (OH) Society, this event commemorates July 5-12: Clinton County Fair the life and career of Bowling Green Enjoy eight days of action with live native, Duncan Hines. The festival entertainment, harness racing, an includes the Adventures in Good antique tractor pull and a demolition Baking Contest, Uncle Duncan’s Duck derby. Don’t miss the Junior and Senior Derby, a brownie eating contest, Fair shows featuring cattle, sheep, hogs, music, local arts and crafts, and a rabbits, chickens, horses and other pets. silent auction. Held at Chaney’s Dairy Held at the Clinton County Fairgrounds, Barn, less than 30 minutes from just 15 minutes from the Wilmington Diamond Caverns. Event hours are 4 to Preserve. For information visit www. 8 p.m. For more information visit www. duncanhinesfestival.com. clintoncountyfair.org. Lake Minden (CA) July 18-19: Marysville Peach Fest This year’s event is jam-packed with family entertainment of all kinds, Pio Pico (CA) Del Mar Racing Throughout July Horses and fans alike meet for live thoroughbred racing at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in oceanfront Del Mar, just 40 miles from Pio Pico Preserve. For race times and information visit www.dmtc.com.

Pacific City (OR) July 18-19: 54th Annual Dory Days Festival This year’s event, themed “A Boatload of Tradition” will feature a parade on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. and a Fish Fry from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be live music both days and a display of Dory Boats at the Cape Kiwanda parking lot. For more information visit www.yourlittlebeachtown.com. Peace River (FL) July 25: Caladium Festival This event features air-conditioned bus tours to the colorful caladium fields. There will also be arts and crafts booths, refreshments and entertainment all day. Enjoy a wine and grape industry display and wine tasting. Also, caladium bulbs and plants will be for sale. Free admission and free parking. Event is held at Stuart Park, in Lake Placid, less than 40 miles from Peace River Preserve. For information visit www.lpfla.com/caladium.htm. Bay Landing (TX) July 26: National Day of the American Cowboy Come celebrate the heritage of the American Cowboy with a full day of activities including Cowboy Karaoke, Best Mustache Contest, Watermelon Eating Contest, and much more. Held at the East Avenue Exchange, just 45 minutes from Bay Landing. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call (817) 625-9715 or visit www.fortworth.com. JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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it’s

all about

Thousand Trails things to

know

We all know that Thousand Trails offers the best camping experience around thanks to the variety of locations as well as the fabulous amenities. But do you know some of the interesting history of the preserves, or what makes a Thousand Trails experience one of a kind? Read on and find out just what makes us unique!

Chehalis was covered in ash after the 1980 Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption.

The cave at Michigan’s Bear Cave Preserve has plenty of history. In the late 1800s, the cave served as a hideout for bandits who robbed a train, an event that became part of the story line of the iconic movie, “The Great Train Robbery” of which portions were filmed on the property. The cave was also part of the Underground Railroad and was used for several years to provide safe passageway for slaves to reach Canada. There are still hooks drilled into the cave wall where slaves hung their lanterns.

The 1993 movie, “This Boy’s Life” starring Robert DeNiro and Leonardo DiCaprio was largely filmed in Concrete, Washington – home to Grandy Creek.

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Lake Texoma is considered the “Striper Capital of the World”. Some of the fast growing, long-lived bass can reach weights of over 40 pounds.

North Carolina’s Forest Lake Preserve sits on land that was originally part of the Cooleemee Plantation, a 4,200 acre plantation whose primary crop was tobacco. A 19th century tobacco barn still stands in the center of C loop and a 17th century graveyard is still intact near the nature trails.


M Circle M was on part of a horse ce ranch.

Pio Pico was actually named after Don Pio Pico who served twice as the governor of California during the years of Mexican rule. The land on which the preserve sits was once part of Rancho Jamul, an 8,296 acre Mexican Land Grant.

Each spring, the Skagit Valley, which surrounds the area near Birch Bay, Grandy Creek, La Conner, Mt. Vernon and Thunderbird, exploded with color as millions of tulips bloom. The event is commemorated annually with the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival held every April for the past 31 years.

Miss America 1969, Judith Ann Ford hails from Belvidere, Illinois home to Pine Country Preserve.

Cloverdale, home to Russian River Preserve, was named the Coolest Small Town in the West by Budget Travel Magazine. Located in California’s Sonoma County, it is part of California Wine Country.

The South Fork of the American River changed history in 1848 when California’s first gold was discovered in the stream bed at Sutter’s Mill. The Ponderosa Preserve is situated on the South Fork of the American River and is the perfect place to stay while learning all about the history of the Gold Rush at nearby Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, which is within walking distance of the preserve. JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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see

things to

The great views at Oregon’s Pacific City Preserve.

The amazing view from the lookout on the Ponderosa Trail at Washington’s Leavenworth Preserve.

The view of Mt. Saint Helens, on a clear day, from the “D” area picnic site at Washington’s Chehalis Preserve.

The wonderful farm life at Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg Farm.

The unique monolith known as Haystack Rock which towers 235 feet over Cannon Beach, near Oregon’s Seaside Preserve.

Visit Ohio’s Kenissee Preserve and you’ll most likely cross over the longest covered bridge in the U.S. The Smolen-Gulf Bridge, opened in 2008, is 613 miles feet long.

Lone Tree Island La Conner.

Idyllwild’s proof that Bigfoot exists! The PA Dutch Preserve and the beautiful Amish countryside that surrounds it.

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Say hello to Freckles and Bandit, upon whom hundreds of young visitors to Rancho Oso have experienced their first horseback ride. Also, visit with Thunder Jack, the PBR bucking bull and his cute baby calves.

things to

do

The Children’s fishing pond at Lake of the Springs in California which is open to kids ages 15 and under giving everyone a chance to catch “the big one!” Fish the stocked pond at Washington’s Paradise Preserve.

Take your choice of and enjoy the 11 lakes and the beautiful trails winding through Indiana’s Horseshoe Lakes.

Indiana’s Horseshoe Lakes

The annual Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington was named one of the Best Oktoberfests Across the U.S. by the International Business Times in 2013. Just a mere 25 minutes from the Leavenworth Preserve, stay with us and see what the fuss is all about.

You don’t have to go to Africa to have an up close and personal experience with jungle favorites. Visit Verde Valley and make a quick trip to nearby Camp Verde to enjoy an “African Bush Safari” at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. It’s an experience not to be missed.

The City of St. Clair, Michigan, home to the St. Clair Preserve, boasts the longest freshwater boardwalk in the world.

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Summer Is Here And So Is RPI

Here we are, it’s July and what has seemed to be the longest winter and craziest weather in recent memory may be finally over. Most of us should be enjoying the pool by now and we all deserve some better weather after the past six months! The July 4th holiday is, of course, the real start of another summer camping season across America. Resort Parks International (RPI) has helped Thousand Trails members enjoy summer road trips for over 25 years. Providing you additional opportunities to travel America your way is what we do best. The combined 175 plus RPI destination resorts and over 500 Enjoy America! locations for stays along the way is America’s very best collection of RV resorts in the industry. We feature resort destinations and fun things to do in issues of TrailBlazer. In one issue, we featured Seattle and other great locations in the Northwest including some at the beaches, some in the mountains and also close to the city.

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The main feature in that issue of TrailBlazer was all about BBQ. Of course, one usually thinks of places like Kansas City or Texas for BBQ but we had fun introducing you to what might be the original American BBQ cookout – the Northwest Indian tradition of using an open fire pit and Alder wood to cook fresh caught salmon. In another article, we provided information on America’s 10 Best Fall Color Destinations along with a great RPI resort to use in each area. Another favorite article was about Mt. Rushmore and hooking up with Hart Ranch, an RPI resort in the vicinity. We’ve also talked about locations in the Southwest desert like Palm Springs, Lake Havasu, and The Parker Strip right on the river. We also feature RPI resorts that just happen to be right where you want to be. We are continuing to show you just how valuable your RPI membership is and how much more fun you can have traveling in your RV or even taking those other family vacations without the RV in places like Orlando for Disney, or the sunny Caribbean or the inland passage to Alaska on a cruise boat.


Summer is here and now is the BEST TIME ever to enjoy RPI! If you’re not a member, we have a special offer for Thousand Trails members during July. Just $39.95 for the first year guarantees you’ll have the very best road trips ever, by simply enrolling today! 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 As a member, you can:

• 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. • Offer valid only for new RPI Plus membership.

Call 1-800-635-8498 for information. Offer valid only for new RPI Plus membership. You must be a NACO, LTR or Mid-Atlantic member to qualify for this offer. JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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4th of July at La Conner – La Conner, WA

Exploring at La Conner – La Conner, WA

I Knew I Was a

T

TrailBlazer

his month, TrailBlazer would like to introduce you to Mike and Christine Seresun. Both of them started out tent camping when they were kids and decided to try it together again after they were married. The result? Countless memories at Thousand Trails with their travel trailer, explorations across the Pacific Northwest, and campfire conversations with a local fire marshal.

TB: How long have you been camping and RVing? Who introduced you to it? Tell us how it all began! M&CS: We both started camping as kids with our families. I also did a lot of camping in Boy Scouts. Back then it was all tent camping for both of us with a lot of weekends being cold and wet. When our youngest turned about three, we decided we might like to try camping again. My wife’s dad used to drag her out in a tent in all kinds of terrible weather so her first comment when I brought camping up was, “Sure but I’m NOT sleeping in a tent.” So the search for our first travel trailer started. After going to an RV show and looking at a lot of used trailers we finally got our first trailer: a 1993 23-foot Gulfstream. That was six years ago.

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TB: How did you first hear about Thousand Trails? M&CS: Someone I knew had a membership and when I started talking about getting a travel trailer he told me a little bit about it and that they enjoyed it. When we went to the RV show we found out that you could get a free weekend stay. After we purchased our trailer, our first camping trip was to Deception Pass State Park in Washington. It’s a beautiful park but we were only able to stay three days mid-week during the kids’ spring break as all the weekends for the next six months were pretty much booked up. That’s when we found out that all our state parks here in Washington book up six to nine months in advance. The idea of having to decide in December when we wanted to go camping the next summer had us very disheartened. A couple of weeks later we decided to take Thousand Trails up on their offer for a free weekend. We went with absolutely NO intention to buy. It was just a chance to get the trailer out again and see what these places were like. Our free weekend was at the La Conner preserve. We were impressed with all the things to do and all the amenities compared to our state park experience. Our daughter quickly made friends with another little girl and we talked with her family about how long they had been members and how they liked it. It’s now six years later and we have never regretted it. To this day it is still one of the best purchases we have ever made.


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

By the way, they were the ones who introduced us to using Reese’s Peanut Butter cups instead of chocolate on our s’mores. Best campfire upgrade ever.

M&CS: My fondest memories are the times we went to Seaside and Pacific City. Something about the beach and just spending quality time with the family, shopping, playing, and having fun.

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.)

TB: Any funny camping/RVing stories? M&CS: I install fire alarms for a living and as part of that the local fire marshal has to do a final inspection and approve the system before anyone can move into or use the space. A couple of years ago I was doing a final inspection with a fire marshal and we got to talking. He said he was taking off on Friday for vacation and was going camping. I said “Cool, so are we.” He said, “We’re heading over near Leavenworth, WA.” I said, “Really, so are we. Where are you staying?” He said “We have an annual site at the Thousand Trails preserve there.” I started laughing and said “That’s where we’re going, too!” He gave me his site number and told us to drop by and say hi. When we got there and were looking for a site we passed his site. He was out so we stopped and he came over to the truck and started chatting. His wife steps out of the trailer and I hear my wife say “Oh my gosh, I think I know her.” Then she yells out the window “Nadine, is that you?” She comes running over and says “Oh my gosh, is that you, Christine?” They both started laughing and chatting. It turns out they had worked together for several years before my wife quit to stay home with the kids. They invited us all over to their campsite for a campfire. We had a wonderful time with them and I now have the rare distinction of having roasted marshmallows and telling campfire stories with one of our local fire marshals.

M&CS: Our first travel trailer was a 23-foot, 1993 Gulfstream. It had a very open floor plan which we felt was important for a smaller trailer and it was the right price at the time. We did have to convert the couch and dinette to beds every night for the kids but we’ve had many great adventures and have been to many great places in it over the last six years. We just recently upgraded to a 26-foot, 2000 Jayco Eagle Bunkhouse. We took it out for its maiden voyage only a couple of weeks ago to the La Conner preserve. It gives us more storage, more space, and mom doesn’t have to make the kids’ beds anymore before breakfast or coffee. We sit and enjoy that extra time now in the morning as family. So far we have preferred travel trailers to motorhomes or fifth wheels. Mostly because we can unhook and use the tow vehicle to explore the areas we visit. We’ve considered a fifth wheel but have stuck with the travel trailer, mostly because I like still being able to carry things in the bed of the truck while towing. The most important of these is the 9-foot Livingston boat I recently was given by my father. I can fit it on the bed of the truck and still have clearance to tow the trailer. We took it with us last year to Little Diamond in Washington and used it to putt around and fish on the lake there. I plan on taking it to La Conner this 4th of July weekend to go crabbing. Fresh Dungeness crab with your steak dinner is a real treat. Continued on page 60

The Seresuns – La Conner Preserve

Fishing at Little Diamond, WA

JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Spend $45 or more and receive a free 45 Years of Making Camping Memories

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JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER


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GLOBAL NOBLE

W

hile the 19-day, complimentary safari yielded Noble and Dean plenty of new friends and memories and some big game stories, it came up short when it came to zebras! So, armed with a letter of introduction from Clary Palmer-Wilson, the pair set off for a 5,000 acre sisal plantation, which was managed by Clary’s friend, Thorkild Andersen. According to Clary, Mr. Andersen could produce the elusive zebra Dean was seeking. “Just getting from our safari base camp to Lembeni, the community where the sisal plantation was located was an adventure in itself,” recalls Noble. The first stop was Amani, the location of a world famous malaria research center in the middle of the Usambara Mountains, a three hour drive south from the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. “From Amani, we drove to Mombasa where we found our first fresh fruits in over a month,” said Noble “There were pineapples, tangerines, bananas and plums. After a brief food shopping tour in Mombasa we were off for Malindi, Kenya’s answer to California’s Newport Beach.” They stayed at the home of their old friends, the Krugers, whose house was located on the beach “where the white sand beach was so hot you had to wear slippers and sunglasses.” “We had three great days snorkeling in the clear Indian Ocean, observing large colorful fish, visiting Arab ruins, relics of the long ago and attending a dance,” said Noble. From Malindi they traveled good roads to Nairobi, elevation 5,500 feet, and Kenya’s commercial center. “I wanted to make camp here and get a feel for East African commerce while Dean took the Jeep into the nearby forest to bird watch,” said Noble. After a few days, and a new spring for the Jeep, they were headed back to Tanganyika and Arusha, the staging community for a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro. “We had dinner at the safari hotel in Arusha which turned out to be adventuresome,” said Noble. “We met a large group of Swedish doctors, in town to commence a 30-day safari. As we began our arguments regarding the respective merits of our countries’ medical systems, one doctor, Kit Colfac, invited me to provide him the opportunity to demonstrate

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Sweden’s cost advantages. He asked if I needed any elective surgery. Sure, I had enlarged tonsils, I told him and he said if I came to Vastervik, Sweden, he would take my tonsils out for $7.35. We shook on the deal…stay tuned for that event!” In Arusha, Noble met fellow Trojan, Don Higley who had been living in Tanganyika for the past two and half years. “Don knew everyone in town. He set up our trip to the Ngonrongoro Crater and the Serengeti Plains,” Noble said. “The Serengeti was 6,000 square miles of the largest collection of plains game, including zebra, gazelle, all kinds of antelope and gnu (or wildebeests as they are referred to in East Africa.) In the Serengeti, they came upon a team of hyenas chasing down a newly born wildebeest calf, whose mother had been run to death by the hyenas as she was trying to protect it.“When the hyenas descended upon the baby wildebeest, I was so incensed at what I was observing I took off running after the one carrying the largest part of the poor calf,” recalls Noble “I was carrying my heavy wooden tripod to bash against him. Now a four-legged hyena can easily outrun any man but not with newly acquired dinner it its mouth. The hyena dropped his “dinner” and sprinted out of harm’s way. I immediately got back into the Jeep which Dean kept in the area for my own safety!” After much adventure, they arrived at the Andersen’s plantation.“We stayed with the Andersens for almost a month,” said Noble. “A view of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the front yard (which was just 30 miles away) –


what a setting! Each night the generator went off at 10 p.m. sharp – time for bed. We were awakened each morning to the buzz of activity as workers loaded the sisal on to the 18 gauge railroad.” Dean and Noble made a pact that they would climb Mt. Kilimanjaro before they left the country. “Why not? It was a gentle, extinct volcano. Not much of a risk,” said Noble. “But first Dean had to get his zebra and with the help of Thorkild and his 9.3 mm Czechmade Mauser rifle, it did not take long. We were living in the bush – every day was an adventure.” They enjoyed their time in and around the plantation. While Dean identified many tropical birds, Noble took advantage of Thorkild’s library that included leatherbound books including all the works of Teddy Roosevelt. “After a month, we packed up and departed for Moshi on the side of Kilimanjaro. We were going to climb the mountain,” said Noble. “We started off at 7 a.m. to walk the 11 miles up to Bismark Hut. From the Kibo Hotel, at 4500 feet we had climbed to the first hut, not much of a walk, but all up hill,” recalls Noble. “Dean was in very good shape. I had not walked with him all over the world chasing birds, but I was game. So we decided that each man would move at his own pace. That meant Dean would move ahead...which he did the entire round trip up and back down, about 66 miles.”

19,340 feet tall from it base, it is a manageable climb. Work, yes, but negotiable if you have enough popcorn and Hershey bars to eat. Each night I prepared popcorn on my Primus stove. It was a much welcomed food high on the mountain. Nourishing and simple to make.” “Dean made it to the top at the end of Day 2, taking 2.5 days to make the 66 mile round trip. It took me three full days,” said Noble. “The last day I walked 36 miles, not arriving back at the Jeep until midnight with the help of an elderly native who carried a lamp for me to see and with each step he would say “poli poli” which in Swahili means slowly. And yes, that last 10 miles I was walking slowly. When I took off my boots at last, I had badly swollen feet. It was four days before I could put shoes on again. Just part of the adventure of testing the envelope!” “It was great to have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro at the age of 27 in 1960,” said Noble. “And 27 years later, in 1987, I called Dean, who by then was a distinguished professor in Texas and asked Doctor Dean if he still had the “right stuff” to go up again. He was game! Stayed tuned for the next adventure!

From the Kibo Hotel there are three huts, one at 9,000 feet, one at 12,000 feet and one at 15,000 feet. “According to custom, you get up at 2 a.m. from hut number three and climb the last 4,340 feet in four hours to observe the gorgeous sunrise, at about 6 a.m., said Noble “From the top of Kilimanjaro,

JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Pine Island RV Resort Jay, Oklahoma

“Best camping RV Park on Grand Lake!” says park member Dale Wilkerson. “In the spring, the white bass fishing is super good and the fall is even better for catfish.” “This place is awesome!” gushes guest Rebecca Foust-Chambers. “Very nice people, and love the two pools.” These are just two of the raves about Pine Island RV Resort, located in the foothills of the Ozarks. Pine Island is situated on The Grand Lake O’ The Cherokee’s in northeast Oklahoma. Grand Lake was created in 1940 with the completion of the historical Pensacola Dam on the Grand River. The world’s longest multiple arch dam, this massive reservoir holds back 46,500 surface acres of water at an average surface level of 742 feet above sea level. Known for its great fishing, Grand Lake plays host to several fishing tournaments, including the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. It is just twenty minutes from the city of Grove, the lake’s largest city with many fine restaurants, specialty and craft shops, and antique stores. In Grove you will also find the Cherokee Queen Riverboat rides, Lendonwood Botanical Gardens, and Har-Ber Village Museum. After exploring the area, guests can relax at either the indoor or outdoor pools, hike one of the nature trails, or fish off one of the resort’s fishing docks. In the evenings, guests can choose to join in on one of many games being played at the Eagle’s Nest clubhouse. Speaking of the Eagle’s Nest, early risers will witness a beautiful sunrise from the back deck which is on a ridge ninety feet above the water. In certain times of the year, you may even spot one of the many American Bald Eagle’s that nest in the trees located along the ridge. Inside the clubhouse, you will find a library with a varied selection of reading material. Many outdoor activities can also be found. The Activities Center has a mini-golf course, ping-pong table, foosball table, air hockey table, horseshoe pit, basketball/ tennis court, volleyball court, disc golf, and one of our community fire rings. There are also a variety of planned activities throughout the year. With so many activities to choose from, everyone should be able to find something to do. On the practical side of things, there is an on-site laundromat. The Welcome Center store carries a variety of grocery items and souvenirs. The resort’s four areas all have full hookup RV sites (water, electric, and sewer). Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. For those without an RV, Pine Island has a variety of rentals available, including park models and camper cabins.

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JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER


Talk Show Doctor Doctor Talk Show Reveals Digestion Reveals Digestion Remedy That Remedy That Works Instantly! Instantly! Television host host and sellingauthor authorexplains explains and best best selling selling author explains how a new aloe-vera extract can make bouts how a new aloe-vera aloe-vera extract extract can can make make bouts boutsof ofof heartburn, acid-reflux, constipation, gas, bloating, heartburn, acid-reflux, constipation, gas, bloating, heartburn, acid-reflux, constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and other diarrhea, other stomach stomachnightmares nightmaresdisappear! disappear! and other stomach nightmares disappear! alternative medicine expert Recently, R Dr. Bryce Wylde, a frequent guest on

ecently, alternative medicine expert Dr. Bryce Wylde, a frequent guest on the Dr. Oz show, revealed a simple secret thatDr. amazed millions who suffer secret with the Oz show, revealed a simple digestion nightmares. People haven’t that amazed millions who suffer with stopped talking about it since. digestion nightmares. People haven’t

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to make it stop!” “I’d give anything That’s what most people will say to make it stop!” about their digestive problems. “It’s That’s what most people will asay about That’s whatsays most people will say just horrible Ralph Burns, former their digestive problems. “It’s just horriabout their digestive problems. “It’s digestion victim. I was tortured for years by my Acid-Reflux. Sometimes almost ble,” says Ralph Burns, a Burns, formerI’dadigestion just horrible says Ralph former pass out“Ifrom pain.tortured My years wifefor suffers victim. was the tortured for byyears my digestion victim. I was with problems too. IfI’d she eats Acid-Reflux. Sometimes I’d almost pass by mydigestion Acid-Reflux. Sometimes almost one wrongthe thing, she spends hours stuck out My wife suffers with passfrom out frompain. the pain. My wife suffers in the bathroom dealing with severe digestion problems too. If she eats one with digestion problems too. If she eats bouts of constipation or diarrhea.”

wrong thing,thing, she spends hourshours stuck in the one wrong she spends stuck FDA Warns Popular bathroom dealing About with severe of in the bathroom dealing withbouts severe constipation or Antacids diarrhea.” bouts of constipation or diarrhea.” A recent FDA warning explained that excessive of antacids lead to FDA use Warns About could Popular an increased risk of hip, wrist, and spine Antacids fractures. in people over the A recentEspecially FDA warning explained that age of 50. excessive use of antacids could lead to So when alternative medicine expert an riskdiscussed of hip, wrist, and spine Dr.increased Bryce Wylde an alternative fractures. Especially people overhow the on National TV, you in can imagine age of 50. thrilled people were to find out they could So when alternative medicine expert finally get relief without having to rely on Prevecid®, Nexium®, Prilosec® other Dr. Bryce Wylde discussed an and alternative dangerous now, according on Nationalantacids. TV, youBut can imagine how to Dr. Wylde, your to stomach problems thrilled people were find out they could could be over by simply drinking a small finally get relief without having to rely on amount of a tasty Aloe Vera extract.

Prevecid®, Nexium®, Prilosec® and other Finally There’s dangerous antacids. But Hope... now, according This delicious “digestion cocktail” is doto Dr. Wylde, your stomach problems ing amazing for people whoasuffer could be overthings by simply drinking small with stomach problems --- even if they’ve amount of a tasty Aloe Vera extract. had them for years. Here’s how it works…

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escapes into your esophagus, throat and escapeslining, into your esophagus, throat and stomach it unleashes the scorching stomach lining, it unleashes scorching pain of Acid-Reflux, heartburn,the ulcers and more Add theheartburn, problems of stress, pain misery. of Acid-Reflux, ulcers and and “allmisery. hell breaks more Addloose.” the problems of stress, Dr. Liza Leal, a well known expert on and “all hell breaks loose. ” chronic pain management explains... Dr. Liza Leal, a well known expert on “AloeCure® can work genuine miracles. painacid management explains... Itchronic buffers high levels with amazing “AloeCure® work feels genuine miracles. speed, so yourcan stomach completely It buffers high acid levels with at ease just moments after drinkingamazing it.” In speed, so your feels pain, completely fact, it could wipestomach out stomach discomfort, runsafter to the bathroom. at ease and just frantic moments drinking it.” In

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On the Road 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 John McCalmont, an active outdoorsman and semipro tournament bass fisherman, as well as an accomplished producer/director/actor and professional voice talent. He has hosted Lifetime’s “Designing Spaces”, the History Channel’s “Sliced” and for the past fourteen years, John has been the host of “Skeeter Bass Champs” on the World Fishing Network and FOX Sports.

John McCalmont

J

ohn McCalmont cast his first line at the age of four and won his first bass tournament at the age of 12. His grandfather introduced him to fishing and it’s something that has become more than a hobby. “I had allergies and asthma as a child so my grandfather introduced me to fishing as a competitive outlet for me since I couldn’t compete in football or baseball,” he said. “Fishing is highly competitive. The tournaments are as competitive as PGA tournaments or the Daytona 500.” His love of the outdoors naturally followed and as an adult, John managed to find a way to combine all the things he loves. He has hosted fishing shows and tournaments throughout North America and has fished all over the world. His RV serves as both his office and his home on the road. 34

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How did you get involved in RVing? You can say I was born in an RV. I came home from the hospital to my first home, which was the RV where my parents lived at the time I was born. But seriously, I started RVing in 1998. I had gone on several trips before that but I purchased my first RV in 1998. I bought a Forest River Wildcat bunkhouse fifth wheel and also a Lance cabover for my pickup truck. What kind of RV do you own now? I currently have a Forest River Salem bunkhouse. We have two little girls and our first camping trip as a family was over Memorial Day Weekend. Do you RV for work, pleasure, or both? My work is my pleasure. I am blessed to have a career I love. The best thing about the RV life is the limitless opportunities where you can explore the outdoors. My setup is independent. I have a generator, water, gas, and I am ready to go. I can pull up anywhere and camp – anywhere my foot hits the brake!


As a voiceover artist, you have to be available at a moment’s notice. If I am traveling in the RV and get a call, I can pull over and get to work. Because I have a small compact audio system in the RV, my studio is always ready. They have no idea where I am recording from. In today’s world, everyone has got to have everything now. I don’t have the liberty of being disconnected but the RV allows me to be available and still explore the country. What is your favorite thing about staying in your RV versus a hotel room? I like creature comforts and having my own stuff at my disposal. The only way to do this when I travel is in an RV. I do my best to avoid hotels. I have been known to park the RV in front of a hotel where the crew is staying and I stay onboard the RV.

John and his daughters enjoying some time in the RV.

What are your favorite things onboard? My pillow and my bed. As I said I enjoy creature comforts, plus I can cook my own food. I have dietary restrictions so having the RV kitchen allows me to make good, healthy meals so it’s easier to maintain my lifestyle. Highways or scenic routes? I try to stay off the highways. If there’s a back road, I’ll take it, no matter how big my rig is. But you do have to be careful – you can’t easily turn around if you find you’re heading the wrong direction! Any interesting stories about life on the road in an RV? There’s always an adventure to relate. One time, we got stuck in an ice storm on the way back from a bass tournament. There was no access to hotels or anything so I pulled into a rest stop and everyone hopped in my RV. We made dinner and waited out the storm. Another time we were about seven hours into Mexico for a bass fishing event and we got lost. We were pulled over at about 3 a.m. by the Federales and they pulled absolutely everything out of the RV and checked it all over. That was a little harrowing, but it all turned out well.

With a studio onboard, John isJULY ready to work at moment’s 2014 | TRAILBLAZER 35 notice.


AMERICA’S

HALLS OF FAME: WHERE THE BEST OF THE BEST CALL HOME By Lynn and Cele Seldon

Americans love to celebrate the best when it comes to people, places, and things. That’s especially true when it comes to various halls of fame situated across the country, where the best of the best call home. Here are some top halls of fame well worth a visit for both diehards and casual fans.

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New York: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum 25 Main St. • Cooperstown, NY 13326 (888) HALL OF FAME• www.baseballhall.org

Typically drawing around 300,000 visitors each year, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has more than 40,000 artifacts related to the game’s past, including one of Babe Ruth’s lockers, hate mail sent to Jackie Robinson, a glove worn by Willie Mays, and much, much more.

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A typical Hall of Fame experience begins with the multimedia presentation called “The Baseball Experience” in the Grandstand Theater. Next, visitors enter the “Baseball Time Line,” which details players, legendary teams, and historic moments through the turn-of-the-century. Other exhibits of note include “Diamond Dreams: Women in Baseball;” “Pride and Passion: the African-American Baseball Experience;” “¡Viva Baseball!” (dedicated to baseball in Caribbean Basin countries); “The Babe Ruth Gallery;” and “Today’s Game,” which captures memories and milestones from the last several years, as well as ‘lockers’ for each of the 30 major league clubs in a clubhouse setting. “Baseball at the Movies” explores the long-standing relationship between baseball and the movies, including the likes of “Field of Dreams,” “Bull Durham,” “Eight Men Out,” “A League of Their Own,” “The Natural,” and many more. Housing the award winners of the Ford C. Frick Award for Broadcasting Excellence and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing, “Scribes and Mikemen” honors the greatest journalists to broadcast and write about the national pastime. “Sacred Ground” examines ballparks of the past and present with more than 200 artifacts in numerous displays in a 1,800-square-foot exhibit space. Displays include a ticket booth from Yankee Stadium; a turnstile from the Polo Grounds; a cornerstone from Ebbets Field; and the on-deck circle from Forbes Field.


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Photos courtsey of Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame

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There’s also a special interactive section dedicated to “Autumn Glory: 100 Years of the Postseason” spotlights the music of the ballpark, where visitors can hear the moments from every memorable World Series. Artifacts distinctive sounds from various ballparks and learn the range from the baseball used for the final out of the history of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and much more. inaugural fall classic in 1903 to the bats used by Bobby A unique computer interactive experience also guides Thomson and Joe Carter when they hit their dramatic visitors on a walk through Boston’s old World Series home runs. South End Grounds Grand Pavilion, which National Baseball Hall of Fame hosted baseball from 1888 to 1894. The “Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery” on “One for the Books: Baseball Records and the Stories Behind Them” tracks the active and all-time leaders in virtually every statistical category, while also featuring award winner lists and selected awards from the Hall of Fame collection. This area also includes “Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream,” an exhibit that chronicles Aaron’s life from childhood through his big-league career and postbaseball work, including his philanthropic efforts.

the first floor serves as the centerpiece of the historic institution, where the plaques of 300-plus Hall of Fame members are displayed. It’s here that the likes of Williams, Clemente, Berra, DiMaggio, Ripken, Mantle and many more are honored for eternity.

And, of course, The Museum Store is where visitors will find unique gifts and keepsakes, including apparel for themselves and other baseball fans. JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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2

Ohio: Pro Football Hall of Fame

2121 George Halas Dr. NW • Canton, OH 44708 (330) 456-8207 • www.profootballhof.com

Drawing more than 200,000 pro football fans last year, Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame has been around since 1963 – welcoming more than 10 million visitors from more than 60 countries around the world. There have been four expansions (including one completed in 2013), which saw the facility grow from its original size of 19,000 square feet to 118,000 square feet today. Visitors enter the museum through a grand new lobby, which features ever-changing themed displays and the story of why the Hall of Fame is in Canton.

through several themes that document the game’s great pioneers, players, coaches, and events. Pro football’s impact on society is explored in “Road to Equality” and “Pop Culture.” The famed “Hall of Fame Gallery” houses the bronze busts of each Hall of Fame enshrinee (now at 275-plus.) Visitors can learn about each member through touch screen kiosks that display biographies, photos, videos, and more. The “Moments, Memories & Mementos Gallery” uses high tech video, audio, and lighting to focus on the achievements of inductees, including artifacts from their careers. “The Pro Football Today Gallery” examines contemporary themes in the NFL, including mementos from recent big games. The “Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery” chronicles the game from

area that features many hands-on experiences – including a Madden EA Sports video game suite. The brand-new Hall of Fame Store was part of the museum’s massive renovation and includes a broad selection of merchandise from all 32 NFL teams. There’s also a wide variety of specially-designed Hall of Fame merchandise, including collectibles and more. Football fans may want to know that the new College Football Hall of Fame (www.cfbhall.com) will be opening in downtown Atlanta in the fall of 2014. It’s moving from South Bend, Indiana. The new facility will be adjacent to the Georgia Dome and steps from Centennial Olympic Park, the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, the CNN Center,

l of Fame

Photos courtsey of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

al Pro Football H

There were three reasons: the American Football League (later named the National Football League) was founded in Canton in 1920; the Canton Bulldogs were an early football power, with Jim Thorpe as a star; and Canton citizens launched a successful campaign to have the Hall of Fame located in their city. “The NFL’s First Century” gallery opened in 2013 and features a towering bronze statue of Jim Thorpe; high-tech interactive displays; one-of-a-kind artifacts; and historical information 38

JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Super Bowl I to the present, including artifacts, game footage, and interactive kiosks. There’s also the Super Bowl Theater, with highlights from the most recent season and Super Bowl using the latest technology and creative works from NFL Films. Finally, leaving the exhibit spaces, there’s an interactive

the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and much more. It will features contemporary artifacts, interactive multimedia displays, children’s activities, a theater featuring ultra-HD films on the history and excitement of college football, and much more – including a 45-yard indoor turf field.


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Massachusetts: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame 1000 Hall of Fame Ave. • Springfield, MA 01105 (413) 781-6500 • www.hoophall.com

Opened in 2002 to rave reviews, the then-new Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame nearly doubled the size of the former building, including the new trademark 15-story-high spire with an illuminated basketball on top. Dr. James Naismith “invented” basketball in 1891 when he was a physical education instructor at Springfield College, thanks to the desire of the school’s administration

Photos courtesy of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Naismith Memorial e Basketball Hall of Fam

to have a new indoor recreational game for the winter months. Before he died in 1939, Naismith would see basketball included in the Olympic family of sports (the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.) He actually threw out the “first ball” in the inaugural game and later commented it was the highlight of his career. More than 20 new entertaining exhibits containing objects, photos, and graphics are complemented by 40-plus video programs, including a

new state-of-the-art theater that tells the story of basketball. It features the sport’s great teams, players, and contributors from 1891 to present-day. Visitors are able to look up facts on Hall of Famers and other players, championship teams, and leagues. There’s also video trivia, coach’s play telestration, and many memorable game highlights. More than a dozen handson interactive displays—including activities designed for younger fans— complement the extensive museum exhibits and video programs, allowing roundballers of all skill levels the ability to compare themselves to basketball greats. This includes shooting hoops, rebounding, and “playing” against virtual superstars.

Interior - Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

The new Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams includes a high school regulation-sized court and offers continuous programming. Contests, pick-up games, skill challenges, demonstrations, and clinics are all part of the mix. The Hall of Fame Theater features basketball videos and television shows with state-of-the-art surround sound and lighting. Of course, there’s also the busy Hall of Fame Store with all the latest merchandise, plus exclusive items.

Ohio: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum 1100 E. 9th St. Cleveland, OH 44114 (216) 781-7625

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Located on the shores of Lake Erie, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum pays tribute to the groundbreaking genre with a fast-paced journey through the history of rock and roll music. The museum offers a comprehensive retrospective on rock and roll’s origins, development, legends, and its immense impact on global culture. From one-hit wonders to legendary inductees and from its roots in gospel, country, and blues to the important music scenes in Memphis, Detroit, and Chicago, the museum’s exhibits are designed to provide the visitor with a unique and interactive experience. The collection of artifacts and costumes is enhanced by a combination of stateof-the-art technology and innovative film and video. Other exhibits are devoted to the pioneering rock and roll artists of the Fifties, the soul artists of the Sixties, the political protests against rock and roll, and the interplay between the music, the artists, and fashion. Plus, of course, there’s the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum Store for music shopping and much more.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28202 (704) 654-4400 • www.nascarhall.com

Photos courtesy of the CRVA/NASCAR Hall of Fame

The NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. More than 50 interactive exhibits, like the Pit Crew Challenge and racing simulators, invite guests to engage with the sights and sounds of the sport, while unexpected memorabilia and stock cars on display chronicle NASCAR’s beginnings to present day. One-of-a-kind memorabilia include everything from Junior Johnson’s moonshine still to Bobby Allison’s band uniform and Richard Petty’s Medal of Freedom. NASCAR’s roots run deep in Charlotte, the birthplace of motorsports more than six decades ago. NASCAR was founded by fearless bootleggers looking to enhance their cars so they could outrun the law. NASCAR now boasts more than 75 million loyal fans worldwide, and undoubtedly reigns supreme in North Carolina with nearly 90% of teams based in the region. Downtown Charlotte’s massive 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame features more than 1,000 artifacts to complement the interactive exhibits. The high-tech venue is designed to educate and entertain both rabid race fans and non-fans alike.

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The “Hall of Honor” is sacred NASCAR ground and it’s where NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees are enshrined each year. There have been five induction ceremonies since it’s opening in 2010, including Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, and many more. “Race Week” provides a behind-thescenes look at what each member of a NASCAR team experiences to prepare for race day, while the “Transporter Simulator” is a full-size team transporter within Race Week that provides a first-hand look at the team’s trackside nerve center. The “Racing Simulator” (also in Race Week) provides a state-of-the-art experience and perspective and was the first iRacing simulator. “Heritage Speedway” is where individual galleries tell the story of more than 60 years of NASCAR history, while “Honoring Our Legacy Theater” in Heritage Speedway honors NASCAR legends no longer with us. “Memorable Moments” in the Theater Lobby highlights artifacts and other items that celebrate NASCAR history from the most recent season. Last, but not least, “Gear Shop” is the place to head for everything NASCAR.

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Texas: International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame 621 Six Flags Dr. Arlington, TX 76011 (817) 385-8215 www.bowlingmuseum.com

The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame preserves and records bowling’s 5000-year history. The Museum also recognizes the sport’s greats with the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), the Bowling Proprietor’s Association of America (BPAA), and the World Bowling Writers Hall of Fame. Open in Arlington since 2010, the Museum features 18,000 square feet of history, exhibits and memorabilia. It was originally opened in 1984 in St. Louis, Missouri. One hundred million people in more than ninety countries are bowlers, making bowling one of the largest participatory sports in the world. Bowling has a long and storied history, from ancient Egypt to modern times. The Museum tour opens with a dedication to some of the greats of bowling, including exhibits devoted to Joe Norris, Walter Ray Williams, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Paeng Nepomuceno, and Marion Ladewig. An original LeRoy Neiman oil painting of Earl Anthony is prominently featured.

Photo courtesy of the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame

North Carolina: NASCAR Hall of Fame

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“The Great Hall” is just inside the entrance and this open-air area a signature “Fan Billboard” featuring large screens, lively graphics, and interactive video content. Next, signature “Glory Road 2.0” features a banked ramp leading to the second floor and showcasing 18 historic cars, 40 current and historic tracks, and two opportunities for fans to walk up and experience racetrack inclines of 14 and 33 steep degrees.


Photos courtesy of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation

Exhibits follow the formation of major bowling organizations across the nation and around the world. The “TV Goes Bowling” exhibit shows the sports foray into television and the bowling boom that followed. “Hometown Heroics” is a hands-on exhibit built around two computer terminals. Visitors can look up names of local/state Hall of Famers, as well as those who have bowled 300 games or 800 series. Additionally, visitors can look up biographies of Hall of Famers at dedicated kiosks that feature bowlers’ biographies and more. Plus, the Spare Partz store offers a variety of striking bowling souvenirs.

Tennesse: Country Music Hall of Fame

of Broadway and across the street from Bridgestone Arena and Music City Center. The museum, called the “Smithsonian of Country Music” because of its unrivaled collection, recently unveiled a $100 million expansion, doubling its size to 350,000 square feet of dynamic state-of-the-art galleries, archival storage, education classrooms, retail stores, and special event space boasting stunning downtown views. In the museum’s core exhibition, “Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music,” visitors are immersed in the history and sounds of country music, its origins and traditions, and the stories and voices of many of its honored architects. The story is revealed through artifacts, photographs and text panels, with a rich overlay of recorded sound, vintage video and interactive touchscreens.

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222 Fifth Ave. South Nashville, TN 37203 (615) 416-2001 www.countrymusichalloffame.org The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum adds a strikingly modern touch to the Nashville skyline and is situated at the epicenter of the city’s rapidly growing core, a block from the popular honky-tonks

The new “ACM Gallery” and the “Dinah & Fred Gretsch Family Gallery” offer visitors a hands-on immersion into today’s country music with artifacts from today’s hottest country stars and a series of technology-enhanced activities that will allow guests to become ‘Certified Country.’ In addition to world-class galleries, the museum also boasts the 800seat CMA Theater; the Taylor Swift Education Center; and multi-purpose event rental spaces already in high demand. Other historic properties of the Country Music Hall of Fame

and Museum include the legendary letterpress operation Hatch Show Print (expanded and relocated inside the museum) and Historic RCA Studio B (located on famed Music Row), Nashville’s oldest surviving recording studio where magical recordings by Elvis, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, and countless others were made.

Michigan: Automotive Hall of Fame

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21400 Oakwood Blvd. Dearborn, MI 48124 (313) 240-4000 www.automotivehalloffame.org

The Automotive Hall of Fame is located on Oakwood Boulevard across the parking lot from The Henry Ford (a great car-driven museum in its own right). It celebrates cars and the people who drove them to their important status in the world today. Opened at its current location in 1997, various possibilities for auto buffs here include the Soichiro Honda Atrium (changing car displays and special exhibits); the William Maybach Hall of Recognition (recent Hall of Fame inductees and more); the Fred Mancheski Theater (media showcasing history Continued onthe page 60 of the industry

Photos courtesy of the Automotive Hall of Fame

Visitors then move into a replica of a stone bowling game found in a child’s grave in northern Egypt. The game has been dated to 3200 BC. One exhibit features “pin boys,” who set pins by hand in the late 19th and early 20th century.


By Kim Wuchter

With 15,000 square miles of picturesque rolling terrain, the Texas Hill Country combines old-world heritage with Texas charm and southern hospitality. This huge swath of lush countryside encompasses 25 rural counties in central Texas, sweeping west of Austin and north of San Antonio. Towns such as Fredericksburg, New Braunfels and Boerne were founded by German settlers in the mid-1800s, and

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their influence is still apparent in the culture, cuisine and architecture today. It’s a wonderful mix of dance halls, wineries, and dude ranches, where small two-lane roads are flanked by limestone outcrops, bald cypress trees, and live oaks. To help you enjoy the best of the Texas Hill Country, we’ve rounded up some of the best attractions that are sure to have you kicking up your boots to stay awhile.


Enchanted Rock Natural Area

For a scenic hike, plan a visit to Enchanted Rock Natural Area, 18 miles outside of Fredericksburg. The centerpiece is an enormous dome-shaped piece of granite that bulges out of the ground like a hump on a camel’s back. It’s the nation’s second largest granite dome, next to Georgia’s Stone Mountain. It’s a half-mile hike to the top. For a beautiful view, make the trek about a half hour before sunset. If you listen closely, you might hear the rock talking. Native Americans who revered the granite dome claimed that they could hear strange sounds at night. Scientists, however, believe the noises are due to fissures in the granite expanding at the end of a hot day. But, who knows? Listen and decide for yourself. In Bandera, near the Medina Lake Preserve, the Lost Maples State Natural Area displays beautiful fall colors in October and November. Park rangers post weekly “Fall Foliage Reports” on their park’s website, helping tourists catch the peak of colors. For more information, visit the park’s website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/lostmaples. Admission for each park is $6 per person.

The Land Down Under

Thanks to the limestone sub terrain, the Texas Hill Country has three gorgeous caverns open for tours. Two of the caverns are in the Boerne area: Cascade Caverns and Cave Without a Name. At Cascade Caverns, highlights include a Diamond Ceiling, where millions of glistening drops of water create a sparkling illusion, a nine-storyhigh underground waterfall and rare wildlife such as Cliff and Leopard frogs, Eastern Pipistrelle bats, and Cascade Cavern salamanders. Lesser known of the three, and the least commercial, is Cave Without a Name. Nonetheless, it is filled with spectacular formations of stalactites, stalagmites, delicate soda straws, cave drapery, magnificent flowstones, rimstone dams, and more. Six major underground rooms are open to explore, which remain a comfortable 66 degrees year-round.

Photo courtesy of traveltex.com

A Rock That Talks?

Natural Bridge Caverns is the largest cavern in Texas and attracts more than 250,000 visitors a year. It is located 13 miles north of San Antonio on Natural Bridge Caverns Road (FM 3009), eight miles west of I-35. In addition to exploring the vast cavern, you can also check several other major attractions at this location. The Explorer Challenge course offers four levels of challenging obstacle courses and zip lines. You can try your hand panning for gems, minerals and fossils at the mining center. And, you can visit Bracken Cave, summer home to the world’s largest bat colony. Guests have the rare opportunity to see the emergence of this impressive colony from its natural cave roost as they spiral out of the cave at dusk for their nightly insect hunt. The plume of bats is said to be so dense that it shows up on airport radar.

Cowboy Country

Chaps, saddles, and well-worn cowboy boots are a part of daily living in Bandera, which is nicknamed the Cowboy Capital of the World. Open rodeos Rodeo - Bandera, Texas take place twice weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and dude ranches are scattered throughout Bandera County offering trail rides, horse camps and chuck wagon meals. The town’s western roots date back to when it became a staging area for the great cattle drives of yesteryear. On Saturdays, Main Street comes alive with Wild West entertainment, including a mock gun fight at 1 and 3 p.m. Other entertainment varies each Saturday. You might find strolling singers one weekend and trick ropers and wagons rides the next weekend. One of the town’s biggest celebrations is the Annual Celebrate Bandera, which takes place each Labor Day

Cascade Caverns

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National Museum of the Pacific War

weekend. Just follow the cowboys and horse trailers to the rodeo grounds at Mansfield Park, where Dodge Rodeo presents the Cowboy Mounted Shooters Competition. Cowboys and cowgirls will be riding at top speeds to shoot at balloon targets. Other events throughout Bandera over the three-day weekend include a chuck wagon supper with live country music, an arts and crafts fair, a swing dance, more shooting events, an intertribal Powwow, and a longhorn cattle drive with costumed characters representing different periods in Bandera’s history.

Historic Sites

In downtown Fredericksburg, the National Museum of the Pacific War is the only institution in the continental United States dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific Theater battles of World War II. With more than 50,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space, this museum tells of the heroic efforts of American soldiers through 900 artifacts, extensive multi-media and interactive exhibits, and stunning film and photography. The complex houses a Japanese Midget Sub, B-25 Bomber and an Atomic Bomb casing. On select weekends, there are living history reenactments that portray an attack on a Pacific island beachhead and show the tactics and solutions that won the war in the Pacific.

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President Lyndon B. Johnson felt a strong connection to the Texas Hill Country. It was his home for much of his life. Today, the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park honors his life, legacy and presidency. The National Historic Park includes two visitor areas separated by about 14 miles, and there’s also a state park, which has many historic tributes to Johnson as well. There is so much to see and do at each one, you could easily spend a full day exploring it all. In Johnson City, the most notable attractions are Johnson’s boyhood home, which has been fully restored to the 1920s, and the Johnson Settlement, which is an exhibit on cowboys, cattle drives and the Texas frontier life. Travel down the road to Stonewall and you can visit the second half of this historic park. In this section, you can take an audio driving tour of the LBJ Ranch, see the one-room school where Johnson learned to read, see his reconstructed birthplace, tour Johnson’s ranch house, which became known as the Texas White House and much more. Ranger guided tours of the Texas White House are available daily. Across the street at the LBJ State Park, you can see animal exhibits of American bison, Texas longhorns, and white-tailed deer. And, you can explore the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm, which looks at the life of some of Johnson’s Texas-German neighbors in 1918. Park interpreters wear period clothing, do the farm and household chores as they were done at that time, and also conduct tours for the visitors.


Cooling Off

On the edge of the Texas Hill Country, you can experience the world’s best rated water park – the Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, voted the number one water amusement park by the amusement park industry for 16 consecutive years. The 65-acre family theme park began in 1966 when Bob and Billye Henry and their three children began creating fun water rides. They made up the park’s name by combining the German word for slippery (Schlitter) with the German word for road (Bahn). Today, the park is home to unique creations including the Boogie Bahn, the world’s first surfing attraction with simulated waves, and the Dragon’s Revenge, the world’s

way to spend a hot summer day. If you don’t have an inner tube, you can rent everything you need, from inner tubes to kayaks to canoes. Most outfitters also provide parking and shuttle transportation as well. Group rates are often available with advance arrangements. Typical trips run from two to eight hours and depend on the river flow rate and locations. Some outfitters even orchestrate tubing after dark!

Two-stepping Havens

Luckenbach is a tiny town made famous by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s hit song in 1977. Then, from 1995 to 1999, Luckenbach was the location for Nelson’s famous Fourth of July Picnic. But despite its notoriety, the town hasn’t changed much over the years.

Photo courtesy of Kenny Braun

Schlitterbahn

Photo courtesy of Kenny Braun

first uphill water coaster. The most popular attraction at Schlitterbahn is the Master Blaster, which starts at the top of a six story tower and rockets passengers along 1,000 feet of water-slicked track. General admission day passes are $51.99. For seniors and children Schlitterbahn ages 3 to 11 it’s $41.99.

Guadalupe River

Located off Farm to Market Road 1376, the town has only a few old buildings. In fact, if you blink, you might miss it. There’s only a general store/post office, a bar and a historic dance hall that was built around 1880. The biggest attraction is the dance hall, which hosts regular dances by some of the best Texas musicians. You won’t find any glitz and glamor here – just a well-worn wooden dance floor and a few party lights strung across the ceiling. Country music fans come from all over to two-step the night away, and “get back to the basics,” just like Willie and Waylon sang about. Dance hall admission prices vary by event.

One of the most popular activities Photo courtesy of Michael Murphy in the Hill Country is inner tubing the Guadalupe River and Comal Another good bet for dance music is the popular Tavern River. The scenic beauty of these in the Gruene in New Braunfels. This live music venue, waterways includes magnificent which hosts a number of up-and-coming Texas artists, is cliff views, giant Cypress trees, lush vegetation, limestone boulders, and refreshing, air-conditioned with a full bar, pool table, shuffleboard table, crystal-clear water. These spring-fed rivers are the perfect jukebox, garden patio, and both indoor and outdoor stages. JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Winery Along Wine Road 290

Local Harvests

You may know that the Hill Country is famed for its bluebonnets in the spring, but did you know about their wineries. Altogether, 42 wineries are scattered throughout the Hill Country, running from Austin to Fredericksburg and Lampasas to New Braunfels. The biggest concentration is in Fredericksburg, along Wine Road 290, which is home to about a dozen wineries, all of which offer tours and tastings daily. Most charge a small fee for tastings, ranging from $5 to $15, and some wineries will refund your tasting fee with a certain level of purchase (like three or six bottles of wine.) Fresh fruits are a tradition in the Hill Country. In June, peach harvest begins and roadside stands pop up all over the countryside, selling bushels of fresh picked peaches. Then, in July apple picking season begins. Love Creek Orchards Cider Mill & Country Store in Medina, where you can pick fruit right off the trees, grows 11 varieties of apples. Their Apple Store, in downtown Medina, is famous for its huge apple pies and apple ice cream. The store also sells lunch as well as baked goods, jams, jellies and fresh fruit. Texas Monthly Magazine named the Apple Store’s Patio Café as one of the “Best 40 Small Town Cafes in Texas,” and their apple pie was voted the “Best Apple Pie in Texas.”

The Weird and Wacky

If you have never made it to England to see Stonehenge, you’re in luck. Ingram, Texas, offers a fun replica worth a stop. This amusing re-creation, called Stonehenge II, sits on the campus of the Hill Country Arts Foundation. It’s said to be 90 percent as wide as the original and 60 percent as tall. Stonehenge II was erected as an art project by two locals, the late Al Sheppard and his friend and neighbor, Doug Hill. After they completed Stonehenge, they erected two 13-foot Easter Island head replicas just for kicks. The exhibit is free and a great spot for taking fun pics. To find out more about Texas Hill Country attractions visit www.texashillcountry.com.

Stonehenge II

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Photo courtesy of Stan A Willimas

All photos courtesy of traveltex.com unless otherwise noted.


JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER CIRCLE NO. 165 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50

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YOUR TECH QUESTIONS ANSWERED!

Q:

I have a 2004, 30-foot Trail-Lite MH by R-vision with 60,000 miles on it. It’s on a Workhorse P30 with the 8.1L motor and a 4L85E transmission. The problem we have been having is a transmission downshift over rev. If in cruise or not, when the transmission down shifts, the motor revs to 5K. Then, after anywhere from two to five seconds at that rpm, it will shift down two gears then back up one to where it should have shifted in the first place. I have tried downshifting manually but unless you’re good and know just when it should shift, it still over-revs. The transmission fluid was changed less then 3,000 miles ago. Any ideas??? I fear if it keeps up it’s going to screw something up. Thanks for your input, Cey Turkell, Las Cruces NM

A: Thank you, Cey. The 4L85E transmission was the last GM model Workhorse used before they went to Allison. You are right to be concerned as something is not functioning properly. You didn’t say whether you were towing a dinghy or not. This is a heavy-duty truck transmission, nonetheless, motorhomes are labeled extreme duty, especially when towing. You will need to find a competent repair shop as it could be a number of issues including line pressure, a solenoid, or even the controller. I am assuming that you have checked the fluid level since you had it serviced 3,000 miles ago. Hopefully, the problem will be something simple, and not a major repair job.

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Q:

Bill, We have purchased a new 2014 Lifestyle fifth wheel. We had the dealer move over our Splendide washer-dryer combo from our old fifth wheel into our new one. Our dealer did a nice job on the install but on our first outing we noticed there wasn’t any cold water and only hot water for both the wash and rinse cycles. I checked the faucets for each line and they were all the way open. Can you help me? Russ Eugene, OR

A: I can think of a couple of things that may help at the entry point into the washer-dryer combo. There is a screen designed to keep debris from entering the water lines that could potentially harm the machine. Remove the hoses from the hot and the cold from the rear of the machine and check that the protective screens are free of debris. Another thing to consider is perhaps it’s something as simple as switching the cold and the hot at the faucets as these lines are not labeled and are easily installed backwards. If neither one of these ideas solves your dilemma, more than likely the problem is inside the Splendide’s mechanism. (Note: Generally, I try to touch base with all inquiries prior to print so I can help you more quickly. We have since received a reply back from Russ reporting that the problem was in fact as simple as reversed hot and cold lines ~ Bill)


Q:

RV Bill, we have a 2011 Carriage fifth wheel and the folding assist handle next to the entry door has a foam grip that has deteriorated to the point of falling off. I did check a couple of RV parts stores and their answer was they didn’t know of any replacement foam grip. We are definitely open for suggestions. Thanks, Brian Hunt

A:

Hi Brian! There is a foam grip wrap replacement for some of the folding assist handles. Stromberg Carlson makes a replacement foam grip wrap (part number FP1002-R). Another trick that I’ve learned over the years is to use handlebar tape typically used for bicycle handlebars. You can find this item on the Internet or any bicycle shop. My favorite brand, both on and off the bike, is Lizard Skins and they cost about $30 a pair. Other companies also sell bar tape for much less. You will only need one roll of tape for your entry door handle, so you will have another wrap for future use when the sunshine eventually does it job deteriorating the replacement. Either way, I think we’ve got you covered.

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

Q:

I noticed on our last trip that our furnace runs fine until the burner shuts off before our RV is up to temperature. The fan continues to run while the burner is off. After about five minutes, the burner comes back on. This continues until the temperature finally reaches the set limit. Is this normal or could there be something going wrong as we do not want to have trouble during our next trip. I appreciate your advice in each issue. RVs are a continual learning experience! Don Statem Redding, CA

A:

Yes, Don, it is somewhat normal for the burner to shut off, but it seems like your furnace is doing it in excess. Most furnaces have a limit switch that is designed to keep the combustion chamber from overheating. If there is not enough airflow through the heat ducting, the limit switch may shut off prematurely. Check your return air system and make sure that there are no obstructions and that the four inch, flexible heat ducting has not been crushed thereby restricting flow. Some RVs have heat registers with tabs allowing you to close them off. Furnaces models are designed for a certain number of heat ducts, and the heat registers should not be closed. If there are too many restrictions in the ducting, this will cause the furnace to overheat. The limit switch is the defense mechanism for overheating. The other possibility is that the fan speed is not up to par. You may need to have a dealer check the fan speed for you. It’s not always possible to know by listening to the fan speed with your ear. Thanks for your inquiry.

JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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CROSSWORD PUZZLE

ACROSS 1 David’s commander 6 Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (abbr) 9 Vein (pref.) 12 Irish poet 13 Gamble 14 Church Vessel 15 Peruvian relic 16 CountAer 17 Rim 18 Laughter sound 20 Of flightless birds 22 Towhead 24 Sup 27 Air-to-air missle (abbr.) 28 Tilting: naut. 32 Cyclades island 34 Hebrew (abbr.) 36 Gr. wine container 37 Distribute 39 General equivalency diploma (abbr.) 41 Mulberry of India 42 Expedition 44 Secrets 47 Rifle 52 American Automobile Assn. (abbr.) 53 Self 55 Forbidden 56 Energy unit 57 Freedom, briefly 58 Happen 59 Dutch commune 60 Donkey (Fr.) 61 Intervening, in law

Answers on page 64

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Page

DOWN 1 Eight (ger.) 2 Wry face 3 Wings 4 Whatever 5 One-celled organism 6 Warp yarn 7 Discover 8 Street (ital.) 9 Son of Odin 10 Vent 11 Back of the neck 19 King of Israel 21 Distant (pref.) 23 Last 24 Electrocardiogram (abbr.) 25 Eastern church chalice vail 26 And 29 Bantu langauge 30 Spring 31 ___ Aviv 33 Elam’s capital 35 Ice mass 39 Low-grade brown sugar 40 One-celled alga 43 Dickens character 44 Berne’s river 45 S Afr. Boer assembly 46 Herring barrel 48 Sprint 49 First principles 50 Subject in grammar 51 Gilt 54 Laconian clan group


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 winners, Allen and Ruthy Heydt from Boyertown, PA, were camping at Circle M when they were presented with a $1,000 gift card. Will you be pictured here next month? Allen and Ruthy are pictured here with Circle M Preserve Manager John Hertzler

Get Out and

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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. JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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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 Camperland Trailer Sales Conroe, TX - camperland.net Campers Inn Jacksonville, FL - Leesburg, FL - Macon, GA - Raynham, MA Merrimack, NH Kingston, NH - Mocksville, NC - Union, CT www.campersinn.com 52

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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 Gibs RV Superstore Coos Bay OR - www.gibsrvsuperstore.com 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 - Yuma, AZ Sacramento, CA - San Diego, CA - www.lamesarv.com Media Camping Fairless Hills - Hatfield - Media, PA - www.mediacamping.com Mike Thompson RV Superstores Santa Fe Springs, CA - Colton, CA - Fountain Valley, CA Cathedral City, CA - www.mikethompson.com Out of Doors Mart Colfax, NC - outofdoorsmart.com Patterson RV Wichita Falls, TX - www.pattersonrv.com Paul Evert’s RV Country Bullhead City, AZ - Coburg, OR - Fresno, CA - Laughlin, NV Mt. Vernon, WA - Fife, WA www.rvcountry.com Phillips RV Center Mount Morris, MI - www.phillipsrv.com Princesscraft RV Round Rock, TX - www.princesscraft.com R.B. Taylor & Sons Lynchburg, VA - www.rbtaylorandsons.com Roy Robinson RV Marysville, WA - www.royrobinsonrv.com

RV Value Mart Litiz, PA - Manheim, PA - www.rvvaluemart.com See Grins RV Gilroy - Morgan Hill - CA - San Martin, CA www.seegrins.com Smart Choice Auto Group & RV Sales Jersey Village, TX - www.smartchoiceautogroup.com Snyder’s RV Virginia Beach, VA - www.snydersrv.com Sunbelt RV Center Belton, TX - www.sunbeltrv.com Sundown RV Center Atwater, CA - www.sundownrv.com Super Deals RV Inc. Douglasville, GA - www.superdealsrv.com TAC Trailer and RV Moyock, NC - www.tactrailerandrv.com Vogt RV - Ft. Worth, TX - www.vogtrv.com Welcome Back RV Outlet - Athens, TX www.welcomebackrv.com Western Travel Sales - Lynden, WA www.westerntravelsales.com

RV’s For Less Knoxville, TN - www.rvsforless.net JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Thousand Trails Members Always Save:

20% Off Daily Rates

Valid at all Encore RV Resorts

10% Off Monthly Rates

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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SUMMER 2014 Encore

A chance to relax, unplug and be merry. 40% Off Daily Rate Valid 9/1/14 through Close

Use Promo Code:

TTNEMW14 Valid at Encore RV Resorts in

$399/Week

Lake George Escape

Maine, New Hampshire, New York,

Lake George, NY

Valid throughout 2014

North Carolina & Pennsylvania

Use Promo Code:

TTLGE399

www.RVontheGo.com

1-888-443-7301

Subject to availability. Reservations required. Reservation must be a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 6 days total. 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. CIRCLE NO. 104 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50

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The purpose of life is to live it and experience it.

Thousand Trails Members Save:

20% Off Daily Rates

Valid at Encore RV Resorts in

10% Off Monthly Rates

California, Oregon and Washington

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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A place to meet new people and see old friends. SPECIAL!

Venture In Specials 3 Months $999

Valid through 9/30/14

Use Promo Code: TTAZV14S 30% Off a Week

Valid through 9/30/14

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Valid through 9/30/14

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All Other Arizona & Texas Properties 50% Off a Week

Valid through 9/30/14

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Valid at Encore RV Resorts in Arizona & Texas*

50% Off a Month

Valid through 9/30/14

Use Promo Code: TTAZTX14M *50% off Exclusions: Venture In, Whispering Palms, Sunrise Heights, Apollo Village, Casa Del Sol Resort East, Casa Del Sol Resort West, Central Park Village, Desert Vista KOA Campground and Salome KOA

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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Adventure awaits just outside your door . Thousand Trails Members Save:

40% Off Daily Rate Valid 9/1/14 through Close

Use Promo Code:

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Come visit our three new Wisconsin properties Now Open! • Blackhawk Camping Resort, Milton • Lakeland Camping Resort, Milton • Neshonoc Lakeside Camping Resort West Salem

Valid at Encore RV Resorts in Illinois, Indiana & Wisconsin

www.RVontheGo.com

Subject to availability. Reservations required. Reservation must be a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 6 days total. 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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Whereparadise paradise isis both both aa place place and a state of Where of mind mind..

Thousand Trails Members Save:

50% Off One Week

Valid at all Florida Encore RV Resorts

Valid through 10/1/14

Use Promo Code:

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www.RVontheGo.com

1-888-443-7301

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. CIRCLE NO. 104 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50

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America’s Halls of Fame - Continued from page 41

and Hall of Fame honorees); the Hall of Honor, including a large John Gable “History of the Auto” mural depicting the history of cars on world culture; and lots of permanent and changing exhibits ranging from the automobile’s early days to today. The Hall of Fame’s 1948 Chrysler Convertible is certainly a highlight for car aficionados.

Pinball Hall of Fame 1610 E. Tropicana Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89119 (702) 5y97-7627 www.pinballmuseum.org

9

Pinball wizards and wanna’ be wizards will love the new and expanded location of the Pinball Hall of Fame. Twice the size of the original location, and much closer to the famed Strip, the Pinball Hall of Fame makes pinball machines hall of famers. Thanks to the collection and dedication of founder Tim Arnold and the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club, this amazing place features hundreds

of playable pinball machines dating from the 1950s to the 1990s. All of them work and are kept in immaculate condition by volunteers roaming the floor clad in carpenter’s aprons. Older pinballs are set at 25 cents and the more recent models run 50 cents. The Pinball Hall of Fame is a non-profit and everything after expenses goes to the Salvation Army. This quirky place also features scrap royal-blue carpet from a Convention Center show, a change machine from the Golden Nugget’s trash dock, and a candy machine where the entire quarter purchase price goes to the Salvation Army. Pinheads unite!

Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame 325 5th Ave. North Seattle, WA 98109 (206) 770-2700 www.empmuseum.org

10

Located within the EMP (Experience Music Project) Museum at the Seattle Center, the Science Fiction and

Fantasy Hall of Fame honors the works, lives, and ongoing legacies of science fiction’s and fantasy’s greatest creators. Founded in 1996, the Hall of Fame was relocated from the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas to its permanent home in 2004. Hall of Fame nominations are submitted by EMP members and final inductees are chosen by a panel of award-winning science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, editors, publishers, and film professionals. Past inductees have included J.R.R. Tolkien; Ray Bradbury; Isaac Asimov; Sir Arthur C. Clarke; George Lucas; Stephen Spielberg; Rod Serling; and even David Bowie. ■

To see where to stay during you Hall of Fame travels, please see page 62.

I Knew I Was A TrailBlazer - Continued from page 27

TB: Where have you gone that you wouldn’t have otherwise, if it hadn’t been for your Thousand Trails membership?

not at all crowded. I wish it were a lot closer to where we live. If it was we would probably go there often

M&CS: The place we probably would never have gone if we didn’t have a TT membership is Pacific City, Oregon. It’s pretty far away and before our membership we would usually go to Cannon Beach and Seaside in Oregon when we wanted to get to the beach. After joining, we visited Seaside a couple of times. We had wonderful times when we were there but it is a very busy and touristy town. We wanted another beach vacation but didn’t really want the hustle and bustle of Seaside so we decided to try Pacific City. Pacific City is a sleepy little town on a beautiful stretch of beach with a large sea stack similar to Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach. Everything there seemed very laid back and slow-paced, just what we were looking for. The TT resort there is beautiful, but it is very hilly. Everywhere you go is either uphill or downhill. One of the benefits of being on a hill is that there are many places in the resort that have a beautiful view of the ocean. They have their own section of beach and though it’s not private, it’s far enough away from the town and the public beach that it’s

TB: What is your favorite part about the outdoor lifestyle?

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M&CS: We love spending precious family time around the campground and out in nature. The Northwest is a beautiful place with many amazing things to see and experience. Having a travel trailer and a TT membership allows us to be able to see and experience all the wonderful sites around the area. It also helps us to spend quality time with our children away from the everyday distractions that our technologically-oriented society has created. TB: Can you finish this sentence? I knew I was a TrailBlazer when... M&CS: I knew we were Trailblazers the first time we winterized our trailer and the only thing I thought of and wanted to do was go camping! Camping is a special time for our family, just to be together, and not have any worries.


Four Paws On The Road Traveling and Camping with Companion Animals

By Jenn Gehr The following tips mix common sense with helpful reminders to provide you and your pet a safe and healthy summer. Hydrate and Keep Cool! Provide your pet with a constant, clean and cool source of fresh water. Place water bowls in the shade if your animal is outdoors. Be mindful of where you place your pet’s bowls. Too many times have I seen a family dog tied out to a table or tree where its leash has caught the edge of the water bowl and dumped it bone dry. Look for water and feed bowls that have a low profile and center of gravity. To help avoid unnecessary spills, consider buying a much bigger sized water bowl than what your might use in your home or RV and place a clean, heavy rock inside the bowl before filling with fresh water. The added weight and dimension will aid in preventing an accidental spill, ensuring that your pet can gain access to water even if you’ve left camp for a bit. Be certain that your pet always has access to a fully covered and well ventilated retreat from the sun’s rays. When my dogs are outside, they always have access to a washtub where they can jump in for a refreshing dip to cool down. This portable “swimming hole” doubles as an additional storage bin that I place inside my exterior baggage door compartment when I’m ready to hit the road again. When I’m getting packed up for the next leg of our travel adventure, I pour out the dogs’“pool” water onto a tree and load up the large, galvanized tub with outdoor matts, dog beds, toys, chews and other necessary patio paraphernalia. Keep Them Close By Please, do NOT leave your animals alone in a parked car during warm or hot days. Even with the windows cracked, interior temperatures can climb to high stress/life threatening levels in a hurry at just 75 degrees. Remember that humidity alone can raise ambient temps 5-10 degrees. Always keep a non-spill water bowl in your car filled with fresh water, significantly roll down all of your car windows and use your sun shade if you must leave your pet alone in a car. Almost all places of business that I have found respect that you are bringing your animal with you to run a quick errand rather than exposing them to the risk of heat exhaustion, stroke or death. Better yet, leave them at home with the AC on if at all possible. On hot days, we leave a small, 12-volt Fantastic Fan turned on high and placed on the floor for the animals to sit in front of in addition to the AC set at 73 degrees with several windows ajar. We also draw the window blinds down 50-100% where the sun comes directly into the RV to help keep interior temps at bay. Most dogs and cats also enjoy cooling their bellies on wood or tile floors so be sure there is an exposed place for them to do so if they so desire. Plan For Play Exercise your pets in moderation during periods of extreme heat and select cooler morning and later afternoon hours to do so. Avoid overexertion! Consider the altitude you and your pet are possibly

acclimating to and remember that these changes in location can contribute to fatigue and increase the need for more water intake. Be ready to wet down your dog and get to a shaded area if they show any signs of fatigue. Just as we often pack in a portable hydration source for a workout, remember that your dog will need a collapsible water bottle or silicone dish to be sure they too can drink their fill when other safe water sources are not available. Dogs perspire through their feet and even a short walk on hot pavement can burn paw pads and reduce their ability to cool down. Hold your hand, palm down on the ground for 10 seconds to be certain the surface temperature is safe for your dog or cat to walk on. Outdoor Awareness Along with the heat, come the critters that bite and carry diseases. Searching the online forums trying to decide which topical, spray-on or pill-form of treatment that is best for your pet can be a daunting task. Your vet can help you narrow down the options but it’s wise to do a bit of homework before committing to one particular product. Consider how often your pet is bathed and/or in the water each month. Is your pet in contact with other pets on a regular basis? Do they attend a daycare or frequent a dog park? Are there ticks in your area, and if so, do you know how to properly remove and dispose of one if it were to attach itself to you, your dog or cat? Having thought of these particular answers prior to meeting with your vet will help you have a more constructive conversation about flea and tick control. Keep in mind that there are some flea and tick topical applications on the market that can kill a cat just from light contact and others that can make you sick from the product being absorbed through your skin. Over the counter flea and tick products found at grocery stores can also harm your animal so please be sure to purchase all medications from a veterinarian. And while you’re at it, inquire about other outdoor concerns you need to be aware of such as toxic, bluegreen algae blooms that can form on bodies of water when the mercury begins to soar. Being well informed is usually half the battle! Also, be sure to treat your cat and dog with heartworm prevention each month as this deadly disease is no longer isolated to the east coast and midwest portions of the country. I make it a point to call a local veterinarian whenever I am camping or traveling with my pets into a different county just to check in with any local concerns I might not yet be aware of. This free, simple phone call could go a long way in protecting your beloved pet as well as your pocketbook. Not only that, but having established the location and contact information for a local vet before an immediate need or accident occurs will certainly go a long way in relieving your stress level in case you do need to make an unforeseen veterinary visit. Avoid feeding your pet cooked bones and table scraps as they can cause illness, and potentially death. Just one splinter of a BBQ chicken or steak bone can puncture delicate stomach and intestinal linings causing far more pain and anguish than a moment of snacking pleasure. If you ever see a bone in or around your campsite, bag it up before immediately disposing of it into a sealed trash container. Four Paws continued on page 63 JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Tech Topics continued from page 8

When descending a long hill, put your RV in a lower gear to help hold your speed down. When using your brakes, don’t hold them down all the time; they can overheat, causing you to experience “brake fade.” Apply brakes intermittently, allowing them to cool slightly, then apply the brakes again, in a controlled, calm, pumping motion. Easy does it! No matter where your adventures take you, we wish you a happy summer filled with sun, fun, and safe travel. Keep your eyes on the horizon and blaze a trail!

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 exclusively at Amazon.com.

Another Summer Road Trip and We’re Where You’re Headed Take to the road and visit the great places featured in this issue. Lucky for you, all the Hall of Fame locations as well as the beautiful Texas Hill Country are within driving distance to our Thousand Trails Preserves. For complete details or to make reservations, visit www.thousandtrails.com Massachusetts

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (Springfield) Sturbridge Preserve......................................36 miles

Michigan

Automotive Hall of Fame (Dearborn) St. Clair Preserve..........................................55 miles

Nevada

Pinball Hall of Fame (Las Vegas) Las Vegas Preserve

New York

National Baseball Hall of Fame (Cooperstown) Encore Alpine Lake.......................................85 miles

North Carolina

NASCAR Hall of Fame (Charlotte) Encore Lake Myers........................................70 miles Forest Lake...................................................75 miles Green Mountain...........................................75 miles

Ohio

Pro Football Hall of Fame (Canton) Kenisee........................................................96 miles

Ohio

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland) Kenisee........................................................57 miles

Tennessee

Country Music Hall of Fame (Nashville) Natchez Trace..............................................81 miles

Texas

International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame (Arlington) Bay Landing.................................................60 Lake Tawakoni..............................................88 Lake Texoma................................................96 Lake Whitney................................................79

miles miles miles miles

Texas Hill Country

Medina Lake................................................25 miles

Washington

Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame (Seattle) Chehalis.......................................................88 miles Grandy Creek..............................................97 miles La Conner....................................................66 miles Mt. Vernon...................................................74 miles Paradise.......................................................110 miles Tall Chief......................................................28 miles Thunderbird..................................................30 miles

FOR PRESERVE INFORMATION AND RESERVATIONS VISIT WWW.THOUSANDTRAILS.COM


Four Paws continued from page 61

No matter what the season, it is our responsibility to keep our animals safe. Having pets on the road requires a little bit more work on our part, but it’s worth it as we just can’t imagine life on the road any other way!

Have a question or want to share a tip? Please drop us a note at TBPets@equitylifestyle.com Jenn Swope-Gehr is now a full-time RVer whose life would not be complete without animals. A vet tech for nine years and a professional horse trainer, rider and instructor that still teaches national level clinics, Jenn’s expertise with helping animal owners to better connect with their own dogs, cats, birds and horses have been a daily source of pleasure and passion. Jenn and her husband, Bill, travel the country year-round with their two Boston Bulldogs, Ginger and Brie.

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 Terms and Conditions for 2014 Referral Promotion from page 4. For each Eligible Referral (as defined), you will receive a $45 Visa® Prepaid Card through July 31, 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, (a) residents of AZ, FL, NV, and PA 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, FL, NV, or PA, and (b) residents of AZ and PA are not eligible to receive a $45 Visa® Prepaid Card and you will not receive a $45 Visa® Prepaid Card for purchases made by residents of AZ or PA. 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 JULY 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!

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

Rodney Hibma

of Mt. Vernon, Washington

We’re sorry - there was no tree in the May 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 July 31, 2014 and remember – the tree could be a different color and size.

Answers - Crossword puzzle can be found on page 50

Answers - Sudoku puzzle can be found on page 62

Invite The Culinary Camper to your next camp side meal! Be one of five lucky winners to win Barbara Tidwell’s new cookbook, “The Culinary Camper”, featured on pages 10-11. Simply send a postcard with your name, address and email to: Entries mu Win The Culinary Camper Cookbook! st p ostmarke be c/o TrailBlazer Magazine d by Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800 7/31/14! Chicago, Illinois 60606 Winners will be drawn in a random drawing on August 18, 2014 and will be notified by email or mail. This promotion is sponsored by MHC Thousand Trails Limited Partnership, Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606. Cookbook has a retail value of $14.95. The odds of winning the drawing depend on the number of entries received and are not expected to exceed 5:69,333.

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JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER


It’s your money. Save it well.

20

%

off

Daily Rates (Sunday – Thursday) Through August 28, 2014 at your favorite Carefree property.*

At Carefree RV Resorts, you can be yourself – and anything else you want to be. We have a huge variety of activities, unrivaled amenities, and a culture that nurtures family, fun and freedom. And with locations near the Jersey Shore, Smoky Mountains, Gulf Coast, Florida Keys, Austin, San Antonio, Palm Springs and more, you are sure to find the perfect Carefree location for you.

Book online at carefreeRVresorts.com and book online using “SAVE20” Florida | Texas | California | New Jersey | North Carolina | Massachusetts | Ontario Expires August 28th. Excludes: Sherkston Shores and Campers Haven. Based on availability, not valid holidays and special events. Discount is subject to discontinue at any time.

CIRCLE NO. 116 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50

JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

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Hope to see you on Saturday, July 19. That’s the day

core

Thousand Trails

that Thousand Trails will be celebrating 45 Years of Making Camping Memories. Plenty of fun is planned - it’s one party you don’t want to miss!

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JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER

Summer Fun Street Anywhere, USA


JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER CIRCLE NO. NO. 132 128 ON CIRCLE ON FAST FAST FACTS FACTS CARD CARD PAGE PAGE 50 50

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

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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. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. Š 2014 GEICO JULY 2014 | TRAILBLAZER CIRCLE NO. 128 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50 CIRCLE NO. 132 ON FAST FACTS CARD PAGE 50

Profile for TrailBlazer Magazine

TrailBlazer Magazine - July 2014  

TrailBlazer is the membership magazine for Thousand Trails campgrounds & RV resorts

TrailBlazer Magazine - July 2014  

TrailBlazer is the membership magazine for Thousand Trails campgrounds & RV resorts

Profile for trailsmag