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Explore Washington State




It drives like a car, camps like a dream and hauls like a mule. It’s like having your own bed and breakfast on wheels — with private bath to boot! Combine all the comforts of home with terrific hauling, storage and towing capacity, add outstanding fuel efficiency and — voila! — you’ve got the perfect getaway vehicle. See the new Travato™ from Winnebago Touring Coach at your nearest dealer, or learn more at

©2014 Winnebago Industries, Inc.



VOL. 37






  5 Message from Marguerite

22 Enticingly Evergreen

  9 Tech Topics

36 Take a Hike

48 Ask RV Bill


59 4 Paws on the Road

10 Preserve Events

Lifestyle 18 Out n’ About: Washington – Even More to Explore


14 Local Events 63 Club Calendar


30 I Knew I Was A Trailblazer

50 Member Deals

32 #100DaysofCamping

58 Crossword Puzzle

41 Updates and Upgrades: Circle M, PA

62 Sudoku Puzzle

▲ Enticingly Evergreen When you compare how Mother Nature has lavishly endowed Washington State, you might feel a tad sorry for some other states. After all, Washington is blessed with so many heavenly recreational opportunities, it seems unfair.

42 On The Road: Joe Bonsall


46 Who’s in the Kitchen with TrailBlazer? 66 On Location Take a Hike The best way to savor the beauty of Washington is to get outdoors and hit the trails. Washington is a hiker’s paradise offering a variety of settings from alpine meadows and old growth forests to cascading waterfalls.


▲ #100Daysof Camping Summer is in full swing! Share your #100DaysofCamping photos for a chance to win prizes all summer long.



Camping is

Always Better with Friends!

YOU receive a $25 Visa速 PrePaid Card when your referral purchases a Thousand Trails Camping Pass!

Plus! Your referral also enters YOU into our 2015 drawing for a chance to win these great prizes:

GRAND PRIZE 7 Night Cruise or Trip to Hawaii ($4,000 value)


SECOND PRIZE 4 Nights in Las Vegas, San Francisco or Orlando ($2,000 value)

Free Dues for 2016 10 Winners Selected (Up to $545 value)


(888) 808-8925


*Details and for participation in this promotion may apply and are set forth on page 62 of this magazine. AUGUST 2015qualifications TRAILBLAZER

▲ Leavenworth, WA

MESSAGE from MARGUERITE We are definitely embracing the sharing concept these days. Whether that is in the form of sharing a ride, a vacation home, a workspace, or even an RV, many of us are more than willing to explore this path as a means to fulfill a need. Reviewing the various services, it is apparent that there is a need and desire for all of us to travel and explore new destinations. The vacation destinations we desire most more than likely feature numerous accommodations and price points to meet your needs. From the more rustic cabin or a unique riverside yurt, to a high end vacation home, no matter what you are looking for in the world of travel you are most likely to find something that suits your needs, and you may find something even more unique if you’re willing to share! So many of us take advantage of our membership in Thousand Trails to travel across the country and explore new destinations. You are able to share memories and conversations with those who have a similar interest in the great outdoors. This again became more evident when I began seeing all the photos that have been submitted through our #100DaysofCamping campaign. From kids, to grandparents, to our favorite pets donning our

Thousand Trails rally towels, what a great way to see how all of you are making memories with Thousand Trails and sharing them with all of us. There are many shared experiences here, from Florida all the way up to northern Washington, and we love seeing each and every one. So, although Thousand Trails did not invent this new “sharing” concept we are witnessing today, we do provide destinations throughout the country that have been enjoyed by generations of families. Is it safe to say we were ahead of the curve some 45+ years ago? I encourage you to continue sharing all of your #100DaysofCamping photos. We have highlighted some on pages 32 - 35 of this month’s magazine. Enjoy your summer and GetOutandCamp!

Marguerite Nader President & CEO


5 CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mark Slattery EDITOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Mellissa Brosius, Susie Bue CONTACT US ADVERTISING SALES MISSION STATEMENT TrailBlazer provides exclusive news and information for the members and guests of Thousand Trails 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. 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 NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS 1-877-252-9320 PRINTED IN THE USA


▲ Chestnut Lake (NJ): Relaxing at the new pool & patio. – Dolores Marshall, Hohenwald, TN

Now Win $50 EACH Issue! Pics from the Parks Photo Submissions Do you have a winning photo from your visits to our properties? We’d love for you to share it with us and what’s more, your submission will now be entered into our photo contest. each issue! Winners will receive a $50 Visa® 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.

Call: 800-288-7245

Canada: 228-497-3594 April 1 to August 31 Mon. - Fri. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST September 1 to March 31 Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST



Photo submissions should include a brief description, including location of your photo, your name, city and state and sent to: or mail to:

Equity LifeStyle Properties Attn: TrailBlazer Photos Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800 Chicago, IL 60606


VISIT WWW.RVONTHEGO.COM Remember! Thousand Trails members get preferred rates at Encore RV resorts.

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




▲ La Conner (WA): Misty Morning – Margaret DeLacy, Kenmore, WA

▲ Lake and Shore Campground (NJ): On May 16,2015 I married my best friend in Oceanview, NJ and had a special day - one I will never forget. – Mr. & Mrs. Hawkins, Somerdale, NJ

▲ Yosemite Lakes (CA): Our daughter, Emily, enjoying her Memorial Day weekend by Tulumne River. – Matt Lund, Brentwood, CA AUGUST 2015 TRAILBLAZER







RVing is a great adventure and there’s always something new to learn!

by Paul and Kerri Elders This month, we'll give you some practical tips to help you maximize your RV's fuel economy and enhance your safety IQ on the road.

Better MPG: Easy as 1-2-3 Some simple tips can help you get more “bang for the buck” when it comes to fuel mileage. Even though gas prices are lower this year than last, it still pays to conserve. Just think: all the money you save on fuel can be spent on having more fun!

1. TIME First off, it's important to remember that RVing's all about recreation, first and foremost. So, don't get in a hurry. Enjoy the rhythm of your trip from daylight to dark, making the most of every mile of gorgeous scenery. Keep passing to a minimum. There's no need to compete with sports cars on the highway of life. Just take your time and enjoy the journey. Remember, you're making memories, not just racking up miles! Drive within the speed limit, especially when traveling through towns and cities. You'll also find that traveling on interstates helps maximize fuel economy on long trips. Stops and starts cost fuel mileage, so try to time your thrucity travel for off-peak hours. You'll avoid gas-guzzling traffic jams and save yourself the headache of unnecessary braking, accelerating, and idling. Speeding can also put you out of sync with timed stoplights in city driving; braking for red lights wastes momentum and accelerating on green costs some green, too.

2. WEATHER Realize that weather, too, plays a part in fuel economy. Headwinds cost you fuel mileage, while tailwinds can improve your MPG. Bad weather can be a physical stressor, too. If you don't have to travel in windy, rainy, stormy, or snowy conditions, don't! Stay an

extra day at your favorite campsite if the weather report is “iffy.” Wind resistance can cost significant fuel mileage and it's physically tiring, as well, to wrestle the steering wheel of an RV all day through heavy headwinds or sidewinds. Shift gears smoothly and appropriately. Stay within your engine’s RPM power range and don't overuse your brakes. Generally speaking, the higher the gear you travel in, the less fuel you’ll use. Remember to check your tire inflation before leaving on any trip; fuel efficiency will be reduced if your tires aren't properly inflated.

3. WEIGHT Resist the urge to overpack. Don't carry unnecessary heavy items in your RV or tow vehicle; travel light and you'll reap the benefits of better fuel mileage. Whenever possible, avoid carrying a full load of fuel or a full load of freshwater. It's always a good idea to dump your holding tanks before leaving camp to save weight for the day's travels. We'd also recommend removing all accessory racks (ski racks, roof racks, etc.) when not in use. By reducing all unnecessary drag, you can improve your RV's aerodynamics, enhancing your fuel mileage performance.

Fire Safety 101: Fortunately, RV fires are very rare. And, you can help reduce your risks significantly by implementing some quick and easy safety ideas. Simple awareness, as usual, is your best defense against all fire dangers, at home and on the road. Start by keeping your tires properly inflated and always pay attention to your engine gauges while traveling. Keep all smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in good working order. You need at least three fire extinguishers (one in the living area/

galley, one in the sleeping area and one in the tow vehicle or cab area). If your extinguishers are dry (powder-based), it's a good idea to invert them about once a month to reduce “packing.” Invert and tap the bottom of the extinguisher, using a rubber mallet, if necessary, to improve the free flow of powder. Visually inspect all your fire extinguishers to be sure no foreign objects are lodged in the handles or nozzles. Make sure all family members know how to properly operate the extinguishers. YouTube has some great fire prevention videos that can quickly teach you the proper techniques for safely and efficiently extinguishing a fire. Never leave cooking food unattended in your RV kitchen. If you're going to use items like crock pots or coffee pots, use them on top of the metal stovetop. Keep oven mitts, curtains, dish towels, flammable liquids and all other heat sensitive material away from the stovetop. Always operate exhaust fans and overhead vents when cooking. If you ever experience a grease fire while cooking, stay calm. Immediately turn off the burner and put a lid on the pot to starve the flames. When you grill outdoors or enjoy a campfire, keep a bucket of water nearby. Grill only in areas free of dry grasses or flammables (like awnings or fuel tanks) in case of flareups. Avoid grilling or sitting near a campfire with loose fitting, “flapping” clothing like scarves, loose shirts, or oversized jackets. Keep children safe and supervised at all times. Properly extinguish all campfires and always be sure that grills and accessories are fully cool before packing or storing close to any RV. Stay safe and have fun; happy trails!




Activities and Events – On-Site


This month’s theme weekends are chock-full of fun ways to celebrate the end of summer!



Find Your Trail

For a complete listing of events at the preserves, please visit to view our Theme Weekends directory.


2015 TT Theme

Weekends V10.indd


4/2/15 6:20 PM

Back to School

Done with school? Never going back to school? Celebrate at Wilderness Lakes (CA) on August 15 with a poolside cookout. There will also be a back to school party with a DJ, hayrides, movie on the lawn, and s’mores around the campfire. The last weekend of the month, La Conner (WA) and Grandy Creek (WA) will have back to school celebrations with games and parties. The folks at Lake Gaston (NC) will be holding a spelling bee and making bookmarks, pencil holders and other back to school crafts while at Colorado River (TX), there will be a school supplies drive and items will be donated to the local schools who need it the weekend of August 7-9.

Fishing Tournaments

Make a cane pole and try your luck to reel in those fishies! The folks at Lynchburg (VA) will have a Fishing and Tournament Weekend on August 8-9. Take on a different challenge and try your luck at corn hole, horseshoes, or the mini golf tournaments taking place as well. Get those poles and grab your bait! There will be prizes at Lake Conroe (TX) on August 29 for the biggest, fattest, and ugliest fish caught during the Fishing Derby Weekend!



All events, times and dates are subject to change.

Activities and Events – On-Site

Summer’s Last Hoorah At Medina Lake (TX), you can bring your four legged family members to a special parade and if they have a hidden talent, let them show it off! Treat your pet to a free scoop of doggie ice cream at the Ice Cream social, too, on August 8! The folks at Grandy Creek (WA) will also recognize man’s best friend from August 14-16 at the pet parade, agility course, and tricks competition. Enjoy live music and dancing on the grass followed by a pot luck BBQ and movie in the park at Turtle Beach (CA) on August 15. Crafts, activities and a fabulous beach party at Lake Gaston’s (NC) Grand Finale on August 28-30.

Smooth Sounds of Summer

Enjoy tie-dye crafts, rock 'n' roll music poolside, Slip ’N Slide, and a live classic rock performance from Norman Lynns on Saturday night at Chehalis (WA) during the Rock 'n' Roll Festival weekend from August 14-16. The folks at Natchez Trace (TN) will put their musical focus on gospel the weekend of August 28-30 for Gospel Fest. And, the T3 Band is back at Birch Bay (WA) on August 29! Bring your dancing shoes and let your kids participate in making some of their own musical instruments!

Some events may require a participation fee.



Activities and Events – On-Site

Camp Wars Weekend

Join the folks at Pacific City (OR) for a fun weekend of outdoor fun on the Oregon Coast! Activities include a scavenger hunt, sand castle building, outdoor bingo, and the PC Olympics which now includes ladder golf, can jam, pickleball, and more on August 22. La Conner (WA) is hosting a Lawn Games weekend with tug of war, egg toss, three legged races, and much more! Don't miss this one from August 21-23. Camp Wars Weekend takes place August 7-9 at Lake & Shore (NJ) and will compete against the folks at Seapines (NJ) on Saturday in a range of classic camp wars events like tug-of-war, dodge ball, egg and spoon relay, sack races, and much more!



Tiki Time!

Who doesn’t love a good tiki party? There will be a luau and a talent show from August 14-15 at Cultus Lake (BC). There will be a dinner show put on by Paul Tavai-Latta with his beautiful Polyneisan dancers and a pig roast with all the trimmings. Little Diamond (WA) and Long Beach (WA) will host a Hawaiian Ice Cream Social plus hula hoop and limbo contests the weekend of August 14. There will be a screening of “Blue Hawaii” at Morgan Hill (CA) plus ocean crafts and games for the kids the weekend of August 14. Don’t miss shaved ice, fruit smoothies, hula dancing contests, lei making, and sensational fire dancers performing after a traditional pig roast at San Benito (CA), August 15-16.

All events, times and dates are subject to change.

Activities and Events – On-Site

Blast from the Past

Feeling nostalgic? Head to Cherokee Landing for oldies music, ice cream floats, hula hoops and much more from August 7-9. It’s Flower Power Weekend at La Conner (WA) from August 14-16 and everyone’s dressing up with hippie beads and tie-dye t-shirts. The folks at Pio Pico (CA) will be remembering the '60s on August 22 with tie-dye, peace signs, and all the far out music that defined the decade! Still believe disco is alive? Then head to Gateway to Cape Cod (MA) the weekend of August 14 and show off your disco moves and outfits on Saturday night.

Carnivals & County Fairs

Head on over to the Carnival Jamboree at Bend/Sunriver (OR), their biggest event of the year! Come enjoy all the fun carnival staples like games, prizes, Silly Lilly sculpting balloons, and face painting with Terra Bun the clown on August 1. At Pacific City (OR), enjoy a breakfast at the lodge followed by a special scavenger hunt during the day on Saturday, August 8, and the Tillamook County Fair in the evening. The folks at Paradise (WA) will be enjoying the Southwest Washington Fair. Bring the kids to Indian Lakes (IN) for an Old Time Fair & Carnival where there will be old fashioned carnival games, a giant water slide, vendors and food booths.

Some events may require a participation fee.



Activities and Events – Local




Cultus Lake (BC)

August 7-9 Abbotsford International Airshow

Whalers Rest (OR)

Demonstrations by aviation teams like Breitling Jet Team, Canadian Forces Snowbirds, Gene Soucy & Teresa Stokes, plus many more. A commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Enjoy fireworks and concessions. It will be fun for the whole family.

August 8, 11am-3pm 4th Annual Great Albacore Tuna BBQ Challenge Presented by the Oregon Albacore Commission and the Port of Newport. Over 30 teams will compete for $3700 in prize money. Admission gets you samples of tuna, plus access to the major classic car show with cars from the collection of the Bay City Cruisers and Rollin’ Oldies.

Natchez Trace or Cherokee Landing (TN)

August 14-16 Lincoln County Fair Organized by Oregon State University Extension Lincoln County/ Four-H Youth Development. Bringing together artists, fishermen, farmers, crafters, singers, restauranteurs, dancers, service providers, photographers, musicians, non-profits, comedians, writers, animal lovers, gardeners.. .you get the idea!

August 1 First Saturday Art Crawl in Downtown Nashville The Nashville Wine Auction hosts this and numerous other events throughout the year to raise money to fight cancer. This event celebrates a particular wine and winemaker during an evening of wine tastings, a gourmet dinner, auction, and more.

Rancho Oso (CA)

August 5-9 Old Spanish Days Fiesta Santa Barbara celebrates its Spanish heritage with five days of events around the Santa Barbara area. Catch the 91st Anniversary of the Fiesta Historical Parade on August 7.

August 6-9 Fiesta Stock Horse & Rodeo Don’t miss the PBR Bull Riding Show at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. Only 20 miles from Rancho Oso!

Lake of the Springs (CA)

August 12-16 Nevada County Fair Five days of excitement and fun planned for fair-goers of all ages! The Nevada County Fair is the perfect opportunity to enjoy live music, delicious food, carnival rides, animals, and exhibits in a communityfriendly environment at affordable family prices!

August 16 Yuba Feather Museum Ice Cream Social The Yuba Feather Museum and Gold Trader flat hosts old fashioned ice cream socials with delicious flavor selections and toppings on the 3rd and 4th Saturdays from June to August.

Birch Bay (WA)

August 1-2 Birch Bay's 1st Annual Rollback Weekend Enjoy live music, a classic car show featuring over 250 cars, beer garden, food, and dancing.



All events, times and dates are subject to change.

This festival takes over 7.5 acres next to the Birch Bay Water Slides for three days of music plus food vendors (vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free friendly!) and a beer/wine garden, to raise money for non-profit animal rescue organizations.

Idyllwild (CA)

August 9 Butterfly Daze Fun-filled day at the Idyllwild Nature Center featuring the Monarch Butterfly. Learn about the life cycle and migration characteristics of the Monarch Butterfly.

August 15-16 The 22nd Annual Jazz in the Pines Idyllwild’s “American Idol” finalist, Casey Abrams will perform with special guest, Haley Reinhart, on Sunday. Be sure to check out all the great acts this weekend.

La Conner (TX)

August 22 Winemaker Dinner Cruise Take a fantastic scenic cruise with owner/ winemakers from Pomum, Stevens & Woodinville Wine Cellars. This Dungeness Crab Feed will feature several delicious dishes as you voyage northbound to the mystical Mermaid Rocks, the Cone Islands, Toehead Pass, Obstruction Pass off of Orcas Island, Thatcher Pass, Lopez Spit, Decatur Island, and the marine sanctuary off of Bird Rocks.

Medina Lake (TX)

August 8-15 Kidcation Week Kick Off Event at the Witte Museum Hosted by Our Kids Magazine, San Antonio will transform into a citywide playground. Families can enjoy exclusive money-saving deals and free activities throughout town. Activities include games, giveaways, balloon artists, face painting and more. kidcation

August 20-23 Gillespie County Fair Join in for a fun weekend of Texas Hill Country and Gillespie County hospitality at the Oldest Continuous County Fair in Texas - the Gillespie County Fair. Featuring food, livestock judging, agricultural and household exhibits, arts & crafts, antique tractor shows and live parimutuel horse racing.

Bay Landing (TX)

August 1 Tanya Tucker Performs Tanya Tucker will be singing live at Billy Bob’s of Texas, the largest Honky Tonk in the World!

August 7-9 Bowie Trade Days Located in Bowie, Texas, browse 20 acres with hundreds of vendors offering new and used items, flea market finds, and an assortment of food vendors.

Diamond Caverns (KY)

August 20-30 Kentucky State Fair Major musical acts, Meghan Trainor, Barrels and Boots Music Fest, and An Evening with Aretha Franklin. Daily shows, food vendors, product showcases, cultural exhibits on Kentucky history and bluegrass, the Turf Concert Series, daily breed shows. Don’t miss the prestigious Kentucky State Fair Sale of Champions at the livestock show.

Lake Minden (CA)

August 1-2 Yuba Sutter Fair Spend a day at the fair and discover why the Yuba Sutter Fair is the best in Northern California. Enjoy a variety of attractions, from rides and food, to carnival games and children’s activities. Ongoing entertainment and live music, agricultural exhibits, and fair competitions in everything from livestock to fine arts.

August 7-16 Music in the Park Marysville Grab your chairs, friends, and family, bring your appetite and get ready to enjoy local bands of all genres. Fun, friends, music, dancing, and a good time to be had by all.

Activities and Events – Local

August 14-16 Birch Bay Music Festival

Ponderosa (CA)

August 15 CP Country Fest Come out for a day of music, food, and fun! CP Country Fest is a light-hearted, downhome style festival with a redneck twist. Free admission for this familyfriendly event features live country music, a backyard BBQ competition, demonstrations, arts & crafts, plus more. Backyard BBQ competition is open to 15 teams for $75 per team and attendees can purchase tasting tickets.

Lynchburg (VA)

August 15 Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty' The Academy of Fine Arts Children’s Theater will present, Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.” Sleeping-Beauty.asp

August 29 Labor Day Wine & Music Fest The 5th Annual Labor Day Wine & Music Fest is a celebration of food, wine, music & artists. In addition to many selections offered by Rebec Vineyards, several guest wineries will be offering tastings. All events, times and dates are subject to change.




LUCKY WINNER? Lucky winners,

Andrew and Desirae Dorsey from Stanwood, WA were camping at Leavenworth, WA when they were presented with a $1,000 gift card!

Pictured left to right: Campground Manager and Dorsey Family.

Thousand Trails is offering members the opportunity to win a

$1,000 Visa® Prepaid Gift Card

To earn entries into our monthly drawing, simply pay your 2015 dues on time and camp at your favorite TT Preserve. When you pay your annual dues for 2015 in full, you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a $1,000 Visa® Prepaid gift card. There will be one drawing/one winner each month from January through December 2015. In addition, once you pay your dues in full, each time you camp at a Thousand Trails Preserve in 2015, 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, 2015. This promotion is sponsored by MHC Thousand Trails Limited Partnership, Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606. 16


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Out n’ About by Annie Berman

Washington Even More to Explore! Washington state is a big place. If you’re planning to visit any of the Thousand Trails or Encore campgrounds in the Evergreen state, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find yourself overwhelmed. From trails, to wineries, to public parks and Japanese gardens, there is so much to explore, so be sure to read the other articles in this issue of Trailblazer for more adventures in the Evergreen state! For a complete list of our Washington campgrounds visit

Day 1: Exploring Spokane


Though Spokane, WA, may be only the second largest city in Washington, it’s the first stop on this tour. Spokane is located about 230 miles east of Seattle and is nicknamed the “Lilac City” for the flowers that have flourished there since the early 20th century, when they were first introduced. Head south for just under an hour drive from the Little Diamond (WA) and you’ll be right in the heart of this great small city and the childhood home of Bing Crosby.

Manito Park is often named one of the top things to do in Spokane. In the Algonquin language, “Manito” means “spirit of nature,” and Manito Park captures the essence of its name perfectly. Walk along the pathways of this 90 acre public park and you may find it difficult to resist taking photos or becoming inspired to write, sing, or dance. You may likely see visitors of the park doing “freewalking" – a kind of non-traditional walking movement that includes elements of clever footwork, dance moves, leaps, and jumps. The park is also a gathering place for birdwatchers and flora enthusiasts, and in the winter it is a popular place for sledding. Manito Park is visited by over 150,000 people every year.



Getting hungry? The Park Bench Cafe, which is located right in the center of Manito Park at the intersection of Manito Place and Tekoa Street is open during the spring and summer seasons, providing snacks and drinks to park walkers. And, if you happen to be there on a Friday night, don’t miss the free music series.


Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden One of the biggest draws to Manito Park is the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden. Nishinomiya is the sister city to Spokane and this part of the park was completed in 1974 in an area that used to be a zoo. It has been ranked at number 16 on the list of “Top Public Japanese Gardens” by The Journal of Japanese Gardens. The Nishinomiya Garden is characterized by its traditional Japanese garden elements and placed in an asymmetric, strolling pond style. Japanese style gardens are often created as places for meditation, contemplation, and are often visually stunning. The garden is open daily from 8am until one half hour before dusk. Just something to keep in mind – Spokane winters can be harsh, so this particular garden is closed from November 1 to April 1.

If you’re inclined to check out some of the more urban areas of Spokane, head downtown. You’ll never be disconnected here – the entire downtown area is one of those American cities that is basically a giant, free WiFi hotspot. There are a plethora of restaurants, bars, and cafes to visit in downtown Spokane. Be sure to head to the Riverwalk where you can ride gondolas or carousels, or simply walk around and enjoy one of the west’s great small cities. Be sure to visit for more information on specific places to visit in the city of Spokane.

Day 2: WASHINGTON DELICACIES LEAVENWORTH NUTCRACKER MUSEUM People have been eating nuts for thousands of years. But, you don’t just find a nut hanging out ready to be eaten – usually, you must crack open a nut’s hard shell in order to get to their meaty, nutty, edible centers. The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum takes great pride in displaying all different kinds of nutcrackers that have been created over the years. It’s definitely a “nutty” museum to visit, but a lot of fun! The museum’s mission statement gives a taste of what to expect upon visitation: "To foster and encourage the interest of the general public of the importance of nuts in the diets of humans throughout history and the evolution of the nutcracker. No other tool or collective has shown such a wide diversity of material and design as the implements used to crack the hard shell of the nut.”

Oysterville, WA Oysterville is a tiny town with a huge appetite for oysters. Actually, it’s mainly a historical site and is an unincorporated community with a population of 0. However, that doesn’t stop hundreds of oyster lovers from visiting every year. This town’s oyster buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, making Oysterville, Washington, a designated National Historic District. If you make a stop here, you’ll enjoy fresh, meaty oysters that are caught right on the Willapa Bay. Don’t forget to visit the only store in town - the Oysterville Store.



Cashmere Cider Mill

Willapa Hills Cheese

Did you know that Washington State ranks first for apple production in the US and supplies almost 60% of all fresh eating apples? That’s a lot of apples! Located in the heart of Washington Apple Country is the Cashmere Cider Mill, where they create almost every apple-centric treat you can think of – cider, syrups, jams, jellies, and the famous Aplets and Cotlets. Aplets and Colets are famous Northwest candied delicacies made with gelatin, walnuts, and apples. These candies made their debut at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1963, and hundreds of thousands of people have been enjoying these apple treats ever since. Cashmere Cider Mill is located less than a mile from Leavenworth (WA).

Join the “flock of curds” at the Willapa Hills Cheese farm, which has been active since the 1920s. This dairy processor has partnered with two local family dairy farms that produce a collection of fresh and aged sheep and cow milk cheeses. Three of the farm’s cheeses have won ribbons at the American Cheese Society’s annual competition and this farm has been visited by famous foodies like Anthony Bourdain and praised by Culture Magazine and Sunset Magazine. Willapa Hills Cheese is located about 40 minutes from Chehalis (WA) and is located along the Chehalis River. Here, you can see the cheesemaking process, indulge in samples, or visit their store where you can purchase all of the products they make on site (while supplies last)! If you’d like to participate in an immersion program there, it’s best to check their website (willapacheesehill. com) for prices and reservation requirements.




ICICLE GORGE Washington is a “gorges” state and as we’ve shown you throughout this issue of TrailBlazer, it is also a major hub for hiking trails. The Icicle Gorge is one of those special trails that seems practically made for anyone. This trail has an easy elevation (it’s possible to bring a stroller and be OK) and the Icicle Gorge Loop is an easy, two hour hike to see beautiful white water vistas, waterfalls, and spectacular views over a few steep peaks. Veer right at the start of the trail and you’ll hit the Icicle Gorge River trail within 0.1 miles. There are several viewing spots of the gorge below upon crossing Chatter Creek.


COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE Almost everyone knows the Columbia River Gorge, but it’s so beautiful that it’s worth mentioning here anyway. Up to about 4,000 feet deep, this canyon stretches for over 80 miles westward through the Cascade mountain range. It forms the boundary between Washington state, to the north, and Oregon, to the south. Of course, you should go hiking here, but there are also other activities like stand-up paddle boarding, kite boarding, and white water rafting. You can also hike down from the River Gorge straight to the famous Gorge Amphitheater.

Once you’ve visited this iconic amphitheater, you won’t be surprised to know that The Gorge Amphitheater is named “Best Outdoor Music Venue” over and over again. Performances are put on throughout the year at this remote venue and it is elevated such that spectators are treated to sweeping, aerial views of the Columbia River Gorge. There is an official campground at this venue and many visitors will stay for long weekends not only to see a concert, but to experience the majestic views surrounding them. Within walking distance from the venue is the Cave B Estate Winery, an award-winning boutique winery where lots of people come to relax before a concert. Here, you can enjoy a very broad range of different varietals which are made just 900 feet above the Columbia River. The Gorge Amphitheater is located just under a two hour drive from the Leavenworth (WA).



by Kim Wuchter When you compare how Mother Nature has lavishly endowed Washington State, you might feel a tad sorry for some other states. After all, Washington is blessed with so many heavenly recreational opportunities, it seems unfair. Caressed by the pristine waters of the Puget Sound and capped with numerous snowy peaks -- who can blame the other states for being a bit jealous? For outdoor enthusiasts, August and September are prime months to sample the state’s grandeur. As southern states broil in 100 degree weather, folks in Western Washington are delighting in 70 and 80 degree temperatures. Of course, Western Washington is notorious for lots of rain, but in the summer months, the region receives very little rain, so you can leave your umbrella at home. For example, in August, Seattle averages only six days of precipitation. But in December and January, Seattleites face an average 19 days of precipitation. If you are unfamiliar with Washington, it’s best to understand the layout of the land before beginning your journey.



Blanca Lake, Washington



Running north to south, the Cascade Mountain range bisects the state into two distinct regions. The mountain range acts as a wall that blocks the moist Pacific air from reaching the Eastern part of the state, so west of the Cascades, the temperatures are milder, the climate tends to be wetter, and the landscape is greener, giving the state its nickname as the Evergreen state. Evergreen trees, moss, ferns, and rhododendrons are just about everywhere. Jump over to the eastern side of the Cascades and Washington is dramatically different. The temperatures are more dramatic (meaning the summers are hotter and winters are colder), the terrain

is dryer and the sun shines constantly. Eastern Washington is also rewarded with bountiful growing conditions and is known for its wine vineyards, apple and cherry orchards, and famous Walla Walla onions. One unique aspect of traveling in Washington State is the ferry system. The first time you drive your RV onto a ferry can be a bit tense – but it’s actually pretty easy. As part of the Washington state highway system, the ferry system is vital for shuttling drivers and their vehicles to and from points around the Puget Sound. For many island communities scattered around the Sound, it’s the only

▲ Chihuly Glass Musueum Photo Courtesy of Terry Rischel

Emerald City To help you get the most out of your next visit, here are a few recommended destinations from Seattle to Leavenworth: Built along the waterfront, Seattle is a friendly and laid-back city. Flannel and jeans are standard fashions, and you never have to go far to find a latte stand. (Considering that Starbucks, Tully’s, and Seattle’s Best all got their start in Washington, it’s clear Seattleites love their coffee.)



way to reach the islands, other than flying a small plane. The bad news is that the ferry rates have increased over the last several years, and it can be pretty expensive for RVers. But, if you consider that the ferry rides are a wonderful chance to see beautiful scenery, and they give you an opportunity to relax and look out the window, then the price might be easier to swallow. Major ferry docks are located at downtown Seattle, Edmonds, Mukilteo, Clinton, Kingston, Bainbridge Island, and Anacortes. You can check the ferry schedules, rates, and make reservations by visiting

A must-do for first time visitors is to take an elevator ride to the top of the Space Needle. Built for the 1963 World’s Fair, this iconic Seattle landmark reveals sweeping views of the city and surrounding water and mountains. Spend an afternoon strolling Pike Place Market, which overlooks Elliot Bay. The market opened in 1907 and is the oldest continuously operated public market in the United States. You’ll find fresh seafood, produce, flowers, unique crafts and souvenirs, and street musicians. To learn about Seattle’s unique history, take the

Underground Tour at Pioneer Square. Humorous guides lead you on a walking tour beneath Seattle’s sidewalks and streets, allowing you to venture into subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and firstfloor storefronts of old downtown Seattle. If you want to see some of the newer attractions, take a ride on the large observation wheel, which is perched at the Seattle waterfront. Or, visit the Chihuly Glass Museum, which displays the colorful and whimsical glass sculptures of Dave Chihuly, a beloved Northwest artist.

▲ Mount Rainier Photo Courtesy of

Sleeping Giants The crown jewel of Washington is Mount Rainier. About 60 miles southeast of Tacoma, the mountain is the fifth highest peak in the lower 48. On clear days, the white covered giant can be seen from almost any spot in the Puget Sound. To truly appreciate its beauty, you’ll want to visit the 368-square-mile Mount Rainier National Park. The national park is home to old growth forests that date back as much as 200 years, and the park is laced with some 300 miles of trails. There’s also plenty of wildlife, such as deer, elk, black bear, mountain goats, red fox, marmots and beavers. For terrific mountain views, drive up to Paradise, one of the highest points on the mountain you can reach by car. At the end of the road, a lodge, a restaurant and the Paradise Jackson Visitors Center await. You can sign up for

a guided ranger walk or check out the visitor center’s displays to learn about the mountain’s geology, mountaineering, glaciers and more. Along the drive up, pull over to savor the many scenic viewpoints and waterfalls. To understand the awesome forces of Mother Nature, plan a day trip to Mount St. Helens, which is southwest of Mount Rainier. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, which sits 96 miles south of Seattle. The cataclysmic collapse of the northern flank of the mountain created an avalanche and an explosion that killed 57 people and flattened hundreds of square miles. Amazingly, plants and animals have slowly returned to the barren landscape that was covered in lava and ash, but the scars still remain. For the best

crater views, drive to the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument along the Spirit Lake Memorial Hwy (Hwy 504). Along the way, you’ll pass interpretive centers that tell the story of the blast. The best views are at the Johnston Observatory, which is located at the end of the highway. It’s the closest you can get to the crater by car. It was named after the volcanologist David Johnston, who died when the the volcano erupted. His final words were “Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it.” At the center, interpretive displays depict the sequence of geologic events that changed the landscape and a video presentation offers a surprise ending. The center is open May through October, depending upon snow levels. The admission fee is $8 per adult.



the San Juan Islands or you can catch the Victoria Clipper from Seattle’s waterfront. The San Juans actually encompass about 176 named islands and many smaller unnamed rock outcroppings in the Salish Sea. The Washington State Ferry system travels to four of the islands: Shaw Island, Orcas Island, San Juan Island and Lopez. Each island has its own unique personality. With so much marine life, visitors have good chances to see porpoises, seals, sea lions, orca whales, and occasionally, humpback, minke, and gray whales. On San Juan Island, you can visit Lime Kiln Point State Park, also known as Whale Watch Park, for good reason. The three local orca pods are frequent summer visitors. This is the only park in the world dedicated to shore-based orca whale watching. ▲ Sea Lion on San Juan island

Island Hopping

Olympic Peninsula

The San Juan Islands seem to be catching the eye of many folks these days. In 2013 Lonely Planet named the San Juans #3 for Top 10 U.S. Destinations. Then, in 2014, Travel and Leisure named the San Juan Islands # 2 for Best Islands in the Continental U.S. and Canada And that’s only a couple of the recent accolades that the islands have been receiving. The islands are loved for their whale watching opportunities, scenic kayaking, drift-wood strewn beaches, tide pools, quiet trails, peaceful country roads for biking and an abundance of local artists. Of course, the islands are perfect for just relaxing, as well.

If you want to see the greenest -- and rainiest -- spot in all of Washington, head over to the Olympic Peninsula. Tucked in the protective boundary of Olympic National Park, the Hoh Rain Forest is an enchanting fairytale-like mix of green, green and more green. In fact, the Hoh is famous because it is one of the finest remaining examples of a temperate rainforest in the United States. The Hoh lies on the west side of Olympic National Park off of Highway 101, about a two-hour drive from Port Angeles. Throughout the winter season, rain falls frequently in the Hoh Rain Forest, contributing to the yearly total of 12 to 14 feet of precipitation each year. Yes, feet of rain, not inches! The result is a lush, green blanket of mosses and ferns that covers just about

Seventy-six miles north of Seattle in Anacortes, you can board a short ferry ride for a trip to



everywhere you look. The rain forest is filled with giant conifers including Sitka spruce, western hemlock, western red cedar and Douglas fir. The big daddy is one of the largest Douglas fir trees in the state, measuring 298 feet high and over 37 feet in circumference. Start your visit at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, located at the end of the Upper Hoh Road. From there you can explore two short nature loops or you can hike a portion of a major hiking trail, the Hoh River Trail, which travels 17.3 miles to Glacier Meadows.

Coastal Treasures On the southern end of Washington’s coast, Long Beach has long been a favorite for beachgoers. The Long Beach Peninsula is a 26-mile sandy spit that juts out from the Southwest corner of the state, where the ocean and the Columbia River meet. Known for its coastal fun, the city attracts families looking to play in the surf, build sand castles, comb the wide beaches and fly kites. Adding to the town’s character are a carousel and other carnival rides, beach bike rentals, and go-carts. Plus, the city of Long Beach hosts numerous festivals throughout the year. One of the biggest events each year is the Annual Washington State International Kite Festival. Held August 17 to 23, the skies will be colored with a maze of kites from around the world that compete in this high flying competition, some from as far away as Indonesia and Europe. Bright colors, cheerful crowds, musical entertainment and ever-popular food stands create a carnival-like atmosphere as amateur and professional kite flyers demonstrate their artistic and stunt flying skills.

International Kite Festival Photo Courtesy of Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau

turns for 21 miles along Chuckanut Mountain, serving up panoramic views of the saltwater bays and the San Juan Islands, great hiking trails and a chance to sample some of the best oysters in the state. Once in Bellingham, visit the historic Fairhaven district for its shops, galleries and cafes, many of which are housed in original 19th century buildings.

Eastern Washington

▲ Skagit Valley tulip fields

North Washington North of Seattle near the springtime tulip fields of the Skagit Valley, the tiny town of La Conner offers an interesting day trip. Over the years, this tiny fishing village has grown into a mecca for Northwest artists. You can browse the artists’ shops, hunt for antiques and take in the town’s lovely collection of historical buildings and 19th century Victoria homes. More than 160 local buildings in La Conner are on the National Register of Historic Places. Be sure to check out Nasty Jack Antiques, which claims to be one of the largest antique shops in Western Washington. Driving north of La Conner, you want to make time for a scenic drive on Chuckanut Drive, which runs from Burlington to Bellingham. This cliff hugging, two-lane road drive twists and



In sun-drenched Eastern Washington, the Bavarian themed village of Leavenworth could have been the perfect movie backdrop for The Sound of Music. Towering mountains stretch to the sky at seemingly the edge of town. All the town’s shops and restaurants feature traditional Bavarian architecture. Colorful hanging baskets drip with flowers at every street corner, and on weekends, May through October, lederhosen town folks welcome you to town. At the center of town, a small park with a gazebo often features live entertainment or special events on weekends, from live bands to art exhibits. German themed restaurants specialize in authentic German food, such as Weinerschnitzel and Sauerkraut, German beer and delicious Bavarian sweets. You can also browse through more than 100 specialty shops. At the Leavenworth Outdoor Center, you can rent tubes for river floating, bicycles, standup paddle boards, and kayaks. One of the biggest events in Leavenworth is the annual Oktoberfest celebration, held Fridays and Saturdays for the first three weekends in October. The celebration unleashes a smorgasbord of German food, arts and crafts, and music.

▲ Downtown Leavenworth Photo Courtesy of Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce





▲ Sharon walking the family dog at Outer Banks, NC

This month, TrailBlazer would like to introduce you to Patrick and Sharon Sharkey, two motorcycle enthusiasts who realized the outdoor lifestyle was for them the second they gave it a try. They’ve used their Thousand Trails membership to visit upstate New York, through the Jersey Shore, and right on down into Florida! TB: How long have you been camping and RVing? Who introduced you to it? Tell us how it all began! P&SS: In 1990, we went to Florida for the Daytona 500. There were not any motel rooms available. We purchased a tent to camp at a Florida State Park. This was our first camping trip as a family. We were hooked. Four months later, we purchased a pop up and our adventure began.

TB: How did you first hear about Thousand Trails? P&SS: We learned about TT when we attended the Hershey RV Show. There was an information booth. We ended up purchasing a membership at that show because there were so many campgrounds to select from. Being retired, we have the option to camp when we want. TB: What is one of your fondest camping memories? How about one of your fondest TT memories? P&SS: In March of 2014 we took our daughter and family



to Disney World in Orlando. We camped at Fort Wilderness in Disney. Our two young granddaughters always enjoy camping with us and Disney only made it better. In June of this year we arranged to go to the Americade Motorcycle Rally in Lake George, New York. We camped at [Encore’s] Lake George Escape. Our friends from Montreal, Canada, came to visit. We had a great time riding our motorcycle throughout the Adirondacks and enjoying our friends. This campground has lots to do. We will be back next year!

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.) P&SS: We have a 27' Rockwood trailer and we tow it with a GMC. We are very happy with this set up as it allows us to bring our motorcycle in the bed of the truck. Sharon and I have been riding motorcycles for 20 years. TB: Where have you gone that you wouldn't have otherwise, if it hadn't been for your Thousand Trails membership? P&SS: With our Thousand Trails membership, we like to camp at the Jersey Shore. Sea Pines and Lake and Shore are close to the beach. We can also use both park facilities as they are so close. The children love the water park at Lake and Shore. We love the wooded sites at Sea Pines. We love to go to the boardwalk in Wildwood with the grandchildren and the beach in Stone Harbor. If it wasn't for Thousand Trails, we may not have camped at the Jersey Shore! ▼ Patrick Sharkey enjoying the outdoors

▲ Outer Banks, NC

TB: What is your favorite part about the outdoor lifestyle? P&SS: The fresh air, outdoors, and natural surroundings. We just like the outdoors in general. The mountains and the beaches. TB: Can you finish this sentence? I knew I was a TrailBlazer when... P&SS: I knew I was a TrailBlazer the day we pitched that tent in Florida.

▲ The Sharkeys' Rockwood trailer

▼ Fort Myers Beach, FL



#100DaysofCamping Customers from all over the country are sharing their photos from their camping adventures as part of #100DaysofCamping! Get your rally towel at your favorite Thousand Trails property. Here’s how to join the fun :



Get out and camp!



Take pictures on your camping trip



Share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #100Daysof Camping Repeat steps 1-3 every time you camp this summer!




Quote s fro m o u r C am pe r s “This is the result when you hold the Thousand Trails #100DaysofCamping towel upside-down : ) #manntheretheygo” – Mann, There You Go “#100DaysofCamping‬Timothy Lake South Thousand Trails, Sammy, Brandy, Jamie and kids”‬ – Sv Reinis

“#100DaysofCamping – A fabulous weekend at Leavenworth!” – Jennifer T. Karol



“Celebrating ‪#100DaysofCamping‬ with Thousand Trails on the waterfront at Narrows Too RV Resort near Acadia National Park in Maine. Beautiful!” – Road Less Traveled‬ “The grandkids had a blast this weekend they are sporting there #100DaysofCamping from Chehalis, Washington” – Kimmy Thompson

“Oliver wishes everyone a happy‪#100DaysofCamping : ) Safe and happy summer travels to xoxo #GORVing #Airstream” – Just 5 More Minutes with Our Airstream “#100DayofCamping Hanging with the cool staff at Circle M Campground!” – Darlene Doerbecker Robe



by Kim Wuchter


he best way to savor the beauty of Washington is to get outdoors and hit the trails. Washington is a hiker’s paradise offering a variety of settings from alpine meadows and old growth forests to cascading waterfalls.

Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or strenuous workout, you can set your own pace. Here is a sampling of some outstanding, popular hikes in the state. Remember to wear sturdy hiking shoes, bring plenty of water, and always be prepared for a change in the weather.

Old Growth Hike Famous for its old-growth forest featuring thousand-year-old trees, the Grove of the Patriarchs is a must see for anyone visiting the Mount Rainier National Park. The short, level trail is ideal for small children and features some of the largest trees in the national park, with the largest reaching 40 to 50 feet in diameter. Located in the southeast corner of the park, the trail wanders alongside the Ohanapecosh River for a half mile and crosses a small suspension bridge to reach a small loop. The loop is only a ¼ mile long, but this is a trail you want to savor and admire fully. You’ll want to read the interpretative signs displayed along the loop, and look up at the giant Douglas-firs, cedars, and hemlocks stretching 300 feet above you. Take Hwy 123 into Mount Rainier National Park and go left on Stevens Canyon Road marked “Paradise.” Park just past the Ohanapecosh Bridge.

Alpine Lakes For a pretty view of one of the alpine lakes, take the trail to Lake Dorothy. The popular trail runs alongside the rushing Miller River, through old growth forests and leads to one of the largest forest lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area. The hike is very popular in the summer, so if you want to avoid crowds it’s best to hike on weekdays. The lake is about 1.9 miles from the trailhead with an elevation guide of about 800 feet. Only the last half mile is somewhat steep but it has been somewhat tamed with stairs and elaborate log boardwalks, thanks to lots of volunteer hours. Once there, you can enjoy a picnic, fish, or just relax. Small islands dot the narrow lake and there are lots of tiny coves to check out. The trail continues along the length of the lake and then up and over a ridge. For a more strenuous adventure, you can continue hiking on to Bear and Deer Lakes. There are some exposed roots and rocks along the trail that might be difficult for the elderly and small children to navigate. Driving Hwy 2 east from Everett, and approximately 11 miles east of Index, turn right on the Old Cascade Hwy through the Money Creek Campground. At 1.2 miles at the fork in the road take the Miller River Road and drive 8.3 miles to the trailhead.



Waterfall Hike

Wildlife Viewing

Off Hwy 2 near Index is a fourmile hike to the lovely Bridal Veil Falls, a multi-tiered, 1,328-foot waterfall that flows from Lake Serene and down the cliffs of Mount Index, before it merges with the Skykomish River. From the parking lot, the trail follows an old logging road for 1.6 miles through a lush second growth forest. At the trail junction for Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene, turn right and go uphill. It’s then a half-mile trek to and around the falls, much of it climbing steeply up stairs. The elaborate wooden stairs are built parallel to the thundering falls, so you get to feel the cool spray of the falls. Most hikers say the cooling spray feels great on a hot summer day. However, exercise caution near the water, as the steps can be slick when wet.

Named after the wild winter storms that whip across the ridge, Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Forest is prized for its 360-degree, jawdropping panoramic views of surrounding peaks and glaciers, with views stretching all the way to Canada. The surrounding lush meadows are often dotted with grazing black tail deer, who seem unmoved by hikers and sight-seers. You might also see partridges darting through the grass, marmots popping out of their holes to sun themselves on the rocks, and if you are lucky, you might even spy a coyote, mountain goat, or black bear. Be aware of bold chipmunks who aren’t afraid to steal items from unattended backpacks. To fully enjoy the great views, plan to tackle the Hurricane Hill Trail, which is a paved 1.6 mile ascent to panoramic views. The trail begins at the parking lot and visitor’s center and slowly ascends. With every step you climb higher above the tree line and the views of the surrounding

Take Highway 2 toward Index. At Mt. Index Road on the right near milepost 35, turn right and follow the road for a half-mile following the signs directing you to the Lake Serene Trailhead.

Grove of the Patriarchs Photo Courtesy of



mountains, salt water, and Elwah Valley get better and better. Along the way, you might run across an interpretive ranger walking the trail. Be sure to ask them questions as they are very knowledgeable about the area. Hurricane Ridge is located 17 miles south of Port Angeles on Hurricane Ridge Road, off Mount Angeles Road. The road is open throughout the summer.

Bridal Veil Falls Photo Courtesy of Snohomish County Tourism Bureau

Berry Picking

Mount Baker Photo Courtesy of Yefim Bam

The trails in Washington can be ripe in the summer with blueberries, salmonberries, and huckleberries, typically best from late summer to early fall. To pick wild blueberries and huckleberry, head to Schriebers Meadow/ Park Butte, tucked in the North Cascades along the Mount Baker Hwy. This very popular trail on the southwest flank of Mount Baker leads to alpine meadows and magnificent views of the snow fields atop Mount Baker. After a half mile hike through a subalpine forest you will cross Sulphur Creek and then enter a meadow that’s typically filled with wildflowers in the summer and an abundance of berries in the late summer and early fall. After munching on your fill of berries, you can continue hiking. After two and half miles, you will reach a fork in the trail. The left fork climbs to a historic fire lookout built in 1932 at Park Butte. At the lookout, you’ll be rewarded with stunning, unobstructed views of Mount Baker and the Twin Sisters. Park Butte is seven and half miles round trip, but if that’s longer than you can do, remember you don’t have to hike the whole trail. Just hike as much as you want. AUGUST 2015 TRAILBLAZER


Beach Hike To experience the wild Washington coastline, travel south of the village of La Push on Hwy 110 to the Second Beach Trail. As its name implies, it’s located between the First Beach and Third Beach. This beautiful wide sandy beach features offshore islands and spectacular rock formations. Wellconstructed, the trail starts on the Quileute Indian Reservation and travels only ¾ mile. The last quarter mile travels down a wooden stair case. When you reach the beach, if you hike north you can see a natural arch. If you plan your visit for low-tide you’ll be able to walk out to some of the sea stacks for a closer look. The water is cold year-round, so you might only want to dip your toes in the surf. You can explore tide-pools, which are brimming with sea life and look for eagles which are often perched in the nearby bluffs. There are also excellent opportunities to view seals, roaming deer, lots of birds, and you might even see migrating gray whales. Reaching the beach sometimes requires a bit of scrambling over a driftwood. 40


Third Beach, Olympic National Park

Updates & Upgrades


Circle M

Spending the summer in the Keystone State just got way more fun! We are excited to announce that we have completed improvements at Circle M in Lancaster, PA.

Lounge on the new deck chairs and shield yourself from the sun with new umbrellas! You’ll want to challenge everyone to a match on the new basketball and pickleball courts, plus the mini golf area has been updated, too! Also, check out the Hopi Bath House, which underwent a total renovation. You will never want the summer fun to end so reserve your next stay today!



Grand Oly Opry Country Classics 2014 Photo Courtesy of Kelly Verdeck Photography



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 the long-time tenor...

jOe boNsall from The Oak Ridge Boys

by Lynn & Cele Seldon For more than 40 years, The Oak Ridge Boys have topped the country music charts with many hits, sung for numerous presidents, and entertained countless fans across the country. Lead tenor Joe Bonsall says, “When the lights dim, the theme music begins to play, and our band members gather in their positions, it’s just as exciting today as it has always been throughout our long history.” The Oaks got their start back in the 1940s when a group from Knoxville, Tennessee, began performing country and gospel music in the town of Oak Ridge, where the atomic bomb was being developed. Over the years, the group gained popularity and soon appeared on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry. From there, members joined and left. But, in 1973, the current group of Bonsall, William Lee Golden, Duane Allen, and Richard Sterben began singing together – and the rest is ORB history.

They are road warriors and Bonsall says they still perform 140 to 160 dates a year. They're also recording warriors, with more than 40 albums to their credit – including this year’s “Rock of Ages: Hymns and Gospel Favorites.” Of the new release (now available at Cracker Barrel and nationwide), Bonsall says, “We have always loved the great hymns and when Bill Gaither provided us an opportunity to record a hymns album, we jumped at the chance. I believe we have recorded an album for the ages.” Bonsall, a Philadelphia native, now lives on a 350-acre farm on the Tennessee/Kentucky border with his wife, Mary Ann, and their seven cats. He has two grown daughters and two grandchildren. We caught up with Bonsall by email to learn more about life on the road and his most recent book, On the Road with The Oak Ridge Boys.



Left to right: William Lee Golden, Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, and Richard Sterban Photo courtesy of Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau

What are a few favorite things onboard?

What's your favorite thing about traveling and sleeping in your tour bus instead of staying in a hotel? I write about this quite a bit in my new book On The Road With The Oak Ridge Boys in a complete chapter called “The Bus.” So many of your readers understand the road and life aboard a private bus or RV that I am sure they will identify with all of this, but for those few who do not get it I must say that traveling like this is THE way to go for a music entity such as ourselves. No early morning/ all day flights. All of our clothes hang in closets. We wake up in the town where we will play after a great night’s sleep in our own moving bed. Do you have any funny stories from the road you can share? Too many to mention but I will tell you humor doth abound every single day with this bunch!! 44


My BUNK…My bunk…MY BUNK!!! Haha. Also DirectTV satellite that works while going down the road is the greatest thing to happen since they started delivering pizzas. We don’t miss a thing. Sports, movies, TV shows… we have it ALL! ▲ The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Concert Photo courtesy of Jon Mir

What are a few favorite destinations and why?

What are some favorite meals onboard (or restaurants) while you’re on the road?

I love the Pacific Northwest and western Canada for pure beauty and I love the charm of New England, as well. But, to be honest, wherever good folks come out to hear us sing that is where I am happy to be!

On a long trip, our tour director, Darrick Kinslow, always has something good going in the crockpot, but we have many favorite stops along the way. It is always nice to stop in a town and try out the local fare whether it be salmon in Seattle or crab cakes in Baltimore!

Why did you write your new book? I wanted people to know what the Oak Ridge Boys were really all about on every level. This is how we do it, this is how we have

On The Road With The Oak Ridge Boys Harvest House Publishers | ISBN: 978-0-73696419-7 | $15.99


s a boy, Joe Bonsall, lead tenor of The Oak Ridge Boys, stood before the mirror in his bedroom, pretending to be Elvis Presley. In 1973, Joe’s dream of singing onstage with a top-notch quartet became a reality when he was invited to join the Oaks. The rest is history, with dozens of hits (including the smash “Elvira” in 1981) and every award in the country music industry and beyond.

done it. The book is informative, anecdotal, funny, and very spiritual. It’s an Oaks fan’s dream book and a handbook for the music scholar. What didn’t we ask you about life on the road that you’d like to share? Check out my chapter, “What Is Hard and What Is Not.” Tell us about your current tour bus. Most music acts these days run big Canadian-made Prevost coaches and we are no exception. At this point in our career, we run to big tour buses. The Boys, driver, and tour director travel in one and the band/crew in the other. They are laid out much the same, except there are more bunks in the band/crew bus. I love our bus and did I mention MY BUNK??? zzzzz

In On the Road with The Oak Ridge Boys, Bonsall takes readers on a fascinating backstage tour of life in the country music industry and the multi-faceted life of the Oaks on the road in North America. Through colorful stories, Bonsall shares the history behind the group, introduces readers to each of the Oaks, and gives them a front row seat to what it’s like to travel the country in a tour bus. He also shares numerous tales about long-time fans (like Vivian Abalon), presidents and first ladies, and other country stars. Compelling chapters like “The Boys,” “The Songs,” “Elvira,” “The Show,” “The Bus,” “The Road,” “The Tour,” “Old Friends,” “Presidents,” and more, Bonsall shares more than 40 years of ORB history and road time.

There’s even a great chapter called “Cracker Barrel,” which details the ongoing relationship between the group and the popular chain of restaurants that sells lots of ORB CDs. Bonsall writes that he loves their pancakes and that they still use iconic Cracker Barrel rocking chairs on tour. Bonsall is a very talented writer and brings ORB’s life on the road to life in this book. He is the author of nine previous books, including his Molly the Cat series, An Inconvenient Christmas, An American Journey, Christmas Miracles, G.I. Joe & Lillie, and From My Perspective.

Who’s in the kitchen with

TrailBlazer? Grilled Toma Cheese with Caramelized Onions SERVES 4 | 45 min Now here’s a truly iconic SoCal experience: Relax on the front patio of Sides and watch the beautiful people drive by (some of them alone in vehicles that could house a soccer team, others in beat-up pickup trucks accessorized with dogs), while you nibble on good honest California freshness from the kitchen. This addictive sandwich is served with a house salad and fries on the side, but would also be lovely with a very light slaw – especially if fennel were involved.


• 2 tbsp. olive oil • 1 large yellow onion (about 1lb. halved and thinly sliced crosswise) • ½ tsp. fine sea salt • ¼ tsp. pepper • ½ cup unsalted butter, thoroughly softened • 8 large slices rustic sourdough bread, about ½ in. thick • 14 oz. Point Reyes Toma cheese or gouda, sliced ¼ in. thick

▲ Per Sandwich 1,217 Cal., 44% (541 Cal.) from fat; 49g protein; 61g fat (34g sat.); 121g carbo (6.6g fiber); 2,258 mg sodium; 174mg chol.



(Onions may be caramelized up to 1 Day in advance; warm through before adding to the sandwiches.)


1. Place a large cast-iron skillet over low heat and add the oil. When it is warm, add the onion, stir to coat with the oil, and cover the pan. Cook, stirring every 6 minutes, until the onions are completely softened and golden brown, about 30 minutes. (Add a little water during cooking if the onions threaten to scorch.) Stir in the salt and pepper. If the onions are not golden brown at this point, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, watching carefully and turning frequently, until browned but not charred. 2. Evenly butter one side of each slice of bread. Place a large nonstick frying pan or a griddle over medium-low heat. Working in batches if necessary, place 4 slices of bread, butter side down, on the cooking surface and immediately top with half of the sliced cheese, distributing it evenly. Dollop and gently spread ¼ cup onion over the cheese on each sandwich, then top with the remaining cheese slices, dividing them evenly. Top with the remaining slices of bread, butter side up. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, 2 minutes; use a spatula to press down firmly on each sandwich to flatten slightly. Turn over and cook until golden brown and the cheese starts to ooze from the edges, 3 minutes more. Transfer to plates and cut each sandwich in half on the diagonal.


We're lucky to not only be able to highlight just a few of the great recipes from this cookbook, but to also announce a chance for five lucky readers to win a copy of this delightful cookbook. See details on P62.

Dungeness Crab Sandwiches with Rémoulade SERVES 4 | 20 min Here is California’s version of a Down East Maine lobster roll! If you can’t find – or afford – Dungeness crab for these bright and fragrant sandwiches, blue crab (from the East and Gulf Coasts) may be substituted. However, if you are tempted to substitute a bottled tartar sauce for the chunky-fresh goodness of the addictive rémoulade, you will have my sympathy but certainly not my understanding. There are times when shortcuts can be taken. This is not one of them.


• 4 bread rolls • 1 lb. Dungeness shelled cooked crab • ½ European Cucumber, thinly sliced • 1 c. daikon radish sprouts • 2 small ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced • 1 head romaine lettuce, inner heart only

▲ Per Sandwich 727 Cal., 39% (284 Cal.) from fat; 37g protein; 32g fat (4.8g sat.); 77g carbo (3.8g fiber); 1,739mg sodium; 99mg chol.

Rémoulade • 1 cup mayonnaise • 1 ½ tbsp. tarragon vinegar • 1 tbsp. finely chopped cocktail onions • 2 cornichons, finely chopped • 1 tbsp. capers, drained and roughly chopped • 1½ tsp. finely chopped fresh dill • ¼ tsp. Hungarian sweet paprika • ¹⁄ 8 tsp. cayenne • ¼ tsp. each fine sea salt and pepper

Vinaigrette • 3 tsp. extra-virgin • olive oil • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar • ¼ tsp. Dijon mustard • ¹⁄ 8 tsp. salt • pinch of pepper (The rémoulade and vinaigrette can be kept, covered and chilled, 1 day.)

Directions 1. Make the rémoulade: In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and vinegar; fold in the pickled onions, cornichons, capers, dill, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Taste for seasoning. 2. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients thoroughly; if making ahead of time, whisk again just before serving. 3. Preheat the broiler and assemble the remaining ingredients. Toast the rolls, cut sides up, until not quite turning color (you just want them warm and slightly crisp). Spread the base and top of each roll generously with rémoulade. Build the sandwiches on the roll bases in the following order, dividing the ingredients evenly: an even layer of crab, sliced cucumber, then daikon radish sprouts. Drizzle each with about 1 tsp. of the vinaigrette, then layer with the tomatoes and romaine leaves and top with the other half of the roll. Press down gently, and cut in half. Skewer each half with cocktail picks, if desired. AUGUST 2015 TRAILBLAZER






Hi Bill, My husband & I are full-timers. The carpet in our Big Horn 5th wheel is beige. After a couple of years on the road, it is really looking horrible. We have cleaned it several times but it still looks dirty. I believe there is linoleum all the way through the coach. I would like to get different linoleum. Can it be placed on top of the old one & what do we do about the slides? Thanks in advance for your help. We really enjoy your Q & A. Dick and Joanna McNally


Hello Bill… In strong crosswinds, whether it be on the road or parked, the rain manages to sneak up under the refrigerator vent shroud and run down into the compartment below the refrigerator. How low can I add material to the vent shroud without compromising its function? That is, how much clearance is needed between the bottom shroud and the roof? AND…some time ago you mentioned putting a thin sheet of rigid plastic by the fins in the freezer section to avoid ice buildup. OK to put the plastic right against the fins? Thanks heaps…Your column is the first thing I read in TrailBlazer each month. Thanks, John E. Moren




Hi Dick and Joanna, It’s true that keeping carpet clean when living full time in an RV is not easy. Campgrounds will never be very clean but they provide so much fun that it’s worth the clean up. Generally new linoleum is not laid over the old material. Glue does not stick well and all the flaws in the old linoleum will show through. Unfortunately, the old linoleum was laid down before the cabinets were installed thus making the job even more difficult. When the new linoleum


John, It's great to hear from you. I'm truly glad that you are enjoying my column, as my goal is to help as many people as possible. The refrigerator roof vent should not leak if it's designed properly. There are no set clearances as they are different for each model frig. The roof vent needs to be designed for your model refrigerator, as they all differ slightly as well. Check into the possibility that the incorrect roof vent was not installed- I’m not pointing any fingers, but accidents can happen and it’s smart to rule out just to be through. The problem with adding material to your existing roof vent is that it may impede ventilation. And in hotter weather improper airflow could cause a serious issue.

is laid down, you can run caulking where it meets the cabinets to finish any flaws. The slide outs are generally carpet. It would be almost impossible to wrap linoleum around the front edge of a slide out or make it lay flat on a flush mount slide out room. Let me know if you have any more questions and thank you for being so diligent in acquiring Jenn and I the latest TT membership information options. See you on the road!

Are you referring to the side access panel? Depending on the manufacturer, you might try their wind deflector kit and this add on may help to keep the out rain. Perhaps you could take a picture of the vent and email it to me. The thin plastic cutting boards are installed on the freezer plate at the very back of the freezer. There are no fins there, just a flat freezer plate. The freezer shelf or shelves hold it into place until the ice starts to build up when it will stay by itself. Simply remove the freezer shelves and peel off the plastic cutting boards to quickly remove the frost build up. Please let me know if you have any further questions.


Hi, again, Bill, I often use the refrigerator in our RV as auxiliary to our home one for special occasions. Best to leave it on all the time, or does it harm the RV refrig to turn it off and on as needed? Thanks heaps, John Moren


Hello Bill, I am a first time RV owner. I purchased a new 2013 Thor Hurricane 32A, for my wife and I when I retired in 2013. I have a little over 22,000 miles on it and have been from California to the east coast. Over the Memorial Day weekend, I had my first problem: a front tire blowout (piece of metal road debris cut the tire). The tire was replaced virtually hassle free thanks to my roadside membership. My question is should I replace the other front tire? Sincerely, Eric Toussant


John, This is a good question and it’s one I’ve been asked many, many times over the years. I believe the refrigerator lasts longer when it is on all of the time though there has never been a study done to say either way. It doesn’t harm the unit turning it on and off, but the water


in the cooling unit can cause rust if stored for long enough periods of time. However, the price for running the frig on electric over several years may cost more than the repairs. If you are using the RV on a regular basis, you can leave the frig on for convenience purposes.

Eric, Congratulations on your retirement. You don’t need to replace the other front tire unless it is a different size tire. If it is the same size and load range only a different manufacturer, the diameter and other specifications could be off enough to effect handling. Hopefully the installer was aware of this. You could move one of the rear tires to the front in place of the new tire if you want them to match for handling purposes and if the tire is the same exact size, but you suspect the tire may handle differently. You could also use it as

a spare tire, which you may never need again, and if you do need the spare, use it for short distances. If the height is different, more than likely the new tire won't work, it is not worth the risk.

Thank you, Paul. Several years ago, my wife made it quite clear to me that if I didn’t find something to remove the continual rocking sensation inside the RV, full timing would not be in our future. It’s easy to recommend a product we truly believe in and that is simple to install! Nothing is more enjoyable than an add-on

device that really does its job. We love having the “living on a boat” feeling removed and it’s all because of the Steadyfast! The last 5 ½ years of full timing has been good to us and we already have our sights on the next 2 years!


Reader Comment Hi Bill, I hope you guys are still having a great time full timing. Just saw your Steadyfast recommendation in TrailBlazer. We appreciate your continued support! Paul Hanscom

Thanks. Have a wonderful summer!



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Answers can be found on page 64.

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Traveling and Camping with Companion Animals

Q + A

Hello, Jenn, Ginger and Brie. Love your fun to read column, btw! My beloved Husband- wink wink- insists on feeding our 3 dogs and 1 cat table scraps and junk food and I’m totally irate about it. Can you please give us your honest opinion about this topic? And can you please put in writing that “I AM RIGHT?!?!” lol Thank you for all your tips and help, Ashton and Cameron Banks Billings, MT JENN Mr. and Mrs. Banks, To help you avoid marriage counseling of any kind, I will not direct my answer to you, Ashton, but rather to all of our readers. ☺ However, I’m on your side of the boat and believe that too many folks feed their pets naughty people food, especially when they are camping possibly with the mind set that it’s ok to slack off their pet’s regular diet from time to time and chalk it up to a good spoil. It can’t really hurt my four-legged friend... but can it? YES, yes it can. Not only can table scraps and human food cause serious organ damage but some foods alone can cause death. I don’t think any of us would wish the slightest harm on our pets so steering clear of dishing out the people food of all kinds really is

by Jenn Gehr

best for Felix and Fido. Thanks for your very important question and I believe that the veterinarians of the world would back your concern and validate your stand that table scraps and junk food do NOT make up any part of your animal's diet- EVER.

Hello, Fellow Campers! I stopped by your campsite last summer at the beautiful Seaside TT in Oregon. We just loved your set up, how well mannered your Bostons are and remembered that you have a big, wire fence around your immediate patio area. We have finally reached a point where we wish to buy a fence like you use but couldn’t recall where you got yours- we loved the height and the segmented lengths. Do you recall the approximate cost to build about the same size pen you use for your dogs? You and Bill gave us soooo many ideas that have helped us on the road. We really hope to catch up with you again in the future so we can learn more and let your dogs meet our new Corgi puppy! Two dogs ARE more fun!! Much Obliged, Sadie and Tanner Craig And “Daisy” the Corgi, plus the new little addition, “Delilah” JENN OHHhhh Myyyy Goodness! Daisy and Delilah! Congratulations on your family of FOUR! Those two dogs must be a hoot together and fill your days with lots of laughter. Having two small dogs is a blast as they enjoy each others company through exercise and grooming.

Having a pen set up for the dogs is far more safe and convenient than regularly untangling a birds nest of leashes. The pen allows the dogs to frolic off leash while being able to go in and out of the RV if they choose. I love that the dog pen protects my dogs from the hazards of passing cars and other passersby. Be sure to purchase a pen that is tall enough that your dogs cannot jump over it- something I failed at doing on the first round. I like having a pen with a gate built in as to avoid the need to step over the pen each time we wish to go out. We purchased three, 12’ long panels ( I would love to have four total…) and attached them all together with the supplied clips to form an area that meets our specific campsite needs and configurations. Each panel cost about $35 and we ordered the set online from Walmart for an in-store pick up to avoid shipping fees. The Walmart price beat out anything we could find on line. They offer a variety of heights to choose from and I suggest going one size up just to be safe that the dogs cannot jump the fence and for that matter, an outside dog cannot jump in! We have chosen to make our pen large enough that we can set up several (people) chairs, ottomans, dog beds and a 15 gallon galvanized “water hole” for the dogs to wade in when it’s hot. We regularly have fellow campers comment that we, the people, are in the dog house! And truth be told, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Cheers, happy trails, and puppy dog tails! Happy Trails, Y’all

Email Jenn your questions and share your pics at



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Cooking Tips with the West Coast! Be one of five Lucky Winners to receive Eating Up the West Coast featured on pages 46-47. Simply send a postcard with your name, address and email to:

Win the West Coast Cookbook TrailBlazer Magazine Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800 Chicago, IL 60606 Winners will be drawn in a random drawing in October and will be notified by mail or email.

Entries must be postmarked by 9/30/15 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 $24.95. The odds of winning the drawing depend on the number of entries received and are not expected to exceed 5:69,333.

Terms and Conditions for 2015 Referral Promotion from page 4.

For each Eligible Referral (as defined) through December 31, 2015, you will receive a $25 Visa Prepaid Card. In addition, for each Eligible Referral through December 31, 2015, 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, that includes roundtrip coach airfare for two adults from the continental United States to either Hawaii or Florida, and one hotel/cruise room 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 one hotel room for 4 nights and (iii) ten (10) Third Prizes waiving payment of the winners’ annual dues for 2015, not to exceed $545 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, 2016. The winners will be notified by telephone. The odds of winning a prize 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 Camping Pass from us between January 1, 2015 and December 14, 2015, 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 $25 Visa® Prepaid Card and you will not receive a $25 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. 62


La Conner (WA)

y l l a R It's ! e m i T Calendar

CLUB AUGUST 2015 Bounders United (BUTTN) Sept. 8-9......................... Las Vegas, NV Wagonmaster will be Jerry and Yvonne Codde, contact information (209) 207-8184 or jycodde@comcast. net; Bounders United/TTN are TTN members who own Bounder motorhomes and belong to Bounders United. For more information, contact Darlene Spalding at (951) 741-3881 or email at

TT SINGLES Central California

Aug. 28-30�������������������Snowflower, CA Sept. 25-27����������������� Morgan Hill, CA Oct. 23-25������� Lake of the Springs, CA Dec. 4-6������������������������ San Benito, CA Contact Jane Davis at (209) 986-1088 or email to; Becky Staffeld at (408) 253-6995 or email to

Lewis and Clark TTN

Aug. 17-21.......................Paradise, WA Sept. 17-21............ Bend/Sunriver, OR Oct. 15-19.......................... Seaside, OR Roger Beausoleil: President Lewis and Clark TTN chapter of FMCA. Contact person, Roger Beausoleil (503) 390-4753 or

TT East Trail Buddies

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


Aug. 28-30................Thunderbird, WA Sept. 25-27.............. Leavenworth, WA Oct. 23-25.......................... Seaside, OR Nov. 27-29.................... La Conner, WA We also have new contact people and email, phone numbers: WagonMaster Daphne Bailey (Oregon) (503) 590-8566, daphnebailey07@ Secretary Dottie Michel (Washington) (360) 941-3126,

TT Travelers Southern California

Aug. 3-5........................... Idyllwild, CA Sept. 14-16..................... Oakzanita,CA Oct. 5-7....................... Rancho Oso, CA Nov. 2-4.................... Palm Springs, CA Dec. 7-9....................... Wilderness, CA Jan. 11-13........................ Pio Pico, CA Feb. 1-3....................... Wilderness, CA Mar. 7-9...............Soledad Canyon, CA Apr. 4-6.................... Palm Springs, CA We meet Mon, Tues, Weds, mornings for coffee and those evenings for potluck and games. For more information contact Wagon Master Jeff Hazelton (503) 583-3426 or

TTN So Cal Weekenders

Aug. 7-9��������������������������� Idyllwild, CA Sept. 11-13������������������������Pio Pico, CA Oct. 2-4�������������������������� Oakzanita, CA Nov. 6-8�������������Wilderness Lakes, CA Dec. 4-6�������������������� Palm Springs, CA We are a group of TTN members who meet once a month at Southern California preserves. All ages welcome; we have both working and retired members. No dues, just fellowship. Email: website: http://home.earthlink. net/~ttnweekenders.


Sept. 11-13�������������� Russian River, CA Nov. 13-15�����������������Lake Minden, CA (rally follows FMCA West Rally in Indigo)

Members of Thousand Trails and FMCA meet at Northern California Preserves bimonthly. Contact Bob Litfin at (408) 226-6529 or email to Reservations are required two weeks in advance.

TT of Texas/FMCA

Sept. 11-13���������������Lake Whitney, TX New members must be a member of TTN and FMCA. Contact Connie Farrar at (817) 454-4612 or email to Our website is: We also have a blog site:



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 Visa Prepaid Gift Card!

Roberta Deshong of Newhall, CA

Knew the tree was missing from the June 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.

Answers – Sudoku puzzle can be found on page 62.



Postmark deadline is August 31, 2015 and remember – the tree could be a different color and size.

Answers – Crossword puzzle can be found on page 58

At Carefree RV Resorts, getting away feels like coming home.

299/month | $119/week | $19/night


April through October 2015. Florida Baker Acres · Zephyrhills · 813-782-3950 Citrus Hill · Dade City · 352-567-6045 Country Squire · Paisley · 352-771-5614 Grove Ridge · Dade City · 352-523-2277 Kissimmee South · Davenport · 863-424-1286 Homosassa River · Homosassa · 800-471-3722 Mill Creek* · Kissimmee · 407-847-6288 Rainbow Village · Zephyrhills · 813-782-5075 Red Oaks · Bushnell · 352-793-7117 Settler’s Rest · Zephyrhills · 813-782-2003 Southern Charm* · Zephyrhills · 813-783-3477 Sweetwater · Zephyrhills · 813-788-7513 Tropical Palms** · Kissimmee · 800-647-2567 New Jersey/Atlantic City Shady Pines · Galloway Township · 609-652-1516 Texas Treetops*** · Arlington · 800-747-0787

First time visitors only, rates and participation are subject to change. Reservations are limited, please call the park of your choice to book today. Electric and wifi is not included. Offer is based on availability and subject to change without notice. *Small site, 32' and under. **Water/electric sites only. ***35' and under.



On Location



The Birch Bay Music Festival (BBMF) began in 2010, by two cafe owners, Tammy Pearce and David Bucknell, who held a pet food drive at their cafe at the suggestion of their friend, Tara Nelson. Pearce then recruited a few animalloving local musicians, who donated some farm space to hold an event to raise money for abused animals. Since 2010, the festival has grown significantly, and this year is even bigger – for 2015, the festival will take place on the 7.5 acre grounds of the Birch Bay Water slides, allowing for more vendors, entertainers, and festival-goers to attend.


14 – 16 th


The festival’s main goal is “to raise the much needed funds for local non-profit animal rescue and youth music programs through sponsorships, vendor fees, auctions and raffle.” BBMF takes place from August 14- August 16 and includes performances by Wild Rabbit, Rebekah Ann Curtis Musician Page, Heartbreaker Led Zeppelin Tribute Band, The Replayzmentz, Arcade Cowboys, and many more. Thousand Trails Birch Bay campground is located less than a mile from the Birch Bay Water Slides. For more information, visit

For more information on staying in Birch Bay:

1-800-570-2267 66




Thousand Trails Members Qualify For Association Discounts Attend A SkyMed Meeting For Details call 800-679-2020 for meeting locations

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN AN EMERGENCY? SkyMed members simply call our toll-free number and speak to a caring SkyMed representative

24 SEVEN 365. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Hospital-to-Hospital Emergency Air Transport Vehicle & Vessel Return Visitor Transportation Transportation for Recuperation Nearer Home Commercial Carrier Medical Escort Flights

6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Ground Ambulance Helicopter 100 Mile Waiver SkyMed Plus (Pet Return) Minor Children / Grandchildren Return Primary Driver Disability Physical Remains Return


13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

Escort / Companion Transportation Return Transportation After Recovery Incidental Expense Allowance Organ Retrieval Organ Recipient Transportation Global Emergency Travel Services

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

for your RV | 1-877-434-2678 | local office

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 2015 GEICO



TrailBlazer Magazine - August 2015  

TrailBlazer Magazine is the monthly membership magazine for Thousand Trails Campgrounds & RV Resorts

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