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MAY/JUNE 2019 â– $2.00





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*Details and qualifications for participation in this promotion may apply and are set forth on page 61 of this magazine.


MAY/JUNE 2019 VOL. 47 ■ ISSUE 2


22 ANOTHER TRAILBLAZING ROAD TRIP Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley

Photo courtesy of Seldon Ink.

regulars Pics From The Parks


Member Deals 54 Crossword Puzzle 60 Sudoku Puzzle 61


Bushel and a Peck Pick your own summer bounty!

Preferred RV Dealer List 62

tips & topics Tech Topics 50 4 Paws On the Road 51 Ask RV Bill 52

lifestyle 5

Message from Marguerite

10 #100DaysofCamping Kickoff 12 Thousand Trails 50th Anniversary 14 I Knew I was a TrailBlazer – with Rubi & Eduardo 32 Fall In Love With A Manufactured Home 42 National BBQ Month 44 On the Road with Mikey Gilley Urban Cowboy 46 National Get Outdoors Month

calendars Theme Weekends 2019-2020 16 On the Cover Rafting on a sunny summer day near the Shenandoah Valley.

Local Events 18 Club Calendar 64 MAY/JUNE 2019 TRAILBLAZER


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Summer is here and while that means a number of things for all of us, one thing is for sure: camping season has officially arrived! We’re given the opportunity to slow down a bit, enjoy the warm weather, take advantage of extra hours of sunshine, and really celebrate the #100DaysofCamping. Plus, s’mores and burgers are best paired with a summer night. For the fifth year in a row, we’ll be celebrating the #100DaysofCamping right alongside all of you, starting Memorial Day weekend. When you camp with us on Memorial Day weekend, be sure to pick up your 2019 rally towel to kick off the season and start sharing your photos with us on social media. We love seeing what all of our favorite members and guests are up to, and word on the street is there may be prizes in store for some of the best photos shared. Our onsite teams, members, guests, and everyone in between work hard to make the #100DaysofCamping the best they can be, and it’s great to see all of you commit to the summer camping season, as well! Along with #100DaysofCamping this summer, we’ll continue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Thousand Trails. We’ve been celebrating this milestone all year long, but are going all out as we enter the busiest camping season of the year. We will be hosting a number of events onsite to honor the storied history of Thousand Trails. I hope you’re able

to join us at one of our locations since you’re part of the history we’re all writing together. These are events you don’t want to miss! As if there wasn’t enough already going on, included with this issue is the Theme Weekends book, where you can take a peek at all of the fun we have planned for you this year. In addition to the Thousand Trails 50th anniversary events, the kickoff to #100DaysofCamping and holiday weekends, our onsite teams have been busy planning some major fun for the rest of the year. I hope this helps you plan some trips as you find events you can’t miss. I’m sure you can tell we’re all excited to welcome our members and guests back to Thousand Trails, and I hope you’re just as excited, too. I look forward to seeing all of your #100DaysofCamping photos and hearing about the fun you’re having at our 50th Anniversary events. Happy #100DaysofCamping, and here’s to another 50 years of making camping memories.

Marguerite Nader President & CEO


5 CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mark Slattery EDITOR Annie Berman GRAPHIC DESIGNER Susie Bue ADVERTISING SALES MISSION STATEMENT TrailBlazer provides exclusive news and information for the members and guests of Thousand Trails Family of campgrounds and resorts. Each issue enhances the recreational lifestyle of its readers through a lively mix of camping and travel features, campground profiles and product features. TRAILBLAZER (ISSN 0747-2293) is published monthly except bimonthly Jan./Feb., Mar./Apr., May/June, Sept./Oct., and Nov./Dec. by MHCTT Memberships, LP, c/o MHC Property Management L.P., 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 Visit and click on the ‘Subscribe’ tab to easily subscribe online today!

Win $50

EACH Issue!

Share your adventures in 3 easy steps! 1. Capture a photo of your trip at one of our parks. 2. Share with us at 3. Check out next month to see if you’re a winner.

Winners will receive a $50 American Express® Prepaid 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). The winning photo will be posted on the TrailBlazer website as well as in the magazine. Photo submissions should include a brief description, including location of your photo, your name, city and state and sent to: or mail to: TrailBlazer Magazine Attn: TrailBlazer Editor Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800 Chicago, IL 60606 Emailed photos should be high resolution. Photos are not returnable and become the property of TrailBlazer Magazine 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 online at



Canada: (228) 497-3594 Mon. - Fri. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST ENCORE RESERVATIONS (877) 570-2267 Remember! Thousand Trails members get preferred rates at Encore RV resorts.

▲ Thousand Trails Seaside RV Campground (OR) My son next to Thousand Trails 50th Anniversary Banner. – Sonia Borgelt



▲ Turtle Beach RV Campground (CA): Enjoying one of the many activites here at Turtle Beach. – Victor Stockton

▲ Whalers Rest RV Campground (OR): Beach in front of Whalers Rest. – Barry Hall

▲ Bay Landing RV Campground (TX): Father and son taking a sunset swim. – Elizabeth Gilley





Tony & Shelagh Edwards at Lake Whitney RV Campground in Texas.

Lucky winners, Tony and Shelagh Edwards were camping at Lake Whitney RV Campground in Texas when they were presented with a $1,000 gift card!

Thousand Trails is offering members the opportunity to win a

$1,000 American Express® Prepaid Gift Card To earn entries into our monthly drawing, simply pay your 2019 dues on time and camp at your favorite Thousand Trails Campground.

When you pay your annual dues for 2019 in full, you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a $1,000 American Express® Prepaid Gift Card. There will be one drawing/one winner each month from January through December 2019. In addition, once you pay your dues in full, each time you camp at a Thousand Trails campground in 2019, 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 campground. 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, 2019. This promotion is sponsored by MHC Thousand Trails Limited Partnership, Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606.

Coming soon to Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina in the Florida Keys!

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Tuxbury Tiny House Village ▼ South Hampton, NH

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1 2 3 4

Get Out and Camp! Take pictures on your camping trip. Share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #100DaysofCamping. Repeat steps 1-3 every time you camp this summer!

Look for this year’s #100DaysofCamping rally towel when you visit your favorite Thousand Trails campground this Memorial Day and 4th of July Weekends! Join in on the Fun!




11 11

Visit our Thousand Trails campgrounds this summer for special events to celebrate 50 years of camping! June 21

Cheers to the ďŹ rst day of summer! Collect a Special Commemorative Anniversary Pin at any Thousand Trails campground. One per family.

July 27

Stay at your favorite Thousand Trails campground and participate in a special event to leave your mark on the next 50 years of Thousand Trails history. Remember to bring a photo or camping knick knack to contribute to a special time capsule! 12


Be sure to check out your brand new THEME WEEKENDS booklet for more exciting events at Thousand Trails campgrounds across the country!







This month, TrailBlazer introduces you to Rubi & Eduardo! They are fulltime RVers, Thousand Trails members, and true outdoor lovers! Rubi and Eduardo have been camping for over nine years and traveling fulltime for over three and you can follow their never-ending journey on Instagram: @adventuresonwheels TB: How long have you been camping and RVing? Who introduced you to it? Tell us how it all began. R&E: We went on our first tent camping trip a couple of months after we got married, nine years ago. A close friend of ours invited us to a State Park close to Austin. We remember being at the campsite and seeing an RV next to us and thinking that we could get a popup camper for camping trips, if we liked the experience. Needless to say, we fell in love with camping and started doing it very often and a bit further every time. And every time we would go camping, we would see RVs and would bring up the subject of one day getting one for our camping trips.



TB: How did you first hear about Thousand Trails? R&E: One day from a random article online (don’t remember where), we read about Thousand Trails and became intrigued by it. We lived in Austin and had a few parks close to us. We started planning on doing a test run and trying to tent camp for a week at one of them and seeing how it would be. We tent camped at Colorado RV and enjoyed it! That same year, we took a three week vacation to Florida and spent one of those weeks tent camping at the Orlando RV Resort, where we met a great couple next to us, who were full timers. They helped us make the decision to trying it out. That same month, we came back home, purchased a national membership, bought a travel trailer, leased our house, and left on our RV adventure, for a few months... But that has become three and a half years now and we don’t see and end.

TB: What is one of your fondest camping memories? How about one of your fondest TT memories? R&E: This is one and the same... Our fondest camping memory is at a TT Park. It was a weekend that we took our moms to camp and we got to see them play like little girls all weekend, running around, feeding deer, even coloring in the family center! These are two women that are over 60 and haven’t had an easy life... So, for us to see them so happy with something so simple, made us incredibly happy to be part of the RV community and of having our Thousand Trails Membership. TB: Any funny camping/RVing stories? R&E: So, at first, we never wanted to use the bathroom in the RV and always used park facilities... But on one occasion, while staying at Whalers Rest in Oregon, Rubi wanted to use the bathroom; it was nighttime, and it was raining pretty hard. We were parked close to family center. We both walked over in the middle of the night, while raining, only to find out it was closed. We knew there was another one on the other side of the park, so there we went, walking on the rain to the other location... And guess what, it was closed! We ended up walking all over the park, in the dark, soaking wet, and finally decided to cave and went back home. That was the last time we worried about not fully using our RV bathroom!


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.) R&E: We like to travel light. We have a 22 foot Winnebago Micro Minnie travel trailer. We love the size because it gives us a lot of flexibility while traveling. We can park almost anywhere. As far as equipment, we always use our Weboost and our Clam canopy to hangout outside. And an awesome water filter to always have fresh water without creating trash. TB: Where have you gone that you wouldn’t have otherwise, if it hadn’t been for your Thousand Trails membership? R&E: We wanted to visit Oregon for many years, but it was a long drive from our home state of Texas, and we wanted to drive to be able to take our kayaks and mountain bikes... But now, thanks to the awesome Thousand Trails membership, we have been able to enjoy Oregon on multiple occasions!

Another place is New York City. We wanted to go but hotels there are expensive. Thankfully Thousand Trails has RV campgrounds relatively close to the city and we were able to stay there while exploring the Big Apple! TB: What is your favorite part about the outdoor lifestyle? R&E: Traveling full time with our RV has given us the opportunity to enjoy beautiful landscapes and do all sorts of outdoor activities. We love hiking, camping, kayaking, paddle boarding, mountain biking and we get to do all those activities all over the USA, thanks to this RV lifestyle. For us, our favorite part of the outdoor lifestyle is the feeling of being ALIVE and one with nature! TB: This is the question we will be finishing the feature with every month. We want to know when you knew you were the consummate camper, a true TrailBlazer. Can you finish this sentence? I knew I was a TrailBlazer when…

All photography courtesy of @adventuresonwheels

R&E: We knew we were TrailBlazers when we realized we preferred sleeping in our tiny travel trailer instead of a guest room, when visiting friends and/or family. Or, when we noticed that we like being outdoors and enjoying a hike more than being inside a bar or in a city. TB: This is a new question for 2019 – If you could leave a piece of Thousand Trails history behind so that campers 50 years from now will remember what it was like to camp in 2019, what would you leave and why? R&E: It would be a thought… Life is full of adventures, do not waste so much time with material things and go out and enjoy the world as much as you can with whatever you have now… and make sure you take someone special with you! ¾



I T ’ S H E RE !

WEEKENDS 2019-2020 Season






There’s a thousand things just waiting for you to do!

Here at Thousand Trails, we’ve got musicians, magicians, games of skill and games for fun. We’ve got pool parties and movie nights, cookouts, cook-offs, and contests of all kinds. There are plenty of memory-making activities and events in store for everyone!

Check out the Theme Weekends Booklet or go online for more info!




Activities and Events – Local


May 8 Calidanca, a Mexican Folk & Contemporary Dance Company The professional Mexican Folk & Contemporary Dance Company, Calidanza, performs a free show at Yuba College. The show features dances from different cultural regions in Mexico. This performance takes place in the Quad outside the Yuba College Theater; feel free to bring lawn chairs or blankets. May 11 – 12 Two Cities Dog Show Visit the Yuba City Fairgrounds for the dog show competitions hosted by the American Kennel Club. June 1 – 2 2019 Yuba-Sutter Pow Wow Everyone is welcome to the YubaSutter Pow Wow, organized by the Marysville Joint Unified School District’s American Indian Education Program. Events are centered around the dance circle; peruse vendors of food, jewelry, and other crafts. LAKE OF THE SPRINGS (CA) June 1 – 2 Nevada City Cycling Classic The Nevada City Cycling Classic is the second oldest continuously running bicycle race in the country. 2019 is the third year of the revitalization of this event. This event features a brew fest on Saturday, June 1 at Three Forks Bakery & Brewery Parking Lot in Nevada City.



MAY / JUNE While you stay at Thousand Trails, why not explore the region around you? Check out these local events happening near Thousand Trails’ campgrounds this May and June! PIO PICO (CA) May 18 Ocean Beach Kiwanis Kite Festival Bring your kids to the oldest kite festival in the US. There will be a community fair, food vendors, professional kite fliers, and more. All kids, ages 0 – 102, will love this event. May 31 – July 4 San Diego County Fair The fair’s theme this year is inspired by Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Features a summer concert series with bands, comedians, and special entertainers; marathon, 1/2 marathon relay, and fun 5k races.

RUSSIAN RIVER (CA) May 5 Annual Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival The Annual Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival has been celebrating local fishermen and the kick off to the salmon season since 1973. Events for folks of all ages plus live music, craft booths, food, entertainment, and more! All proceeds from the event benefit Bodega Bay Area community services. May 7 Willie Nelson & Family: In Concert Willie Nelson & Family: In Concert, at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. events/2019-05

June 1 – 2 San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series Starting at Balboa Park, this course takes runners on a tour through San Diego’s most popular neighborhoods. Music plays throughout the tour. Matt Nathanson headlines.

May 11 A Prelude to Mother’s Day Visit the Russian River Rose Company, a family run nursery since 1990, for a special Mother’s Day event. San-Diego

May 18 125th Annual Luther Burbank Rose Parade and Festival This year’s festival looks back at the long history of the parade…125 years! Celebrate Sonoma County with the community in downtown Santa Rosa. This annual parade that features award-winning floats, marching groups, school bands, service organizations, non-profit organizations, and much more

June 8 – 9 San Diego Festival of the Arts  Nearly 200 world-renowned artists will showcase their works at Waterfront Park. Silent auction and wine and beer garden contribute to the philanthropic efforts of the Torrey Pines Kiwanis Foundation June 8 Peggy Sue Car Show & Cruise Peruse hundreds of classic, stock, and all-American cars at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Bring your family to Downtown Santa Rosa to enjoy the cruise for free! June 22 – 23 Experience Alexander Valley This two-day wine festival features world-class wines and winegrowing traditions of Alexander Valley. Meet winemakers and walk the vineyards for a behind-the-scenes experience unlike anywhere else. Experiences are limited to twenty guests; for experience information, visit the website. LAKE GASTON (NC) June 28 Lee Greenwood Concert With more than 30 albums to his credit, Lee Greenwood is a country music icon. See him in concert at the Roanoke RapidsTheater.

CIRCLE M (PA) May 4 Mayfest The day features music on the square, the famous Maytown Historical Society food stand, food trucks, a true penny candy store, exhibits, auction, children’s games & crafts, car show, historical demonstrators, the traditional maypole dance, and much more! May 11 Herb & Garden Faire Gardeners rejoice! Plants are the stars at the Herb & Garden Faire at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, featuring heirlooms, natives, and other hard-to-find varieties from vendors spread out over the historic village area of the site. Browse more than 80 vendors. landisvalleymuseum. org/event/herb-garden-faire-2/ May 18 Ultimate Amish Adventure Let Strasburg Scooters get you up close and personal with the local Amish culture and give you an adventure to remember! Guests can interact with Amish neighbors and get hands-on experience with the Amish lifestyle. Each tour offers a unique experience ultimate-amish-adventure

June 11 – 13 Family Farm Days This community event gives everyone the opportunity to visit a real, working dairy farm! Lots of free exhibits, plus tractor and wagon rides, or tour the compost facility and learn how our food waste is turned into compost. Enjoy free samples of Oregon Dairy Ice Cream and Milk, at the Oregon Dairy Farm Market in Lititz, PA. family-farm-days June 27 – 30 MidAtlantic Fiber Association’s “United in Fiber” Enjoy free admission to the marketplace! There will be over 40 workshops in weaving, spinning, dyeing, felting, and other fiber arts! Fashion and art exhibits, miniseminars, knit- and spin-ins, and more! BAY LANDING (TX) May 2 – 5 Mayfest Mayfest is the biggest party in Fort Worth. Four days of live music, festival food, carnival rides, free children’s activities, special attractions, and more. Mayfest is one event you won’t want to miss.

June 1 VegFest Join us for Lancaster’s 3rd annual VegFest to celebrate the plantbased lifestyle! This is a FREE public event whose mission is to provide information about the benefits of a plant-based diet for health and the benefit to animals. The event will include speakers, vendors, entertainment, children’s activities, non-profit organizations, and much more!


May 11 Urban Traders Market The market will be featuring original arts & crafts by local artists. Handmade goods, ceramics, glass, leather goods, and photography, just to make a few. Event goes from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. 19

Activities and Events – Local

May 30 – June 2 Sonoma Speed Festival The inaugural Sonoma Speed Festival features extraordinary vintage racing vehicles and wheel-to-wheel racing at the Sonoma Raceway in the heart of California wine country. Visit website for ticket packages.

Activities and Events – Local

MAY / JUNE LAKE CONROE (TX) May 17 – 20 32nd Annual General Sam’s Houston Folk Festival The Sam Houston Memorial Museum’s fifteen-acre grounds are transformed into a bustling Texas frontier settlement where you can watch historical reenactments and demonstrators, listen to live music, sip some homemade root beer, share a bag of kettle corn, shop for crafts, or stroll the homestead. June 1 Get Up and Dance Summer Festival Enjoy this multi-cultural dance festival featuring live bands and a DJ representing various genres of music. Unique vendors from different markets plus food trucks. Kids can enjoy face painting, activities, and more! June 29 The Woodlands Margarita Festival The Woodlands Margarita Festival is a unique margarita experience with 15+ margarita flavors enjoyed in a fun festival atmosphere with live bands, great food, and vendors. thewoodlandsmargaritafestival. com/ LAKE TEXOMA (TX) June 22 Hank Williams Jr. In Concert See Hank Williams Jr. in concert at the Choctaw Casino & Resorts Grand Theater. Don’t miss out on this amazing concert! hank-williams-jr

LAKE TEXOMA (TX) June 22 Hank Williams Jr. In Concert See Hank Williams Jr. in concert at the Choctaw Casino & Resorts Grand Theater. Don’t miss out on this amazing concert! choctawcasinoscom/events/ hank-williams-jr/

CHEHALIS & PARADISE (WA) May 3 – 5 Spring Youth Fair Visit the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds where local youth can learn about local organizations, enjoy food vendors, see livestock, carnival rides, face painting, and much more.

HARBOR VIEW (VA) May 17 Kings of Grudge/Fade to Black Come out for some high intensity drag racing. schedule May 25 Benefit Concert feat. Tommy Tutone This Third Annual Benefit Concert is a free event featuring silent auction, concert, food trucks, kids’ activities and games, and more. Sponsored by BAMM, a non-profit group whose sole mission is to enhance the learning experience of the youth of Colonial Beach. June 7 – 9 Potomac River Beach Festival  This year’s Potomac River Beach Festival in Colonial Beach is in its 68th year! Enjoy live music, carnival, fireworks display, food & craft vendors, boat parade, and more! June 16 Father’s Day Classic Car Festival  See some sharp-looking vehicles with Dad (or anyone!) at the Classic Car Festival on Town Hill. The event starts at 10 a.m. and will be rain or shine! 

May 24 – 26 Packwood Flea Market “Find us down on highway 12.” Vendors of all sorts display their ware for you to shop. Flea market hours are 9.a. – Dusk, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Bargain and treasure hunters alike will enjoy this, the area’s longest flea market. June 14 – 16 Winlock Egg Days Home of the World’s Largest Egg, Winlock hosts its festival all weekend, with the queen crowning starting Friday evening, and including lots of great shopping, eats, games, crafts, and live music all weekend long! winlock-egg-days June 22 Billetproof Car Show A car show unlike any other, including a cruise downtown for participants, vendors, live music, swap meet. TALL CHIEF (WA) May 4 Boat Parade – Opening Day of Boating Season Watch boats parade through the Montlake Cut near the University of Washington. opening-day



Activities and Events – Local

May 4 Windermere Cup Rowing Races Cheer on men’s and women’s crew teams as they row through the Montlake Cut during the Windermere Cup. May 27 Memorial Day Ceremony Honor our military with patriotic music and more. Museum admission is free for veterans and active US military with ID. May 29 – June 1 Ballard Jazz Festival Celebrate the thriving jazz scene of Seattle in the thriving neighborhood of old town Ballard. With the support of local businesses and civic partners, the festival spans six clubs, four days, 100+ performers, 15 performance venues, educational events, and more.

May 29- June 2

May 29 – June 2 Bellevue Jazz Festival Various venues across Seattle host 40+ live jazz shows for the 12th Annual Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival. This is a premiere showcase for top national and regional artists. June 1 – 2 Free State Park Days Picnic and play at any of 140 Washington State parks for free! State-Parks-Free-Days June 1– 9 Seattle Film Festival Join other cinephiles for festival premieres and screenings at “America’s Largest Film Festival.” June 28 – 30 Ace Comic Con Seattle Attend the Ace Comic Con Seattle at WAMU Theater and Century Link Field Event Center featuring actor guests, comic writers and artists, vendors, exhibitors, cosplay, and panel discussions. tickets.html/



ROAD TRIP Come See Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley BY LYNN & CELE SELDON





If you’re longing for an ideal mid-Atlantic destination, Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley is the perfect place to see. The varied attractions and incredible convenience of the Shenandoah Valley are what attracts thousands of visitors annually. It is easily-reached by interstate, via I-81, I-64, and I-66 and, is within a one-day drive for half the population of the U.S. Once there, the area generally stretches north-to-south about 200 miles from the Winchester area down to Roanoke. Made famous by song and history, Shenandoah is a Native American word meaning “daughter of the stars.” This picturesque area is flanked by wooded hills and mountains, ranging in elevation from around 3,000 to about 5,000 feet. The “Valley” proper is generally 10 to 20 miles wide and features many small towns and lots of rolling farmland. MAY/JUNE 2019 TRAILBLAZER


Bike Trail Shenandoah Valley

James River Water trail Canoe Kayak - Lexington Rockbridge Photo Credit: Sam Dean

I-81 runs the entire length of the beautiful Valley, making it convenient for quick stops at points of interest. However, for those with time, historic Route 11 offers a slow-paced drive, with even more to see and explore along the way. The entire length of the Shenandoah Valley also features smaller roads, leading to many friendly towns and tourist attractions. This is certainly a region for leisurely driving and lingering. There’s incredible scenery year-round, historical sites, world-famous caverns, renowned wineries and breweries, antique shopping, and a full array of tourism services. Visitors can use one or two places in the Shenandoah Valley as a base for exploration or easily cover the entire length for a complete overview. Along with the people and places, Civil War sites in the Shenandoah Valley draw



Scenic Road through the Shenandoah Valley

many visitors. The location and geography of the Valley gave it significant military importance during the Civil War. Stonewall Jackson even said, “I have only to say this– if this Valley is lost, Virginia is lost.” The outstanding Civil War Trails program is prevalent throughout the Valley in “Shenandoah Valley: Avenue of Invasion.” It features maps, lots of background about various Civil War Trails sites, specific driving routes, and more. Though it does run north into West Virginia, the large Virginia portion of the Shenandoah Valley begins in the Winchester area. Here, visitors can take in the scenic beauty of the area, step back in time, visit unique historic landmarks, discover the interactive 4-story Discovery Museum, shop, dine, enjoy professional theater, experience the largest

Natural Bridge Photo Credit: Lexington & Rockbridge Tourism



fireman’s parade on the East Coast (part of the famed week-long Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in May), and even visit an apple orchard to pick their own apples. Winchester changed hands more than 70 times during the Civil War and there were major battles throughout the duration of the war, resulting in a number of preserved battlefields. The large annual reenactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek in October brings a large crowd, and the annual Civil War Weekend in August offers unique programs that often delve into the human side of the war and increasingly examine the stories and impacts regarding the enslaved population during that time. Nowhere else but Winchester can one stroll the streets that George Washington, Stonewall Jackson, Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Willa Cather, and Patsy Cline have all walked. The Patsy Cline Historic House now welcomes visitors, as does George Washington’s Office Museum and Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters. The vibrant Old Town pedestrian mall is flush with local restaurants, shops, craft breweries, museums, and more. The Winchester-Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau (including their excellent Civil War Orientation Center and “Becoming Patsy Cline” exhibit) can provide lots of information.

Bryce Resort Mountian Bike Park - Shenandoah

Next, Front Royal and Warren County provide the gateway to Shenandoah National Park, famed Skyline Drive, and more than 370 miles of scenic trails in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Front Royal is also home to Skyline Caverns, one of the only places in the world to feature anthodites, the “orchids of the mineral kingdom.” Route 11 next passes through Shenandoah County, with incredible beauty as mountains rise to the skies on both sides. Antiques lovers will want to linger at the Strasburg Emporium or one of many other shops along the way, while history buffs love the Strasburg Museum and Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park. There’s also ShenMoCA (Shenandoah Museum of Contemporary Art), historic 26


Upper James River Waterfall Tubing - Lexington & Rockbridge Photo Credit: Sam Dean

Old School Burger Food Truck at Valley Pike Farm Market Photo Credit: Pete Emerson

Shenandoah County Courthouse, the unique Staufferstadt murals, and the Shenandoah Spirits Trail. Travelling south, Woodstock boasts the oldest courthouse still in use west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Next, it’s time for a stroll through Edinburg’s or Mount Jackson’s quaint shops and eateries or a side trip up to Bryce Resort for four-season fun. While in Mount Jackson, Route 11 Potato Chips is a must-stop. Visitors to New Market will want to head to the 300-acre Virginia Museum of the Civil War and 19th century Bushong Farm. This is where 257 VMI cadets bravely turned the tide of battle in 1864. Ten cadets perished and mid-May marks the anniversary of the fierce battle with the longest running annual reenactment and many other events.

East of New Market, the Luray and Page County area draws many visitors to its historic streets and colorful caverns. The town is also a great base for exploring the surrounding mountains in Shenandoah National Park, George Washington National Forest, and along the Skyline Drive. Luray and surrounding Page County are perfect for backroads driving. Luray also lures many people to historic Luray Caverns. This large facility features tours along paved walkways and more. Luray Caverns includes the world’s only stalacpipe organ, which features stalactites being struck by electronically controlled rubber-tipped plungers and resulting in music of symphonic quality. Other highlights include 140-foot-high ceilings, a crystal-clear wishing well, and formations resembling fried eggs, sunny-side up.



Harrisonburg, Virgina

Other Luray and Page County attractions include the White House, which played a critical role in the Civil War in 1862, and Luray Zoo– A Rescue Zoo. Additional activities in this outdoors-oriented area include canoeing on the Shenandoah River, horseback riding, biking, hiking, camping, golf, and fishing. Harrisonburg is the home of James Madison University, Eastern Mennonite University, and nearby Bridgewater College, and the charming city is also surrounded by the giant playgrounds of George WashingtonJefferson National Forest and Shenandoah National Park. Highlights of the bustling area include the Virginia Quilt Museum, Court Square Theater, the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, White Oak Lavender Farm, and the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Biking and fishing (especially with Mossy Creek Fly Fishing) are particularly popular, as are sampling local microbrews and farm-to-table restaurants. Harrisonburg Tourism & Visitor Services in the Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center on Main Street (which also includes the Valley Turnpike Museum and Civil War Orientation Center) can provide information about the entire area and many special events, including shows the immensely popular Rockingham County Fair in August. About 15 miles east of Harrisonburg, Massanutten Resort is a nationally-known four-season haven, while nearby Solace Studios Fine 28


Handcrafts in Elkton showcases more than 250 regional artisans. Endless Caverns is another big Rockingham County draw, with stunning displays of calcite formations, winding passageways, large rooms, and an underground stream. Down around Dayton, several attractions draw tourists, including The Shops at Dayton Farmers Market, The Heritage Museum, the Daniel Harrison House, and Bridgewater’s Generations Park. For foodies, Valley Pike Farm Market and Old School Burgers in Weyers Cave are also definitely worth the short diversion. Next, highlights in the pretty Staunton area include: downtown (just one of Staunton’s six National Historic Districts); “Jumbo” (a remarkable antique fire engine); the stained glass windows created by Tiffany Studios for historic Trinity Church; the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum; the American Shakespeare Center; restored Sears Hill Pedestrian Bridge; Sunspots Glassblowing Studio; Heifetz International Music Institute; Polyface Farm; lots of varied events; and the Frontier Culture Museum, featuring 17th, 18th, and 19th century working farms and also the Artisans Center of Virginia. Staunton also has a renowned music (and music festival) scene, as well as tasty farm-to-table dining (including The Shack). Lexington appeals to travelers with its abundance of history, outdoor adventure, and scenic beauty. A 19th century college town, Lexington is home to Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and Washington & Lee (W&L).

Shenandoah County Courthouse Photo Credit: CF Wagniere

Shenandoah County Courthouse Photo Credit: CF Wagniere


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Great Valley Farm Brewery - Lexington Photo Credit: CF Wagniere

Favorite stops include: the VMI Museum (with personal items from Stonewall Jackson and the celebrated Henry Steward Antique Firearms Collection); the George C. Marshall Museum (featuring VMI grad Marshall and World War II history); Lee Chapel & Museum (last resting place of Robert E. Lee; the Stonewall Jackson House; the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery; and narrated horse-drawn carriage tours through Lexington’s restored downtown. Other Rockbridge County possibilities include: great Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway access from Buena Vista and Glasgow, plus many other outdoors opportunities; the Virginia Horse Center, with events many weekends; classic Hulls Drive-in (built in 1950); Virginia Safari Park; the Theater at Lime Kiln, featuring live music and more (Lexington has a thriving cultural scene); the Brownsburg Museum; Rockbridge Vineyard; and Wade’s Mill, a working water-powered flour mill. South of Lexington is Natural Bridge, one of seven natural wonders of the world. Highlights here include: Natural Bridge Sate Park; Natural Bridge Zoo; Natural Bridge Speedway; Green Valley Farm Brewery; Halcyon Days Cider Company (including a fun labyrinth); the Upper James River Water Trail; and lots of other outdoors activities. Just a few miles further south, the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge beckons. Roanoke is the Valley’s largest city and is the southern end of this famous region. It is known as the “Capital of the Blue Ridge” and “Star City.” The Virginia’s Blue Ridge region is also a designated Silver-Level Ride Center by the International Mountain 30


Bicycling Association making the region “America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital”. Roanoke is justifiably famous for its Historic Roanoke City Market, where farmers have been selling their fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers for more than 130 years. Roanoke features a burgeoning foodie scene, thanks to several renowned restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries and a taste of it all with Roanoke Food Tours. Even for those not staying there, the historic and fourdiamond Hotel Roanoke is well worth a visit or meal. Also, in the heart of downtown is Center in the Square, a multi-cultural complex housing, history, science and children’s museums, plus a theater, and a pinball museum. The stunning Taubman Museum of Art is a short walk away, with varied special exhibits and events and a permanent collection. General admission is free to the public. Other options in Roanoke’s thriving downtown include the History Museum of Western Virginia, which is in the O. Winston Link Museum, a great destination dedicated to the work of photographer O. Winston Link, who documented the last days of steam in moving black-and-white and color photography, audio, and video. Nearby, up by the famed Roanoke Star, the Roanoke Star and Mill Mountain Zoological Park exhibits endangered species and more. West of Roanoke is Salem, highlighting antiques and sporting events, as well as Dixie Caverns. Bedford and the National D-Day Memorial is about 30 miles east of Roanoke, providing an oh-sofittingly historic end (or beginning) to an exploration of the Shenandoah Valley. ¾

Halcyon Days Cider Company Apple Orchard Labyrinth- Lexington & Rockbridge Photo Credit: Steve Shires

Parkway Brewing

Hotel Roanoke, VA

HIT THE ROAD Stay at these Virginia Thousand Trails RV campgrounds while you visit the Shenandoah Valley: Lynchburg, VA Harbor View, VA Williamsburg, VA For more information visit and Roanoke Star, VA


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Manufactured Home Community Features:

A Lifestyle Fit Just for You

Learn more about how our homes and communities are customized to fit your unique life, needs, and style. Functionality and style; the perfect combination for a home you’ll love to live in! We know that when it comes to making your home your sanctuary, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why our manufactured homes offer tons of customization options to fit your specific tastes and needs. From the mailbox to the porch, the kitchen to the bedrooms, and everything in-between, the magic’s in the details. Want a designer kitchen or a vaulted ceiling? What about a skylight, bay windows, or a screened-in porch? Does a bathroom with a recessed bathtub and a whirlpool sound pretty amazing? You can have it all, and so much more.



Ready to retire from the road and find the perfect place to call home? Visit or call (844) 885-6719 Outdoor Activities

Fishing and boating are popular activities among residents of waterfront communities. Manufactured home communities make waterfront living an reality for many. Communities featuring lakes and ponds abound, with many located within 10 miles of the US coastlines.

Indoor Interests

If conditions aren’t right for outdoor fun, manufactured home communities offer plenty of indoor activities. Look for communities with clubhouses that feature amenities like card and game rooms, dance and music halls, craft areas, billiards, and libraries where you can relax with a great book. Fitness centers are the perfect amenity when the weather makes outdoor activity a challenge.

Pet Friendly Fun

People aren’t the only ones who enhance their lifestyle in manufactured home communities. Many neighborhoods are pet friendly, and some even offer fun events and activities for your furry friends. Dog runs are a common amenity of manufactured home communities and there are many cat-friendly residents at these communities, too! Today’s manufactured home communities are vibrant neighborhoods in beautiful locations, and bursting with activities. Great amenities, fun events, and friendly neighbors transform neighborhoods into communities, and are the perfect recipe for building friendships and maintaining an active and social lifestyle.


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A Bushel . and a Peck. Pick Your Own Summer Bounty By Joan Rykal There’s nothing like the bountiful harvest of summer’s fresh fruits and vegetables – from plump red strawberries, to rosy, ripe tomatoes, or sweet or tangy cherries, juicy peaches and crunchy peppers that pack a punch of flavor. Then, there’s the awesome apples come autumn and the colorful gourds, including the pumpkins, that signal fall’s arrival. Farmer’s markets and roadside stands spring up all around offering the “fruits” of the farmer’s labors for you to enjoy. This harvest season why not take your enjoyment one step further and pick your own? There are plenty of places to choose

from and plenty of produce to pick from. We gathered up just a few here but if you don’t see something near where your summer adventure plants you, check out The most important thing to keep in mind here is that harvests change based on weather, so always check the website of any u-pick farm you’ve selected or call ahead to make sure they are open and ready for you.

By the way, in case you’re

wondering, one bushel is equivalent to 32 quarts and a peck is 8 quarts,



or a quarter of a bushel!


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Illinois Stade’s Farm and Market

3709 Miller Road, McHenry, IL U-Pick: Raspberries, strawberries, green beans, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, and apples

With twenty acres of strawberry fields, two acres of raspberries bushes, plus green beans and more than 8,000 tomato plants, there’s always something ready for picking during the growing season. Come fall, there are apples in the orchard and Shades of Autumn, a fall festival that runs weekends beginning September 7th. In addition to the U-Pick opportunities, Stade’s also has a market stocked with baked goods, in-season fruits and vegetables, eggs, honey and canning supplies. (Stade’s is located approximately 35 miles from Pine Country RV Campground.)

Massachusetts Carlson Orchards

115 Oak Hill Road, Harvard, MA U-Pick: Peaches, nectarines, apples and pumpkins

The 50 acres of orchards reside on this 120-acre working farm in the rolling hills of Massachusetts complete with a frog pond. Five varieties of nectarines, six varieties of peaches and more than 10 varieties of apples including Fuji, Granny Smith, and Honeycrisp are available for u-pick here. (Carlson Orchards is approximately 50 miles from Sturbridge RV Campground and 80 miles from Gateway to Cape Cod RV Campground.)



Michigan Crane Orchards

6054 124th Avenue, Fennville, MI U-Pick: Apples, cherries, peaches, and pumpkins

The history here is as extensive as the variety of fruit available for picking, as the farm dates back to the late 1800s and has been farmed by the same family since 1917. Cherries begin the u-pick season in June and there are several varieties of sweet Michigan cherries to pick from as they ripen through early July. Come August, the peaches are ready and there are more than 10 varieties ripening. Apple picking kicks off Labor Day weekend, followed by the pumpkins through September and October. Also in the fall, you can explore a 20-acre corn maze, enjoy a hayride or take the little ones on a special cow train (no, they are not real cows!) (Crane Orchards is approximately 70 miles from Bear Cave RV Campground.)

Indiana Spencer Farm

7177 E. 161st Street, Noblesville, IN U-Pick: Strawberries, black raspberries, blueberries, grapes, and red raspberries

Spencer Farm has been in the u-pick business since the early 1980s and began with a crop of strawberries. Over the next several years, more u-pick crops were added and in 2012, they had their first u-pick asparagus crop (the picking season for which is late April-early May so make a note for next year). The farm, also has a Sweet Shop which has hand-dipped ice cream, fresh fruit pies and homemade fudge. Autumn brings a pumpkin patch and hay rides to the farm!

Why Berries, Apples and Other Fruits and Veggies are so Good for You? Did you know that strawberries help protect against certain types of cancer? Or, that blueberries can help improve memory, balance and coordination? Or that raspberries can help control blood sugar and help prevent liver damage? For years, doctors and nutrition specialists have been touting the benefits of berries. Berries are packed with antioxidants, which protect your cells from free radicals – the bad guys who contribute to aging and disease. Diets rich in berries, as well as other fruits and vegetables may also reduce the chance of heart attacks. The old adage about an apple a day keeping the doctor away actually has some facts to back it up. Apples have been shown to boost your immune system thanks to their healthy dose of Vitamin C and an antioxidant known as quercetin. Apples are considered “nature’s toothbrush” because they are high in fiber so they can definitely freshen your breath and clean those shiny whites in a pinch! Tomatoes are full of the antioxidant known as lycopene which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. They are full of Vitamin C, potassium and Vitamin K which is great for the old bones! Bell peppers are a good source of Vitamins A and C, fiber and folic acid. Red peppers have the most nutrition because they are on the vine the longest. Hot peppers, have capsaicin which has been known to boost metabolism – the key here is the hotter the pepper, the higher the amount of capsaicin.

(Spencer Farm is approximately 80 miles from Indian Lakes RV Campground.) MAY/JUNE 2019 TRAILBLAZER


New Jersey Johnson’s Corner Farm

133 Church Road, Medford, NJ U-Pick: Blueberries, cherries, peaches, sweet corn, sugar snap peas, and string beans Come for the picking and stay for some of the other fun here at Johnson’s Corner Farm. Friday nights from June through August enjoy a Classic Car Cruise and BBQ while the Fall Festival features a corn maze, live music and hayrides. The Farm’s Discovery Barnyard provides a hands-on farm experience and a kid’s play area. There is also a bakery and restaurant. (Johnson’s Corner Farm is approximately 60 miles from Lake & Shore RV Campground.)

Ohio Rainbow Farms

2564 Townline Road, Madison, OH U-Pick: Strawberries, raspberries, currants, blueberries, tomatoes, and peppers This family-owned farm grows more than 40 fruits and vegetable varieties, including the selections included in the u-pick process. The farm also has a retail market for the crops that are not part of the pick your own and each fall hosts the Piccadilly Pumpkin Patch with all kinds of fall fun including a hay maze, hay rides and of course, a pretty patch of pumpkins for you to pick from. From a u-pick perspective, in addition to the berries, pick a patch of peppers which include bell peppers, poblano peppers, sweet peppers and banana peppers. (Rainbow Farms is approximately 15 miles from Kenisee Lake RV Campground.) 38


Oregon Columbia Farms U-Pick

21024 NW Gillihan Road, Portland, OR U-Pick: Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and currants Located on Sauvie Island, this picturesque farm has plenty of berries (more than 15 types) for picking and a cute little gazebo under which to picnic when you’re done picking! (Columbia Farms is approximately 80 miles from Seaside RV Campground.)

Pennsylvania Maple Lawn Farms

2885 New Park Road, New Park, PA U-Pick: Cherries, blueberries, apples, peaches, and pumpkins In addition to the fruits ripe for picking here, there is also a winery that offers tastings and a Farm Market with jam, jellies, fruit butters, baked goods and fudge available for purchase. Don’t miss the annual Sunflower Festival and the fall Corn Maze. (Maple Lawn Farms is approximately 45 miles from Circle M RV Campground.)



Tennessee Jones Orchard

Various Locations Millington, TN U-Pick: Nectarines, peaches, blackberries, strawberries, apples, pumpkins, and pears Acres and acres of opportunity to pick your own is what the Jones Orchards are all about. All located within Millington, the u-pick orchards are spread over various locations and include 25 varieties of peaches, 3 acres of strawberries, 10 acres of nectarines and 5 acres of pears and apples each, and 5 acres of pumpkins. The farm’s website includes a Ripening Calendar and a U-Pick Hotline to provide information about what’s ready, what’s coming up and other important information. (Jones Orchard is approximately 70 miles from Cherokee Landing RV Campground.)

Washington Jones Creek Farms

32260 Burrese Road, WA U-Pick: Apples, pears, and plums Check the website for the harvest schedule and don’t miss the farm store when visiting this wonderful u-pick farm. (Jones Creek Farms is approximately 10 miles from Mount Vernon RV Campground.)



Freshly Picked Recipes Campfire Apple Packets: Core your apples and cut them into wedges or small pieces and sprinkle them with lemon juice. Then sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Place apple mixture in center of foil and top with butter and uncooked oats. Wrap foil tightly around apple mixture and place on grill over campfire for 8-10 minutes. Remove and let cool 10 minutes before opening foil packet. Top with ice cream, if desired! Pie-Iron Campfire Fruit Pies: (Note: You will need cast-iron pie irons for this recipe.) Spray pie irons with non-stick cooking spray. Mix sliced fruit or fresh berries with sugar and cinnamon. Place a slice of bread on each side of the iron and add about two teaspoons of the berry mixture to the center of one slice of the bread. Close and secure the pie iron and remove any excess bread hanging over sides of the iron. Place the iron in the middle of the fire for 2-3 minutes then carefully remove. Let cool for 2-3 minutes before eating. Tomato, Snap Pea and Pepper Salad: Slice tomatoes and dice or slice peppers. Place sugar snap peas in a quart of boiling water for two minutes, or until they turn bright green. Drain. Place peas, peppers and tomatoes in serving dish. In separate bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon minced garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over vegetables and top with shaved Parmesan cheese. ¾



WHO ’ S IN TH E K I T C H E N W I T H T RA IL B L A ZER? Recipe Courtesy of Kevin Price

Beer Can Chicken This recipe for Beer Can Chicken may surprise you at first since it involves using a beer can like stuffing a turkey… but we guarantee that this recipe will make your chicken succulent, highly flavorful and filled with bursting herb flavor! We love this recipe for National Grill Month because it uses our favorite appliance (the grill, of course!) and, this dish can feed a crowd of hungry people! Beer Can Chicken works well paired with your favorite roasted vegetables and crisp, light beer to wash it down. Camping enthusiast and TrailBlazer Magazine reader, Kevin Price, let us in on his signature recipe for Beer Can Chicken! 42 42MAY/JUNE MAY/JUNE 2019 TRAILBLAZER 2019 TRAILBLAZER

Grill; Large pan to catch droppings

Ingredients • 1 whole chicken • 1 twelve ounce can of light beer Choice of herbs – rosemary chopped or full sprigs; salt; creole seasoning (or meat seasoning of choice) any herb combination you want; minced garlic – at least 3 big cloves -of garlic Tony’s is the spice of choice for Kevin 4 to 6 T of olive oil – for glaze; can use oil or not; the oil holds the herbs onto the chicken and helps brown for a crispy skin!


1. Locate a big pan that is large enough to catch overflow from the whole chicken but is also big enough to fit on your grill. 2. Pre-heat the grill to a medium to medium-low setting.

3. Make the rub with your choice of herbs. Herbs that are typically mixed with chicken like rosemary, sage, and thyme, are all great for this recipe. Save some of the stems (to place inside the beer can in next step) and chop herbs finely. Some other rub mix ideas include creole seasoning; rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper; cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt; the possibilities are endless so choose the flavors that you like the best! 4. Drain (or drink) about 1⁄2 to 2⁄3 of the beer out of the can.

5. Make a few incisions on the side of the can with a sharp knife. Make sure you do this ABOVE the liquid line inside the can, so the liquid doesn’t spill out.

6. Put a portion of your rub ingredients into the beer inside the beer can – i.e. a fat sprig of rosemary, some garlic, and rub spices of choice. When the beer and herbs in the can start to boil inside the chicken, it releases steam and flavor and makes the chicken nice and juicy! Set the can with the herbs, aside. 7. Pull out all the innards inside the bird (gizzards, organs, etc.) so that it’s basically empty inside (this is a similar process for prepping a turkey on Thanksgiving!) Once you clear this cavity, sit the chicken on top of the beer can that contains the herbs and bit of liquid. The beer can should stick out only about a half inch to an inch, so you can still see it.

8. Stabilize the chicken by spreading the legs so they are resting away from each other. Take the wings and prop the elbows inside the thighs so it looks like the chicken is squatting and resting its elbows on the inner thighs. This part is just about stabilizing the chicken, so it doesn’t tip over while cooking. However you can stand it up, is probably a fine way to do it. 9. Finally, rub olive oil and the rest of your spice rub all over the skin of the chicken.

10. Place the pan and chicken on the grill. Cook the chicken covered, low and slow until the internal temperature reaches 180° F. The trick to this is to leave the chicken on the grill not to check it too much so the steam and heat and flavor stays inside the grill.

Tips If you’d like to try this recipe but do not have a grill, you can replicate the same steps but, put the bird in the oven at a pre-heated 375° F oven for about an hour or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 180°F. Use a meat thermometer and the range for chicken should be 180 degrees. It’s a good idea to check multiple parts of the chicken that are thickest, i.e. thigh and breast to be absolutely sure it’s done.

This chicken is super succulent so, if you feel like you have overcooked it a bit, don’t worry! It’ll probably still be moist.

Whether you’ve cooked this chicken for a whole crowd of folks or just for yourself, any leftovers can be used for sandwiches or just on its own and the bones can be used for highly flavorful stock or broth!

Celebrate National Barbecue Month with Trailblazer! Whether it’s the sauce you love or succulent slowcooked meat, there is so much to love about barbecue. MAY/JUNE 20192019 TRAILBLAZER MAY/JUNE TRAILBLAZER 43


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 American country music singer, musician, and Urban Cowboy,

Mickey Gilley By Lynn & Cele Seldon • Photography by Bill Loden and courtesy of 117 Entertainment

Born in Natchez, Mississippi

and raised in nearby Ferriday, Louisiana, most people think of Mickey Gilley as a country music singer and musician. But when you start peeling back the layers of this Southern legend, there is so much more. First off, he grew up with his equally famous cousins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart–all three of whom are immortalized in the Delta Music Museum in Ferriday. In fact, “The Killer” (Lewis) taught Gilley how to play piano, including his wild piano style. While Lewis was climbing to the top of the charts, Gilley had started playing in clubs and bars and recorded his first single, “Ooh We Baby,” in 1957, which, although it never became a huge success on its own, became a theme song for Yoplait yogurt many years later. He found



his way to Pasadena, Texas, where he gained a strong following, continued to record singles, and released his first album in 1967. But the next layer came with his opening of Gilley’s night club in the early 1970s. Recognized as the world’s largest honky-tonk by the Guinness Book of World Records and portrayed in the 1980 film, Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta and Debra Winger, the club helped to launch Gilley’s career into overdrive. Gilley continued to have a string of top ten and #1 hits through the 1970s and racked up top awards from the Academy of Country Music. He kept up with the times by creating a new country crossover sound that kept him on the top of the charts. But, what sealed the deal was a feature magazine article in Esquire magazine about all the excitement coming out of Pasadena and Gilley’s—

giving birth to the Urban Cowboy craze. Which, ultimately, caught the attention of Paramount Pictures, the producers of Urban Cowboy, much of it being shot at the legendary night club. Not only was Gilley featured in the film, but Mickey’s recording of the old Ben E. King soul standard “Stand by Me” also appeared in the boxoffice-selling movie. And that song turned Gilley into a pop-country crossover success. Meanwhile, other country artists were using Gilley as a launching pad, a television show was developed, and Gilley continued to record #1 hits (he has had 17 #1 hits during his career). Hollywood Walk of Fame stars and presidential performances later, Gilley ended up taking his show on the road and settled in Branson, Missouri. As other artists started flocking to the area, Gilley had the foresight to build a theater where the

stars of the day could perform. Although he doesn’t own it any longer, he still performs there regularly. We caught up with Mickey outside of the theater during his Urban Cowboy Reunion tour with Johnny Lee.

How long have you been touring and traveling in a bus? I started touring in 1974. When I opened my theater in Branson in 1989, I laid off the road for about 20 years. Then, things in Branson started changing and I said, I still enjoy the music and I still enjoy performing. So, we put a thing together with my friend Johnny Lee and we called it the Urban Cowboy Reunion Tour. On our show we do a thing at the end of the show where we do most of the songs from the Urban Cowboy. We’ve got the Urban Cowboy MAY/JUNE 2019 TRAILBLAZER


Band and the two girls who we call the Urbanettes and me and Johnny–Johnny Lee had “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places” and I had “Stand by Me”–and we do a little Urban Cowboy medley. I guess I’ve been traveling in the bus for eight or nine years.

Who travels on the bus with you? Seven band members, two ladies who sing with me, my son who does our video, a sound technician, and I’ve got a personal assistant.

Tell us about your bus. It’s a 45’ 2000 Prevost H3. It sleeps 1400 people (laughs). No, it sleeps 14 people. It’s the biggest bus Prevost makes. We carry everything with us on the bus except sound and lights, including our video equipment and all the band equipment. There is a front compartment on the bus where people can sit that can accommodate 12-13 people. It gets a little crowded when you have that many people, but some people hang out in their bunks. There is a half bath, a microwave, three refrigerators–we keep the beer cold (chuckle). In the middle of the bus we have the sleeping area for twelve people and then in the back, there are two bunks where I sleep and watch TV. We have three TVs, two upfront and one in the back. Some people have TVs in their bunks too.



How many miles does it have on it?

Do you listen to music on the road?

It’s got a million miles on it. It had maybe half that when I got it. It turned a million miles a year or so ago and we took a picture of the odometer. It [finally] stopped on us about 13 miles outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma and we had to have it towed to Springfield, Missouri which was a $1,900 towing charge. I had the transmission rebuilt and a new engine put in so now I tell people that I’ve got a brandnew old bus.

Some. If we want to learn something new.

What’s your favorite thing about staying on your bus versus a hotel room? My DirectTV. We have a chance to rehearse on the bus. The band members have time to talk about the arrangements and what we’re going to do and the new songs we’re going to put in the show.

What are your three favorite things onboard? Besides the DirectTV, we have a nice ice machine that makes good cubes of ice for me so when I want to have a little shot of Crown. The refrigerators keep the beer good and cold. The camaraderie with everyone. We have a fun group and we all get along well.

What else do you like to do as you are traveling down the road? Watch television. Or we just sit there and ride. Most people go in their bunks and rest and that kind of thing.

Any favorite places you like to eat on the road? One of the guys in the band loves What-a-Burger. We stop at Cracker Barrel because it’s got a good variety of food. If we want a steak, we look for a Longhorn Steakhouse.

Have you ever done any sightseeing along the way? When we were in Canada, we stopped at Niagara Falls. Some of the people had never seen it so we stopped for a couple of hours to see the falls. We stopped at the Grand Canyon. We went to the Football Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. If we’ve got time to spare, and there’s something to see, we’ll do it.

Did you ever camp as a kid or go on camping vacations with your family? No. A vacation to me is like a working vacation. I like to cruise. This past year we did a Country [Music] Cruise and I was on the ship with Johnny Lee, Alabama, and a bunch of other country acts.

two presidents at the White House, they gave me a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and that’s when they invited me to come to do some acting in Hollywood. I had no idea “Stand by Me” was going to be so big for me. It made the pop charts, it made the country charts. And “Looking for Love” was a monster hit for Johnny. That one song made him into a star.

What did “Stand by Me” and Urban Cowboy do for your career?

We hear that videos are a big component in your performances. Tell us about that.

It launched me and Johnny Lee into the stratosphere. For the first time in my life, I got to play all the shows in Vegas, Reno, Tahoe, Atlantic City. I went to Europe, I played for

I can tell the story of my life through my videos. I’ve done a lot of things in my life. I’ve sung with Ray Charles, I’ve done some acting roles like a segment on “The Fall Guy,”

“Fantasy Island,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Dukes of Hazzard,” and, of course, Urban Cowboy with John Travolta. We show some of these things as we talk about it. I also tell them about a song I did in 1957 that turned into a Yoplait yogurt commercial. I play that song for them and I poke fun at myself. I tell the people that before this performance is over, you’re going to hear the first record I ever made and then you’ll know why it took me 17 years to have a hit. They usually get a chuckle out of that. And, of course, I tell stories about my two cousins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart. ¾


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t a e r G l a n o i t Na ! h t n o M s r o Outdo June is Great Outdoors Month! Getting outdoors is not only good for you, it’s fun! Check out some fun ways to get outside and celebrate!

e - Co u r tn Photo b y

y D a v is

June 1 American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day ® The American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® is one of the largest outdoor events of the year! Outdoor enthusiasts across the country can host or attend all kinds of outdoor events. This year, the American Hiking Society is encouraging participants to, “be a part of history by pledging to clean up a trail or volunteering at a trail service project on National Trails Day®.” Find events near you when you visit



June 1 — 9 National Fishing and Boating Week Take Me Fishing’s National Fishing & Boating Week takes place the first full week of June and is a celebration to highlight the importance of recreational boating and fishing! Most states offer free fishing days where folks can fish on public waters without a fishing license. National Fishing Day is June 18, so get out there to see what you’ll catch!

June 22 — Great American Campout

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The National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest conservation organization, hosts the Great American Campout every year to inspire Americans to protect wildlife. Whether you want to host your own campout event or participate in one, all are welcome to enjoy camping and reconnect with nature. Take the pledge to protect wildlife and find a campout event near you by visiting

June 8 — National Get Outdoors Day Coordinated by the American Recreation Coalition and US Forest Service, National Get Outdoors Day is an annual event to encourage young Americans to re-connect with the outdoors and lead healthy, active lifestyles. Also called “GO Day,” events across the nation will also focus on sustainability and good nutrition. Find out about all kinds of National Get Outdoors Day events when you visit

June 14 — Great Outdoors Day of Service

Photo by - Kelly Sn a vely

Do your part to help preserve public lands by participating in the 2019 Great Outdoors Day of Service! Head to Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington DC where you and other outdoor enthusiasts will gather to celebrate America’s public lands and waters and learn how to enjoy and preserve them. Projects include light landscaping, species and debris removal so participants should come to work outdoors! For more information, visit MAY/JUNE 2019 TRAILBLAZER


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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 food for thought about electrical safety and take a look at some easy breezy storage tips for your RV. Ready? Let’s go!

A FEW QUICK TIPS FOR ELECTRICAL SAFETY: Electrical safety may not be very exciting, but it’s IMPORTANT. Especially in an RV. Here’s a quick rundown of some essential “Do’s and Don’ts” to help keep your rig safe and sound. First on the list: Never overload your electrical outlets. Resist the temptation to install a mini-network of multi-plug outlets throughout your RV (i.e. plug-in “outlet extenders” that convert a two-plug outlet to a four- or sixplug outlet). If you find you must use an extension cord, use it only temporarily and always use the shortest length extension cord you can find that will fill the bill. When unplugging any cord, grasp it around the plug grip; don’t simply pull on the cord itself, because you run the risk of loosening or even breaking the wires connected to the prongs, which can lead to shorts and trouble. And of course, it goes without saying that you should never use a cord of any kind that is frayed, has cracked or burnedlooking insulation, or has obviously loose or damaged plugs. When buying extension cords, it’s also a good idea to look for the UL (Underwriters Laboratory) seal of approval before purchase. Make it a habit to unplug all kitchen appliances and hairdryers after use. And if you travel with children, please use safety covers over all electrical outlets to protect them from their own curiosity.



SHORT-TERM STORAGE TIPS: If you’re on the very last day of an RV adventure, it’s a good idea to take a few extra minutes to empty your holding tanks, either at your fullhookup site or at the park’s dump station. Then, when you get home, perform a few simple tasks to put your rig in “mini-storage” before your next weekend foray. Remove all perishable food from the cabinets, gather up all dirty laundry, and dust and vacuum the rig. Remove all food from the refrigerator and empty the ice bin. Turn off the refrigerator and clean its shelves and storage bins with a mild detergent and water (rinsing well) and then dry with a towel. It’s also a good idea to leave a small open box of baking soda inside the fridge compartment to help absorb any odors. Leave the refrigerator door open during storage, unless your Owners’ Manual advises otherwise. Add a little bit of water to every drain (kitchen sink, bathroom sink, shower, commode seal, etc.); this will help add water to “p-traps” to keep the interior of the RV “insulated” from any possible fumes from the holding tanks while in storage. Turn off the water pump and heater. Close the blinds or shades, turn off the propane cylinders, and consider covering the tires if they’ll be exposed to sunlight. Make sure TV antennas, satellite dishes, roof vents, windows, etc. are in their stowed and locked positions. Use a little WD-40 or other spray lubricant to lubricate exterior locks and hinges on your RV’s entry door. Don’t forget to check and see if your storage bin hinges and locks need lubricating, too. Lubricating electric steps and slideouts may be in order, as well. Before sliding in your slideout rooms, make sure all leaves, twigs, debris, etc. have been cleaned

away. If you have a fifth wheel, you might want to lube the hitch to protect it from the elements. If you’re storing the RV for a longer period of time, it’s a good idea to change the oil in the engine and in the generator. Contaminants in used oil are acidic; by changing to fresh oil BEFORE storing, you’ll help protect seals and bearings from corrosion. You’ll want to add a fuel stabilizer to your fuel tanks.

BATTERY STORAGE OPTIONS: Fully charge your RV’s batteries and then turn off the battery supply switch. If your rig isn’t equipped with such a switch, carefully disconnect the battery terminal cables. This simple step will allow you to shut off battery power to the RV, preserving your batteries’ charge for your next trip. Depending on what part of the country you live in and the length of time you want to leave your RV idle, you might just decide to store your RV’s batteries for the season. When storing batteries, always store them in a cool, dry area, and never set them directly on a concrete floor (this can ground the batteries, causing them to discharge completely). Instead, set them on a shelf, or, better yet, make a floor support for the batteries, simply by using a couple of short 2 x 4’s. Fully charging the batteries before storage can help prevent freezing issues. Now, remember to lock all windows, doors, and storage bays. Thanks to all your hard work, you’ll know that when you’re ready for your next RVing adventure, your RV will be easy to pack and ready to go. Happy Trails! ¾

Check out more tips & tricks on

Hi Jenn, I never thought I would be in this conundrum but we have struggled all winter of 2018 to find suitable jackets that actually fit our funny shaped dogs. We need coats that keep the dogs warm and dry with our everchanging lifestyle. As full timers now living in a 40 ft., 5th wheel RV, we thought we would be able to always be in nice weather, but life happens and we have ended up needing to be in colder climates than originally planned for a majority of the winter. Can you recommend a company or contact that is easy to work with, that also produces top quality, custom dog blankets? Customer service is very important to us. This year, we are going to have the blankets made ahead of time so we will be ready for snowy weather when Mother Nature sees fit! We have three rescue dogs and all are odd shaped for one reason or another. Thank you, Lance and Marie Kitchen YES! I can absolutely be of direction with your need! My beloved Boston Terrier, Brie, is one of those hard-to-

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paws ROAD by Jenn Swope


Traveling and Camping with Companion Animals

fit dogs. She’s short and wide, more like a French bulldog and most clothes don’t fit her very well making her uncomfortable and looking like a bit like a turtle. In addition, Brie, aka, Pig-Pen, is no casual house dog and has proven to be hard on her clothes. I have had the distinct pleasure of working firsthand with the amazing mom and daughter team at Voyagers K9 Apparel- a handmade dog blanket company that specializes in custom blankets and breed specific designs. The high-quality Polar-fleece and durable nylon options are exquisitely tailored with reflective piping and flawless stitching to produce one heck of an amazing dog blanket! No other blanket on the market includes such unique and ergonomic front chest or blanket strap design. When I was ordering Brie’s cold weather jacket, I submitted specific measurements that were taken with the guidelines instructed on the website. I also emailed front and side view photos that helped with further customize design to be sure the jacket was perfect for her little-big body. Wholeheartedly, I couldn’t be happier with the fit, quality and the function of this amazing dog clothing line- Check ‘em out and tell them Jen at The Trailblazer sent ya! Hi Jenn, I’ve seen the topic before in regards to having stinky dogs and we’re in that boat. I’m always looking to save water and be smart with the types of products used to shampoo as we camp a lot. Ideas? Much Obliged, Kerry Litt Keeping out the stink sure seems to be a lifelong battle. One of my dogs, Ginger, always seems to have a certain musty odor about her. Even after a bubble bath, three to four days later the pungent smell starts to creep back in. I have tried many

different products on the market and I’m regularly looking for new options that are not overly scented. Natural ingredients and fragrances are important to my decision-making. Be sure to rule out any underlying medical conditions such as yeast or an allergy that may be contributing to discolored skin. Fleas in the environment also cause dryness and dander, but not the stink. Always be thinking of the whole picture when regularly analyzing our pet’s overall skin/coat condition. I am currently using “Waterless Cat Shampoo” on my dog by TropiClean USA that is cruelty free with 70% organic ingredients and earth friendly recyclable packaging. The no rise shampoo is pleasantly deodorizing with a coconut fragrance helping reduce dander and freshen the coat in between washings. Yes, I know the label reads “cat”, but I confirmed with the company there is no reason dogs are to be excluded here. Regular use of the product definitely moisturizes and helps reduce allergens, which makes for happy pets and their owners. 7oz of the pump foam retails for $10. Simply shake the bottle up, coat your pet in the foam and work in gently with your hands. Use a dry hand towel to finish and fluff. This product leaves the coat smelling clean, looking shiny and feeling soft.¾

Email Jenn your questions and share your pics to



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Hi Bill,

I have a NEW 2019 Forest River motor home model FR3 30DS on a 18,000 lb Ford F Series Super Duty chassis with a V-10 Ford engine. The coach sometimes has a tenancy to “roll” from side to side during certain road conditions and that roll can be alarming. I have installed on the front axle a “Safe T Steer” and on the back axle, a Roadmaster Sway Bar. What can I do to combat the roll of this coach? Is there any equipment I could install to slow down the side to side roll? Ron


Hi Ron, thank you so much for your question. There are several things that can be done to your coach to help stop the side-to-side motion. I recommend starting out with Sumo Springs front and rear manufactured by Super Spring in Carpinteria California. Their phone number is (803) 855 - 3603. The front part number for your coach would be FFF170 -40-2, the rear would be FFF-187 -40 -1. Another good addition to the Sumo Springs consider installing koni shocks front and rear. Most OEM shock absorbers are far too inefficient for a heavy-duty chassis such as yours.



Here is a couple of other options should you decide to go further. A rear track bar, triple sway bars in the rear and a heavier-duty sway bar in the front. I believe that the Sumo Springs would be adequate for your rig or certainly make a good start to solving your problem. There is a company in grants pass, OR called, Henderson Line-Up, if you happen to be in Oregon or headed that way it would be a good stop.

wondering if we should replace them just on general principles I don’t want to get stuck on the road somewhere and not be able to start the engine. The house batteries are also pretty critical, although not quite so much. Obviously, I don’t want to spend a bunch of money to replace perfectly good batteries. I don’t think there is a reliable way to determine how much life they have left. What do you think about just replacing them now?

They charge $200 to $300 for a 3-hour extensive road test and assessment for curing motor home suspension problem. They have been there for many years and they are very good at what they do. They are also the company that offers the triple sway bar for the rear of your coach.

If I do replace the house batteries, my inclination is to go with AGM because of the reduced need for maintenance. Even though they are much more expensive, I think not having to worry about filling them with water all the time is worth it. Besides the price, is there any downside? Thanks.


Bob, batteries can certainly be an issue with age and of course we all know Murphy’s law – when you least expect, it the battery is will fail. One issue with lead acid batteries, you cannot see the sulfation which can cause the battery to suddenly fail. You could perform a specific gravity test for each cell which would tell you the general condition of the battery but doesn’t take into the fact that sulfation can stop the battery and its tracks. AGM, or absorbed glass mat batteries can be a fantastic addition to your coach. The drawbacks are they charge at a different voltage

Bill; I have a question for my RV guru about battery life. Most car batteries last about five years, give or take a bit depending on quality. Our “new” RV is now about 5½ years old (can you believe it!) and the batteries must be a bit older than that (allowing for the time between when they were made and the time I bought the RV). So far, we have had no problems with them at all. But, since we are so dependent on the RV for business travel, I’ve been



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than lead acid batteries, which means that you would need to modify your charging systems. AGM batteries do not like being completely discharged. If they are completely discharged it shortens the battery life and as you have noted, the price of absorbed glass mat batteries can be pretty expensive. for the difference in price I believe that it is a better option to purchase high-quality lead acid batteries for both the coach and the engine. As far as maintenance, such as keeping the electrolyte level up to par, check out the Flow Rite RV 2000 pro-fill battery filler system and the MP 2010 Quick Fill one for more than one set of batteries. This system will allow you to fill your batteries from a one gallon bottle of distilled water without having to pull the caps off every time you want to add water.



Hi Bill,

We have a 2011 Carriage Cameo 36fws. When I pushed the switch to pull the full wall slide in nothing happened. I got my trusty voltmeter out and started checking to see if there was voltage at the in/out switch to no avail. I checked all fuses and circuit breakers to no avail. I am at a loss, any suggestions? Thanks, Dan


Dan, I am very familiar with the cameo full wall slide and it’s problems. First of all, check the hallway door between the kitchen area and the bedroom. Make sure that it is closed all the way. If it is not closed, the slide-out will not function. Next, check the hallway door limit switch to make sure that it is functioning correctly. Next, there are two limit switches under the galley that stop the slide-out when they reach the limit when they slide out or in to prevent damage to the slide-out room. The relays are not easy to find. They are located behind a wall behind the small door at the end of the galley. There is a cut-out in the floor where they are attached and they have been known to fail. Both the hallway door and the slide-out room limit switches are the same switch, the only difference is the hallway door switch uses two wires and the slide room switch uses three wires. Check out to order two spare limit switches, (part # G3226151.)

SAFETY UPDATE I have noticed an unusual amount of posts on RV forums about the gas/electric refrigerators catching fire. Any time we deal with appliances that function on gas, a fire can be an issue that is a concern for anyone. Only a small number of refrigerators out of millions that are on the road have a fire issue, usually an unknown cause. I have a safety device on my Norcold model 1210 frig that will prevent fires however, most important this control literally turns off the frig when the boiler temperatures reach unsafe levels. You never have to worry about your RV parked off-level ever again. As a bonus, the life of the cooling unit should be extended for two to three more years. Visit: for more information.




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Promo Code: TBNY30 *Restrictions/exclusions apply and are listed at bottom of this page. **Subject to availability. Reservations required. Rates based on standard site unless otherwise specified. Stays 30 days or less are subject to $4 per day resort fee. Electric not included for stays of 30 days or longer. Rates do not include taxes. Amenities vary by resort. Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotions. Rates exclusively for members of Thousand Trails, NACO, Mid-Atlantic, Leisure Time and Outdoor World. Offer not valid on holidays and special events; certain restrictions may apply. Offers not valid at Bethpage Camp-Resort and Grey’s Point Camp.



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Mention Group: TTTEXAS19 *Restrictions/exclusions apply and are listed at bottom of this page. **Subject to availability. Reservations required. Rates based on standard site unless otherwise specified. Stays 30 days or less are subject to $4 per day resort fee. Electric not included for stays of 30 days or longer. Rates do not include taxes. Amenities vary by resort. Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotions. Rates exclusively for members of Thousand Trails, NACO, Mid-Atlantic, Leisure Time and Outdoor World. Offer not valid on holidays and special events; certain restrictions may apply. Offers not valid at Bethpage Camp-Resort and Grey’s Point Camp.




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Call today (888) 842-8617 or visit “ For more information, see a membership specialist on your next visit!



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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. The 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.


59 59


Answers can be found on page 65.

ACROSS 1 Warm 5 Absent 8 Three-Handed card Game 12 Intl. Standard Book Number (abbr) 13 Florida (abbr.) 14 Braz Tree 15 Ploy 17 Son of Lot 18 His (Fr.) 19 First Stomach 21 British Thermal Unit(abbr.) 22 Evil 23 Bargain 25 Grain beetle larva 29 Linnet 32 Turk. title 33 Pouch 35 Niger-Congo language 36 Passageway 38 Rom. Galley



40 Fresh water duck 42 Dutch commune 43 Serum (pref.) 45 Wife of Bladder 47 Asbestos (abbr.) 50 Inital (abbr.) 52 Ern (2 words) 55 Posed for a Portrait 56 Gas 57 National (abbr.) 58 Unclose 59 Mother of Pollux DOWN 1 Express Disapproval 2 It. Family. 3 Down With (Fr., 2 words) 4 Explosive 5 Larine (2 Words) 6 Flemish (abbr.) 7 Celebrated 8 “Cassablanca” Charecter 9 Nodal

10 Malay Law 11 Forbidden 16 Russ. inland sea 20 Ensnare 22 Blue-gray 24 In the now 25 Council for Eccon Advisors 26 Male Friend (Fr.) 27 Area 28 Sup 30 Head Covering 31 Copass Direction 34 Scalloped 37 Belongong to (suf.) 41 Rope 43 Condition (suf) 44 Sicilian Resort 47 Chills and fever 48 Rosebud, e.g. 49 Edomite king 51 To or from a distance (pref.) 53 Amer Footbal League (abbr.)

Terms and Conditions for 2019 Referral Promotion from page 2.

Answers can be found on page 65.

Find The Evergreen Tree An evergreen tree is hidden somewhere in this issue. Send us a postcard telling us where you found it, and if your card is drawn you’ll win a $25 American Express® Prepaid Gift Card.

Elizabeth Johnson of Humble, TX

found the tree on Page 45 of the March/April Issue.

Did you find the tree in this issue? Send your entry (postcards only) to: TrailBlazer Evergreen Tree Two North Riverside Plaza Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606. Postmark deadline is June1, 2019 and remember – the tree could be a different color and size.

For each Eligible Referral (as defined) through December 31, 2019, you will receive a $50 Virtual Visa® Reward Card. In addition, for each Eligible Referral through December 31, 2019, 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 round trip 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 round trip 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 2020, not to exceed $585 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, 2020. 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, 2019 and December 31, 2019 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 $50 Virtual Visa® Reward Card and you will not receive a $50 Virtual Visa® Reward 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 MHC Property Management, L.P. 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.



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IN - Elkhart •

Russ Dean Family RV WA - Pasco • RV City AZ - Huachuca City • RV Country AZ - Bullhead City, Flagstaff, Mesa, Showlow CA - Fresno NV - Laughlin OR - Coburg WA - Buckley, Fife, Mt. Vernon RV General Store OK - Newcastle • RV’s For Less TN - Knoxville • RV Source TX - Bryan •

The RV Factory Luxe Fifth Wheel The Trail Center SC - North Charleston • Tonie’s RV VA - Salem • Toscano RV CA - Los Banos • TravelTime RV TX - Sulphur Springs • Vancouver RV & Park Model Center WA - Vancouver • Vogt RV TX - Two locations in Ft. Worth • Waterdog RV OR - Dayton • Welcome Back RV Outlet TX - Athens • Wilder RV WA - Port Angeles •

GO VR QC - Ange-Gardien • Horizon Lussier QC - Maryville • JCS Entreposage QC - Trois Rivières • Kustom Koach RV Centre BC - Aldergrove • Lardner’s Trailer Sales SK - Saskatoon • Le Centre du Vr Victoriaville QC - Saint-Albert • Leisure Days RV ON - Aylmer, Kingston, Pembroke, Smiths Falls, Sudbury QC - Buckingham, Gatineau, Sherbrooke NB - Salisbury NS - Truro • Leisure Trailer Sales ON - Tecumseh • O’Connor RV BC - Chilliwack • Ottawa Camping Trailers ON - Ottawa • Roulottes AS Levesque QC - Châteauguay, Saguenay, Sainte-Hélène, Trois-Rivières Roulottes Remillard QC - Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Véhicules Récréatifs JD QC - Sherbrooke • VR Depot QC - Vaudreuil-Dorion • VR Emond Plus QC - Sainte-Nicolas • VR Prestige QC - Terrebonne • VR Souliere QC - Lanoraie, Lavaltrie MAY/JUNE 2019 TRAILBLAZER


y l l a It’s R Time! Calendar

CLUB May/June 2019 Bounders United (BUTTN)

BUTTN’s are members who own or have owned a Bounder motorhome and belong to Bounders United & Thousand Trails. Please make your own reservations at the RV Resort. Member # 1 (800) 388-7788; Non-Member # 1 (877) 570-2267. June 13-17 .............Lake Minden, CA (No-Host Outing) If you are interested in attending please contact: Yvonne Codde at (209) 207-8184.

TT SINGLES Northwest

Rallies are member-generated. Main contact: Daphne Bailey, June 28-30 ................ La Conner, WA Sept 27-29 ..................... Seaside, OR



RVers seeking RVers? Rally clubs from coast to coast love to meet at our destinations. Join in on the fun!

Lewis and Clark TTN

Mike May: President Lewis and Clark TTN chapter of FMCA. Contact person, Mike May (360) 581-5512 or May 13-17 ..................... Paradise, WA June 10-14 ........... Whaler’s Rest, OR July 15-19 ................. La Conner, WA Aug 12-16 ..................... Chehalis, WA Sept 9-13 ........................ Seaside, OR Oct 7-11 ................ Whaler’s Rest, OR

TT of Texas/FMCA

May 3-5 ........................ Lake Texoma Sept 6-8 ........................ Lake Conroe Nov 8-10 ........................Medina Lake New members must be a member of TTN and FMCA. All motorhomes, trailer owners, and 5th-wheels are welcome. Contact Connie Farrar at (817) 454-4612 or email to Website: Blog:

TTN Central CA

Come join us! We are weekday campers and we like LOTS, Ponderosa, & Snowflower, but are open to other locations. Please check out our Facebook page: RV/CampersofCentralCA(TTN). Email us at

TT Travelers Southern California

We usually meet on the first Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of each month. In the morning we have coffee, snacks, socialize and play games. In the evening we have more fun with a potluck and card games. We are looking for more new members. Come visit us. For information, contact Cecil Schoolcraft, Wagonmaster, (619) 997-9787, or email him at

Answers – Crossword puzzle can be found on page 60.

Answers – Sudoku puzzle can be found on page 61.

Branching Out... Seeking a Safer Tomorrow

If you’ve got a great story about camping at Thousand Trails, send it to us! Help the Manatees, Adopt One Today!

Send stories and pictures to or connect with us on social media. To send us a letter, mail to: TrailBlazer Magazine Attn: TrailBlazer Editor Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606 Photo © Wayne Hartley







BOOK NOW – USE PROMO CODE BETH20 Valid 5 /1/19- 6/30/19 Book by 6/15/19. Minimum 2 nights, max 6 nights.

1 (888) 443-7301 **Subject to availability and reservations are required. Stays 30 days or less are subject to $4 per day resort fee. Rates do not include taxes. Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Rates exclusively for members of Thousand Trails, NACO, Mid-Atlantic, Leisure Time and Outdoor World. Must present Member ID at check-in. Offer not valid on holidays and special events; certain restrictions may apply.

Wherever your travels take you enjoy lifes’ delights with passion and


All without worry, because if something happens and you need medical evacuation home then

LAUGH & Use your SkyMed membership card to pay the bill and











Profile for TrailBlazer Magazine

TrailBlazer Magazine - May/June 2019  

TrailBlazer is the membership magazine for Thousand Trails Campgrounds and RV resorts

TrailBlazer Magazine - May/June 2019  

TrailBlazer is the membership magazine for Thousand Trails Campgrounds and RV resorts

Profile for trailsmag