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YOU receive a $25 Visa® Virtual Reward when your friend purchases a Thousand Trails Camping Pass! Your referral also enters YOU into our 2018 drawing for a chance to win these great prizes:




7-Night Cruise or Trip to Hawaii

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

Free Dues for 2019 10 Winners Selected

($4,000 value)

(Up to $575 value)

Contact Us Today! (888) 808-8925 or visit 2

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





Musical Road Trip This month, TrailBlazer takes a musical road trip to some of the best music cities in the country.


What’s New in the Orlando Area Top 10 Additions for the Theme Park Capital of the World®

Photo courtesy of

regulars Pics From The Parks


Member Deals 52 Crossword Puzzle 60 Sudoku Puzzle 61 Preferred RV Dealer List 62

tips & topics Tech Topics Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina


Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina Premier Florida Keys Waterfront Campground is Back in Business


Ask RV Bill 10 Tips & Tricks – RV 12 Kitchen Space Hacks 4 Paws on the Road 14

lifestyle 5

Message from Marguerite

26 On The Road – with Tim Hamilton 30 2018 Pics from the Parks 42 Vacation Colorful at Tropical Palms RV Resort 44 2018 Referral Winners 46 #100DaysofCamping 2018 50 Who’s in the Kitchen with TrailBlazer?

calendars 16 Local Events 18 On-Site Events 64 Club Calendar



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While we still have two months left of the year, November signals the start of the holiday season and begins the reflection of all we’ve done to bring us to this point. From soaking up the sun in the southern states at the start of the year (if you were lucky enough to escape the cold and Winter Differently, that is), to memories made around the campfire throughout the summer and fall, 2018 was full of great moments. 2018 was also a time of rebuilding, specifically with our Sunshine Key RV Resort in the Florida Keys. After suffering damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017, it was all hands on deck to bring this beloved location back up, running, and better than before. Sunshine Key reopened in September and we’ve been so excited to welcome back our veteran guests and introduce this location to first timers. If you’re still looking for a place to Winter Differently this year, plan a trip to the Florida Keys and check out the new and improved Sunshine Key RV Resort! You can learn about all of the improvements on page 32 of this month’s issue. As we look ahead to 2019, I’m so excited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Thousand Trails with all of you. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been making camping memories since 1969, but as the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun! I can’t imagine how many s’mores have been enjoyed, photos have been taken, and memories have been made since Thousand Trails started. Throughout next year, we’ll be paying tribute to the past 50 years with fun events onsite, engaging

sweepstakes and promotions on social media, and giveaways galore. We’re looking to celebrate you, our members and guests, since you’re what this is all about. In addition to looking back on the past 50 years, we’ll also be looking forward to the next 50. What will camping look like 50 years from now? Will campers be visiting us with high tech RVs or will there be a “back to basics” shift? What type of activities will we be doing for our 100th anniversary? Time will tell, but it’s certainly exciting to think about. Our onsite teams are excited to celebrate this anniversary with all of you, and to continue to plan for the future, much like we do at the finale of a calendar year. We take time to reflect on all of the experiences of the past year, and begin planning for the next one. I look forward to doing this throughout all of 2019 as we kick off the celebration for the 50th anniversary when we ring in the New Year.

Marguerite Nader President & CEO


5 CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mark Slattery EDITOR Annie Berman GRAPHIC DESIGNER Sherry Rossetti 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 Sep./Oct., Nov./Dec. and Jan./Feb. and Mar./Apr. 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

Share your adventures in 3 easy steps!

Win $50

EACH Issue!

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

NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS Visit and click on the ‘Subscribe’ tab to easily subscribe online today! PRINTED IN THE USA


Canada: (228) 497-3594 Mon. - Fri. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST


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

▲ Moody Beach RV Campground (ME): We are staying at Moody Beach for their yearly Lobster Bake! – Carmen Holster

▲ Soledad Canyon RV Campground (CA): Tristan Becker loves to hike at Thousand Trails at Acton, CA. Who is ready to join him? – Sarah Becker




▲ Chehalis RV Campgroup (WA): Reflection Lake near Paradise, Mount Rainier National Park. – Bob & May Azevedo

▲ Chehalis (WA): Fizz on his first camping trip taken at Chehalis. – Lisa Seltmann

▲ Ponderosa (CA): My sister and I painted rocks at Ponderosa to leave on the stump by the river where many leave rocks and other memories of their stay. – Debbie Williams






Lucky winners, Harlan and Lynn Campbell from Madison, Alabama were camping at Hidden Cove RV Resort 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 2018 dues on time and camp at your favorite Thousand Trails Campground. When you pay your annual dues for 2018 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 2018. In addition, once you pay your dues in full, each time you camp at a Thousand Trails campground in 2018, 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, 2018. This promotion is sponsored by MHC Thousand Trails Limited Partnership, Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606.


RVing is a great adventure and there’s always something new to learn! by Paul and Kerri Elders Let’s look at some simple solutions for backed-up drains, solve some interior odor issues and get a quick overview of RV solar systems. Ready? Let’s go!

RV SOLAR ELECTRICITY OPTIONS: An RV is an ideal candidate for solar power conversion, whether you plan extended periods of selfsufficient dry camping or simply want to supplement your existing power supplies with the extra juice provided by the power of the sun. Almost all the necessary wiring for a solar power system is already in place in your RV. The 12 volt DC (battery) wiring and the 120 volt AC (household current) wiring in your RV can be used by a retrofitted solar charging system. The basic elements of an RV solar electric charging system consist of just six key components: 1: Solar modules for collecting solar energy (commonly called solar panels, these are ordinarily mounted on the RV’s roof); 2: A battery bank for storing this collected energy; 3: A charge controller (regulator) to prevent overcharging of the battery bank; 4: A charging monitor (usually built into the charge controller) that monitors and reports on the system’s charging status; 5: An inverter for converting 12 volt DC power to 120 volt AC power; and finally, 6: wiring. Many RVers find that despite the initial expense of installation, solar power is an appealing, clean, and abundant alternative power source.

FRESH AIR: Taking care of your RV’s interior is an important part of keeping your RV in tip-top shape. When cooking, always use your range’s vent-a-hood to quickly evacuate cooking odors and smoke before these odors have a chance to permeate curtains,

upholstery, and stored clothing. Your range fan operates more efficiently if a window is slightly opened to “feed” a fresh air stream into the RV. It’s also important to minimize dampness inside any RV. Remember, a simple principle: air movement helps moisture removal. Use your RV’s overhead ventilation fans to help remove any condensation created by showering, cooking, or laundry chores. Use your roof vents, range fan, or even the air conditioner to keep air moving throughout the RV to keep dampness at bay. If you’re staying in an area with high humidity, here’s a simple tip: open your closet doors. Closet space with little or no air circulation can lead to mold and mildew (one argument for cedar-lined closets). Occasionally, when your RV’s been parked in temporary storage, water can completely evaporate from the RV plumbing’s drain traps (p-traps under the sinks). This can leave the RV’s interior with a distinctively strong odor from gases that “back up” from the RV’s blackwater and graywater tanks. Just pour a few cups of plain water down each drain. Don’t forget to treat the shower drain and double-check to be sure there’s a little water in the toilet bowl. By refilling the plumbing system’s drain traps, you’ve effectively sealed the drain lines from odors and gases backing up from the septic system.

SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF A BACKED-UP DRAIN: Now, let’s take a look at your RV’s plumbing system. An important drain-related part of your RV is its venting system. Ordinarily, plumbing vents penetrate the roof and are usually located directly

above the plumbing fixtures (such as a bathroom or kitchen sink). This venting system allows air to be drawn in behind water as it falls through your pipes, allowing wastewater to flow effortlessly from your drain down into the holding tank. Improper or restricted venting can cause your shower, sinks, etc., to drain slowly. An inadequate venting system can also actually siphon water from your under-sink drain traps, defeating the purpose of the p-traps and allowing odors to back up into the interior of the RV. If you suspect you have venting problems, check for restrictions in the vent pipes or have an RV technician do this for you. Debris can occasionally block these vents. An enterprising bird or spider may have found the perfect spot for a nest or a squirrel thought your venting system would be ideal for hiding a cache of nuts or you may have parked under a tree that covered your vents with leaves and other debris. If the vent pipe is clear and water still stands in the shower or sink, you’ve either forgotten to dump the graywater holding tank and it’s overfilled, or you have a clogged drain. If you suspect you have a clogged drain, investigate. Restrictions are usually found very close to the sink drain and are almost always in the p-trap. Clear the screen at the bottom of your sink or shower and use a plunger (a standard plumber’s helper). Pump the plunger up and down while running water in the sink or shower until the obstruction is cleared. Run warm water through the drain for several minutes to assure that the obstruction is carried all the way to the holding tank. RV maintenance is a snap if you know how to identify little problems before they become serious headaches. Happy trails! ¾



Tips and Topics


Tips and Topics




Thermostat Issues


I have a 99 National Seaview motorhome with a Dometic model #RM2652 frig/freezer. It has one of those plastic cards on the fins on top of [the] frig compartment for a thermostat. On 110 it works, but on propane, freezes everything, no matter where I move the card. Is colder up or down? Thank you, Glen Scurrah Battle Ground, Washington


Glen, the plastic card you are referring to is the thermistor that sends a signal to the control board regulating the temperature. The position of the thermistor on the fins will only make a few degrees difference in temperature up or down and will have the same effect temperature-wise whether it is on gas or electric. Run your frig on gas and monitor the flame after the temp inside reaches approximately 34 degrees, checking if the flame shuts off as it should. If the flame never shuts off most likely you will need to take it to a qualified tech to track down the problem.

Eco-Friendly Propane Plugin


Hi Bill!

We are newbies. We recently bought a 2017 StarCraft Launch Hybrid Tent Trailer (RB16). It has a propane


plug-in-hole for a BBQ. Somebody gave us our tabletop gas grill and it does not have an attachment piece. We have run out of the tiny propane bottles already and it would be much more eco-friendly to just hook up to our main propane plugin. But what do I need? I must need some type of tubing and receptor? I’m not sure what to even look for! Thanks! Thanks, Grant and Sheila Coito


Grant, The propane port built into your tent trailer is a low-pressure connection. The barbecue that you currently have that uses the small bottles operates on high-pressure. You could purchase a different type of barbecue and the correct supply hose in order to utilize the onboard LP cylinder, however, low-pressure propane barbecues have a couple of drawbacks- they are not capable of putting out high temperatures that you’ll need for a barbecue certain types of meat and there are not a lot of options for a higherquality low-pressure barbecues. The solution to your barbecue is a fitting and a hose kit designed to attach to your propane cylinder manufactured by MB Sturgis Inc. model 103607 Sturgi flow kit, often known as an Extend-a-Flow.

Basic Tools for RVs


Ask RV Bill is the first thing I read when we get our TrailBlazer Magazine. It’s great to learn new things or to be


confirmed with the things we think we already know. We are novice/ beginner mechanics but would like to at least be able to take care of the basic stuff in our 5th wheel and truck. We have a Ram 2500 diesel and a 34.5 ft Open Range. Everyone says ‘go to YouTube’ to learn and that’s great but we don’t know what kind of tools we should have to be prepared and we don’t want to need them and not have any. We know there will be things we can’t do but what basic tools would you recommend for our toolbox. –Anonymous


Thank you for your support! It seems like one never has enough tools when a problem shows up. Here are the tools I recommend; a high-quality volt/ohm meter for electrical problems with A/C or D/C. A good 12-volt test light for quick checks on fuses and battery connections or annoying battery drains. A sturdy set of SAE and Metric offset ratcheting wrenches with an open end on one side. Socket sets with SAE and Metric size up to 15/16, deep and standard, 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch drive, if you have space and weight capacity a 1/2 drive set may come in handy every once in a while. Magnetic screwdrivers with multiple bits including torx, square drive, and long reach Phillips bits. I carry a small Shark Tooth wood saw as you never know when you have to make basic cuts on wood. A 1/2-inch cordless Milwaukee drill and highquality bits up to 1/2 inch including

Tips and Topics

a set of uni-bits, and impact screwdriver for stubborn screws and bolts. Don’t forget basics like, vice grips, wire strippers and a crimper, long nose pliers, tin snips, C-clamps, 2-8 inch wide mouth adjustable wrench, hacksaw with fine and coarse blades, Gorilla tape, and a selection of screws, rivets and rivet gun, small bolts, and wiring terminals. A good torque wrench can be handy when you need to check your lug nuts as recommended.

• Removed the rear and front turn signal light bulbs checked bulbs and wiring.

Slideout Gasket Materials

Paul, if there were a short the fuse would have blown again and the flasher would not function. I suspect the ground to the tail light assembly is faulty, run an auxiliary ground wire to the taillight and see if that works. Did you disconnect the wiring to the light and test for voltage to each wire using the old and new ground wire? The bulb socket could be defective, check it with a continuity meter.


Bill, what was the name of the place to get [a] slide out gasket materials for around the edges. Rich Fandrey


Rich, The name is Clean Seal, (800) 366-3682.

Turn Signal Issues


Hi Bill:

I have a Dutchman Express RV built on a Ford 03/2002 E350 super duty chassis. The right turn signal works ok but the left does not work. I replaced the turn signal module to no avail. Found a blown fuse and this did not fix it either. In the left position, I hear the module clicking and I see panel light flickering. Found out the brake light will not come on when I apply the brakes.

• Bulb and wiring checked ok. No frayed insulation. Further checking reveals a short to the chassis. Any suggestion on how I can find the short? Thanks for any help you can give me. I like reading your column in TrailBlazer Magazine. Paul S.


Tips from Fellow TrailBlazers I have noticed several trailers on the highway with their slideout not secured properly. Generally, I have been unable to get the driver’s attention. It occurs to me that if the front of the slideout had a contrasting stripe, it would make it more noticeable to the driver. I was unsure [of] how best to get this safety message out until I was reading your column.

Hi Bill, In response to tire safety, we bought a new 25-foot pull behind camper in the fall of 2017 and should have known better to trust those tires but thought maybe things were better today they are not. We left Wisconsin for California for winter. On the way back to Wisconsin 2 of the tires blew out and 1 was cracked sidewall and 1 was badly worn was not like that the day before because I check every day. Not even 5,000 miles on these tires stopped in Oklahoma City at discount tire and put those Goodyear endurance tires on. This has happened to me before so I really learned something here. Just wanted to back up your article. –Anonymous Hi Bill, We enjoyed your articles in a recent TrailBlazer Magazine and thought some of the information below might be useful. I recently had some good experience with Tire Traker and wanted others to know. Steve Wilbraham




Tips and Topics

Let’s start by purging! The best way to free up space is to begin by getting rid of the items that you don’t use anymore. If you secure the lids of mason jars to the undersides of your cabinets, you hack the space beneath the cabinets as well. Fill the jars with cereal, flour, or other dry food items, and twist them into the lid to secure them for the ride.

RV KITCHEN SPACE HACKS Make the most of the cooking space in your RV with these easy space-saving hacks! By Ethan Seavey

Have a great day! Need milk!

chili Make mp for ca ! k potluc

Count dow n to Hol iday Sweet Stroll at Verde Valley




Use chalkboard paint on the front of a cabinet for quick reminders, love notes, or grocery lists. Write down info about an activity at Thousand Trails you want to attend! 12

Shower caddies are the perfect way to secure foods that are out of the way but easy to reach, whether they be fruits and veggies or spices. Fix one to the side of a cabinet or a wall!


Counterspace is limited in smaller kitchens, so make the sink do double duty when you use an over-the-sink cutting board.

Tips and Topics

Install strong magnetic bars on the inside of your cupboard doors to safely secure your knives without sacrificing counter space with a knife block.

Secure a curtain rod under the cabinets above your counters to hang dish towels or use hooks to hang other kitchen utensils.

Install a pegboard on an unused wall space to make room for pots, pans, and other kitchen necessities.

Consider replacing some of your bowls and colanders with collapsible versions. When collapsed, they are stackable and will easily free up space in your cabinets.

Magazine holders fixed to the insides of cabinets can also hold plastic wrap boxes or cutting boards, without the wasted shelf space.




Tips and Topics

paws ROAD

by Jenn Swope-Gehr


Traveling and Camping with Companion Animals

and I recommend that you do it outside because the concoction will flake off like a crumbly powder when dry. Afterward, I usually apply a topical CBD balm instead of a hydrocortisone cream. Personally, I give my pets 25 mg gel tab of dye-free Benadryl to help with antihistamine properties and to allow them to sleep off the first couple hours of pain. Make sure you check with your vet to ensure your dosage. Hey Jenn, I am having one heck of a time finding a simple nylon collar for my thick-necked bulldog. I’m looking for something without a metal clip. It needs to be in the 14 to 16-inch length range but still no larger than 3/4" inches in diameter. Any ideas are appreciated! Thanks, Joslin Dangerfield

Hello Jenn, this year in Central Oregon we have been having a lot of trouble with yellow jackets and it seems as though every time I turn around one of my dogs is getting bit. I understand that [there] are yellow jacket[s] that can [bite] repeatedly. Do you know of any soothing topicals I can apply to my dog’s skin after an incident? Any other firsthand tips would be appreciated. We look forward to your column each month and our pets are healthier because of our switch to a grain-free, higher meat protein diet!

Hi Joslin! The perfect collar that comes to mind is made by RC Pet Products out of Vancouver, British Columbia called the “Utility Collar.” The small size fits in the 10 to 16-inch range and has an MSRP around $14. Check out the photo below to see the colors and sturdy plastic clip. Additionally, I like the smaller diameter of the metal dog tag ring. The stock colors are sleek and modern with simple solid colors and stylish stitching to suit different breeds. Good luck!

Thank you, Terry and Anne Lieberman I appreciate your submission! It’s exciting to hear that your pets are flourishing now that you’ve moved away from plant-based proteins and towards a meat-based diet. There are so many excellent options on the market today and it’s exciting to hear when people turn those bags over to read labels and ask questions. As far as your yellow jacket dilemma, it is a problem that I been dealing with, too. For myself and my dogs, if the bite is in an easy to reach location on their bodies, such as their hip or the back of the ear, I pack cold diluted water and baking soda together and apply it directly on the skin. This will help draw out the pain. This method is a bit messy



I am in the same boat as so many others that I share with in regards to understanding the need to brush our cat’s teeth. We have three [cats] and several questions. Do I need to use [a] separate toothbrush for each cat? What toothpaste do you suggest? I have one cat that will not be fond of this process and I fear that he will only get more resentful. Do you have any other ideas? We have a dog, too, and he could use a daily brushing. We travel 4 months out of the year and love the Thousand Trails system. Much Appreciation, Angela and Jerry Tomlin Hillsboro, OR Kudos for thinking about dental care for your pets! I recommend an enzymatic paste specifically for cats and dogs with the use of a toothbrush or fingerless brush. With multiple pets, I rinse off the brush with hot water in between uses. My pets tolerate the turkey or peanut butter flavor over the mint, but it’s a personal choice. Just be sure that human toothpaste is never used for pets. For small mouthed pets or those that have trouble using a soft plastic finger toothbrush consider the Oxyfresh Dental Gel that cleans teeth and gums and is tasteless as well as odorless. I love this product as its cruelty and dye free and made in the USA. Another option to consider is Emmy’s Best Pet Water Additive that simply mixes into your pet’s water bowl as a safe, enzymatic solution for healthier teeth and gums. I believe that nothing beats regular, gentle brushings but each person and pet joins together with different needs and lifestyles. ¾

Email Jen your questions and share your pics to


If you’ve got a great story about camping at Thousand Trails, send it to us! 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



Activities and Events – Local






Nov 10

Nov 22

Walkin’ on Main

Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Smash at the Santa Barbara Zoo

Celebrate historic 89A with two big tents featuring galleries, shops, and local food of Old Town Cottonwood. Live music throughout the day too!

Nov 30 7th Annual Chocolate & Wine Pairing Enjoy the short stroll between tasting rooms while enjoying premier wines enhanced with gourmet chocolates.

Dec 1 25th Annual Chocolate Walk Collect a variety of homemade or gourmet chocolates at more than 30 shops up and down Main Street! Hot cocoa will be offered at multiple stops along the way.


Nov 23-25 Country Christmas Faire Four large exhibit buildings will be filled with thousands of handcrafted items and gifts, giving shoppers a chance to start their holiday shopping. Purchase unique quality handmade items created by more than 100 talented artisans at the Country Christmas Faire.

Dec 7, 14, 21 Cornish Christmas Celebrate the holidays with an oldfashioned Cornish Christmas in Grass Valley and Victorian Christmas in Nevada City. Musicians, merchants, food vendors and more take to the festive downtown streets of Grass Valley for Cornish Christmas on Friday nights in November and December.


While you stay at Thousand Trails, why not explore the region around you? Check out some of the local events happening near Thousand Trails’ campgrounds this fall!

Get the kids out of the house this Thanksgiving and come to the Santa Barbara zoo for a smashin’ good time! Watch as the elephants, gorillas, and other zoo animals play and interact with pumpkins.

Dec 15 Solvang Festival Theater Founded by Janette Swanson, Pageant Productions’ vision is to share the gospel through music, storytelling, dance, and art.


Every Monday until November 19

Dec 1

Monday Bitez in Lancaster

Moonlight Forest-Lantern Art Festival

Enjoy live music, food trucks, family fun and more at the Monday Bitez in Lancaster! Event is free and snacks are an additional charge. monday-bitez-in-lancaster/979

Nov 3 Field of Drafts Beer Festival Enjoy live music, sports entertainment and a delectable selection of beers from some of the finest brewers in the western U.S. Takes place in The Hanger at Lancaster Municipal Stadium. Visit the website for ticket information.

Nov 3 American Heroes Air Show Helicopter-only aviation experience lands at the Hansen Dam Recreation Center in the heart of Southern California. Featuring an exciting display of helicopters from police, fire, EMS/ ENG, military / DOJ, and private collectors, this family favorite event offers entertainment, concessions and emergency preparedness information!


Experience an unforgettable evening experience of art, culture, and discovery. Masterfully crafted lanterns beckon you into the gardens. Some depict beautiful animals, shimmering exotic flowers, and intriguing figures from Chinese legends. An evening of dazzlingly color and magic begins!

Dec 8 A Magical Blvd Christmas The BLVD between Beech and Genoa Ave., Lancaster, CA Come to browse for Christmas crafts and food. Children can enjoy a train ride, make crafts in Santa’s Workshop, and go sledding in real snow. Donate a new, unwrapped toy to AVTA’s Stuff-A-Bus Campaign. Be dazzled by a brilliant display of lights, wreaths, decorations, and numerous holiday scenes. Shop for the holidays or dine at one of the BLVD’s outstanding restaurants. And, of course, Santa will be there!

All events, times and dates are subject to change.

Dec 8

ABBA: The Concert

McGregor’s Christmas Parade

Ever since their breakthrough with ‘Waterloo’ back in 1974, ABBA’s music has captured the hearts of people all over the world. Don’t miss the show at Mount Airy Casino.

Held on Historic Main Street in downtown McGregor, TX, will be the McGregor’s Christmas Parade. Main Street will be lit up for the holidays and the parade features floats, classic cars, and tractors all decorated for the holidays. Santa will make an appearance and children can join him for cookies and hot chocolate in Legacy Park.


Nov 3 Fall Harvest Flotilla Bring your canoe, kayak, flatboat, and float from river point to The Goliad State Park. There will be assistance with loading and unloading available. Lunch provided. Entrance fee is $3 for those over 12 years of age at Goliad State Park.


Nov 17 & 18 Red Bull Air Race World Championship SOUTH JETTY (OR)

Nov 23 & 24 Free Fishing, Crabbing, & Clamming Bring the family for fun free fishing days! On these dates you will not need a license, tag or endorsement to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon that’s open to fishing, crabbing or clamming. This is the perfect day to discover new fishing spots and introduce children to fishing. All catch limits and other restrictions still apply. Hosted by the Oregon Department of Fishing and Wildlife (ODFW).

Dec 12 Jazz Kings Christmas Please join Shirley Andress, along with Bill Hulings, Marisa Frantz, and the Emerald City Jazz Kings as we welcome in the 2018 holiday season and Ring Those Bells! Tickets available on the website.


Dec 8 Alive! ’75: A Tribute to KISS Hey there KISS fans, listen- up – this is definitely not just another KISS tribute band. Alive! ’75 is the ultimate classic KISS experience at the Sherman Theater.

Texas Motor Speedway hosts the 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championship on Nov. 17-18. The Red Bull Air Race features the world’s best racing pilots using the fastest, most agile, lightweight race planes. Pilots reach speeds of 230 miles per hour as they navigate a low-level, slalom track featuring 82-foot-high, air-filled pylons. Ticket information available on the website.

Nov 17 Sundance Square Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Mark the beginning of the holiday season by attending the Sundance Square Annual Christmas Tree Lighting by lighting the beautiful, 59-foot tall Christmas Tree. Enjoy the holiday decor sparkle and shine. Sing-a-long to holiday carols and enjoy a hot chocolate before a visit with Saint Nick, himself!

Dec 9 The Nutcracker at Ballet Frontier of Texas See young Clara travel to the Land of the Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy is reunited with her Prince – and the magical dream unfolds! With beautiful sets, stunning costumes, and the Waco Symphony Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s delightful music! A perfect way for family and friends to celebrate the holiday season together!


Dec 9 Lighted Tractor Parade The annual Lighted Tractor Parade is expected to bring large crowds for a unique parade highlighting the agricultural history of the area. The event has quickly become a favorite, as dozens of tractors, trucks, floats, and virtually anything with wheels parade down Main Street, Tower Avenue and Pearl Street, all adorned with bright lights as Christmas music fills the night air.

Dec 15-17 The Nutcracker Attend a performance of the classic ballet, The Nutcracker, at the Southwest Washington Dance Center.


Nov 23-25 Festival of Trees

Nov 23 & 24 Homestead Fair 2018 Join us on the farm for the 31st annual Homestead Fair! Milk a cow, sample multicultural dishes, attend demos or tour the farm on a horse-drawn hay wagon. Browse our daily schedule for a list of DIY projects and demos like horse farming, pottery making, blacksmithing, quilting, etc.

Some events may require a participation fee.

Activities and Events – Local

Moonlight Forest-Lantern Art Festival. Piece by Tianyu Arts & Culture Inc., photo courtesy of Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

Nov 3

The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation presents the 30th Anniversary Festival of Trees. Event proceeds will benefit the Foundation’s Women’s Imaging Center Capital Campaign at the Skagit Center.





Activities and Events – On-Site

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER events From fun up, to fun down, there is so much to do at Thousand Trails campgrounds. TrailBlazer Magazine has rounded up some of the best events happening across the country this November and December!

Veteran’s Day is November 11! Join us at Thousand Trails as we salute our Veterans!

Give thanks at Thousand Trails! Whether you give thanks for all the camping you did this year, or for your family and friends, celebrate Thanksgiving at Thousand Trails! Join us on November 3 at Natchez Trace (TN) as we give thanks to our campground family. You bring the sides and desserts for a Thanksgiving Potluck, we will provide the ham, turkey, and dressing at Thunderbird (WA) on November 17. Let us cook for you at Lake of the Springs (CA) on November 17! We will provide the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy; members bring the side dishes. Call to sign up ahead of time as seating is limited. Join us for our great Thanksgiving Dinner at Oakzanita Springs (CA) on November 22. We will have turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies, rolls and drinks all for a great price and no dishes to do. Limited seating, so call us directly for dinner reservations. Dinner will be served at 1 p.m. sharp. Join us for our Annual Potluck Dinner at Timothy Lake N & S (PA) the weekend of November 23. Please bring a dish for 10 people and we will supply the main dish. Join us for a Thanksgiving Day Potluck and football on Thanksgiving Day at Colorado River (TX). Enjoy movies and games throughout the weekend too. Join us for a holiday feast at Russian River (CA) in the Lodge on Thanksgiving Day. This event is limited to the first 32 registered guests/members. We provide the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and gravy; you provide a traditional Thanksgiving side dish or dessert. 18


Join us at Lake Conroe (TX) on November 3 for a salute to our military and all our Veterans. All Veterans, please come join us for appetizers and cake as we honor your service to our country. Join us Saturday as we celebrate our great Veterans at the Pie and Ice Cream Social. Veterans or family members are encouraged to bring photos for Veteran’s Memory Board. Come to Colorado River (TX) on November 10 to watch the annual flag ceremony presented by local Boy Scout Troop 557 of Katy, TX. We may even have a bonfire with s’mores. Join us for our annual Thanksgiving Potluck and Veteran’s Day Celebration at Carolina Landing (SC) on November 10. We will provide turkey. Please bring your favorite side dish to share. Our Veterans will receive a special thank you bag for all they have done to ensure our freedom at Las Vegas (NV) on November 11! There will be a Flag Raising Ceremony followed by coffee and donuts at Orlando (FL) on Veterans Day. There will be free cupcakes for past and present military personnel on Sunday at ice cream time at Wilderness Lakes (CA). Everyone is invited to the Recreation Lodge at Morgan Hill (CA) for coffee and treats to meet our Veterans and thank them for their service and sacrifice. Pio Pico (CA) honors its Veterans with a show of flags representing all the branches. Start the day Sunday with a special breakfast for Veterans hosted by the Coyote Cafe and Veteran members’ memorabilia table. All events, times and dates are subject to change.

Activities and Events – On-Site

Spread the Holiday Cheer Spread the holiday cheer when you camp this winter with Thousand Trails! On December 8 at Medina Lake (TX), we will make ornaments for our Christmas tree that we will be trimming and then enjoy party trays from Top of the Trail Cafe. Will Santa be stopping by? Come visit with the staff and celebrate Christmas cheer! It’s our annual Christmas party at Cultus Lake (BC) on December 8! Come take your photo with Santa at our 3rd Annual Staff and Campers Christmas Party on December 15 at Mount Vernon (WA). Sign up your kids for a free personalized stocking filled with ageappropriate gifts! Stockings will be ready for pick up at the party! Join us for cookies and eggnog at La Conner (WA) the weekend of December 14-16, as we put the final touches on the Christmas tree. Baked ham and potluck dinner. We supply the ham; you supply the trimmings. Please bring enough for 10 people. Meet at the Family Centre at 4:30pm for the festivities. Dinner will be at 5pm sharp. Take a hayride through our Winter Wonderland at Lake Whitney (TX) on December 15 and find Santa at the end with lots of goodies. Even take a picture with Santa! Join us for the Milk & Cookies Pajama Party and movie at the Activity Center for all ages. Breakfast with Santa on Saturday at Mimi and Papa’s Kitchen. Come and enjoy our Christmas at Lake Tawakoni (TX) on December 15 by singing Christmas music and strolling through our Winter Wonderland.

Decorate for the Holidays Your Way! Help other Thousand Trails members decorate the parks or show off your best holiday displays when you decorate your rig! Join us for hot chocolate and cookies while we will decorate the Activity Center at Lake Conroe (TX) on November 24. Mingle and jingle with other members at Lake Whitney (TX) on November 24 as we sip hot apple cider and hot cocoa and enjoy cookies. Let’s decorate the Christmas tree for the Family Center and the rest of Lake Whitney! It’s not too late to make a Christmas gift or a holiday craft project. We need volunteers to help decorate all of our buildings for Christmas at Lake Texoma (TX)! All volunteers will be entered into a drawing for special ▲ Christmas Decorations at Christmas prizes! We will also have Christmas cookies and Lake Texoma (TX) 2017 punch for all! Join us at Medina Lake (TX) on December to decorate the Activity Center. Members can start decorating your sites. Christmas caroling from RV site to RV site along with the RV site decorating judging day at Medina Lake (TX) on December 15. Come decorate your rig to be entered in our Best Decorated Rig Contest at Rancho Oso (CA) throughout December. Get into the holiday spirit with the folks at Verde Valley (AZ) the weekend of December 1 as we decorate the Main and Pool Lodges while eating and drinking goodies. The Rig Decorating Contest at Verde Valley (AZ) will take place the weekend of December 22! Come on over to the Family Clubhouse for our Annual Tree Decorating Party at Seaside (OR) on December 8. Join us as we decorate the tree and sugar cookies, play Christmas music, and write letters to Santa. Join us at Lake Minden (CA) for our Friday Night Potluck Social followed by Christmas Brown Bag Bingo the weekend of December 21. Kids can make Christmas ornaments and watch holiday movies.

Some events may require a participation fee.



Activities and Events – On-Site

Giving Back this Holiday Season From polar plunges to canned food drives, there are plenty of ways to give back this holiday season when you stay at Thousand Trails. The Special Olympics Polar Plunge Bazaar & Fundraiser at Chesapeake Bay (VA) takes place November 2-3. This Special Olympics fundraiser, organized by DJ Dreux Elliott for the Ice-aholics Polar Plunge Team, features multiple bands, vendors, and more. Your purchases will help to raise money for this great charity, so come out to do some Christmas shopping and enjoy the live music! Come to the Clubhouse at Bay Landing (TX) the weekend of November 2-4 and help support the Rec. Department by having a loaded baked potato. Bring your favorite side to share. There will be a small fee. Also through December 3, we will be collecting toys for the Wise County Toy Run. We are asking people at Lake Conroe (TX) to donate a toy for our Toys For Tots program and to donate canned foods to help feed the homeless for Thanksgiving. The Toys for Tots and Can Food Drive will take place on November 17. This week at Lake Minden (CA), November 30 – December 2, we’ll be making a variety of holiday ornaments in the children’s and adult craft sessions. Bring your hat and mittens donations to the Adult Lodge and help us share the holiday spirit with the less fortunate. Throughout November, bring canned goods to donate to the local food bank when you stay at San Benito (CA). And throughout December, bring a coat for all ages to donate to local warming center.

Ring in the New Year at Thousand Trails! Make a resolution to camp more in 2019 or celebrate a great 2018 with your friends! Bring your favorite appetizer to share at the New Year’s Appy Potluck with the folks at Cultus Lake (BC). Festivities in the Family Center include music, dancing, and games to ring in the New Year! Come and enjoy good music, food and games as we bring in the New Year together at Lake Tawakoni (TX). Join us at Seaside (OR) and other members as we ring in the New Year at Seaside. We will supply the cider and party favors (guest-generated event.) Bring an appetizer or snack to share to the afternoon cocktail event at Chesapeake Bay (VA). Then ring in the New Year with friends at the party and DJ dance. All events are BYOB. Who will be the New Year’s Baby this year? Come out and celebrate the upcoming New Year with games and treats at Morgan Hill (CA)! Join us at Peace River (FL) as we ring in the New Year with food, music by our favorite DJ and dancing! Enjoy the festivities and new friends! Ring in the New Year with great live dance music in the Recreation Lodge at Palm Springs (CA). Dress up for our Black and White Theme party. Countdown starts at 9pm! Sign up early as space is limited. Join us in the South Clubhouse at Whalers Rest (OR) for a night of free fun and games! Out with the old and in with the new! Come celebrate the New Year with the folks at Colorado River (TX) for a New Year’s Eve Party Weekend! 20


All events, times and dates are subject to change.




By Lynn & Cele Seldon • Photography Courtesy of Visit Orlando

Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando – Theme Park Capital of the World® – is the top extended family vacation destination for kids and kids at heart. It’s also the most visited destination in the United States for good reason. An unparalleled mix of unique experiences creates cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports, and nightlife. The latest figures from last year revealed a historic milestone in the travel industry, as Orlando became the first U.S. destination to surpass 70 million

annual visitors. In 2017, 72 million visitors traveled to Orlando, once again making it America’s mostvisited destination. “Our record-breaking year was achieved despite international headwinds and the statewide effects of Hurricane Irma,” says Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel. “We also continued our focus on communicating the unique emotional connection visitors have with Orlando.” “Orlando’s record-setting visitation affirms the city as a leader in the U.S. travel industry,” says U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “The success in Orlando is great, not just for this iconic destination, but for travel as a whole.”




Universal Studios Florida puts visitors right in the middle of the action with their new Fast & Furious – Supercharged ride. It’s based on the popular film franchise, where an after-race party turns into a highspeed race to escape a criminal cartel.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened Toy Story Land in June 2018, to rave reviews. It features two new attractions thus far, as well as new dining and merchandise locations. The rides Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers take visitors right into Andy’s imagination as they join beloved characters in their adventures.



LEGOLAND Florida Resort put the pedal to the plastic when The Great LEGO® Race opened March 2018. The thrill ride experience is the first virtual reality roller coaster experience designed specifically for kids and features LEGO® Minifigures, a rocket-powered surfboard, and an espresso-fueled scooter. ®

Disney Springs debuted hyper-reality attraction Ralph Breaks VR in the fall of 2018. Based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” the experience places guests inside a new multisensory Disney adventure where they’re immersed in the world of the internet and online gaming with Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope.

Madame Tussauds Orlando’s “Justice League: A Call for Heroes” allows guests to jump in on the action as a loyal sidekick to Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill’s Superman, and Ben Affleck’s Batman. Replica props and costumes related to each superhero character’s wax figure provide an added dimension of authenticity and realism to the immersive experience.



SeaWorld Orlando debuted Infinity Falls in the fall of 2018. The whitewater rapid adventure raft ride travels through a lost jungle, sending guests through fountains and waterfalls before dropping 40 feet – a new record for a river raft ride – into churning whitewater.

Know Before You Go (and once there)

Aquatica, SeaWorld’s water park, brought even more and bigger thrills in the summer of 2018 with Ray Rush. It features three ways to get soaked. First, water jets launch the raft in a burst of speed. Riders then spin through a water sphere before swooping across giant manta wings.

The Orlando StarFlyer, the world’s tallest swing ride, also opened over the summer, 2018. At 450 feet tall, the ride offers open-air views of the Orlando area for up to 24 guests at once, swinging them through the air at up to 60 miles an hour at top speed.



Visit Orlando, The Official Source for Orlando Travel Planning, is by far the best resource for planning a stay in the Orlando area: VisitOrlando. com. Once there, the area’s only official visitor center, operated by Visit Orlando, offers great deals on tickets, packages, and more, unbiased expert advice, and fun photo ops. It’s at 8102 International Drive (with plenty of space for RV parking), in the heart of Orlando’s tourism district, and is open from 8 am to 9 pm, 365 days a year. Visit Florida’s website,, is also a great Sunshine State planning tool. In addition, since 1949, millions of travelers entering Florida along the major thoroughfares have found a warm greeting at the Official Florida Welcome Centers. Along with the traditional cup of complimentary Florida citrus juice, travelers have found friendly, informative staff people and a vast assortment of brochures promoting all that the state has to offer. Today, that halfcentury-long tradition continues at the Official Florida Welcome Centers located on the I-10 west of Pensacola, U.S. 231 near Campbellton (also near Marianna), I-75 at Jennings (near Lake City) and I-95 north of Yulee (near Jacksonville). A fifth center is located at the west entrance of the State Capitol Building in Tallahassee.

The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts™ Castle brings the magic of Harry Potter to life with a spectacular display of dazzling lights, special effects, and themed music based on the Harry Potter films to honor the four houses of Hogwarts. The after-dark presentation runs select nights throughout the year.

Florida Camping Abounds More than 40 Thousand Trails and Encore properties are spread across the Sunshine State. Whether it's hugging the Gulf Coast to the west, cutting across Central Florida to theme parks, or heading over to the Atlantic Ocean to the east, all the way down to the Florida Keys, an Orlando area road trip is just the beginning of a Sunshine State adventure. Look for even more Florida road trip features in TrailBlazer Magazine in 2019!

Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration – a new nighttime lagoon show – officially debuted at Universal Studios Florida in summer, 2018. Blending panoramic water screens, pyrotechnics, projection mapping, and more than 120 dancing fountains, the show transforms the lagoon and surrounding buildings into a vivid celebration of beloved characters from Universal attractions and some of the world’s biggest films. ¾ While you're exploring the latest additions to Orlando's theme parks, be sure to check out Tropical Palms RV Resort and look for a special deal2018 on page 43! NOVEMBER/DECEMBER TRAILBLAZER 25

By Lynn Seldon 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 Mighway’s Lead Content Producer,

As a renowned videographer, New Zealand native Tim Hamilton has spent hundreds of nights on the road in a wide variety of RVs. He recently completed a three-month road trip around the Western United States in a Mighway ( RV. Originally launched in New Zealand, Mighway is an innovative new peer-to-peer RV rental platform. It changes the RV rental game by offering the option to manage everything for owners and making the process pain and worry-free for renters as well. “Mighway is raising the bar on peer-topeer platforms, offering owners the freedom of being completely handsoff during the rental process,” says Dave Simmons, CEO of Mighway – which is owned by TH2, a new joint venture between Tourism Holdings Limited (thl), the world’s largest RV rental and sales operator with 30 years of experience in the industry, and Thor Industries, manufacturers of the renowned Airstream and Jayco RV brands. I spent several days with Hamilton and his Mighway RV at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort and in Yosemite National Park at the beginning of his adventure and caught up with him again right before his odyssey ended.



Photography on this page courtesy of Tim Hamilton

LS: Tell us about your work with Mighway back in New Zealand and during this Western United States trip. TH: I’ve worked all over the place in the film industry and through some of the tourism groups I’d worked with, I was put in touch with Mighway. I first started working with them making a video series called [ironically] “On the Road,” highlighting my Mighway RV adventures and more. There were three series in New Zealand. The Western United States trip was 90 days and developed out of my success with the videos in New Zealand.

LS: Tell us a bit about the RV you used for your Western United States trip. Did you give it a name? TH: It’s a 28-footer with a slideout and had everything I needed. It’s completely outfitted. I didn’t name it, though someone suggested Frankie as a play on words from the Frank Sinatra hit, “My Way.” I actually named a rescue dog I picked up along the way temporarily and he’s been a great companion on my adventures. I named him Frankie! He’s been incredible.

Photography on this page courtesy of Seldon Ink

LS: What’s your favorite thing about traveling in an RV versus staying in a hotel? TH: I love RVs, because – unlike hotels or tents – I can do all the things I’d do in a home. Like I just finished my motorbike build – built groundup all from the RV. I also hate that hotels have room service [cleaning]. I want to live how I live and clean up at the end. But, also, I love the unknowns.



LS: Can you briefly walk us through your amazing trip? TH: I had an itinerary, but I didn’t understand how hot it could get – once I found the Mojave Desert [laughing]. In my three months on the road, I’ve zigzagged across the West and have colored in my map once I visited a state: California; Nevada; Arizona; Utah; Idaho; Oregon; Washington; Montana; and Wyoming.

LS: I know you enjoyed several Thousand Trails Campgrounds and Encore RV Resorts. What was your favorite? TH: Oh, that’s hard! There were some really great ones. 28


Yosemite Lakes [just west of the Yosemite National Park entrance] was really cool. I really liked the swimming hole.

LS: It’s hard, I realize, but did you have a few favorite destinations from your trip? TH: So many! Lava Hot Springs in Idaho for sure. It’s a small town with a river running right through the middle of it. The thing to do is jump on an inflatable tube and float through the town. Go find a local to learn about their “secret” spots (like Chicken Soup, if you’re lucky). I also ended up going into the nearby hills around town with Clint Eastwood’s grandson.

Photography on this page courtesy of Seldon Ink

LS: What were some favorite meals onboard on the road? TH: Well, you know I love salmon because I cooked it for you when we were at Yosemite Lakes RV Campground together. Every RV park is a small community that pops up, with similar ideals. Someone sells you salmon at your doorstep, tells you about the land, one neighbor taught me to fillet (the campground let me borrow a good knife), and then our other neighbors started a fire, shared some wine, and showed us how to cook [the salmon] in mayonnaise and lemon. That’s what I love about RVs. Bonneville Salt Flats for sure. New Zealanders have a special relationship with this spot, because a native Kiwi, Burt Munro, set many speed records there. [Munro was immortalized in the feature film, “The World’s Fastest Indian,” starring Sir Anthony Hopkins.] I met some New Zealanders when I was there and it was a very beautiful and surreal moment. Just before coming to the United States, I had been lucky enough to visit part of his old workshop. And, of course, Yosemite Lakes RV Campground where we met and experienced so much in Yosemite National Park.

LS: What are a few favorite things onboard? TH: My dog, Frankie – I love him. I picked him up in Palm Springs. My longboard, which is a skateboard that I’ve used for filming some amazing video using my steady cam and being pulled by my Frankie. My RV also had a large under storage area and I ended up buying a small motorbike that fits perfectly in it! The power inverter. The emergency start function. There’s one other thing I can’t do without [when there’s internet]…podcasts. Oh, and my coffee maker! Photography on this page courtesy of Seldon Ink

LS: We heard you were a body double for Sam Claflin, one of the stars in the feature film, Adrift. Can you tell us a bit about that experience? TH: I was hired as a picture double. We spent six or seven weeks or so on the main island in Fiji. More recently, back in Wellington, New Zealand, I was in Leonardo DiCaprio’s television series, “The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen.” A lot of U.S. films are actually made in New Zealand.

LS: Where can people watch the videos of your trip, as well as those you produced in New Zealand? TH: The best bet is to visit the Mighway Facebook page (@mighway). ¾ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 TRAILBLAZER




very month we receive photos of campers catching the sunrise from mountaintops; snapping a picture before snoozing under the stars; exploring new places and setting sail on the open sea…Whether we’re relaxing in hammocks under the trees that reach up to the sky or perfecting our s’more making skills beside a crackling fire, campers across the country are capturing the memories and the adventures made at Thousand Trails. We love receiving photos from our campers across the country that we can share with Thousand Trails members every month in TrailBlazer. Here are just some of the great photos we received from campers this year and we look forward to getting out and camping with you in 2019!

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 the next issue of TrailBlazer to see if you’re a winner.




Premier Florida Keys Waterfront Resort is Back in Business By Lynn & Cele Seldon

Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina returns as the perfect location for a Florida getaway. Located in the middle of the Overseas Highway, just 60 miles south of Key Largo and 35 miles north of Key West. This island resort is filled with stunning waterfront views, as well as being a gateway to lots of water-based activities. Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina reopened in September 2018 – after Hurricane Irma hit the Atlantic. The new and improved resort is already receiving rave reviews from veteran visitors and first-timers alike.

One of the primary RV resorts in the Keys – and certainly the largest – the 75-acre property saw a silver lining opportunity with Irma and spent millions of dollars to repair, refurbish, and enhance the facilities. All 400 RV sites were freshly rocked with completely new infrastructure, including new posts and hookups, new piping and sewer, HD cable, and wi-fi. They also added 20 top-of-the-line and already-popular 2018 Reflection and Open Range travel trailer rentals. Almost all the resort’s public amenities are up and running and welcoming guests with new amenities and renovated facilities. Of course, the beach is open for boaters, swimmers, and snorkelers. And, so is the refurbished pool and recreation room. The 170-slip full-service marina features new docks and fish cleaning stations, as well as a bait shop. The ever-popular rental shop also reopened, offering bikes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, snorkeling, boat tours, and specialized trips, including kayaking, boating, and mangrove touring. In addition to the water sports, other activities back at Sunshine Key include basketball, tennis, pickleball, horseshoes, cornhole, and sand volleyball. For fishing, strolling, and sunsets, Sunset Pier has been repaired and reinforced and features a new permanent step ladder that is grounded into the ocean floor, making for easy access. The fitness center has reopened with all new machines and equipment. The laundry room has been repaired and freshened and all

Literally steps from the beach, the property juts into the ocean and is its own tropical island paradise.

three bathhouses have received facelifts that included new toilets, sinks, and showers. The only public facility that is not open quite yet is the clubhouse, which was destroyed and will be rebuilt in 2019. The one thing that Hurricane Irma couldn’t affect was the amazing location of Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina. Literally steps from the beach, the property juts into the ocean and is its own tropical island paradise. With virtually no other commercialism on Sunshine Key, visitors are at one with nature, whether relaxing on the beach, exploring the underwater world, fishing for the big one, or watching the sun slip into the horizon. Most of the rest of the Florida Keys are also open for business. The kitschy beach shops along the Overseas Highway have reopened, selling their

shells, T-shirts, and souvenirs; the restaurants are serving up fresh Florida seafood, regional specialties, and Key lime pie; tourist attractions like the Dolphin Research Center and the Sea Turtle Hospital on Marathon Key are open; Bahia Honda State Park is open with limited activities; and Key West is still filled with Ernest Hemingway lore, colorful characters, and magnificent sunsets. So, chase those winter blues away and plan a trip to the sunny shores of Florida at Sunshine Keys RV Resort & Marina. It’s open for business and better than ever. ¾

Winter Differently at Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina and visit today! NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 TRAILBLAZER


Music is said to be the universal language. The love of music of any kind can bring people together from all walks of life, from all around the world. Despite being a young nation, the US is home to many cities that transformed the music culture, both at home and abroad. This month, TrailBlazer takes a music road trip to some of the best music cities in the country.


We’ll start with the city known as Music City, USA – Nashville, Tennessee. With revered country music institutions like the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium, more than 200 recording studios and live music venues up and down Broadway, the city’s popular

downtown thoroughfare, it’s no wonder Nashville is known as Music City. The nickname came about many years ago when David Cobb, an announcer for the city’s WSM radio station, called the city by that name on the air. The station regularly broadcasted popular live shows from the

Grand Ole Opry and had a farreaching listening population and the nickname just stuck. But if you ask around, you’ll find that Nashville has always considered itself a music hub, dating back when Tennessee congressman Davy Crockett (yes, that Davy Crockett) played live fiddle shows for the people of

By Joan Rykal

Nashville. Others give credit to Queen Victoria for the moniker. After seeing a performance by the popular Fisk Jubilee Singers, who had traveled to England to perform, said they were from that “music city.” Regardless of the origins of the name, Nashville is definitely a place to hear some music. The

Ryman Auditorium, which was home to the Grand Ole Opry for more than 30 years, has a regular schedule of musical events and it’s not just country artists. Recent performers have included Chvrches, Joan Baez, and comedian Amy Schumer. As Nashville’s Number One attraction, the Grand Ole Opry

is a must see. Even if you aren’t planning to attend an event, you can tour the Opry and learn about its rich musical history. Visitors can take a sneak peek into some of the dressing rooms and actually stand on the stage where country legends from past to present have performed. To learn more about the Grand Ole Opry, visit

To understand the rock n’ roll history of Memphis, visit Sun Studio, where Elvis made his first recording and legends like Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins and his blue suede shoes were discovered. Guides will provide you with fabulous stories of the studio’s history and there is plenty of rock n’ roll memorabilia on display, including Elvis’ high school diploma. ▲ Grand Ole Opry. Photo courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.

As we mentioned, music venues line Broadway street, which is also known as the Honky Tonk Highway. Live music can be found in a variety of establishments all hours of the day and night! Check out Robert’s Western World (which is also known for having one of the best fried bologna sandwiches around); Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, that offers four stages and three bars; or The Stage on Broadway, featured in the movie, Country Strong, that offers a rooftop bar with live music.


experience which is chock full of restaurants, live music venues and plenty of souvenir shops. As you stroll, make note of the brass musical notes embedded in the sidewalk which honor the legends of blues, soul and rock n’ roll. Stop and pay homage to the Father of the Blues, W.C. Handy, whose bronze figure resides over Beale Street.

Of course, Memphis is home to Graceland, the 13.8-acre estate that was once the home of the King of Rock N’ Roll, Elvis Presley. Visitors can tour many rooms of the mansion, which is still owned by his daughter Lisa Marie, see plenty of Elvis’ possessions, including his plane, the Lisa Marie, and even pay their respects to the King himself, as Elvis is actually interred on the grounds of his estate. Don’t miss the Jungle Room, which served as Elvis’ very own man cave.

Don’t miss the Beale Street Music Festival, an annual event scheduled for the first weekend of May (May 3–5, 2019) that features four stages of live music daily.

Other hot spots for music history include the Stax Museum of American Soul, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and the Memphis Rock N’ Soul Museum.

Deep musical roots run through Memphis which is often called the Home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock and Roll. In regard to the home of the blues, it is more specifically the Memphis blues, a style of music made popular in the medicine shows of the 1920s. There is also the electric blues which were, and still are, a Memphis staple made popular by B.B. King and Howlin’ Wolf who played the blues clubs of Beale Street, the city’s main street. If you’re looking for a blues fix, consider B.B. King’s Blues Club located on Beale Street. Here, you can enjoy great live music and some classic southern food. Other options would include the Blues City Café and Jerry Lee Lewis Café & Honky Tonk. Just walking the stretch of Beale Street is an


▲ B.B. King’s Shining Sign. Photo by Andrea Zucker Photography, courtesy of Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau.


Graceland – Sign. Photo by David Meany / Contiki Purchase, courtesy of Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau.

▲ ▲ Sunset on Beale Street. Photo by Joshua Brown, courtesy of Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau.


Austin City Limits Festival at Zilker Park. Photo by Andy Forde, courtesy of Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau. ▲

Travel a little over 600 miles southwest of Memphis and you’ll find yourself in a south Texas town that bills itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” As the Lonestar state’s capital, Austin does everything big from BBQ to music. Home to two major annual music festivals, Austin City Limits, and South by Southwest, and more than 250 live music venues, you can’t go far in this city without finding some kind of live performance. Austin may well be one of the few places that feature live music at the grocery store! The city’s popular Central Market features live musical performances four days a week ( For some classic Austin venues, consider the Carousel Lounge, a circus-themed venue that has been around for 50-plus years and features live entertainment as well as one stacked jukebox. There’s also the Scoot Inn, one of Austin’s oldest established that keeps up with the times, however, as it has the trendy Rose on tap! Live music, food and plenty of dancing are also on tap here. It may be a college bar but Hole in the Wall has seen the likes of many famous people including the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Eagles’ Don Henley, and Lyle Lovett.

Located across from the campus of the University of Texas, this “dive bar” as some call it has two stages for live music, plus food and drinks. One big draw for the Austin music scene is the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival which offers over a week’s worth of live music events performed all around the city indoors and out. The 2019 festival will run March 8-17. Food and tech trends play second fiddle to the music, but this festival is known for introducing the cutting edge for both.

Los Lonely Boys performing at Austin City Limits Music Festival. Photo courtesy of Austin City Limits Music Festival.

The other major event is Austin City Limits which is an annual music festival held in October featuring eight stages of live music running the gamut from EDM to country, folk and indie rock. There are also food and drink offerings, an art market, kiddie features and more. For 2019 information, visit




London Bridge Studio. Photo by KIPMAN Creative.

Seattle sound, or more popularly known as Grunge, started to form in the mid1980s but came to life most definitely with the success of Seattle-based groups like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. Seattle sound combines alternative and punk rock as well as heavy metal to create a unique musical genre. And before these grungers even played one tune, Seattle also gave birth to one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time, Jimi Hendrix. Check out the Jimi Hendrix Park, a $2.2 million park located next to the city’s Northwest African American Museum, which pays tribute to Hendrix with walkways etched with Hendrix’ lyrics as well as other designoriented nods to the guitar virtuoso.

London Bridge Studio Lounge. Photo by Aaron R. F. Anderson. ▲

For a history of the grunge movement, check out for information on one of a kind walking tours of landmarks in grunge history. Visit Viretta Park, the unofficial memorial site for Nirvana’s founder and frontman, the late Kurt Cobain. Benches in this quiet park are laden with pictures, love letters and song lyrics in tribute to the musician who helped put grunge on the forefront of today’s music scene. And, the London Bridge Studio, where notables including Pearl Jam have recorded, offers studio tours (visit From a live music perspective, Neumos is a mid-sized venue that offers ticketed performance opportunities several nights of the week. The Sea Monster Lounge, billed as “The Center of the Seattle Musical Universe” offers live music almost every night that ranges from jazz to R&B to funk and more. Another Seattle staple is The Showbox, which has been offering live music since 1939, and is located near Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market. Through the years, artists ranging from Nat King Cole to the aforementioned Pearl Jam have played here. Another great way to learn about Seattle’s history as a music city is to take the “Stalking Seattle, A Rock and Roll Tour” ( This intimate tour allows participants to take photos of many of the historic rock and roll sites in Seattle, including where Nirvana had its first gig and played to an audience of almost nobody and of course, all things Jimi Hendrix.



▲ London Bridge Studio. Photo by KIPMAN Creative.

▲ Neumos. Photo by Haris Kenjar.

Live Music at Neumos Photo by Samira Shobeiri. ▲

▲ The Runway, Neumos. Photo by Haris Kenjar.

▲ The Runway, Neumos. Photo by Haris Kenjar.

The Sea Monster Lounge. Photo by Natalie Cass for Cass Studios. ▲

Live Music at The Sea Monster Lounge. Photo by Ken Roeder.

▲ Live Music at The Sea Monster Lounge. Photo by Natalie Cass for Cass Studios.


You’d be surprised to know the number of famous musicians who traveled to this small Alabama location to record music, the likes of which included Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Seger, and the Rolling Stones!

▲ Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. Photo by Art Meripol, courtesy of

Fame Studio. Photo by Chris Granger, courtesy of ▲

Why Muscle Shoals? They came to record at the FAME Studio and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and more specifically to record with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, which was considered some of the best-known session musicians in the music business. AME, which stands for Florence Alabama Music Enterprises was founded in the late 1950s. A visit to Florence will provide a great history lesson in terms of this musical location. Visitors can tour both the FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound Studios as well as view the birthplace of the Father of the Blues himself, W.C. Handy, who was born in Florence in 1873. Swampers Bar and Grill is a great place to hear some of the live music the Shoals is known for and grab a bite to eat as well.

▲ W.C.Handy Museum. Photo courtesy of

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE Nearest Thousand Trails location is Natchez Trace RV Campground. MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE Nearest Thousand Trails location is Cherokee RV Campground. AUSTIN, TEXAS Nearest Thousand Trails location is Colorado River RV Campground. SEATTLE, WASHINGTON Nearest Thousand Trails location is Tall Chief RV Campground. MUSCLE SHOALS, ALABAMA Nearest Thousand Trails location is Hidden Cove RV Campground.


Swampers Bar and Grill. Photo courtesy of Marriott Shoals Hotel. ▲


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS Nearest Thousand Trails location is Pine Country RV Campground. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 TRAILBLAZER

The Crossroads. Photo courtesy of Clarksdale Tourism.


The gentlemen who gave Memphis its classic blues sound had a lot to do with what evolved in Chicago as well, giving it the name Home of the Blues. Mississippi and other southern city bluesmen made their way to Chicago in what was known as the Great Migration, as African Americans made their way north in search of jobs, and leaving the South’s Jim Crow laws behind. Blues guitarists like Howlin’ Wolf, who was Mississippi-born and a big part of the Memphis Blue scene came to Chicago, as well as bluesmen like Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and Buddy Guy. Chicago became famous for its blues and even guitarist Robert Johnson, who originally recorded the famous Sweet Home Chicago, said, “Chicago is a sweet home for the blues.” Chicago-based Chess Records, and its subsidiary, Checkers Records, specialized in recording blues music. Fast forward to present day and Chicago is still home to the blues and many great venues that specialize in blues music. To name a few, there are Buddy Guy’s Legends, in the city’s Loop and Kingston Mines, in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Each June, the city hosts the Chicago Blues Festival, a free three-day event that features the cream of the crop blues artists, both old and new. Billed as the largest free blues festival in the world, the event is held in the city’s Millennium Park and offers three stages of blues music from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. each day. Buddy Guy’s Legend. Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago.


The Crossroads is, according to legend, where the blues guitarist Robert Johnson (mentioned earlier in relation to Chicago Blues) made a pact with the Devil himself trading his soul to Satan for the ability to be the “greatest guitar player ever.” Located in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the site of this supposed agreement which took place at the intersection of Routes 61 and 49. Thus, the Crossroads is marked by a giant sign comprised of three electric guitars. If you visit this location, which is actually a busy intersection, be careful of the traffic. You also want to take the time to park and visit the Delta Blues Museum which features exhibits about great blues legends including Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and of course, Robert Johnson. Also nearby is Ground Zero Blues Club, which of has live music as well as food and drinks. You can decide for yourself whether or not the legend is true, but keep in mind it has spawned countless tribute songs, Johnson’s style influenced generations of guitarists and Johnson, who died tragically at the age of 27, was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Millennium Park. Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago.

Did you know the Americana Music Triangle connects nine distinct genres of musical style throughout the south? Created by a group of music historians, the route, called the Gold Record Road, is a 1500 mile road trip that takes you to New Orleans, Nashville, Memphis, Mississippi and more. Genres included in this historic trip include blues, jazz, country, rock n’ roll, gospel, southern gospel, bluegrass, Cajun-zydeco, and R&B. You can choose to travel all in one glorious road trip or take them one at a time in the five distinct trips the website maps out. Musical events are regularly scheduled at certain destinations. Check out ¾ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 TRAILBLAZER


On Location

VACATION COLORFUL AT TROPICAL PALMS RV RESORT Located in Kissimmee, Florida, Tropical Palms RV Resort is a hidden gem of a vacation destination. From it’s lush landscape to special amenities like a pool, cafe, live entertainment, social events, and much more, Tropical Palms RV Resort is the perfect getaway for business or pleasure.

To book your next stay, visit

You’re bound to

have an unforgettable resort experience when you stay in one of the colorful cottages at Tropical Palms. These bright colored cottages boast Instagram-worthy hues, inside and out all year round. With easy access to the beach, amusement parks, and all kinds of activities, you’ll find that your colorful cottage is the perfect retreat for a siesta in style. The palm-tree lined streets of Tropical Palms greet you around every corner and the Florida sunshine generously warms the guests of this tropical paradise. There is plenty to do nearby! Whether you spend your days sunning and surfing at Cocoa Beach or stroll down the brick-lined streets of Old Town, where there are plenty of shops and restaurants and family-friendly activities at every turn, you're sure to fill your days with a plethora of fun. Tropical Palms is just a short distance from all the major theme parks like Disney World®, Universal™ Theme Parks, and SeaWorld®.

Though close to the heart of Orlando, Tropical Palms boasts its own special activities and features- watch a classic movie from the pool at the “divein movie,” learn a new dance or perfect your steps at our on-site dance classes, gather your team for a shuffleboard tournament, or impress your friends with your best recipe at a potluck. You’ll see that Tropical Palms is the perfect home base for your Orlando vacation! Tropical Palms’ spacious vacation cottages come in a variety of floor plans to accommodate any group size! The cottages feature private decks, full kitchens, flat-screen TVs, and sleeper sofas. Pet-friendly cottages are available as well! Make your next vacation unforgettably colorful and sunny when you book a reservation at Tropical Palms RV resort today! Visit for more information. ¾

SPECIAL OFFER! Thousand Trails members can get 30% off a 2 night minimum stay (6 night maximum) in a vacation cottage at Tropical Palms from now until Dec. 31, 2018! Call (877) 570-2267 and remember to use promo code: TBTPRV30*


And to get a special look inside the Tropical Palms cottages and resort, visit rvonthego. com/florida/tropicalpalms-rv-resort/rentals

*Valid until December 31, 2018. Book By December 29, 2018. Subject to availability. Reservations required. Offer valid on new reservations only. Offer valid on rentals only. Stays 30 days or less are subject to $4 per day resort fee. Electric not included for stays of 30 days or longer. 6 night maximum. Rates do not include taxes. Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotions.

Thousand Trails had an opportunity to catch up with our R

Donna & Steve enjoyed a 7-night cruise aboard the Norwegian Pearl! “We had a great time! We were very happy that my sister and her husband cruised with us as they are experienced cruisers and they showed us a lot of things I am sure we would have missed otherwise...The excursions were a lot of fun. It was actually sunny and almost 60 degrees the day we were in Ketchikan so the Duck boat was quite enjoyable. The shows and entertainment were great. We saw a very funny comedian named Brad Upton. Liked him so much we saw him 2 nights. Thank you so much for ALL your help we would have been lost without you (and my sis)!”



Referral Grand Prize award winners, Donna & Steve Leon!

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#100daysofcamping 2018

Thank you to all our campers who made memories and participated in #100DaysofCamping at Thousand Trails campgrounds nationwide!

To book your next stay, call

(844) 289-6231 or, visit our website 46


#100daysofcamping 2 018

Thank you to all our campers who made memories and participated in #100DaysofCamping at Thousand Trails campgrounds nationwide!

To book your next stay, call

(844) 289-6231 or, visit our website NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 TRAILBLAZER


Who’s in the kitchen with

TrailBlazer? Recipes Courtesy of Rebecca Camire

Winter is filled with classic dishes so this month I wanted to share a few spins on some traditional flavors. For the peppermint bark, you can reduce your sugar intake by opting for organic candy canes that are void of artificial colors, and by using a higher quality chocolate with cacao if you wanted a more bitter taste.

PEPPERMINT BARK Prep time: 10 minutes


Who doesn’t love cashews around the holidays? Spice them up with the easy recipe this month to add a different flavor to the mix. It’s quick, easy and if you have a larger crowd you can always double the recipe no problem.

Cook time: 60 minutes

10 oz chocolate

Total time: 70 minutes

2 tsp coconut oil

Serves: 5-7

5 candy canes, crushed

For the cranberry orange cookies, these are great for those with dairy allergies as they are dairy free! These are naturally sweet from the orange zest, honey and cranberry so need for added sugars. It doesn’t matter which one you choose just be sure to enjoy those holiday celebrations, guilt-free!

1. Remove wrapper from candy canes and place in a plastic bag or food processor.

For more recipes and lifestyle tips connect with me over at: Refreshed Nutrition @Refreshed_Nutrition




2. Crush the candy canes with a kitchen mallet or by pulsing in food processor. 3. Heat chocolate and coconut oil on low, in a small saucepan on the stove, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning. 4. Remove from heat and place parchment paper on a small baking sheet.

5. Evenly spread the chocolate for desired thickness and add in the crushed candy canes, pressing lightly to ensure they are intact. 6. Place in the refrigerator for one hour or more. 7. Remove and break into uneven squares. 8. These are best stored in the refrigerator.

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and lay cashews on top. 3. Drizzle the olive oil on the cashews and toss until well covered. 4. Mix the spices together in a small bowl, then pour on top of cashews and mix until evenly coated.

BASIL ROASTED CASHEWS Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

5. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes so they don’t burn.

Total time: 20 minutes

6. Let cool and enjoy!

Ingredients: 2 C raw, unsalted cashews

1 tsp garlic salt

2 tbsp olive oil

pinch of salt and pepper

1 tbsp + 1 tsp dried basil


Total time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Serves: 5


½ tsp baking powder

2 C almond flour

¼ tsp salt

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

2 tsp orange zest

¼ C creamed or raw honey

2 tbsp dried cranberries

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease. 3. Using a hand mixer, mix all ingredients except for the cranberries in a bowl until well combined.

4. Fold in the cranberries with a spatula.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

5. Using a tablespoon, drop cookies onto baking sheet, lightly pressing the dough with a fork.

7. Remove and let cool for about 5 minutes before enjoying.



Member Deals

Thousand Trails Members Always Save On RV Sites & Rentals Call! Click! Camp!


▲ ViewPoint (AZ)

Thousand Trails Standard Discount:

20% OFF Daily Rates for RV Sites & Rentals Use Promo Code:


10% OFF Monthly Rates for RV Sites & Rentals Use Promo Code:

TT10% Valid at Campgrounds and RV Resorts available at

▲ Vally Vista (AZ)

*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.



Member Deals ▲ Mesa Spirit (AZ)





3 Month Seasonal Special

3 Month Seasonal Special

Valid Araby Acres, Mesa Spirit, Monte Vista, Paradise, ViewPoint, Voyager

Valid Cactus Gardens, Capri, Casita Verde, Countryside, Desert Paradise, Fiesta Grande, Foothill Village, Foothills West, Golden Sun, Mesa Verde, Suni Sands, Valley Vista

Call To Book Valid on standard RV sites. Valid 11/1/18 - 4/30/19. Book By 1/30/19. Min. 90 nights, Max. 92 nights.

*Restrictions/exclusions apply and are listed at bottom of this page.

Call To Book Valid on standard RV sites. Valid 11/1/18 - 4/30/19. Book By 1/30/19. Min. 90 nights, Max. 92 nights.

*Restrictions/exclusions apply and are listed at bottom of this page.





4 Month Seasonal Special

4 Month Seasonal Special

Valid Cactus Gardens, Capri, Casita Verde, Countryside, Desert Paradise, Fiesta Grande, Foothill Village, Foothills West, Golden Sun, Mesa Verde, Suni Sands, Valley Vista

Valid Araby Acres, Mesa Spirit, Monte Vista, Paradise, ViewPoint, Voyager

Call To Book

Call To Book

Valid on standard RV sites. Valid 11/1/18 - 4/30/19. Book By 1/30/19. Min. 120 nights, Max. 122 nights.

Valid on standard RV sites. Valid 11/1/18 - 4/30/19. Book By 1/30/19. Min. 120 nights Max. 122 nights.

*Restrictions/exclusions apply and are listed at bottom of this page.

*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.



Member Deals ▲ Mt. Hood Village (OR)


30% OFF Monthly Stay $499 one month stay Valid at Mt. Hood

▲ View of Mt. Hood (OR)

Call To Book Valid 11/1/18 - 12/31/18. Book by 12/1/2018. 28 day min, 31 day max.

Promo code: TB499MH *Restrictions/exclusions apply and are listed at bottom of this page. (888) 443-7301

Call! Click! Camp!

**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.



Member Deals ▲ Tropical Palms (FL)

Arizona Florida

Arizona Florida

30% OFF 30% MonthlyOFF Stay

30% OFF $100 OFF

Vacation Cottages

Monthly 3+ MonthStay Stay

Valid at Tropical Palms

Valid at all Florida Encore RV Resorts excluding the Keys

Call To Book

Call To Book

Valid until 12/31/18. Book by 12/29/18.

Valid on standard RV sites. Valid until 4/30/19. Book by 12/31/18

Min stay 2 nights, max stay 6 nights.

Min stay 90 nights, max stay 180 nights.

Promo code: TBTPRV30

Promo code: TTMemberSeasonal

*Restrictions/exclusions apply and are listed at bottom of this page.

*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.



Member Deals ▲ Paradise Park (TX)

South Texas

$1,249 3-Month Seasonal Special Valid at Alamo Palms, Country Sunshine, Fun N Sun, Lakewood, Paradise Park, Paradise South, Southern Comfort, Sunshine and Tropic Winds.

Call To Book

▲ Southern


Comfort (TX

Valid on standard RV sites. Valid 11/1/18 - 4/30/19. Book by 12/31/18. Min stay 90 nights, max stay for 92 nights.

*Restrictions/exclusions apply and are listed at bottom of this page.

South Texas

$1,899 3-Month Seasonal Special Valid at Victoria Palms

Call To Book Valid on standard RV sites. Valid 11/1/18 - 4/30/19. Book by 12/31/18. Min stay 90 nights, max stay for 92 nights.

*Restrictions/exclusions apply and are listed at bottom of this page. (888) 443-7301

Call! Click! Camp!

**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.



Member Deals

▲ Victoria Palms (TX)

South Texas

$1,549 4-Month Seasonal Special Valid at Alamo Palms, Country Sunshine, Fun N Sun, Lakewood, Paradise Park, Paradise South, Southern Comfort, Sunshine and Tropic Winds.

Call To Book

inds (TX)

▲ Tropic W

Valid on standard RV sites. Valid 11/1/18 - 4/30/19. Book by 12/31/18. Min stay 120 nights, max stay for 122 nights.

*Restrictions/exclusions apply and are listed at bottom of this page.

South Texas

$2,349 4-Month Seasonal Special Valid at Victoria Palms

Call To Book Valid on standard RV sites. Valid 11/1/18 - 4/30/19. Book by 12/31/18. Min stay 120 nights, max stay for 122 nights.

*Restrictions/exclusions apply and are listed at bottom of this page. (888) 443-7301

Call! Click! Camp!

**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.




YOUR OPPORTUNITIES More Freedom to Explore! Enjoying the benefits of your Thousand Trails Camping Pass? Then you’ll love what our premium upgrade options have to offer. Get nationwide access to our premier campsites and resorts, keep the fun going with longer maximum stays, plan further ahead with extended booking windows, and much more!

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



Get More Locations Plan Further Ahead Explore New Accommodations Travel Club See if a Membership Upgrade is Right for You! Which Camping Pass Upgrade is right for you? Camping Pass

Elite Basic

Elite Connections

Booking Window

60 Days

120 Days

180 Days

Maximum Stay

14 Days

21 Days

21 Days

Thousand Trails

Access to Campgrounds in your zone(s)

Park to Park Family Access Reciprocal Network Getaway Cabins Travel Club

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.




Answers can be found on page 65.

ACROSS 1 Noted psychiatrist 5 Adverb (abbr.) 8 Carplike fish 12 Forest ox 13 Plead 14 Norse mythical hero 15 Eire legislature 16 Jutting rock 17 Point 18 Phoenician princess 20 Occasional 22 Poetic contraction 23 Knot lace 24 Spear-shaped 28 Pall 32 Singleton 33 Tree 35 Classic car 36 Calorie 39 Name 42 Amer. Automobile Assn. (abbr.) 44 Defamatory remark 60

45 Grape 48 Scope 52 High (pref.) 53 Girdle 55 Muttonfish 56 Unknown author 57 lndo-Chin. people 58 Hall (Ger.) 59 Gender 60 Compass direction 61 Yearn DOWN 1 Gem 2 Two-toed sloth 3 Black (Fr.) 4 Uncouth person 5 Moon goddess 6 Pair 7 Russ. distance measure 8 Argument 9 Culture medium 10 Circuit (abbr.)


11 River into the North Sea 19 Size of coal 21 Bird’s cry 24 Cloche 25 Exclamation 26 Look 27 Guido’s note (2 words) 29 Limb 30 Arikara people 31 There 34 Leo (2 words) 37 Fr. author 38 Sheep’s cry 40 Cloud (Fr.) 41 Black Sea port 43 S.A. porridge 45 Lady’s title 46 Arm bone 47 Short takeoff and landing (abbr.) 49 Women’s Army Aux. Corps (abbr.) 50 Oriental maid 51 U.S. mountain 54 Babism founder

Terms and Conditions for 2018 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.

Karl Myers

of East Wenatchee, WA

found the tree on Page 50 of the September/October 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 January 31, 2019 and remember – the tree could be a different color and size.

For each Eligible Referral (as defined) through December 31, 2018, you will receive a $25 Virtual Visa® Reward Card. In addition, for each Eligible Referral through December 31, 2018, you will receive one entry in a drawing for the following prizes: (i) Grand Prize is either a trip to Hawaii or a 7 night Caribbean Cruise, valued at $4,000, that includes roundtrip coach airfare for two adults from the continental United States to either Hawaii or Florida, and one hotel/cruise room for 7 nights; (ii) Second Prize is a trip to either Las Vegas, San Francisco or Orlando, valued at $2,000, that includes roundtrip coach airfare for two adults from the continental United States to either Las Vegas, San Francisco or Orlando and one hotel room for 4 nights and (iii) ten (10) Third Prizes waiving payment of the winners’ annual dues for 2019, not to exceed $575 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, 2019. 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 May 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018 and (ii) lists you as the referring member. This offer is only for members in good standing of Thousand Trails and its affiliates. Due to legal restrictions, (a) residents of AZ, FL, NV, and PA are not eligible to participate in the drawing and you will not receive an entry in the drawing for purchases made by residents of AZ, FL, NV, or PA, and (b) residents of AZ and PA are not eligible to receive a $25 Virtual Visa® Reward Card and you will not receive a $25 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.




Check out member specials on parts, service, and sales by visiting our preferred RV Dealer partners listed here.


A&L RV Sales TN - Christiana, Johnson City, Sevierville A Great Outdoor RV Center TX - Canton • Affinity RV AZ - Dewey, Prescott, Prescott Valley Al’s Trailer Sales OR - Salem • All Valley RV Center CA - Acton • Alpin Haus NY - Amsterdam, Port Jervis, Saratoga American Family RV VA - Chesapeake, VA - Salem Appleton Camping Center WI - Appleton • B&B RV CA - Anderson • Bama RV AL - Dothan • Baydo’s RV of Chehalis WA - Chehalis •

Braun’s Fun Time Campers IN - Indianapolis •

Cunningham Campers, Inc.

Browns RV SC - McBee •

Economy RVs MD - Mechanicsville •

Burlington RV Superstore WI - Sturtevant •

Ellis Travel Trailers GA - Statesboro •

Camperland Trailer Sales TX - Conroe •

ET Quality RV CA - Two locations in Yuba City

Campers Inn CT - Union FL - Leesburg, Jacksonville, Ocala IN - Clarksville SC - Myrtle Beach NC - Kings Mountain, Mocksville, Raleigh NH - Kingston, Merrimack PA - Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, MA - Raynham VA - Fredericksburg GA - Macon, Atlanta • Canopy Country RV Center WA - Ellensburg, Union Gap Charlie Obaugh RV VA - Staunton • Chesaco RV MD - Joppa, Frederick, Gambrills PA - Shoemakersville •

Big Country RV OR - Bend, Redmond •

Clear Creek RV WA - Silverdale, Puyallup

Blade Chevrolet RV WA - Mt. Vernon •

Cleveland RV GA - Cleveland •

Blue Dog RV CA - Redding ID - Coeur D’Alene ID - Post Falls NV - Las Vegas OR - Gresham OR - Medford OR - Redmond WA - Fife WA - Kennewick WA - Pasco WA - Spokane Valley •

Coastal RV VA - Carrolton •

Boat-N-RV NY - West Coxsackie SC - Ridgeland PA - Hamburg •


Colerain RV GA - Ringgold IN - Indianapolis OH - Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus KY - Lexington, Bowling Green TN - Lebanon, Louisville • Conejo Wholesale Auto and RV CA - Thousand Oaks Country Camping Corner NC - Kings Mountain • Crossroads Trailers NJ - Newfield •


IN - Jeffersonville •

FIFE RV Center WA-Fife • Floyd’s RV OK - Norman • Freedom RV WA - Liberty Lake • Funtime RV OR - Tualatin • Gibs RV Superstore OR - Coos Bay • Gloucester RV Sales & Service VA - Hayes • Grand View Trailers Sales VA - Bedford • Halterman’s RV WA - Arlington • Hayden’s RVs VA - Richmond • Haylett RV MI - Coldwater • Indian Valley Camper Center PA - Souderton • Jeff’s Couch’s RV Nation OH - Hamilton • Keystone RV Center PA - Greencastle • La Mesa RV AZ - W. Phoenix CA - Sacramento, San Diego FL - Ft. Myers, Orlando, Port St. Lucie, Daytona Beach • Lakeside RV Sales SC - Anderson • Marjon RV CA - Moreno Valley •

McKay’s RV & Marine Center ME - Holden •

Safford RV VA - Thornburg •

Media Camping PA - Media •

Sahara RV NV - Las Vegas •

Mike Thompson RV Superstores CA - Cathedral City, Colton, Fountain Valley, Santa Fe Springs

San Angelo RV TX - San Angelo •

Opelika RV Center AL - Opelika •

CANADA Action VR QC - Saint-Nicolas •

Scott Motor Coach RV Center NJ - Lakewood • See Grins RV CA - Gilroy, San Martin •

Open Road RV Center WA - Arlington, Monroe

Seguin RV TX - Seguin •

Out of Doors Mart NC - Colfax •

Simi RV & Off Road CA - Simi Valley •

Patterson RV TX - Wichita Falls •

Sky River RV CA - Buellton, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach

Phillips RV Center MI - Mount Morris •

Camp Out RV ON - Stratford • Canadream AB - Calgary BC - Vancouver ON - Toronto NS - Halifax QC - Montreal YT - Whitehorse • GO VR QC - Ange-Gardien • Horizon Lussier QC - Maryville •

Snyder’s RV VA - Virginia Beach •

JCS Entreposage QC - Trois Rivières •

Strickland Marine & RV SC - Seneca •

Kustom Koach RV Centre BC - Aldergrove •

Princess Craft RV TX - Round Rock •

Stoltzfus RV’s & Marine PA - West Chester •

Lardner's Trailer Sales SK - Saskatoon •

R.B. Taylor & Sons VA - Lynchburg •

Sunbelt RV Center TX - Belton •

Le Centre du Vr Victoriaville QC - Saint-Albert •

Recreation Plantation RV Sales IL - Lynwood

Sundown RV Center CA - Atwater •

Leisure Days RV ON - Aylmer, Kingston, Pembroke, Smiths Falls, Sudbury QC - Buckingham, Gatineau, Sherbrooke NB - Salisbury NS - Truro •

PPL Motorhomes TX - Cleburne, Houston, New Braunfels

Roadhouse Camper & RV PA - Lake Ariel (Scranton) Roy Robinson RV WA - Marysville • 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 • RVs Northwest WA - Spokane • RV Value Mart PA - Lititz, Manheim, Willow

Super Deals RV Inc. GA - Temple • TAC RV NC - Moyock •

Leisure Trailer Sales ON - Tecumseh •

The RV Factory Luxe Fifth Wheel IN - Elkhart • 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

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 •

Waterdog RV OR - Dayton •

VR Emond Plus QC - Sainte-Nicolas •

Welcome Back RV Outlet TX - Athens • Western Travel Sales WA - Lynden •

VR Prestige QC - Terrebonne •

Wilder RV WA - Port Angeles •

VR Souliere QC - Lanoraie, Lavaltrie NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 TRAILBLAZER


y l l a It’s R ! e m i T Calendar

CLUB Nov/Dec 2018 Bounders United (BUTTN)

If you are interested in attending please contact wagonmaster Darlene Spalding at (951) 741-3881. BUTTN are members who own or have owned a Bounder motorhome and belong to the Bounders United and Thousand Trails.

TT SINGLES Northwest

WagonMaster, Director Daphne Bailey (OR), (503) 590-8566, Secretary Dorothy Michel (WA) (360) 941-3126,

Lewis and Clark TTN

Mike May: President Lewis and Clark TTN chapter of FMCA. Contact person, Mike May (360) 581-5512 or


RVers seeking RVers? Rally clubs from coast to coast love

to meet at our destinations. Join in on the fun! Rolling Thunder of Texoma We meet twice a year in the north Texas area. For more information call Dianna Huff at (405) 641-8226 or visit

TT of Texas/FMCA Nov. 9-11 ................ Medina Lake, TX 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.



Make your vacation destination home.

YOU LOVE YOUR RV. Through all the miles logged and memories made, you likely have some favorite places you find yourself visiting over and over again. Whether you can’t get that beautiful location in the mountains out of your mind or the group of friends you made who share your love for the open road, these favorite places keep calling you back. You know you want the freedom to travel whenever you want and a home base where you can be with friends and family. Why not make your favorite vacation destination, home?

Visit today to search more than 200 communities across 26 states.




Local Office

for your RV

Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. Š 2018 GEICO Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. Š 2018 GEICO

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 - November/December 2018  

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

TrailBlazer Magazine - November/December 2018  

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

Profile for trailsmag