Friday, March 27, 2015

Technomadia video: Exploring Anza-Borrego, Quartzsite & Cibola



Enjoy this video from Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard of Technomadia.com, who share about their January 2015 travel adventures exploring and boondocking around the desert southwest - from Borrego Springs, CA, to Quartzsite, AZ to ending the month near Cibola Wildlife Refuge.

About Technomadia
Technomadia is the "adventures and musings" of Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard. Perpetually on the road since 2006 embracing nomadic serendipity, the two are now traveling in a "geeked out vintage bus conversion" and working remotely as app developers, technology consultants and strategy advisors. The two have a great sense of humor and really know their stuff whether its technology, RVing and how to have fun.

Visit their website, follow them on Twitter, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and like their Facebook page.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

O.A.R.S. reports record demand for Grand Canyon rafting trips

O.A.R.S., the award-winning whitewater rafting and adventure travel outfitter, reports that they began to accept advance reservations for 2016 Grand Canyon rafting adventures in late November 2014 and the company has seen a record number of bookings placed.

“In less than a month since opening up reservations, we are more than 50 percent sold out of our signature Grand Canyon river trips for 2016,” reported Steve Markle, director of sales and marketing for the O.A.R.S. Family of Companies. “This is the strongest demand we’ve ever experienced for advance bookings in the Grand Canyon.”

Markle went on to say, “Sales for dory trips in the Grand Canyon are exceptionally strong and are actually outpacing demand for our Grand Canyon rafting trips for the first time in the history of the company. We attribute some of that increased demand to the success of Kevin Fedarko’s book, The Emerald Mile, which highlights the dories prominently.”

Dories are small, wooden and fiberglass boats popularized by the late Martin Litton, the legendary environmental crusader and founder of Grand Canyon Dories, who died peacefully at age 97 on November 30, 2014. As Fedarko detailed in his book, Litton “inaugurated a tradition of naming every craft after a natural wonder that, in his view, had heedlessly been destroyed by the hand of man—‘to remind us of places we’ve destroyed without any necessity,’ he would bark to anyone who inquired, ‘so that maybe we’ll think twice before we do it again.’”
 
In 1969, O.A.R.S. became the first exclusively oar-powered rafting outfitter permitted to run the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  Today, O.A.R.S. & Grand Canyon Dories offer 5- to 18-day trips between Lees Ferry and Lake Mead, floating up to 277 river miles through billions of years of geological time reflected in the Canyon’s steep, vibrant colored cliffs.  All O.A.R.S. Grand Canyon trips incorporate daily hikes to Native American sites and interpretive discussions of everything from archaeology and geology to the night sky and harrowing tales of Colorado River runners.
 
Markle reminded groups who may have tight travel windows to book as soon as possible because the most popular dates are filling quickly for 2016.
 
“Although our Grand Canyon trips are already mostly sold out for 2015 at this point, we have limited space available for one or two people here and there and we do have a waiting list we turn to in the event of cancellations,” he added.
 
Only 16 commercial outfitters are permitted to run the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and O.A.R.S. offers more than 30 unique itineraries from April into November each year. 

About O.A.R.S.
Since 1969, O.A.R.S. has set the standard in first-class rafting, sea kayaking and multi-sport vacations, with destinations and unparalleled experiences on over 35 rivers and coastlines of the world.  O.A.R.S. caters to active travelers of all ages and abilities with more than 75 unique itineraries worldwide, including one-day and weekend escapes. For more information on O.A.R.S. eco-friendly adventures visit www.oars.com, email the company at info@oars.com or call 1-800-346-6277.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Showcasing the Michigan DNR: Making your own snowshoes at Michigan state parks

During a snowshoe-making class, Hartwick Pines State Park
interpreter Craig Kasmer points out where Meg Coughlin
should tie a knot while Nancy Greenia looks on. (DNR photos)
Craig Kasmer begins with a warning: You will face challenges.

“This isn’t the easiest thing to do,” said Kasmer. “I’ll be up front about this. Some of you will have issues. Some of you will think you don’t have issues, but you do.”

So what are we talking about here? Navy SEALs training? Rebuilding a ’57 Chevy? Undergoing psychotherapy?

Nope. Kasmer, the interpreter at Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling, Michigan, is talking about making snowshoes.

For the last eight winters, Kasmer has hosted three weekend classes (in December, January and February) on building snowshoes. The students begin with the basic materials – a wooden frame, some lengths of tubular nylon, and a set of bindings – and by the end of the weekend, they’ll have a self-made pair of snowshoes ready to be varnished and used to negotiate the winter outdoors. The workshop currently costs $175 per student, includes all necessary materials, and comes with Kasmer’s personal warranty on the product.

The class and similar others at a number of Michigan state parks are among the most popular hands-on winter activities offered by the Department of Natural Resources. This year’s classes are full, but there will be plenty of opportunities next winter. (Follow the DNR calendar to learn about classes like these and other upcoming events at Michigan state parks, historic sites and museums.)

The earliest example of mankind’s attempts to make conveyance over snow easier, snowshoes have been around for at least 4,000 years, far longer than skis. Snowshoes are thought to have been invented in central Asia, though the version most are familiar with – the webbed overshoes that we see today – was perfected by the indigenous people of North America.

Craig Kasmer, interpreter at Hartwick Pines State Park,
shows what a finished snowshoe should look like. 
Snowshoes have a simple premise: spread the weight of a body over a large enough area so that it can remain atop of the snow instead of sinking down into it. They make traversing the snow, if not easy, at least easier.

At a recent event at Hartwick Pines, Kasmer guided 11 people through the process. It’s an energy-intensive affair as Kasmer scampers like a red squirrel from student to student to student, answering questions, correcting errors and offering encouragement. His delivery is half stand-up comedian, half elementary school teacher, a mixture of wry observation and manufacturing mantra.

“It’s over the top, behind the bottom,” he chants, like a nun drilling first-graders on their ABCs, as he explains how to attach the nylon to the frame. “Under the diagonal, over the horizontal,” he says as he describes the way the webbing is weaved.

Most of the participants in the weekend workshops arrive in pairs; husbands and wives, buddies, or parent and offspring. But Kasmer discourages young children, as the work can be very frustrating. Fact is, it’s no piece of cake for adults.

Bob and Veronica Henderson, from Lewiston, said they’d tried in previous years to come to the workshop, but couldn’t ever get it scheduled until this year. The pair are experienced snowshoers and own metal shoes.

“We wanted the real ones,” Veronica said.

So why not buy them?

Snowshoe builders taking the snowshoe-making class at
Hartwick Pines State Park begin with a 45-foot length
of nylon to tie the base of a snowshoe.
“It’s the novelty and a chance to visit Hartwick Pines,” Veronica said. “And it’s a way to add to the frustration in our lives.”

Indeed, builders begin with a 45-foot length of nylon to build the base – one of three sections of webbing – on the snowshoe. Tie an incorrect knot or miss a weave, and you’re taking out the whole length of nylon to try it again.

John and Kellie Remier, an engineer/school teacher couple from New Haven (Macomb County) drove up to the Pines for the second year in a row.

“We visited last year, borrowed snowshoes and enjoyed it,” Kellie said. “Last year’s class was full so we came up this year.”

“It’s interesting,” John said. “You can’t lose track of where you’re at.”

“You’ve got to stay on top of it,” Kellie agreed.

Most participants are finished with their first shoe by the first afternoon and beginning the second. It’s rare that a student finishes the pair in one day. 

“Some people will be here late Sunday night,” Kasmer said. “That’s OK; I’ll be here.”

John Remier, right, assists his wife Kellie as they build
snowshoes during a class at Hartwick Pines State Park.
For his part, Kasmer can sit down and build a pair of shoes in a couple of hours. But he’s the unique individual who picked up on the technique right away.

“Before I was into forestry I was in fine arts,” he said. “I caught it quickly. I’ve got an over-developed right side of my brain.”

Snowshoe builders have to be willing to postpone their gratification; even after the shoes are completely built, there’s an additional step that must be completed before the shoes are fit for snowshoeing. The whole product must be varnished.

The varnish not only protects the wood, but also tightens up the webbing. And it gives the shoes the appearance of those stringed with gut, the way the American Indians used to make them.

Over the course of his snowshoe-building career, Kasmer said, there was only one pair of students who didn’t complete the task. It was a pair of buddies who’d been gifted the session by their wives and really weren’t interested in the project. Kasmer finished the shoes for them.

“Another nice thing about this workshop is that if anyone ever has maintenance or repair issues with their shoes, they can always call me up and I’ll be here to assist them,” Kasmer added. 

Anyone interested in being added to a registration list for next year's snowshoe-making classes should email Kasmer at kasmerc@michigan.gov. For more information on this and other winter activities at state parks, visit www.michigan.gov/stateparks

Monday, March 23, 2015

Top Destination RV Parks announced by Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide



The Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide is highlighting the Top Destination Parks for March as part of its 12 Months of RVing promotion.

These select RV Parks stand out for their proximity to popular travel destinations, from California’s Redwood Forests to Florida’s Everglades. Destination parks serve as virtual jumping-off points for North America’s most popular destinations; many of these parks help guests arrange tours and provide information about points of interest.

The editors and consultants of the Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide chose the list of Destination parks from the annual publication’s database of more than 7,000 private parks.

12 Months of RVing
The 12 Months of RVing lists celebrate the diversity of the RV lifestyle. Regardless of RVing travel preferences, the Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide helps consumers find the parks that support their interests.

Parks participating in this program are featured in press releases, enewsletters and blog posts. Each of the parks will have Top Parks badge in their park information page.


Top Destination RV Parks

Arizona
Grand Canyon Railway RV Park, Williams

British Columbia
Burnaby Cariboo RV Park And Campground, Burnaby
Hazelmere RV Park & Campground, Surrey

California
Jackson Rancheria RV Park, Jackson
Orangeland RV Park, Orange
Vines RV Resort, Paso Robles
Far Horizons 49er Village RV Resort, Plymouth
La Pacifica RV Resort, San Diego

Colorado
Garden of the Gods RV Resort, Colorado Springs

Connecticut
Bear Creek Campground at Lake Compounce, Bristol
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

Florida
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Lake Buena Vista
Club Naples RV Resort, Naples
Tallahassee RV Park, Tallahassee

Georgia
Lake Pines RV Park & Campground, Columbus

Idaho
Suntree RV Park, Post Falls

Indiana
Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort, Santa Claus

Kentucky
Duck Creek RV Park, Paducah

Louisiana
Red Shoes Park at Coushatta Casino Resort , Kinder
Pine Crest RV & MH Park of New Orleans, Slidell

Maine
Pumpkin Patch RV Resort, Bangor

Maryland
Castaways RV Resort & Campground, Ocean City


Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort
Massachusetts
Cape Cod Campresort & Cabins, East Falmouth
Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort, Foxboro

Michigan
Little River Casino RV Park, Manistee

Nevada
Hitchin' Post RV Park, Las Vegas
Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort, Las Vegas
Wine Ridge RV Resort & Cottages, Pahrump
Cottonwood Cove Resort, Searchlight

New Jersey
Liberty Harbor Marina & RV Park, Jersey City

New York
The Villages at Turning Stone, Verona

North Carolina
Camping at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte

Oregon
Portland Fairview RV Park, Fairview
Artillery Ridge Camping Resort

Pennsylvania
Artillery Ridge Camping Resort, Gettysburg
Drummer Boy Camping Resort, Gettysburg
Round Top Campground, Gettysburg
Hersheypark Camping Resort, Hershey
Lake-In-Wood Resort, Narvon

South Carolina
Oak Plantation Campground, LP, Charleston

South Dakota
Beaver Lake Campground, Custer
Rafter J Bar Ranch Camping Resort, Hill City
Hart Ranch Camping Resort Club, Rapid City
Chris' Camp, Spearfish

Tennessee
Memphis Graceland RV Park & Campground, Memphis
Nashville Shores RV Park, Nashville

Texas
Bennett's RV Ranch, Granbury
The Vineyards Campground & Cabins, Grapevine
Northlake Village RV Park, Roanoke
Blazing Star Luxury RV Resort, San Antonio
Traveler's World RV Resort, San Antonio
Mt. Olympus Camp Resort

Virginia
Lake Ridge RV Resort, Hillsville

Washington
Lake Pleasant RV Park, Bothell
Maple Grove RV Resort, Everett
Point Hudson Marina & RV Park, Port Townsend

Wisconsin
Mt. Olympus Camp Resort, Wisconsin Dells

Saturday, March 21, 2015

New Travel App Brings National Park Road Trips to Life

New Audio Guide Enhances National Park Vacations
Just Ahead’s Innovative GPS-Driven Smartphone App Turns Road Trip Into Richly Narrated Journey

Thanks to a new travel app from Just Ahead (http://www.justahead.com/), smartphone technology can now play a vital role on a vacation into America’s national parks. In fact, it may be just the thing to turn heads away from games, music, and texting and into nature while cruising park roads this summer.

New to the market for 2015, the GPS-powered mobile app turns smartphones into hands-free audio tour guides of the most beautiful places on earth.
Just Ahead’s app and audio guides work even where cell phones, Internet, and Wi-Fi won’t, to stream fun and interesting stories spliced with geography, history, and even driving directions while cruising through a national park.
One example is Just Ahead’s Death Valley National Park audio guide, which recently garnered the Best Travel App award from the North American Travel Journalists Association. This award is due, in part, to the levels of professional travel writing and narration that present the myriad stories of each national park. Content writer and editor Bob Howells has twice won the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Lowell Thomas Gold Award for adventure travel writing.

“Our aim is to give travelers and their families an entertaining and educational travel experience,” underscored Just Ahead founder Gregory Morse. “We think the Just Ahead app and audio guides encourage exploring and getting off the beaten track. You’re engaged at the same time you’re learning.”
Just Ahead utilizes GPS technology to know exactly where drivers are on the road, and delivers stories and maps relevant to their location. Just Ahead also helps drivers avoid getting lost by providing helpful suggested directions. Just Ahead tells drivers why they should turn or not, what they should do after a turn, and recommends the best direction to take if there are multiple route options.
As of mid-winter 2015, Just Ahead apps are available for the following parks: Yosemite, Zion and Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley. An additional 12 national park guides are in production, including Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Petrified Forrest, Canyon De Chelly, Monument Valley, and Mesa Verde – with many more to come.

Just Ahead started with US national parks because they are treasured natural assets that are visited each year by 292 million people from around the world (2014 set a record for national park visitation). But the company intends to go beyond the parks. In the future, Just Ahead will offer guides for other major road trip destinations, including California Highway 1, Route 66, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Hawaiian Islands, and many others.
The Just Ahead app is a free download, and each destination guide is available as an in-app purchase. Guides range from $7.99 – $9.99 and include a free trial and free guide updates.

About Just Ahead
The Just Ahead mobile app turns your smartphone into a hands-free audio guide to the most beautiful places on earth by delivering professionally written and narrated audio tours to vacationers who want an informed travel experience as they drive.
Just Ahead’s award-winning audio guides work without an Internet connection or phone service and use a smartphone’s GPS to deliver hands-free, customized audio tours based on a vehicle’s location. The guides and built-in maps also provide helpful suggested directions, and offer more points of interest and stories than any other GPS audio travel apps. Ideal for families, Just Ahead’s audio guides help create shared experiences, conversations, and memories that will last a lifetime. The Just Ahead app is a free download, and each destination guide is available as an in-app purchase that includes free guide updates.

For more information, please visit: http://www.justahead.com.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Powerhouse Inverter Generators introduces the PH4000Ri/E with Electronic Fuel Injection

Note: This press release crossed my desk and I thought it deserved to be shared here.

Being off the grid doesn't mean you have to be powerless with the Powerhouse PH 4000Ri/E Inverter Generator. Whether you are camping, working or facing a natural disaster, the reliable portable power of the PH4000Ri/E with Electronic Fuel Injection goes wherever you go to deliver the power you need.

The PH4000 puts out 4000 watts of clean power, which is enough to run a 15,000 BTU air conditioner, lights, fridge and a coffeemaker,  or several power tools all at the same time.

The PH4000Ri/E is the first Powerhouse portable generator with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), which gives it a number of very useful advantages including excellent cold weather starting and hot restarts. EFI produces superior horsepower and improves performance at high altitude. Other EFI advantages of the PH4000 include a self-priming fuel system, exceptional fuel economy and cleaner emissions.

The PH4000 has an electric starter with a large battery, which also eases cold weather starting. The included remote control starts or stops the generator from up to 75 feet away.

Powerhouse inverter technology delivers clean, clear power that won’t damage sensitive electronics like laptops, flat screen TVs and game consoles. An onboard digital screen displays voltage, amperage, wattage, fuel level and information from the self-contained diagnostic system.

Quiet enough to meet National Park Service guidelines for campground use, the PH4000 also meets the most stringent air quality standards throughout North America with CARB, EPA and CSA certifications.

The PH4000 features telescoping wheelbarrow style handles and pneumatic tires for easier handling and smooth movement even on rough terrain.

Whatever takes you off the grid, trust the Powerhouse PH4000Ri/E Inverter Generator to get you up and running.

About Powerhouse
Powerhouse Generators is a leading manufacturer of quality inverter generators for use in outdoor sports, construction, agriculture and emergency applications. Powerhouse Generators; http://www.powerhouse-products.com/; 800-495-5858

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

RV Geeks $700 PressurePro TPMS Contest & Engine Block Heaters Video



From RV Geeks: A Tire Pressure Monitoring System, or TPMS, provides some of the best peace of mind an RVer can buy. The PressurePro system keeps the RV Geeks safe by monitoring every tire on their rig at all times. Visit their website for how to enter the contest to receive the same model PressurePro TPMS monitor that they use, along with 10 tire sensors, an awesome prize worth over $700! The giveaway ends on March 22, 2015.



From RV Geeks: Engine block heaters are designed to allow your engine to start in bitter cold weather conditions. But they can also help reduce wear & tear on internal components, batteries and starter motor when firing up your engine after a long rest, even when it's not that cold out.

About RV Geeks
The RV Geeks offer RV maintenance, repair & travel tips from “Do-It-Ourselves” full-time RVers. They’ve handled most of their own RV maintenance during more than a decade of exploring North America. While not RV technicians, the RV Geeks are mechanically inclined and have learned a lot about RV systems over the years. They handle most of our own minor service, repair and upgrade work on our 2005 43′ Newmar Mountain Aire diesel pusher. We also maintained our 2002 39′ Fleetwood Bounder Diesel during our first two years on the road. Visit their website and subscribe to their YouTube channel.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

RV Cooking Show video: Cooking at BIG4 North Star's Ripples Licensed Cafe



This episode continues host Evanne's Schmarder’s trip to Australia. The 90 Days Downunder / RV Cooking Show crew cooks with Ripples Licensed Cafe chef Graham Terrey at their beautiful restaurant in the BIG 4 North Star Holiday Resort, Hastings Point, NSW. Evanne and Graham are making Cape Byron beef, a courgette (zucchini) frittata, potato tartan, and dukka bananas, sauteed and delicious, sprinkled with dukkah. Take a look, you're going to get very hungry!

About The RV Cooking Show
The RV Cooking Show takes viewers on adventures to some of the most sought-after or interesting but little-known RV locations in the country and then creates a healthy, easy, delicious destination-related dish in host Evanne Schmarder’s RV kitchen. I strongly encourage you to visit The RV Cooking Show's website, follow them on Twitter (@RVCookingShow), like their Facebook page, subscribe to their YouTube Channel and follow the show's Pinterest boards, You can also keep up with Evanne on The RV Cooking Show's blog.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Showcasing the Michigan DNR: Opportunities to ski by candlelight, lantern light are an inviting draw for visitors to Michigan state parks

Don Carlson and his daughter Erika opted for snowshoes,
rather than skis, at a recent Metamora-Hadley Recreation
Area candlelight event. (DNR photos)
Heather Farley had never been cross-country on skis, but when a friend suggested she give it a try at a recent Department of Natural Resources’ candlelight skiing event at Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area, she was all about it.

“By candlelight at night?” said Farley, a medical assistant from Grand Blanc. “How awesome is that? What better way to enjoy the winter?”

Farley said she was excited when she arrived at the park. Two hours later – after a couple loops around the campgrounds – she was convinced.

“It was awesome,” she said. “I’m hooked. I’m going to master this sport. I’ll have my whole family come out next year.”

Farley was one of about 40 people, of all ages and sizes, who showed up for the recent event. It’s the second year in a row that Metamora-Hadley, in Lapeer County, offered candlelight cross-country skiing, one of a number of winter programs offered at Michigan state parks and recreation areas.

What made this year’s event particularly special is that staff secured about 30 pairs of skis, poles and ski boots that were donated for the night by Shumaker’s Ski and Snowboard in Flint. That allowed folks who registered in advance the opportunity to reserve gear. There was no fee to participate beyond the Recreation Passport, which grants vehicle entry into Michigan’s 102 state parks statewide.

James Fielder follows the candles at
Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area’s
recent cross-county skiing outing.
Cross-county skiing by candlelight has been a popular winter event at state parks and recreation areas across the state for more than a decade.

“We’ve seen a spike in popularity in recent years,” said Maia Turek, a recreation programmer with the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. “We’ve had a lot of people say they heard about it from a friend and decided to check it out.”

Not all of these night events are actually by candlelight. Some are lantern-lit. Turek recommends programs at the Porcupine Mountains (Ontonagon County), Ludington (Mason County), Fayette (Delta County) and Muskegon (Muskegon County) state parks as particularly noteworthy.

The program at Metamora-Hadley was started by area manager Todd Farrell, who had been involved with similar events at other parks before he accepted the managing job at Metamora-Hadley.

“We weren’t doing a lot of winter recreation programming so I thought we’d try it,” Farrell said. He wanted to schedule an event in 2013, but a lack of snowfall that winter interfered. But last winter – remember last winter? – snowfall was not a problem.

“We borrowed a groomer from Bald Mountain Recreation Area and we were real pleased, more than happy with the turnout for the event,” Farrell said. “So we’re going to try to do this every year as long as the weather cooperates and we can access equipment.”

Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area encompasses 723 acres in southwestern Lapeer County, including a no-wake lake with a beach and two fishing piers, and six miles of hiking trails. It’s open to hunting and fishing, and boasts 214 campsites with electric hook-ups (reservations are recommended for weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day) and also features a cabin and a mini-cabin, available for rent from April through the beginning of firearms deer season.

The staff spent time grooming two loops (lighted by votive candles inside opaque plastic jugs) through the campground for skiers.

Candles provide soft, inviting lighting for cross-country skiers
who came out for a recent winter event at Metamora-Hadley
Recreation Area in Lapeer County.
“We didn’t have enough snow to go through the woods this year,” said Stephanie Francis, the lead worker at Metamora-Hadley. “The groomer kept hitting stumps and things so we decided to play it safe. Last year we had no problem going through the woods.”

The event attracted a lot of first-timers, thanks to the donated equipment.

“We weren’t giving lessons, but we were offering the opportunity for people to try it if they wanted to,” Farrell said. “We were really pleased by the turnout."

But it wasn’t just beginners. Many participants – a number of whom are regulars at the recreation area, brought their own gear.

Chuck and Nancy Sizeland, who are frequent visitors to the recreation area and veteran cross-country skiers, said the candlelight aspect of the program was the attraction.

“It’s the fun,” said Nancy. “Last year we sat around the bonfire and met all kinds of people from all over. It’s such a nice event.

“We appreciate the effort. The staff works hard for this, they really do.”

Julie Springsteen from Lapeer, who is an experienced skier but had never gone at night before, said the candlelight aspect was a big draw. “It’ll be interesting,” she said when she started. And afterward? “It was awesome.”

After a fun day on the trails, skiers warm up around
the bonfire at Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area.
Not everyone came to ski. The park staff had secured a couple dozen pairs of snowshoes from the DNR Parks and Recreation Division for the event and some folks came to ’shoe. Don Carlson, a retired Detroit brought his daughter Erika with him so he could turn her on to snowshoeing.

“This is an awesome thing,” said Carlson, a veteran snowshoer. “It was well organized and well thought through. It’s a great thing.”

Some skiers even returned after a couple of loops and swapped their skis for shoes to give that a try.

The staff used space heaters to take the chill out of a barn on the premises for a warm-up area and served light refreshments – coffee, hot chocolate and cookies – to participants, all of whom enjoyed the event.

Linda Koledo, a veteran cross-country skier and a regular at the recreation area, came with her husband Dave. The pair took to the track before dark, to get familiar with it, and then stayed to ski by candlelight.

“The candlelight added to it,” she said. “We’ll be back tomorrow after it snows.”

Indeed, a huge snowfall the following day made for outstanding skiing conditions.

“Funny, but that’s how it goes, I guess,” Farrell said, though it’s hard to imagine the event could have gone much better.

“It’s a lot of work but it’s well worth it,” added Francis, “especially when you see people enjoying it so much.”

For more information on winter programs at state parks and recreation areas statewide, visit www.michigan.gov/stateparks and check out the Events and Activities section.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Video Walk-Through of the 2015 Chevy Lexor TS by Pleasure-Way



2015 Chevy Lexor TS - "How To" Orientation Walk-Through
Watch Phil Nickel, Pleasure-Way's master service technician, take you through a "how to" orientation of the 2015 Chevy Lexor TS. Phil has over 27 years of experience with the company and offers important recommendations and proper operation procedures to get you comfortable with your Pleasure-Way motorhome.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Winnebago Blazes Trail for 2015: What's New

Winnebago is introducing several new models for 2015, including a new diesel-powered Trend that will provide even higher fuel efficiency of 18-21 mpg with the Ram ProMaster chassis that will also be available on the company's Viva and Travato product lines, as well as the company's first travel trailer toy hauler line -- the Spyder.

Spyder
The Spyder is an all-new premium toy hauler that sets the standard in features and value for those who love to play in the outdoors. Features include a black fiberglass exterior with dynamic Spyder graphics, radius ceilings, faux concrete countertops and black galley sinks, 6000-lb. frame mounted tie-downs, 94" x 7'6" ramp door and available pull-down screen door and patio rails.

Additional new products making their debut at the show include:

Travato 59K (Class C) -- Features innovative advances in technology and comfort systems. This is the first Class B in North America to feature the new 97% efficient Truma-Combi heating and hot water system that provides quick hot water recovery, quiet, consistent air delivery throughout the coach and an electric-heating element that uses campground electricity to take the chill off a brisk morning.

Aspect
Aspect 27D (Class C) -- Flexible floorplan provides a front living area, galley and bath, plus a rear lounge for spacious two-zone living during the day and comfortable sleeping for up to 6 adults at night.

Sightseer 36Z (Class A Gas) -- This spacious, open floorplan features a triple-slide and bath-and-a-half layout. A large 50" TV on powered lift is built into the unique fireplace and wine storage cabinet. An available power StudioLoft bed offers added sleeping space.

Adventurer 32D (Class A Gas) -- The perfect couples coach, this quad-slide floorplan includes a large in-Lounge dinette with Fold and Tumble bed, flexible in-Table, workstation/desk with USB, 12V and 110V power ports, electric fireplace and beautiful galley with private-collection Corian countertop, and a tile/glass mosaic backsplash.

Forza
Forza 36G (Class A Diesel) -- Luxurious new triple-slide floorplan features a spacious lounge that's ideal for entertaining. The master bedroom with queen or available king bed offers plenty of storage, including a wardrobe, chest of drawers and hanging space.

Destination 39FB (Fifth Wheel) -- Featuring a bath-and-a-half design, the newest member of the Destination family continues the tradition of combining top-of-the-line style and comfort with premium amenities and performance.

In addition, the Era, Via and Reyo motorhome lines are incorporating the new Mobileye collision avoidance system, which includes collision warning, lane departure warning, headway monitoring and warning, pedestrian and bicycle collision warning, speed limit indication and intelligent high beam control on select units.

Noted as a quality award winning manufacturer, Winnebago is also showcasing various processes, components and programs that illustrate the unique features and benefits of its products.

"Our product management and design teams are doing a phenomenal job of continually bringing to market new and exciting products that are leading the industry in both features and innovative design," said Winnebago Industries' Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts. "The Louisville Show allows us to showcase our entire product line to all of our dealer partners. It also provides us a great opportunity to showcase our unique manufacturing design by visually showing what's beneath the sidewall of our motorhomes that provides our dealer partners with a definite market advantage."

Friday, March 13, 2015

New for 2015: Monaco Diplomat & Dynasty

Monaco Diplomat
Monaco's new 2016 Monaco Diplomat and an all-new floor plan for the Dynasty are among the manufacturer's highlights for 2015.

The 43-foot Diplomat features a premium, custom-tuned Roadmaster B450 chassis and 450HP Cummins engine. The bath-and-a-half floor plan includes a 50" mid-ship TV and fireplace and offers a stunning tile design with a warm interior d├ęcor. The rear of the coach provides a spacious master bath with dual-sink vanity and a cosmetic table and chair.

Monaco Dynasty
The new 2015 Dynasty 45D floor plan features a straight galley and open living area, providing owners with more choices when it comes to finding the right Dynasty to fit their unique needs. The 45D features a TV/fireplace and an increased amount of galley counter space.

“The new Diplomat and second Dynasty floor plan are a true reflection of the power, luxury and elegance for which the Monaco brand is so well known,” said Mike Snell, President of Monaco. “We continue to listen to our customers’ feedback and design new floor plans that meet their unique needs.”

For more about Monaco and its latest products and floor plans, visit monacocoach.com.

Allied Recreation Group (ARG)
ARG is a division of Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV), a +$1.5 billion manufacturer comprised of industry-leading brands serving Commercial, Fire & Emergency and Recreational vehicle markets. ARG includes the iconic brands of Fleetwood, American Coach, Monaco and Holiday Rambler who manufacture high-quality motorized recreational vehicles. ARG is headquartered in Decatur, Indiana.