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Archive for the ‘road trip!’ Category

lake siskiyou

If you’re not into getting blind drunk on a Lake Shasta party barge (no shame in that), Lake Siskiyou Beach & Camp is the better alternative, only five miles from the town of Mount Shasta. At Lake Sis I feel like a kid camping with family during the summer of 1951.

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Wisteria is hard to describe. The website explains it as “a special place” in the Appalachian foothills of southern Ohio. What’s special is not necessarily the 200-plus acres of land, but the people who congregate there. I visited three of my favorite folks in the world—Summer, Eric, and Michael—at Wisteria during a recent work weekend on the property.

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Full disclosure: I couldn’t care less about Elvis Presley. But as a dutiful Amurrican tourist, I went to visit Memphis to pay my respects to the King. Staying at the Graceland RV Park in the shadow of Heartbreak Hotel is convenient, and everyone seems to be having fun. Graceland is a happy place—like Pisa in Italy, clogged with souvenirs—where everything is all Elvis all the time.

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Texas is a great place. I say that because Texans have talked me into it. Who else has so much state pride? I’ve never been to Amarillo, so I went out of my way to cruise through on my way to Alumapalooza 7.

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dinosaur national monument

Dinosaur National Monument is a fun and colorful Airstream destination—the famed dinosaur bones are in the “quarry building”, constructed around the remains of more than 500 huge dinosaurs that perished there 149 million years ago. Go ahead, touch the bones!

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craters of the moon

You gotta love huckster-slash-enthusiast Robert W. Limbert. Originally a taxidermist from Boise, Limbert saw great potential (and fame and fortune for himself) when he first explored desolate Craters of the Moon in Idaho. He was tireless in his belief that ‘Craters would be the premier tourist attraction in the country. As you can see from the many available campsites, that dream did not come to pass.

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idaho wine

Native Idahoans, feel free to disagree. Like much of the Lower 48, Idaho is a place that one begrudgingly passes through on the way to someplace else. But thanks to the Harvest Hosts program, I’m warming up to Idaho. There’s a nice little wine region northwest of Boise by the Snake River.

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Those taking a more northwesterly route home on I-94 from Alumapalooza won’t visit Hastings, but they might Airstream through “The Buffalo City”—Jamestown, North Dakota.

One could fall asleep at the wheel slogging the width of North Dakota. It’s 340 miles with no attractions (unless you count the peculiar Enchanted Highway and world’s largest plastic cow). Jamestown appears like a magical oasis halfway between Bismarck and Fargo when dad needs to crack his back, the kids need a corn dog, and mom needs a pee break.

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Are you returning home from Alumapalooza westbound on I-80? After 13 hours on the road you’ll need a break. Take the half hour detour to Hastings, Nebraska, home of Kool-Aid.

Deep within the bowels of the Hastings Museum, past the antique cars and taxidermied coyotes, remains every possible relic from the Kool-Aid years, circa 1927 to the present. You’ll learn about nerdy young Edwin Perkins, who began his snack drink empire in his mother’s Nebraska kitchen.

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happy traveler rv, palm springs

I polled everyone with the question, “where should I camp in Palm Springs?” Okay, I asked three people. But all three, without hesitation, immediately said “Happy Traveler”.

All then followed that recommendation with “you’ll need reservations, and it’s probably full.” Ralph, responsible for the destinations and tactics of our southwest road trip, called Happy Traveler RV Park well in advance…and conscientiously booked a reservation for the wrong nights.

We discovered the error on our way there when Ralph called to confirm our arrival, days later than he reserved. “Don’t worry, we’ll figure something out,” said Mike, the manager.

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