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| By Sue Mead ||Sponsored by Woodall's |
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Lake Champlain, Vermont
The water’s mirrored surface reflected the Adirondack range to the west and the Green Mountains to the east as we headed south out of Burlington’s harbor. The bow of the 100-foot-long ship rippled the view while two hundred passengers elbowed the deck rails. All eyes skimmed the aquamarine surface, seeking a rise the way anglers seek a wily trout. But, our search was for a creature from the deep that is far larger and far more illusive. We were looking for a monster.
“Champ” is Lake Champlain’s legendary serpent. Similar to the Loch Ness Monster, this unique form of marine life is said to have descended from the dinosaurs and has lived in this lake for thousands of years. In fact, French explorer Samuel de Champlain reported seeing “a large reptilian creature” in the lake in 1609.
In case you think ol’ Sam was on the schnapps, it’s also on record that in 1984, 70 passengers aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen caught sight of Champ as its undulating body breached the lake’s surface. In 1982, Vermont legislators passed a bill that protects Champ and encourages scientific exploration into its existence. Today the Spirit of Ethan Allen II, which can hold up to 500 passengers, offers daily cruises in search of the famous “Vermonster,” cousin to Scotland’s famous “Nessie.”
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| Taking your Dogs Camping with Ghosts |
(The pleasures of off-season camping with your dogs)
This November, I was out playing on a campground playground with my 20 month old daughter, Rose, and she started acting very strangely. She asked me to pick her up and then she buried her head into me, like she does when she meets a new person. I looked around to see if someone was there, but I didn't see anyone at all. In fact, we were the only campers in the entire wooded campground. However, she kept looking at a certain spot by the restrooms and acting shy. Now, I am not a very suspicious person, but I started getting nervous. So, I immediately trotted back to the RV and got my German Shepherd, Lilac, then proceeded back to the playground to play. Was it a ghost? I don't know, but I do know that for the next two weeks, we really enjoyed the entire campground to ourselves––but we always made sure that Lilac was outside with us!
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|Keeping It On the Level |
Simple Steps to Leveling Your RV.
I remember the first time I saw it……I was amazed. That huge motor home, slowly making its way through the campground, gently rocking as it wound its way to the temporary site. Effortlessly, the pilot backed into the campsite and shut the unit down. Before the entry door was even opened I saw four strange looking legs of steel being thrust ground–ward like some type of morphing kid's toy. With a slight, subtle shudder, the coach settled into a perfectly level position. Yep, automatic levelers, electric or hydraulic are a luxury to be admired. But what about the rest of us? What exactly do we do when we set up camp after each traveling day?
Well, before addressing the basics of leveling your RV, let's understand why the rig needs to be leveled in the first place. Certainly our camping comfort is at issue. It would not be appealing to sleep with our heads lower than our feet or to be constantly struggling to keep from rolling into the wall or worse yet, the spouse. And consider the inconvenience of having the eggs roll off the galley countertop every morning.
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| Travelers who carry firearms on a regular basis know full well the variant nature of this situation. A routine traffic stop for a speeding violation could turn into a nightmare journey through the criminal justice system if the traveler isn't aware of the proper way to carry or transport his firearms in a vehicle. This is a must-have resource for any RVer or camper who plans to carry a firearm for protection while traveling within the state or across the stateline. Firearms laws vary from state to state, so know what you can and can't do before it's too late. Purchase now and save an additional 10% off Woodall's already low price on the 2009 Traveler's Guide to the Firearm Laws of the 50 States. Simply enter the special promotion code "dec09" at checkout. |
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| By Mark Nemeth |
Since it's time for many of us to put our rigs into storage, I tried to include some questions along that line. For those of you in more temperate climates, I hope you get out and enjoy your RV! I also want to wish all of you the happiest of holidays, and I look forward to answering your questions throughout the New Year!
If you are planning to be in Quartzsite in January, or if you live nearby, be sure to consider attending the Quartzsite / Southern Arizona RVers' Boot Camp! We will be holding the event in Gila Bend, just a couple of hours away, on January 25 – 27, 2010. The program includes training in RV maintenance and operation, tire and weight safety, fire and life safety, RV driving, and more. For more info, visit the Boot Camp page at www.escapees.com/bootcamp. I hope to see you there!
We have a Fleetwood Bayside pop-up. When we opened it up this spring, we found there was a lot of damage from mice getting in and chewing holes in the screens, plastic window coverings, curtains, and canvas. Luckily, the wiring wasn't damaged. We tried using dryer sheets in all the cracks, crevices and openings, as suggested by fellow campers, but the critters seemed to ignore the dryer sheets and got inside anyway. The camper is being repaired right now, but soon we'll be storing the camper for the winter, and we're afraid of the same thing happening again. Do you have any tips for keeping mice out of a camper? We've had the camper for three to 4 four years, but this is the first time this sort of thing has happened. Thank you, Carol
The best way to prevent a rodent infestation is to mechanically exclude them. That means plugging every potential access hole or gap in your RV's exterior. You can use expanding foam reinforced with hardware cloth or steel mesh, steel wool, or sheet metal. It can be a formidable task, but, unfortunately, most other methods are less than 100 percent effective. Repellents may or may not work, and many typically suggested repellents (dryer sheets, moth balls, etc.) seem to work better for some folks than others. Poison can be effective, but only if placed inside the rig and all sources of water inside are removed. These poisons dehydrate the mice, causing them to seek water outside the rig. This is supposed to prevent them from dying inside your RV. The key word here is "supposed." If you decide that poison is appropriate, go to a local feed or agricultural supply store rather than the supermarket to buy it. The industrial-grade product is cheaper and more effective.
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| Do you have a question for Mark? |
Please submit your question via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please remember, material will be edited. Because of the large volume of material and correspondence submitted, individual replies will not be possible, nor can we acknowledge receipt of your material. Selected questions will be answered in future issues of the Woodall's Wisdom newsletter in the Mark, My Words column. The Mark, My Words column also appears in Escapees magazine, a bi–monthly publication of the Escapees RV Club. For more information visit www.escapees.com/magazine
| Submit Your Question |
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| SureFire G2 LED Flashlight |
The G2 LED is a small and lightweight, but brilliant flashlight. Perfect for the camper in the family, the G2 LED comes in four colors (including hi-viz yellow), features a corrosion-proof Nitrolon polymer body, O-ring seals to keep dust and water out, and a non-slip molded grip. The tailcap switch can be pressed for momentary on, twisted for continuous light, and features a lockout so it’s not accidentally turned on. $70.
SureFire: 800/828–8809; www.surefire.com.
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| Article courtesy of Woodall's Campsite Cookbook |
1 package gingerbread mix
1 15 ½ ounce can French vanilla pudding
½ cup water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon rind
Prepare gingerbread mix as directed on package. Pour into greased 9–inch square baking pan. Combine pudding with water, lemon juice and lemon rind. Spoon mixture over gingerbread. Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.
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| Reusing Common Household Items |
In this day and age, most people recycle their paper, glass and plastic items. Yet the concept of re–using those same items can help reduce the garbage problemm–and provides you with new re–purpose possibilities that benefit you, your house and RV.
Baby food and small jars—Do you tend to RV with your family, which includes babies or toddlers? Those baby jars can add up during a trip, so consider keeping small jars with sturdy lids to store spices or liquids in the pantry. For the do–it–yourselfer, the small jars can keep nails and thumbtacks organized.
Aluminum foil—Simply rinse and re–use after keeping food warm, or wad pieces up to clean baked–on food inside pans. You can also layer used foil and cut with scissors to sharpen knife blades.
Paper bags—Versatile re–uses for paper include cooling cookies (instead of using waxed paper), organizing other recycling and covering textbooks. If the kids need a last–minute costume, paper works well.
Socks—Whether it's an old pair, or half of a pair, you can use socks as dusting rags, or as a heating pad. Fill the sock with rice, sew the end and warm it in the microwave. Have a pet? Convert the sock into a tug toy for your dog by tying knots in the sock, or fill it with catnip for your cat.
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| Keep the Laughs Coming! |
Thanks for all of the wonderful submissions we've received for our Camping Bloopers. Please keep them coming! Starting in January, the winning blooper will receive a prize of Woodall's 2010 North American Campground Directory! The Navigator is always looking for great anecdotes to publish in our Camping Bloopers section, so get out your thinking cap and "remember when…" You'll give a chuckle to a fellow RVer or camper and receive the industry's most popular campground directory to boot. Everyone's a winner!
To submit your blooper, simply email your story to email@example.com under the following guidelines:
What to Include:
What Not to Include:
- A title appropriate for your blooper.
- Your original Camping Blooper, where you were, what happened and why it was memorable.
- Your name plus city and state you call "home"
Good luck and look for your name next year in The Navigator!
- Profane, obscene, or spiteful remarks.
- One–sentence remarks like "I went to Mexico."
- Phone numbers, addresses, or URLs.
- Solicitations of any kind.
Sign up for your FREE Woodall's membership for more great coupons.
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Fire Starters: How to Get a Campfire Blazing
Warmth, light, the ability to dry your wet socks, cook your food, purify your water and signal for help. All these are benefits of having a nice campfire. But getting that fire started is often a daunting task. That's why there are fire starters.
When we talk about fire starters, we aren't discussing waterproof matches or cigarette lighters — those are ignition systems.
Follow along with RVers and travelers just like you by reading their trip journal. We've selected the best websites of people who have traveled in North America. These travelers have agreed to let us feature their website. Take a look.
The Wrong Restroom at Daisy State Park
I had an unusual experience while on a camping trip at Daisy State Park in Arkansas. Please note, the names have been changed to protect the innocent (and prevent receiving obscene messages from the "not so innocent"). I was in the restroom taking care of business when the door opened and my wife stepped in. I wondered at the time why she was in the men's room. She made a comment about the atmosphere in the room at the time. I don't know her exact comment, but you can use your imagination here.
rvSearch.com Buying Tip
Tip: Shop Around for the Best Price
If more than one dealer in your area has the RV you want, get price quotes from all of them. Tell them you're considering other dealerships and they'll likely haggle the sales price with you–and you'll walk away with a better deal on that RV!
On a quest for the RV of your dreams? Check out the featured RV below or see more listings at rvsearch.com.
2005 Jayco Granite Ridge 3100 SS
Listed price: Was $48,995
Reduced to $44,995
Contact them today to find out more about this RV, or browse their showroom for more great deals.