Five Things You Need to Know Today: March 30

Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!

1. RV Shipments Rise in February

RV shipments to retailers rose sharply in February this year, climbing 31.8 percent above last month and up 24.2% ahead of this same month last year, according to a Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) survey.

The 24,600 units reported in the latest survey of manufacturers marked the best February total in four years for all RV products and raised the first two months’ total this year 15.2 percent above the same period one year ago on shipment of 43,300 units. On a seasonally adjusted basis, February shipments were at an annual rate of more than 286,000 units, a gain of 12.9 percent over the January rate.

Shipments of towable RVs have improved 17% to 39,200 units, while motorhome products have held their own and produced 4,100 units so far this year.

2. Entrance Fees Proposed for Illinois State Parks

Visitors to Illinois state parks would face admission fees for the first time under legislation the Illinois House passed Monday (March 26).

The bill would allow the state to charge annual fees for vehicle stickers for park entry, as well as daily admission fees for pedestrians or drivers without annual passes.

Proponents of the measure said the money is needed for upkeep at parks, where funds, personnel, and care have been cut back heavily in recent years.

The revenue would be dedicated to the state parks fund or the fish and wildlife fund, according to the legislation.

The state Department of Natural Resources currently does not charge an entry fee to state-owned or -operated land except for Wildlife Prairie State Park near Peoria and sites with beaches, where the charge is $1 a day per person for beach use, according to the agency website.

The House sent the bill to the Senate on an 81-29 vote.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn said the governor backs the proposal.

3. Land of the Sleeping Rainbow: Capitol Reef National Park

A highlight for most visitors to Capitol Reef is the scenic drive from the visitors center. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A highlight for most visitors to Capitol Reef is the scenic drive from the visitors center. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Capitol Reef National Park is filled with geological wonders that stagger the imagination.

Somewhat remote, and not as well known as the other parks, Capitol Reef is located on the northern edge of the Grand Circle Tour. Capitol Reef encompasses a 100-mile natural upheaval in the earth’s crust known as the Waterpocket Fold.

We’ve traveled Utah’s red-rock country from Bryce to Arches and Zion to Monument Valley, but none is more impres­sive than Capitol Reef. Hundreds of millions of years of geological history are contained within this long, narrow park that stretches about 100 miles from its northern to south­ern boundary.

Time moves very slowly in the ageless world of colorful spires, pinnacles, and domes that form Capitol Reef. Formed by cataclysmic events of eons past, these rock formations have been defined and redefined over past ages as ancient sea waters advanced and retreated across the changing surface of the earth.

Click here to continue reading.

4. Discover the Wildlife of Texas

The colorful green jay is usually seen in brushy areas and dense woods in the lower Rio Grande Valley.. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The colorful green jay is usually seen in brushy areas and dense woods in the lower Rio Grande Valley.. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Whether you are a birder, a wildlife enthusiast, or just ready to discover the wildlife Texas has to offer, there’s a map that makes it easy for you. These driving trails will direct you to the best spots in the state to observe wildlife such as birds, butterflies, bats, or pronghorns. Texas is the perfect place to view wildlife; the Lone Star State is one of the top birding destinations in the world and is rich in its diverse species of wildlife.

Along the trails, you will be captivated by all there is to do and local communities will welcome you with plenty of Texas hospitality.

Texas was the first state in the nation to create birding and wildlife viewing trails, an idea that resulted in similar projects throughout North America. These trails provide economic incentives for landowners and communities to conserve habitats while providing recreational opportunities for the traveling public. The wildlife trails of Texas promote sustainable economic development and build public support for conservation of wildlife and habitats.

5. Cuisine of New Mexico

A mural in Santa Fe's historic La Fonda on the Plaza depicting Pueblo life. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A mural in Santa Fe's historic La Fonda on the Plaza depicting Pueblo life. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Renowned New Mexico artist Georgia O’Keeffe once said, “If you ever go to New Mexico, it will itch you for the rest of your life.” Millions of folks from all over the world have come to know exactly what she meant. The people, the culture, the landscape, the climate, and the cuisine—New Mexico just gets under your skin and takes hold.

The Land of Enchantment, New Mexico is known for its colors: turquoise skies, earthy browns, orange mesas, and purple sage. This time of year, though, the colors on everyone’s mind are red and green. Or maybe it should be red or green.

Chile is a term which usually refers to any of hundreds of chile peppers used in cuisines across the world to flavor and spice food.

In New Mexico, however, chile means much more than that. Chiles are the soul of New Mexican cooking, which blends Native American and Hispanic influences into a cuisine unto itself.

Chile is the New Mexico’s largest agricultural crop. Across the state chile is consumed at every meal, is celebrated in songs and at festivals, and is the subject of the Official New Mexico State Question, Red or Green?, estimated to be uttered over 200,000 times a day in the state.

To continue reading, click here.

Have a great weekend.

Until next time, safe RV travels, and we’ll see you on the road!

Worth Pondering…

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.

—Auntie Mame

This entry was posted in Five Things You Need to Know Today, National Parks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply