Angel Fire RV Resort Now Open

Angel Fire Resort, located in the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico, has opened its RV resort for its first summer season. The new state-of-the-art RV resort offers guests a scenic 35-acre location to camp and play.

Angel-fire-entrance-slider-960x360Some places start with RVs and call it a resort. Angel Fire started with the resort and added the RVs. The luxury resort, constructed on mountain meadowland at the foot of Carson National Forest, is now open with 102 RV spaces and will grow to offer 325 spaces in later phases.

The new RV resort includes a well-appointed private clubhouse, paved roads, fully concreted, over-sized spaces with easy pull-through access, and 30/50-amp electrical pedestals, DirecTV access, bathrooms, showers and laundry facilities, convenient Wi-Fi access and Jacuzzis, a putting green, horseshoes, a dog park and more.

With frontage access to U.S. Highway 64, the multi-million dollar resort will offer guests access to golf, fine dining, horseback riding, a zipline adventure tour, fishing and a mountain full of outdoor activities.

Additionally the resort is located on the Enchanted Circle and is in close proximity to world-class fishing in Cimarron Canyon and Eagle Nest State Park, guided hunting, and ATV trails. Guests also have access to Carson National Forest for biking and hiking.

The resort’s popular Bike Park, ranked No. 1 Bike Park in the Southwest for the second year in a row, has nearly double its trail access to more than 100 miles making it one of the largest bike parks in the North America. Additionally, the bike park is launching a new Global Gravity Season Pass—which allows season pass holders from any bike park in the world to purchase a single day pass for half price.

Entrace to Angel Fire RV Resort
Entrace to Angel Fire RV Resort

The resort will open a fully stocked fly fishing lake at the summit and offer fishing camps, lessons, and rental equipment. The resort is already home to New Mexico’s largest zipline tour, an 18-hole PGA championship golf course, and mountain lodge.

Continuing to build on its reputation as one of the largest world-class mountain biking destinations in the country, the Angel Fire Bike Park’s goal is to engage more beginners and intermediates to the sport and expand its cross-country trail network throughout the Angel Fire region and nearby Carson National Forest.

The park will also expand its new blue trail, Devinci’s Code, by two additional miles and will open to the public at the 5th annual Gravity Games and Bikes, Blues and Brews Festival, happening over Labor Day weekend. Rounding out the improvements for the park bike carriers have been added to the Chile Express chairlift for an easier transport to the summit.

A year in the making, the resort will officially open a fully stocked, fly fishing haven at the summit July 1. Summit Lake will be home to colorful Rainbow Trout and will host a series of fly fishing clinics, private lessons, and full rental equipment.

The resort is continuing to improve on its ever-popular Rocky Mountain Zipline Adventure Tour, which takes thrill-seekers through multiple zipline stages at the summit. The tour is the second highest elevation zipline tour in the United States and the largest in New Mexico.

Angel-Fire-ResortThe six-segment tour opened in 2012 and has been so popular that the resort is now adding additional early-morning tour times to give adrenaline seekers more opportunity to fly 200 feet high above the forest floor.

A zipline tour connects multiple ziplines of varying lengths and descents. The adventure begins with an introductory zipline of only 100 feet and works up to the Super Zipline, which carries guests on a 1,600-foot cable 200 feet above the forest floor.

Situated at 8,600 feet elevation, Angel Fire Resort’s high-altitude, 18-hole Championship golf is rated as one of the top five courses in New Mexico by Golf America, the course winds through two unspoiled canyons of aspen and spruce high up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Located at Olympic Park just south of the Lodge at Angel Fire Resort on Highway 434, the Angel Fire Resort Tennis Center includes six hard courts. Clinics, lessons, tournaments, and weekly play are available and start in June.


AngelFireResortAngel Fire RV Resort

Some places start with RVs and call it a resort. Angel Fire is starting with the resort and adding the RVs.

Rates: $45 (May 1-June 30; October 18-December 10); $55 (July 1-October 17)

Pet Policy: Pet Friendly; Dog Park on site; 2 pets maximum on a 6-foot leash at all times: do not leave your pets unattended

Location: In Angel Fire, New Mexico in the Northeast corner of the state

Address: 10 Miller Lane, Angel Fire, NM 87710

Directions: From Taos, 24 miles east via US-64 & North Angel Fire Road

Phone: (844) 218-4107


Worth Pondering…

If you ever go to New Mexico, it will itch you for the rest of your life.

—Georgia O’Keeffe

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What Do Campers Want?

Families are camping mostly for recreation and are taking camping trips to spend quality time together as well as engaging their kids in outdoor activities.

Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to a recent survey conducted by Aramark’s leisure division, a food and hospitality partner for national and state parks, 56 percent of the respondents camp with children under the age of 18.

Being intimate with nature and enjoying outdoor recreation is a huge impetus to planned camping trips.

In releasing the survey results, Aramark said 76 percent of survey respondents placed a high value on proximity to hiking and biking trails and 83 percent valued water recreation. Thus, camping in national and state parks is an ideal way to ensure plenty of scenery and access to outdoor activities.

In addition to the importance of outdoor recreation, other things families often consider when selecting a campground include:

Amenities: While some enjoy traditional camping in tents with limited amenities, others are evolving with more modern tastes, placing a large importance on the availability of retail stores, showers, bathrooms, washers and driers, free Wi-Fi, or even zip lines and heated pools.

Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Proximity to Recreation: Many campers take part in activities such as boating, fishing, ATV riding, and mountain biking.

Safety: While camping is meant to be stress-free, safety should always be considered when selecting a site or area. For example, the presence of animals, falling rocks, troublesome plants such as poison ivy, or an area that is a target for lightening are all things families think about when planning a trip.

Scenery: Since being outdoors is the main reason families enjoy camping, selecting a scenic location can make it that much more enjoyable. Properties around lakes, mountains, or colorful trails are desired locations for camping excursions.

Proximity to Water: Although some don’t mind dry sites and they tend to be more secluded and quiet, it is important to consider how far away the site is from a water source. Being close to water is helpful for cooking as well as providing fresh water for drinking.

Destinations and Cultural Attractions Managed by Aramark

Almost 22,000 campgrounds exist across the United States. Below are examples of sites with a large variety of outdoor recreation making for great options for family vacations:

Lake Powell/Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona, Utah: Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Bullfrog RV Park & Campground, Halls Crossing RV Park & Campground, Hite RV Park & Campground

Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado: Morefield Campground, Fairview Lodge

Lake Tahoe Basin National Forest, Nevada: Zephyr Cove RV Park & Campground

Olympic National Park, Washington: Log Cabin Resort Campground, RV Park at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

Olympic National Forest, Washington: Lake Quinault Lodge


Aramark’s Leisure Division

Aramark’s Leisure division delivers authentic and memorable experiences at national and state parks, national forests, conference centers, specialty hotels, museums, and other tourist destinations throughout the United States.

In partnership with its clients, Aramark seeks to enhance the guest experience by offering industry-leading hospitality, environmental stewardship, recreational and interpretive programs.

Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Address: 2850 E. Camelback Road, Suite 240, Phoenix, AZ  85016

Phone: (602) 331-5200


Worth Pondering…

Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes — every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man.

—Orison Swett Marden

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Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order

In an earlier post on Vogel Talks RVing, I reported on the Wide Path Camper, the first foldable bicycle camper ready for you to just attach and get biking.

Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order
Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order

Founded by Denmark-based Mads Johansen, Wide Path Camper has finished refining the design and is now available for pre-order.

The novel two-person caravan trailer offers instant shelter from the weather, a comfortable bed for 2.5 people, and a convertible space for four adults to dine-in, relax, and camp in style.

Wide Path Campers are not only mini RVs, but a mobile house-party easily deployed in urban, suburban, and natural spaces.

Wide Path Campers are durable, collapsible, lightweight, and surprisingly spacious.

The camper’s unique shape and hardshell exterior provides a cozy secure feeling inside and a safe place to store your belongings.

With a Wide Path Camper you can enjoy the freedom of taking your bicycle cargo camping trailer, shelter, solar energy source, and social space with you wherever you pedal.

As the prototype moved into production, the design of the Wide Path Camper was tweaked here and there.

Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order
Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order

The headroom was increased for sitting and the door’s design improved.

The manufacturing process was also streamlined and simplified.

In the process Wide Path Campers gained some weight, too, increasing from 88 to 99 pounds.

The foldable bicycle camper measures 39 x 51 inches when being towed, and 39 x 102 inches when folded into position for camping.

The back of the camper folds over the front, to get it ready for transport.
Upon arrival, it only takes 3 minutes to get the camper placed, due to the height adjustable support legs and simple folding mechanism.

The interior of the camper includes a table and seats which turn into a bed measuring 38 x 78 inches.

Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order
Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order

A total of 50 Wide Path Campers are available for pre-order, starting at $2,170.

The standard camper contains sitting group with table, transformable into a bed.

Towing equipment that fits on most bicycles and reflectors are included.

The camper is white inside with light wood furniture and gray cushions.

The camper is equipped with puncture free tires.

There are numerous optional extras available including color choice, a lux package, a solar package, an outdoor package, and a kitchen package.

The solar package includes a 12v solar system with 10w flexible solar cell, and light-weight battery.

The outdoor package includes two foldable lightweight chairs and special table to attach on the outside of the camper with height adjustable leg.

The kitchen package includes the basic needs for cooking basket with lightweight cooking device for ethanol with pots, pans, and a kettle.

Delivery is slated for July 1, 2015.

Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order
Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order


Wide Path Camper

Wide Path Camper is the leading bicycle camper designer and manufacturer based in Denmark. Founded by Mads Johansen, Wide Path Camper s located at Ifabrikken on the harbor site in Sønderborg, Denmark.

Wide Path Camper designs, manufactures, sells, and rents ultra lightweight bicycle campers  which are foldable to make transport easier.

Address: Ifabrikken, Ellegaardvej 366400 Sønderborg, DK

Phone: +45 28 29 06 46


Worth Pondering…

Recreation’s purpose is not to kill time, but to make life, not to keep a person occupied, but to keep them refreshed; no to offer an escape from life, but to provide a discovery of life.


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Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle

A Danish company could help reshape the future of camping.

Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle
Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle

Wide Path Camper has introduced a travel trailer light enough to haul behind a bike.

It’s the camper’s lightness that makes the Wide Path groundbreaking. There have been a few prototype bike campers around for a while, but what’s been brought to market so far has been rather bulky and heavy—the camping equivalent of peddling a tiny house behind you—and requiring an electric-assisted bike.

The Wide Path Camper weighs just 88 pounds unloaded.

And it turns out to be pretty roomy when folded out from its travel mode. A projecting metal nose extends far enough to make space for two face-to-face sofas and a pull-down table, all within a shell that’s considerably warmer and more weatherproof than the average tent.

Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle
Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle

The sofas flatten at night to form a double bed large enough to sleep two people.

The Wide Path also comes with an optional solar cell for charging devices.

The trailer costs around $2,500 depending on current exchange rate (15,000 Danish Kroner to be precise).

The Wide Path Camper is also available for rent.


Wide Path Camper

Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle
Wide Path Campers Introduces Ultralight Trailer Towable by Bicycle

Founded by Mads Johansen, Wide Path Camper s located at Ifabrikken on the harbor site in Sønderborg, Denmark.

Wide Path Camper designs, manufactures, sells, and rents ultra lightweight bicycle campers  which are foldable to make transport easier.

Phone: +45 28 29 06 46


Worth Pondering…

Recreation’s purpose is not to kill time, but to make life, not to keep a person occupied, but to keep them refreshed; no to offer an escape from life, but to provide a discovery of life.


Read More

National Trails Day: Let’s Take a Hike

In 1993 the American Hiking Society sponsored the first National Trails Day hike.

Hiking around Swan Lake in Sumter, South Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Hiking around Swan Lake Iris Gardens in Sumter, South Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Over the next 20 years the event has grew to more than 2,000 events ranging from guided hikes to paddling excursions and similar outdoor adventures.

American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day is the country’s largest celebration of trails.

This year’s 22nd annual celebration will be held on Saturday, June 7. Mark your calendar to prepare for this year’s big celebration.

National Trails Day events include hikes, biking and horseback rides, paddling trips, birdwatching, geocaching, gear demonstrations, stewardship projects, and more.

Many national parks, state parks, county parks, USDA Forest Service, National Wildlife Refuges, BLM, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish & Wildlife Service, outdoor learning centers, land trusts, and state trails associations have scheduled special events to mark this special day.

To find an event near you, click here.

In a single day in 2013 on National Trails Day…

2,255 activities took place in all 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico, engaging more than 134,000 people on trails.

24,300 trail volunteers participated in 528 projects and maintained 2,084 miles of trail, resulting in $2.4 million of sweat equity.

69,000 hikers attended 1,132 hikes and covered a cumulative distance of 313,000 miles.

11,000 bikers attended 140 bike rides and covered a cumulative distance of 172,000 miles.

Hiking the trails at Blanco State Park in the Texas Hill Country. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Hiking the trails at Blanco State Park in the Texas Hill Country. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6,400 paddlers attended 57 paddling trips and covered a cumulative distance of 38,000 miles.

1,400 equestrians attended 35 horseback riding trips and covered a cumulative distance of 16,000 miles.

Why Celebrate Trails

America’s 200,000 miles of trails allow us access to the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude, inspiration, and much more. Trails give us a means to support good physical and mental health; they provide us with a chance to breathe fresh air, get our hearts pumping, and escape from our stresses. All it takes is a willingness to use them.

National Trails Day also aims to highlight the important work thousands of volunteers do each year to take care of America’s trails. Trails do not just magically appear for our enjoyment; their construction and maintenance takes hours of dedicated planning and labor. So give thanks to your local volunteers and consider taking a day to give back to your favorite trail.

National Trails Day evolved during the late ‘80s and ‘90s from a popular ethos among trail advocates, outdoor industry leaders, and political bodies who wanted to unlock the vast potential in America’s National Trails System, transforming it from a collection of local paths into a true network of interconnected trails and vested trail organizations. This collective mindset hatched the idea of a singular day where the greater trail community could band together behind the National Trails Day moniker to show their pride and dedication to the National Trails System.


National Trails Day

American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day is a nationally recognized trail awareness program that occurs annually on the first Saturday of June and inspires the public to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in outdoor activities, clinics, and trail stewardship projects.

Hiking the trails at Guadalupe River State Park, Texas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Hiking the trails at Guadalupe River State Park, Texas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Individuals, clubs, and organizations from around the country host National Trails Day events to share their love of trails with friends, family, and their communities.

National Trails Day introduces thousands of Americans to a wide array of trail activities: hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, trail running, and bird watching and more.

National Trails Day is a registered trademark of American Hiking Society.

To find an event near you, click here.

American Hiking Society

As the national voice for America’s hikers, American Hiking Society promotes and protects foot trails, their surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience.

Address: 1422 Fenwick Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Phone: (301) 565-6704


Worth Pondering…

In every walk with nature, one receives more than he seeks.

—John Muir

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Discover the Golden Isles: Jekyll Island

The southernmost island of the Golden Isles, Jekyll Island was inhabited by Indians several hundred years ago; in subsequent years it has been used as a place for settlers and for a Civil War encampment.

By 1900, The Jekyll Island Club membership included the Rockefellers, Morgans, Cranes and Goulds and represented over one-sixth of the world’s wealth.  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
By 1900, The Jekyll Island Club membership included the Rockefellers, Morgans, Cranes and Goulds and represented over one-sixth of the world’s wealth. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jekyll Island was purchased in 1886 by a group of wealthy families as a private retreat. The Jekyll Island Club was formed and members built a fine clubhouse and a neighborhood of “cottages” to be used for a few months in the winter.

By 1900, The Jekyll Island Club membership included the Rockefellers, Morgans, Vanderbilts, Goodyears, Pulitzers, Cranes, and Goulds and represented over one-sixth of the world’s wealth. (Mr. Crane’s cottage boasted 17 bathrooms.)

These vacationers came by train to Brunswick and crossed the river to Jekyll, or arrived in their yachts with family members, servants, and supplies aboard.

The men relaxed and hunted while the ladies had tea, planned parties, and went to the beach.

By 1942 most of these elite vacationers departed the island, never to return. World War II and the economy had taken their toll. Some of the wealthy families left their homes fully furnished, and the buildings fell into disrepair.

In 1947 the state of Georgia bought the island for $650,000 and set a provision that 65 percent of it must always remain undeveloped. Some of the wealthy families’ cottages have been restored and are open for tours.

Today, this era of Jekyll Island’s history can be dramatically revisited with a tram tour of the National Historic Landmark District, including many of the opulent mansions their millionaire owners called “cottages”.

Jekyll Island offers an abundance of recreational activities that are sure to please visitors of all ages.

The duBignon Cottage built in 1884. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The duBignon Cottage built in 1884. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A variety of amenities include ten miles of white sand beaches, 63 holes of golf, an outdoor tennis complex, a waterpark, fishing pier, nature centers, 20 miles of bike trails, and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which boasts a small interactive museum as well as access to a fully-functional rehabilitative center where visitors can see live sea turtles in the recovery tanks being treated for their injuries before returning to the wild.

To see more of the island’s eco system, the Jekyll Island Authority offers guided tours that last for 90 minutes, routing through beaches, maritime forests, and salt marshes.

Accommodations are varied and include a grand historic hotel, oceanfront properties, and RV camping at the Jekyll Island Campground which offers 18 wooded acres on the Island’s north end with 206 campsites.

Amenities include tent sites to full hook-up, pull through RV sites with electricity, cable TV, water, and sewerage. Wi-Fi and DSL Internet is free for registered guests.

Rates range from $23 for a primitive tent site to $37 for a fully-serviced RV lot.

The island will boast three new hotels, an all-new beachfront convention center with more than 78,000 square feet of function space, a beautifully redesigned  gateway corridor to the island, a beach village shopping and dining district, and many more enhancements.

Twenty miles of flat, mostly paved bike paths encircle the island. You can spend a whole day riding beneath canopies of live oaks, along the beach, and through the historic district.

Bikes can be rented at Jekyll Island Campground, the shopping mall, and various hotels around the island. Restaurants are at these stops, or you may want to tote your own meal and enjoy it at any of the many picnic grounds situated along the way. Tram tours, Victorian carriage history tours, and nature and landscape walks are available from the visitors center, located on the Jekyll Causeway.

A fishing pier is located across from Jekyll Island Campground, and fishing is available along the beaches.

Owned by the State of Georgia and managed by the Jekyll Island Authority, the island’s development is limited to just 35 percent of the available land area to preserve the critical barrier island ecosystem. Great lengths have been taken to honor this ratio while the revitalization of Jekyll Island moves forward.

Indian Mound, 1892 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Indian Mound, 1892 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jekyll Island, once a haven for America’s elite, now beckons to all.

Please Note: This is Part 3 of a 5-part series on Brunswick and the Golden Isles of Georgia

Part 1: Discover the Golden Isles: Rich in History & Beauty

Part 2: Discover the Golden Isles: St. Simons & Sea Island

Part 4: Discover the Golden Isles: Little St. Simons Island & Historic Brunswick

Part 5: RV Camping in Brunswick and the Golden Isles

Worth Pondering…

The Marshes of Glynn

And what if behind me to westward the wall of the woods stands high?

The world lies east: how ample, the marsh and the sea and the sky!

A league and a league of marsh-grass, waist-high, broad in the blade,

Green, and all of a height, and unflecked with a light or a shade,

Stretch leisurely off, in a pleasant plain,

To the terminal blue of the main.

—Sidney Lanier (1842–1881)

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Alabama State Parks Celebrate 75 Years

From the beaches of the Gulf Coast to the Appalachian foothills, Alabama State Parks reflect every facet of the state’s rich natural landscape and in 2014 the state’s park system will celebrate a milestone—its 75th anniversary.

Gulf State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Gulf State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The parks system preserves some of the most magical wonders of the state, such as Oak Mountain, Monte Sano, Cathedral Caverns, Guntersville, Wind Creek, DeSoto, and Gulf Coast.

Throughout the year, Alabama’s 22 state parks will host a variety of hikes, nature walks and programs, dining and camping specials, and various other events highlighting 75 years of service.

“Alabama State Parks recently launched a public relations campaign acknowledging the many partners we have in our parks,” said Greg Lein, Alabama State Parks Director.

“We hope the 75th anniversary celebration will strengthen our connection with all the visitors and other partners who make these parks possible. Alabama’s park system exists thanks to their support and we need it now more than ever.”

The acquisition of land for public use has deep roots. The National Forest System began in 1891. In 1916, the National Park Service was established to oversee a growing network of parks that included icons such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Sequoia National Park.

Alabama’s park system began in the 1920s with Cheaha State Park being the longest continually operating facility. There were 11 state parks in Alabama by 1933 including Bromley, Cheaha, Fort Toulouse, Geneva, Little River, Panther Creek, St. Stephens, Sumter, Talladega County, The Lagoons, and Weogufka.

Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail, DeSoto State Park
Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail, DeSoto State Park

Many of the original park structures and infrastructure were built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) and can still be seen when visiting a modern Alabama State Park.

The Division of State Parks, Monuments, and Historic Sites was created to oversee management of the park system in 1939.

Back in 1939 when the first state parks were opened in Alabama, they were not created to make money.

One hundred percent of the state park operational funds are now generated through visitors and the remaining maintenance funds decided by the Alabama Legislature. The revenue to operate and maintain the 22 state parks is generated by user fees (i.e., gate entry, lodging, boat launch access, RV and camp sites, etc.).

Today, one of Alabama’s 22 state parks is within an hour drive from most any community in the state and offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities including:

Five resort parks featuring lodge, restaurant, and convention facilities.

Ten parks with modern cottages and chalets.

Twenty-one parks with modern campgrounds.

Two parks with cave tours.

The Parks Path Golf Trail.

The Gulf State Park Fishing Pier and Gulf Adventure Center Hummingbird Zipline.

Three parks with marinas and many more fishing and boating opportunities.

Picnic pavilions perfect for any outdoor gathering.

Various museums highlighting the rich cultural and natural heritage of the local communities.

Buck's Pocket State Park
Buck’s Pocket State Park

More than 200 miles of hiking, biking, horseback riding, and walking trails.
Thousands of acres of water-based recreation ranging from mountain lakes and rushing streams to the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s time to take an Alabama Road Trip.


Alabama Tourism


Alabama State Parks

downloadThe Alabama State Parks Division operates and maintains 22 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water.

These Parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other Partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. Partners Pay the Way.

Visit the website for information about the Alabama State Parks 75th Anniversary Celebration and for lodging, camping, and dining specials and event announcements.

Phone: (800) ALAPARK (252-7275)


Worth Pondering…

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lord, I’m coming home to you
Here I come, Alabama

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Ultra-Fab Introduces Dirt Bike Hauler/Carrier

Elkhart, Indiana-based Ultra-Fab has introduced the Ultra MX Hauler/Carrier designed to transport motocross bikes or scooters behind an SUV or recreational vehicle.

Ultra-Fab Introduces Dirt Bike Hauler/Carrier
Ultra-Fab Introduces Dirt Bike Hauler/Carrier

With its 500 pounds load capacity, the Ultra MX Hauler/Carrier securely holds up to a 450 cc dirt bike or scooter for hauling or making repairs.

The included loading ramp works on either side of the carrier making loading a dirt bike a breeze, according to a company news release.

The Ultra MX Hauler/Carrier bolts together making it easy to assemble and mounts in a standard two-inch receiver.

Its rugged heavy-duty steel construction and durable powder-coated finish insures years of reliable service.

The Ultra MX Hauler/Carrier is available at Camping World, RV dealerships, and RV parts and accessories stores.

Ultra-Fab’s Ultra MX Hauler/Carrier is available through Arrow Distributing, Coast Distribution, Keystone Automotive, NTP, and StagParkway.


Ultra-Fab Products, Inc.

ultra-fab-logoUltra-Fab is a world class manufacturer of innovative top quality products committed to making your life easier and your leisure pursuits more enjoyable.

Address: 57985 SR 19 S, Elkhart, IN 46517

Phone: (574) 294-7571


Worth Pondering…

Happiness is like a butterfly—the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.

—Henry David Thoreau

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Rand McNally Introduces Outdoor Handheld GPS

Rand McNally introduces its first handheld/bike mounted outdoor GPS device for hiking, biking, geocaching, and more.

Rand McNally’s Foris 850
Rand McNally’s Foris 850

The Rand McNally’s Foris 850 comes loaded with millions of miles of high-quality street and trail maps, a sturdy bike mount, and an easy-to-use interface with on-device help.

Announced at the Outdoor Retailer show, Winter Market, the Foris 850 has been in beta testing and reviews by outdoor enthusiasts since January, the company noted in a press release. Received favorably, the Foris 850 is the result of collaboration between Rand McNally and Falk Outdoor Navigation, a business unit of United Navigation Limited.

Rand McNally’s Foris 850 map screen
Rand McNally’s Foris 850 map screen

“The Foris is designed to provide a ‘trail ready’ experience out of the box with everything included to get outside and go,” explained Dave Marsh, vice president of research and development for Rand McNally.

“Consumers have come to expect turn-by-turn voice guidance on GPS and in-car units, and we’ve brought that feature uniquely to the outdoor market with guidance on trails as well as roads.”

“Other industry firsts include Loop Me, a feature that creates a looped trail with the same starting and ending point, based on the user’s preferred time or distance for the hike or ride, and TrackNav, which creates navigable routes from ‘breadcrumb’ trails,” Marsh explained.

Other key features of the Foris device include:

  • Multiple U.S. map databases on device, including Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, U.S National Park Service trails, National Forestry hiking trails and multi-purpose trails, U.S. National Wildlife Refuge trails, and the national hydrographic dataset, among others (the trail maps are pre-loaded as vector trails, rather than raster images, allowing for navigation and routing vs. just viewing)
  • Millions of points of interest relevant to the outdoor market, such as trailheads, high points, bike shops, recreation areas, and campgrounds
  • Spoken and visual turn-by-turn directions, even on trails
  • Route compare feature that compares three alternative routes, along with their elevation profiles
  • Paperless geocaching through direct integration with; all descriptions, hints, logs, difficulty and terrain level on device
  • Storage capacity for a category-leading 7,000 waypoints
  • Barometric altimeter that shows accurate elevation levels on the map, or along current trail as well as how far to the top of a mountain or other location
  • Trailhead companion software for desktop computers allows geocaches, hikes, and rides to be stored, viewed, and transferred to and from the Foris
  • Glove friendly 3-inch touch screen (240 x 400 pixels) is sensitive enough to be used while wearing biking gloves
  • The box includes bike mount, batteries, an anti-glare screen protector, 8 GB internal memory

The Foris 850 has a suggested retail price of $399.99 and is anticipated to be the first in a line of outdoor market products from Rand McNally.

The Foris 850 will be available exclusively at beginning June 7 and at other retailers as of June 21.


Rand McNally 

Rand McNally is the most trusted source for maps, directions, and travel content.

Rand McNally’s products and services include road travel review site (bestoftheroad),  interactive travel referral service (tripology), America’s #1 Road Atlas, TripMaker RVND GPS for RVers, IntelliRoute truck routing software and mobile communication solutions for the transportation industry, and the leading geography-based educational resources for the classroom.

Consumers, businesses, truckers, and educators depend upon Rand McNally to help navigate today’s world.

Address: 9855 Woods Drive Skokie, Illinois 60077

Phone: (800) 333-0136


Best of RVing website:

Best of the Road website:

Tripology website:

Lifetime Maps program website:

Worth Pondering…                

I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.

—Daniel Boone

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A Grill to Fit Your Pocket

Bashpole Inventions announces it has created an innovative, patent-pending portable grill: the Pocket Grill.

Bashpole Inventions Pocket Grill
Bashpole Inventions Pocket Grill

Even though it’s large enough to cook for several people when assembled, it still folds small enough to fit into your pocket after use.

Its size and portability make it easier to cook on camping and RVing trips, hiking and backpacking outings, or any other outdoor adventure with a campfire.

With the RV business flourishing again, the owners of Bashpole are excited to take their products into markets that are natural fits, according to a news release.

For the Pocket Grill, that is the camping and RV market.

“The Pocket Grill is more than a novelty,” says Pocket Grill creator Benjamin Ashpole, a former Department of Defense engineering contractor and avid outdoorsman.

Pocket Grill and Cookbook
Pocket Grill and Cookbook

“The mission of Bashpole Inventions is to continually invent and develop unique products that make life easier and more fun. The Pocket Grill is a perfect example of this.”

The Pocket Grill is the first camping grill that folds up small enough to fit in your pocket!

“Good food is the secret to not just surviving but enjoying the wilderness,” says Ashpole.

Every hiker, fisherman, biker, adventure racer, hunter, camper, climber, and beach-goer can carry this highly portable grill more comfortably than other portable grills that do not fit neatly into packs, are flimsy, or are very heavy.

By placing the Pocket Grill over an open fire, an outdoor enthusiast can cook meals otherwise not possible.

“I spent almost three years designing the Pocket Grill to be the easiest way to cook meat, vegetables, and even dessert in the great outdoors,” concluded Ashpole.


  • Unfolds from a pocket size of 6 inches x 4 inches x 2 inches to a full size of about 2 feet x 1 foot x 1 foot
  • Adjustably stands up to 15 inches tall
  • Holds up to 10 pounds of food (i.e. lots of steaks and even pots of water)
  • Assembles in less than a minute
  • Comes with washable carrying pouch
  • Sturdy, stainless steel body and grate
  • Dishwasher safe


Pocket Grill and Cookbook: $49.99 (includes free shipping)

Pocket Grill only: $39.99 (includes free shipping)

Cookbook only: $14.99 (includes free shipping)


Pocket Grill

Pocket Grill set up
Pocket Grill set up






The Pocket Grill™ is a new portable grill that’s large enough to cook over a campfire but folds small enough to fit inside a pocket.

The Pocket Grill boasts a lighter and compact way to cook over a campfire. The stainless steel grill folds to a small size and can fit in the pocket of a backpack. Its compact size is partially due to the patent pending hinges on the legs that fold without wasting space.


Bashpole Inventions

Bashpole Inventions is a close-knit, internally funded “invention house” comprising a team of engineers and business persons dedicated to solving wide-scale problems in mass consumer markets.

Bashpole Inventions creates innovative consumer products, taking them from initial idea to retail inventory.

Bashpole Inventions (formerly Bashpole Group) began as a Wharton Venture Initiation Program Company at the University of Pennsylvania. Beginning with the Pocket Grill and Bashpole Cards, Bashpole Inventions is devoted to the creation of fun, intriguing, and novel products that help make the world a better place to be.

Address: 8791 E. Wesley Lane, North Webster, IN 46555

Phone: (215) 760-1613


Worth Pondering…

Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.

—Eugene S. Wilson

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