Christmas Message from Vogel Talks RVing

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Indian Waters RV Resort
As we approach Christmas Eve we’re in the Coachella Valley enjoying the Southern California sunshine with Indian Waters RV Resort our winter roost. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It’s Christmas week, the most wonderful time of the year.

Merry Christmas fellow RVers, campers, snowbirds and Winter Texans, wanna-bes, birders, photographers, hikers, and everyone who loves the great out-of-doors…and all readers!

Thank you for your readership this past year!

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season.

May the miracle of this wonderful season fill your heart with peace and happiness and bless your life throughout the year.

Merry Christmas are words of hope and joy.

We sometimes lose the focus of this holiday season. Shopping, wrapping presents, and sending Christmas cards. Planning dinner, cleaning, and decorating often distracts from the reason for the Season.

While in Quartzsite, check out the Hi Jolly Monument which honors the Arab camel driver, Hadji Ali, who took part in an unsuccessful 1850’s U.S. War Department attempt to use camels as beasts of burden in the desert.
While in Quartzsite, check out the Hi Jolly Monument which honors the Arab camel driver, Hadji Ali, who took part in an unsuccessful 1850’s U.S. War Department attempt to use camels as beasts of burden in the desert. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As we approach Christmas Eve we’re in the Coachella Valley enjoying the Southern California sunshine, discovering the beauty and diversity of the area, and indulging the palate in tasty tamales and other south-of-the border holiday treats—and the famous Coachella Medjool dates.

As usual my regular postings will continue daily throughout Christmas week and into the New Year.

May you all have a heartfelt and happy Christmas.

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!

Forget sugar plums!

When you drift off to sleep tonight,

I’ll be dreaming of fabulous RV destinations I’d love to visit,

Acadia, Mount Rainier, and Yellowstone national parks

Sweet dreams and happy holidays!

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck is a boisterous duck with a brilliant pink bill and an unusual, long-legged silhouette. Watch for noisy flocks of these gaudy ducks dropping into fields to forage on seeds in the Rio Grande Valley. Listen for them, too—these ducks really do have a whistle for their call. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Snowbird Christmas

Cranky as an RV space heater,

I groan and grumble in pre-dawn chill,

wait for the coffee pot to finish playing

reveille to my numb mind.

Shuffling around the RV Park,

Snowbirds and Winter Texans make mischief,

cackling like contented

chickens under the hot Arizona sun.

A grateful respite from grueling

gray cold fronts of International Falls,

Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona
Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Winnipeg, and Green Bay.

Amid chants of Go Packers Go!

A time of celebration and decorations

Christmas lights, ornaments, nativity scenes,

Wal-Mart Santas and reindeer

A plastic Jesus or two adorn motorhomes,

fifth wheel trailers, and old converted buses.

Christmas Eve, wrinkled faces gather

Credit: mcallencvb.com
Credit: mcallencvb.com

in the clubhouse by the artificial tree

reminiscing of Christmases past during simpler times

speaking of children in childish voices.

Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to all!

Worth Pondering…

May the joy of today, bring forth happiness for tomorrow—and may the cold Alberta air stay up north!

Read More

RV Camping During the Holidays

Thanksgiving to New Year’s is a special time. This holiday season presents special challenges for those who travel in a recreational vehicle, but the benefits and rewards are numerous.

Newport Beach Boat ParadeMake the most of your holiday by celebrating with family and friends—new and old. And remember how blessed you are to be able to live the RV lifestyle.

To ensure your RV camping holiday is as fabulous as possible, take some time to brainstorm ways you can adapt your at-home rituals to the camping environment. Can you re-create your Thanksgiving dinner with dishes made over the campfire or in a Dutch oven?

Maybe this will be the year when you hearken back to old-fashioned Christmas traditions including baking apples, roasting chestnuts, and decorating with paper chains rather than lights. You can sing carols over the glow of your lantern, take a hay ride at Thanksgiving, or sleigh ride during Christmas or New Years.

Be prepared for the unexpected. RVers should always carry an emergency kit on board including items such as blankets, fully stocked first aid kit and manual, LED flashlights, emergency flares, spare batteries, matches, and an ample supply of drinking water. But, it’s even more critical during the holiday season, when poor weather is common throughout much of the country. Check your carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm for proper operation before leaving home and change the batteries as needed.

To make your RV feel more like the holidays, you can decorate the exterior and interior of your RV. You can also make your RV more festive with garlands, wreaths, holiday lights, and smaller decorative touches. Opting for a 12-foot tree just isn’t going to work in an RV. However, you can put up a small, tabletop Christmas tree inside your RV and decorate simply—hang some of your favorite ornaments from home or collect RV Christmas ornaments on your travels.

Fantasy in Lights
Fantasy in Lights set amidst the wooded landscape of Callaway Gardens, sets Pine Mountain, Georgia, ablaze from November 21-December 30, 2014

If you’re heading to a southern campground for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s, you can enjoy the sunny weather while you check out the local display of lights or join in the campground’s potluck Thanksgiving dinner. Nearly all campgrounds that are open for the holidays host special holiday events and put on a special meal.

Many use their RV during the holiday season to escape the cold weather and snow. They follow the sun to snowbird hotspots in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California. Less familiar snowbird roosts attract others to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Nevada.

There are numerous unique ways to celebrate the holiday season and create lasting memories.

More than 100 years in the making, the Newport Beach (California) Christmas Boat Parade is an event not to be missed. Held annually from the third Wednesday to the third Sunday in December (December 17-21, 2014), you will see hundreds of boats including multimillion dollar yachts, fishing boats, kayaks, canoes, and other boats of varying sizes.

Even the homeowners and dock owners get involved, decorating all along the shore.  Holiday Season Cruises are also available December 4 through 16 and December 17 to January 4.

This holiday season marks the 23rd anniversary of the Fantasy in Lights—named one of the “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights” by National Geographic Traveler—at Calloway Gardens. The Southeast’s most spectacular holiday light and sound show, Fantasy in Lights features eight million lights stretching more than five miles creating 15 larger-than-life holiday scenes.

Fantasy in Lights set amidst the wooded landscape of Callaway Gardens, sets Pine Mountain, Georgia, ablaze from November 21-December 30, 2014. The resort’s onsite Christmas Village features shopping, dining, and Santa.

During Nights of Lights, St. Augustine glows with holiday magic
During Nights of Lights, St. Augustine glows with holiday magic

You’ll never forget Nights of Lights in St. Augustine on Florida’s Historic Coast! Nights of Lights traditionally begins the Saturday before the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, Nights of Lights “turns on” November 22, 2014, and continues through February 1, 2015. During Nights of Lights, St. Augustine glows with holiday magic—from the ground to the rooftops.

Selected by National Geographic Traveler as one of the “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights” in the world, St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights feature millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the Nation’s oldest city.

Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting reflects the city’s 449-year history and illuminates the beautiful setting for lasting holiday memories. Enjoy the sights on foot, by bicycle or pedicab, on the Old Town Trolley or the Ripley’s Red Train, or by horse and carriage.

Worth Pondering…
Too many get caught up in the noise of everyday life to hear the symphony of what life is really all about.

Read More

Christmas Message from Vogel Talks RVing

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

christmas-bird1It’s Christmas week, the most wonderful time of the year.

Merry Christmas fellow RVers, campers, snowbirds and Winter Texans, wanna-bes, birders, photographers, hikers, and everyone who loves the great out-of-doors…and all readers!

Thank you for your readership this past year!

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season.

May the miracle of this wonderful season fill your heart with peace and happiness and bless your life throughout the year.

Merry Christmas are words of hope and joy.

We sometimes lose the focus of this holiday season. Shopping, wrapping presents, and sending Christmas cards. Planning dinner, cleaning, and decorating often distracts from the reason for the Season.

As we approach Christmas Eve we’re on the Texas Gulf Coast enjoying balmy Gulf breezes, discovering the beauty and diversity of the area, and indulging the palate in fresh from the Gulf shrimp and oysters.

As usual my regular postings will continue daily throughout Christmas week and into the New Year.

May you all have a heartfelt and happy Christmas.

Pristine stretches of marshland, punctuated by small islands known as hammocks, define the breathtaking landscape. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pristine stretches of marshland, punctuated by small islands known as hammocks, define the breathtaking landscape on Jekyll Island, Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!

Forget sugar plums!

When you drift off to sleep tonight,

I’ll be dreaming of fabulous RV destinations I’d love to visit,

Acadia, Mount Rainier, and Yellowstone national parks

Sweet dreams and happy holidays!

Snowbird Christmas

Cranky as an RV space heater,

I groan and grumble in pre-dawn chill,

wait for the coffee pot to finish playing

reveille to my numb mind.

Shuffling around the RV Park,

Snowbirds and Winter Texans make mischief,

cackling like contented

chickens under the hot Arizona sun.

A grateful respite from grueling

gray cold fronts of International Falls,

Winnipeg, and Green Bay.

Amid chants of Go Packers Go!

A time of celebration and decorations

Christmas lights, ornaments, nativity scenes,

Wal-Mart Santas and reindeer

Experience the antics of multiple hummingbird species in the Hummingbird Aviary. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Experience the antics of multiple hummingbird species in the Hummingbird Aviary. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A plastic Jesus or two adorn motorhomes,

fifth wheel trailers, and old converted buses.

Christmas Eve, wrinkled faces gather

in the clubhouse by the artificial tree

reminiscing of Christmases past during simpler times

speaking of children in childish voices.

Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to all!

Worth Pondering…

May the joy of today, bring forth happiness for tomorrow—and may the cold Alberta air stay up north!

Read More

Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree

Looking for a quirky option for your Christmas tree this holiday season?

Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree
Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree

Look no further.

Bombki is now offering a Little Camper ornament.

Each decoration is made from hand-blown glass, then hand-decorated with glittery embellishments all in the shape of a very festive looking VW campervan.

Each ornament is made from hand-blown glass and then hand decorated with glittery embellishments.

They’re available in a variety of color options including the classic orange pictured above, lime, pink, and ice blue.

The WV campervan Christmas tree ornaments are currently IN STOCK and available for ordering from Not On The High Street.

Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree
Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree

Each decoration is priced at £17 ($29.11)

International delivery to United States and Canada is available.

Estimated delivery time is 5-10 days from dispatch.

Estimated cost of delivery is $11.90.

Worth Pondering…

Forget sugar plums!

When you drift off to sleep,

I’ll be dreaming of fabulous RV destinations I’d love to visit,

Acadia, Mount Rainier, and Yellowstone national parks

Sweet dreams and happy holidays!

Snowbird Christmas

Cranky as an RV space heater,

I groan and grumble in pre-dawn chill,

wait for the coffee pot to finish playing

reveille to my numb mind.

Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree
Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree

Shuffling around the RV Park,

Snowbirds and Winter Texans make mischief,

cackling like contented

chickens under the Arizona sun.

A grateful respite from grueling

gray cold fronts of International Falls,

Winnipeg, and Green Bay.

Amid chants of Go Packers Go!

Read More

Merry Christmas

It’s Christmas weekend, the most wonderful time of the year.

christmas-birdSeason’s greetings fellow RVers, campers, snowbirds, wanna-bes, birders, photographers, hikers, and everyone who loves the great out-of-doors…and all readers!

Thank you for your readership this past year!

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season.

May the miracle of this wonderful season fill your heart with peace and happiness and bless your life throughout the year.

As we approach Christmas Eve we’re on the Alabama Gulf Coast enjoying balmy Gulf breezes, discovering the beauty and diversity of the area, and indulging the palate in fresh from the Gulf shrimp, oysters, and native fish.

As usual my regular postings will continue daily throughout Christmas week.

As we say goodbye to 2012 and introduce 2013, I plan to bring some exciting new things to Vogel Talks RVing.

On January 1, I’ll give you a peek behind the curtain on a new series on photography—Digital Photography and RVing: A Natural Fit.

For me, the ultimate experience of RVing requires a camera. Without a camera I bring home memories. With a camera, I bring home a series of images of the memories that I can return to over and over and share with readers of my posts. Memories become more complete and permanent through photos.

We’re on the Alabama Gulf Coast enjoying balmy Gulf breezes, discovering the beauty and diversity of the area, and indulging the palate in fresh from the Gulf shrimp. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
We’re on the Alabama Gulf Coast enjoying balmy Gulf breezes, discovering the beauty and diversity of the area, and indulging the palate in fresh from the Gulf shrimp. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that 71.8 million people participated in at least one type of wildlife-watching activity, such as observing, feeding, and photographing wildlife.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to all!

Forget sugar plums!

When you drift off to sleep tonight,

I’ll be dreaming of fabulous RV destinations I’d love to visit,

Acadia, Mount Rainier, and Yellowstone national parks

Sweet dreams and happy holidays!

Snowbird Christmas

Cranky as an RV space heater,

I groan and grumble in pre-dawn chill,

wait for the coffee pot to finish playing

reveille to my numb mind.

Shuffling around the RV Park,

Snowbirds and Winter Texans make mischief,

cackling like contented

chickens under the Arizona sun.

A grateful respite from grueling

gray cold fronts of International Falls,

Winnipeg, and Green Bay.

Amid chants of Go Packers Go!

Yuma is a favorite Arizona destination for northern snowbirds. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Yuma is a favorite Arizona destination for northern snowbirds. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A time of celebration and decorations

Christmas lights, ornaments, nativity

scenes, Wal-Mart Santas and reindeer

A plastic Jesus or two adorn motorhomes,

fifth wheel trailers, and old converted buses.

Christmas Eve, wrinkled faces gather

in the clubhouse by the artificial tree

reminiscing of Christmases past during simpler times

speaking of children in childish voices.

Worth Pondering…
May the joy of today, bring forth happiness for tomorrow—and may the cold Alberta air stay up north!

Read More

Go RVing Canada Launches ‘Stuff the RV and Feed Someone’s Tummy’ Campaign

Go RVing Canada launched its third annual ‘Stuff the RV and Feed Someone’s Tummy’ national holiday campaign, which serves to benefit The Salvation Army.

GoRVingCanada-6a00e54f91645288340154344020f0970c-500wiGo RVing Canada is encouraging all Canadians to give to their local Salvation Army over the holidays and participate in the charitable events the organization will be hosting across the country over the next couple of weeks.

Go RVing Canada is also promoting its very own iKettle, a user-friendly tool that allows participants to donate to The Salvation Army online, according to a press release from Go RVing Canada.

“The Salvation Army is in desperate need of food and monetary donations this time of year,” said Go RVing Canada Spokesperson Emily Reid.

“Like many local causes in need, Go RVing Canada is asking Canadians to give back this holiday season to help those who are less fortunate.”

salvation-army-logo-272x300 (1)According to the Salvation Army, approximately three million Canadians, or one in 11 people, live in poverty, making access to everyday needs like food, clothing, and shelter difficult.

With its 2012 holiday campaign, Go RVing Canada hopes to raise awareness in regards to this important fundraising event, which helps hundreds of people every holiday season, states the release.

“We are very grateful for the overwhelming support we receive in Ottawa every year from individuals and organizations like Go RVing Canada. It is because of our generous community that we are able to serve more than 20,000 people through critical programs and services at

To donate to The Salvation Army through Go RVing Canada’s iKettle, visit fillthekettle.com.

Details

Go RVing Canada

The Go RVing Canada coalition was formed in 1997, and consists of RV manufacturers, RV dealers, and campground operators.  The coalition serves as the Canadian RV camping industry ambassador to provide the public and media with information about the benefits of RV travel.

The coalition also seeks to enhance consumer information and satisfaction with the RV experience.

Address: 2175 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 310, Toronto, Ontario M2J 1W8

Website: gorving.ca

The Salvation Army

Salvation Army kettle-resultsThe Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in 400 communities across Canada and more than 120 countries around the world.

The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people, and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction.

When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.

Address: 2 Overlea Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M4H 1P4

Phone: (800) SAL-ARMY (725-2769)

Website: salvationarmy.ca

Worth Pondering…
Count your blessings. A grateful heart attracts more joy, love, and prosperity.

—Cheryl Richardson

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Merry Christmas to All

It’s Christmas weekend, the most wonderful time of the year.

Season’s greetings fellow RVers, Snowbirds, wanna-bes, birders, photographers, hikers, and everyone who loves the great out-of-doors…and all readers!

Thank you for your readership this past year!

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season.

May the miracle of this wonderful season fill your heart with peace and happiness and bless your life throughout the year.

It’s Christmas Eve and we’re in central Texas midway between Austin and Houston. Most of the Great State of Texas—and the Land of Enchantment—is receiving much needed rain following last summer’s severe drought throughout the region.

As usual my regular postings will continue throughout the weekend.

© Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As we say goodbye to 2011 and introduce 2012, I plan to bring some exciting new things to Vogel Talks RVing. I can’t wait until I’ll be able to give you a peek behind the curtain on a new series on photography—“Digital Photography and RVing: A Natural Fit”.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas to all!

Forget sugar plums! When I drift off to sleep tonight, I’ll be dreaming of fabulous RVing destinations I’d love to visit.

Sweet dreams and happy holidays!

Snowbird Christmas
Cranky as the RV’s space heater,
I groan and grumble in pre-dawn chill,
wait for the coffee pot to finish playing
reveille to my numb mind.

Shuffling around the RV Park,
elderly snowbirds make mischief,
cackling like contented
chickens under the Arizona sun.

© Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A grateful respite from grueling
gray cold fronts of Grand Prairie,
Edmonton, and Denver.
A time of celebration and decoration.

Christmas lights, ornaments, nativity
scenes, Wal-Mart Santas, and reindeer,
a plastic Jesus or two adorn motorhomes,
trailers , old converted greyhounds.

Christmas Eve, wrinkled faces gather
in the clubhouse by the artificial tree,
reminiscing of Christmases past,
speaking of children in childish voices.
—Author Unknown

Worth Pondering…
May the joy of today, bring forth happiness for tomorrow—and may the cold Alberta air stay up north!

Read More

Celebrate the Season with Hooray for the Holidays Sweepstakes

The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, yesterday (December 19) launched its Hooray for the Holidays sweepstakes.

From December 19 through December 23, the National Park Foundation celebrates the holiday season by giving away exciting national park prize packs to five lucky entrants. By going to the National Park Foundation Facebook page, visitors can enter to win one of the five National Park Foundation prize packs which include plane tickets, the “America the Beautiful” park pass, gift cards, apparel, and more!

Between December 19 and 23, a new national park prize pack will be awarded. Entrants are encouraged to enter once daily for the duration of the sweepstakes. For full sweepstake rules and description of prizes, go to the National Park Facebook page.

During this season of giving, there are many ways to show your support of America’s national parks. Below, are just a few of the ways your holiday gift can help preserve America’s most treasured places.

Give the Gift of the Parks

Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Look no further! Visit the National Park Foundation and give the gift of America’s national parks. Make a donation this holiday season to the National Park Foundation on behalf of your friends and loved ones and you will receive a special printable certificate to include in a stocking or under your Christmas tree.

You will have the satisfaction of knowing that your gift to the National Park Foundation, the only national non-profit that directly supports the national parks, will make a difference in preserving America’s treasures.

This year, donations to the National Park Foundation between now and December 31 will be doubled! Thanks to the generosity of the National Park Foundation board, all year-end gifts will be matched up to $75,000! Your year-end gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar—ensuring that our national parks will be here for the next generation to enjoy.

Park enthusiast can also use the National Park Foundation’s Gift Guide to shop for gifts that give back to the parks.

Unique gifts available include National Park Games, Tango Card, National Park Coins, J. Crew T-Shirts, Passport To Your National Parks, and National Park Foundation Collection of Fine Canvas and Leather Goods.

Details

National Park Foundation

You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites—all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. Working hand in hand with the National Park Service, the Foundation connects you and all Americans to the parks, and ensures that they are preserved for the generations who will follow.

Join the National Park Foundation in supporting your national parks—this is your land.

National Park Foundation Website: nationalparks.org

National Park Foundation Facebook page: facebook.com

National Park Foundation on Twitter: twitter.com

National Park Foundation Holiday Gift Guide: nationalparks.org/explore

Worth Pondering…

Wilderness settles peace on the soul.

—E.O. Wilson

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More Gifts That Keeps on Giving

The Christmas countdown continues!

While the holidays bring with it lots of love, time spent with family and friends, good food, and more, it can also bring stress—most from the gift exchange. Trying to find the perfect gift for someone can get frustrating.

But if you’re still looking for gifts for the RVer in your life, you are in luck!

To keep this manageable, it’s been parted out into two posts—each with five items. To read part one, click here.

These are in no particular order, with no favoritism or affiliation to the actual products or vendors. So, without further ado here are five more gifts that keep on giving:

National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) Membership

By giving a gift membership, not only do you save yourself from the stress and crowds of department stores, but you’ll help protect America’s most treasured lands. The National Parks Conservation Association offers Gift Memberships starting at only $25. Gift members will also receive a fleece blanket as a welcome gift, plus a year’s subscription to the award-winning National Parks magazine. Donations between now and December 31 will be matched, dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000.

Arizona State Parks Annual Pass

You can support Arizona State Parks by purchasing an Annual Pass. They make great Holiday gifts, too. Share the outdoors today.

Any two individuals may put their names on the pass. Names must be the full first name and the full last name of each Pass Holder.

Both Standard and Premium Annual Passes can also be purchased on-site in the visitor center or gift shop at Arizona State Parks.

A Standard Annual Pass is $75.00 (+ $5 handling); Premium Annual Pass $200.00 (+ $5 handling).

Pennsylvania State Parks Gift Cards & Calendars

A state park gift card can be purchased in any dollar amount and may be used for campsites, cabins, and pavilions anywhere they are available in the award-winning state park system. Parks are a great, economical destination and offer the opportunity to watch wildlife and connect with nature. To order a gift card, visit dcnr.state.pa.us, choose “Find a Park,” then “Reservations,” then “Gift Cards.”

Holiday gift-givers also can support Pennsylvania’s 120 state parks by purchasing a calendar featuring the wonders of state parks throughout the seasons, and provides tips and facts that make it easy to discover what many locations have to offer. The 10-inch x 13-inch calendar costs $8.49, plus sales tax and shipping, and can be ordered by calling 1.888.PAPARKS. You can see the calendar online before purchasing.

Washington State Parks

New this year, the Discover Pass provides motor-vehicle access to nearly seven million acres of Washington state-managed recreation lands, including state parks, water-access points, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, trails and trailheads. The annual pass, which is valid for one year from the issue date, is $35.

Addition information is available online.

“Living with Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest,” a 392-page guide to living and dealing with a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians is available for $25.

Florida State Parks Annual Pass

Annual Entrance Passes allow park entrance in lieu of the daily entrance fee and are honored at all state parks, except for Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, where they are valid for a 33 percent discount.

The Individual Annual Entrance Pass is valid for the named cardholder only, additional persons accompanying an Individual Annual Entrance Pass holder are $2.00 per person admission except at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and Weeki Wachee Springs State Park where the standard admission fee applies.

The Family Annual Entrance Pass is valid for up to eight people in a group, except at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and Weeki Wachee Springs State Park where the family pass is good for admission of up to two people.

An Individual Annual Entrance Pass is $60; Family Annual Entrance Pass (up to eight people in a group) $120.

Annual Passes can be purchased at all park ranger stations and museums and online.

Worth Pondering…

To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.

—Helen Keller

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The Gift That Keeps on Giving

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas countdown has begun!

While the holidays bring with it lots of love, time spent with family and friends, good food, and more, it can also bring stress—most from the gift exchange. Trying to find the perfect gift for someone can get frustrating.

But if you’re still looking for gifts for the RVer in your life, you are in luck!

To keep this manageable, it’s been parted out into two posts—each with five items.  These are in no particular order, with no favoritism or affiliation to the actual products or vendors. So, without further ado here are five gifts that keep on giving:

The National Parks: Our American Landscape

A collection of over 200 stunning images depicting America’s national parks is a perfect gift for any RVer or lover of the outdoors. The book was originally released in 2010, but was released this year in a more affordable paperback version ($16.47 on Amazon.com).

Texas State Parks Pass

The Texas State Parks Pass is an annual pass that offers many special benefits including unlimited visits to more than 90 State Parks. You can also receive discounts on camping, park store merchandise, and recreational equipment rentals, and be eligible for other specials.

The single Texas State Park Pass (Primary Pass) may be purchased for $70. An additional pass may be issued at the time of purchase for an additional $15. Additional passes sold anytime after the original transaction may be purchased for $25.

State Parks Passes can be purchased on site at any Texas State Park location, and can be used on your very first visit. Or, you can purchase your Parks Pass from the State Park Customer Service Center, by calling (512) 389-8900.

December Is “Stocking Stuffer” Month at Oregon State Parks

Through the end of the month, visitors to Oregon’s 26 state parks can buy a 12-month day-use parking permit for $25 instead $30. Parking permits are transferable from vehicle to vehicle. The parks department also offers a 24-month pass for $50.

The Oregon Coast Passport, a multi-agency permit, also is discounted $5 in December. It is valid not only for parking at state parks but also at U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service sites along the Oregon Coast. The coastal passports are on sale for $30.

The parking permits, coastal passports, and gift certificates are available by calling the Oregon State Parks Information Center (800-551-6949).

Colorado State Parks Passes

A Colorado State Parks Annual Pass is a gift of outdoor cheer that lasts all year and doesn’t require a shopping trip. The annual passes provide free access for everyone in the vehicle to all 42 state parks throughout 2012.

Colorado State Parks offer settings of natural beauty across the state, nearly every kind of outdoor recreation—boating, camping, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, and sledding—and special programs for youngsters and adults.

The annual pass is $70 and is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.

The passes are available online and by phone (303-866-3437).

Gift certificates, which can be used for annual and daily passes, reservation fees, and camping sites are also available. And, Colorado State Park gift certificates never expire.

Purchase online for $5, $10, $25, $35, $60, or $70.

Indiana DNR Bargain Gift Pack

The $99 State Park Holiday Gift Pack includes a 2012 resident Annual Entrance Permit, an Indiana State Park Inns gift certificate worth $70, a one-year subscription to Outdoor Indiana magazine, and a 2012 Outdoor Indiana full-color calendar (a saving of $19).

The $129 State Park Holiday Gift Pack upgrades your $99 State Park Holiday Gift Pack to include a $100 Indiana State Park Inns gift certificate.

Indiana has 32 state parks and reservoirs scattered throughout the state. The entrance permit grants gate entrance for all of 2012 for all state parks and reservoirs.

The gift certificate can be used at any of seven state park lodging facilities, as well as the award-winning Pete Dye-designed golf course at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis.

You may even want to get yourself one, too, considering the savings.

Order at innsgifts.com, now through December 31.

Worth Pondering…

When your spirit cries for peace, come to a world of canyons deep in an old land; feel the exultation of high plateaus, the strength of moving wasters, the simplicity of sand and grass, and the silence of growth.

—August Fruge

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