Zombie Apocalypse RV Resort

If the end of the world comes you might be glad you’re still in Kansas.

vivos-300x266While all hell breaks loose on the surface of Planet Earth you might be glad to retreat to your underground complex 130 feet below the Kansas plains.

This shelter is a virtual fortress with full-time security and protection devices, drive-through blast doors that can withstand a nuclear blast from mere miles away, filtration systems for nuclear radiation and fallout, biological pathogens, and chemical war gases.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the shelter is that members can drive their full size recreational vehicle directly inside, with space for more than 1,000 RVs. Like an underground RV park, each family will enjoy the privacy of their own vehicle meeting their particular needs and comfort standards.

Actually ownership of a recreational vehicle is a membership requirement. Each co-owner member is required to provide their own RV for their private living quarters. Your RV can be any length, and as basic or luxurious as you desire.

For privacy, cleanliness, and the comfort of all members, tents or any other style camping is not allowed within the shelter.

Power and water are provided for lighting, sink, and bathroom use. Sewage is pumped out of your tank on an as needed basis. Amperage is limited to prohibit use of a microwave or stove.

This massive underground complex encompasses over 2 million square feet of existing shelter area.

vivosshelterThe Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort will accommodate approximately 5,000 people for a minimum of one year of autonomous survival, without the need to return to the surface.

Located in an underground cave once used as a limestone mine and a U.S. Army storage facility, and having the strength six times stronger than concrete, this massive structure will resist virtually any predictable disaster or catastrophic event.

The shelter already exists. The Vivos retrofitting and outfitting is being completed in on a phased basis, with the critical life-support equipment and fixtures having a priority. Upon completion of the first phase these elements will be completed and the shelter will be fully operational.

Selected facts and details include:

  • Located in Atchison, Kansas, within a 135 acre private property
  • Adjacent to the Missouri River
  • Rail, vehicle, boat, and plane access
  • Fully secured complex
  • Food, water, fuel, medicine, hygienic supplies
  • Deep water wells
  • Sewage ejection systems
  • Miles of underground roadways

This Vivos complex will also be a year-round resort offering its co-owner members the opportunity to visit the shelter anytime they desire, 24/7. With a host of survival, educational, and recreational activities and amenities, the Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort will be an attraction for the entire family, both above and below ground.

Above-ground recreational activities include an RV Park and camping areas, BBQ areas, hiking and mountain biking trails, baseball field, pool and waterslide, basketball and volleyball courts, equestrian area, and boat launch facility.

Tours can be scheduled for serious and qualified co-owner members on weekends.

Recreational vehicle access is based on the length of your RV, currently priced at $1,000 per foot of length.

Vivos-whichsidedoorThere is an extra cost for a one year supply of food, toiletries, and general supplies, priced at $1,500 per person that you register to be aboard your vehicle.

If the undead finally take over, a giant space rock falls toward Earth, or the some idiot pushes the big red button, you may be glad for your own end of days retreat.

Meanwhile this shelter will become your resort vacation destination, year after year.

Better sign up before your chances of surviving the apocalypse are blown!

Details

Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort

Website: terravivos.com

Worth Pondering…

I had all kinds of plans in case of a zombie attack. I just figured I’d be on the other side.”

A Softer World

Read More

Five Things You Need to Know Today: April 20

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

1. New Winnebago “ONE” Travel Trailer Available

Winnebago ONE exterior. (Credit: PRNewsFoto/Winnebago Industries, Inc.)

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, a leading recreation vehicle manufacturer has launched the company’s first Winnebago brand travel trailer since 1983.

Unique features on the Winnebago ONE include standard laminated high-gloss gel coated fiberglass exteriors, a residential style sectional sofa, a hide-away computer table, interior, and exterior convenience centers, industry-best kitchen countertop space, private bathrooms, radius interior ceilings, and memory foam mattresses.

Initially, Winnebago ONE is available in four floor plans ranging from 26- to 34-feet in length.

“We feel that branding the first travel trailer line as Winnebago ONE is quite fitting for many reasons,” states Fred Hershberger, National Sales Manager for Winnebago Industries Towables.

For the complete story on the ONE travel trailer, click here.

2. New Kansas State Park Online Reservation System

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has announced that its new online reservation site is open for business.

Built by Active Network, Inc., a cloud-based activity and participant management solutions provider, the new system makes it easy to find and reserve campsites and cabins in the state parks as well as cabins at certain state fishing lakes and wildlife areas.

It is hosted on ReserveAmerica.com, a media property of Active Network for camping reservations. The online registration system powered by ActiveWorks cloud technology was launched on schedule just after midnight on Tuesday, April 17.

For more information, contact the nearest KDWPT state park or phone the Pratt Operations Office, 620.672.5911, and ask for the Parks Division.

3. Park’s Path Welcomes Golfers

“The Park’s Path: An Alabama Golf Destination,” is the new name for the Alabama State Parks golf trail.

Also new to Alabama State Parks golf experience is the Parks Path Golf Card, which allows players to receive 50 percent off of green fees at any of the six trail courses. The cards will be available for purchase at the Joe Wheeler, Oak Mountain, Lakepoint, Roland Cooper, Gulf and Lake Guntersville pro shops.

Courses included in the Path are:

  • The “General” at Joe Wheeler
  • The “Oaks” at Oak Mountain
  • The “Sanctuary” at Lakepoint
  • “Deer Haven” at Roland Cooper
  • The “Refuge” at Gulf State Park
  • The “Eagle’s Nest” at Lake Guntersville

For additional information and details, see Six Courses, One Name: Alabama State Parks Golf Trail Named.

4. Vintage Travel Trailers Restored

Even on a cold, dank day, it gleams and shimmers, this 1957 Airstream Flying Cloud travel trailer. But that’s nothing compared to the glint in Kevin O’Connell’s eye as he stands back and admires a classic example of Americana.

O’Connell stands in the expansive workshop of his second-career business and first-rank labor of love, Russian River Vintage Travel Trailers, just off the main drag of Guerneville, California.

Around him are examples of a bygone period, those carefree Eisenhower years when people hit the open road in souped-up trailers and campers that catered to their every need as they traveled from state park to KOA sites to see America with the family.

For the complete story on Russian River Vintage Travel Trailers, click here.

5. Need a Dump Station?

Credit: Sanidumps.com

RV owners periodically find themselves needing to find an RV dump station. This may be a result of dry camping with no sewer service or dump station available, or making one-night layovers and trying to get on the road quickly without using the campground or RV resort dump station on the way out.

Also affected are RVers working on the road or visiting places such as ball games, auto races, or dog shows, and not being near campgrounds or RV resorts.

It is important to understand that the number of public dump stations at highway rest stops and some travel centers is gradually being reduced because of maintenance, service, and vandalism concerns.

Have a great weekend.

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

Worth Pondering…

An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.

—G.K. Chesterton

Read More

Endangered Whooping Cranes Winding Down Unusual Year

It’s been an unusual year for whooping cranes in Texas and the endangered species’ spring migration is the latest example.

Whooping cranes are the tallest birds in North America, standing nearly five feet. They have a wingspan of 7.5 feet. (Credit: Earl Nottingham/TPWD)

Researchers report several whooping crane families initiated their spring migration nearly a month earlier than usual, with some birds having already reached South Dakota, according to a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) news release.

Texans are asked to report sightings of these large white birds as they progress along their migration route northward from the coast through Central Texas and the Wichita Falls area.

After a winter distribution that surprised biologists and kept birders enchanted with unprecedented sighting opportunities for one of North America’s most ancient bird species, the unusually early start of the migration to nesting grounds in Canada does not surprise TPWD biologist Lee Ann Linam.

“This winter seemed to produce a ‘perfect storm’ of mild winter weather, reduced food sources on the Texas coast, and crowding in an expanding whooping crane population, which led whooping cranes to explore new wintering areas,” Linam said.

“Those same conditions have likely provided the impetus for an early start of their 1500-mile spring migration.”

Texas provides wintering habitat for the only self-sustaining population of whooping cranes in the world. Traditionally, whooping cranes spend December through March in coastal wetlands on and near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, between Rockport and Port Lavaca.

Whooping cranes migrate more than 2,400 miles a year. (Credit: Canadian Wildlife Service)

In recent years whoopers have slowly expanded their winter range—usually using coastal marshlands adjacent to already occupied areas.

However, in 2011-12 whoopers made significant expansions southward and westward of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, and one whooping crane apparently spent the winter with sandhill cranes in upland habitats near El Campo.

Even more significantly, nine whooping cranes, including six adults and three chicks, spent most of the winter near Granger Lake in Central Texas, and one family group of whooping cranes only traveled as far south as Kansas before heading back north to spend most of the winter in Nebraska.

The unprecedented shifts may be indicators of both bad news and good news for the Texas flock, which is thought to now number about 300 birds, according to Linam.

“We are concerned about the health of our coastal estuaries and long-term declines in blue crabs, one of the traditional primary food sources for this population of whooping cranes,” she said.

“At the same time, these cranes seem to be showing adaptability as the increasing population may be causing crowding in traditional habitats and drought may be producing less than ideal habitat conditions. I think it’s a good sign that whooping cranes are exploring and thriving in new wintering areas.”

This winter, birders and wildlife watchers in Texas have helped the state track some of the movements of whooping cranes, and Linam is asking Texans to be on the lookout for whoopers during the spring migration, which may extend through mid-April in Texas.

Whooping cranes are the tallest birds in North America, standing nearly five feet tall. They are solid white in color except for black wing-tips that are visible only in flight. They fly with necks and legs outstretched. During migration they often pause overnight to use wetlands for roosting and agricultural fields for feeding, but seldom remain more than one night.

Whooping cranes mate for life. (Credit: Earl Nottingham/TPWD)

They nearly always migrate in small groups of less than 4-5 birds, but they may be seen roosting and feeding with large flocks of the smaller and darker sandhill crane.

Anyone sighting a whooping crane can help by reporting it to TPWD at 1-800-792-1112 x4644 or 1-512-656-1222.

Observers are asked especially to note whether the cranes have colored leg bands on their legs.

Related Stories

Worth Pondering…
In the end, we only conserve what we love.

We only love what we understand.

We will understand what we are taught.

—Baba Dioum, Sengalese poet

Read More

Five Things You Need to Know Today: January 20

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

1. Virginia State Parks Set Overnight Visitation Record

Let's Go RVing to Shenandoah River State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Virginia State Parks celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2011with contests, special events, and near-record attendance. They also hosted more overnight visitors than any year in history. Overnight attendance in state park cabins, campgrounds, and lodges increased three percent to 1,055,875, up from 1,022,698 in 2010.

“Year after year, Virginia State Parks continue to host record numbers of visitors,” said Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation State Parks Director Joe Elton.

The 2011 overall attendance of 7,836,246 visitors was the second highest in the state park system’s 75-year history, down slightly from the record-high attendance of 8,065,558 in 2010.

Because Virginia State Parks generally are in less developed areas, they remain an important economic stimulant in rural communities when millions of visitors spend tens of millions of dollars on local goods and services.

For more information about state park activities and amenities, or to make reservations in one of the 25 parks with camping facilities or 18 parks with cabins or family lodges, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at (800) 933-PARK or visit virginiastateparks.gov.

2. The Ultimate RV

Check out this futuristic luxury recreational vehicle from Marchi Mobile. Taking a rather futuristic leap is an RV which offers luxury and comfort, along with flexibility of space. The slightly strange-looking RV is based on the strikingly futuristic truck designs of Luigi Colani. Like Colani’s trucks, the eleMMent RV sports some truly crazy looks and over-the-top parts.

The 38-foot-long, 13.5-foot-tall RV boasts around 500 square feet of usable interior area, making it larger than some apartments. The push of a single button causes a large “sky bar” to rise from the top of the vehicle, letting residents and guests party under the stars in style.’

Link here.

3. Snowbirds Can Vote By Mail

Lake County (Illinois) registered voters who spend part of the year outside of the county (usually winters) may enroll in the Snowbird Voting by Mail Program. Those enrolled will automatically receive an application for ballot by mail for the elections specified. Illinois law requires individuals voting by mail to complete an application for ballot before each election, and a ballot will be mailed to the voter only after the Clerk receives the signed application.

Visit the County Clerk’s VotingbyMail website to download a fileable Snowbird Voting by Mail Program enrollment form. Voters may also request a form by contacting the Elections Department at (847) 377-2406.

4. Lazydays Gator Fest

Lazydays in Tucson, Arizona hosts its first annual Gator Fest, a weekend of music, food, and fun. Meet the folks at Lazydays, see a live alligator up close and personal, check out new RVs, feast on BBQ, listen to live entertainment, and have a great time.

Beginning today (January 20) from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., there is a ‘meet and greet’ manager’s reception for campground guests.

Tomorrow (January 21) 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Lunch to find out if gator actually tastes like chicken. Gator bites and BBQ chicken will be available. The live alligator will be there too, but it won’t be cooked. Take time to enjoy the RV displays, seminars, driving courses, and more.

Sunday (January 22) 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Car show begins at 9 a.m.–Corvette, Classic, Exotic, Land Rover, and Mustang.

Breakfast burritos will be served 11 a.m.; BBQ chicken lunch available from noon until 2 p.m..

Stay at our campgrounds for this event! We have a special rate of $69.95 for Friday and Saturday that includes breakfast for 2 on Saturday. Plus, when you pay for your Friday and Saturday night campsite you can choose to stay either Thursday or Sunday for free. Make your reservation at the Lazydays RV Campground now by calling (800) 306-4067.

Lazydays Tucson is located at 3200 East Irvington Road, Tucson, AR 8571

5. Whooping Cranes Wintering in Kansas

Wildlife officials say five whooping cranes are spending the winter in south-central Kansas. The five endangered birds have been on private land surrounding the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and Cheyenne Bottoms State Wildlife Area.

Dan Severson, Quivira’s refuge manager, said in a news release Tuesday (January 17) that the birds include a family of three, one juvenile crane, and a single adult.

The birds usually stop in Kansas on their way to the Texas coast, but these birds appear to be settling in. Severson says it’s possible the birds are staying because of the ongoing drought, combined with a mild winter. He says that leaves a steady source of food and water in the area.

Have a great weekend.

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

Worth Pondering…

Experience, travel—these are as education in themselves.
—Euripides

Read More

Whoopers Crane Their Necks toward Texas

Whooping cranes migrate more than 2,400 miles a year. (Credit: Canadian Wildlife Service)

Things are looking up for the endangered whooping crane. The bird made news three years ago when a record number of crane deaths were reported during drought conditions on the Texas Gulf Coast. But according to state and federal biologists, flock numbers have rebounded, and a new record high number of cranes should start arriving on the Texas coast later this month, according to a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) news release (October 26).

The Aransas-Wood Buffalo population of whooping cranes rebounded to 264 in the winter of 2009-10, back from 247 at the end of the 2008-09 winter, reported U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist Tom Stehn. With 46 chicks fledging from a record 74 nests in August 2010 the flock size should reach record levels this fall—expected to be somewhere around 290. Once numbering only 21 birds on earth, the previous population high was 270 in the fall of 2009.

Migration Is In Full Swing
Northerly winds accompanying a Canadian cold front the week of October 17 moved whooping cranes south from their summer nesting area in northwestern Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park toward their wintering grounds on the salt flats and marshes of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

Whooping cranes commence their fall migration south to Texas in mid-September and begin the spring migration north to Canada in late March or early April. Whooping cranes migrate more than 2,400 miles a year.

Records indicate that the majority of cranes pass through Kansas between October 17 and November 10 and south through Texas from late October through the end of November.

Whooping cranes mate for life. (Credit: Earl Nottingham/TPWD)

As of October 19, two cranes were sighted as far south as northern Texas.

Additionally, there was a single whooper observed at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, near Stafford in central Kansas, the same evening, reports Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) in a news release (October 27).

The cranes usually pass through a migration corridor that extends through Kansas, the Texas Panhandle, eastward to Dallas-Fort Worth, and southward to their central Gulf Coast wintering grounds. Their flight path takes them over such Texas cities as Wichita Falls, Fort Worth, Waco, Austin, and Victoria.

This flock of whooping cranes represents the last remaining “natural” flock in the wild, and, according to Lee Ann Linam, TPWD biologist, Texas plays an important role in the species’ future recovery.

“Under good conditions, Texas’ coastal wetlands provide a variety and abundance of food and fresh water that normally lead to excellent survival of whoopers over the winter,” Linam said. “Such excellent winter survival has greatly aided the species’ amazing comeback.”

Sighting a whooper is a special experience for both casual and avid bird watchers.
Whooping cranes are the tallest birds in North America, standing nearly five feet. They have a wingspan of 7.5 feet. Whooping cranes are white with rust-colored patches on top and back of head, lack feathers on both sides of the head, yellow eyes, and long, black legs and bills. Their primary wing feathers are black but are visible only in flight.

Whooping cranes are the tallest birds in North America, standing nearly five feet. They have a wingspan of 7.5 feet. (Credit: Earl Nottingham/TPWD)

They fly with necks and legs outstretched. During migration they often pause overnight to use wetlands for roosting and agricultural fields for feeding, but seldom remain more than one night. They nearly always migrate in small groups of less than four-to-five birds, but they may be seen roosting and feeding with large flocks of the smaller sandhill cranes.

Whooping cranes are protected by federal and state endangered species laws.

Whooping cranes mate for life, but will accept a new mate if one dies. They can live up to 24 years in the wild. The mated pair shares brooding duties; either the male or the female is always on the nest. Generally, one chick survives. It can leave the nest while quite young, but is still protected and fed by its parents. Chicks are rust-colored when they hatch; at about four months, chicks’ feathers begin turning white. By the end of their first migration, they are brown and white, and as they enter their first spring, their plumage is white with black wing tips.

Worth Pondering…
In the end, we only conserve what we love.

We only love what we understand.

We will understand what we are taught.

—Baba Dioum, Sengalese poet

Read More

Tri-State Casino Plans to Add RV Park

Located in the Tri-State district where the Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas state borders meet, Downstream Casino Resort is expanding further into the Missouri side of its property with a RV park, and a 24-hour gas station, convenience, and liquor store.

Downstream C-Store and RV Park Complex will expand further into Missouri. (Credit: Downstream Casino Resort)

Downstream Development Authority, on behalf of the Quapaw Tribe, opened Phase I of the resort in July 2008. The casino employs about 1,050 team members, IndianCountryTodayMedia.com reported.

The new complex, slated to open in March, is expected to boost the Joplin, Missouri, regional economy with construction work and about 20 new permanent jobs. Downstream added 40 new jobs earlier this year when it opened its child care, and learning center on the Oklahoma side of the resort.

“One of these days we would like to expand on the Kansas side too,” said John Berrey, chairman of the Downstream Development Authority. “We have always planned that Downstream would be a hub for economic development and creating good jobs in the Tri-State region.”

Rendering of the Downstream gas station, convenience and liquor store. (Credit: Downstream Casino Resort)

The C-store complex will occupy about 10 acres across from Downstream’s main entrance. Plans also call for 40 RV camping sites with utility hook-ups and a shower and laundry building; at least 22 parking spaces for semi tractor-trailer trucks; four diesel fuel pumps and six gasoline pumps; and an 8,000-square-foot convenience and liquor store with an outdoor dining area and drive-through window. The gas station will likely be branded under one of the popular national brand names, said Downstream General Manager Steven Drewes in a press release.

“We are finalizing many of the details this week while the land is being cleared and prepared, and construction should begin next month,” Drewes said. “We should be ready to open in March.”

Details

Downstream Casino Resort

Website: downstreamcasino.com

Quapaw Tribe

Address: 5681 South 630 Road, Quapaw, OK 74363

Website: quapawtribe.com

Read More

Are RV Parking Restrictions out of Control?

Communities across the United States and Canada are reviewing and in many cases tightening up by-laws that regulate the parking of recreational vehicles. These are the issues that affect all of us RVers—right where we live.

In three previous posts I reported on communities in the United States and Canada imposing restrictive rules, regulations, ordinances, and general hassles on owners of recreational vehicles:

Let's Go RVing to Sedona, Arizona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

During the past several months other anti-RV bylaws have been discussed and enacted. Below is a sampling.

Cranbrook, British Columbia: The City of Cranbrook reminds residents of the amendment to the Streets and Traffic bylaw, which came into effect in June 2010 and regulates on street parking of recreational vehicles and unattached trailers. The bylaw prohibits parking recreational vehicles and trailers on residential streets between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and prohibits parking unattached trailers on any street at any time, unless in an emergency situation. The bylaw applies to travel trailers, tent trailers, campers, motorhomes as well as boats and boats on trailers. It is recommended that residents continue to find alternate places to leave their RV’s, campers, boats, and trailers when not in use, other than on the street.

“Enforcement of this bylaw is generally complaint driven,” says Deb Girvin, Bylaw Enforcement Officer for the City of Cranbrook.

(Source: Kootenay News Advertiser, August 11, 2011)

Let's Go RVing to Brasstown Bald, Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Douglas, Wyoming: The City of Douglas has passed an ordinance which outlines new regulations for parking in residential areas within city limits. The ordinance defines specific types of vehicles which cannot be parked in front of residential properties for more than three consecutive days during any 30-day period. These vehicles include motor homes, camper trailers, recreational vehicles, boats, horse trailers, and utility trailers. The ordinance also specifies that parked vehicles cannot be used for residential purposes or create a traffic hazard, must be parked next to the registered residence, and easily movable. Vehicles can only be parked on driveways that are a “hard surface or improved for parking,” specifically concrete, asphalt, brick, or gravel.

(Source: Douglas Budget, July 7, 2011)

Richmond, Kentucky: Recreational vehicle parks will be permitted in Richmond, but only in zones where mobile or manufactured homes are allowed, if an ordinance heard on first reading is adopted by the city commission.

Richmond’s zoning code allows mobile homes and mobile home communities only in zones classified as Public or Semi-public and listed on the zoning map by the symbol MP/C.

The new ordinance offers five different definitions and descriptions for RVs. According to the zoning code, mobile homes and RVs would be the only permitted uses in the MP/C zone.

(Source: Richmond (KT) Register)

Great Falls, Montana: The question of whether large recreational vehicles and other larger-than-normal wheeled contraptions should be allowed to park ad infinitum along Great Falls city streets recently surfaced at a commission work session when Deputy City Manager Jennifer Reichelt showed commissioners a draft ordinance that would restrict such parking.

The draft is the result of urging from neighborhood councils and the overarching Council of Councils.

(Source: Great Falls Tribune)

Let's Go RVing to Mount Washington, New Hampshire. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keokuk, Iowa: The Keokuk City Council recently passed two ordinances, one dealing with recreational vehicle and trailer parking and the other with tow-aways.

RVs and trailers can still be parked on public streets and in municipal lots from April 1 to October 31, but they cannot be parked in the same place for more than four days, or 96 hours.

The police department is now authorized to have any vehicle, boat, trailer, or combination in violation of the City Code towed away and stored in a designated place. Owners may reclaim their vehicle by paying the towing and storage costs.

(Source: Keokuk Gate City Daily, May 11, 2011)

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities has reminded all residents of the residential parking restrictions and regulations on Fort Leavenworth streets. Recreational vehicles, boat trailers, trailers, and commercial trucks with exposed storage racks, more than four wheels or exceeding a Gross Combination Weight Rating of 12,000 pounds cannot be parked in the housing areas for extended periods.

RV storage space can be leased from the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Travel Services.

(Source: Fort Leavenworth Lamp, May 12, 2011)

Worth Pondering…
Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.

—Fitzhugh Mullan

Read More

RVers Who Do Bad Things

While most RVers are good people, occasionally a bad apple or two gets thrown into the mix. In today’s post I focus on cases involving an arsonist, sexual assault, marijuana bust, child molester, and an attempted sexual assault during the Memorial Day Weekend.

Arizona: Woman arrested for RV arson

The Golden Valley and Kingman fire departments responded to this RV fire that was reportedly set by its owner. (Credit: Golden Valley Fire Department)

Lana Renee Meadville, 45, of Kingman was arrested a day after she reportedly set her RV on fire as it was parked at the Coyote Canyon RV Park on Route 66 in Kingman.

Neighbors told authorities who responded to the fire that they watched as Meadville set her RV on fire and then sat next to it as it burned.

Trish Carter, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office, said Meadville confessed as she was being taken into custody, although it’s not clear how or why she started the fire.

Now that this lady has set her RV on fire, where does she planning on sleeping? Is she going to be someone we see standing on a corner with a sign, “Need help, I burnt down my RV!”

(Source: Kingman Daily Miner)

Wisconsin: Campground owner pleads no contest to sexual assault

Brian Miller, owner of Kastle Kampground in Waupaca County, pleaded no contest to one count of sexual assault.

At a preliminary hearing, three men testified that Miller gave them alcohol and made unwanted sexual advances at the campground. Three other charges were dropped as part of the plea deal.

(Source: Fox11online.com)

Kansas: Marijuana seized during traffic stop

Get outdoors and "Go Camping" this summer..but use caution. Pictured above St. Clair (Michigan) Thousand Trails Preserve. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Junction City Police Officer Nick Blake stopped an RV near milepost 295 (I-70) for a license plate violation and cracked windshield, resulting in the confiscation of marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $260,000.

Blake became suspicious after speaking with the vehicle’s occupants and deployed his K9 dog. When the dog reacted to the odor of narcotics outside the vehicle, the interior was searched and 52 pounds of marijuana was found hidden.

The two men, from Lancaster, California, were arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

(Source: Topeka Capital Journal)

Montana: Accused Campground Child Molester Faces Charges

A 62-year-old former Pattee Canyon, Montana, campground host has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually assaulting three young girls there. Wallace Dean Christensen of Missoula appeared Thursday (May 26) before Missoula County District Court Judge John Larson, where he pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault.

Christensen allegedly molested the three girls in his camper between 2007 and 2009, according to an affidavit filed in the case. Two of the girls were 8 years old at the time and the other was 10.

Use caution as you travel the highways and byways of America. Pictured above Mount Mitchell State Park, North Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Christensen was extradited last month from Arizona, where he lives part of the year. In recent years, he has split his time between campgrounds in Montana and Arizona, while also making several trips to Casa de Elizabeth orphanage in the Mexican state of Sonora.

Authorities were notified of the abuse after one of the victims spoke to a relative, who in turn alerted other families, which resulted in the discovery of more incidents.

Christensen confessed to the allegations when Missoula sheriff’s detectives traveled to Casa Grande, Arizona, in April to confront him, according to the affidavit.

Sexual assault carries a punishment of four to 100 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

(Source: The Missoulian)

Michigan: Attempted sexual assault in recreation area

The family of a 10-year-old girl who say she was grabbed Sunday (May 29) by a stranger while she strolled with friends in a state park has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest—matching a $1,000 Crime Stoppers reward in the case.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office announced the rewards today and said that a composite drawing would be released Wednesday of the suspect. The incident occurred on a wooded trail at Proud Lake State Recreation Area in Commerce Township. The suspect is described as a white man in his 20s, who wore a white T-shirt with a black-print design, blue-denim shorts, and sneakers.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

(Detroit Free Press, May 31, 2011)

Worth Pondering…

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.

—Albert Einstein

Read More

Tornadoes: The What, When & Where

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms.

A sequence of images showing the birth of a tornado. First, the rotating cloud base lowers. This lowering becomes a funnel, which continues descending while winds build near the surface, kicking up dust and other debris. Finally, the visible funnel extends to the ground, and the tornado begins causing major damage. This tornado, near Dimmitt, Texas, was one of the best-observed violent tornadoes in history. Image courtesy Wipikedia

People, recreational vehicles, cars, and even buildings may be hurled aloft by tornado-force winds—or simply blown away. Most injuries and deaths are caused by flying debris.

A tornado is a vertical funnel of violently rotating air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.

The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 miles (400 kilometers) per hour or more and can clear-cut a pathway in excess of one mile (1.6 kilometers) wide and 50 miles (80 kilometers) long.

Once a tornado in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, carried a motel sign 30 miles and dropped it in Arkansas!

These violent storms occur in many parts of the world, but the United States is the major hotspot with over 800 tornadoes reported every year. “Tornado Alley,” a region that includes eastern South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, northern Texas, and eastern Colorado, is home to the most powerful and destructive of these storms. U.S. tornadoes cause 80 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries per year.

Canada gets more tornadoes than any other country with the exception of the United States. Tornadoes are relatively common in Canada, but only in specific regions: southern portions of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. Tornado season in Canada extends from April to September with peak months in June and July, but they can occur at any time.

Tornadoes’ distinctive funnel clouds are actually transparent. They become visible when water droplets pulled from a storm’s moist air condense or when dust and debris are taken up. Funnels typically grow about 660 feet (200 meters) wide.

Tornadoes move at speeds of about 10 to 20 miles (16 to 32 kilometers) per hour, although they’ve been clocked in bursts up to 70 miles (113 kilometers) per hour. Most don’t get very far though. They rarely travel more than about six miles (ten kilometers) in their short lifetimes.

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Image courtesy Seymour

Tornado forecasters can’t provide the same kind of warning that hurricane watchers can, but they can do enough to save lives. Today the average warning time for a tornado alert is 13 minutes.

Tornadoes can also be identified by warning signs that include a dark, greenish sky, large hail, and a powerful train-like roar.

What causes tornadoes?

Thunderstorms develop in warm, moist air in advance of eastward-moving cold fronts. These thunderstorms often produce large hail, strong winds, and tornadoes.

Tornadoes in the winter and early spring are often associated with strong, frontal systems that form in the Central States and move east. Occasionally, large outbreaks of tornadoes occur with this type of weather pattern.

During the spring in the Central Plains, thunderstorms frequently develop along a “dryline,” which separates very warm, moist air to the east from hot, dry air to the west. Tornado-producing thunderstorms may form as the dryline moves east during the afternoon hours.

Along the front range of the Rocky Mountains, in the Texas panhandle, and in the southern High Plains, thunderstorms frequently form as air near the ground flows upslope toward higher terrain. If other favorable conditions exist, these thunderstorms can produce tornadoes.

This extremely dangerous tornado occurred on June 22, 2007 in the town of Elie, west of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The winds in this storm were rated to be between 260 and 320 miles (419 and 512 km) per hour, the most powerful tornado possible! The rare combination weather features converged this day in June, allowing for the most powerful tornado in Canadian history to be recorded. Image courtesy Steinbach Weather

The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. The average forward speed is 30 mph but may vary from nearly stationary to 70 mph.

Frequency of Tornadoes

The meteorological factors that drive tornadoes make them more likely at some times than at others. They occur more often in late afternoon, when thunderstorms are common, and are more prevalent in spring and summer. However, tornadoes can and do form at any time of the day and year.

In the southern states, peak tornado occurrence is in March through May, while peak months in the northern states are during the summer.

Note: This is part 2 of a 3-part series on tornadoes

Worth Pondering…
There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness, and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters? Over that I have complete control.

—Leo F. Buscaglia, advocate of the power of love, 1924-1998

Read More