As the mercury drops, America’s oldest national park becomes a world of pristine snow, steaming geysers and frosted bison. Other seasons have their own appeal. Spring brings new growth, warmer temperatures, hungry bears and baby animals walking on unsure legs. Summer finds hordes of tourists, and even though many animals amble up to higher ground […]
As most RVers know, Utah has many beautiful destinations. Not only does the state have five national parks and six national monuments worthy of a visit, but also 43 excellent state parks. In 1999, while working on my book, Camping Utah, my husband, Mike, and I traveled more than 8,000 miles in Utah checking out […]
Texas is big, and has more than enough state parks to keep RVers busy exploring for a long time. Although I haven’t visited them all, I do have four favorites—Palo Duro Canyon, Caprock Canyons, Seminole Canyon and Davis Mountains. The first two, Palo Duro Canyon and Caprock Canyons, are southeast of Amarillo in the Panhandle […]
Mention San Antonio and people think of The Alamo. But I think of a fun city to explore, with not only the Alamo, but also the River Walk, the Witte Museum, the San Antonio Botanical Gardens and much more.
When my husband, Mike, and I decided to spend eight days in San Antonio, we were able to stay at the Joint Base San Antonio RV Park at Fort Sam Houston since Mike is retired from the Army. We found lots of construction going on in the city, and were only too happy to drop our travel trailer and explore the city in our pickup. The RV park, located northeast of downtown, was a great place to camp. For those without a military identification, I would suggest staying at the San Antonio KOA, five miles east of downtown, or Travelers World RV Resort, three miles south of downtown. Both campgrounds have trees and access to hiking and biking paths as well as to city buses to take you downtown and elsewhere.
Watching animal life in the wild is always amazing, but recently I realized that seeing large numbers of animals—great congregations of them—is even more of a thrill. Take, for instance, viewing thousands of sandhill cranes in Colorado and Nebraska, or seeing the world’s largest elk herd in Wyoming.
There are special terms for big groups of animals. A group of elk is a gang. Giraffes form a tower, porcupines make a prickle, and seals form a pod or herd. Birds make a flight when they are in the air and a flock when they are on the ground. Some specific groups of birds have their own terms. Cranes make a sedge, eagles form a convocation, and geese make a gaggle.
Although you may not guess it by its name, Dead Horse Point State Park is a delightful place. It sits atop a lofty mesa with see-forever views, stunning cliffs, mountain bike trails that are fun and challenging, and hiking trails that lead to views that are even grander.
The park is southwest of Moab, a town known for its awesome mountain bike trails, and the world-famous arches at nearby Arches National Park. Dead Horse Point is accessible from Moab by traveling northwest on U.S. Highway 191 for about nine miles and then west and south on Utah Highway 313 for 23 miles. This route, known as the Dead Horse Point Mesa Scenic Byway, is an easy drive for RVers and also provides access to Canyonlands National Park.
The North Rim of Arizona’s Grand Canyon is 1,000 feet higher and worlds apart from the more popular South Rim. I’ve been to both rims many times, and while I always enjoy the South Rim and its free shuttles from one trailhead to another, I will forever thrill to the beauty and feel of the […]
State high points are special to my husband, Mike Vining, and me. Why, you might ask? Well, for starters, we met on top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas. Second, we were engaged on Mount Rainier, the highest point in Washington state. And third, we got married on top of Mauna Kea, which you may have already guessed, is the highest point in Hawaii.
Since becoming a couple in 1998, we’ve stood together at the highest point in 45 states. Mike and I travel about half of each year and we “collect” many places, including national parks and zoos. We amass state high points because they are one of the very best motives for travel. You see, attaining the highpoint is only part of the experience—the journey getting there is what matters most.