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Mr. Camper

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    Birding, Digital Photography, Wildlife Watching, Traveling, & Reading

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  1. Then I guess that black bear walking in the middle of the road as we were driving around Yellowstone Lake was a mirage. We didn't have the diesel truck at the time, just a half-ton gas RAM. As we rounded a curve there s/he was. S/He growled and started to jog as we fumbled for a camera. S/He diverted into the woods but not before I snapped a couple of shots of his/her hindquarters. That was an unusual occurrence. If you really want a good chance to see wildlife beyond bison and elk, I suggest you pack food and water and head to Lamar and/or Hayden Valley, pull off the road where allowed and wait for first light or at dusk and have a great pair of binoculars or a good spotting scope with you to see animals not usually seen except in the backcountry.
  2. I've had the original Kindle Paperwhite since it came on the market. I read daily, it's simple and I can control the brightness on the screen, font script and size, and that is very important to me since I have AMD. After each book I restart the kindle. I shut it down at night to charge and even after all of these years it still holds the charge to about 60% by the end of the day. Every day I read and repeat and it's a great e-reader.
  3. What you'll find is that there are a lot of campgrounds that have seasonal sites for the summer. If they have open sites there won't be many as a majority of seasonal sites already spoken for. Many of the resorts will open for the following year in early October and some not until the first of the new year. About all you can expect is to find the campground you want to stay at and call immediately and see if they have anything open for the time you want.
  4. Perhaps you didn't finish reading my post but the incidents sited where from the ranger and personal observation and in each case the perps were ticketed and fined or in the one case arrested.
  5. While I can't speak to all states in this matter I will only speak about our local state parks. Arkansas has some of the finest facilities we've come across in State Parks. We've seen this first hand and I've spoken to a friend who is a ranger at a nearby state park. A number out-of-state visitors seem to have little respect for the rules and property during their stay. Signs posted closing a trail due to needed repairs, trash left everywhere, graffiti on the walls of restrooms and bathhouse, and someone taking a dump along an open trail, all committed by out of state visitors is on the rise. In the cases mentioned there have been fines and even one arrest for someone getting aggressive when told to turn around on a closed trail and the guest said he paid for his visit and no sign was going to tell him where he could or couldn't go. Bad behavior is everywhere, just look at the problems faced by flight attendants across the country. Personally, we have no issue with paying higher prices at state parks when we travel, as long as we receive what we paid for. A clean, well-maintained campground that enforces the rules they set for all campers.
  6. We replaced the keys about a week after we bought the RV. Same with the deadbolt. There are only three sets. We each have a set and we have a third secured elsewhere. Locks only keep honest people honest. By changing the keys we have more peace of mind.
  7. The only problem I've heard about is the crack in the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi. It's not an issue if you go over the I-55 bridge which is just a bit further south. Then connect to the wrap-around Memphis if you are going East. If you are going west hit the wrap-around on the east side of Memphis and follow signs to the I-55 bridge and connect with I-40 W. in Arkansas. We have a trip planned this fall and I've already preplanned to take the route around the I-40 bridge even if they have the repairs completed by then. That's really the only option unless you wish to go much further south to West Helena, AR and go over that bridge to get into Mississippi and then head north to TN. However that is really out of the way.
  8. We've run into that problem in Michigan, Minnesota, and Maine. Mayflies were awful. On the occasions when we've gone back we made the trips in the Fall. If you have to go then I'd suggest long pants, long sleeves and while we were there we had head nets to keep them from flying in your ears, nose and mouth. There was no break from them during the peak summer times. For subsequent trips we contacted the state directly and found when the best and worst times were and planned accordingly.
  9. We aren't close to full-timing so we always make reservations. The smart way to do it and get your choice of site is to look at the campground website, find out when they will take a reservation and call when that day arrives to get your choice. We have a couple of short trips this year before a longer, for us, trip in the fall. We have already made reservations for all of those stops and have confirmations. For next year we are planning on our longest trip ever and it will cover the southwest USA. We've already made half of the reservations and most of the rest will be done by the middle of this summer. Until the travel world gets back to normal, and people feel safe to stay in hotels and travel by other means, we've been told this will be the way to RV travel and obtain the sites you want.
  10. Each state has a DOT website on construction and current road conditions. Accessing that will give you the most up-to-date information and when and where possible you can plan for detours. The link to access the MODOT is below. traveler.modot.org/report/modottext.aspx
  11. Below are each of the west coast links to their DOT on current road conditions. That should give you more update information. Best of luck roads.dot.ca.gov/ www.oregon.gov/odot/Maintenance/Pages/Traveler-Information.aspx www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic//trafficalerts/printer.aspx?view=L2NW&action=1
  12. We just put on four new Goodyear Endurance 225/75R15 tires. We did a lot of research on the proper tires and this one, for us, was a no-brainer. We have a 27' TT.
  13. I guess I'm a dinosaur because I do this the old fashioned way. I do it at home and I use my computer, RV Park Reviews, KOA, Good Sam, YP, and a few others. I plot our routes and never use interstates unless they are unavoidable. We always try to take scenic routes or US/State routes to really see the country. It depends on what we want to see and then I do the route and look for things to stop and see along the way. It's been two years since we had a big trip and this year we just have a few small trips to acclimate our puppy to traveling and then we have a family wedding in the fall. I do have some apps on the phone that we use for last minute changes while we are driving and that helps, but other that those situations it's better doing it at home. Next year we are going to Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Already in the planning for that.
  14. We took out the couch and added a recliner and special table, and had awnings put up over the slides and then took it to the scales for weighing. It turned out to be about 58 lbs heavier but fell within our insurance plan guidelines and we didn't have any extra charge. It's safer to to that rather than take a chance when something goes wrong and the insurance balks since it's not factory installed.
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