The Summer Travel Season Begins with Memorial Day

Memorial Day kicks off the summer travel season that will surely test American’s resilience for inflation

Observed on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is a major remembrance day that deserves our attention. It is a day where we come together to remember the sacrifice of many for the freedom all of us enjoy today. Many will attend events to commemorate the men and women of our armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom.

The National D-Day Memorial, Bedford, Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Memorial Day was originally referred to as Decoration Day. Shortly after the Civil War, General John A. Logan called for a “Decoration Day” to honor those who died during the bloody struggle by decorating the graves of comrades who were lost in defense of their country.

Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Over time, Decoration Day became known as Memorial Day. For a long time it was observed on May 30. It wasn’t until Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Act in 1968 that Memorial Day was officially recognized on the last Monday in May. This law went into effect in 1971.

Related Article: Honoring Memorial Day the Revolutionary Way

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Red poppies are traditionally worn on Memorial Day, inspired by the poem In Flanders Fields:

We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.

Fort Davis National Historic Site, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Memorial Day is also the official beginning of the summer season and that includes camping, picnics, and parades. With many celebrating the holiday out of town, the roads are typically filled with people traveling. According to USA Today, Memorial Day is one of the 10 most traveled days of the year.

Nearly 60 percent of American adults shared that they have plans to travel during Memorial Day Weekend versus 27 percent in 2021, according to a recent survey by The Vacationer.

Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“This is a clear indicator that summer travel is going to be up significantly. In a general summer travel survey not related to Memorial Day, we saw more than 42 percent—180 million people—said they intended to travel more this year than last year so it’s not surprising that there is a significant increase in Memorial Day travel,” said Eric Jones, co-founder of The Vacationer.

Related Article: Memorial Day: Honoring Those Who Served Their Country

“People said that last year was gonna be the revenge travel year, but now that everyone’s much more comfortable with COVID and restrictions have loosened, this’ll really be that year.”

Saratoga National Historic Park, New York © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

More than half of the survey’s respondents confirmed that they would be traveling by car (or RV) this Memorial Weekend. And despite nearly 54 percent confirming that high fuel prices will affect their travel plans in one way or another this Memorial Day, almost 57 percent said they were still going to take some sort of road trip, a form of domestic travel that has grown in popularity during the pandemic.

Cowpens National Battlefield, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Amongst road trip types, traveling somewhere closest to home was, naturally, most popular. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they would be going to a destination within 100 miles of their home, 13 percent said they were going to a destination within a 250 mile radius, and nearly 11 percent are headed somewhere within or over 500 miles from their home.

Fort Adams State Park, Rhode Island © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

These numbers follow several reports of American travelers saying that they are planning to spend more on travel this summer than that of last year. While higher fuel prices may fail to deter many from still traveling, it will most likely force travelers to spend less elsewhere in their travel expenses.

Related Article: Remembering D-Day

Boston Freedom Trail, Massachusetts © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Memorial Day Weekend of 2022 will be a “test run” of sorts as the first US holiday of this summer which is already recording tremendous leaps in the travel industry since the start of the pandemic. Travelers will be testing the waters and looking to see whether these long-awaited travels are worth the higher fuel prices they’re paying for. 

Old Ironside (USS Constitution) © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This is the beginning of summer, so travelers will have to watch their money. There are still a lot of people out there who are still cautious—they might travel for the first time, say Memorial Day, and then realize “Okay, inflation and fuel prices are still going up, maybe we’ll reconsider for Fourth of July.”

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If gas prices go down, people who were on the fence and leaning towards no might say yes, which could also increase overall travel.

Related Article: Memorial Day 2021: Best Arizona Road Trips for the Long Holiday Weekend

We wish all of you a Memorial Day weekend filled with peace and remembrance and safe travel.

Worth Pondering…

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

—John F. Kennedy

Considering a Summer Getaway? Tips for Reducing Your Risk during the Pandemic

If you’re looking for a COVID-friendly summer vacation, an RV road trip is a solid way to go

If the coronavirus has you going stir-crazy, there’s a good chance you’ve thought about taking an RV road trip. After all, an RV allows you to travel without exposing yourself to germy airports and hotels.

Your summer vacation plans probably look a little different this year. For many families, that may mean skipping the airport and loading up the RV for a family road trip. If you’re planning a trip before the end of summer, a little advance planning can go a long way toward making your vacation safe and fun for everyone.

Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fears about the coronavirus are forcing many people to rethink traditional air travel and hotel stays and look into recreational vehicles as a safer alternative. Some RV dealerships have seen an increase in sales of up to 170 percent and many customers are first-time buyers. In May, peer-to-peer rental service RVshare saw a 650 percent spike in bookings since the beginning of April.

Along a scenic route in eastern Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

An RV allows you and your family to get out of the house while maintaining social distancing. It even allows you to avoid places you might feel uncomfortable being in like a hotel or restaurant. With an RV, you can bring everything with you!

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in the Texas Hill Country © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are two types of RVs to consider: a motorhome that combines the living quarters and vehicle in one package and a travel or fifth-wheel trailer.

What should travelers take into account when deciding whether to travel?

Psychologically, people are getting tired, and it’s only natural to want to get away and go out. The first step is ‘How much risk you’re willing to tolerate?’ And that has to do with our own health condition but also the health conditions of the people around you. We have to be able to live with the virus to some degree and manage the risk that we take. A lot of it has to do with thinking of other people and how your actions impact your community. 

Dauphin Island, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Are some forms of travel safer than others? Is it better to drive or to fly?

I don’t know that we can necessarily say one is less risky. If you’re going on a road trip, for example, and have a large number of other people with you then it defeats the purpose. The larger the group the greater the chance of being exposed to others who may be infected with the virus!

Along Utah Highway 12 Scenic Byway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When we talk about flying, a lot of airline companies have requirements in place for mask wearing, and they do health screening. But the risk of flying with people that we don’t know is higher than the risk of driving in an RV or car with people that we do know and that we live with. Looking at the risk overall, road trips with family members seems to be the safest at this point.

Trapp Family Lodge near Stowe, Vermont © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What precautions should a person take when planning a road trip?

The shorter distance you have to travel the better, especially if you have family with young children. You have to think about rest stops and bathroom breaks and where you’re going to be taking those. You have to think about where you’re going to be stopping to eat. The number of stops you make along the way increases the chances of being exposed to other individuals who may be infected.

Schulenburg, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Given the rise of COVID-19 cases across the country, should travelers be careful about when or where they go?

I think we can safely say that the coronavirus is everywhere, so I wouldn’t say that any place is 100 percent safe. Avoid traveling to areas where the number of cases are on the rise. Definitely look at being flexible in your plans and in your final destination.

Lakeside RV Park, Livingston, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Here a several additional tips to help make your next road trip memorable—and prepare for whatever may come your way.

Pack smart and make a checklist. To avoid leaving any essentials at home, create a checklist a few weeks before you leave—and add to it as you think of new items.

Woods Hole on Cape Cod, Massachusetts © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Bring an atlas. Even though you haven’t used one in ages, keeping a road atlas in the RV and car is always a good idea. With an old-school paper map, you don’t have to worry about losing your GPS signal, heading down a non-existent road, or running out of battery. And if you have kids, they may enjoy tracking your travels.

Seaside, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Check your tires. Before you leave home, inspect the condition of your tires and inflate them to the pressure recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

Sedona, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Check your emergency kit. If you find yourself stranded, a well-stocked emergency kit could help you get back on the road quickly and safely. Pre-assembled kits are available for purchase, or you can assemble your own kit.

Worth Pondering…

If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved.

—Maurice Chevalier

After the Coronavirus: Your Next Vacation May Look Like This

The coronavirus pandemic has spurred quite a bit of interest in connecting with nature via RV travel

One thing is true with a large, extended, epic vacation: There is no flexibility. The dates are set. The hotel nights are purchased. The flights have been arranged. The pets have been boarded. Relatives or neighbors have been asked to collect the mail. These are the necessary evils that go hand in hand with planning a big trip.

Elephant Butte Lake State Park, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For RVers the trip is easier to plan. No scheduling of flights. No searching for available hotels that meet your requirements. And you can even take your pets with you.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the travel industry, the demand for travel is slowly—very slowly—creeping back up again. But many remain wary of getting on a plane, a train, a bus, or a cruise ship and being packed tightly in with strangers and not knowing if somebody is carrying the virus.

Greenville, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Welcome to what could be the year of the recreational vehicle, more commonly known as the beloved RV. Americans and Canadians love the space and freedom of the outdoors and the enrichment that comes with living an active outdoor life. RVs not only enable this lifestyle, they also provide a self-contained existence that other forms of travel don’t allow.

Museum of Appalachia, Clinton, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

After an indeterminate period of isolation families will be more enthusiastic than ever to get outside and see new places, even within their own local areas. RV travel allows people to sleep in their own bed, cook gourmet meals, and control where they go. As restrictions are lifted, you’ll be able to experience the endless range of outdoor wonders throughout the country and the freedom of independent travel that RVs offer.

Seabreeze RV Park, Portland, Texas

RVs provide travelers control: they allow people to travel where they want, when they want, and offer a unique travel experience that allows people to pursue their favorite activities and experience places they may have only seen in a coffee-table book or on Instagram. They can do this all with the ability to stay connected to family and friends.

Quail Gate State Park, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

These are all positive features but particularly attractive during this most unprecedented time. RVs provide a wonderful opportunity for people to continue to enjoy vacations with their families while still adhering to social distancing, which will likely stay in place in some form for the foreseeable future.

Bartlett Lake, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There’s something about road trips that creates a nostalgic feeling. Beautiful scenery, regional cuisine, and good company are just some of the many things that make road tripping so awesome and there’s something profound about literally just driving away from it all to seek an adventure.

Sedona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And with the U.S. packed with so many incredible road trips, there really is something for everyone! Whether you’re looking for a day trip or wanting to be out on the open road for a prolonged period of time, there are beautiful places both in your backyard and beyond proving you don’t have to get on a plane to have an epic vacation. So pack up the RV and keep reading to discover your next road trip.

Phoenix to the Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Grand Canyon is famous for its undeniable beauty, and I strongly believe everyone should see it in person at least once in their lifetime. Phoenix is a great place to start this journey and as you make your way north toward the Canyon be sure to stop and stretch your legs in Sedona and Red Rock Country.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia to North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Known as one of America’s best and most beautiful drives, the Blue Ridge Parkway runs for 469 miles across Virginia and North Carolina. It follows the Appalachian Mountains—the Blue Ridge chain, specifically—from Shenandoah National Park in the north to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the south. Because the Blue Ridge Parkway connects two national parks, it’s easy to visit both during your drive.

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Well-known among rock climbers and hikers, this road trip through Southern California’s desert is filled with opportunities to experience nature. With almost 100 miles of paved roads and an almost equal amount of unpaved roads, this road trip has much to offer.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A social distancing-friendly destination, Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the colorful North Dakota badlands is a great place for hiking, camping, and sightseeing. Bison roam throughout the North and South units of the park and most visitors can see them as they drive along the park roads. Deer, elk, feral horses, longhorns, pronghorns, coyotes, and even bobcats can also be seen in various parts of the park.

Happy (and safe) adventuring!

Worth Pondering…

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

―Marie Curie

Family Vacation Spots for a Road Trip

Seven perfect family-friendly destinations you can visit as soon as summer rears its jolly head! (You can also visit earlier, but it may not be as fun, really.)

Most of us have been social distancing for weeks if not months now and between coronavirus anxiety and the weather getting warmer, a getaway sounds pretty nice right about now. It can be difficult to choose a place for a family trip. You want to consider cost as well as the interests of each of your family members. There are some destinations not suitable for young children and others that will sweep the whole gang off their feet.

Right now, without further ado, here’s the deal.

Pigeon Forge © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

This destination is the perfect place to take your kids to experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. There are hiking trails, as well as guided horse tours, but the city also holds its own special brand of family activities. You can take a ride to Ripley’s Aquarium where your child can enjoy different species of fish or spend a day at Dollywood. This amusement park is great as all ages can find something interesting to do and the shows will keep anyone entertained.

Black Hills © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Black Hills of South Dakota

There is nothing quite like the Black Hills of South Dakota. While they’re not super high in elevation, the centrally located Black Elk Peak does get up to and impressive 7,242 feet, the highest point east of the Rockies. And there are hiking trails and activities galore. Also, one finds numerous well-known sites including Mount Rushmore, the work-in-progress Crazy Horse memorial, and Deadwood (famous for its gold mining and heavy-handed gambling past, also the resting place of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane). But when it comes to natural beauty, few can match the Needles Highway.

Texas Hill Country © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Texas Hill Country

Ah, the Texas Hill Country. Imagine hills, soft and scrubby, green valleys, and limestone cliffs. Conjure up ranches and communities of German heritage, wineries, fields of wildflowers, and sparkling rivers lined with cypress and oak. No big cities, no hustle and bustle—just cafes with country cooking, water for fishing and inner tubing, and old places with timeworn comfort. Yes, it’s easy to feel at home in the Texas Hill Country. Prepare to be amazed.

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


What kind of mood is your family in? Want to climb mountains? Georgia has the southern end of the Appalachian Trail. Want to explore barrier islands? Check out Cumberland Island National Seashore. Like swamps? Rivers? Lakes? Gorges? Georgia has them all, along with almost 50 state parks fairly representing the state’s varied terrain. If you want dank forests and rugged mountains, head to North Georgia. If you’re looking for Spanish moss and jungle-like barrier islands, the coast is for you. Meanwhile, the southern end of the state feels downright Jurassic thanks to the meandering swamps and abundance of gators.

Goldfield Ghost Town © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Goldfield Ghost Town, Arizona

This former mining hub at the base of the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction was founded in 1892. Keep cool on a 25-minute tour of mine shaft as the guide talks about the good ol’ days before the gold played out. The town includes a museum, LuLu’s Bordello, a church, livery stables, a reptile exhibit, and a mystery shack where objects seemingly defy gravity. Panning for gold, a shooting gallery and rides on a zip line, train, or horseback are among the activities, and gunfights are held on Saturdays and Sundays. And a steak house and saloon offers chow and cold drinks.

Historic Jamestowne © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Colonial National Historical Park, Virginia

Colonial National Historical Park contains several iconic historic sites including the Colonial Parkway, Historic Jamestowne, the Jamestown Settlement, and Yorktown Battlefield with Colonial Williamsburg nearby. Hiking and biking are popular outdoor activities within the park as well as kayaking, canoeing, and fishing on the rivers. You can also tour Yorktown Battlefield on a seven-mile Battlefield Tour, marked by red arrow signs, or a nine-mile Encampment Tour, marked by yellow arrow signs.

Incline Railway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Ride the rail up to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga

Lookout Mountain features a nature-based triple threat: Ruby Falls, Rock City, and the Inline Railway. It’s an all-day, all-ages adventure based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Start with a guided cave tour or a 700-foot zipline adventure through Ruby Falls, home of the world’s largest underground waterfall, before strolling through the diverse flora and fauna of the Rock City Gardens. Wrap up your day with a mile-high ride on the Incline Railway, one of the world’s steepest passenger railways. At the top: a bird’s eye from the Lookout Mountain observation deck.

Lookout Mountain © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.

—Sir Francis Bacon

More Under-the-radar Gems to Discover

Don’t miss these eight underrated travel spots

From sleepy small towns with loads of culture and character to natural wonders, be sure to check out these secret travel spots before they blow up. And be sure to catch up on our under-the-radar gems from an earlier post.

Mississippi: Bay St. Louis

Bay St. Louis © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There’s St. Louis, and then there’s Bay St. Louis, which dubs itself “a place apart.” Here, beach life collides with folk art. The arts, sense of community, unique dining opportunities, local downtown shops, beautiful sprawling beaches, and stunning bay views all make for a highly desirable destination, which is reflected in the decision to include Bay St. Louis in this list of under-the-radar gems to discover.

Alberta: Writing-on-Stone

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A sightseeing and historic destination, Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is located on the banks of the Milk River in south-central Alberta. The incredible landscape of hoodoos, coulees, and native rock paintings is a photographer’s paradise. The Blackfoot First Nation people used sharp rocks, horns of animals, and wood from trees to carve their drawings into the sandstone cliffs. For color—like red, orange, and yellow—they would use a mixture of crushed iron ore and animal fat.

Georgia: Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cumberland Island National Seashore includes one of the largest undeveloped barrier islands in the world. The park is home to a herd of feral, free-ranging horses. Most visitors come to Cumberland for the natural glories, serenity, and fascinating history. Built by the Carnegies, the ruins of the opulent 59-room, Queen Anne-style Dungeness are a must-see for visitors. The stories of the people weave a captivating tale of wealth, poverty, privilege, and sacrifice.

British Columbia: Okanagan Wine Country

Okanagan Wine Country © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Where can you drink great wines amid breathtaking natural beauty without blowing out a couple of credit cards (think Napa)? Easy: go to Canada to the Okanagan wine region in British Columbia. It’s possibly the most scenic wine region in North America, and a place where RVers and other normal people can afford to taste wine. Two towns are standouts for their concentration of vineyards and wineries: Oliver and Osoyoos. Together they boast 39 wineries that extend from the lush valley into the semi-arid mountains that surround the area.

New Hampshire: Castle in the Clouds

Castle in the Clouds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Built on a mountainside overlooking New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, the Moultonborough mansion originally named Lucknow has aptly been called Castle in the Clouds since it opened to the public in 1957. The beautiful Arts and Crafts–style home was built in 1913 as the luxury Ossipee Mountain retreat of Thomas Plant, a millionaire shoe-manufacturing mogul.

New Mexico: Mesilla

Mesilla © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Although the town of Mesilla, in Southern New Mexico, is home to a mere 2,196 people, it’s a fascinating place to visit. Here you’ll find well-preserved architecture, history worth delving into, and high quality restaurants.

Mesilla © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The plaza is the heart of Mesilla and that’s a good place to start exploring. In fact, it’s a national historic landmark. The San Albino Basilica dominates one side of the plaza. This Romanesque church was built in 1906 although its bells are older, dating back to the 1870s and 1880s.

Kentucky: My Old Kentucky Home State Park

My Old Kentucky Home State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

My Old Kentucky Home State Park honors the home that was the symbol of Stephen Foster’s most endearing song, the stately mansion on the Rowan Estate known as Federal Hill. Tour the estate and admire the beautiful grounds from the 39-site campground near Bardstown.

Indiana: Shipshewana

Shipshewana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Shipshewana area is celebrated for being home to the third largest Amish community in the United States, for having the Midwest’s largest flea market, and for its reputation of hand-crafted wares. Enjoy buggy rides, visit an Amish working dairy farm, and experience delicious Amish cooking in beautiful Northern Indiana-Amish/Mennonite Country.

Worth Pondering…

The attraction of recreational vehicle travel is to see the country, experience the freedom of the open road, and discover under-the-radar hidden gems.

10 Under-The-Radar National Monuments to Visit

From archeological places to vast scenic vistas to places highlighting important events for all Americans, National Monuments preserve places and collections that make America unique

National monuments are areas that are under the protection of the US government either due to their uniqueness or if they have a cultural or historical significance. The authority to designate an area as a National Monument lies with the US President. A national monument can later be converted into a national park or merged into an existing national park.

The first National Monument in the US was the Devils Tower, which is an immense butte situated in Wyoming. Presently there are 158 national monuments in the US.

From ancient petroglyphs to natural bridges, hoodoos to cliff dwellings, and volcanic landscapes to prehistoric villages, these are 10 under-the-radar national monuments to visit.

1. Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

Canyon de Chelly National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Spanning more than 83,000 acres, Canyon de Chelly National Monument offers an excellent opportunity to immerse in the wild Arizona landscape, and to learn more about the history of the Navajo people.Sheer cliffs rise on either side of this flat-bottomed, sandy ravine, an area created much the way uplift and water formed the Grand Canyon.

2. Cedar Breaks, Utah

Cedar Breaks National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Like a mini Bryce Canyon, minus the crowds, Cedar Breaks contains a stunning assortment of hoodoos and cliffs in southern Utah. Technically an amphitheater, the monument is three miles wide and 2,000 feet deep, filled with craggy rock formations jutting up from the base like natural skyscrapers.

3. Petroglyph, New Mexico

Petroglyph National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Located on the western edge of Albuquerque lies one of the most concentrated collections of ancient petroglyphs on the continent. Native American tribes settled here hundreds of years ago, and they left their mark in the form of symbols carved into volcanic rock across the desert terrain. With around 24,000 images and symbols, there’s plenty to see here. In addition to the petroglyphs, the monument contains hiking trails throughout its 17-mile park, along with dormant volcanoes and canyons.

4. Montezuma Castle, Arizona

Montezuma Castle National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Montezuma Castle in Verde Valley is a prehistoric cliff dwelling with five floors, 20 rooms, and a million stories. Gaze through the windows of the past into one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America.

5. El Malpais, New Mexico

El Malpais National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The richly diverse volcanic landscape offers everything from easy drives, scenic overlooks, and short walks to strenuous trails, caving, and rugged backcountry. Explore cinder cones, lava tube caves, sandstone bluffs, and hiking trails. While some may see a desolate environment, people have been adapting to and living in this extraordinary terrain for generations.

6. Casa Grande Ruins, Arizona

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

An Ancient Sonoran Desert People’s farming community and “Great House” are preserved at Casa Grande Ruins. Explore the mystery and complexity of an extended network of communities and irrigation canals.

7. Natural Bridges, Utah

Natural Bridges National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

These three majestic natural bridges were formed by the power of water in a landscape usually defined by its absence. View them from an overlook, or hit the trails and experience their grandeur from below. The bridges are named “Kachina,” “Owachomo” and “Sipapu” in honor of the ancestral Puebloans who once made this place their home.

8. El Morro, Mew Mexico

El Morro National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Imagine the refreshment of finding water after days of dusty travel. A reliable waterhole hidden at the base of a sandstone bluff made El Morro (the headland) a popular campsite for hundreds of years. Here, Ancestral Puebloans, Spanish, and American travelers carved over 2,000 signatures, dates, messages, and petroglyphs.

9. Hovenweep, Utah and Colorado

Hovenweep National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Once home to over 2,500 people, Hovenweep includes six prehistoric villages built between A.D. 1200 and 1300. Explore a variety of structures, including multistory towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders.

10. Organ Pipe Cactus, Arizona

Organ Pipe National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Organ Pipe Cactus is the only place in the U.S. where the organ pipe cactus grows wild. One glimpse at this sprawling, soaring species will clue you in to where the cactus gets its name. An ideal place for desert camping and hiking, the monument also has horseback trails, scenic drives and biking opportunities.

Worth Pondering…

In his “Positively Final Appearance,” Guiness leaves us with his philosophy that “nothing is desperately important, and the joy of life is just looking at it.” The joy can also be in writing about it.

Family Travel Five: Summer Destinations That Offer Adventure and Memories

Where will you RV this summer? Here are five destinations that promise to deliver family adventure and magical memories

If you travel in an RV, you have far more freedom than other travelers.

You can take any road you want, go as fast or slow as you want (within legal limits of course), spend the night just about anywhere you want and more. This freedom allows you to go and see virtually everything but deciding what to see can be a challenge.

Here is a list of five awesome destinations that you and other RVers can go see this summer.

Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Wolfeboro © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The oldest resort town in America happens to sit on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. Families return to this New England community year after year to escape the heat. Chefs are setting up shop, Lone Wolfe Brewing Company opened its doors, and bakeries like Stellaloona are whipping up a blueberry tart that alone makes the drive worth it.

Wolfeboro © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

While the lake is the main attraction, Wolfeboro also sees its share of festivals, farmers markets, and free concerts. The best day of the summer? Lobster Day at Hunter’s IGA Foodstore. A massive truck pulls up filled with lobsters and stays until it is empty. The price per pound can’t be beat—it’s pretty much a local holiday.

Mount Robson, British Columbia

Mount Robson © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For the best views of Mount Robson, drive east on Yellowhead Highway 16 toward Jasper National Park. The towering mountain, which is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, is often shrouded in clouds. You may have to wait for hours to see its peak emerge as the surrounding clouds dissipate.

Mount Robson © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The mountain sits within the Mount Robson Provincial Park, which is the second oldest provincial park in British Columbia, and is home to everything from glaciers and lakes to waterfalls, canyons, and limestone caves. Camping sites are available.

Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

Cedar Breaks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

At an elevation of over 10,000 feet, Cedar Breaks National Monument looks down into a majestic geologic amphitheater, a three-mile long cirque of eroding limestone, shale, and sandstone. Like a naturally formed coliseum, the Amphitheater plunges 2,000 feet taking your eyes for a colorful ride through arches, towers, hoodoos, and canyons.

Cedar Breaks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The colorful wildflower bloom is generally at its peak during the first two weeks of July, which coincides with the annual Cedar Breaks Wildflower Festival, a wonderful reason to visit the park.

Route 66

Historic Route 66 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Established in 1926, Route 66 was one of the original highways in the U.S., stretching southwestward from Chicago out to California’s coastal city of Santa Monica.

Historic Route 66 in Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in America, originally ran from Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona to California, covering a total of 2,448 miles. Whether you are motivated by an interest in history or feel a nostalgic yearning for the “good old days”, Route 66 offers an unforgettable journey into America.

Beautiful BC Wine Country

Okanagan Wine Country in Penticton overlooking Skaha Lake © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you like wine, come to the beautiful Okanagan to discover amazing local wineries. Make the South Okanagan your base and discover local wineries, including the brand new Time Winery, which recently opened up in Downtown Penticton. You can also go wine tasting at the wineries along the Naramata Bench, Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos, Summerland, and the beautiful Similkameen Valley.

Penticton River Channel © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Okanagan Valley is flush with nature and all the activities that come with it, no matter the season and no matter the weather. It’s Canada’s only ‘desert’ region, and the endless sunny days of summer will beg you to step beyond the patio. You can climb the Skaha Bluffs, kayak in Okanagan Lake, and sneak in some whitewater rafting in between tastings. Or head down to Penticton, grab a tube and a cooler that won’t sink, and spend an afternoon floating your way along the Penticton River Channel that connects Okanagan Lake with Skaha Lake.

Okanagan Wine Country on Black Sage Road near Oliver © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

We often live for those unusual landmarks and off-the-beaten-path places that make RVing so extraordinary. And we all know that sometimes getting there is all the fun.