Minnesota RVing Storytelling

Although you may be spending the night in your Pleasureland RV, a big part of the camping experience is the campfire. And storytelling by the campfire is an art form all its own.

First: the campfire. You’ll need four things: tinder, kindling, firewood, and a match.

Tinder lights easily, and can be anything from dried grasses or moss, to lint from your dryer or a packaged fire starter. Kindling provides fuel for the fire, and can include dried twigs or strips of cardboard. Firewood, including split and whole logs, will keep the roaring fire burning.  (Safety reminder: keep a bucket of water handy any time you have a campfire. Stray embers can easily start a forest fire!)

Start by creating a pile of tinder and kindling in the fire pit. You’ll want it piled together loosely enough for air to circulate, but closely enough for the flames to easily spread. Light the tinder with a match or lighter. Then, as the fire grows, add small pieces of firewood until the fire becomes hot enough to burn the larger logs. Add the wood in a star pattern, propping one log on the other to encourage air circulation and keeping the fire going.

Now, you’ve got a roaring campfire and it’s time for a round of storytelling! There’s something about the warm glow of a campfire that brings out our funniest family stories and scariest ghost stories. Who’s the best storyteller in your family?

This month, the Master Storytelling Festival in the Twin Cities features artists from  the Black Storytellers Alliance, and you can find more festivals all over the U.S. on the storytelling festivals page. It’s a great time to hitch up the your St. Cloud RV and go discover a long-lost slice of Americana!

Take a Trip In Your Minnesota RV To Experience Fall

The first hint of fall is in the air. Halloween displays are already crowding the grocery stores, pumpkins aren’t far behind, and before we know it, the trees will be turning a vibrant orange and gold.  This seems like a great time to grab your camera, hook up your St. Cloud motorhome, and plan a road trip that’s all about the scenery.

Superior Trails recommends several scenic tours along Lake Superior, including the Circle Tour, which leads you along Minnesota’s North Shore, through Ontario, Michigan, and Wisconsin. They’ll have full reports on the changing colors starting in mid- to late-September.

And if you want to capture the changing seasons with your camera, here are a few tips.

1.     Think about the light. The half hour after sunrise or before sunset can create the most amazing, warm light for photographs. The soft, diffuse light of an overcast day can eliminate harsh shadows capture an entirely different mood.
2.     Use a polarizing filter. This will help eliminate glare – not only from the sun, but the light bouncing off the leaves.
3.     Shoot close-ups for detail, in addition to framing for the wide landscape.
4.     Look for graphic patterns, or take advantage of water droplets, fog, or frost on the to add even more interest to your photos.
5.     Change your perspective. What does the landscape look like from the squirrel’s point of view? Or the hawk’s? Experiment with perspective and you’ll create something unique.

We suggest you take out the atlas (or hop online) now and plan your next memorable Minnesota RV foray into fall color!

A Wild Animal Safari In Your New RV

If you’re an avid Minnesota RVing traveler, chances are, you spend a fair amount of time watching wildlife along the hiking trails and in the parks you visit. Wildlife can be elusive, but there are several wild animal parks across the U.S. that make it possible for you and your family to get “up close and personal” with exotic creatures.

Perhaps the best-known U.S. parks are the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Both offer guided safari experiences give you firsthand experiences with the amazing creatures that share our planet.  If you would like to stay a little closer to home, you can find a wild animal experience at Minnesota’s Hemker Wildlife Park.

Their 90-minute tours give you a chance to experience a wide variety of wildlife including penguins, pronghorn, reindeer, ostrich, moose and woodland caribou.

Make sure you capture the amazing scenery and wildlife by following these photography hints:

  1. Use a tripod to hold the camera steady.
  2. Zoom in. Portraits of the animals’ faces will give you lots of great material for that scrapbook later. If you have a point and shoot camera, become familiar with your zoom feature in advance. Even better, use your 35mm camera with a long zoom lens.
  3. Disable camera sounds. The beeping of the autofocus or the shutter sounds can startle skittish animals.
  4. Tour the animal park early in the morning or late in the evening. The light is gorgeous and you’ll see even more animals moving about.
  5. Stay safe. The animals in animal parks and zoos are still wild creatures. The National Park Service offers some thoughtful reminders about viewing wildlife.

Have you ever taken your Minnesota Winnebago RV on a safari?

Minnesota RV Travels: Fun Museums

Sometimes, weird can be wonderful. If you’re a seasoned Minnesota RV traveler, you’ve already discovered that prowling the roadsides can be as much fun as getting to that next destination.

In Minnesota, the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices was recently added to the collections at the Science Museum of Minnesota after the passing of the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices’s founder, Bob McCoy. You can check out Bob’s work to expose quackery in all its forms on his website: http://www.museumofquackery.com/. From a device designed to map your personality based on the bumps on your head to an electrical charge to boost your virility, this collection has it all.

While searching for “weird,” we also stumbled across another website called Weird U.S.with listings for weird stops all across the U.S. They’re still working on their page for Minnesota, but they do give readers a chance to contribute their own stories about the best places to explore. Maybe we need to offer a few suggestions!  Are you ready to add a little weird (and wonderful!) to your next road trip in your new Pleasureland RV? What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever visited? Let us know!

Minnesota RV Excursions: The Farmers Market

If you want to really experience the “flavor” of a new place when you’re on your next trip in your Winnebago RV, consider visiting the farmers markets. They’re a fun blend of food and entertainment, crafts and characters.

I love farmers markets for several reasons. First, the food is fresh and healthy. After all, it just came off the vine or out of the ground. Next, I’m supporting local farmers. I was shocked when I found out that farmers usually get less than 10 cents of every dollar you spend at the grocery store. By shopping at farmers markets, I’m supporting a family for whom farming is still a way of life. Finally, I can get recommendations from the locals about what to see and do in their home communities. There’s nothing like discovering those hidden RV travel gems!

The Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association lists its members on its website including links to most of the growers. In Duluth, the farmers market has operated since 1911 and offers everything from fresh veggies like spinach and radishes to honey and even gluten-free baked goodies.

Where are your favorite places to take your Pleasureland RV?

RVers, Have Fun all Day and Enjoy Mexican Pork Carnitas for Dinner!

When traveling the states in your Pleasureland RV you want all the time you can get to enjoy what the area has to offer…but we all like to look forward to a great dinner when it is time to relax. And, sometimes we crave some good Mexican food, which is not always easy to find.

How about Crock Pot Pork Carnitas for dinner? Of course a Crock Pot is a must for any RV. Beyond that, you will need:

1. Pork Loin or Pork Tenderloin

2.  Two gloves of garlic, chopped fine

3. Salt – about a teaspoon, or to your liking

4. Cumin – this is a key ingredient – 2-4 Tablespoons depending on the amount of meat you are cooking. (About 1 Tablespoon per lb)

5. Red Chili powder – this will add the spice and zing! Determine the amount based on how hot you prefer. You can add red chili flakes to spice it up even more.

6. Chicken broth

7. Corn tortillas  (hearty wheat or brands with blue corn are great)

8. Avocados

9. Cilantro and limes – two more key ingredients!

10. Grated cheese, if you desire.

In the morning cut the meat in smaller pieces (trim away any fat) and throw ingredients 1-5 into the crock pot with 1 – 2 cups of chicken broth depending on how much meat you are preparing. Cook on low for 6-8 hours

– When ready to eat prepare the fixings:

-Shred the meat with a fork (if it is not very moist you can add more chicken broth)

-Slice Avocados and limes

-Prepare the cilantro, removing the stems

-Fill tortillas with meat (and cheese if preferred) top with avocado slices and cilantro and squeeze the lime juice over all!  Great served with beans, rice and or a salad or fruit.

Enjoy!! And, please share your favorite recipe with Pleasureland RV! We would love to share it with all of our followers.

 

 

 

Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

RVers from all over the U.S. flock to Santa Fe, New Mexico in the summer, and I think this would be an excellent place to take your Minnesota RV!  It’s a world-renowned art community, and it’s world famous for its summer festivals. But amid the flurry of paint and marble, wool and bronze, one market stands out. It’s the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, and it’s the one place you can literally take a stroll around the world in a single weekend morning and meet artisans from Kenya to Kyrgyzstan. This year marks the ninth annual Market, and 170 artists from 50 or more countries will exhibit their work. Some of these artists are already recognized in Santa Fe for their extraordinary art, but for others, it will be their first time to leave their home villages. This is what makes the Market unique. After a rigorous selection process, the artists are guided through an experience that can change their lives forever.

One weekend in Santa Fe provides artists the financial ability to radically improve their home communities. Each booth earned an average of $17,300 last year, and for artists from developing countries where the average income is less than $3 per day, that’s big money. Past Market artists have gone home to build schools and houses, and dig wells to provide their villages with clean drinking water.The Market thrives because of its dedicated volunteers, so if you’re one of those people who love to make a difference while you’re on your latest Pleasureland RV road trip, the Market has a place for translators, greeters, booth staff, cashiers, and many more roles.

In Minnesota, much of the folk art has maritime twist that reflects the state’s Great Lakes heritage. And it’s much the same for Zilo Bong http://www.folkartmarket.org/artists/zilo-bong/,  of Vanuatu, whose carvings, drums and flutes capture his island’s fading culture.The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market opens on the evening of July 13 and runs through July 15, 2012 at the beautiful Milner Plaza on Santa Fe’s renowned Museum Hill. The venue offers stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

For ticket sales and more detailed information go to http://www.folkartmarket.org.

 

Take A Closer Look at This Model: 2012 Dutchmen Classic

Here at PleasureLand RV Center, we have a lot full of great recreational vehicles at even better prices. If you don’t want to go with new, you can also find several used RVs at here at Pleasureland RV.

The 2012 Dutchmen Classic is a well-made 34-foot travel trailer with two slides. It sleeps up to six people. The private master bedroom features a queen bed. The oversized dinette and the sofa both fold down into beds. This Dutchmen Classic has two outside doors.

The main door is in the living area, but it also has a door in the master bedroom. That way, if family or friends are still sleeping, those in the master bedroom can go outside without disturbing others. The queen bed also has a slider so that the bedroom has enough space to move about.

The bathroom is separate, too, so the toilet has its own room. The shower and sink are across the hall, so that the toilet is private. Moving forward, the sofa bed and the U-shaped, oversize dinette are in a slide, so if everyone has to be inside the RV at the same time, there is plenty of room to walk around without tripping over anyone.

The living area has overhead cabinets for storage — whether you choose to store clothing, games or other things you need on your vacation. The overhead cabinets are over the sofa and the dinette.

True to Dutchmen’s style, the kitchen is a full front kitchen, which gives you plenty of room to cook your family’s favorites. To the left is a double door pantry, which is large enough to store dry goods for a couple of weeks. Plus, the kitchen has overhead cabinets for plates, pots, pans and other kitchen accessories.

The double sink and the three-burner stove make cooking inside easy and comfortable. Because the kitchen is a full front kitchen, you have plenty of space to move around, and you have plenty of counter space to put a complicated meal together.

The Ten Essentials for the Minnesota RV Hiker

There isn’t much about hiking that has changed in the last few decades (besides new technology like portal GPS systems) which is why I still refer to a list created in the 1930s by a  hiking, climbing, and conservation organization called the Mountaineers. This Seattle-based group came up with a list of the top 10 essentials that every hiker should carry.

Some of you may think that this list may be a little excessive, but you honestly never know what will happen when you venture out away from parked RV. And isn’t it better to be over prepared than under? Yes, I thought you agree. So here it is, Minnesota. The top ten things you’ll should take on all hiking excursions.

Map. A map not only tells you where you are and how far you have to go, it can help you find campsites, water, and an emergency exit route in case of an accident.

Compass. A compass can help you find your way through unfamiliar terrain—especially in bad weather where you can’t see the landmarks.

Available online and in-stores from Pleasureland RV

First aid kit. Prepackaged first aid kits for hikers are available at outfitters. Double your effectiveness with knowledge: Take a basic first aid class with the American Red Cross or a Wilderness First Aid class, offered by many hiking organizations. Pleasureland RV has the perfect,  functional assortment of 40 first aid items packed in a water-tight, reusable container that you can purchase online for less than $20.

Water and a way to purify it. Without enough water, your body’s muscles and organs simply can’t perform as well: You’ll be susceptible to hypothermia and altitude sickness. not to mention the abject misery of raging thirst.

Extra Food. Any number of things could keep you out longer than expected: a lengthy detour, getting lost, an injury, difficult terrain. A few ounces of extra food will help keep up energy and morale.

Rain Gear and extra clothing. Because the weatherman is not always right. Especially above treeline, bring along extra layers. Two rules: Avoid cotton (it keeps moisture close to your skin), and always carry a hat.

Available at the Pleasureland Online RV Parts Store!

 

Firestarter and matches. The warmth of a fire and a hot drink can help prevent an encounter with hypothermia. And fires are a great way to signal for help if you get lost.

Army knife or multi-purpose tool. These enable you to cut strips of cloth into bandages, remove splinters, fix broken eyeglasses, and perform a whole host of repairs on malfunctioning gear—not to mention cut cheese and open cans.

Flashlight and extra bulbs. For finding your way in the dark and signaling for help.

Sun screen and sun glasses. Especially above treeline when there is a skin-scorching combination of sun and snow, you’ll need sunglasses to prevent snowblindness, and sunscreen to prevent sunburn

If you’re ready to start working on your 10 essentials pack, head to one of Pleausureland RV’s four locations or visit our online store to get everything you need. Happy hiking, Minnesota RVers!

[Source: GORP]

Eight Tips for a Bug-Free RV Season in Minnesota

It’s no surprise that Spring has come early this year, and according to Rainbow Pest Experts in Minnesota, this is going to be a bad season for all types of insects. The company states on its website that due to an early start of record breaking temperatures, we are on track for a bumper crop of a large insect population. Ants, spiders, box elder bugs, mosquitoes and centipedes start to emerge from their winter dormancy three to 4 weeks early. An earlier insect season means a longer season for multiple reproductions. Yuck!

As Minnesota RVers, we spend a lot of time outside. So this isn’t the best news in the world for us. However, there are some things we can do to try and stay bug-free this RV season. Dr.  Brian Aw, a general practitioner who specializes in travel medicine, suggests the following eight tips:

  • Stay Scent-Free. Avoid using scented soaps, lotions and shampoos.
  • Gear Up. Cover your skin as completely as possible. This may be challenging by the beach, but when possible wear long sleeves, pants and socks.
  • Be Color Conscious. Mosquitoes are attracted to blue, so avoid this color and stick to neutral colors.
  • Use Repellent. Repellents containing DEET are most effective for areas with heavy mosquito or tick infestation.
  • Alternative Repellents. When applied frequently, citronella-based repellents can provide the same bug protection as products containing low concentrations of DEET. I recommend Natrapel®, which contains 10 percent citronella to ward off bugs for up to two hours.
  • Meal Time. Be alert to the time of day when certain insects are most active such as dawn and twilight.
  • Check Point. Upon returning indoors, check your children and yourself for bites.
    Treatment. Sunburn and bite treatment products should be included in every outdoor adventurer’s travel kit.

It’s also a good idea to avoid insects’ favorite places. Mosquitoes like cool, moist places. So avoid stagnant pools of water. Flies will usually be near animals and sweets.

If you’re planning on spending  a lot of time on the road, I’d advise you follow Dr. Aw’s suggestions. There are also several home remedies I’ve heard throughout the years including rubbing dryer sheets over your clothes. What are some of your homes remedies to keep bug-free?