An Easter Egg Hunt For The Kids

The Easter Bunny will be hopping by early this year! Easter is Sunday, March 31, and with a little imagination and elbow grease, you can turn your weekend RV camping trip into an impromptu Easter egg hunt.

An easy place to start is with plastic eggs and treats from any local market. You can use the motorhome itself to hide the eggs, because we all know there are plenty of nooks and crannies! Or, if you choose the great outdoors instead, enlist the older kids to find some ingenious places, but make sure there’s something for every age group, including some easy, low hiding spots for the little ones. Think of it as Easter geocaching! Don’t forget to make a map and note the number of eggs you hide. If you want to include the whole family in egg-dyeing fun, this site has easy tricks to make unique dyes and patterns with common ingredients. Who doesn’t love a tie-dyed Easter egg?!

If you don’t want to DIY Easter, you can find lots of fun in our state parks.  Check out Glacial Lakes State Park, which is planning an old fashioned Easter egg hunt and tons of family events. Visit the main page of the Minnesota State Parks website to learn more about great camping spots for your RV, and all kinds of upcoming events. There’s plenty of activity to eggs-cite all your campers!  Happy hunting!

Minnesota RV Fun: Geocaching

Been longing for a little adventure? Fan of scavenger hunts or The Amazing Race? Want to evoke the spirits of the pirates without the actual plundering and pillaging? If so, grab your GPS (your smart phone will do), load up your Minnesota travel trailer or RV, and hit the road for the very latest in treasure hunts–Geocaching! Check out this simple video on “What is Geocaching?” to get the lowdown on the family-friendly craze.

The beauty of geocaching is in its simplicity. You can plan an easy day trip, take a scenic detour, or build an entire vacation around it from wherever you’ve decided to park the motorhome, because there are over 2 million geocaches worldwide! Geocaching.com is your first stop for finding geocaches on the go, plus they provide a rundown of upcoming events in your state, latest caches hidden and latest trackable items. It’s a goldmine of geocaching tips and tricks.

Geocaching is sure to be tons of fun for the whole family and a great activity with something to engage everyone. You can find the geocaches or hide some—think high-tech hide and seek. Imagine the fun you’ll have picking out the perfect geocache that represents your family. What might you include? Campfire recipes, a stuffed animal, a local rock or gem?

Our state parks are getting in on the action with geocaching guides and special programs and events, like the Geocaching Avian Adventure. Many parks even have GPS kits to get you started. The “sport” has even gotten so big that there are local groups to join and a Minnesota Geocaching Association! Check out their page to learn more about special events and campouts, and which enterprising geocachers have found the most treasure.

Whether you stay close to home or find a far off trail while road-tripping in your new or used RV, geocaching will provide some lasting memories of your shared family adventure!

Explore Native American Heritage Month In Your New RV

November is Native American Heritage Month, and it’s a great time for those of us who pack up our new or used RVs and set out to explore this great nation to take an extra moment to appreciate all the ways Native Americans have influenced our shared American experience, whether it’s through food, art, music or crafts.

The President recently issued this proclamation: “This month, we celebrate and honor the many ways American Indians and Alaska Natives have enriched our Nation, and we renew our commitment to respecting each tribe’s identity while ensuring equal opportunity to pursue the American dream.”

Whether your next RV road trip takes you across the country or across the state, we found several resources to help us all learn more about the rich, varied, triumphant (although sometimes heartbreaking) history of American Indians.

Where to start:

Nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov

A number of institutions, including The Library of Congress, National Park Service and Smithsonian, have joined forces to create a one-stop info-site for events around the country, online museum exhibits, veterans’ support, audio, video and resources for teachers.

Around the country:

  • The National Park Service has created a special list of park sites called “Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary: Places Reflecting America’s Diverse Cultures” not only for sites of Native American significance but all cultures of the Americas.
  • The National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC, is not to be missed.
  • You can also read about Native American Veterans from World War II to Iraq with this collection of personal stories.

In Minnesota:

  • The University of Minnesota, Crookston, will host events November 16 through November 20. Check out their website for more info.
  • Watch the short video “A Day in the Life of Minnesota Tribal Nations”

Did you know?

  • Minnesota is a Siouan Indian word meaning “cloudy water.”
  • The original inhabitants of the area that is Minnesota included: The Dakota Sioux tribe; The Ojibwe tribe.
  • There are eleven federally recognized Indian tribes in Minnesota today, and they comprise the Chippewa, Ojibwe, Sioux and Dakota tribes.

Minnesota RVers: What Would You Do If You Saw A Bat?

Halloween is coming. And even though we have a blast camping out in the our new Minnesota motorhomes, carving pumpkins and dressing up as ghosts and goblins, it’s also a tough time of year for batty public relations. We thought this would be a great time to set the record straight with a few fun facts about bats from Bat Conservation International:

  • Centuries of myths and misinformation still generate needless fears and threaten bats and their habitats around the world.
  • The more than 1,200 species of bats. They range from the world’s smallest mammal, the tiny bumblebee bat that weighs less than a penny to giant flyig foxes with six-foot wingspans.
  • A single little brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in a single hour, while a pregnant or lactating female bat typically eats the equivalent of her entire body weight in insects each night.
  • Almost a third of the world’s bats feed on the fruit or nectar of plants. In return for their meals, these bats are vital pollinators of countless plants (many of great economic value) and essential seed dispersers with a major role in regenerating rainforests.
  • About 1 percent of bats eat fish, mice, frogs or other small vertebrates.
  • Only three species, all in Latin America, are vampires. They really do feed on blood, although they lap it like kittens rather than sucking it up as horror movies suggest. Even the vampires are useful: an enzyme in their saliva is among the most potent blood-clot dissolvers known and is used to treat human stroke victims.

Minnesota has seven species of bats, and Wildlife Rehabilitation & Release, Inc. says that while some of our bats migrate south for the winter, others hibernate in caves, abandoned mines and buildings.  Two species include the gorgeous silver-haired bat, which lives in forests and has dark fur with silver streaks, and the red bat, which often hangs from its tree roosts by one foot, mimicking an autumn leaf.

This Halloween, help spread the word! Bats are not what you’ve seen in horror movies. Bats are the good guys!

National Wildlife Refuge Week

Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida’s Pelican Island as the nation’s first wildlife refuge in 1903. Since that time, the National Wildlife Refuge System has grown to include 553 refuges and 38 wetland management districts that conserve America’s diversity of fish, wildlife and plant species.

There’s at least one refuge in every state, and the refuges are home to an estimated 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 reptile and amphibian species and more than 200 species of fish, which means that the refuges offer countless nature tourism opportunities for RV travelers.

During the week of October 14 – 20, we’re helping Minnesota celebrate National Wildlife Refuge week, and thought we’d share a few events happening across the state. Some of the highlights include special talks hosted by none other than author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau (as portrayed by historian Richard Smith at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, a photo workshop at the Fergus Falls-Prairie Wetland Learning Center, a photo contest at Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and bird-watching opportunities at most Minnesota refuges.

And, if your Minnesota RV travel plans take you further afield next week, you can visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife site to find a refuge on your route, and search for upcoming events all over the country.

 

 

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!