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  • Go RVing Canada Hosts 2011 Photo Contest

    Posted on July 30th, 2011 admin No comments

    Camera-toting RVers, here’s your chance to show your stuff! Enter Go RVing Canada’s 2011 Take Your Best RV Shot Photo Contest

    GoRVing Canada is inviting RVers to submit their best RV-related camping photos for a chance to win prizes and bragging rights in four categories:

    • Fun-filled discoveries and activities
    • Family portraits
    • Memorable sunsets
    • Breathtaking nature

    No purchase necessary, no entry fee.  Entry deadline is August 29th, 2011 at 11:59:59 pm ET, with winners announced on September 2nd, 2011 at 2:00 pm ET

    It’s not entirely clear how winners will be chosen.  There is a chance for people to view the gallery and “Like” a photo — but WARNING!  You only have ONE “Like” vote, so view all the photos before picking one.   Oddly enough, when I checked, every photo had 45 “likes”.  Every last one.


    • Grand Prize – $750.00 gift card to Henry’s, Canada’s Digital Camera Centre
    • Category Prizes –$200.00 President’s Choice gift card


    • JPG format only
    • Available to residents of Canada (age 13+) only
    • Henry’s is an eastern outfit, so any winner west of Winnipeg will have to order online.
    • Be sure to read all the rules and regulations
    • Enter by uploading your photos to the contest site
    • The entry form lacks a field to choose the category, so be sure you indicate one in your title or description
    • Photos must be yours, and you give up all rights forever without recompense
    • You have to have written consent from people in your photo

    RV shutterbugs, take your best shot — and good luck.

  • Buckskin Mountain State Park

    Posted on June 17th, 2011 admin No comments

    I can’t believe that here it is June and we’re still sorting out photos and details of our winter trip!  Okay, some things got in the way…

    Dawn relaxing by the cabana at Buckskin Mountain State Park

    On our way back from California to Canada last March, we stopped at Buckskin Mountain StatePark on recommendation of both friends at home and people we met while traveling.

    Except for lounging on the beach during the warmest part of the day, we didn’t take part in any of the water activities.

    To clarify, the missus lounged while I went hiking !  To me, the hiking was the best part of that stop.  In one afternoon, I covered the short but steep Lightning Bolt Trail, took the guided nature walk called the Buckskin Trail, explored a series of abandoned mines, and wandered some unmarked quad trails that headed off into the desert.

    A view of the Colorado River from a trail on Buckskin Mountain

    It was only about four miles, but there were lots of stops to read about and examine desert plants, and it took time to poke into old mine shafts, and just wander about to see what’s over yonder knoll.

    I’m a fairly strong hiker and did it all in one go, but some seniors (senior to me!) I met along the way were doing one trail per day and taking their time.  We agreed that it was a pleasant hike.

    I’d have liked to visit Interruption Point too (only another mile round trip) but it was getting close to suppertime and I knew Dawn would worry if I were gone any longer.

    Ah well, it’s good to save something for the next visit!

  • Fulltime Families Winner

    Posted on May 16th, 2011 admin No comments
    Fulltime Families is a web site and magazine for a niche RV market of families on the road.

    Kimberly and Chris and their four “kidlets” are living the dream of full-time RVing.  They established their site to help link other travel families for support, education, socializing, and problem-solving.FTF Logo The site continues to grow in response to recognized needs particular to families living in the RV.

    I’ve subscribed to Kimberly’s excellent magazine from the beginning, and it’s always a good read even if our family isn’t full-time.

    It was a nice surprise to receive this email from Kimberly:  “Congratulations to Tom Gray, who found the “Happy Camper” hidden in our April Issue.  He won a Rand McNally Boredom Busters Gift Pack!”

    Thanks, lass.  I look forward to receiving it, and to future issues of FtF Magazine.
  • Full Time Families – Online Magazine for RVers

    Posted on January 7th, 2011 admin No comments

    The new Full Time Families magazine is aimed especially at full-time RVers but is of interest to any in the RVing community.

    If you travel by motor home, trailer, caravan, or camper, please subscribe. It’s free, and the monthly eMagazine is well-done, full of recipes, family activities, events, and more.

    And if you’d be so kind as to include my name (Thomas Alan Gray) in the comments section of the subscription form, I have a chance to win a nice prize: a one-year membership in the Harvest Hosts program. This program invites RVers to stay overnight free at working vineyards and farms in the US (at present) and Canada (scheduled for 2011) .

    Thank you in advance to anyone who helps me out!


    Update August 1, 2011

    The magazine is no longer free.  A subscription membership is $15 USD.

  • Banff Bans Booze – Long Weekends Liquor-Free in Park Campgrounds

    Posted on November 29th, 2010 admin No comments

    You‘ve picked a lovely site adjacent to the river. You’ve had a wonderful day playing in the water and hiking along the shore followed by a great meal cooked over the campfire. You’ve just tucked the kids into bed and are relaxing beside the fire, chatting quietly and planning tomorrow’s activities. A rig pulls in down the road…


    Far too many times, drunken idiots have spoiled a camping weekend. Loud, obnoxious, and inconsiderate party animals do not belong in family campgrounds. What do you do about them?

    I approach them quietly and politely point out that we’re in the next campsite and that my wife and/or the kids are tired and need to sleep. If that doesn’t work, I go to the campground supervisor/host/manager. If that doesn’t work, I call the local police.

    • A few, but only a very few, do respond to a polite request to tone it down.
    • Most just tell me to f*** off and carry on.
    • Appeals to the campground management are generally not helpful for the same reason; the a**holes ignore the campground host or manager, or are quiet only until the manager is out of earshot.
    • Occasionally, the RCMP have kindly responded by evicting the offenders (Usually at 02:00 after two previous warnings. Why do they bother with the warnings? It just wastes time.)
    • If nothing else works, as on two occasions, we’ve packed up and moved and demanded our money back because the campground operators  are not enforcing their own regulations.

    That’s why I was pleased to see an item in the Banff Crag and Canyon reporting that the Banff National Park would continue its trial liquor control for long-weekends, to help ensure family-friendly camping.

    As I see it, the problem is not liquor. It’s the behaviour of the drinkers. I enjoy a glass of wine with meals and the occasional beer or highball, and you’re welcome to indulge too. As long as you are courteous and respectful of others, tipple on.

    Unfortunately, the noisy obnoxious drunkards don’t give a hoot about anybody but themselves. If the best solution is to ban the booze, I’ll gladly forego a drink or two for a good night’s sleep and keeping the grandkids safe and comfortable.

    This rant was originally published at, Nov 29, 2010

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