All posts by Robert

LTRVD Episode 10 – San Francisco

  1. In today’s edition of the podcast we talk about South Dakota, how to travel more comfortably, and San Francisco.
San Francisco

There is so much to see in this city that it is impossible to mention them all. I am just going to mention a few and show you pictures.

The view from Twin Peaks
San Francisco from Hawk Hill
Alcatraz Island
Alamo Square, San Francisco
Transamerica Pyramid, from Chinatown, San Francisco
Lombard Street
Powell Street Cable Car
Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill
Wine tasting at the Hess Collection, Napa Valley
Hess Collection, Napa Valley
Babbage Difference Engine at the Computer History Museum

Living the RV Dream website

WRVO Radio Network 1

Video gear I use

Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000 Wi-Fi GPS 4K HD Video Camera Camcorder with Flat Surface & Helmet Mounts + 64GB Card + Battery + Case + Flex Tripod + Kit
If you buy on Amazon follow the link below. It will cost you the same and I get a bit of commission for sending you over.

Music for all my videos is also available at Amazon Music.

Snorkeling and Kayaking in the Florida Keys

In this week’s video we return to Key Largo, this time staying at John Pennekamp Cora Reef State Park, and we’re going to do some snorkeling and kayaking.

Snorkeling at Key Largo – Click for video
Campground

We stayed at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. It exceeded our expectations except for the fact that the sites were perhaps a little too close together.

Dining

We arrived on Friday afternoon and went to Jimmy Johnson’s Big Chill. Great place for sundowners, and we also had some delicious nachos. On Saturday we had lunch at Hobo’s Cafe.

Activities

The main event was a kayaking trip to the Coral Reef that was the absolute highlight of the whole trip. $29.95 per person. We also rented a dual kayak for $17

LTRVD Episode 9 – The Pacific Coast Highway

In this week’s edition of the podcast, we talk about one of the most epic trip one can take in the United States: California Highway 1, The Pacific Coast Highway

Low Season at the Florida Keys

In the fist segment of the episode I ramble about our recent trips to the Florida Keys, and how, for the first time, we have noticed the noticeable differences between the high and low seasons. This time of the year everything is either under construction or sad in comparison to the high season.
The main subject of the episode is the trip we took in 2012 on the Pacific Coast Highway, from Los Angeles to San Francisco on a large classic American vehicle.

Los Angeles

First we talk about Los Angeles and its points of interest.

• Hollywood Sign
• Hollywood Boulevard and Walk of Fame
• Griffith Observatory
• Beverly Hills
• Music Center
• Olvera Street
• Venice Beach
• Santa Monica Beach

The Pacific Coast Highway

Main points of interest along the way
• Malibu
• Rincon Parkway Campground
• Summerland
• Santa Barbara
• Solvang and Santa Ynez Valley
• Moro Bay
• Cambria
• Hearst Castle
• Elephant seal beach at Piedras Blancas
• Big Sur
• Julia Pfiffer Burns State Park
• Monterey
• Half Moon Bay
The following are some photos of this epic trip

Western terminus of Route 66
McWay Rocks
Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Coast Highway, near Big Sur
Elephant Seal Beach, Piedras Blancas
Elephant Seal Beach, Piedras Blancas
The Hollywood Sign
Grauman’s Chinese Theater
Venice Beach
LA at night from the Griffith Observatory
The California Cruiser
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Nitt Witt Ridge
Clam Chowder Sourdough Bowl in Morro Bay
Morro Bay
Summerland Winery
Solvang

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Bixby Creek Bridge
Pacific Coast
San Francisco, California

LTRVD Episode 8 – Travel for Good Health

In this week’s episode we talk about camping in the Florida Keys, travel for good health, camping at Elks Lodges, Harvest Hosts and the Great American Eclipse, the Outer Banks, and RV Texas Y’all.

 

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

We talk about my recent trip to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. We snorkeled by the coral reef, kayaked on the trails along the mangrove, and had a great time.

Snorkeling in Key Largo

I talk once again about my tow vehicle, and my music.

Featured articles:
8 Reasons Why Traveling is Good for your Health

Traveling is one of the best things that you can do for your health. It helps your physical and mental health, with many travelers saying that it’s also excellent for the soul.

Sure, there are some stressful and worrying moments. But overall, when you get out on the road and visit new countries you gain in far more ways. This isn’t about just international travel, either. Traveling your own country and being a tourist in your own town can be so beneficially at the same time.

There are no limits when it comes to traveling, except for what you can afford. You can sight-see around some of your most dreamed about countries or choose exotic adventures. Go by rails, car, or even by boat. There are just so many options, and they will all help you in ways that you have never imagined.

It’s time to save up and plan your next vacation. Get out the itinerary and start enjoying your life in ways so many travelers do. Here are eight reasons traveling is so good for the health, both mentally and physically. Read More

Camping at Elks Lodges

Harvest Hosts and the Great American Eclipse

The following Hosts have updated their information for their eclipse special events (fees may apply). Spaces are filling up so make your arrangements soon.

Walnut Hollow Ranch, Hayesville NC – 4 day eclipse package, more info at http://walnuthollowranch.com/index.htm. Reservations at 828-389-8931.

Historic Trails West, Casper WY – Special overnight eclipse wagon train tour at www.historictrailswest.com.

Table Mountain Vineyards, Huntley WY – Special eclipse package at http://wyowine.wixsite.com/2015/eclipse or contact Patrick Zimmerman at 307-459-0233.

Wenwood Farm Winery, Bland MO – Visit their eclipse website at http://wenwoodfarmwinery.com/toast-to-the-total-eclipse.html or contact Laura Neese at 573-437-3443.

Chattooga Belle Farm & Distillery, Long Creek SC – Visit their eclipse website at http://solareclipsefest2017.com

Emerson Vineyards, Monmouth OR – Contact Tom Johns at 503-838-0944 or Tom@emersonvineyards.com

Eola Legacy Estate Vineyards, Rickreall OR – 4 day/3 night package available. Contact Stephanie Bobb at 503-623-2405 or visit http://eolahillswinery.com/total-solar-eclipse-viewing-party/

Arcane Cellars, Salem OR – Visit their special eclipse website at http://arcanecellars.com/eclipseevent2017 – FULL

Cedar Hills Vineyard & Gardens, Ravenna NE – Contact Clay & Heidi Schutz at 308-452-3181 or cedarhillsvineyard@gmail.com

Star View Vineyards, Cobden IL – Eclipse information at www.starviewvineyards.com/ or www.facebook.com/events/1878728635740317 or contact Regina Morrison at 618-893-9463 or regina@starviewvineyards.com

BlueSky Vineyard, Makanda IL – Visit their special eclipse website at http://www.blueskyvineyard.com/event/2017-eclipse/ or call or email Brandy at 618-995-9463 ext. 28 / brandy@blueskyvineyard.com

DelMonaco Winery, Baxter TN – Contact Laney at laney@delmonacowinery.com or visit www.delmonacowinery.com/events/solar-eclipse-viewing-party One day or multiple day packages available.

The following Hosts have indicated that they will be open for overnights but do not currently have any special events planned:

Eola Hills Wine Cellars, Rickreall OR
Grand Teton Distillery, Driggs ID
Sumner Crest Winery, Portland TN
Lucky Acres Farm, Townville SC

Road trip in the Outer Banks Scenic Byway

RV Texas Y’all main site

RV Texas Y’all Newsletter

WRVO Radio Network 1

Video gear I use

Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000 Wi-Fi GPS 4K HD Video Camera Camcorder with Flat Surface & Helmet Mounts + 64GB Card + Battery + Case + Flex Tripod + Kit
If you buy on Amazon follow the link below. It cost you the same and I get a bit of commission for sending you over.

Music for all my videos is also available at Amazon Music.

LTRVD Episode 7 – The Dalton Highway Part 2

In this week’s episode of the podcast we pick of where we left off, halfway up the James Dalton Highway in Alaska. Also your feedback, more decluttering, and plans to go back to the Keys.

The Dalton Highway

Las week we talk about America’s northernmost and most isolated highway, but we ran out of time halfway. I told you how we left from Fairbanks on the Elliot Highway. Joined the gravel road at the Livengood Junction and then continued to our first pit stop at the mighty Yukon River. From here we passed by most hilly terrain, finger mountain, the Arctic Circle, Graylin Lake, and our second pit stop at the world’s northernmost truck stop at Coldfoot, Alaska.

North of Coldfoot

North of here is the most isolated and treacherous segment of the road. There will be no services for the next 240 miles.

No services
No services for 240 miles
Construction
Construction on the Dalton

I wouldn’t recommend going the whole 240 miles with a big rig as some parts are pretty rough and treacherous, but we can still manage to go a little further. Just north of here there’s Marion Creek campground where you can leave you rig and continue with your tow vehicle. A few miles further north we have an arctic village called Wiseman, dating back to the gold rush. Just a handful of people live here permanently but there are two places to stay. One of them is e Boreal Lodge, and the other is the Arctic Getaway Cabin and Breakfast, where we stayed on the way back. These are much better accommodations than those found back in Coldfoot.

Wiseman
Our cabin at Wiseman
The Brooks Range

North of here we’ll start seeing the most striking landscapes this road has to offer. Be sure to spot Sukukpak mountain, made up of marble.

Sukukpak Mountain
Sukukpak Mountain

Also be sure to stop by one of the many creeks and dip your feet in the chilly water.

Creek
One of the many creeks

And this is about as north as I would go if you don’t think your vehicle is up to the task. Here we begin climbing the Brooks Range.

Tree
Furthest North Spruce Tree

There is one place to pull out and take a break by the Chandalar Shelf. Then it is a non stop climb to the continental divide, located at the Attigun Pass, the highest point in the whole road. At the top you may encounter a herd of dall sheep. You may also encounter snow even in the summer.

Attigun
Near Attigun Pass
Dall sheep
Dall sheep at Attigun Pass
The North Slope and the Northern Plains

From here we start descending rapidly onto the North Slope. If you’ve made it all the way up here, Galbraith Lake may be a good place to camp.

North slope
The North Slope
Galbraith lake
Galbraith Lake and the Brooks Range
Galbraith Lake and the Brooks Range

North of here is the worst part of the trip as far a road conditions go, at least at the time of our trip. The road is gravel which feel like you are going over large boulders. This area is marginally attractive with rolling hills and no trees. It is true tundra climate. The last 60 miles is the flat northern plains.

Slope
The North Slope

Deadhorse, often described as the anticlimactic dystopia at end of our trip, is basically a company town whose sole purpose is support for the oil companies operations. The only was to reach the Arctic circle is by taking a tour, and I strongly suggest it if you’ve made it all the way up here.

Deshorse
Deadhorse Alaska
Midnight sun
Midnight Sun at Deadhorse Alaska
The Arctic Ocean
Gas station at Deadhorse, Alaska

My entire trip has been documented on video at the following YouTube playlist.

Dalton Highway, Alaska

Living the RV Dream website

WRVO Radio Network 1

Video gear I use

Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000 Wi-Fi GPS 4K HD Video Camera Camcorder with Flat Surface & Helmet Mounts + 64GB Card + Battery + Case + Flex Tripod + Kit
If you buy on Amazon follow the link below. It cost you the same and I get a bit of commission for sending you over.

Music for all my videos is also available at Amazon Music.

LTRVD Episode 6 – The Dalton Highway in Alaska Part 1

In this episode we travel to America’s northernmost and most isolated road: the James Dalton Highway in northern Alaska.

I come to you from the comfort of my car, parked at my workplace parking lot. I try to take advantage of my downtime to record the podcast, as when I get home in the evening I am tired and life sometimes gets in the way.

The James Dalton Highway in Alaska
Dalton highway map

The main theme of this episode is a road trip we made on America’s northernmost road. Although it is not ideal for a big rig, I know of people who have done part of it towing a large 5th wheel. We also saw our share of class C, trailers, and camper vans.

I am not going to go into every detail of the trip on this post. Also I didn’t have time to cover the whole road trip in this episode. I will have a part two for sure. Here we are only going to cover Fairbanks and the trip from there to the halfway point: Coldfoot. In part two we are going to go fro Coldfoot all the way to the Arctic Ocean, so stay tuned for that.

Next, I am going to post some very useful links that I used to plan this trip, and some pictures of our epic journey in Alaska.

YouTube playlist of my trip

Wikitravel article
Wikipedia article
Alaska.org

Midnight Sun Festival, Fairbanks, Alaska
Dalton Highway Sign
Somewhere between Hess Creek and the Yukon River
Yukon River
Finger Mountain
Arctic Circle
Graylin Lake
Coldfoot Midnight Panorama

Video gear I use

Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000 Wi-Fi GPS 4K HD Video Camera Camcorder with Flat Surface & Helmet Mounts + 64GB Card + Battery + Case + Flex Tripod + Kit
If you buy on Amazon follow the link below. It cost you the same and I get a bit of commission for sending you over.

Music for all my videos is also available at Amazon Music.

Key Largo & Islamorada

Click image for video

A while back we learned that one the first campgrounds we ever visited in Key Largo was closing down soon, so we decided to make a farewell trip to Point of View RV resort. The fact that it was half price during its last month of existence was quite enticing. This was also one of the newest campgrounds on the Keys so all the facilities were top notch.
This time we encountered a lot of traffic going to down to the Keys as it was Easter weekend. The campground, as it is normal in the summer, had a little bit of a party atmosphere. Part of the campground was already under construction; bungalows or whatever they are going to build.

Dinner

After a nice afternoon frolicking in the swimming pool, we go to Dennis Latin Cafe to order some Cuban coffee, and then dinner. We opted for Sundowners and it was a great choice. Nice ambience, live music, craft beer, and tasty seafood appetizers. We didn’t get much of a sunset but it was nice. As day turned into night we continued at the Pilot House for a nightcap.

Islamorada

On the next day we drove down to Islamorada to meet Paul and Lorena of The Motorhome Experiment YouTube channel. They were staying down at Curry Hammock State Park, so this was more or less the halfway point. We had a great time eating lunch at the Islamorada Fish a Company, and exchanging travel stories. While in Islamorada we also visit one of my old stomping grounds: the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar, now part on the Postcard Inn

That was our long weekend in a nutshell. Lots of relaxing by the pool and meeting new friends.

The main song in the video is “Key West (Cayo Hueso)

Video gear I use
Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000 Wi-Fi GPS 4K HD Video Camera Camcorder with Flat Surface & Helmet Mounts + 64GB Card + Battery + Case + Flex Tripod + Kit
If you buy on Amazon follow the link below. It cost you the same and I get a bit of commission for sending you over.

Music for all my videos is also available at Amazon Music.

LTRVD Episode 5 – Live From Key Largo

In this episode we speak about RV inspections, RV upgrades, we interview YouTube creators and full time RVers Paul and Lorena, John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo, and talk fire safety.

Point of View RV Resort
Point of View RV Resort in Key Largo

There are two RV resorts closing down in the Florida Keys, one of them is Point of View RV Resort, where we stayed last week and from where we recorded a segment of the podcast. The other one in Knights Key in Marathon. Point of View had a bit of a party scene but it was fairly new and all the facilities were very nice.

The Motorhome Experiment

While we were at the Keys we met Paul and Lorena of The Motorhome Experiment YouTube channel. I did a short interview. Check out their channel at youtube.com/themotorhomeexperiment

Feedback

Fred asks about campgrounds in the Homestead area suitable for a big rig with a toad. I recommended Miami Everglades RV Resort which is an Encore / Thousand Trails property and is conveniently located halfway between Miami and Florida City.

Frank and Shelly ask about digital video. I use two main cameras besides my phone. The main camera is a Sony FDR AX33 and my secondary action camera is a Sony FDR X3000. I edit my videos with Final Cut Pro X, but I also recommend iMovie for beginners and Adobe Premier if you are on Windows.

Jim talks about RV inspections and mentions his website for his RV inspections business Crushed Armadillo Consulting

John Pennekamp State Park

We talk about John Pennekamp State Park, which is a future destination for us. It is a very popular place for snorkeling and kayaking. They also have a glass bottom boat tour that goes out to the coral reef.

RV Fire Safety

I found an article on RV Share that talks about fire safety tips

The song of the week is “Key West (Cayo Hueso)

Video gear I use
Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000 Wi-Fi GPS 4K HD Video Camera Camcorder with Flat Surface & Helmet Mounts + 64GB Card + Battery + Case + Flex Tripod + Kit
If you buy on Amazon follow the link below. It cost you the same and I get a bit of commission for sending you over.

Music for all my videos is also available at Amazon Music.

Delray Beach and Boca Raton

A couple of weeks ago we decided to return to Delray Beach and Boca Raton to explore the area a little more.

RV repairs and updates

Right before this trip I decided to take advantage and do a couple of maintenance tasks I had been meaning to make. First was removing and eventually replacing one of the Winnebago decals which had become pretty badly cooked by the scorching south Florida sun and was starting to show its age. Second, the latch that holds the door open has started to disintegrate in Florida heat and should no longer work.

After that we departed for Delray Beach and stayed at the same RV park where we stayed last time: Del Raton RV Park. The name is a nice play on Delray and Boca Raton, as the Park stands very close to the city limits of both towns. I spent the day working on some videos, barbecuing some burgers, and catching some rays at the beach.

Boca Raton

In the afternoon we visited downtown Boca Raton, mainly an upscale shopping and dining center called Royal Palm Place.

It was a short, yet fun weekend and I hope you like our video of it.

Remember to shop at Amazon by following our link, it cost you nothing extra and we get gas money. It is a win-win situation. Thank you!


Video gear I use
Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000 Wi-Fi GPS 4K HD Video Camera Camcorder with Flat Surface & Helmet Mounts + 64GB Card + Battery + Case + Flex Tripod + Kit
If you buy on Amazon follow the link below. It cost you the same and I get a bit of commission for sending you over.

Music for all my videos is also available at Amazon Music.

Episode 4 – RV Upgrades

In this episode we talk about RV upgrades, RV types, downsizing, podcast apps, campground closures, and your comments.

Delray Beach and Boca Raton

We talk about our recent trip to Delray Beach and Boca Raton. I just published that video so check it out at the following link or by clicking the picture below if you can see it.

Feedback

Rene Champaign from Maine sends us a message updating us on the warmer weather.

Robert from Ohio asks for podcast apps recommendations.
I recommend Pocket Casts $3.99

Tony talks about his RV trip to the California desert and looking at wildflowers. Here’s a link to the blog post.

RVNews

We have two RV parks in the Florida Keys closing soon. Point of View Resort will close on May 1, and Knights Key Campground will close some time in July. Sad.

Downsizing

We talk about an app called Decluttr, where you can sell your old CDs, DVDs, video games and certain electronics very easily.

Recreational Vehicle Upgrades

Here are links to the solar panel kit, and Fan-tastic vent that I purchased.

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

Fan-Tastic 807350 Vent with Digital Wireless Remote

Here’s a playlist with the videos of all these upgrade installations


Video gear I use
Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000 Wi-Fi GPS 4K HD Video Camera Camcorder with Flat Surface & Helmet Mounts + 64GB Card + Battery + Case + Flex Tripod + Kit
If you buy on Amazon follow the link below. It cost you the same and I get a bit of commission for sending you over.