The Great Outdoors

Destination: Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX

Destination: Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX

Located about an hour’s drive from Amarillo, Palo Duro Canyon is the most spectacular scenic landscape feature in the Panhandle of Texas. The canyon appears almost without warning, a jolting razor cut through the flat grasslands of the Llano Estacado or “Staked Plains.” Early Spanish Explorers are believed to have discovered the area and dubbed [...]


Destination: Foss State Park, OK

Destination: Foss State Park, OK

Foss State park is located in western Oklahoma, just north of Route 66, where the slow-moving Washita River winds through prairie and farmlands to merge with Foss Reservoir. The man-made reservoir, over 8,800 acres, is actually the largest lake in western Oklahoma. With 63 miles of shoreline Foss has a reputation for excellent sand bass, [...]


Exploring Missouri Caves

Exploring Missouri Caves

With more than 6,000 surveyed caves, Missouri is known as the “cave state,” (only the state of Tennessee has more), and not far from Route 66 there are some interesting options if underground exploration is your thing. Over the years, these hidden chambers have been used for shelter, entertainment and even as storage for the [...]


Destination: Meramec State Park, MO

Destination: Meramec State Park, MO

In summer outdoor enthusiasts flock to Meramec State Park, approximately 60 miles southwest of St. Louis near Interstate 44, to enjoy the Meramec River as it flows through the Ozarks. With 6,896-acres the park offers something for everyone: from rafting to rock climbing and hiking, nature lovers have plenty to do here. Hidden within the [...]


Destination: Cuyahoga Valley, OH

Destination: Cuyahoga Valley, OH

Unlike many other national parks in far-flung corners of the wilderness, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park stretches between two urban hubs, Cleveland and Akron. Centered around the winding Cuyahoga river (the Native American name means “crooked river”) the 33,000-acre park gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. The river once provided water [...]


Time for a New Tent

Time for a New Tent

We have been going tent camping for years, but never for more than a few days at a time, and as soon as it rained more heavily than a “sprinkle” we’d always bee-line it for the nearest motel.
This time it would be different. After outlining our basic itinerary, it became clear that we would be [...]


Narrowing down the tent choices

Narrowing down the tent choices

The all important tent question is still lingering on…
Today we ordered the cots and some other miscellaneous camp gear from Cabela’s (had to get them before the sale ends, and while the free shipping offer is still good), but am still hesitating on the tent. Looking around a bit more at tents, am wondering if [...]


Bears and “bear safety”…

Working on the last part of the return itinerary today, the part that will take us through the Great Smoky Mountains and then the Shenandoah Valley national parks, and it is clear we will be in black bear country there.
All the park websites have information about what to do if you see a bear. And what [...]


Time to think about a new tent…

We should probably start talking about what kind of tent or tents we should bring.
After outlining our basic itinerary, it looks like we will be camping out for about 21-28 days, more or less, depending on if we choose motels or campgrounds along some parts of the route. And the camping will vary from well-equipped [...]