The Vagabond View: 11-2015
“A Wanderer’s reflections and commentary on the Rendezvous Experience; Happenings, interesting people, the local color and splendor of this magical place”.
Vag – a – bond: noun: A person, usually without a permanent home, who wanders carefree from place to place.
Allow me to introduce myself; I’m Dave Pearson, a recent arrival here at the Suwannee River Rendezvous. As a full-time RV’er, writer and musician I was so taken by this special place that I decided to stick around for a while. Needless to say, my first impressions were validated in the ensuing days. The days melted into months as I was seduced by the serene surroundings, wonderful people and many diversions. This prompted me to seek Susie’s blessing for creating a website Blog wherein I could share my observations and experiences with our Web visitors.
Future entries will include pictures and dialog capturing the unique character of not only the physical experience, but more importantly, the diverse and colorful folks that invariably become part of Frank, Susie & Charlie’s growing “family”.
With the fall season upon us, I’m off to capture and share some of this splendor with you all in my next post!!
There’s no doubt when you camp in a cabin, you need to bring significantly fewer things with you. While cabins provide your shelter and often come with bedding and dining supplies, there are still items you can’t forget to bring with you.
Although you’ll be indoors, it can still get cool at night especially if you’re camping in the mountains. Make sure to bring at least a 20 degree sleeping bag.
What happens if it rains? You can’t control the weather, but you can control your boredom. So don’t forget to bring a deck of cards. Perfect for any age, you can play a variety of games with just one deck of cards, keeping you entertained for hours. This small pack of cards can be a lifesaver on a rainy afternoon in a cabin.
Whether your cabin has electricity or not, you’ll still want to bring a flashlight and back up batteries. And back up batteries are necessities if you’re going to bring a flashlight or any other battery-powered device.
Aside from staying warm, preventing boredom and having a flashlight, don’t forget plenty of food and water. Families especially should take note of these items and make sure they re packed and ready to go for the next cabin camping trip.
It’s depressing to think that the summer is almost over. We’re already in the first week of August! Before long, the crisp winds of autumn will be sweeping over your body like a marching band of multi-colored spiders. Your body will tingle, but your heart will know that any opportunity to extract the resources of summer have long passed you by – and that’s always a blow to the soul. Not something that will propel you into winter. Even writing (or reading) that word gives us headaches.
Thankfully, Suwannee River Rendezvous is located in Florida, which means that we get to avoid the avalanches of cold so many of you have to struggle with. But statistics show that winter is expected to come early and more furious than in years past. You might as well enjoy the rest of the summer when you have the chance, and that includes hopping in your RV and seeing the country – it’s what all the baby boomers and adventuresome seniors are doing, which are behind the biggest resurgence in RV sales since the early 1990s.
Jackie Crosby of Fredericksburg.com writes, “The skyrocketing sales are fueled by the 10,000 or so baby boomers who are turning 65 every day, plus a large band of 50-somethings who are planning for an active or early retirement.” Basically, these people are determined to experience the romance and grandeur of America, but have no interest in camping. We can’t blame them, as camping isn’t for everyone – but since we encourage the outdoors by any means necessary, RV-ing it up is the only option for some people!
Jeff Nobbe, general manager at Shorewood RV Center in Anoka, Minnesota sums it up best: “People are retiring and living more for today than the future. They weren’t doing that before. They were buying lake places before.” This is most certainly an exciting trend to see! Experience America this summer! You don’t have much time left!
There are different kinds of campers. Likewise, there are all different kinds of camping trips. There are of course the traditional, weekend camper you could find at any state park across the country on any given Saturday and Sunday. But then there are the more adventurous campers.
We are all familiar with the ‘family camping’ trip. The first component to family camping trip is what’s known as the contemporary nuclear family, with a mother, father and 2.5 children. Those enjoying the family camping trip, known as ‘family campers,” usually pull their SUV right up to the campsite where they plan to spend the long weekend.
What is usually most fundamental to the family camping trip is the type of campground selected. Family campground sites facilitate the park and camp principle, allowing family campers to park as close as possible to the site. This is because your typical family camper will pack everything that can possibly fit in their vehicle to contribute to their comfort on their camping trip. This can include anything and everything from 6 collapsible chairs to a full size grill to an 8-man tent.
Then there is the kind of camper who likes to travel lighter and quicker. They may also want to take a bit more adventurous of a route, either off the beaten path or away from the pollution and noise of vehicular traffic. These campers, ‘light and fast’ or ‘woodsman campers,’ integrate hiking as the main component to their camping trip. Enjoying only the comforts which can fit in a backpack, the ‘woodsman camper’ packs a bit more conservatively than the ‘family camper’ counterpart.
Because everything you camp with you must hike with, and a hiking bag only holds so much, scaling back what to bring as a woodsman camper is crucial. This means trading in a grill for a pocket camp stove, the 8-man tent for a bivvy bag and a giving up your collapsible chair. You may also want to trade in that 18 pack of beer bottles for a flask of whiskey.
The sport of kayaking has become very popular these days, and more and more people are jumping into the water, paddles in hand ready to take on their next adventure. There are lots of things to take into consider when choosing a kayak, however.
First and foremost, you need to think about what type of kayaking you’ll be doing. Will you be whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking, kayak touring, sit-on-top kayaking, surf kayaking or just recreationally kayaking? This is important to know because one can’t go out and buy a sea kayak and expect to whitewater kayak in it so you have to make sure you’re choosing a kayak for the right reason.
The next question you should consider is what should the kayak be made out of? A lot of times beginners will want to purchase the best boat they can get their hands on, however you should really consider starting out slow and continually upgrading down the road. For this reason it is probably best for you to purchase a plastic kayak to start and the reasons for this are they are durable, less expensive and heavier than the composite ones.
In correlation to the make of the kayak, you’ll also want to evaluate what size you need to buy as well. While there are many different kayaks, the size generally refers to the volume, length, width and weight of the kayak. Pay very close attention to the weight range of the kayak as well as the comfortability of it. You do not want to be sinking in the water while kayaking downstream, or feel crammed inside of the boat either.
Finally, decide if you want any other types of kayak accessories to come with your boat. You can purchase kayaks with different riggings, types of hatches, backrests or storage compartments. Find and analyze all the options in this department and choose the one that best suits your style.
The best part of going camping is the amount of activities that are available in conjunction with your trip. Family members of all ages can find something fun to do in the great outdoors during your upcoming week or weekend camping trip.
Setting up camp by a river or lake provides a scenic view as well as short trip to the banks for some quality fishing time. Adults and children alike can enjoy the thrill of fishing together. Veteran fishers are able to spend the day luring in native fish while smaller children can fish on and off throughout a hot summer day. Caught fish can also be used to make a fresh dinner over the open fire.
If you and your friends or family prefers a more active way to spend a day of camping, there is plenty to see on a hike. Pack a bag with snacks, water and sunscreen before you head out. Hiking in the mountains or along the riverbanks gives hikers the opportunity to exercise as well as see elements of nature that may be completely new. This is a great exploratory activity for children of all ages as well as adults that want to immerse themselves in nature.
Maybe you want to spend some time out on the water instead of sitting or walking. Kayaking is a great activity that can be done at your own pace without a huge time commitment. Renting kayaks for a day or week gives you the chance to paddle around a river or lake to sightsee, sunbathe or just explore. Single or double kayaks can be found depending on your group size and their ages. The great thing about kayaking is that everyone can participate, even small children when they share a kayak with an older adult.
At the end of a busy day fishing, hiking or doing another fun camping activity there is a great thing to do before you go to bed. Having a campfire cookout is an opportunity for everyone to share the stories of their day including what they saw and what they liked doing. From hot dogs and hamburgers to fresh-caught fish, campfire dinners are always fun and filling. Eating dinner around the fire is a great time for family and friends to bond before settling in for a good night’s rest and another day experiencing the outdoors.