April 30, 2018


Since I escaped from the workforce two years ago, I’ve come to truly appreciate simply having the time to “poke around,” as Alan and I like to call it.  Whether that means exploring a new part of town, wandering around a State Park or spending time “blog-hopping” online, it’s a privilege and a treat that I enjoy – a lot.

Over the past month, I’ve come across some interesting little tidbits of news – interesting to me, anyway.  None of them are really fodder for a full blog post, so I thought this format would be a good way to share them.  (I’ve included a few random photos just to add a little color to the page.)  On to the tidbits!

April 25, 2018

Job Description: Shotgun Rider

As I was growing up, I was intrigued by the American West.  I enjoyed watching Wagon Train, Rawhide, Laramie, Bonanza, The Virginian and The Big Valley on TV when I was little - and nobody could bring more class to a western than The Duke, John Wayne.  I’ve read Louis L’Amour’s western novels since I was a kid and he’s still one of my all-time favorite authors.  I love the depth of his descriptive writing, but also his thoughtful observations on a variety of topics that I have somehow been able to apply to my life no matter what my age:  “The thing to remember when traveling is that the trail is the thing, not the end of the trail.  Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for.” 

April 20, 2018

A Prayer for Vacations - Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (National Parks Trip #1)

This post represents another installment in the series detailing the first of our three cross country National Parks camping trips with travel trailer in tow.

Grand Teton National Park is one of my husband’s favorite Parks.  The Historic District down near Menor’s Ferry is the area that calls to him the most, I think.  He loves exploring the flatlands near the Snake River with the craggy peaks of the Teton Range providing a rugged backdrop against the broad blue sky.

It is in this area that the iconic photo that appears on SO many calendars can be taken: horses grazing behind an old rail fence, with one or more of the Park’s historic buildings in the background.

April 16, 2018

Adventure Rich - Guest Post on a Blog After My Own Heart

Many of you know that I launched Reflections Around the Campfire at the end of 2017.  Although I escaped from the workforce in the spring of 2016 (has it really been two years already?!), it wasn’t until last year that I was able to devote time to a particular item on my Bucket List – publishing a blog about RV travel and the camping lifestyle.  The blog is a perfect outlet for my passion for travel, in general, and camping, specifically.  Not only am I enjoying this creative outlet immensely, but I’m also spending some quiet time each day exploring other blogs – and I’ve “met” some incredibly wonderful people along the way.

I grew up in the banking industry and have always had an affinity for numbers which, perhaps, explains my interest in so many things “financial.”  So, not only have I found some delightful blogs relating to RV travel, but I’ve also discovered other good reads related to retirement and/or finance.

Adventure Rich, a blog written by Mrs. Adventure Rich (with occasional help from Mr. Adventure Rich) details their family’s journey as they work toward financial independence while being mindful of living a full and adventure filled life.  Our shared values led to an invitation from Mrs. AR to guest post on the Adventure Rich blog.  (Thank you, Mrs. AR!  I’m simply delighted!)

Please do head over to Adventure Rich (link HERE) to check out the end result (“Are You Working Toward Your Goals - Or Wishing on a Star?”) and see how Mr. and Mrs. Adventure Rich and their young son celebrate family life on their journey to financial independence. 

April 14, 2018

Here's Your Chance . . . KOA Announces "Get Out There" Grants

The big yellow KOA campground signs are likely to be familiar to many people, even if they’re not camping enthusiasts themselves.  Kampgrounds of America (KOA) is based in Billings, Montana, and the company has grown to nearly 500 locations since its inception back in 1962, providing campsites (and, more recently, cabins) and a number of other amenities to the camping public.

Welcome to KOA!

KOA has been promoting active lifestyles and connecting people to the outdoors for over 50 years.  Now the company wants to help some lucky individuals make their “adventure of a lifetime” dreams a reality via their “Get Out There” Grants.

April 11, 2018

From Breakfast Sandwiches to RV Travel Planning

We were enjoying breakfast sandwiches and pastries recently in a tiny coffee shop in the lobby of a small hotel in the mountains with our long-time friends Patty and Rick.  As it usually happens whenever we get together, the talk turned to camping.  Our friends had just recently jumped back into RV life with the purchase of a travel trailer, having sold their Class A motorhome a number of years ago.  Patty said that she and Rick were interested in expanding their camping horizons and she asked how Alan and I decided on our vacation destinations, how I gathered information on attractions and campgrounds and whether or not it was a good idea to make reservations ahead of time.  Don’t let Patty fool you.  She’s a very smart cookie and one of the most organized people I know.  So, you can bet she would have figured ALL of this out without any help from me.  But her questions did provide food for thought which, in turn, provided the basis for this post.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that one of the many things I love about the camping and RV lifestyles is that there truly is something for everyone.  Whether your preferred home base is a tent or a 40’ coach, you’ll be able to find campsites that fit your style all across America.  As with the selection of rigs and campsites, a cookie cutter approach to travel planning is not appropriate.  We all have our preferred style and way of doing things – or not doing things as the case may be.  Some travelers plan down to the last detail, others fly by the seat of their pants (and quite successfully, too) and still others work best with a combination of the two.  Here’s how we roll . . .

April 05, 2018

Grand Adventures in Grand Teton National Park - Wyoming (National Parks Trip #1)

This post represents another installment in the series detailing the first of our three cross country National Parks camping trips with travel trailer in tow.

Yellowstone, with its geothermal features, rivers, lakes, mountains and prairies provided us with a unique and incredible experience.  Although our family spent four full days exploring this Park – our country’s first official National Park – we could easily go back and spend another week there.  Each day in Yellowstone had its own special highlights, and one of our most memorable was the opportunity to watch the elusive wolf pack in the Lamar Valley.  The wolves were distant, but easily visible with binoculars, and this marked the first and only time we have ever seen wolves in the wild.  As much as we would have loved to spend even more time exploring Yellowstone, it was time to head south to Grand Teton National Park.

April 02, 2018

A Quick Update on Good Sam Discounts at Pilot Flying J

In my earlier post about Pilot and Flying J travel plazas (I'll Bet You Never Took a Shower at a Flying J!), I had mentioned that Good Sam members can save 5¢ per gallon on gas or 8¢ per gallon on diesel at most Flying J’s and Pilots in the U.S., and 1¢ per liter on gas or diesel in Canada.  Plus, Good Sam members can save 5¢ per gallon on propane and $2.50 on dump station fees (that’s 25% off their $10.00 dump fee).  But I forgot to tell you something important . . .

April 01, 2018

A Tribute to Friendship

Today is opening day of trout season in New York and it’s a bittersweet day for me.  Even though we live just a hop, skip and a jump from a well-known trout stream here in the northeast, I don’t fish, and the season itself doesn’t impact me in any way other than the fact that I’ll notice a number of vehicles parked at the various access points to the stream.  The reason it’s significant is because it was always a special day for my friend Bob.  Bob might possibly have been the first blogger on earth since he was on the job long before the term “blogging” was coined.