I don’t know about you but I was ready for spring to get here weeks ago, so I planned my first camp out for this weekend no matter what the weather was like. Well it was cold and or windy most of the weekend, however I enjoyed myself immensely (and I like to think my family did too!)
For our first camp out of the year, we went to Watkins Mill State Park and Historic Site. We’ve camped here before, and always like to come back for the wooded campsites and the well kempt walking trails and historic sites. Most of the campsites are gravel (there are a few concrete), with both 30 and 50 amp electrical sites available; sewer is not available, but the dump site is easily accessible. All of the campsites have ample trees and several have trees on two or three sides so you have a very private area if you wish.
I think the biggest draw to Watkins Mill is the lake and walking and biking trails. The trail around the lake is accessible from the campsites and is a 3.75 miles trail for walking and biking. Even though there was a chill in the air there were plenty of people and pets enjoying them. The trail is paved all the way around; there are streams and bridges, some rough patches, but otherwise smooth. There are some shorter trails near the Mt. Vernon Church and the Franklin School as well as near the visitors’ center, leading out to the mill. All the trails are pet friendly except for the one leading to the mill.
The area around the mill itself is accessed through the Visitor Center. Inside the center are examples of fabrics made inside the mill, findings from archeological digs in the area, the history of the mill and other odds and ends related to Watkins Mill and the family who ran it.
From the visitors center you can catch a tour of the house and mill (for a fee) or you can take yourself on a tour (which was my option). The trails leading to the house and mill are pea gravel, and to get to the house you cross a tree lined lawn that simply takes you back in time. You can see a historical outdoor kitchen, chickens and turkeys, bee hives, as well as an heirloom garden. All of the plants in the garden were available in the 19th century, so there are some varieties that aren’t seen very often anymore. I must admit, the garden is my favorite part, and I wish that is what my garden looked like. A little further down is the mill, with original equipment and a barn showing common farming machinery from the time period. Oh and sheep, because you can’t have a woolen mill without sheep.
This Saturday (April 20th) they are hosting Spring on the Farm (I apparently went a week too early, stinks for me, great for you). You will be able to enjoy sheep shearing, a livestock display, heirloom garden planting, toy making, woodstove cooking, rag doll making, blacksmithing and more. The event is free of charge and both the Franklin School and Mt. Vernon Church will be open (normally you can only look in the windows).
Weekends from May 25th – August 11th Watkins Mill hosts a Living History Program with costumed interpreters presenting period activities of the late 19th century: gardening, woodstove cooking, laundry, weaving and children’s games.
I always seem to camp at Watkins Mill in the early spring or late fall – I think this year I need to make it again when they are in season.
For more information on Watkins Mill State Park and Historic Site:
I plan on visiting several different local campsites this year, where is your favorite place to camp nearby?
While it is recommended that you do a complete and thorough dewinterization before departing on your first trip, we realize that many people don't have the time to do it all at once. Gary Bunzer
has compiled a list of things you DON'T want to skip.
House and Chassis Batteries
Topping the “must do” list is to charge the house and chassis batteries. Before they can be charged, however, they must be reinstalled if they were removed when the motorhome was winterized.
Check the electrolyte level in flooded batteries, and make sure all connections are clean and tight. Charge the batteries and confirm that all 12-volt-DC devices are ready by operating each one.
RV Propane System
A second item, which may require a service appointment but is vitally important, is to have the propane system and regulator tested by a certified RV service technician. Aside from the fact that this system is required to operate many of the motorhome’s appliances, a leaking or malfunctioning propane system is a safety hazard that must be discovered and repaired prior to operation.
RV Fresh Water System
Third, prepare the fresh water system. For those who winterized the motorhome in the fall using the wet method (adding RV antifreeze to the system), drain and flush the antifreeze from the system and rotate the water heater’s bypass valve to return this appliance to the system.
Next, chlorinate the entire fresh water system using 1/4-cup of liquid household bleach mixed in a gallon of water for every 15 gallons of tank capacity. Pour the chlorine-water solution into the fresh water tank; pump it through all the water lines and fixtures; let it sit for four hours; drain it; and flush until satisfied with the odor and taste.
RV Tire Inspection
Finally, Gary advises that all tires should be cleaned, inspected for damage, and inflated to the correct tire pressures determined by the weight each tire is supporting. This requires that the motorhome be weighed at each tire position using a certified scale.
Each tire should then be inflated to the correct pressures using the tire manufacturer’s weight chart. Traveling on tires that are not inflated to the proper pressures will promote premature tire wear and, more importantly, will affect the handling of the vehicle and could lead to a tire blowout.
RV Doctor Gary Bunzer will be among those conducting seminars during FMCA’s 88th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase event, set to take place June 19-22, 2013, in Gillette Wyoming. Be sure and mark your calendar!
For more information on TIRE CARE, please click on this link!
Hope this has been helpful. If you would like to schedule a service appointment, please call 816-587-1500 and ask for Dexter.
Roughly 70% of the population is sensitive to the oils found in poison ivy, oak and sumac and if you've ever experienced the resulting rash you know first-hand just how bad it can be. The rash from poison ivy/poison oak (Rhus dermatitis) can develop anywhere from 30 minutes to five days after the exposure, and can last anywhere from 10 days to three weeks. The timing and severity of the outbreak depends on how sensitive you are, how much contact was made with the poison plant, where exactly on your skin you were exposed, and if you've had a reaction before. (It may take more than a week to show up the first time you come in contact with the plant's oil, but it tends to develop more quickly with each outbreak.)
The initial symptoms of poison oak/poison ivy include:
- Itchy skin, red streaks or overall redness where the plant brushed against your skin.
- A rash, small bumps or bigger hives (larger raised areas).
- Blisters filled with fluid which may seep/leak.
More serious symptoms include:
- Swelling of the face, mouth, neck, genitals or eyelids (which may prevent the eyes from opening).
- Widespread, large blisters that ooze large amounts of fluid.
Keep in mind that the rash can develop in new areas over several days (though this nearly always does not mean that the oils have spread -- just that the urushiol is taking its time).
What to do if you come in contact with any of these:
1. Wash yourself immediately with COLD water
2. As soon as possible after you can fully undress, take a shower with WARM WATER.
3. Wash your clothing and other items with HOT water (you might want to run it through twice or at least add
an extra rinse).
Cool baths and cool compresses or rubbing affected area with an ice cube
The ever-popular Calamine lotion
Some over-the-counter, common household items:
For mild rashes, wet compresses or soaking in cool water may be soothing. And as counter-intuitive as it may seem, extra-hot showers (with the water on hard) can actually feel great because it seems to relieve that deep itch.
- oatmeal or cornstarch baths
- baking soda and cold, brewed coffee
- baking soda and white vinegar
- calamine lotion
- zinc acetate/zinc carbonate/zinc oxide
- oral antihistamines
When to get help!
If you are experiencing a more severe poison ivy reaction, specifically involving the face or the genital area, or there's significant swelling pain or irritation that disrupts sleep or daily activities, your doctor may prescribe steroids to help reduce the itching, and discomfort/pain.
POISON IVY MYTH: Have you heard that you can "catch" poison oak/ivy from someone who's infected? Not true! The rash will only spread to another person if you have oil on your hand and touch him or her. Once the oil has been removed from your skin, it is no longer possible to spread the rash to other areas of your body. The fluid that seeps from the sores/blisters brought on by poison ivy are not contagious. Assuming the urushiol (oil) has been completely washed off, one cannot catch or spread poison ivy/oak after it appears, because the oil from the plant has already been absorbed and/or washed off the skin.
We hope this has been helpful. Now you can go out and ENJOY nature!
Thank you Lori Wilson with SheKnows Home and Garden!
S'More Stations (or what I like to refer to as toasted treats on a stick) have been trending now for about the last 3 years and are truly a FUN addition to any party!
Dressed up for a wedding or formal party - not to worry; there are stations for every occasion. Caterers are getting very creative with backdrops, setups, "flavored mallows," fruit infused chocolate, and various toppings such as nuts, coconut, ground expresso beans. Building them yourself is fun and brings back lots of fun camping memories but; of course, the best part is eatting them!
Excecutive Chef Alexa Lemley of Lemley's Catering found that flavored marshmallows were such a big hit that she started a separate business along with her partner, Samantha Aulick, called 240sweet. She states that "One of the most popular marshmallow creations is probably salted caramel with additional salt, ground pretzels, and chocolate; and vanilla is always popular. They make a beer marshmallow with a nice malty double bock beer and are always creating new flavors and making the experience more interesting.”
How about throwing a backyard party and setting up a s'more station?
The sky's the limit. You can draw on your own creativity or contact one of your local caterers to help you out with this. Whatever you do - HAVE FUN!
We got so excited that we've started a Board
about s'more stations on our Pinterest Page
- check it out and let us know your favorite! Maybe we'll do this at our next campout.
From whimsical to ultra modern to elegant...there's a little something for everyone when it comes to remodeling an Airstream trailer. Let your imagination run wild! We hope you enjoy the following pictures; they will definitely get your juices flowing!
This particular remodel was done by architect Paul Welschmeyer to "camp the pants off anything else." And I believe he has accomplished it! It now sleeps four with a toilet and shower and enought storage for even the most hardcore camper.
This eclectic dining/kitchen area features a solar system providing power to all of the appliances with enough juice available to charge batteries.
Courtney Trent of Good Cottage has been decking out Airstreams for years for New York actors and directors to use as mobile green rooms and on-set overnight accommodations. They’re remarkable examples of big design prowess in microcosmic spaces. While she left some of the interior aluminum skin intact for this trailer, she added custom rubbed-wood veneer cabinets and hand-finished wood planks. The bathroom is all teak paneling.
The Formica-covered storage unit doors were removed and replaced with glass slides. A built-in bench with a comfy cushion and a wood-topped stool flank a custom-designed narrow mahogany dining table with hidden eaves that expand to create more eating surface. On the bottoms of the table legs are nailhead-like caps that allow the table to slide easily on the Flor wool carpet panels to create a workstation by the sofa. One of the reasons people love these trailers so much is that they’re so versatile. Here is a traditional kitchen makeover with stylish wood floors, ceiling and furniture which enrich the vibe, while a tile backsplash, marble-inspired countertops and a chandelier make any notion of this being something you pull behind a car or truck melt away.
Premier has done "remodels" in our shop for years - for ideas and quotes on remodeling your RV, please contact Joe Vendegna at 816-587-1500 or 866-426-2247 Toll Free.
Credit goes to Mitchell Parker of houzz.com for writing such an awesome article!