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Journalist Mike Wendland Travels North America in a Class B Motorhome

Entries in this blog

 

Details on the Travel Trailer We’ll Tow with Our Roadtrek

Lots of you have written asking for a show and tell and some details about the travel trailer we just just purchased to take on our “Great Roadtreking Family Vacation of 2013,” which starts Saturday. The video gives you a quick peek at what it looks like. http://youtu.be/kR7LVaLLR94 Jennifer and I love the 2012 Roadtrek eTrek. We’ve put well over 20,000 miles on it since we got it around the first of the year. But Class B motorhomes in and of themselves are not a family RV. While we could tak

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Meet our RVing family as we hit the road for the Rockies

And the Great Wendland Family Roadtreking RV Vacation is off and westbound, headed to Colorado and the American southwest in a caravan of two Roadtreks, a travel trailer and an SUV. Meet the Family Since you’ll be seeing and hearing about the six adults, two kids and three big dogs we have traveling in two Roadtrek Class B motorhomes, one Gulf Stream Travel Trailer and an SUV, I thought it might be good to introduce them to you. I should also point out that my third child, Scott, with his wife

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Towing a travel trailer with a Roadtrek

If I had known ahead of time how high some of these mountains out here in Colorado really were, I’m not sure I would have decided to tow a travel trailer on our Great Roadtreking Family Vacation of 2013. But now that I’m here and have climbed those super steep grades and come down them with brakes nearly smoking, I’m glad I did. I’m towing a 21-foot-long AmerLite travel trailer that we bought just for this trip from American RV in Grand Rapids, MI. It weighs 2,780 pounds. Empty. With supplies

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Getting high near Telluride, Colorado

Man we got high near Telluride! At 9,500 feet in elevation, the Matterhorn Campground just south of Telluride, CO was the highest place we’ve overnighted yet on this Great Roadtreking Family Vacation of 2013. Son-in-law, Dan, noticeably felt the effects of the altitude and all of us noticed a bit of dizzyness on exertion, especially when hiking. The Matterhorn Campground is just off Colorado Highway 145, about an hour and a half’s drive from our stay at Mesa Verde National Park. Run by the USD

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison

I bet many reading this have not heard of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It’s probably not on many RVer’s bucket list. It should be. Invariably, it is compared to its more famous Big Brother, the Grand Canyon. But while the Grand Canyon is deeper (6,000 feet at its greatest depth) and longer (277 miles), the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is an amazing tourist attraction for RVers that is often overlooked because it isn’t surrounded by highly commercialized parks and campgrounds that cater t

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Colorado National Monument: Not what you’d think

Quick now, when I say we visited the Colorado National Monument, what did you think? Unless you’ve been here and seen it, I bet you thought is was a statue of some sort, didn’t you? I know I did when my daughter, Wendy, first insisted we include it in our list of ”must sees” during our Great Roadtreking Family Vacation of 2013. The monument is not what we expected. It is nothing short of stupendously beautiful, a long stretch of spectacular rock monotliths cut deep into the sandstone and ev

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Glenwood Springs, Colo., and Colorado River camping

One of the things about traveling by RV that makes it so much fun is the serendipity, the unscheduled things that you just happen upon and, in the moment, take advantage of because, with an RV, you can. Such was the town of Glenwood Springs along I-70 180 miles west of Denver, home of the world’s largest hot springs pool. The hot mineral water has been drawing visitors from all over the world since 1888, when a resort and original spa officially opened for business. But even before that, the U

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Rocky Mountain High in the Rocky Mountain National Park

I now understand what John Denver meant by his song: I’ve now been Rocky Mountain High. And like Denver, who penned the song shortly after moving to Aspen to celebrate his love for his new state and the awe-inspiring mountains, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park made me want to sing, too. If I could only have caught my breath. For there, somewhere well above 12,000 feet, a quarter mile up a tundra bordered trail from an overlook off Trail Ridge Road , were three Bighorn Sheep, standing lik

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

RV Traveling with dogs

One of the main reasons people buy RVs is because they like to travel with their dogs. But the fact is, not all places are dog friendly. If you want to bring your pooch along, you need to make some adjustments. On our big Roadtreking Family Vacation of 2013 out west, we traveled with six adults, two kids and three dogs. You need to understand, our dogs are big dogs. Their heads are the size of most other RVers pets. The lightest among them is my Norwegian Elkhound, Tai. He weighs 70 pounds. N

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

See the Movie! The Great Roadtreking Family Vacation of 2013

Two-and-a-half weeks of the Great Roadtreking Family Vacation of 2013 in two-and-a-half minutes – that’s the just-finished movie version (see below) that highlights the recent Roadtreking caravan that was our family vacation to Colorado this summer. We traveled in four vehicles: My Roadtrek eTrek pulling a 21-foot travel trailer, followed by a Roadtrek SS driven by my son and, following us all, my daughter and her family in an SUV. We made a great circle tour of Colorado. Here are some of the

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Mammoth Cave National Park is a perfect RV destination

In central Kentucky, the Mammoth Cave National Park is not only a geological wonder that is unequaled in scope, it is also a great getaway for a long RV weekend, with a terrific campground, beautiful scenery and bike paths through a heavily forested area of gently rolling hills and the lush Green River valley. Located 15 minutes off I-65 at Cave City Exit (Exit 53) or Park City (Exit 48), the park encompasses 53,000 acres. But it is the 400 miles of caves beneath the surface that make it so dra

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Top 5 RV Joys

On this Labor Day weekend, we’re in Southwest Georgia, after driving down from Michigan last week with some fun stops along the way. We plan to take our time going home, too, enjoying the freedom that our little Roadtrek eTrek RV gives us. After almost two years of this lifestyle, Jen and I are finding ourselves on the road more and more. We were at our Michigan sticks and bricks home for less than a week all August. We just turned 30,000 miles on the new eTrek we picked up in December! When w

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

How We Roll in our RV: Keeping it clean

In the latest edition of How We Roll in our RV, Jennifer and I answer a question from Sarah in Omaha, NE about how we clean it, inside and outside. Jennifer says she uses Clorox Wips inside, along with wood and leather cleaner. But has us both excited is this mazing KAYWOS (Klean Anything Without Streaking) cloth … It is great at removing bugs, road gunk, bird droppings, dirt and grime from the exterir of our RV. In fact, without soap or water, we in essence cleaned the whole RV with the cloth

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Carrying a kayak on a Roadtrek

I love kayaking. Except for occasional rental places I find in our travels, though, it’s pretty hard to do while Roadtreking. I’ve been tempted to get an inflatable kayak but, well, I want a real one, with a composite body. The problem, though, is how do I carry it? My friend Gary Hennes from Minnesota has solved that problem with a roof mount and a Hullavator mechanism that effortlessly lifts the kayak up to the roof of his 2006 Roadtrek RS-Adventurous. He got his from a local outfitter nea

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Meet Deby Dixon: Living the Dream as Yellowstone’s Storyteller

Yellowstone National Park is a captivating place. It grabs the soul and pulls us back year after year. At the top of every RVers bucket list, it is a place so majestic, so wild and big that it calls us to return, to explore, to get to know the diversity of its land and animals over and over again. Some RVers make annual pilgrimages. Some volunteer as workers or hire on as temporary employees at the various concessions and park businesses. Anything to spend as much time there as possible. A few

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Our RV Life: Discovering the Beauty Beneath the Blur

All my life as a journalist- for more than three decades – I’ve been on deadline. The presses would roll, the red light on the studio camera would blink on and, that was it. I had to be ready. Done. No more time. So the clock ruled my days. I was single-mindedly focused on finishing, getting to press time or air time. Then, I could breathe a little… and get ready for the next day. It was a wild, crazy, fun, frustrating and high-adrenaline occupation and I wouldn’t have traded it for the worl

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Michigan’s UP in the Fall and Twelvemile Beach

This is the time to “come up to da UP,” as the Yoopers like to say. The flies and mosquitoes are gone, so are the crowds and the whole peninsula is bursting with bright yellows and reds as the annual fall foliage change explodes the hardwoods into jaw-dropping displays. And the sunsets are to die for. This year, the color change is later than normal. We came up last Thursday and it was just starting. As we head back downstate today five days later, it’s clear that its moving fast now. This com

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Roadtreking and the Interesting People You Meet

The RV life is so much fun because you don’t know what adventure is around the next bend. But the people you meet along the way are equally enjoyable. I don’t think Jennifer and I have yet to return from a Roadtreking trip without making some new friends. On our most recent trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we met interesting people at each stop. Up at the Historic Fort Wilkins State Park in Copper Harbor Michigan, we found ourselves sharing a campground with husband and wife Roadtrekers Dav

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Here Comes Cold Weather: I Don’t Want to Stop Roadtreking for the Season!

I love fall. The blue skies are more blue, the air smells clean and crisp and has no more of the sweltering heaviness of summer. But it also makes me a little sad because, living in a northern climate like Ido, the approaching cold weather means it’s time to curtail my travel. It means long stretches of RVing inactivity. Of watching snow accumulate on top of the Roadtrek. Of having to winterize it. Of sneaking out there, turning on the heat, and sitting in it, remembering the places we’ve v

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Copper Harbor, Mich. – the End of the Road

Everyone knows we Michganders love to represent our state by showing our hand. Here, try it. Take your left hand and extend it, palm facing out. That’s the Lower Peninsula, the familiar Michigan mitt. Okay, now turn your extended left hand to the left, and bring your handdown to the right so the fingers are pointing horizontally to the right. That’s the Upper Peninsula. Now bring up your right hand, palm facing you, thumb to the right. Put the left hand at the top of the right and…voila… a ma

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

RV Halloween Weekends Draw Big Crowds

The active RV season in the north is on limited time as the cold weather approaches, but before many of the RVs are put to bed or in storage, many RV parks around the country are hosting special Halloween get-togethers and site decorating contests. And the parks are filling up. At the Addison Oaks County park near our Michigan home, where we walk our dog several times a week, the Halloween weekend turns into quite a spectacle, with contests, trick-or-treating and prizes for the best-decorated

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Albuquerque Balloon Launch Draws Class B RV Owners

When blog reader Harry Salt sent me these spectacular photos (see below), I just knew I had to share them. They are from the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, now under way in New Mexico. Harry was part of two RV groups that attended – a Class B group and a Roadtrek group. “The festival goes thru Oct 13,” writes Salt. “After Oct 7 some of the group went on a ’walkabout’ for about 30 days. Supposed to have been at National Parks and Monuments but now they are improvising. It wi

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Crossing the Mackinac Bridge in an RV

Spanning the two Michigan peninsulas is the Mackinac Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere. It is always a highlight of our trips to the Upper Peninsula. When you say “Big Mac” to a Michigander, the bridge is what they think of, not the hamburger. Counting the approaches, the bridge is five miles long. What makes it so interesting is the very nature of its construction. A suspension bridge is designed to move to accommodate wind. And high above the Straits of Mack

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

RV Boondocking and Elk Watching in the Pigeon River State Forest

Now this is boondocking. We drove 11 miles off the Interstate, down a forest road lined by brilliant yellows and red birches and oaks. Then we turned off that and went a mile and a half off down a washboard two-track, pulling into a state forest campground on a little circular lake aptly named Round Lake. We haven’t seen another car in miles. Its pouring rain. The heater is keeping out the 44-degree weather and we are toasty comfy in our Roadtrek eTrek, watching Game 4 of the American League Pl

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Dancing the Weekend Away on Mackinac Island: Where your RV Can’t Go

RVers aren’t the only ones winding down the season this time of year. So is Mackinac Island, the summer resort island located in the Straits of Mackinac at the tip of the Michigan mitt, right where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron. Next weekend, the place shuts down until spring, with only a single hotel, restaurant and bar left open to serve the several hundred full-time residents and the workmen who come in during the winter to renovate, repair and restore the hotels and shops. Many shops were

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

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