The Kinsey & Kirk Family Vacation to Glacier National Park

Family_3The Kinsey & Kirk Family Vacation to Glacier National Park

by Christy Kirk

We were very fortunate this summer to take our family trip out west to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Glacier National Park.  We have family that live near Coeur d’Alene so once we made the decision to visit them we quickly realized that we couldn’t be that close to one of the most beautiful national Parks and not go.  So we made the 4.5 hour drive from Coeur d’Alene to Glacier.

We were amazed at the beauty of this park!  It is hard to imagine what this part of the country actually looks like until you see it yourself, pictures just can’t do it justice.  As soon as you enter the park you are surrounded by beautiful snow topped mountains with waterfalls, lakes & streams  My daughters Lorinda 16, Lainee 10 & Gracie 8 were in awe over the turquoise rivers and streams and wanted to stop at every one.    We entered the park through West Glacier and decided we would take Going to the Sun Road through the park to East Glacier and on to the Many Glacier section of the park to make the 10 mile roundtrip hike to Iceberg Lake.  As we were driving on the Going to the Sun Road the views were breathtaking however my daughters were more amazed by all of the Mountain Goats we saw near Logan’s Pass.  At every turn along the Sun Road the scenery became more beautiful.  Once we made it to East Glacier it was a mix of prairie meets mountains and a beautiful view of Saint Mary Lake.

Finally we made our way to the Many Glacier section of the park, equipped with Bear Spray we started our trail to Iceberg Lake.  Within the first 10 minutes, my parents, Ron & Brenda Kinsey, were convinced we were trying to kill them since there is an elevation gain of roughly 185 feet in only a quarter-of-a-mile!  However, they quickly got over that once we all learned that from safe distance we would be able to view a Mama Grizzly bear and her cub.  This was the most exciting part of the trip for my husband!  Along the trail we hiked through gorgeous alpine meadows, dense forest, Ptarmigan Falls and even snow.  My girls loved playing in the snow in July!  Finally, at an elevation of 6094, we reached our destination of Iceberg Lake.  Iceberg Lake is a beautiful crystal-clear Iceberg filled lake surrounded by mountains.

This is an absolutely gorgeous and amazing National Park!  We hope to visit again since it isn’t possible to appreciate all the beauty this park has to offer in just one trip!

 

Rain or Shine

For my family, RVing was a way for us to go enjoy a low-stress camping experience, no matter the weather.  We lived in Seattle, Washington and if you know anything about that part of the country, you know that it rains often; so finding a sunny weekend to go camping was difficult.  I remember many a soaked sleeping bag from tent-camping trips gone awry.

Enter the RV Travel Trailer…
First, it was easier to prepare.  We stocked up the RV ahead of time so that we didn’t have to re-pack everything for each trip.  Except for food, it was pretty much ready to go.

Second, my parents had four kids and a dog, so getting everyone to fit comfortably in any space was tricky.  Thankfully, with two sets of bunk beds in the back and a fold-down double for the parents in front, we had plenty of room!

We ended up going for many trips in our RV, including a few memorable trips where it rained most of the time.  We loved sitting inside and watching the rain or spending time outside under the awning.  We even took the RV to Disneyland and stayed in a nearby campground.  In my opinion, RVing is the perfect compliment to a Disney experience or any family vacation.

That’s my RV story.  Now share yours!

RVs and Glamping

There are a lot of different ways to interpret glamping, or glamorous camping.  Hardcore campers may ask, “What’s the point…. Why not just stay at home?”, but glamping is really for anyone who wants to get away for a while and enjoy the outdoors without giving up comfortable living.

RVing, on the other hand, is more than just comfort: it means freedom.  You can take longer trips, include more people and pets, and do more when you arrive because you don’t have to constantly maintain a tent-camp site.  It allows small children or people with health concerns to enjoy camping without having to sleep on the ground or worry about extreme temperatures and weather conditions.  It is also an easy option for outdoorsy-types to compromise with spouses who prefer comfort.

That said, here are some easy ways for RVers to amp up their camping experience and do a little more ‘glamping’ this summer.

  • Stock your RV with new matching linens, including bedding, towels, and even throw pillows.  Clean, crisp colors like pure white or vibrant turquoise may give your RV a fresh new feel for summer time.  Make an even bigger impact with new curtains.
  • Set up a mini-patio or porch under your RV awning.  Lots of people do this and you can see the wide range from simple to elaborate porch set-ups in any RV park.  If it’s new to you, try starting with outdoor lighting, comfortable chairs, and a big outdoor rug.  Add a couple potted plants to frame the space.
  • Substitute the paper and plastic for metal silverware and real dishes.  Often you can find an inexpensive matching set at a discount store or even Goodwill.  Your RV has the storage space and sink, so why not?
  • Try new recipes.  Hot dogs may be the camping standard, but there are a plethora of other meals that are just as easy to make in an RV as they are at home.  Add a simple garnish like parsley, grated cheese, or a slice of orange to make it feel fancier.

How do you make your RV experience more glamorous?  Share your ideas in a comment below!

 

America the Beautiful

mountains

America the Beautiful

With more than 7,000 state parks in the United States, there is no excuse not to try out a new campsite this summer!

So now that you’ve decided that you want to try out some new parks, it’s time to plan your next trip to one!  Here are three of the most beautiful national and state parks in America that we think you and your family will love.

 

Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Colorado

With more than 12,000 acres of dense forest and rocky peaks, Golden Gate Canyon is one of the most beautiful parks in America. The park is laced with trails that await the adventurous hiker, horseback rider, or family bikers. Not only is their plenty to do around their glamorous lake side mountain, but there are plenty of amenities for your RV. With electrical hookups in two different campgrounds and great picnic sites for meals, this park is one of the most beautiful places you will see in your lifetime. For more information about this park, visit their website.

 

Yosemite National Park, California

Boasting 95% designated wilderness, Yosemite is a 195-mile urban escape. Yosemite is known for its granite cliffs, magnificent waterfalls, clear streams, and giant sequoia groves. The Tuolumne and Merced rivers flow westward into the Central Valley that is surrounded by 800 miles of hiking trails and activities providing you and your family with plenty of adventurous opportunities. Yosemite has 10 campgrounds that can accommodate RV’s and trailers of varying length, allowing you to camp comfortably. For more information about Yosemite National Park, visit their website. 

           

Ferry Beach State Park, Maine

Ferry Beach State Park, located in Saco, Maine is an east coast treasure for camping fanatics. With a landscape of tupelo trees and an unforgettable beach view, Ferry Beach State Park is a unique experience for families seeking out a different way of RVing. Plenty of hiking trails, fishing areas, and swimming holes provide families with plenty to do throughout their trip. RV’s are accommodated by electrical hookups and dumping stations as well as picnic areas and plenty of disability assisted areas. To find out more about Ferry Beach visit here. 

 

With each of these beautiful parks comes an experience that you and your family can’t pass up. The landscape of each location shows us that America is full of natural beauty from coast to coast. In order to make the best of your summer and family time, go out and visit the country that has the most unique experiences and landscapes that you won’t see anywhere else- America the Beautiful.

 

Why a Toy Hauler Might Be Right for You

One of the most versatile rigs on the road today is the Toy Hauler.  Built with the rear portion designed as extra storage space, a toy hauler allows you to bring along all the toys that will enable you to combine camping with your favorite hobby.  Whether it’s an ATV, dune buggy, or motorcycle, your favorite outdoor toy hauler can tote it safely.  Not only do these wonderful haulers tow your favorite items, but they also act as unconventional luxuries no matter where you are.

Work Space

A lot of people live on the road for extended periods of time and many of them still need to make a steady income.  Because Toy Haulers have a spacious design, it is the perfect place to set up a workspace.  It could be anything from a modern office for computer work to a workshop set up with tools and machinery.  You could make your living and still maintain the flexibility to travel the country.  The extra space can also serve as a workshop for your favorite hobbies; like woodworking, scrapbooking, or jewelry making.

Living Quarters

Wanting an RV with a lot of floor space?  A toy hauler’s garage can be used for a play area for the kids!  It is a perfect place to set up a Pack & Play or just have the extra room for them to play indoors on a rainy day.  Also on some toy haulers like the Fuzion Chrome you can utilize the ramp for a deck.  This makes for a perfect place for entertaining on those warm summer nights.   Toy Haulers are spacious enough to provide you with another living area that you can take anywhere!

Modern Trailer is now offering top-of-the-line toy haulers.  Come visit us today to hear about our great deals on toy haulers and discover the perfect way to enhance your RVing experience!

Childhood Memories Camping

As you age, time moves differently. As a child the days seem short but the years seem unimaginably long. Of course, when you’re an adult, our days stuck at work can feel like an eternity yet the years somehow fly by.  I definitely prefer the former.

My parents, I would have to say, were pretty awesome parents. The older I get, the more I appreciate all they did for my sister and I, including some of my favorite childhood memories of camping.  Every year without fail until about the age of 12, my parents would take my younger sister and me camping.

As a highly adventurous child with a huge imagination, being brought to forests with open grassy fields and flowing rivers, then being granted the permission to roam around and explore to my hearts content, was simply magical. Despite not being very old now, I was a kid before the days of video games and the Internet, when we still played outside regularly.  I remember climbing trees and trying to catch fish in a bucket just for the fun of it.

No particular camping trip stands out, as truthfully they were all just as good as the next.  But I can easily summarize them all in terms of what they meant to me and how they still affect me in my life today. I learned how to ride a bike while camping, how to build a fire, and practiced my tree and rock climbing.  I learned more about the life cycle of plants, the workings of the eco-system, about the types of animals that live in the wild and which ones to be wary of.  I spent countless hours following rivers and examining how they flowed, climbing trees as high as I could, and seeing for my own eyes animals that I had never seen before.  I met other kids from all over the country and learned how to make friends more easily.  I learned how to fish with a fishing rod, cook food on the fire, and even how to best pack for such a trip.  These were amazing at the time (as most things when you are a kid are) and have also helped me grow into a more resourceful adult.

Just yesterday in fact I was camping with some friends and I already had the skills and know how to set up camp, start a fire, know where was safe to swim, and what water is and isn’t safe to drink (hint: only flowing clear water is safe to drink). The two friends I was with didn’t have any of these skills.

Life, I believe, is about collecting experiences, not possessions. The experiences gathered while camping with my family are simply irreplaceable and I am forever grateful.  Not to mention the fact that every trip was just plain fun!

What to do if you get struck by “camping fever”

Have you ever heard your friends talking about how much fun camping is but you weren’t quite sure what all the hype was about?

Let this be a warning! It only takes one time of going camping before you have the possibility of catching “camping fever.”
Most people begin by saying they are going to start small and invest in a tent so they can just try it out.
They say things to themselves like “surely I am not going to catch camping fever.”
However, any experienced camper can tell you it only takes one good exposure to camping before you get infected immediately by this fever! Watch out!
Before you know it, this fever will turn your tent into a trailer and later on down the road you will find that trailer is now a hot RV with style.

Here are some symptoms to look for in case you might be catching the fever:

  • Your ears perk up to listen when your friends talk about camping
  • After going camping for the first time you can’t wait to go back
  • You start looking at your budget for the type of camper you can afford
  • Your kids or spouse start talking about “just being together”
  •  You start dreaming about your next camping experience

If any of these symptoms have occurred, you should not put off your fever any longer.

There is a remedy that is easy to follow and should take effect immediately.
Get in your vehicle and head to Modern Trailer Sales.
Upon arrival, all you will need to do is let them know your symptoms and they will be able to take care of your needs right away.
Read below about a similar camper’s experience:

As a kid, I caught the “camping fever” when I was on my first camping trip with my family.
After growing up and having kids of my own the symptoms still didn’t seem to stop me from taking the plunge and letting my whole family experience camping.

We headed out on our first family camping adventure about 14 years ago to a place called “Turkey Run State Park.”  I would recommend this place to anybody who is thinking about camping for the first time. It is located in the foothills of southern Indiana and the park has great hiking trails, a nice pool, paved camp sites, horse- back riding and canoeing. As expected though, after our first trip camping, my entire family was exposed and caught the fever! Due to such a high camping fever, our family now schedules regular, annual visits to such places like Turkey Run and also Van Buren State Park.

If you are a camper that is currently experiencing symptoms, you should definitely try Van Buren. It is on Lake Michigan housing a simple campground with bike trails, nice beach area and sand dunes for the kids.  Your symptoms can also be relieved by the sheer enjoyment of warmth from a fireplace on a cool evening.

Over the years, there are a few things we have found to help us. We have found that it definitely helps to have support from people who know what it’s like to have this fever. The group of people that seemed to understand our family’s symptoms the most was Modern Trailer Sales. This is probably because they are the oldest RV dealership in Indiana. They seemed to take us in like their own family and inform us on everything we needed to know for this experience.

Modern Trailer Sales even has a special program called VIC (very important camper) to help support people that have this camping fever. It includes things like top-notch service, clarity on pricing, and never encourages people to over purchase on extra items for symptom relief. As good as this support sounds, be aware that these are just things you can do to relieve symptoms. As of this date, there is no cure for camping fever! It always seems to return when your least expecting it. Our family experiences the fever returning most often on the way home from yet another great camping adventure.

We start thinking about the great memories we made spending time together away from the busy schedules of life. Our two daughters are usually talking about their fun through bringing friends along to our camping destinations. My wife and I have found a few of our own ways to relieve our fever symptoms including a strong support group. We now have a great deal of camping buddies who meet us at the site for food pitch-ins like taco night, chili cheese dog night and firing up the smoker for ribs and chicken. We eat well and everyone enjoys many laughs, however, shortly after returning home, our fever spikes and we once again have to start scheduling another visit on our calendar.

You might be thinking catching this fever might not be worth the risk of having your own camping experience. The reason we continue to take our chances every year is because we know it is easy to get too busy in this world. We are committed to never putting the important things in life like spending time together with family and friends on the back burner. Therefore, we say “bring it on” camping fever!

Fun Family Activities while Camping

Camping trips can be really fun for families, particularly if family activities are planned ahead of time. Some of our favorite family memories have involved camping and family activities.

So, after consulting the camping fun experts in the Kinsey family, we recommend these activities for family camping trips.

Games. Playing games together on a camping outing is a popular choice for many families. We have a few favorite board games like Apples to Apples and Balderdash that pack easily and that are great for gathering around the picnic table. Card games are another good choice because they are small and can fit into a backpack or just slipped into a camping bin. One of our favorites is UNO, which has many variations and options for play.

Active Games. If you want your family to get out in the meadow or clearing and have a more active experience, playing some camping games that get the family moving is a great idea. Our kids particularly have enjoyed flag football, ultimate frisbee and Capture the Flag. A favorite of the younger children around the campfire is Duck Duck Goose.  The adults also enjoy games like Wahers, Cornhole, & Hillybilly Golf which work well at the campground.

Hiking. Admittedly, our favorite family camping activity is a good hike. A hike in the mountains can be invigorating, and it does tend to tire out the kids so they will sleep all night in their sleeping bag.

A variation on the hiking theme is a nature scavenger hunt. Children love a scavenger hunt, and using nature items (and maybe digital cameras) as the things to find can be lots of fun.

We would love to hear what your family enjoys doing together while camping. Please share your favorite camping activities in the comment area below.

Happy Camping!

The secret to raising happy, healthy kids… togetherness

Top 10 reasons families love to camp

  1. Get out and enjoy the outdoors
  2. Enjoy an affordable vacation
  3. Spend time with your family
  4. Relax and Enjoy a change of pace
  5. Hang out with friends
  6. Get away from the city
  7. It’s FUN
  8. Try something different
  9. Stay active and healthy
  10.  Enjoy a back to nature experience with all the comfort of home.

Take a moment to click on “comment” below and share the reasons you and your family love to camp.