In this episode, we meet a young couple ( The Adventurous Way,) who left lucrative jobs in the tech industry to travel in an RV and visit all 400 plus U.S. National Parks and Monuments in their own…unique way.
Our guests are Matt & Dianna of The Adventurous Way, bloggers, and YouTubers who share their life on the road as they visit America’s most beautiful locations. Plus, we have your comments, questions, and a fascinating off the beaten path report.
Show Notes for Episode #288 April 1, 2020, of The RV Podcast:
WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK
This week's podcast comes with our sincere hope that you are all healthy and hunkered down. It looks like we have another month or so in which we are urged to avoid unnecessary travel and practice social distancing.
We've been doing a lot of live YouTube videos. Besides our regular Sunday night Ask Us Anything show at 7PM Eastern time, we've now added a Friday Night 7PM “Virtual Campfire” YouTube live stream in which we can connect, interact, answer questions and talk about the places we want to go once this crisis ends.
You can find links to these live broadcasts on our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel.
Then click the little bell icon to be notified when we have new broadcasts or are going on with an update.
And don't forget to follow us n Instagram. We're sharing several times during the day on Instagram and can be followed at https://instagram.com/rvlifestylemike.
RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK
More national parks close, as locals and park rangers urge visitors not to come amid Covid-19
Utah's Arches and Canyonlands national parks closed over the weekend because of COVID-19 (click here), and a push is on to close more of the national parks. Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Parks also closed last week, but others remain open. One ranger from Grand Canyon National Park – a park that is open – told a reporter that he had 600 close contacts with people on a single day. We expect the list of closed national parks to grow, and wouldn't be surprised to see them completely close nationally in the weeks ahead.
More state parks, federal land, and private campgrounds close throughout the country
Colorado was another state in the news last week after the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado along with Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced closures of campgrounds, trailheads, playgrounds, and bathrooms in an effort to keep people home. There are so many campground closures coming in daily, we again want to repeat our advice to stay at home. Think of it as not canceling your travel plans – rather think of it as postponing them. The folks at Campendium compile a list of what RV parks and services are open that provides a good overview. It is updated daily and you can access that list HERE.
Some states that ban camping kept their state parks open for hikers- now thieves are stealing the toilet paper and hand sanitizer
Meanwhile, several states, like Michigan, which canceled all camping but kept the state parks open for hikers and day users, are experiencing a new problem stolen toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Several parks in Michigan and elsewhere around the country report thieves taking the large rolls of toilet paper and draining all the hand sanitizer in park bathrooms – even those with only a vault toilet.
Some RV rental companies now seeing business in helping government, essential services, vulnerable during COVID-19
Like much of the country, RV rental companies have seen their vacation rentals tank as Americans are hunkering down and staying home. But some RV rental companies say they are getting new business from government agencies, health services, and people trying to get loved ones home and need a safe way to do so. Because RVs have their own beds, bathrooms, and kitchens, some families are renting them to go pick up an elderly loved one instead of flying. Some companies are using them for housing essential workers. Even the Mayo Clinic in Arizona has rented an RV for staff.
Roadblocks, quarantines await visitors from COVID-19 hotspots if they try to come to Florida
Florida's governor issued an order to place roadblocks on main interstates to intercept anyone trying to enter the state from a COVID-19 hotspot. Visitors trying to escape New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Orleans, in particular, are being urged to stay home and not come to Florida. The roadblocks require visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days. All people over 65 years are being urged to stay at home. All beaches are closed. Entry to the Florida Keys by non-residents is forbidden. The governor says he is hoping the steps will keep visitors from coming to the state.
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LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK
From Vanessa – I have LTV murphy bed questions for you. My husband and I are planning on purchasing an LTV in 2 years (either the MB model or an FX like yours). We are enamored with the murphy bed idea. My question is about bedding and pillows. I know you can keep your sheets on the bed when you fold it up, but are you able to keep a light blank/comforter and pillows in place? Or must you store those things in a cabinet? If you can keep a light blanket/comforter in place, is it difficult to avoid it from sticking out in view when the bed is folded up? We wanted to share this story from our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group. It was posted by a member named Mike R:
A little funny story for everyone. I saw an RV with a for sale sign in the window the other day. So I stopped and called the number. It was a 2014 Coachman Freelander. They were asking $3,800.00. I was very interested as you could imagine. I called the number and this guy showed up saying he was selling it for a lady from his church that recently lost her husband. I checked everything out and it was in perfect shape. I asked him why she only wanted $3,800.00, he told me that's what was owed on it and she didn't want it.
So I told him to consider it sold and I'd meet with him on Monday to pay him cash. He had the title on him already signed. So he calls the owner and told her it was sold. So she went over today to take the for sale signs out and make sure she didn't leave anything in the RV. She noticed the error in the price that her friend had listed the RV for and called him frantically making sure the title wasn't already signed over to me. She was asking $38,000.00, not $3,800.00.
Do you have a question you’d like us to answer or comment on the things we’re discussing? If so, we invite you to leave us that question or comment on the special voicemail number we have for the podcast – it’s 586-372-6990. If you are driving and can’t write it down right now, just go to the RV Lifestyle travel blog at rvlifestyle.com and scroll down the page. You’ll see that number prominently posted on the blog.
This part of the RV Podcast is brought to you by Battle Born Batteries, maker of quality, safe, and reliable lithium batteries that can be installed in just about every RV. Get in touch with Battle Born to find out what lithium batteries and an upgraded energy management system can add to your RV Lifestyle. Check them out at https://rvlifestyle.com/lithium
RV INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK
Our guests are Matt & Dianna of The Adventurous Way, bloggers, and YouTubers who share their life on the road as they visit America’s most beautiful locations.
Here’s the video version of the interview:
The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country
OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT
By Tom & Patti Burkett
When you cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge heading out of Baltimore, you end up on a long strip of land that runs between the bay and the Atlantic Ocean. This piece of geography is shared by three states and is called the Del-Mar-Va peninsula.
It was a hotbed of activity leading up to and during the Civil War. A number of things factored into this, but most important was the fact that the northern portion was populated mostly by freed slaves and free blacks, and the southern portion was just the opposite, most of the black people there were enslaved. This was the setting for much of the work of Harriet Tubman, recently featured in the popular motion picture named after her.
It was here, on the farm of Edward Brodess, that young Harriet, her brothers and sisters, and her mother were enslaved. While still a girl she worked in the house, cleaning and taking care of her owner’s children. She was frequently rented out to other landowners and, as a result, acquired many skills. Winding through the peninsula is the Harriet Tubman Scenic Byway, which stretches from Philadelphia south to Church Creek. You can drive by the site of the Brodess Farm. No house stands there now, and we agreed it was probably just as well, because who would want to live in it?
At the southern end of the byway, near Church Creek, is the Visitor Center for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park. This is a new park, opened in 2013. It has a counterpart in Auburn, New York, where her family residence is preserved, along with a church and retirement home she founded. At the visitor center, it’s instructive to start with the film that gives a brief history of her life and the special nature of the land in the area.
Because there is so much water—creeks, inlets, rivers, and marshes, it both helped and hindered the efforts of slaves to escape. The free black watermen from Philadelphia and Baltimore provided a source of news and a potential road to freedom as they worked the coast down to Virginia.
The displays detail many aspects of Tubman’s life, focusing not just on her work to free fellow slaves, but also on her ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. As a young woman, she bought a team of oxen and was able, by working for others, to rent herself from her owner, allowing her to move about at will. As she did, working in many places and for many people. she made the connections that allowed her to be successful as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. In her years guiding slaves to freedom in the north, she never lost a passenger. As you drive through and among the wetlands and woods of the region, you’ll get an understanding of why her accomplishment is so notable.
Along the byway are many sites important in this period of history and in her life. Farms, bridges, harbors, churches, and barns all contribute to the story. The land here is extremely flat, and if the wind isn’t too strong, an excellent area for cycling. There are several private campgrounds, a couple of state parks, and a nice beach location at Assateague Island. There are also a couple of Harvest Host operations nearby. The towns are small and often picturesque, and the fruit and produce are abundant in season.
Harriet Tubman’s story can be explored from Niagara Falls all the way to Hampton, Virginia, and the many locations on the Del-Mar-Va peninsula are a great place to start. We spent more than two days wandering through the countryside, peeking into hidden rooms and basements, visiting churches, and exploring the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, which has an excellent auto tour and several nice trails. Whatever you choose to do, and however long you choose to stay, you can count on seeing, learning and experiencing a lot…off the beaten path.