Great Outdoors Jamboree set for Sept. 10 at Lake Hudson Recreation Area

Pheasants Forever, the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources invite anyone looking for a fun, free way to enjoy the outdoors to the fifth annual Great Outdoors Jamboree Sunday, Sept. 10, at Lake Hudson Recreation Area in Lenawee County. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors can learn about Michigan outdoor recreation opportunities and participate in a variety of activities that are fun for both new and returning Jamboree attendees. All ages are welcome.

This event offers a chance to spend a day outdoors learning all the skills necessary to hunt, fish or enjoy just about any outdoor recreation pursuit. More than 40 exhibitors will be on hand to display, discuss and give hands-on instruction on archery, target shooting, bass fishing, campsite exploration, boating and many more nature-based activities. Highlights include the live birds of prey program presented by Michigan Avian Experience, and Smokey Bear will be there for a great family photo opportunity.

Opportunities also will be available to learn about habitat and environmental projects and take part in a live chukar hunt. Pre-registration is required for the chukar hunt. Contact Julie Griswold at 734-320-9243 (after 4 p.m.) or dixievriverwoods@gmail.com to register.

“Not only will we have a live chukar hunt and lots of outdoor-themed activity stations to explore, but the first 50 grandparents who attend with their grandchildren will receive a prize,” said Jim O’Brien, park manager at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. “Also, in celebration of the Great Outdoors Jamboree’s fifth year, the 5,000th visitor will receive a special gift.” 

“Spending your day with us at the Great Outdoors Youth Jamboree will guarantee you a fun-filled day with your family, with plenty of memories that will last forever,” said Bill Fischer, outreach coordinator for Pheasants Forever Michigan. “Now that sounds like a great way to spoil your loved ones this Grandparents Day. We can't wait to see everyone there.”

A vendor will be on-site with food for sale, or visitors can bring a picnic lunch to enjoy by the lake.

Visitors are encouraged to bring water bottles and backpacks or tote bags for all the exhibitor giveaways and to dress for the weather as the event will be held rain or shine.

For more information about the Great Outdoors Jamboree, go to www.michiganpheasantsforever.org/events/719-2017-jambo.

There is no charge to participate in the event, but a Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry to Lake Hudson Recreation Area. Recreation Passports can be purchased at the park entrance, or visitors can check out a free Michigan Activity Pass from their local library. 

The Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative aims to create small game hunting opportunities, increase wildlife populations, improve hunter satisfaction and help Michigan's economy. Landowners can get involved – and can get technical and financial assistance – by forming cooperatives to create and enhance pheasant habitat. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/pheasant.

Camping Recipes: Granola Bars, Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Bread, Fully Loaded Baked Potato Salad, & Miso Steak Wraps



Granola Bar Recipe: Make it Your Way
(Source: REI) Why settle for what you don’t want when you can have exactly what you do? Here’s a granola bar recipe all that’s all about choices. Because you deserve snacks that you love.

Ingredients
• 1/3 cup crispy brown rice cereal
• 1/3 cup brown rice syrup (or substitute light corn syrup)
• 1/8 tsp fine sea salt

Choose One:
• 2 cups mix-ins
• 2 cups nuts and/or seeds
• 1 and 1⁄2 cups nuts and/or seeds, 1⁄2 cup dried fruit

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper.
2. Sir together the cereal, syrup, salt, and mix-ins.
3. Pour mixture into pan. Use parchment paper to shape the bars into a rectangle.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. Once cool, cut into bars.

Rollin' on TV: Canvas Replacements, USS Midway, & Installing a Tile Backsplash


On this week's program (#2017-16), with more and more people getting into camping and RVing, it’s easy to see why RV sales are going through the roof in every category of RVs from large class A motorhomes to small camping trailers.

About Rollin' On TV
In production since 2010, Rollin' On TV has become one of the leading RV lifestyle television programs on the air today, reaching over 30 million homes on both cable and satellite TV. The weekly program is also available online. For more information, visit www.rollinontv.com.

Gear Spotlight: Sportz Truck Tent 57 Series from Napier Outdoors



Your adventure awaits with Napier Outdoors Sportz Truck Tent 57 Series 

The Sportz Truck Tent 57 Series from Napier Outdoors (about $270) assembles in the back of your open-bed pickup truck, creating a comfortable and restful sleeping area for two adults. Featuring more than 5.5' of headroom and a patented sewn-in floor eliminates the need to clean your truck bed prior to use.

With eight models to fit virtually every truck on the road, it’s no wonder the Sportz Truck Tent 57 Series is the market leader! The durable tent comes with a full rainfly to keep you dry through the stormy weather, two side vents and two large windows to encourage optimal ventilation. The tents rear access panel allows for easy accessibility to the trucks cab for added convenience and storage. The 4' x 4' awning provides ample shade and securely fastens to the tailgate, offering extra space for relaxation!

The Sportz Truck Tent 57 Series easily packs into an expandable and lightweight carrying bag, ready to travel wherever your truck may take you! Napier Truck Tents are perfect for fishing, hunting, tailgating, off-roading and family camping trips. Join the millions of explorers who have already discovered how Sportz Truck Tents offer campers convenience and flexibility for all of their outdoor adventures.

About Napier Outdoors
Napier Outdoors is the world’s largest developer and distributor of Vehicle Camping Tents.

Since 1990, Napier has been changing the way people view camping, by reshaping and merging the automotive and outdoor industries together. We were the first to revolutionize the camping industry with our innovative and exciting vehicle tent concepts.

Napier distributes Vehicle Camping Tents to automotive manufacturers and retailers across North America, Europe and Australia. Our vehicle tents are the number one selling Truck and SUV Tents in the World!

(Source: Press release)

Rollin' On TV video: How to Safely Tow your New RV



On this week's program (#2017-15), Rollin' On TV helps out new RVers. With so many new RVers buying their first trailer, understanding what you need for a proper, safe towing package can get a little confusing.

About Rollin' On TV
In production since 2010, Rollin' On TV has become one of the leading RV lifestyle television programs on the air today, reaching over 30 million homes on both cable and satellite TV. The weekly program is also available online. For more information, visit www.rollinontv.com.

RV Education 101 debuts educational blog for RVers

RV Education 101 announced a new RV 101 blog site to help assist and educate RV owners and potential owners on how to safely and properly use and maintain RVs.

“We are happy to announce the launch on our new RV blog site, titled ‘RV 101 with Mark Polk.’ Our goal with this blog is to make available qualified RV information to help RV owners learn about using and maintaining their RVs,” said c0-owner Mark Polk in a press release. “I see things in some RV blogs and RV related videos that make me nervous. All too often folks buy an RV, spend six months on the road and start a blog or produce videos with erroneous and inaccurate information.

“Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with starting a blog, but if you do and it is technical, the information presented in the blog or video should be accurate and qualified. Our core business model is RV 101 (new and beginning RVers), so our new blog will concentrate on articles and videos in four distinct categories: Beginning RVers, RV DIY & Maintenance, RV Tips & Tricks and RV Products.”

The new RV 101 blog coincides with many other websites and social media venues RV Education 101 offers with the goal of helping educate RV consumers.

RV Education 101 co-owner Dawn Polk added, “We started our first blog “RVing with Mark Polk & Friends” in 2013. We did not really market and promote the blog or attempt to attract followers; it was simply a site where RV owners could go to learn more about their RVs. Today, on average that blog receives about 900 daily views. We get about 300 views from search engines, 300 from Pinterest and the remainder from Facebook and our other social media sites. The current blog format is established and it would be difficult to update or change the site, so our thoughts were to start fresh with a new blog site.

“We wanted the new RV 101 blog to be more appealing with rich photographs, informative videos and text to help illustrate each post. Our goal with this blog is to capture followers and continue to build the site with at least one new post weekly. It will be a win-win for everybody. Readers have access to valuable and informative RV content, and we have a venue to promote our RV training products to a targeted audience.”

RV Education 101 plans to participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, as an affiliate, to help offset the time and cost involved with hosting and maintaining the new blog.

“This way when a certain product or installation process is discussed in a post we can offer suggestions about specific products to our readers,” said Dawn Polk.

For more information visit RV 101 with Mark Polk.

Enjoy 'Meteors & S'mores' at state parks Aug. 11-12 during Perseid meteor shower

Michigan state parks offer great natural spaces for gathering
 with friends and family and enjoying a variety of special events,
like Meteors & S'mores and other seasonal programming that
 takes advantage of each park’s natural amenities. (DNR photo)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites visitors and campers to catch a view of the Perseid meteor shower during "Meteors & S'mores" in participating Michigan state parks Aug. 11-12.

Day-use visitors and campers at participating state parks are encouraged to bring blankets, seating, bug spray and snacks and enjoy a night of stargazing.

Participating parks will stay open later than their normal closing times. Complimentary s’mores and campfires are part of the celebration. Designated viewing areas and viewing times will be specified at each park. 

"Many consider themselves lucky if they catch a shooting star, but the Perseid meteor shower is one of the best opportunities to see them with the naked eye," said Elissa Buck, a DNR event coordinator. "We encourage those who want to catch magnificent views with fellow parkgoers take part in one of these Meteors & S'mores events."

The calendar of events can be found online at michigan.gov/darksky and also is listed below.
About Dark Sky parks in MichiganDark Sky Preserves are protected against light pollution and are ideal locations for stargazing. Here in Michigan, six state-designated Dark Sky Preserves are located at Lake Hudson Recreation Area, Negwegon State Park, Port Crescent State Park, Rockport Recreation Area, Thompson's Harbor State Park and Wilderness State Park. In addition, Michigan's Upper Peninsula offers excellent night sky viewing opportunities across more than 15,000 square miles. Learn more at michigan.gov/darksky.
Camp under the stars

To take full advantage of the meteor showers that are estimated to take place Aug. 9-16, visitors are encouraged to make camping reservations throughout the week and sleep under the stars. To check camping availability in state parks and make a reservation, visit www.midnrreservations.com or call 1-800-44PARKS.

For more information about these events, contact Elissa Buck at bucke@michigan.gov or 989-313-0000.

RV Education 101 videos: Sanitizing the RV Water System, & Installing Fastway Flip Jack, Roof Vent, & weBoost Cell Booster





RV Education 101 e-book series
As I've said many times, Mark Polk is my favorite RV expert. I'm pleased he and his wife, Dawn, have allowed me to sell his RV e-book series. E-books (electronic books) are immediately downloaded to your computer after you make the purchase. The RV Education 101 e-book series includes:
  • "The Original Checklist for RVers"
  • "The RV Book"
  • "RV Campground Basics"
  • "101 Tips for RVers"
  • "RV Care and Maintenance"
  • "Insiders Guide to Buying an RV"
  • "Winterizing & Storing your RV"
  • "RV Awning Use & Care"
  • "Deep Cycle Battery Care & Maintenance"
  • "RV Buyers Survival Guide"
  • "Complete Guide To: RV Towing, Weights, Hitch Work & Backing"
  • "Pop-Up Basics 101"
  • "Dinghy Towing"

'STOP the Invasives Week' in Michigan State Parks Aug. 1-6 offers hands-on programming

Explorer Guides provide outdoor education
programming in Michigan state parks, including
the upcoming STOP the Invasives Week,
which is Aug. 1-6. (DNR Photo)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will highlight the identification, management and impact of invasive species during STOP the Invasives Week in Michigan state parks Aug. 1-6.

An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm, or is likely to cause harm to Michigan's economy, environment or human health. Some of the better known invasive species on Michigan's radar include invasive carp, Asian longhorned beetle, red swamp crayfish and yellow floating heart.

The annual STOP the Invasives program features informational hikes, aquatic and terrestrial education, games and other related hands-on programming for the entire family. Participants will learn about invasive species found in Michigan, how to identify them and what visitors can do to help stop the spread. The program will take place at more than 40 state parks during this weeklong event.

STOP the Invasives Week and many other programs are led by state park Explorer Guides and park interpreters who work in the park and present a variety of outdoor education opportunities in Michigan state parks Memorial Day through August. These enthusiastic, nature-minded folks lead hikes, activities and programming that shine a spotlight on each park’s unique resources.

To find a program in your favorite park, visit www.michigan.gov/natureprograms and click on the link “STOP the Invasives Week” under Special Programs and Activities. To see all available Explorer programming throughout the summer, view the interactive map or alphabetical list of parks.

To learn more about identifying and preventing the spread of invasive species, visit michigan.gov/invasivespecies.

Love Your RV videos: WFCO WF8955 Power Center, 5th Wheel Landing Jacks, Strathcona Provincial Park, Milwaukee Oscillating Multi Tool, Top 20 Must Have Tools for RVing Fulltime



About Love Your RV
Three and one half years ago Ray and Anne Burr sold their home in Victoria, British Columbia, and bought a brand new fifth wheel trailer. They set off on an amazing one-year journey traveling all around the U.S. and Canada. About three months into it, they knew this was the life for them and became full timers traveling south in the winters and retreating to the north for the summers. They regularly update their blogsite of their travels and adventures.

Rollin' on TV: Pippi Peterson installs a new Carefree of Colorado awning


On this week's program (#2017-13), Rollin' On TV 's Jeff Johnston heads to Arizona to meet up with Pippi Peterson, who can hold her own against anyone when it comes to RV DIY projects. On this episode, Pippi installs a new Carefree Of Colorado power awning system on her classic Bounder motorhome.

About Rollin' On TV
In production since 2010, Rollin' On TV has become one of the leading RV lifestyle television programs on the air today, reaching over 30 million homes on both cable and satellite TV. The weekly program is also available online. For more information, visit www.rollinontv.com.

Made In America: 10 National Parks that Reflect the American Spirit



To understand America, one needs to go no further than the closest national park. National parks commemorate the people, places, and events that have shaped the American experience. These national treasures serve as tangible reminders of what it means to be made in America.

“There is nothing more American made than our national parks,” said acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds. “Each of our country’s 417 national parks tells a chapter of the American story. Each has a compelling tale of innovation, ingenuity, adventure, accomplishment, triumph, or tragedy that is part of our collective identity.”

The national park idea is an American concept, born in the United States with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. To preserve a place of great beauty and wonderment for all to enjoy, instead of a privileged few, was an example of democracy in action. Other parks soon followed and today the model has been adapted by virtually every country in the world, with many turning to the National Park Service for expertise in park operations and management.

Our national parks preserve sites with remarkable landscapes, unique geology, rugged wilderness, outstanding recreation, and meaningful history. Each is truly significant. Following are ten that are excellent examples of parks that help define the spirit of made in America. Click here for a photograph of each park. 

BALTIMORE — Successful defense of this fort during the War of 1812 inspired Francis Scott Key to write the iconic poem that became the lyrics to the National Anthem. Key penned the Star-Spangled Banner from a ship in Baltimore Harbor after he saw the garrison flag still flying high, signaling victory, in the dawn’s early light after a night of ferocious bombardment from the British Navy.

CORINNE, Utah — East and west met here when the final spike in construction of the first transcontinental railroad was planted in 1869. The joining of 1,776 miles of Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroad track provided a backbone to the country and spurred intense western expansion and economic growth.

BEATRICE, Neb. — The Homestead Act of 1862 had an immediate and enduring effect upon America. The promise of free land propelled families, immigrants, women, and freed slaves west in pursuit of the American Dream. This time of westward expansion forever changed the American landscape and propelled industrial advancement, agricultural development, and diverse settlement.

PHILADELPHIA — Walk in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers and see the places where they debated, created, and masterfully articulated the ideals and principles that guide our nation. Visit Independence Hall where they signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Then tour Congress Hall where the ideals of the documents were put into practice, including the first peaceful transfer of power between presidents. 

LOWELL, Mass. — This park recalls the history and legacy of America’s Industrial Revolution. Buildings, including a “mill girl” boarding house and the Boott Cotton Mills Museum with 88 operating looms, illustrate the nation’s transition from an agriculture to industry based economy and the societal changes that accompanied it.

DAYTON-RAMSEY, Minn. — The Mississippi River was a lifeline for American settlers and it remains an integral part of our country’s identity. The Mighty Mississippi is a nationally significant resource for its natural, cultural, historic, scenic, recreational, economic, and scientific features.

NEW ORLEANS — The park preserves and perpetuates knowledge and understanding of jazz from its origins in New Orleans through its continued evolution. Jazz music was born in America, come hear a performance in the city where it all began. (see video above)

RICHMOND, Calif. — During a time of conflict and fear, the American people pulled together to support the troops fighting in World War II. This park commemorates the contributions and “We can do it” attitude of shipyard workers stateside, including women.

DEVIL HILLS, N.C. — America is the home of many inventors who have changed the world; notable among them are Orville and Wilbur Wright. The Wright Brothers transformed the history of aviation when they made the first sustained flight in a heavier-than-air machine here in 1903. With courage and perseverance, the self-taught engineers relied on teamwork and application of the scientific process to challenge the impossible.

MONTANA — This home to wondrous thermal features, landscapes, and wildlife was established as the world’s first National Park in 1872. When the U.S. Congress passed the legislation and President Ulysses S. Grant signed the legislation creating the park, they set a precedent that, as a society, we would preserve our most treasured places for all to enjoy. The idea of protected public lands has since been adopted around the globe.


Long, Long Honeymoon videos: Alaska RV Misadventures, Suaoki 400Wh Solar Generator, & Refueling Safety


About the Long, Long Honeymoon
After getting married in the Florida Keys, C.S. (Sean) and Kristy Michael spent their wedding night in their newly purchased recreational vehicle — a 25-foot Airstream travel trailer. Instead of jaunting off to honeymoon on a posh Pacific island, the newlyweds hitched up their trusty Ford diesel truck (nicknamed “SEEMORE”) and started exploring America.

Their “long long honeymoon” journey has stretched over 100,000 miles and 49 States, ranging from Key West (the southernmost point in the United States) all the way up to Fairbanks, Alaska. They have camped in every conceivable environment, from scenic national parks to less-than-exotic asphalt parking lots.

A writer and filmmaker, Sean totes his video camera everywhere, relentlessly documenting the experience. And in addition to Sean’s filmmaking equipment, the couple always pack their sense of humor. Their blog explores the lighter side of RV life; or as Kristy says, “the fun stuff!”

Why do they do it? “Because life should be a long long honeymoon…”

You can catch Sean and Kristy’s latest RV adventures (including all of their videos in glorious high-definition) on their website: LongLongHoneymoon.com. When not aboard their Airstream, the newlyweds divide their time between homes in Alabama and Florida. But you can always reach them via email at HoneymoonShow@aol.com.

We're the Russos Wednesday: Off Grid Camping Mojave, Kings Canyon National Park, & Yosemite National Park



About We're the Russos
In 2015, Joe and Kait Russo quit their jobs, sold their home, and got rid of most of their possessions to live their dream – travel and work for themselves. Together with their rescue dog, Leo, the Russos are traveling all across North America seeking adventure. That first year their rig was a 2015 Newmar Bay Star, a gas motorhome coming in just shy of 30 feet. Seeking more flexibility and freedom, in 2017 they switched to a Hymer Aktiv Class B campervan. Visit their website for tons of more information about the Russos and their travels. You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel, where they have videos on RVing, Living Life on Your Terms, Following their Adventure, and more, plus they're on Twitter and Facebook. You can also help support them via their Patreon site.