Minnesota RV Resolutions

Welcome to 2013 and all the promise it holds! It’s that time of year when many of us make New Year’s resolutions, when we vow to stop and smell the roses a little more each day. If you’re feeling the need to reconnect–with yourself, your family or with nature, making a special resolution to travel more in your RV might be just the ticket.

Last week we mentioned the First Day Hike program offered all over the U.S. in our state parks. Whether you and your family jumped in the RV and kicked off January 1 with a hike, our state and national parks are there year-round with adventure, activities and all the diversity of nature.

Maybe you want to expand your horizons with some sport travel like snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing at Afton. Minnesota State Parks have adventures for all seasons and activity level. Check out their Winter Activities Guide to get started.  Or maybe you want to take in the sights at your own speed. You’ve got hundreds of miles of trails waiting for you, from Frontenac to Bear Head Lake, so check out the parks website to find one perfect for whatever trip you have planned. You can explore on foot, horseback, bicycle or snowshoe.

Or maybe it’s a perfect time to take the RV to Yellowstone, or visit one of our national treasures like Ellis Island. The National Park Service urges you to “See Your America” and so do we! From outdoor wonderlands to national monuments to battlefields to historic preservation sites, our parks have it all.

 

Go explore! And we’ll see you on the road!

A Minnesota RV Christmas

December brings a wealth of holiday celebrations across all races, religions and cultures. What are your favorite family traditions? Do you celebrate with a special road trip in your Minnesota motorhome or travel trailer? Do you like to explore the traditions of others? However you observe any of the winter holidays, there’s something to delight and inspire everyone!

We probably all have lots of friends celebrating Christmas, as well as Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights (which begins on December 8 this year). Others will also be celebrating Kwanzaa or the Winter Solstice. Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966, and is observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. Kwanzaa honors seven core principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith – and culminates in a feast and gift giving.

The Winter Solstice is a fun one for those of us who spend lots of time camping in our new or used RVs. Solstice has been a significant part of the seasonal and astronomical cycle since Neolithic times (think Stonehenge). On December 21, this year’s winter solstice, think back to how ancient peoples may have viewed the solstice – the long, long night when deep winter began. They celebrated that night with a feast as they hoped for the spring and lighter days ahead.

The solstice fire was the forerunner to today’s Yule logs, so this year, if you and your family are in an especially festive mood, consider lighting a roaring campfire as you  celebrate the winter solstice and borrow a few taste treats from other traditions. You could cook up some special Hanukkah treats, like Potato Latkes (try it in a Dutch oven!), pair them with collard greens to celebrate Kwanzaa, and mix up some Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies for Santa.

We found several festivals, exhibits and performances planned all across Minnesota in December. If you want to get out and about to celebrate all that the holidays have to offer, check out the Minnesota History Center in Saint Paul, which will host Kwanzaa Family Day on December 29. Or, head out to one of Minnesota’s State Parks to get close to nature for the solstice. For Christmas celebrations, check out the Explore Minnesota site for tours of lights, teddy bear displays, and mistletoe!

However you choose to celebrate, have fun with your family this holiday season, and let us know if you find any new traditions to add to your festivities!

A Minnesota RV Thanksgiving

The perfect Thanksgiving includes family, a roaring fire, and a yummy feast – preferably at your favorite Minnesota RV campsite, of course!

You bring the family. And for the “feast” part, we’ve found a terrific recipe that should work well when your Thanksgiving gathering happens in the great outdoors. It’s “Thanksgiving in a Dutch Oven,” and this comes to us courtesy of our friends at Kampgrounds of America. This recipe can be the centerpiece of your RV-style Thanksgiving. Or, it’s a great way to use those turkey leftovers in a whole new way.

Thanksgiving in a Dutch oven:

3 pound(s) sliced turkey, shredded

2 cans cut green beans, drained

1 can whole baby carrots

3 large jars turkey gravy

3 boxes cornbread stuffing

1/4 c butter

 

  • Butter the bottom and sides of the Dutch oven. Pour green beans in first. Add carrots on top. Layer the shredded turkey on top of carrots and green beans. Pour gravy over the two layers. Mix cornbread stuffing according to package directions and add on top of the ingredients and press down to cover the layers in Dutch oven. Cut any remaining butter into pats and place on top of stuffing mix.
  • Place over hot coals and shovel some coals on top of the Dutch oven. Allow to cook for 20 – 30 minutes until hot and bubbly and the stuffing has browned on top.
  • Serve with rolls and pumpkin pie for a tasty meal.

We think almost any holiday is better in one of Minnesota’s state parks. To find a park, reserve your RV campsite, and learn more about the activities, visit the  Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Some of our favorite holiday activities will be finding ways to get rid of all those calories we packed on during that Thanksgiving feast. The Winter Activities Guide offers some great ideas for fun in the snow, from sledding to snowshoeing.

No matter where you spend it, we wish you and your family a fabulous Thanksgiving!