Starling Travel

June 10, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: The South and Giant Bugs

Filed under: Arkansas,Camping,Oklahoma,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Growing up in Utah, I was a bug-lovin’ girl. I caught every kind of bug that inhabited our neighborhood. When Mike was a kid, he went so far as to have a fully stocked terrarium with pill bugs (armadillidiidae) and plenty of food for them to eat. The terrarium was such a healthy environment for them, they reproduced. Tons of tiny, white baby pill bugs grew to adulthood under Mike’s care.

So, both of us were fascinated by the lovely variety of insects available in the South. We’ve already talked about the Oklahoma Fireflies on our trip, but the day we left, we were swarmed with a huge variety of butterflies and moths.

The first, we saw at the gas station in Oklahoma right before we left the next morning. I believe it’s a Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus). There was something the matter with him because he could barely fly and let me take a photo of him.

Giant Polyphemus Moth

I wish I had (Continue Reading…)

June 9, 2012

Folding Kayaks: An Old Idea Made New by Oru

Filed under: Boating — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I have enjoyed our Sea Eagle Kayaks while paddling around the lakes and reservoirs, but this origami kayak looks even better. It is Oru, the folding kayak.

Origami Kayak photos via Make

It folds up into a small and easily portable box.

Origami Kayak photos via Make

There is a full review of it on MAKE’s website:

At $500, the Oru is nearly twice the cost of the least expensive Sea Eagle, but it packs up into half the size as a Sea Eagle, so if space is an issue for you, this might be the kayak for you.

Folding kayaks aren’t new. There was a plan originally created for the Boy Scouts of America that has been altered many times by various troops here is a PDF of a plan for a folding kayak here:

Here is a video showing you how to make that kayak using one sheet of 4’X8′ plywood:

If you’re handy and you have a car long enough to hold a slim slip of 8′ plywood, then you can have a folding kayak of your own.

No matter what you choose, there is nothing that compares to sitting on the water in a boat, surrounded by fish beneath you and birds around you. The serene and delicious pleasure of floating on the water is something that’s worth the extra effort of hauling kayaks to the reservoir.

June 8, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: Gore Landing, Oklahoma

Filed under: Camping,Oklahoma,Places To Visit,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Our third day traveling was through the last half of Kansas and into Oklahoma. Since the Salina KOA sounded like road noise all night, we decided that we wanted a more rustic campsite. We decided on Gore Landing.

We found it on the Camp Where app by Big Nerd Ranch, Inc. [iTunes link]. I looked through comments about the site and one of them mentioned that there was no sign for the campground on the main road. They weren’t kidding.

We drove off the main road, following the GPS coordinates and all we could see for miles was corn fields and trees.

Gorel Landing Campground in OK is well hidden

We were certain that all we were going to find at the end of that road was an angry farmer with a shotgun. (Continue Reading…)

June 7, 2012

Tour of Our Teardrop American Outbacker

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

We filmed a tour of our Teardrop American Outbacker at the beautiful Oquirrh Lake. Take a look at it here:

Remember, camping isn’t allowed at Oquirrh Lake. We just filmed our trailer there because it’s so pretty. You’re welcome to stay the day there, fishing and enjoying the sunshine, however.

June 6, 2012

Cricket Trailer: Great Teardrop Option, But SO Expensive

Filed under: Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

While I was watching videos on YouTube, the following video for the Cricket Trailer was recommended for me.

The more I watched this video, the more excited I got. Here was a small, lightweight trailer with everything that I wanted and NOTHING that I didn’t want. By the end of the video, I had picked out the V-Berth style as my favorite and thought that I would dream of the day when I could afford one.

Unfortunately, I’ll be dreaming a LONG time if I set my hopes on a Cricket.

According to the Cricket Pricing PDF, the unit that I would want (with only some of the options that were shown in this video), would cost over $16,000. At that price, I could buy the best of the A-frame popup trailers.

It seems that SMALL doesn’t necessarily mean inexpensive. I like the compact design of the Cricket, but I’m reluctant to pay TEN times the amount that I paid for my used teardrop trailer. Even if I wanted a brand new T@B trailer (with all of these same features), I would pay about $5000 less than this one.

In the end, the Cricket trailer is an ingenious teardrop option, but it’s so expensive that I would never consider it for myself.

June 5, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: Salina, Kansas KOA

Filed under: Camping,Kansas,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Our drive from Limon, CO to Salinas, KS was VERY windy. There were gusts up to 35 mph, but the wind didn’t try to push us off the road. That was something I was very scared of when driving a trailer, but we had no problems with that. Our gas mileage never got over 25 mpg because of that wind, however, bringing our average down to 29 mpg.

We had an easy day of driving and ended up at the Salina, Kansas KOA Campground.

Teardrop American Outbacker Salina KS KOA

It was our first stay at a KOA Campground and it was a pleasant surprise. (Continue Reading…)

June 4, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: Holiday Inn Express Pancakes

Filed under: Food,Lodging — Laura Moncur @ 6:32 am

Our first night on our Epic Journey, we stayed at Holiday Inn Express. Mike needed to work that night and Holiday Inn always has good wi-fi. The next morning, we left early and ate their complimentary breakfast. We had a fun surprise with the Pancakes In A Minute machine in their breakfast room.

This was our only stay in a hotel on the entire epic journey. In retrospect, we should have left one day later and just stayed at a campsite. Mike would have been more rested and the drive wasn’t nearly as difficult as we worried it would be.

But then we wouldn’t have been able to try the Pancakes In A Minute.

More info:

June 2, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: Lincoln Memorial near Laramie, WY

Filed under: Places To Visit,Wyoming — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

As a child, my parents drove every other year from Utah to Wisconsin to visit my mother’s family. The disembodied head of Abraham Lincoln played a key character in many of my childhood nightmares because it was something we passed every other year on that trip. Part of me didn’t even believe it really existed until we drove home from a convention in Denver a couple of years ago.

Exist, it does, nestled between Laramie and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Lincoln Memorial Laramie WY

As a child, my nightmares featuring this roadside attraction involved (Continue Reading…)

June 1, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: From Utah to Arkansas and Back

Filed under: Camping,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 6:31 am

Mike and I have just returned from an epic journey that I really can’t believe we achieved with such ease. We drove from Utah to Arkansas for a class for Mike and his father.

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012

The trip was originally planned as a camping trip with the Springbar tent, but after the disastrous wind, rain and cold incidents of the Disneyland trip in March, we decided that we needed a trailer.

We took the newly restored Teardrop American Outbacker trailer. I am still amazed that it worked so well. Both Mike and I slept like logs in the teardrop, despite humid heat in Memphis and bitingly cold wind in Cheyenne. Of the twelve days on the road, we spent eleven in the trailer.

Teardrop American Outbacker Salina KS KOA

When we planned this trip, we fully expected to spend some days camping and some days in hotels. Mike had looked for hotels and motels along the way, especially in Little Rock, Arkansas, because he was worried about sleeping well for his class. After the first night in a hotel just east of Denver, we never needed a hotel again. In fact, we only stayed in a hotel that first night because Mike had to work and needed a guaranteed Internet connection and a nice desk to sit at all night.

Teardrop American Outbacker Gore Landing OK

Every other night was a cozy dream in the teardrop together. By the end of the trip, when we were freezing our buns off in the Cheyenne, I had no problem just huddling in the tiny trailer all night. It had become my haven and den, keeping out the cold wind.

Cheyenne WY May 2012

The best benefit to the teardrop is that we got such good gas mileage when driving it. The first day, we almost hit 34 mpg.

Prius Gas Mileage towing the Teardrop

When we hit the massive headwinds in Kansas (and then again in Nebraska), our gas mileage got as low as 29 mpg, but that still was a phenomenal rate. At the worst mileage of 29 mpg, our cost for gasoline was approximately $365. If we had done the same journey in a motorhome or a big truck pulling a fifth-wheel trailer at 12 mph (which is generous), we would have paid approximately $957 in gas.

Ever since I was a little girl, playing with my Barbie Star Traveler, I wanted to take a cross-country trip in a trailer or motorhome. The practical side of me never allowed that to happen because of the cost of owning a big motorhome and, even worse, the high price of gasoline to drive one. Our little teardrop trailer made this journey possible for both the childhood dreamer and the practical accountant sides of me.

I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

« Previous Page - Next Entries »

Powered by WordPress
(c) 2005-2017 Michael Moncur, Laura Moncur, and Starling Studios