Starling Travel

May 22, 2015

Trailer Life Made Everything Better

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 10:24 am

I have maligned Trailer Life Magazine in the past. I am not the target audience of it, I understand, but it makes me angry when month after month they highlight massive fifth wheels and gigantic bumper pulls with barely a whisper about the diversity of trailers out there. If I were the editor, I would do one review of a huge thing and one review of a tiny trailer each month instead of relegating the lighter weight vehicles to a special magazine once a year. I’ve had problems with the magazine, but I KEEP them. On a shelf in our bookcase, they have been stuffed, out of order and random.

Trailer Life Made Everything Better from Starling Travel

Yesterday, Mike and I were discussing where we should go this summer. We didn’t want to spend a long time driving and we realized that the Oregon trip we had planned would entail a total of SIX days to get there and back, meaning that we would only have ONE day in Oregon to visit friends. We had to scrap that trip and had NO idea what to do instead.

I said to Mike, “How about we go random?” I walked up to the Trailer Life shelf on my bookcase and grabbed one of the magazines that had been stuffed into the nearly overflowing shelf. I ended up picking the September 2014 issue.

Trailer Life Made Everything Better from Starling Travel

“Okay, we’ve got Colorado, Michigan and Tennessee.” After calculating how far Oregon was, I KNEW we couldn’t do Michigan or Tennessee. Mike answered, “Colorado.” So I turned to the article and read to Mike about the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It sounded totally boring and I started to close the magazine halfway through the article, but Mike stopped me.

“If we drive there, we can go through Four Corners,” he said, showing me the map he had pulled up on his iPad. Sean and Mike had wanted to go to the Four Corners National Monument for a long time, but it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere. In the middle of nowhere, but on the way to Great Sand Dunes. Michael cooed in an inviting voice, “We could put the New Mexico sticker on the camper…”

We have one of those United States maps on the back of the camper and he knows that really, the only reason I ever want to travel is to get another sticker on the camper. We keep visiting Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California because they’re close, but what I REALLY want to do is take the Tangerine Turtle to every one of the Lower Forty-Eight.

The States Map on The Tangerine Turtle from Starling Travel

“We can go home through Moab and it’s about the same distance,” Mike continued and now I am hooked because he KNOWS that I love to go in a circle so I don’t see the same things on the drive back as I saw on the drive there. I look on my KOA app, and by golly, there’s a KOA right near the park.

After harboring such animosity for Trailer Life Magazine for so many years, I really have to hand it to them. They saved the day and our summer trip. Trailer Life made everything better!

May 21, 2015

The Camping Bubble

Filed under: Camping — Laura Moncur @ 8:32 am

I saw this on Camp Confessions and it made me remember the best thing about travel.

The Camping Bubble from Starling Travel

It reads:

One of the best parts of camp is the “bubble” where you’ve got no idea what’s going on in the outside world and you couldn’t really care less.

Honestly, this has never happened to me while we’ve been camping. We only go camping for a few days at a time and it’s rarely enough to give me that “bubble.” I have had that feeling on a cruise, however. You can just tell by the looks on our faces that we are in that “bubble.”

The Cruise Bubble from Starling Travel

I don’t know what creates that bubble. I think part of it is time. When you only have two or three days for your trip, it’s hard to forget that the world is not out there. It ISN’T, actually. Tomorrow, you have to pack up and go home, so it’s right there, in your consciousness. That picture was taken in the middle of a seven-day cruise. The reason we were able to be in that bubble is because the ordeal of going home was days away.

I would like to be able to go on a camping trip long enough to create that bubble. I don’t know if moving from place to place every day would create it or if we would have to stay camping in one spot for a week to get that feeling. I don’t know the exact nature of how to create that bubble, but I want to try to make one, even if it’s just once.

April 24, 2015

How To Cover a Fold-Up Aluminum Table with a Chair Bag

Filed under: Camping — Laura Moncur @ 12:11 pm

How to cover your fold up aluminum table from Starling Travel

Not long ago, I did a post on how to add a handle to a camping chair:

That gave us the freedom to carry our camping chairs without the stupid bags. Then I thought, what could I do with the stupid bags…

How To Add A Handle To A Camping Chair from Starling Travel

I use little aluminum fold-up tables next to my chairs and I thought it would be cute if they were covered to match the chairs, so that’s exactly what I did. Here are the directions if you want to do the same thing. (Continue Reading…)

April 23, 2015

Discover Real Travel Adventure!

Filed under: Camping,Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 7:18 am

I found this advertisement in the April 1970 National Geographic.

Airstream Ad from National Geographic 04-1970 from Starling Travel

It reads:

Discover Real Travel Adventure!

Want to visit exciting new places? Or maybe you’d prefer sunbathing in Florida or relaxing beside some inviting stream? Perhaps you know a road somewhere you’d like to follow to the end. It’s all the same with an Airstream Land Yacht… good beds, bathroom, hot and cold water, refrigeration, heat and light independent of outside sources wherever you go – for a night, a week, or a month, Airstream Land Yachting means real travel independence – no time-tables, tickets, packing. You just tow your Airstream lightly behind your car and follow your travel whims wherever they urge you to go. Yes, it’s the exciting, better way to travel anywhere in the world. For extra fun join a Wally Byam Caravan.

write for free new color catalog – Thrilling as a world cruise.

That is exactly what I love about camping in my tent trailer. I don’t have that bathroom or refrigeration, but I do have that freedom. There are so many campgrounds with hookups that I feel as if I can travel anywhere with my camper.

Before I read this ad fully, I had never heard of the Wally Byam Caravan Club, but apparently they are still around:

They have many rallies where they get together. In my region alone, there are four rallies planned this summer. I’m seriously impressed that they are still around and getting together. Unfortunately, I would have to buy a $40K camper to join them, but I am encouraged that they are still around.

April 17, 2015

Pinterest Firestarter EPIC FAIL

Filed under: Camping — Laura Moncur @ 8:50 am

Several months ago, I found this pin from how to light a fire | Over The Big Moon

Firestarter Pin from Over the Big Moon

I thought it was a really good idea, so I had been saving up my garbage so I could make these cool fire starters. On my birthday, last week, we had a lovely fire in my backyard fire pit.

Unfortunately, those fire starters performed less than admirably. They LITERALLY repelled the fire. Click on the picture to see it full-sized:

Firestarter Pinterest EPIC FAIL from Starling Travel

You can see that the fire was raging. You can see that one of the logs was down to coals, but those fire starters refused to burn. They sat in the conflagration unscathed like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

From now on the dryer lint and toilet paper rolls are going in the garbage where they belong…

April 8, 2015

Dead Horse Ranch Arizona State Park

Filed under: Arizona,Camping,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 8:50 am

For the first time, we stayed in Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Arizona. I love the Arizona State Parks. They are so organized. I love the emails I get about a week before the trip, reminding me of my visit.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park AZ Reminder Email from Starling Travel

We stayed in the Red-Tail Hawk Campground for the Popup Portal Rally.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park AZ Red-Tail Hawk Campground from Starling Travel

Our site was number 51 and it faced perfectly so that the afternoon sun was shaded by our camper.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park AZ Site 51 from Starling Travel

Here is a shot of site 57. The sunsets are beautiful here.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park AZ Site 57 from Starling Travel

Each site has a fire pit and some of them have BBQs as well. The camp hosts sell firewood.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park AZ Firewood for Sale from Starling Travel

While we were there, the campground was very windy. We had to take down our awning and thank goodness for the Martha Stewart grommet and bungee cord trick or our tablecloth would have flown away.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park AZ Windy from Starling Travel

There was a nice playground over by the lakes and my boy liked the swings a lot.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park AZ Playground from Starling Travel

It was a great place to stay and it was so close to Cottonwood and Jerome, so we were able to look at the shops and you could even taste the wines at the wineries in the area. Thank you for such a lovely weekend, Arizona!

April 7, 2015

The Tangerine Turtle Tour

Filed under: Arizona,Camping,Places To Visit,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 1:37 pm

I’ve finally done it. I’m finally done with my camper. My 1993 Jayco Eagle 8 has been rechristened The Tangerine Turtle.

The Tangerine Turtle from Starling Travel

Here is a video tour:

You can see some photos after the break: (Continue Reading…)

March 31, 2015

Beautiful GMC Motorhome April 2011

Filed under: Camping,Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 1:29 pm

When I was registering the Jayco Tent Trailer way back when, I saw this GMC motorhome in the parking lot at the DMV. Even though I had just gotten what would be the best camper I have ever owned, I still salivated over what I consider my dream motorhome.

Beautiful GMC Motorhome April 2011

This is very much like my childhood toy, the Barbie Star Traveler. I had many dreams of traveling in a motorhome that looked like this, but bright, bright yellow.

Beautiful GMC Motorhome April 2011

It is nearly four years later and I still adore this motorhome, even though I love my tent camper with just as much adoration.

Beautiful GMC Motorhome April 2011

In the end, I can’t own ALL the campers. I have to choose one and the tent camper works best for us. The GMC Barbie Star Traveler will have to stay a childhood fantasy.

Beautiful GMC Motorhome April 2011

March 27, 2015

Bear Lake KOA: A Great Place To Stay

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 7:29 am

Bear Lake KOA August 2012 from Starling TravelBack in August 2012, we stayed for a few days at the Bear Lake KOA. It was such an idyllic visit that we still talk about that camping trip today. I can’t believe I never wrote about it here, so I am posting some of the photos we took on that trip.

Bear Lake is in Northern Utah and we had to go over the mountains with our Prius and the Duct Tape Palace for the first time. It handled it nicely, but we were anxious the entire trip. We were inexperienced towing anything bigger than the teardrop, so we were nervous the whole time. There was nothing to worry about, though, because we got to the campground easily and quickly.

Read on for more: (Continue Reading…)

March 26, 2015

The Duct Tape Palace at Night

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 9:24 am

I came across this in my old photos the other day. Our first tent trailer, the Palamino, was so trashed that the canvass was literally held together with duct tape. We didn’t actually call it the Duct Tape Palace until AFTER we gave it away to charity.

Seeing this old photo of it, though, made me miss it a bit.

The Duct Tape Palace at night from Starling Travel

This photo was taken on our maiden voyage of that camper at Wasatch State Park, before any duct tape was employed to keep the windows closed. It was a very good introductory camper that taught us that we really did like camping in a tent trailer. It made the cost of the Jayco that we have now seem worth it. I don’t miss the Duct Tape Palace, but I’m sure glad we had it for as long as we did. Totally worth the $300 we paid for it!

Other posts about the Palomino Tent Trailer:

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