Starling Travel

October 31, 2015

Five Extremely Creepy and Haunted Forests

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 8:39 am

In honor of Halloween, I found this video about haunted forests. The next time you’re thinking of camping, here are some suggestions for an particularly interesting excursion.

The Five Places are here:

Old House Woods, Matthews County, VA, USA

Cannoock Chase Woods, Staffordshire, UK

Dering Wood near Pluckley, Kent, UK

  • Wikipedia – Pluckley: Pluckley had an entry in the 1989 Guinness Book of Records for being “the most haunted village in Britain”, with 12 different ghosts reported.

Hoia Baciu Forest, Romania

Aokigahara Forest, Japan

After watching this, I think I’ll just go camping is in nice, brightly lit parking lot next to Walmart. How about you?

October 30, 2015

Most Haunted Campgrounds

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

This article from gives us a collection of the most haunted campgrounds in America.

I love that all of these campgrounds are in the States, so I can visit them with my own camper. In fact, they’re all in the west, so I could visit them all easily:

  • Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park / Northern California
  • Holcomb Valley Campground / Big Bear, California
  • Beaver Creek Campground / West Yellowstone, Montana
  • Crystal Lake Recreation Area – Crystal Lake Campground / Southern California
  • Silver Strand State Beach / Coronado Island – San Diego, California
  • Humboldt Redwoods State Park / Northern California

The next time you’re in the mood for a scare, why don’t you plan a trip to one of these campgrounds and spend the night. Even if there are no ghosts there, you’ll be guaranteed a night of a little extra vigilance.

September 2, 2015

CornFest Teardrop

Filed under: Places To Visit,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:26 am

Last weekend at the Enterprise, Utah CornFest, I saw this awesome teardrop trailer.

CornFest Teardrop from Starling Travel

It was for sale for $4500 and I wouldn’t be surprised if it sold before the day was out. It was in immaculate condition.

CornFest Teardrop from Starling Travel

The bed appears to be a full-sized bed.

CornFest Teardrop from Starling Travel

There is storage above the pillows.

CornFest Teardrop from Starling Travel

Your feet nestle in below the shelving for the galley.

CornFest Teardrop from Starling Travel

The galley looks absolutely perfect!

CornFest Teardrop from Starling Travel

Seeing this teardrop really made me miss the one we used to have. It was so easy to tow and set up. If you’d live to see more teardrop trailers, we’ve featured many here:

September 1, 2015

Escape to Montana’s Big Sky Country

Filed under: Montana,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 5:50 am

I saw this advertisement for Montana in an old National Geographic.

The Great Escape Montana Big Sky Country National Geographic April 1970 from Starling Travel

It’s from the April 1970 issue and it reads:

The Great Escape… Montana The Big Sky Country

Escape from the ordinary to this uncrowded, unspoiled, unmatched land – 147,000 square miles of America’s grandest scenery. Visit famous historical sights and state parks. Explore fabled ghost towns. Relax in one of 577 campgrounds. Thrill to exciting rodeos. Get away to Montana – one continuous sightseeing experience between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.

There is a modern version of this advertisement here:

It’s true. There is a lot to see in Montana and it’s worth the drive to get there. As a child, I went to Montana every summer because my grandparents lived in Billings. As an adult, I miss it if I don’t go there once a year. I missed going to Yellowstone and Montana this summer and I can feel it calling to me. Now, however, there are 748 campgrounds waiting for me to visit…

August 30, 2015

Dixie’s Camp-R-Tow: Rent A Glamper

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 12:53 pm

At the Enterprise CornFest yesterday, I saw the cutest campers for rent.

This company is located in Southern Utah, close to Zion’s Park, so you can rent a camper to take into the National Park.

Let me show you Betty and Peggy, two of their vintage campers: (Continue Reading…)

August 14, 2015

Go To A Place You Have Never Been Before

I really love this motivational poster I saw on Facebook a while back:

Go to a place you have never been before from Starling Travel

It reads:

Go at least once a year to a place you have never been before.

This is an argument that I have every year with Mike. He always wants to go to Yellowstone, which we have been to almost every year for a decade. I want to try new national parks, like Yosemite. This year, we didn’t go on a big trip. Our biggest trip was to Lagoon Amusement Park up north. It was a really fun vacation and we got to see our friends and family while we were there, so no regrets.

Huge snow drifts in Yellowstone from Starling TravelStill, the argument rages on. Yellowstone or Yosemite. Mike argues that Yellowstone is different EVERY time we go there. I can hardly describe the difference of Mammoth Hot Springs now versus when we saw it that first time together. I wish I had photos of Orange Spring Mound from that first trip because it has LITERALLY taken over the road and they have had to make a new road around its massive orangeness. Yellowstone is truly different every time we’ve visited from the year with the ten foot snow drifts to the year with the bear with a porcupine quill in its paw. We have never had a repeat experience.

El Capitan in Yosemite from Starling TravelBut I have never seen Yosemite. I would feel like an idiot if I never got to see the mountains and trees that so inspired John Muir in his writing and activism. I would regret never seeing El Capitan in person when it was the focus on so many of Ansel Adams’ photographs. How can I keep visiting Yellowstone over and over when Yosemite is there, waiting for me to visit?

Then again, Ansel Adams spent his whole life visiting Yosemite over and over. Georgia O’Keefe loved Taos so much she moved down there. Additionally, every time I visit a place, it looks different to me because I AM DIFFERENT. What was boring to me as a child is gorgeous to me as an adult. What was interesting to me before may be gone, but has been replaced with something just as strange and captivating. When our national parks are different every time we visit them, it doesn’t matter which one we visit as long as we get out.

If I were to change that poster on the top, I would make it MUCH more simple. Instead of it saying, “Go at least once a year to a place you have never been before,” it was only say, “GO.”

June 3, 2015

Maps Encourage Boldness

Filed under: Places To Visit,Travel — Laura Moncur @ 7:46 am

I found this quote on The Quotations Page and it made me so excited to travel.

Maps encourage boldness. They're like cryptic love letters. They make anything seem possible. Mark Jenkins from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Maps encourage boldness. They’re like cryptic love letters. They make anything seem possible.

  • Mark Jenkins

I have the same feeling about maps. Whenever I was riding in the car on the way to or from my grandparents’ house in Billings, Montana, Grandpa would throw the map in the backseat and tell me to navigate. It helped me so much to learn how to find ourselves on the map and to plot where we would be going next. We always went the same route from Salt Lake to Billings: through Idaho Falls, over to West Yellowstone, up to Bozeman and over to Billings. Even though they were smaller roads that route, it was faster for us to go that way (unless West Yellowstone was snowed in).

Now, Google plots it all for me, assuming that I can go the speed limit, not knowing that my tiny trailer’s tires top out at 65 mph. So, I change the route. Smaller roads don’t slow me down because I can only go 65 mph anyway. I’m already slow.

The next time Google plots a route for you, try going a different way. Really USE your map and choose a route that has something to look at on the drive. And when your first instinct is to fly, suppress it. Take the car and actually SEE the places you pass by. Let the map give you boldness!

May 25, 2015

A Shaded Chair by the Ocean

Filed under: Photos,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 7:15 am

I took a picture on September 9, 2010. I have no idea where I was when I took it, but it looked like an ideal setting to me. It was two beach loungers with umbrellas right on the ocean’s edge. It was the perfect image of what I want from a vacation. Just a nice place to sit by the ocean with a little shade.

A Shaded Chair by the Ocean from Starling Travel

When it comes down to it, all I really need for a good vacation is a shaded chair by the ocean. Or the mountains. Or the lake. Or the forest. It doesn’t matter where in nature I am as long as I don’t have to hear the rush of traffic and the grind of construction.

There is a story by Ernest Hemingway called A Clean Well-Lighted Place. My whole life, I have been searching for this and I’ve only seen it in glimpses. Here is one of those glimpses: a shaded chair by the ocean.

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!

April 10, 2015

Larry’s Antiques in Cottonwood, Arizona

Filed under: Alabama,Places To Visit,Shopping,Tourist Attractions — Laura Moncur @ 11:24 am

Nothing says road-tripping like an amazing antique store and Larry’s Antiques fits the bill! I visited there last weekend and it was a blast!

Larry's Antiques in Cottonwood AZ from Starling Travel

Check out all the cool stuff I saw and the zen moment I had after the break: (Continue Reading…)

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