GOODBYE SUMMER AND HELLO FALL

It’s always hard to say goodbye to summer. Lucky for us, the Colorado summer has been lingering into fall bringing us nothing short of perfect weather.

 

 

After exploring Rocky Mountain National Park, we headed south to Colorado Springs. This wasn’t our first visit to Colorado Springs and it won’t be our last. There is so much to do in this gorgeous city so we keep coming back.

 

Read More

THE REVERSE SNOWBIRD – RVING TO FLORIDA IN THE SUMMER

Snowbirds is a term for people who leave colder climates to migrate south in the winter to areas like Florida, California, Arizona and Texas. I grew up in Minnesota and went to college in a small town way up north. It was so cold that the college built underground tunnels connecting each building because they knew college kids wouldn’t head out into -20 degree weather to sit in a lecture. After so many cold winters, I understand why people head south when the weather starts to turn cold.

As an entrepreneur I often ask myself, “what if I did the opposite of what everybody else is doing?” Some of the biggest rewards in my life have come from doing the unconventional. Our RV trip to Florida was one of these rewards of going against the grain.

The idea of being reverse snowbirds came after we unknowingly took a trip in the off season to southern Utah. In the winter it felt like we had everything to ourselves! I hiked Angels Landing and watched the sunrise as I reached the summit. I spent over an hour at the top with just myself and my thoughts. It was beautiful!

 

 

A few days later I did a huge loop trail in Bryce Canyon and didn’t see anyone the entire hike. It felt like I had the entire national park to myself that day.

 

Read More

ANOTHER EPIC JACKSON FAMILY TRIP FROM TENNESSEE TO COLORADO FOR THE GOPRO GAMES

I have always had the desire to travel. I remember the 4 and 1/2 hour, 222.5-mile trip from my childhood house in Woolrich, Pennsylvania, to my parents’ hometown of Leetonia, Ohio, starting in the old Appalachian Mountains and twisting through to the open farms and rolling hills to my grandparents’ house.

As I got older, whitewater kayaking became my primary passion. By the time I was 20, I had moved to Bethesda, Maryland and was training full time with the USA Team in hopes of becoming a team member myself. The kayaking events we competed in took me to Europe and around the mountain areas of the US. I was beginning to see parts of the US and the world I never knew existed and my passion for travel was fueled once again.

At 24 I married my wife Kristine (then 18) and made the USA Team for slalom kayaking and the following year my daughter, Emily, was born. Traveling around the country started getting harder as the long drives in a car were more taxing with a young child and two Dalmatians. Kristine started staying home for more of the training camps and other trips that we enjoyed so much together just a year or two before. I made the Olympic Team in 1992 and did much of my training in Barcelona without my young family.  In 1993, we had our second child, Dane, and I also won my first World Championships. It was becoming increasingly more difficult to keep the family together and truly enjoy the trips that I planned for kayak training, racing, and pleasure.

A good kayaker friend of mine had an RV that he traveled in and recommended that I consider RVing. I hadn’t really thought much about it at the time. However, in 1997, when the kids were 4 and 7 years old, Kristine brought up the RV option as a better way to travel and keep the family together and happy. After a few long discussions about it, we both agreed that it was worth a try. We didn’t dabble, however, we went “all-in”.  We had a yard sale and sold everything we owned over a weekend in October of 1997. We purchased a Type A motorhome and planned on spending a year or two in it to try it out. We realized that we could cut our monthly expenses by about $1,100/month if we lived in an RV and that was precious cash for a full time kayaker. That was the beginning of being spoiled….

 

 

We had no idea how awesome traveling in an RV was going to be. From the moment we pulled out of our suburban neighborhood in Bethesda, we felt free and like we were on an adventure. Life was simple. We had less stuff, less stress, and more freedom than ever before.

 

Read More

A TRUE HIDDEN GEM

 

About 90 miles from Portland, along Oregon’s beautiful coastline is where we found Jetty Fishery.  Talk about a hidden gem! We had spent the last couple of hours of driving being rather picky about which campground looked right for a stay. Sure, there were many very nice campgrounds that we stopped to check out, but somehow I had it in my head that there would be an even better one just down the road. I envisioned a waterfront site with access to the beach and a stellar view to boot. Not too much to ask for I thought (especially here along the Oregon coast), but as we drove on, that realization slowly started to slip from my mind and a panicky feeling came over me. “We better find a place to camp otherwise we’ll be driving in the dark,” I told hubby and he agreed. Just as I spoke those words we turned the bend and saw a sign that read, “Jetty Fishery, Marina & RV Park” and a sense of relief came over us.

 

Read More

BECOME A GIRL CAMPER

Perhaps you’ve been harboring a secret desire to be a girl camper but you just don’t know enough about it to make a commitment? Me and thousands of other women love it so here’s what I know about getting started.

IMG_1687

Read More