Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Autumn festivals are popular and fun RV family destinations

Idaho sheep festival celebrates culture, traditions. (TrailingoftheSheep.org)
Autumn, with its cooler weather and bursts of color, plays host to hundreds of local harvest festivals. Pick out one of your favorites, pack the RV and have a fun-filled family weekend.

The 20th Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Hailey, Idaho, October 5 - 9, 2016, is a perfect autumn RV destination.

While the sheep are the center of the festival, they "knit together a cultural tapestry of concerts, workshops, presentations, personalities, dogs, horses and food."

For more information: (208) 720.0585 or TrailingoftheSheep.org/
Click here for nearby RV campgrounds.

Other Autumn Festivals:

  Maine's October Festivals - Maine.
There are many festivals scheduled across Maine during the Harvest season. These popular events celebrate Maine's farm fresh produce and local products are perfect RV camping opportunities for families during the crisp outdoor season.

Bayfield Apple Festival - Bayfield, Wis.
- Circleville Pumpkin Show - Circleville, Ohio
- AppleJack Festival - Nebraska City, Neb.
- East Texas Yamboree - Gilmer, Texas
- Cranberry Harvest Celebration - Wareham, Mass.
- Bayfield Apple Festival - Bayfield, Wis.
- Warrens Cranberry Festival - Warrens, Wis.
- Pumpkin Festival - Laconia, N.H.
- World Championship Punkin Chunkin - Bridgeville, Del.
- Louisiana Pecan Festival - Colfax, La.
- Harvest Festival - Santa Fe, N. Mex.
- Sonoma County Harvest Fair - Sonoma, Calif.
- National Apple Harvest Festival - Biglerville, Penn.
- Harvest on the Harbor - Portland, Maine
- Stone Barns Harvest Fest - Pocantico Hills, N.Y.
NC Pecan Harvest Festival
- Reading Terminal Market Harvest Festival - Philadelphia, Penn.
- NC Pecan Harvest Festival - Whiteville, N.C.
- James River State Park Fall Harvest Festival - Gladstone, Va.
- Wellfleet OysterFest - Cape Cod, Mass.

 -- Julianne G. Crane  

For more posts on the RV Lifestyle go to RVWheelLife.com.

Photos: Migration of sheep to winter grazing pastures. Courtesy: Trailing of the Sheep Festival; Middle: Courtesy of Bayfield Apple Festival, Bayfield Wisonsin Bottom: Courtesy of NC Harvest Festival.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Free nightly Bat Flight programs, plus special Night Sky Parties at Carlsbad Caverns NP

Each evening (April-Oct) Brazilian free-tailed bats exit Carlsbad Caverns (Nick Hristov/NPS)
Each summer through late October, Carlsbad Caverns National Park hosts several very special free family programs.

2016 Bat Flight Programs.  Every evening park rangers present informative programs about the Brazilian free-tailed bats that live in the caverns between spring and autumn.

"The best bat flights normally occur in August and September when baby bats, born in early summer, join the flight along with migrating bats from colonies further north," according to rangers.  In late October or early November, the bats begin migrating south for the winter; they return in April or May, depending on weather.

The starting time of the 'bat' talk varies with sunset times - call the park and verify the program time (575) 785-3012. Programs could be cancelled because of inclement weather.

2016 Star Party events: Sept. 3, Oct. 1 and Oct. 29

Information on the extremely popular Night Sky Parties was originally posted in 2014 and has been updated with 2016 data.

"The park is a perfect spot for viewing the wonders of the night sky due to its location miles away from the lights of the local communities," according to rangers.

 "Weather permitting; telescopes will be available for viewing the celestial night sky and will provide an opportunity for visitors to see for themselves what is visible in the universe above.

"Ranger guided programs discuss a variety of topics from nocturnal creatures, cultural folklore, and astronomy."

Bring a flashlight and dress for the weather. Because bright headlights impair night vision, all participants are asked to arrive early (before dark). These events will be held immediately after Bat Flight.

 - No fee or advance reservations are necessary for Bat Flight programs or Night Sky Party events.

- And, while the visitor center and cave will not be open during Night Sky Party events, consider arriving earlier in the day and take a tour of this fantastic natural wonder.

Natural Entrance Carlsbad Caverns NP (Julianne G. Crane)
If you go: 

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
727 Carlsbad Caverns Highway
(GPS systems may not find this address)
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220

Visitor information: (575) 785-2232.
Bat Flight information: (575) 785-3012

Hours (click here for details): 
2016 Summer: May (Memorial Day) - September (Labor Day): 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
2017 Winter: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

For information on RV and tent camping near Carlsbad Caverns National Park, click here for information on Brantley Lake State Park.

--  (Julianne G. Crane)

Photos: (Top) Each evening in summer, Brazilian free-tailed bats exit Carlsbad Cavern in search of dinner. (Nick Hristov/NPS). (Bottom) Natural Entrance to Carlsbad Caverns (Julianne G. Crane)

To read more articles on the RV lifestyle go to RVWheelLife.com