What in the world is a yurt?

Yosemite Lakes Yurt

Are you too rugged for a cabin, but not sure you are up for staying in a tent? Or, maybe you want to give the RV a break and explore a new venue. The perfect form of lodging for you would be a yurt. Yurts are large, dome shaped, circular, tent-like structures, with canvas walls and wooden framing. They were first developed in Central Asia by nomadic hunter gathers. Due to their structure, they are portable, but now, most are built to be stationary.

Thousand Trails campgrounds and Encore RV Resorts have four locations offering yurts as a rental opportunity. Yosemite Lakes (Groveland, CA), Bend-Sunriver (Bend, OR), Mount Vernon (Bow, WA), and Encore’s Mt. Hood Village (Welches, OR), all provide a variety of yurts to choose from, lodging from four to six people. Joe Clark, our Mount Vernon manager stated, “Guests who have stayed in a yurt before enjoy the experience, and guests new to yurts are pleasantly surprised with how comfortable they really are.”

Depending on the properties, our yurts come equipped with bunk beds, futons, and/  or queen beds. Cots and sleeping pads are available for rental at the stores. Most of our offered yurts require that you bring your own linens and silverware, but check while making a reservation. These rooms contain chairs, the bedding structure(s) required for the number of guests, a heater, a kitchenette (no oven), and a private bathroom and shower (at all locations except Mt. Hood). Since installing the first yurt at Mt. Hood, they have added a new structure on their property every year, due to the high demand.

Dan Werner, Mt. Hood’s manager, said that people are drawn to the yurts. “They are unique. Most people have never seen a yurt, let alone stayed in one. It’s an experience,” he said.

Yurts do extremely well on our properties; with both Yosemite Lakes and Mt. Hood’s managers stating that they compete well, or possibly book more easily than their cabins. When asked what the usual feedback from guests is, Yosemite Lakes’ manager stated, “Guests enjoy the yurts so much that I have been asked where they can purchase their own for their backyards! Others are so pleased with the camping feel in the cozy privacy that they can’t wait to come back.”

Yurts are the perfect middle ground for any hesitant camper, especially ones traveling with a family. The canvas walls and sun roofs give the dwelling a tent feel, but you are guaranteed to keep warm and comfortable. Julie Put, the Bend-Sunriver manager, said, “Guests like yurts because they’re different. They add extra rustic-ness to the idea of cabin camping.”

Staying in a yurt is a unique experience that every camper should try. Next time you’re looking to stay at Yosemite Lakes, Bend-Sunriver, or Mt. Hood, try out a yurt. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

For booking information click below:

Yosemite Lakes

Bend-Sunriver

Mount Vernon

Mt. Hood Village

 

 

Trail Buzz July 2014

There’s still plenty of time left to camp this summer so don’t forget about great deals offered by Encore Resorts to Thousand Trails members. You can enjoy great savings at Encore’s Midwest and Northeast locations as well as Florida resorts. Check out the July issue of TrailBlazer (pages 56-60) or visit www.RVonthGo and click on “Specials” to see the deals available.

 

News July 2014

If you’re reading this before July 19, you still have to time to celebrate with us as Thousand Trails celebrates 45 Years of Making Camping Memories across our preserves. Each preserve will celebrate this milestone in their own way on Saturday, July 19. There will be Ice Cream Socials, contests, giveaways and of course, cake!

If you missed the party, don’t worry. We will continue to celebrate in many more ways so watch Facebook, Twitter and TrailBlazer magazine for more celebratory fun!

 

Northwest Zone

Bend-Sunriver - Bend, OR

Bend-Sunriver – Bend, OR

Check out some of these opportunities to check off a few things from your Summer Fun List. And remember, no matter which preserve you visit, the opportunity to catch fireflies, make s’mores, and enjoy the company of friends and family in the great outdoors is always on the list when you’re camping.

Build a Sand Castle: Not a problem when you enjoy Bend’s (OR) Beachy Fun Weekend August 16-17, which will feature a sand castle building contest.

Magic Show:  Poof! Guests just might show up out of thin air at South Jetty (OR) to enjoy Dr. Delusion’s Illusion Comedy and Magic Show the weekend of August 16-17. Poof!

Outdoor Movie: Leavenworth (WA) will host outdoor movies on Saturday nights through the summer. The movie will typically correspond with the subject of the theme weekend and feature selections include “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “Clash of the Titans” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Check out the Theme Weekend directory on www.TrailBlazermagazine.net for complete details.

Scavenger Hunt: Bend (OR): It’s a scavenger hunt for all age,s complete with prizes, during Bend’s Scavenger Weekend August 23-24.

 

Northeast Zone

Circle M - Lancaster, PA

Circle M – Lancaster, PA

Check out some of these opportunities to check off a few things from your Summer Fun List. And remember, no matter which preserve you visit, the opportunity to catch fireflies, make s’mores, and enjoy the company of friends and family in the great outdoors is always on the list when you’re camping.

Enjoy a Root Beer Float: Nothing says summer like a refreshing mix of ice cream and root beer – luckily they’re on the menu for fun at Circle M (PA) August 1-3.

Outdoor Movie:  Timothy Lake North and South (PA) will host Movies on the Big Screen in the North Courtyard every Friday at 8 p.m. through August.

 Play on the Beach: The newly expanded beach at Lake & Shore (NJ) is the perfect place to check this one off the list. When you’re done at the beach, enjoy the new pool deck.

Solve a Mystery : The best “Who Done It?” beach read comes to life at Sea Pines (NJ) during their Mystery Dinner Weekend set for August 15-17. Come find the clues and figure out who’s the culprit!

 

Midwest Zone

St Clair - Saint Clair, MI

St Clair – Saint Clair, MI

Check out some of these opportunities to check off a few things from your Summer Fun List. And remember, no matter which preserve you visit, the opportunity to catch fireflies, make s’mores, and enjoy the company of friends and family in the great outdoors is always on the list when you’re camping.

Outdoor Movie: Bear Cave (MI) will screen the movie “Big Top Pee-wee” in the outdoor field at dusk on August 23. And squeaking in under the wire for an official summer event, Tranquil Timbers (WI) will host an outdoor movie on Friday, September 19.

Walk the Boardwalk: Stay at St. Clair (MI) and take a trip in to town to enjoy the world’s longest freshwater boardwalk!

Win a Prize at a County Fair: The Boone County Fair, scheduled for August 5-10 is the best place to try to cross this one off the list. Stay at Pine Country (IL) and you’re just minutes from the fairgrounds.

 

Southeast Zone

Lake Gaston - Littleton, NC

Lake Gaston – Littleton, NC

Check out some of these opportunities to check off a few things on your Summer Fun List. And remember, no matter which preserve is your choice, the opportunity to catch fireflies, make s’mores, and enjoy the company of friends and family in the great outdoors is always on the list when you’re camping.

Dangle your Feet off the Dock: Sit dockside at Lake Gaston (NC) and dip those toes in the cool water of the lake!

Enter a Talent Show: Step out of that comfort zone and show off your talents at Lake Conroe’s (TX) Talent Show set for September 6. See who’s the real show off among your camping friends!

Mini-Golf Fun: Enjoy a round or two with the family at the new mini-golf course at Chesapeake Bay (VA) and Outdoor Movie: Orlando (FL) will host a drive-up movie outside the south side of the Rec building on August 16, complete with popcorn.

 

Southwest Zone

Oakzanita Springs - Descanso, CA

Oakzanita Springs – Descanso, CA

Check out some of these opportunities to check off a few things on your Summer Fun List. And remember, no matter which preserve is your choice, the opportunity to catch fireflies, make s’mores, and enjoy the company of friends and family in the great outdoors is always on the list when you’re camping.

Build a Sand Castle: All you need is a bucket, a shovel and a great imagination to enter Lake Minden’s (CA) sand castle contest during their SANDtastic Beach Party Weekend August 8-10.

Outdoor Movie: Oakzanita Springs (CA) will feature family-friendly movies on their Outdoor BigScreen Theater. Bring your popcorn and blankets and enjoy movies under the stars during the first and last weekends of August.

Outdoor Music Festival: As summer winds down, there’s still the American River Music Festival to look forward to. A stay at Ponderosa  (CA) puts you just a half mile from the fun. Mark your calendars for September 12-14.

Scavenger Hunt: This Scavenger Hunt is done in the wild, Idyllwild (CA), that is. Take to the nature trails with list in hand and see what you can find.

 

Get the most out of a long weekend

This Fourth of July, we have been granted the glorious three day weekend all working Americans crave. Our plans for the Fourth have been set for awhile now, but what is to be done on the fifth and the sixth?

Long weekend blog

Lake of the Springs (Oregon House, CA)

For those of you who are camping, the options are endless. Go for a bike ride, fishing trip, hike, or sit at your campsite and enjoy the day. The Fourth is a day for parties and friends, so spend the next two days relaxing with family. If you can’t figure out what you want to do, have the kids take the lead. Odds are there is a part of the woods they would like to explore, a beach they want to build sandcastles on, or a book they would like you to read to them.  Don’t be afraid to leave your campsite and go into town. Check out the festivities in the towns surrounding your campground before leaving, and experience a day as the locals do! It’s a great way to recuperate, entertain kids, and experience the town.

For those staying home this holiday weekend, the best way to make the weekend feel like a vacation is to avoid routines. Eat somewhere you have never eaten before, go into the nearest city, or go on a day trip. Pack up the car with your BBQ leftovers (and the family, of course) and go for a picnic in the park. If you wish you were camping, but were unable to get away, set up a tent in your backyard. It isn’t exactly camping, but it will give you the taste for camping that you have been yearning for.

The fireworks and BBQs will end on Friday, but that doesn’t mean you have to be done with your holiday weekend. Keep up your festivities by spending time relaxing with the people you love most.

How are you planning to spend the holiday weekend? Let us know in the comments!

 

Fourth of July Recipes: Make your cookout a patriotic one!

Fourth of July is nearly here, bringing one thing with it: cookouts! Here are a few simple, delicious, and celebratory treats to have at your next cookout.

 

RWB Rice Krispie Treats

 

Patriotic Rice Krispies

Ingredients:

6 Cups Rice Krispies Cereal

1 Package baby Marshmallow

3 TB margarine or butter

Red and blue food coloring (or food dying gel, whichever you prefer)

  1. Gather your supplies and divide them by 3 (Both marshmallow and Rice Krispies should have about 2 cups, and each marshmallow bowl should have 1 TB butter or margarine)
  2. Microwave one bowl of marshmallows with 1 TB of butter for a few minutes, or until the marshmallows grow and almost touch the top of the microwave.
  3. Take out the bowl and stir well. Add food coloring (as much as you wish, the more you add the brighter they will be) and continue stirring until it is mixed well.
  4. Add the Rice Krispies, stirring until they are covered in marshmallow.
  5. In a 9×9 pan, lay your first layer of Rice Krispie treat (blue) repeat the setps, skipping coloring, and lay your white layer, repeat the steps, and add the red layer. Push all layers down into the pan.
  6. Let set, and in a few hours, you have beautifully layered Patriotic Rice Krispie Treats! You may serve them in squares, or use a star shaped cookie cutter to add a little extra flair.

[Source: http://lilluna.com/fouth-of-july-rice-krispies-treats/]

 

Red, White, and Blue Salsa

Five minutes to prep; makes about three cups of salsa.

Ingredients:

1 Cup fresh BlueberriesRWB Salsa

1 Cup diced Strawberries

1 Cup diced Jicama

1/3 Cup chopped Cilantro

¼ Cup finely diced Red Onion

2 Tablespoons finely diced jalapeños, stemmed and seeded

Juice of one large lime

Salt (to taste)

Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl, adding as much salt as you think necessary. The salsa may be served chilled or at room temperature over tortilla chips, pita chips, chicken, or fish.

[Source: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/blueberry-strawberry-jicama-salsa]

RWB Sparkler

The Sparkler

With the addition of alcohol optional, this drink is great for children and adults to enjoy this Fourth!

Ingredients:

Lemon Lime Soda

Pop Rocks (red or blue)

Blueberry Vodka (Optional)

Fresh strawberries or raspberries

Fresh blueberries

Grenadine

  1. Spread out the pop rocks on one plate, and a small amount of grenadine or simple syrup on another. Dip your cup in the grenadine or simple syrup, and then directly into the pop rocks, rimming the glass. Some Pop Rocks will pop, but most will still pop in your mouth.
  2. Put a handful of your raspberries or strawberries in the bottom of your glass. Drizzle these with grenadine.
  3. Pack the glass full of ice, leaving only a small amount at the top. (If you are making the drink alcoholic, pour a shot size amount of blueberry vodka into the glass now.)
  4. Top the glass off with a handful of fresh blueberries.
  5. Slowly fill the glass with your lemon lime soda. Do not pour too quickly or the grenadine and soda will mix, and the red, white, and blue will be less pronounced.

[Source: http://bbalacarte.com/2012/06/30/the-sparkler]

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Spend less time in the kitchen or over the grill this Fourth! With these fun and easy recipes, your cookout is bound to be a success and dressed to impress.