Archive for the ‘Camping’ Category

Why Should I Write an Online Review About Vacation?

CyberCelt | December 11, 2012 in Campground Reviews,Camping,Reviews,RV Parks,RV Travel,Travel Sites Reviews | Comments (0)

If you’ve recently taken a vacation, you’ve probably encountered a variety of vendors, including airlines, rental agencies, hotels, restaurants and even entertainment venues. Most people take a vacation, get home and share their experience with a few close friends and family members, and then there are those who share their experience with the world using popular online review sites like TripAdvisor.

If you’ve never left an online review before, you may not think that writing online reviews is important or that your opinion would make a difference, but the truth is that more and more consumers are turning to these sites before planning their trip. They’re using the experiences and opinions of total strangers to learn where to stay, what airline to take, where to eat and even what places to shop at. And if you recently took a vacation, you should share your experience through online review sites for the following reasons.

You can tell people where to go.

If you had an absolutely amazing time while on vacation, find the company online and leave an amazing review. Be specific so that other readers know what time of the year you traveled, who you were with and what exactly made it so special. Knowing that a company went above and beyond your expectations can help others learn that they should also use this company if they will be traveling to the same area.

You can tell people where not to go.

Along with good experiences, it’s also possible that you had a bad experience with a company while on vacation. You should also turn to online review sites and leave a review detailing your poor experience. This will let other people know just how poorly  you were treated, and it will warn others from using this company and having the same bad experience.

 You can provide insight to the business.

By leaving an online review, you’re leaving valuable insight to the business you’re reviewing. If you left a good review, you’re letting the business know that they’re doing a great job and exceeding expectations, and they can use this information to ensure that they continue to provide excellent service. On the other hand, if your review was bad, it is letting managers and company owners about the poor quality of their business, which may be something that they were completely unaware of. These businesses can then use the information you provided to make the right changes to ensure that the same poor experience doesn’t happen to other guests.

You could earn incentives.

Some companies provide incentives to customers that leave reviews on popular websites. For example, if you left a nice review, the company may thank you by providing you with a discount off your next visit or giving you a free gift. This is their way of saying “thank you” for your input and ensuring that you come back.

If you leave a negative review, you may receive an apology from the company’s manager or business owner, which is a big deal in itself, but you may also receive an incentive to give them another try and let them prove to you that they’re a good company with good customer service. Depending on how you feel about the company, you may take them up on their offer to make it up to you, and if they do, you could write another review letting others know how they took the time to make a bad experience a positive.


Lauren Williams is a travel agent and prolific writer.  She enjoys blogging about her vacations and commonly uses a travel reviews aggregator.

Star Party 2011

CyberCelt | October 5, 2011 in Boondocking,Camping,Country,Nature,RV Travel,Skywatching | Comments (2)

Time lapse photograph of Milky Way over Texas Star Party

Time Lapse Photograph of

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rising over Star Party

The Big Bend Star Party

10/20/2011 — 10/22/2011

Big Bend Star Party (payment and questions)
c/o Dave Oesper
110 Haystack Mountain Dr.
Alpine, TX. 79830-3366

The Big Bend Star Party is a great opportunity for for clear sky viewing on a mountain top while visiting other star gazers under the dark skies of Sierra la Rana. McDonald Observatory is offering a special tour and lunch with the astronomers.  The site of the Star Party has been selected to assure no direct lights will be visible.

The Star Party will be open to the public Saturday evening October 22 from  7-11 pm. A van will bus visitors from the front gate of Sierra La Rana to and from the star party site.

HorseHead Nebula seen from Alpine Star Party

Horse Head Nebula

Camping Details

 A special gate access code will be provided to registrants for use during the star party. Cost is $30 per person for three days of camping and star gazing. Only 30 attendees allowed. There will be electricity and 7 pad sites available. Porta-Potties will be on site and a limited amount of water and snacks provided but please come as self sufficient as possible.

30th Annual Hotter ‘n Hell 100

CyberCelt | August 4, 2011 in Boondocking,Camping,Hike/Bike/Run,Hotels,RV Parks,RV Travel,Sports | Comments (2)

Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred August 25-28, 2011

The Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred is now the largest single day 100 mile bicycle ride in the nation, quite possibly the world. In 2010 more than 14,000 registrants participated in the Hotter’N Hell Hundred weekend events.

Fitness oriented riders and bicycle racers travel to  Wichita Falls, Texas, from virtually every state in the USA and several foreign countries. The USA Cycling Road Race is Saturday August 27, 2011 with USA Cycling Criterium racing on Friday and Sunday. The HHH will continue to offer an off-road mountain bike race on Friday August 26, 2011 and a trail run on Sunday August 28, 2011 as well.

Get the information you need to compete, attend, be a medic or support person at the HH website.

Note: the temperatures in Wichita Falls for most of this week are forecast to be 110 degrees F. This is not a fun run or bike ride.  Make sure you are in shape for this strenuous event.  There will be medical, mechanical and rest stops along the route.

Schedule of EventsHotter ‘N Hell Hundred

Thursday, August 25, 2011: Registration and Consumer Show

3 PM: Consumer Show opens in the Exhibit Hall of the Multi-Purpose Events Center

4 PM: Packet Pickup and late registration open at the Exhibit Hall

4 PM: USA Cycling registration begins in the Exhibit Hall

4 PM: Wee-Chi-Tah Off Road Events Registration opens in the Exhibit Hall

8 PM: All Activities Close

Friday, August 26, 2011:  CELEBRATION BEGINS

10 AM – 3 PM: HHH Science of Cycling Seminar Presentations-MPEC Seminar Rooms

1 PM: Consumer Show begins

2 PM: Packet Pickup and late registration open in the Exhibit Hall for ride and race participants

2 PM: Wee-Chi-Tah Off Road Events Registration opens in the Exhibit Hall

3 PM Finish Line Village Opens

4 PM: Sports Massage at MPEC

5 PM-830 PM: Ultra Criterium for USA Cycling racers at the Ultra Finish Line – Vantage point to watch is MPEC East steps at 3rd & Lamar

5 PM: Wee-Chi-Tah NORBA Mountain Bike Race begins

5-9 PM: Spaghetti Dinner Begins;  Served by the North Texas Restaurant Association- MPEC Coliseum Lower Level

7 PM: Seminar for Cyclists – Have Your Best Ride-MPEC Seminar Room

10 PM: Consumer Show, Registration, and Packet Pickup Close

Saturday, August 27, 2011:  Ride and USAC Road Races.

5 AM: Breakfast offered by Monarch Catering; West end of the Exhibit Hall

5 AM: Packet Pickup and Late Registration in the Exhibit Hall.   USA Cycling racers – no registration

615 AM: 100 mile route opens for those that choose to start early.

630 AM: Michelob Ultra USA Cycling Road Races begin

645 AM: Pace Groups’ scheduled start

7 AM: Registration for the ride closes

704 AM:  USAF Flyover

7:04 AM: Canon Blast and the Endurance Ride Officially starts

8 AM: Michelob Finish Line Village opens at 5th and Lamar

8 AM: Food Court opens North of the Coliseum

9 AM-3 PM: The Consumer Show Opens

9 AM: Sports Massage at the finish line opens

1030 AM-4 PM: Outdoor Concert at 3rd  and Lamar

11 AM:  Michelob Ultra Road Races finish.  Awards by noon

7 PM: All activities close

Sunday, August 28, 2011:  TRIPLE THREAT CHALLENGE

7 AM: Off-Road Trail Run: Wee-Chi-Tah Trail Run, Half Marathon, 10-K  and 13-mile

7 AM-2 M: Ultra Criterium for USA Cycling Racers begins at the Ultra Finish Line Village

RV and Tent Camping

Note:  Burn Ban in effect for most of Texas.  Mosquitoes are troublesome this time of year. Dress accordingly and use the repellent of your choice.

MPEC (event site) has several hundred Recreational Vehicle (RV) sites with water and electricity.  There is a dump station on site. The cost is $17 per night. 940-716-5500.

Bridwell Ag Center is just across the river from HHH Registration and Consumer Show. Campers may set their tents on the lower bank of the river or adjacent to the Ag Center. Cold showers are available at the Ag Center as well as toilet facilities. No reservations are necessary, and the cost is free.

Lake Arrowhead State Park is home to a Black-tailed Prairie Dog Town.  Waterfowl and wading birds are also a common site. Popular fish include crappie, perch, catfish, and bass. For camping, primitive, campsites with water, campsites with electric and water and equestrian campsites with electric and water are available. For Hotter ‘n Hell,, 44 campsites with water were added. These are picnic sites with water every 3 to 4 sites. Park near site; each site has a picnic table: $8 per night and may be reserved only through the park.  Call, fax or use the online reservation website: Lake Arrowhead reservation website.

There are hotels and B&Bs  available, check out the webpage on the HH site.  Other RV Parks are listed on this page.


The Grand Canyon of Texas : Palo Duro Canyon

CyberCelt | June 10, 2011 in Birding,Cabins/Cottages,Camping,Camping,Family Fun,Hike/Bike/Run,Horseback Riding,Nature,Rivers,Road Trips,RV Parks,RV Travel,Wildlife Watching | Comments (0)

Driving south from Amarillo for 15 miles and then due east for 10 miles, you journey through flat, dry treeless tableland dotted by ranches and farms. There is little warning before the ground opens up and you are driving down into a glorious canyon.

Palo Duro State Park-Capitol Peak

Palo Duro State Park-Capitol Peak

Photograph by Mike Wilson, Palo Duro Canyon State

You have arrived at Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon system in the USA.  Called the Grand Canyon of Texas, this canyon was formed by the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River eroding the Caprock Escarpment for one million years.  The geologic formations in the canyon are vibrant red. orange, yellow and purple formations and they expose sedimentary rocks from almost the beginning of time.

The canyon is divided up into ranches, but the 300,000 acre Palo Duro Canyon State Park opens up this colorful canyon to intrepid explorers, whether hikers, bikers, equestrians or birders.  Amenities include cabin rentals, tent sites and RV sites with water & electricity. There are hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails and a bird blind.  You may see white-tailed and mule deer, bobcats, Aoudad sheep, Palo Duro mice, wild turkeys, roadrunners, Horned lizards, Longhorn cattle, coyotes, beavers, bats, ring-tailed racoons, as well as more wildflowers, insects, snakes and birds than you could possibly remember.


Lighthouse Formation in Palo Duro Canyon.

The Lighthouse-Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Back-Packing Sites

Back-pack camping is permitted only in the area south of the turn-around. You must hike into the area for at least 30 minutes. Water is only available at the trail head. Fires are not permitted, although stoves with containerized fuel are permitted. You must carry out all that you carry in. Pets are permitted but must be kept on leash at all times.  FEE: $12 per four people.

Equestrian Primitive Camping Sites (10)

You may camp with your horses in the Equestrian Camping Area. Proof must be provided of Coggins Test within the past 12 months. There is a corral just south of the turn-around with established sites near it with table, fire ring, and water. A total of eight horses/people constitute a site. Restrooms/ showers are available within approximately 1/3 of a mile.  FEE: $12 per site.


Edge of the high plains plateau, Palo Duro Canyon

Edge of the high plains plateau, Palo Duro Canyon

Photograph by John of American

Primitive Drive Up Tent Camping Sites (25)

There are two camping areas designated “primitive” (Cactus and Fortress Cliff). The areas have designated camping sites. Each has a table, a shade shelter, fire ring and water available in the area. They are no restroom nor shower facilities. You drive (1/2 to 2 miles) to an adjacent camp loop for restroom/shower facilities. A maximum of 8 people are permitted in each site.  FEE: $12 per site.

Electrical Sites

Mesquite and Sagebrush camp loops have a total of 47 sites with water and electricity (50 amp service). Each site has a table (some with shade shelters), fire ring, paved parking area,. There is a restroom with showers in the camping loop. A maximum of 8 people are permitted in each site. There is a maximum of THREE vehicular units permitted per site. FEE: $25 per site includes up to 2 vehicular units. Any 3rd vehicular unit is billed at the additional rate of $2 per day.

Hackberry camp loop has 32 sites with 30 amp electrical service and water. Fee: $22


Spanish Skirts geologic formation at Palo Duro Canyon

Spanish Skirts Formation-Timber Creek Canyon

Photograph by Mike Wilson, Palo Duro Canyon State


There are two CCC vintage cabins (Lighthouse and Goodnight) and a more modern cabin (Sorenson), all perched on the canyon rim. Each cabin consists of two rooms plus restroom and shower and have modern heating and cooling. Lighthouse Cabin has a day bed. Goodnight and Sorenson cabins have full size bunk beds. All three cabins have queen size beds. There is a table and charcoal grill located just outside. Cooking inside is not allowed. Bed linens and towels are provided. A maximum of 4 persons are permitted per cabin. No pets are allowed.  Cabins are non smoking. Lighthouse and Goodnight FEE: $110 per night plus tax and entrance fees. Sorenson has a deck from which the canyon may be viewed. FEE: $125 per night plus tax and entrance fees.

There are four Cow Camp Cabins (rustic, basic) with two bunk beds and a table and  chairs. No towels or linens are provided and restroom/showers are across the road). One cabin is wheelchair accessible. FEE: $60



Palo Duro Canyon State Park Events (check with park ranger when checking in)

  • Lunch with the Longhorns Jun 01-Jun 30, 2011 130-2 PM
  • Life of a Comanche Woman Jun 10, 2011 8-9 PM
  • Bird Walk and Talk Jun 11, 2011 830-10 AM
  • Family Nature Hike Jun 15, 2011 930-1030 AM
  • Night Hike Jun 16, 2011 830-930 PM

TEXAS! Outdoor Musical Drama, with a cast of more than 60 players, takes place in the outdoor amphitheater every Tuesday through Sunday night from 830 pm to 1030 pm, from June 4 to August 20! Enjoy the show under the stars of the Texas sky. You may also choose to add on a steak dinner. Get information and tickets here.’

Fourth Annual Rider on the Rim Trail Ride and Auction
September 24, 2011

Palo Duro Trail Run
Saturday, October 15, 2011
50 Mile • 50K • 20K Fun Run/Walk
(A Western States Qualifier)’

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