Capturing the Dream - Guest Author Pat Hayden


My husband, Eddie, and I are serious amateur photographers. For a number of years we have been traveling, primarily by flying, and photographing wildlife around the US. Eddie retired in March 2012 and I retired January 2013. With retirement we looked forward to traveling more by driving. We purchased our first truck camper in January 2013 and started planning what we called our Great Adventure; a 6-week trip through the Northwest covering over 9,000 miles through 11 states and 3 Canadian provinces. We purchased a 2013 Palomino Bronco because the low height would allow us to drive into more remote areas. Since wildlife is our priority the roads we drive are usually not major highways. We added a small convection oven to our camper, which we could use anytime we were connected to electricity.

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We left our home in Hutto Texas in August and headed due west staying in RV parks recommended by Good Sam in New Mexico and Arizona. Our first experiences in RV parks were all very good and we thoroughly enjoyed the amenities at the parks. Our first photography stop on our trip was outside Big Pine California in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. The bristlecone pines are among the oldest trees in the world. Some trees have been dated back almost 5000 years old. The trees are very beautiful and our main goal was photographing the trees at night with the Milky Way as a backdrop. The Patriarch Grove is located 12 miles above the visitor center at 11,000 feet and is accessible by a rough, dirt road. It took 2 hours to make the 12 miles.  Camping is not allowed in the Grove (there is a campground near the visitor center), but this area is very popular with astrophotographers and there is no curfew. With our truck camper we were able to park in the designated parking area and pop up the camper so we could get to our warm clothes and camera gear. After several hours of photographing the trees in the afternoon light we ate a quick dinner and then started photographing the Milky Way with the trees in the foreground. We loved the effect and came away with several nice photos.

 


Next on our trip was the Redwood forest in northern California. We stayed in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park over the Labor Day weekend. The campground does not have RV hookups but has water available and very nice restrooms/showers. Although the park campground was full, there were plenty of trails to get away from crowds. We left the Redwoods and headed up Hwy 101 up the Oregon Coast stopping along the way to take photos of the Pacific. We crossed into Canada at Abbotsford, BC and headed to Prince Rupert. Between California and British Columbia we again stayed in RV parks recommended by Good Sam.

 


In Prince Rupert we parked our camper and took a floatplane to Hartley Bay to spend 6 days aboard a 54-foot Hatteras Long Range Cruiser owned by Ocean Adventures. We were joined on the cruise by a couple from Sweden and a friend of ours from Seattle. All five of us are photographers and along with the 4-man crew we headed into the Great Bear Rainforest to photograph wildlife. During the 6 days we were blessed with unbelievably warm and clear weather. We had humpback whales breaching and tail slapping right in front of the boat. Each day we would get into a 16-foot zodiac and cruise up streams to search for bears, wolves, seals, and eagles. On our last day we saw the elusive “spirit bear”. Spirit bears are Kermode bears which are only found in the Great Bear Rainforest. They are a subspecies of black bears and have a white or cream-colored coat. Only 10% of the black bears in the rainforest are spirit bears. It was a once in a lifetime experience and a perfect way to end our cruise.

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With a float plane trip back to Prince Rupert we arrived back at our camper and headed north to Hyder Alaska. Hyder is a very small town and we stayed at the one RV park that was still open in September. It was a full service park enabling u to only eat out when we wanted to. The US Forest Service runs the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site just outside of Hyder. The site has a platform where you can observe bears catching salmon during the salmon run from July through September.  We spent the next 3 days photographing grizzly bears fishing and eating salmon as well as wolves also fishing and even running off a young grizzly to have the creek to themselves.


We then drove north through British Columbia and the Yukon to Haines Alaska. In Haines we stayed at an RV park looking out over Chilkoot Inlet. Over 3 days we saw several grizzly bear including one sow with cub that would entertain us for long periods of time each day. At the end of our stay in Haines, we boarded the Alaska Marine Ferry for a ride through the Inside Passage back to Prince Rupert. Our camper stayed in the hull of the ferry while we slept in a cabin on board.

 

After disembarking in Prince Rupert we headed west to see the Canadian Rockies. Our first stop was at Jasper National Park. The RV campgrounds in the park are first rate with electric and water hookups. The restrooms and showers were clean and nice. Every night we were serenaded by bull elk bugling during elk rut as they wandered through the campground. Although we did not see a lot of wildlife during our stay in Jasper, the park had plenty of beautiful landscapes for us to photograph. We spent time along the Icefields Parkway and then headed down to Lake Louise and Banff. We stayed at the Lake Louise Campground. Since bears were frequenting the area gathering berries before hibernation we had to stay in the tent camp area surrounded by electric fencing as our camper has soft sides on top.


By this time it was late September and the weather was turning rainy and colder. It was time to head south. We had planned to go to Glacier National Park, but this year the Going To The Sun Road closed early for construction so we skipped Glacier for this trip. We also had planned on stopping at our favorite park, Yellowstone, but a winter storm was approaching and we didn’t have snow tires on the truck. Instead, we headed south through Idaho and cut across the Tetons at Teton Pass. We stayed several days in Grand Teton National Park at the Gros Ventre campground. The campground only had a few campers and although the weather stayed rainy we were able to get some great photos of moose. This campground is a beautiful place to camp with large trees and close proximity to the park.

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With the government shutdown starting in October and the parks closing we left the Tetons the last of September to head home. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and our camper. Besides the boat trips, we stayed in our camper all but three nights. We will be planning several shorter camping trips in 2014 and know that the experiences we had in 2013 will make our 2014 trips even better. 

 

February 19, 2014 19:13 by Admin
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Lance Makes Waves with Their New 2013 1172 Double Slide Truck Camper

 The 2013 models have brought changes in almost every camper... ...but no one has made the leap like Lance. They really stepped up the décor with a brighter wall panel, warm, glazed cabinetry, a front cap, gel coat exterior and all LED lighting, inside and out. The next 2013 upgrade is the addition of the 1172 double slide camper. Wow. The rear sofa (complete with recliner style footrests) is comfy and stylish with a big window above it for a nice open feel. The dinette slide out has the facing booth style dinette with the easy glide table that makes a bed in seconds. The molded countertops are stunning and the flip up countertops on both ends of the kitchen add plenty of counter space. The bed area is Lance’s standard wardrobe with a true queen, Heki skylight and windows on each side. Wait till you see the bathroom. The countertop and sink are a good size as well as the shower. The larger medicine cabinet offers enough space for 2 people to keep their personal items. So now that we have determined that this is a stylish camper, let’s talk details. The biggest detail is the weight. Dry weight is 3690 lbs. That is only 170 lbs more than the Lance 1181 with a single slide. The fresh water tank is 42 gallons, the grey and black are 35 each. It has all the options you would expect, like the heated basement, double 30 lbs propane tanks, 2.5 Onan Generator options, double battery, etc. There is one large compartment with the outside shower, low point drains, satellite and cable hook ups, dump valves and battery disconnect… all in one easy access compartment. Gotta love it! The part that we cannot describe is the feel of the space in this camper. When you walk in, the open feeling and inviting layout is unmistakable. Lance has a winner with this one. If you have an opportunity to see this camper, take it. The Lance 1172 is a great addition to the 2013 line up of truck campers on the market that just keep getting better and better!

The New Lance 1172 Truck Camper

The next 2013 upgrade is the addition of the 1172 double slide camper. Wow. The rear sofa (complete with recliner style footrests) is comfy and stylish with a big window above it for a nice open feel. The dinette slide out has the facing booth style dinette with the easy glide table that makes a bed in seconds. The molded countertops are stunning and the flip up countertops on both ends of the kitchen add plenty of counter space. The bed area is Lance’s standard wardrobe with a true queen, Heki skylight and windows on each side. Wait till you see the bathroom. The countertop and sink are a good size as well as the shower. The larger medicine cabinet offers enough space for 2 people to keep their personal items.

 

The New Lance 1172 Truck Camper DiningSo now that we have determined that this is a stylish camper, let’s talk details. The biggest detail is the weight. Dry weight is 3690 lbs. That is only 170 lbs more than the Lance 1181 with a single slide. The fresh water tank is 42 gallons, the grey and black are 35 each. It has all the options you would expect, like the heated basement, double 30 lbs propane tanks, 2.5 Onan Generator options, double battery, etc. There is one large compartment with the outside shower, low point drains, satellite and cable hook ups, dump valves and battery disconnect… all in one easy access compartment. Gotta love it!

 

The New Lance 1172 Truck Second SlideThe part that we cannot describe is the feel of the space in this camper. When you walk in, the open feeling and inviting layout is unmistakable. Lance has a winner with this one.

 

If you have an opportunity to see this camper, take it. The Lance 1172 is a great addition to the 2013 line up of truck campers on the market that just keep getting better and better!

November 14, 2012 20:59 by Admin
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Little Guy Camping Trailers is Refreshing the Clamshell T@B

 

An exterior shot of a Little Guy T@B clam shell camping trailer that isn't complete, yetFor years now, Little Guy Trailers has been marrying fun, cute-ness, and functionality together to make lightweight trailer camping accessible for just about anybody who’s interested. They’ve done a splendid job, and they’re looking for more ways to make the world your oyster… if you’re a fun-loving camper, that is.

 

So, what’s new?

 

The open back of the Little Guy T@B Clamshell camping trailer

The new thing is to bring a freshened up version of their popular Clamshell T@B trailer to market. Clamshell, you say? Indeed, and we have some of the preliminary details to share with you… and a few pictures, too! Now, these pictures are very early and don’t show the finished, ready for market product.

 

If you’re familiar with the T@B product at all, you know that it’s a teardrop style trailer, which means lots of planning has been put into the design to maximize functionality within a very distinct and efficient shape. The Clamshell’s design isn’t a departure from this mold in the least. What it is, however, is a slightly longer unit with the benefit of hatch-back style door that reveals an exterior cooking and project space.

 

 

a closer look at the outdoor galley of the new Little Guy T@B clam shell camping trailer

If you’ll take a look at this early product design, you’ll see the basic details right away… and you’ll start dreaming up camping and tailgating scenarios just as quickly. An outdoor sink, range, fridge, speakers, and some nice cabinetry give this Little Guy some very useful character beyond the traditional teardrops. Just pause for a moment and run through a few fun weekend or week-long activities you could tackle with something like this! I’m thinking about a fishing trip, myself…

 

 

The new, slightly modified interior layout of the new Little Guy T@B clam shell camping trailer

Okay, come back to us now! The new design does require some dimensional changes to allow for the cool new outdoor kitchen, but also to keep the interior’s appointments and appeal. Here’s a quick look at the “all there” interior that hasn’t seen a bit of compromise. A few features have been shuffled, if you will, but none has been left out.

 

 

 

another picutre of the new, slightly modified interior layout of the new Little Guy T@B clam shell camping trailerSo, what can’t we see in the pictures? The photographs show an unfinished unit that hasn’t seen the paint, trim, decals and other visual appointments. Having worked with Little Guy for a while now, we know to expect a very clean and well-done finished look on all of their units. Also, there are always options to personalize these wonderful units.

 

 

 

A final shot of the new, slightly modified interior layout of the new Little Guy T@B clam shell camping trailer

You’ll be able to pick from a few accent trim colors:Black, Red, Yellow, Blue, Grey, Orange, and White. Other options that will be on this trailer are: water heater, exterior shower, grey water tank, 10 gal fresh water tank, city water hookup, 12 volt fridge, sink/stove combo, power package, DVD/TV radio combo with interior and exterior monitors and speakers the exterior monitor will be installed in that galley cabinet without the door with a wired remote in the galley to control the DVD/TV Radio from the galley. Furnace and Cool-Cat. Pretty cool, huh?!


Here at Princess Craft RV, in Round Rock, TX, we’re looking forward to this new product’s arrival. If you have question, please give us a call. If you’re looking for information on any of the Little Guy T@B lineup, please check out our website, www.princesscraft.com, or give us a call. We love these things and are happy to answer questions.

 

Happy trails!

 

PC

November 14, 2012 16:36 by Admin
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