The Appalachian Trail Hostels That Will Not Close

David Magee is not so sure how much he should say about running a hostel along the Appalachian Trail. This year when the coronavirus pandemic has dashed all but a few thru-hiking dreams. For three years, Magee has owned The Station at 19E, a compound-like hostel along the Tennessee-North Carolina border. He begins, off the record, with a litany of grievances. For example, how the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) caused a panic when it told hikers to go home. How people in the wider trail community lampooned him for staying open and putting his financial health over public health. How townspeople have called to threaten his business. After a few minutes, Magee decides he wants everything to be on the record; he reckons his renegade actions warrant documentation. “I am doing what I have to do to protect my community—and the hikers who aren’t leaving,” he says. “I’m going to …

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Facts About RV Surge Protectors

RV camping in a travel trailer, fifth wheel or motor home differs from tent camping because you have the pleasure of many comforts: air conditioning, running water and electricity, just to start. Each of these systems comes with their own responsibility however, and it’s important to maintain them to sustainably enjoy life in an RV. For example, surge protectors protect your RV’s electrical system by controlling the amount of electricity that goes into your RV. Although they may seem expensive, they are protecting your investment. As a full-time RVer, I have seen many fall victim to electrical surges and their costly repairs. These surge protectors are worth every bit of what they cost! Everything You Need to Know About RV Surge Protectors When you plug in your RV to an electrical outlet, the correct amount of electricity would ideally go into your RV, so you can use the lights and …

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Add Guadalupe Mountains to Your Must-Visit List

Believe it or not, I grew up in Texas. I didn’t love it. It was flat, hot, and humid. In summer it felt like I was sucking warm steam through a straw just to breathe. Boy, I wish I had known about Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Located in a far-flung corner of West Texas, just 30 minutes from Carlsbad Caverns, the park is a magical respite from the arid tract of the Chihuahuan Desert to the south. Much like the state’s only other national park, Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains possesses that rare, island-in-the-sky vibe that makes hiking through it feels otherworldly. The big vistas, ponderosa pine forests, and high-mountain wildlife that I yearned for as a kid were all there in spades. The park’s main attraction is 8,751-foot Guadalupe Peak, the top of Texas, which many people climb. The Perfect Day for a Hike I got a late start one morning …

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Find Stillness at Carlsbad Caverns

It was quite the adventure on my way to Carlsbad Caverns. Driving through West Texas oil country at night felt like stumbling into some dark occult ritual uninvited. Huge fireballs dotted the horizon in every direction. Each one surrounded by a semicircle of big chrome machinery. Floodlights blinded me in the pitch-black. My tires screeched to avoid hitting a lone coyote in the chilly 28-degree winter air. It was a rough entry into New Mexico. The next morning, I drove through the Chihuahuan Desert in southern New Mexico to pay a visit to Carlsbad Caverns. I was immediately struck by how developed the entrance was. Unlike most other parks on my list, the main attraction here is the central cave itself. This means that the ticketing window, restrooms, gift shop, restaurant, and elevator to the cave are all housed together in one giant building. It feels more like a scene …

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Slightly Cultured Traveler – Middle East Edition

The Middle East isn’t on top of anyone’s bucket list right now because of all the violence. And honestly, if I weren’t in the military, I wouldn’t have ever considered going there myself. But, with that said, I did get to spend quite a bit of my life over there seemingly. Their way of life is entirely different from ours, and at first, it is a bit of culture shock. I like to describe visiting the Middle East as going back in time, because of the primitivities of necessary infrastructure within a city. Plumbing in Iraq is something to be desired. Often there were streets filled with sewage, and who knows what else. Israel I got the opportunity to visit Israel for work-related travel. My trip was scheduled to be there for at least three weeks, but maybe longer if the job needed it. However, I spent the first week …

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The Eternal Traveler – South America Edition

My family has always referred to me as “the eternal traveler.” This is mainly due because I have been fortunate to have been able to do a lot of traveling at a young age. So, if you ever get the chance to take a trip to South America, Peru is a destination that you will want to add to your list. A few years ago, I had the privilege of spending ten days or so in Peru, and I had a fantastic time! This was my first time being in South America, and I found it to be a destination that everyone should have on their bucket list! Being able to see the different cultures that they have is what made this trip one of the best I’ve ever been on. Arrival in Lima The first couple of days were spent in Lima, which is the Capitol of Peru and …

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