This month, TrailBlazer would like to introduce you to Margaret and David Clubb, two members who began camping together with a hilarious backpacking mishap. Today, they consider themselves upside down snowbirds as they stay north for outdoor winter activities!

TB: How long have you been camping and RVing? Who introduced you to it?  Tell us how it all began!

MDC: We’ve been camping since the early ’80s. Our first camping adventure was backpacking. We bought some used equipment and backpacks and headed to Wilderness Lakes outside Klamath Falls, Oregon. It was a five mile hike to the lake. Since it was our first camp out and backpacking, we really didn’t know what we were doing! We over packed our packs (over packed = packing canned goods! What was I thinking??) and by the time we got to the lake, we could hardly walk any further. We set up camp, got out our fishing gear but the mosquitoes were so bad that we became mosquito bait! So, we crawled in our tents and just laid around and talked until we finally fell asleep. The next morning we decided to hike back out and go home because we were tired of being mosquito bait! It’s been so long ago we forgot who actually told us about the Wilderness Lakes, but they told us it was so beautiful up there and the fishing was great. So, that’s how it all began.

TB: How did you first hear about Thousand Trails?

MDC: I heard about Thousand Trails years ago when Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were the spokes people for Thousand Trails. I thought that someday that might be a good organization to join after we retired. When we were younger, we always watched the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans movies and TV shows and thought if they were promoting it, it must be a great organization.

TB: What is one of your fondest camping memories?  How about one of your fondest TT memories?

MDC: Some of our fondest memories of camping is when we used to have our family reunions at National Parks, Yellowstone, Glacier, and the Grand Tetons. The family would meet at one of these places every three to four years and we would have a great camp out. Some of the family would be in tents, some in campers, some in motor homes, and some in cabins, but we all had a great time getting together. Our fondest Thousand Trails camping memory was when my youngest daughter and her husband met up with us at the Thousand Trails Resort at Sunriver, out of Bend. We went skiing at Mount Bachelor, one of the best skiing resorts in Oregon. We also toured the High Desert museum which was great! We didn’t realize how big the museum was and how much history and detail of Central Oregon there would be. On our next vacation to Sunriver, we plan on going snowmobiling and doing other winter activities.

TB: Any funny camping/RVing stories?

DC: Our trip to Mount Rushmore was 1,250 miles on motorcycles, and was probably the most exciting camping trip that we’ve ever been on. Since we both rode motorcycles, my wife rode a Honda Silverwing and I rode a Kawasaki 1300 and I towed a trailer with all the camping gear in it. My mother-in-law rode behind me. We camped out every night and when we got closer to the Plain States, it begin raining, the weather was very bad. When we got into Jackson Hole, Wyoming, it was really pouring rain. We tried to find a motel but nothing was available, so we went to the local campground and set up our tents in the rain. The next day we dried out all of our camping equipment since the sun was finally shining. We took off again toward Mount Rushmore but later in the afternoon it started lightning and there were thunderstorms!  Can you imagine how it felt to be out on the Plains on a motorcycle with lightning and thunder all around? It was a very scary event. But we kept riding toward our final destination and when we got to Mount Rushmore it had been raining there and it looked like all of the presidents faces were crying. We were hoping that was a sign that they were crying for us for our ordeal over the last few days. Made it to destination and back home safe and sound.

TB: What type of camper are you/what equipment do you use? What do you prefer and why? (ex: fifth wheel, RV, tent, cabins, etc.)

MDC: We’ve camped with tents, trailers, and cabins to motor homes. We prefer the motor home to all other types of camping. It has all of the luxuries of home and can be parked almost anywhere so you can also enjoy the outdoors and all of the beautiful scenery it has to offer and activities. So the RV gives you the best of both worlds, camping in luxury.

TB: Where have you gone that you wouldn’t have otherwise, if it hadn’t been for your Thousand Trails membership?

Punch Bowl Falls, OR

MDC: Lake Tawakoni, in Point, Texas. We spent a couple of weeks there on our way to see one of our daughters and her family in Tyler. The time we spent there was great. Most of the campsites were very well shaded which was a real plus since we were there in June and July. The park had lots of activities for us to do and we went sightseeing around the area. We just love watermelon and we were in watermelon heaven! Around Point, Texas, there are watermelon vendors alongside the road almost everywhere. Best watermelon we ever ate!

TB: What is your favorite part about the outdoor lifestyle?

DC: Being close to the things we love to do; skiing, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, bicycling, and fishing are some activities we love doing (although I must admit, my wife does not care for skiing and kayaking! She stays in the motor home and quilts!). Because our “home is where we park it”, we can park it close to all of the activities. So therefore, it’s always just a short drive to do the things we love to do. And we’re away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

TB: Can you finish this sentence?  I knew I was a TrailBlazer when…

MDC: I knew I was a TrailBlazer when we used to go camping with my parents at Green Peter Reservoir out of Sweet Home, OR. My parents had a motor home and we borrowed a camp trailer from my brother. The Santiam River feeds into the reservoir at Green Peter and we used to go digging for gold on the banks of the Santiam! We did that for several years and it was so much fun with the family working together and there were good swimming holes. It was wonderful to be out and about in nature. There was always the excitement that we just might find the big nugget, but of course we never did!

TB: Feel free to share any other camping/RVing stories here.

Margaret Snowshoeing on Mt. Hood

MDC: We have been Thousand Trails members for about four years. We purchased our Elite membership at Mount Hood Village at Welches, Oregon. It is a great Encore park that is part of the Thousand Trails system. We have spent several winters here in the park since we live in our RV about 9 months out of the year. A lot of our friends say that we have the “snowbird” thing upside down because they travel south for the winter and we travel to Mount Hood Village to play in the snow! This is a great park that we use as a home base when doing the winter activities. All of the people here are great and the park is also. One day we all we might get the “snowbird” thing right and head south for the winter, but not yet!