RV Fun

There is so much to do and see in one lifetime. Even just a short drive away, there are all manner of sights to be seen. So as you start de-winterizing and getting your RV road-ready, don’t think you have to wait for summer. Before the crowds and heat set in, here are a few great Spring trips to begin the year.

The desert oasis of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The desert oasis of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Borrego Springs, California
If you are desperate for some warmth and flowers, the desert oasis of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® could be your first destination of the year. Known best for its astounding desert blooms, Borrego Springs is also California’s first and only International Dark Sky Community. Along with Citizen Science projects and a biosphere reserve to visit, there is also a thriving art community associated with the Borrego Art institute.

Borrego Art institute

Borrego Art institute

So if you’re craving that first beautiful hit of sunshine for the year, this would be a great first stop on your travels. For more information, go to either https://www.springsatborrego.com/ or http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638.

Spring is when this glorious canyon is at its most colorful.

Spring is when this glorious canyon is at its most colorful.

Grand Canyon National Park
Yes, we know, everyone goes there. But most go there in the heat of high summer. So if you want to see all the beauty and experience the wonder without losing a pint of sweat every hour, spring is the best time to go.

You’ll also have a chance to see all the newborn calves, fawns and kits.

You’ll also have a chance to see all the newborn calves, fawns and kits.

You’ll also have a chance to see all the newborn calves, fawns and kits in among the more than 650 species of herbaceous wildflowers and flowering cacti. Spring is when this glorious canyon is at its most colorful. Don’t miss out. For more information, contact the Trailer Village RV Park at https://www.visitgrandcanyon.com/trailer-village-rv-park. They offer full hook-ups and easy access to the canyon rim.

Long Beach Peninsula, Washington
If you’re looking for something closer to home, remember that the Pacific Ocean keeps our shores warmer and spring comes all-the sooner. And we have the world’s longest beach, Long Beach.

If you’re a fan of delicious seafood, you’ll find all you could want here.

If you’re a fan of delicious seafood, you’ll find all you could want here.

Okay, the name is not very creative, but if you’re a fan of delicious seafood, you’ll find all you could want here. There’s plenty of room for cycling and horseback riding as you pass the dramatically beautiful seamounts and coastal cliffs. At the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center (http://capedisappointment.org/lewis-clark-interpretive-center/), you can explore the history of Cape Disappointment and the entire peninsula.

There is one signature activity at Long Beach: kite flying.

There is one signature activity at Long Beach: kite flying.

There is one signature activity only at Long Beach: kite flying. Home to the World Kite Museum (http://worldkitemuseum.com/), there are family-oriented events from mid-March through mid-April. Make your own kite while you learn about kites throughout history: from bat-hunting kites in Bali through WWII soldier’s use of kites. Plus, you can see the largest collection of Japanese kites outside of Japan.

Yakima Valley, Washington
For more adult fun, you can visit the more than 120 wineries in the Yakima Valley. Best of all, in April you can take part in the Spring Barrel Tasting event. The valley’s wineries will have samplings of their new vintages straight from the barrel.

If you’re more of a beer drinker, you won’t be left out. Yakima is also known as the “Hop Capital of the World. The valley hosts a spring celebration of craft beverages with its Roots and Vines Festival, featuring nationally touring Americana, Folk and Bluegrass bands.

Roots and Vines Festival

Roots and Vines Festival

So take your RV to the party and enjoy! For more information, go to https://www.rootsandvinesfest.com/ . For RV Parks try https://www.sunnysidervpark.com/ or https://circlehrvpark.com/ .

Backyard Glamping Blowout
Sometimes the best adventure starts right in your own back yard. It’s certainly the safest place to shakedown your RV for the year. So use your RV to throw a party! Test out the grill and the satellite dish and all the RV camping luxuries. Show a double feature on the outdoor TV, a stargazing event, or have a spooky story contest around a cozy fire pit.

Do you have a favorite First Spring Adventure? Let us know where you like to go. And as always, travel safely.

Welcome to the Future of RVs


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We’ve become so used to change. We have come to demand it. Every year our phones up the ante. There’s always a new restaurant with cuisine from somewhere far away and exotic. Newspapers used to be made of actual paper!

Whether you race toward the novelty of the new, or cling to the comfort of the past, change is coming. Especially to RVs: think of all that’s already come to pass. From built-in outdoor kitchens to back-up cameras to solar panels to phone controlled LED lighting, just in the last ten years, RVs have become more comfortable, convenient and efficient.

So, while we can’t predict the future, we can show you a few versions of what might be coming next.

The COCO E-Camper

images courtesy of Dethleffs

images courtesy of Dethleffs

German RV manufacturer Dethleffs has come up with a new trailer concept built for electric cars. The COCO camper was unveiled as a concept, featuring its own battery pack, electric motors, and solar panels to reduce the load on the vehicle towing it.

In 2017, Dethleffs debuted the highly experimental, solar panel-wrapped e.home Class C Motor Home. The e.home was never meant to go into production, having a range of only 100-174 miles. But as a proof-of-concept, it was impressive.

The experimental e.home

The experimental e.home

This year, the innovative e-camper has been rebuilt as a feasible trailer that is 100% electric. The COCO camper uses a floor-mounted lithium battery, rooftop solar panels, and a dual-motor axle instead of a regular tow package. 

Dethleffs says that adding electric motive power will decrease the towing demands of the e-camper and make handling better while driving. The 80-kWh battery pack sends power to the electrified axle, essentially making the camper spin its own wheels and cutting down the tow load on your vehicle.

Since each wheel is independently powered on two axles, it is hoped users will be able to park the camper on its own without a vehicle, instead using a phone app. That could be useful in tighter spaces due to better visibility on the outside of the trailer.

They also plan for the battery pack to be used as a home energy storage system, which is not only ideal during those months the e-camper is not in use, but also to provide power during camping for  things like heating, cooling, and cooking.

The Caravanboat

images courtesy of Caravanboat

images courtesy of Caravanboat

Another innovation out of Germany is the Caravanboat, which is, as you’d imagine, both a Trailer and a Yacht. Called Departure One , the 30-foot long trailer is constructed using a seawater resistant aluminum hull offering multiple opportunities for use both ashore and on the water.

Able to sleep 4, the Caravanboat has all the basic amenities of a standard trailer—shower, sink, microwave, fridge, stovetop, and storage—but with the addition of a rooftop terrace, solar panels, and stunning panoramic views.

The captain’s wheel is located on the starboard side of the front sleeping area with little or no port visibility. While that design flaw might limit this unique Trailer from being approved for U.S. use, we have to admit: the Pacific Northwest would be the perfect place to try out an alternative version of such a fun, amphibious craft.

The Romotow®

images courtesy of Romotow®

images courtesy of Romotow®

This RV from the future…okay, no it’s not from the future, even though it is a near anagram of tomorrow.

The Romotow is a former concept RV from New Zealand that is now, finally, in production. First shown in 2012 by the architectural and interior design firm W2 the Romotow uses a swiveling, carbon-fiber chassis to provide up to 70% more floor area for campers than boxy standard designs. The carbon-fiber chassis also means that it will weigh 1/4th of a steel trailer, and never have issues with rust.

There are solar panels and an exterior cook station as well. 

But that these are not what makes the Romotow so appealing. The beautiful rounded shapes, the huge windows and open design lets you have a spacious, outdoor adventure. The hosting area is both sculptural and protective for lovely outdoor living.

 

General Trends

To sum it all up, the future is going to bring us better RVs than ever. Lighter weight, strong materials will make towing easier. Electric motors and solar power innovations will mean quieter, cleaner trips into the wild. Greater versatility in RV design may take us places RVs have never been. We’ll no doubt see more smart features that make RVing handling easier and more efficient.

As for the rest, well, only you can tell us. Inventors across the globe are stretching the limits of what’s possible, but only you—families with kids, couples, camping or just roving the country—can tell us what is preferable. What works for you? Let us know what you think. You can contact us at www.poulsborv.com/contact-us. We’re always delighted to hear from you.

As always, travel safely!

RV Tips: Enjoying Autumn in Your RV

For many of us, Summer’s wiles are nothing compared to the beauty of Autumn. Its cooler temperatures and luscious colors make it a wonderful time to camp or travel. Also, with harvests just coming to an end, farms and vineyards are often welcoming guests as well.

So if you’re looking for that last trip before winterizing your RV for the year (or taking her down to warmer climates), here are a few ideas we find enticing:

 Harvest Dinners

 After the fields have been cleared, Pacific Northwest farms and wineries are often delighted to welcome guests and show off the best they have to offer. Field & Vine Farm Dinner Events helps farmers put together all manner of dinners and tastings extending through the eighth of December. Their chefs are able to work with the very freshest ingredients available. Ciders, wines and beers are all served with pride by their makers. You’ll be able to wander lush gardens and farmyards, meet the barn animals (including alpacas and wild elk on some farms), then settle in for a splendid feast.

Field & Vine hosts harvest dinners from the source.

Field & Vine hosts harvest dinners from the source.

Dinner functions happen all throughout the region. To reserve your place at the table, contact Field & Vine Events at 971-258-8389, check out upcoming events at http://alliumoregon.com/farm-dinners/, or email them at info@fieldandvineevents.com.

Trips to the Trees

New England claims to have the best leaf peeping – and to be sure, there are certainly beautiful sights to be seen there – but the Pacific Northwest can claim beauty that exists nowhere else. The trees here are ancient and enormous: inspiring.

Camping is one way to make the best of them in all their autumn glory. But that is far from all you can do:

Zip Lining

Just an hour from Seattle, Canopy Tours NW will help you experience the adventure of a lifetime. After ride in an historic Unimog forest vehicle, a short trail walk, and a log bridge, there are six different zip lines to safely bring you all the way back down to the forest floor.

For an Autumn Adventure, try a zipline!

For an Autumn Adventure, try a zipline!

Family owned and operated, you can contact Canopy Tours NW at 360-387-5807, or go to canopytoursnw.com to see all they have to offer.

Old Growth Forest

So many of the forests we’ve hiked and camped were beautiful and fun…and not quite what they should be. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have the privilege to visit forests as they once were. An ideal destination to see these untouched places is the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest near Blue River, Oregon.

The Tangled Trail of an Old Growth Forest

The Tangled Trail of an Old Growth Forest

Established in 1948, scientists have been busy studying and preserving this pristine environment. They have also set aside an intermediate difficulty hiking trail of about 3.5 miles. Lookout Creek Old-Growth Trail meanders through a vein of Douglas Firs, Cedars, and Hemlock Trees as it follows the creek.

To find out more, contact the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest site manager at 541-822-6303, or the McKenzie River Ranger District at 541-822-3381.

Camp grounds are available at the Mona Campground. For reservations call 877-444-6777, or go to www.recreation.gov.

Canopy Adventures

For those who love the trees so much that staying on the ground won’t do, you can literally take it to the next level with Pacific Tree Climbing in Oregon. Pacific Tree Climbing Institute is a guide service/outfitter dedicated to the propagation of tree climbing as an activity. Their staff is made up of educators, biologists and arborists who will teach you how to climb, and show you the wonders of their daily world.

Visit the Forest Canopy!

Visit the Forest Canopy!

They provide several levels of climbing lessons available, from beginner to an overnight stay in the canopy! Eat lunch and dinner in the trees and sleep in the wild. This is definitely bucket-list material.

For more information or reservations, call them at 866-OLD-TREE (653-8733), or go to pacifictreeclimbing.com to find out more.

Avenue of the Giants

If you want to stay on the ground, but still want to experience the grandeur of the forest, there is nowhere in the world that can compare to the ancient redwoods of old Highway 101 in Northern California, better known as the Avenue of the Giants.

Visit the Massive & Ancient Redwoods of Northern California

Visit the Massive & Ancient Redwoods of Northern California

This is not a single attraction, but an entire region with over 50,000 acres of massive redwood groves. In addition, there are plenty of RV parks and campgrounds, restaurants, art galleries, and even the Trees of Mystery Museum & Sky Trail. There’s so much to see and do in this region, you’ll want to come back again year after year.

For more information on the Avenue of the Giants and surrounding services, go to avenueofthegiants.net. There you’ll find maps and links to everything you’ll need.

Find all manner of activities at Trees of Mystery

Find all manner of activities at Trees of Mystery

To find out more about the Trees of Mystery, you can contact them at 800-638-3389, or go to treesofmystery.net.

While You’re There…

For some, the crowning glory of Autumn is Halloween. The perfect place to get yourself in that spooky mood is right in the heart of Redwood country: “Old Town” Eureka, California. “Old Town” is known for its concentration of old Victorian mansions and 19th century storefronts. There are plenty of cafes, galleries, and restaurants that you can ride to in a horse-drawn carriage.

Cap off your trip with a stay in spooky Eureka

Cap off your trip with a stay in spooky Eureka

But the highlight of “Old Town” is the Haunted History Tour. The town has a colorful past (to say the least), and the 2-hour walking tour will let you relive “Eureka’s Other Side of History.” Stay overnight…if you dare.
For reservations, call 707-672-5012, or to learn more go to oldtownhauntedhistorytours.com.

If there’s a Fall destination you feel should be on this list, then please let us know at www.poulsborv.com/contact-us. We’re always delighted to hear from you.

The ART of RVing: The Wonderful Works of Benedetto Bufalino

When we say we are obsessed with RVs, it makes sense. We sell them. We maintain them. We fix them. We enjoy them. And sometimes, when something unusual reaches one of us, it’s suddenly a company-wide chain of emails.

For a few minutes—well—let’s just say that productivity may suffer a bit.

When we see something new from one of our favorite RV artists, it’s always time for a tiny work stoppage. And Benedetto Bufalino is definitely one of our best.

Behold his latest: the Trailer Pool!

Take the Pool Party with you!

We want one! It’s just in time for summer. Imagine, taking the pool party with you to the barbecue! This is just the most awesome art piece ever!

To transform an old camping trailer into a movable swimming pool, the roof was removed, the interior emptied and retrofitted to hold water. A ladder has been placed on the back of the vehicle, allowing people to jump into the pool and get out comfortably. Here is a time lapse video of the whole process.

Caravane Piscine - vision Timelapse

Timelapse de la Carvane Piscine de l'artiste Benedetto Bufalino de retour au Confort ce Dimanche pour Le Grand Bazar !

Posted by Le Confort Moderne on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

This isn’t the only vehicle art we’ve marveled over/coveted. There’s this:

Converted Hot Tub

And this:

Want to camp in the forest canopy?

And this too!

Or dance all night with a mirrored Cement truck!

To see all of Benedetto Bufalino’s crazy fun art, go visit his website at https://www.benedettobufalino.com/.

Let us know if you like it all as much as we do.

Great RV Destinations: Summer 2018

You own (or are considering owning) an RV. That tells us something about you; you have a passion for travel and fun. You’re willing to get out on the road and seek out what life has to offer. To help, we’ve gathered a list of various summer events and festivals to check out for this year. They all sound fun to us. See if any appeal to you!

The Oregon Trail Turns 175

The Oregon Trail Turns 175

 

The Oregon Trail Turns 175
From June to November of this year, Oregon is celebrating the 175th Anniversary. Imagine, 175 years since people began flocking west through this passage. You can follow the Oregon National Historic Trail through six states in the comfort of your RV. For more information you can go to www.nps.gov/oreg/planyourvisit/follow-the-trail.htm.
Or, for a more local taste, you can visit the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, just outside of Baker City, Oregon. There you’ll find programs and special events all summer. To find out more, go to www.trailtenders.org.

Tillamook Visitor's Center

Tillamook Visitor's Center

The Tillamook Cheese Factory Visitor’s Center Re-Opens
Last summer, the Tillamook Cheese Factory tore down its renowned Visitor’s Center, with plans to open a new one this summer. “A factory?” you say, “A cheese factory?” Oh yes! Cheese, ice cream and fun are what the Tillamook visitor’s center is known for. We hear so much about this place the reopening had to be on this list.
The new 38,500-square-foot facility will be almost 50% bigger than the old one, designed to accommodate 1.3 million annual visitors with a larger cafe, additional indoor and outdoor seating, a new gift shop, improved parking lot and an "enhanced" ice cream counter. For more updates and planning, go to www.tillamook.com/cheese-factory/new-visitors-center-updates.html.
Get ready to live! No. Really!

The Waterfront Blues Festival: Portland, Oregon, July 4-7
The Waterfront Blues Festival is the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi. This year’s headliners include Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, Galactic, Macy Gray, and Allen Toussaint. If jazz is what keeps you cool on summer nights, definitely come check it out. This annual event benefits the Oregon Food Bank. For more information go to waterfrontbluesfest.com.

Julyamsh Powwow

Julyamsh Powwow

Julyamsh Powwow: Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, July 21-22
This is the largest outdoor powwow in the Pacific Northwest, Julyamsh is hosted by the Coeur D’Alene Tribe at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. The cultural celebration is open to all, but it is important to remember that this isn’t organized like events aimed directly at tourists – the dancing will begin when the time is right, and the dancing will end when the time is right. For more information go to julyamsh.com.
72nd Annual Scottish Highland Games: Enumclaw, Washington, July 28-29
Get your annual dose of Scottish pasties and scones slathered in berries and cream. Wear your clan tartan or just your jeans. You’ll see competitions in dancing, piping, drumming, plus all the caber tossing you could want! There will be kennel and arts exhibitions too. Plan on a rousing good time! For more information go to www.sshga.org/category/highland-games.

Celebration of Light

Celebration of Light

Celebration of Light: Vancouver, B.C., July 28, Aug. 1 and 4
One of the biggest events on the calendar for Vancouver, B.C. is the Celebration of Light (née Symphony of Fire). This is a massive, international fireworks competition that hosts more than 1.3 million visitors over three days every summer. If you love fireworks, music and food, go to hondacelebrationoflight.com for more information.

Pendleton Round-Up: Pendleton, Oregon, September 8-15
Aside from four days of rodeo action, offering all the bull riding, barrel racing, roping, relays and mutton busting, the Pendleton Round-up includes concerts, golf, historical re-enactments, cowboy breakfasts, and (of course) barbecue. If you love rodeo, then this is a must-see. For more information go to www.pendletonroundup.com.

This is just a taste, of course. The Pacific Northwest is wide and vibrant and full of excitement. If there’s an event that you think should be on this list, then please let us know at www.poulsborv.com/contact-us. We’re always delighted to hear from you.
As always, thanks. And travel safely!

When Cars Have Tried to RV

Allow us to start off by saying we love camping. We would never discourage anyone from getting out into the wild and enjoying every minute of it, in an RV, in a car, or in a tent.
But there are times when people take things to an extreme. Sometimes “extreme” is the starting point.
Let’s begin with the 1958 Ford Country Squire Camper. Imagine the Fifties. America’s love affair with the car was well underway. So it only made sense that someone would look at the station wagon and think, “We could!”
To quote Jurassic Park’s Dr. Malcolm, “…they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
The Country Squire looked like a boat atop a large family station wagon. But at the press of a button, the dinghy flipped over to reveal a two-person tent on the roof. The station wagon back opened up to provide a sink, cook top, and a refrigerator. One more button brought out an awning that could possibly have been the inspiration for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Behold:

1958 Ford Country Squire

The Country Squire: road ready and campground unfurled.

Thus was born the Frankencar. Or not; it was never put into production.

But it wasn’t alone. Just a few years later, Toyota came out with the RV-2. This promised less than the Country Squire. The roof opens to create a tent in the back. The back hatch became a cushioned bench.

1972 Toyota RV-2 Brochure

Toyota RV-2 Sketch

Even the sketch looks horrified at the idea of itself. It never got to the market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But not all of these Frankencars were failures. For instance, you could get the Toppola for a Saab hatchback until production stopped in 2006. You just had to remove the hatchback door of your car.

And now there’s even a sleek “Prius Relax Cabin” from Camp-Inn of Nagano, Japan. You’d have to get one imported, but it too, would let you remove the hatchback of your Prius, and create a camper.

The Toppola and the Prius Relax Cabin

If all of these seem—well—unseemly, but just a little inspiring, then give us a call at Poulsbo RV. We’ll try to get you into something that will let you camp in comfort and style. Or at least no one will point and laugh. Or stare. Or run screaming away…

Bug Talk

Choosing Bug Repellent

Bugs make camping, hiking, swimming, and other outdoor activities less than perfect.  When getting ready for your trip or day outside, choose a bug repellent that fits your lifestyle best!

The most effective bug repellents contain DEET.  When applied following directions, these bug products can last for up to 10 hours or more, giving you all day protection.  DEET is a chemical  but is believed by the EPA to present no health concerns or conditions when used as directed.  If spraying children, make sure to use a formula containing less than 30% DEET concentration.

A second chemical formula that repels bugs for up to 8 hours is picaridin.  Developed as an alternative to DEET, it is considered more effect for protection again flies.  There is no recommendation for use on children, but no infant less than 2 months old should have repellent applied to their skin.

Plant-based repellents are a third option when considering bug repellent.  Some of these contain synthesized plant oil such as oil of leman eucalyptus, still technically a chemical.  These products are effective for up to 6 hours.  Natural oils such as lemongrass, peppermint, and citronella are not chemicals and have not been evaluated by the EPA.  These are a natural option but are not as effective as chemically formulated repellents.  They are estimated at 30 minutes to up to 2 hours of effective protection.

 

Clothing is now made with insect shield properties and may be the best option for keeping pests away.  Permethrin repellent was designed for use on clothing only.  This repellent can kill ticks and can last up to 6 washings when stored in dark, airtight bags or containers.  It will not irritate the skin if applied there, but offers no benefits.

When outdoors, citronella candles and other like products work best in windless conditions.  However you choose to protect yourself and keep the bugs away, be sure to research the ingredients of any product!

Master Techs: Poulsbo RV’s Secret Weapon

Being an RV Technician is not a simple thing.

First, let’s consider what an RV actually is: a house that must be able to endure what is essentially a small but continuous earthquake for hours at a time whenever you take to the road.

That would make an RV Technician a person who:

• Maintains and repairs roofs made of everything from tin to fiberglass
• Fixes framing made of anything from wood to aluminum to steel
• Deals with all manner of plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, heating, propane, gas and hydraulic systems
• Installs Satellite systems, and maintains Wi-Fi and GPS systems
• Repairs or replaces and installs appliances, generators and furniture
• Installs or repairs towing systems
• Inspects, repairs, or replaces brake systems
• Change the oil and fluids on RV engines

And all of this on an object that must be strong enough to withstand continuous earthquakes for hours at a time.
But that’s not all. In fact, it’s not even the half of it.

The same technological advances that have come to our homes and cars have also been racing forward in the world of RVs. Back-up cameras, solar systems, GPS systems, and more. With each new product comes a new subject to master and teach.

So we at Poulsbo RV have a training program to keep all our techs up-to-date and ready. Primarily responsible for that is our Master Teacher: Bill Sauders.

Master Technician Bill Sauders got his start repairing and maintaining RVs 47 years ago. He’s been teaching for 17 years. He’s seen the evolution of the modern RV firsthand.

“When I started in 1970, the average trailer had a refrigerator, a heater, a cooktop/oven, and gas lights. Today we have satellite systems, coaches with Wi-Fi and cellphone boosters. ” And it’s changing every day.

The way Bill runs his Five-Stores-A-Week weekly classes usually begins with a video of an older version of the day’s subject. It often brings a laugh to the class as they shake their heads at the antiquated tech. Then, it’s all hands-on; a mechanical dissection that takes place at each table. Bill will sometimes stay later to be sure every one of our techs get their hands dirty. Only then is class dismissed and the workday starts.

All this happens, usually, before sun-up.

Millennials are Buying RVs

If we asked you who was buying RVs, what would you guess?  If you’re like most people, you’d answer retirees, and you’d be wrong!  Even just 10 years ago, that answer would have been correct but today, millennials are quickly becoming the largest age group of RV owners.  Read More

Pet Etiquette While RVing

Americans love their pets.  Increasingly, pets are found in stores, parks, on hikes, and at lakes.  Everyone seems to want their pet around no matter where they go.  When you take your pet on your RV trips, be polite and follow these pet etiquette tips.

The most important tip to follow is to pick up after your pet!  No one wants to take an evening stroll and step in a pile of dog doo…no one.  We don’t look forward to Fido taking care of business on one of our walks, but it happens.  Be responsible and dispose of the waste appropriately. Read More