GoFundMe For Camp Fire, California

The wildfire that recently ravaged California was the deadliest and most destructive in state history. The blaze known as Camp Fire claimed at least 86 lives, destroyed over 153,000 acres, and left 50,000+ people displaced in emergency shelters. Driven by high winds, the wildfire was finally 100% contained after seventeen days on November 25, 2018.

Though 18+ hours away in Denver, James (Woody) Faircloth felt compelled to help. He started searching Craigslist for RVs that he could take out to California and donate to a family who lost their home.

Woody set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the RV as well as supplies like food and diapers he could give out to other evacuees.

All photos via GoFundMe

When he told his six-year-old daughter, Luna, about his plans, she was up for the trip. “We were watching some of what’s going on out there and talking about what if that was us and what would we do,” Woody shared on GoFundMe. “And I told (my daughter) what the idea was and she was 100 percent on board. She said, ‘God and Santa Claus would be really proud of us for this.’”

After launching the fundraiser, Woody emailed almost every person selling an RV on Craigslist in Colorado, asking if they would consider donating or reducing the price of their RV for the good cause.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, a man offered to lower the price of his RV to how much they had raised. Woody filled the RV with items like blankets and groceries and arrived in California by the holiday.

Ready to help a good cause!

Once word got out, more and more people contacted Woody about donating their RVs and trailers. The next day, he got a call from a couple in San Francisco who wanted to donate their RV, it just needed some new tires.

“This amazing 1958 refurbished Greyhound bus was donated by Teri and Gordon Allen. This lovely couple first met when they were only 10 years old and will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary later this year. They emailed us and let us know that they where moved by our journey when they saw us on the news and just knew that we could find a family in need who would be a good fit for their beloved vintage bus.

We plan to hand the keys and the title to a firefighter and her future wife who lost their home and all belongings in the fire tomorrow in Chico.”

Woody with Teri and Gordon Allen in front of the donated 1958 Greyhound bus

To date, their GoFundMe has matched 35 families to purchased and donated RVs, and they have helped 127 people including 58 children, 69 adults, 9 single parents, 3 first responders, 8 veterans, and 11 medical cases.

Woody has repaired and renovated the RVs to make them feel more like home. On a recent trip to Home Depot, he spent over $1500 on smoke detectors, carbon monoxide sensors, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers, and other items needed to live in an RV.

“Just met with this angel on earth named Coleman Johnson who handed me the title and keys to this lovingly used and well maintained RV. Coleman shared that he married his wife in 1962 and that she sadly moved into an Alzheimer’s memory care facility last year.

Coleman said he and his family shared a lot of memories in this RV and he wants another family to have the same opportunity.”

Coleman Johnson and Woody in front of the donated RV

You can learn more about donating on their GoFundMe page. Woody is asking for the public’s help recommending families to give the RVs to by emailing RV4campfirefamily@gmail.com with as many details as possible. You can also follow his journey on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

See also: New RVs Donated To Tents For Troops

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Best Places To Visit And RV Camp In Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington, N.C. offers plenty of reasons to visit. From museums and parks to beaches and golfing, this diverse part of the country will keep you entertained throughout your visit.

Wilmington KOA. Photo via TripAdvisor

Where to camp in Wilmington

Offering easy access to area attractions, the Wilmington KOA is set in the heart of the city. Open year-round, the Wilmington KOA offers plenty of amenities including 95 sites, many of which are pull-throughs.

This pet-friendly resort also offers 30/50 amp electrical, sewer, water, restrooms, showers, a camp store, swimming pool, Wi-Fi, cable TV, RV/car wash, and several nearby restaurants, attractions, and golf options.

Golfing in Wilmington

After a $2.7 million renovation earlier this year, Inland Greens Park and Golf Course reopened in Wilmington. The park comprises 33 acres and includes a nine-hole par-3 golf course as well as a passive park with walking trails, a playground, bocce courts, and other amenities.

Inland Greens Park and Golf Course, a city-owned public course, is a par 27 that measures 1,904 yards and includes water hazards on five of the holes. You can’t beat the price either. For out-of-towners, green fees are $9 for nine holes.

Wilmington Municipal Golf Course (photo: City of Wilmington)

If you feel the need to pull out the driver, you can tee it up at the nearby Wilmington Municipal Golf Course. This immaculate 18-hole public course was designed by Donald Ross and opened for play in 1926. Although an exact number is not known, Ross designed roughly 400 courses in the United States with more than 40 of those in North Carolina alone.

At the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course, you can experience his classic turtleback or crowned greens that resemble an upside-down saucer and are designed to make approach shots and putting extremely daunting. The par 71 course stretches to 6,784 yards and is a must-play.

Attractions in Wilmington

The battleship USS North Carolina, which played a significant role in World War II, is one of the top attractions in the Tar Heel State.

While visiting this refurbished battleship, self-guided tours offer glimpses of nine levels of living spaces, mess decks, gun turrets, powder storage, sickbay, and more.

Docked adjacent to Riverfront Park on Cape Fear River, the 729-foot battleship received 15 battle stars making her the most decorated American battleship of World War II. The ship is open daily for tours.

Airlie Gardens should also be on your must-visit list in Wilmington. Dating back to 1735, Airlie Gardens offers incredible displays throughout the year.

Many of the 120,000 annual visitors choose to explore the gardens in the spring when azaleas are in bloom. To get a complete overview of the 67-acre gardens, take the free trolley tour. Many annual events are held on the grounds along with weddings throughout the year.

The Bellamy Mansion. Photo by Rebecca Milby/Flickr

To appreciate a true antebellum mansion, stroll through the Bellamy Mansion Museum. This magnificent 10,000-square-foot home located in downtown Wilmington includes the mansion, carriage house, and original slave quarters.

Collectively, they comprise a complete site where visitors hear not only the stories of the Bellamy family but those of the free and enslaved black artisans who built the home just prior to the Civil War.

The downtown Wilmington area is easy to get around and offers lots of options. The Cotton Exchange is a popular destination, thanks to the 30 businesses who call this area home.

The former buildings used for cotton export now house a collection of eclectic shops and restaurants. Its popularity is enhanced by the free parking available to visitors.

Wilmington’s 1.75-mile long Riverwalk is also a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The Riverwalk, with its collection of pastel-colored shops and historic structures, has been the subject of numerous works of art.

Wilmington. Photo by Rebecca Milby/Flickr

Many come just to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, to browse the shops, or have a meal or a drink. The Riverwalk is also where a number of events take place throughout the year.

On every Saturday summer morning, the streets bordering the Riverwalk are crowded with vendors from all around the coastal area, selling their fresh wares as part of the weekly Wilmington Farmer’s Market.

Year-round, there are many activities and sites to experience in Wilmington, N.C. For more on the area, check out www.wilmington-nc.com. To read more about the Wilmington KOA, visit RV Park Reviews.

Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a weekly golf blog, The 19th Hole, for RV LIFE. You can reach him at rstedman@gmail.com.

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Best Places To RV Camp And Golf Near Lake Michigan

Located 40 miles north of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan is picturesque Illinois Beach State Park in Zion, Illinois. This 4,160-acre park stretches for six-and-a-half miles along Lake Michigan, and offers 241 sites, 30/50 amp electrical, toilets, drinking water, and a dump station.

Other amenities include beach access, hiking trails, fishing, a nature center, and a park office. Many activities are available in and around Illinois Beach State Park, which is why it is so popular with visitors. As far as golfing is concerned, you’ll have to head south a little bit, but it will be well worth the short drive.

Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan shoreline. Photo via Magnus M/Wikipedia
Lake Michigan
Sunset Valley Golf Club reopened in August 2018

About 20 miles south of Illinois Beach State Park is the venerable Sunset Valley Golf Club, which originally opened in 1920. The course recently underwent a $7 million upgrade, re-opening to the public in mid-August.

The new-look Sunset Valley Golf Club features lots of updates and upgrades. The course reflects a uniquely British Highlands course design with an openness accentuated with strategic landforms, flowing masses of native grasses, and groves of trees which harken back to the character and aesthetic appeal of the course’s original 1920’s-era golf course architecture.

The highlight of the new course is undoubtedly the fourth hole. This short par 3 measures just 162 yards. Golfers must shoot over a breathtaking peninsula that features a natural stone wall embankment outlined by colorful plants and an expanded lake.

Lake Michigan
Sunset Valley’s signature hole 4

The renovated 18-hole course is now a par 72 measuring 6,726 yards from the black tees; there are five sets of tees to choose from.

The 18-month renovation also saw many changes in the clubhouse. The newly remodeled clubhouse now offers a classic modern vibe featuring an expanded golf shop, a new restaurant and bar, cozy lounge and fireplace, and a large outdoor patio with additional seating and fire pits.

If you still need a golf fix, Chicago offers more than 200 courses in the area!

You can read more about Illinois Beach State Park on RV Park Reviews. Also check out these 15 Scenic Places To Camp Along Lake Michigan

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The Best Places To RV Camp And Visit In Juneau, Alaska

Though you can’t drive all the way to Juneau, Alaska from the lower 48 without taking a ferry somewhere along the way, once you’ve arrived in the remote Alaska state capital, there’s plenty to see and do.

Mount Roberts Tramway

RVers will appreciate the incredible natural beauty of Mendenhall Campground. Set on the shores of Mendenhall Lake, this U.S. Forest Service campground presents Mendenhall Glacier in full view.

The glacier sits within the Tongass National Forest, which is the largest national forest in the United States, and visitors can watch icebergs calve off its frozen face into Mendenhall Lake. Mendenhall Glacier is just one of 38 major glaciers that extend from the 1,500-square-mile Juneau Icefield. Many visitors to the area enjoy flightseeing tours where helicopter tours land on the glaciers, offer glacier treks and even glacier dog sled rides.

Mendenhall Campground offers 69 sites, most with full hookups including 30/50 amp electrical, sewer, water, showers, a dump station, interpretive trails, and paved roads.

Golf is another activity you don’t normally expect to see in Alaska, but there are several courses around the state. Mendenhall Golf Course in Juneau offers a par 27, nine-hole course that measures 1,400 yards. It’s a great little course, especially if you need to improve your short game.

Speaking of short game, golfing in Alaska has a short season, usually May through September, weather permitting, of course.

View from the Mendenhall Golf Course driving range

Another popular attraction in Juneau is the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway. Beginning at the cruise ship dock, cars travel 1,800 feet up to the Mountain House which offers spectacular views of Juneau and Gastineau Channel.

Just walking through the picturesque downtown area of Juneau is a great way to get acquainted with this compact city. Many of the main attractions can be found in this area including the Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, several museums, the state capitol building, and century-old buildings that today are gift shops, restaurants, pubs, and other specialty stores.

For more information about the Juneau area, visit the Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau. You can also read more about Mendenhall Campground on RV Park Reviews.

See also: What You Need To Know About RVing In Alaska

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