Volume 2, Issue 12, December 2017

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Letter from the Editor

Hello everyone,

My name is Jason and I will be the new editor of the monthly newsletter. I know you are all used to seeing Phil but he has taken on a larger role in the Oliver companies.

This months letter from the editor is about Christmas, memories, the moments we cherish and the gifts we give.

When I was growing up, I always had a long list of things I wanted for Christmas.

I’d start mentioning gifts I wanted in October, hoping that the news would make its way to Santa. When I got older, it didn’t stop. It may have gotten worse.

All the while, I’d ask my parents what they wanted. Their reply? Usually something along the lines of, “I don’t need anything. Save your money.”

That always baffled me. How could someone not want a present? Especially when I wanted so many.

I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but in the past couple of years, my wish lists have dwindled. When my parents and siblings ask what I want for Christmas, I stare blankly and reply with, “You don’t need to get me anything.”

I understand my parents now. I guess I’ve finally crossed the threshold into adulthood in which you’ve settled down and you can buy the things you need and save for the ones you want.

Instead of material items, I want to spend time with my family without the hassle and mess of gift giving.

What I really want this holiday season is to bake cookies with my mom the way we did when I was young, and I’d love to spend some time in the garage with my dad learning about woodworking.

I would truly enjoy getting to spend some quality time with my sister and brother-in-law talking about their adventures and travel stories.

It would be awesome if I got to spend some time with my nieces, even if it means sorting the oldest one’s rock collection 15 times. And if I could spend some quality time with their parents, my sister and brother-in-law, that would be even better.

Instead of showering my other half with tons of gifts, I’d rather start a new tradition of enjoying a homemade breakfast together on Christmas Day and sharing our hopes and dreams for the year to come.

I guess I lied. It turns out my wish list this year is pretty long. But it’s full of things money can’t buy. I’ll save that kind of shopping for myself.

Enjoy your holidays, whether you’re gifting for others or for yourself.

Until next month,

Jason K. Walmsley, editor

We encourage you to research further and I can promise you, you will like what you see in an Oliver travel trailer. Visit our website at olivertraveltrailers.com to see more and schedule a plant tour or field visit. Happy Trails from Hohenwald, TN, USA!

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Primitive and Moderate Walks - Arches National Park

By: Frank McMichael, Hull No.101

It was a difficult, demanding, tiring, wonderful day.

I entered the Arches National Park at 8:15 a.m. It was raining and about 60 degrees. As soon as I left the parking lot the road started to steeply climb and switch-back around high, red cliffs. Looking up from the parking lot it was difficult to understand the ability of the road to cling to those cliffs as it climbed about a thousand feet in elevation, maybe more, it was difficult to tell. Also, made me wonder about the initial construction of that road. I would have liked to have watched the construction, it was an amazing undertaking.

The road tops out onto a mile long and wide mesa that has a terrain of eroded cliffs with weird outcroppings along with separate standing “rocks” surrounded by plants of Juniper and Sage. The distant eroded cliffs were other worldly in appearance, evoking a place out of time to today’s world. It was very difficult to comprehend the time and forces that created them. Some of the large standing "rocks" seemed to defy gravity.

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Standing Rock is the most famous of the gravity defying rocks. It is a very large rock balanced on top of a much smaller rock which is balanced on another rock connected to ground. It is well over 100 feet high. The large rock is considerably bigger than a bus, the smaller more like the size of a small car, if that. It looked like a little push would topple it but obviously not, it has been this way for a very long time – geologic time, not man time.

One day it will go down and it will briefly be news. Or, maybe not, it has a history that suggests that it could outlast us.

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At a point, I reached the parking lot for the Double Arch. There was a developed trail with many steps that would allow people to walk up to it and actually stand under one of the arches. The trail was about a half mile long, perhaps a bit less, climbing maybe 200 feet in elevation rise. This path approached the right side of the arch from the north facing side.

At the top was another path that could be taken to observe the right side of the arch from the south side. It was a small walk to the south side, perhaps a quarter mile or so.

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When I initially reached the arch, there were two dozen or so people already there. Not another person elected to go to the south side.

When I got to that side, I had the place to myself. Once on the south side, as indicated by a sign, I had two choices for returning, return the way that I had come or take the "primitive trail" around the formation.

I elected to take the primitive trail around the formation, thinking that this trail would allow me some quiet time away from crowds of people and within this world of strange out-of-time formations that would allow views not seen by most people who would not attempt the walk.

I also thought it would only be a mile or two or three around, so it wouldn’t take long or be that difficult.

Not one person was encountered during the time of my walk and the views were outstanding, so I was right about people and the views but I was wrong about the distance. I had severely underestimated the size of the formation that included the arches. After completing the walk, I estimate that in total it was 5-7 miles in all but because of constant twisting and turning around obstacles and outreaches of the formation, it was hard to tell.

It was a very interesting kind of walk, primitive was an apt description. There was no obvious developed trail. The rain had washed away any evidence that might have existed of a trail left by others. At least, that my old eyes could see. Every now and then, a cairn of rocks was stacked so as to indicate the direction one should take. I stepped over rocks, dodged around boulders, walked in washes, ducked under Junipers and clambered up slope faces - it was that kind of "walk". All the while there were wonderful views to see.

There were two places where the way forward, as marked by cairns, was up a smooth, fairly steep rock slope of about 10-12 feet. There was no way that I could walk those slopes upright, they were slick with rain and had few indentations that would provide a foot hold. After a bit of examining other possible ways of going around, including wandering down slope into the Juniper forest away from the formation, I realized that the only safe way forward was up-slope as directed by the cairns. If I got into the thick Juniper forest, it would be easy to lose sight of the formation and therefore easy to get lost. As long as I stayed near the formation, I was not likely to be lost. So, up I went. But not vertically like a man - I bear crawled up the slope. Having four points of contact made the difference, dignity be damned.

The south side view of the arch jutted out on the east side of the formation. By the time I arrived at the south end of the formation and proceeded back north along the west side, I was getting tired and was much anticipating seeing the road and parking area at any point of the turn of the trail. Many disappointments were to come, because there were many twists and turns without a view of my much anticipated truck.

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After several more miles, I could finally see where I had parked and my truck patiently waiting for my return. At that point, I still had three-quarters of a mile to get to the parking lot. All the time that I was walking, it was raining, not hard but enough to make my coat wet. It was also wet on the inside from my sweating. The truck seat and a bottle of water sure felt welcoming.

After resting, I drove on until I saw a parking lot for the "Delicate Arch”. The Delicate Arch is one of the iconic arches for this national park. I had seen it on posters, travel ads and such so I was much interested in experiencing it up close and personal.

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The parking lot was down in a basin where there was an old pioneer cabin and corral.

A sign indicated that the Delicate Arch would take a walk of a mile and a half, one-way. The sign indicated the walk was "moderate" to which I interpreted as being easy.

The immediate trail from the parking lot was flat and well developed, easy looking, defining what I thought of as a moderate walk. After my walk around the Double Arch formation, moderate sounded good to me. I concluded that I was up for this walk even though I had just completed a much more strenuous walk and was still a bit tired.

The first quarter mile to half mile was relatively easy, pleasant even. Then it began to climb, and climb, and climb.

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There was one place where a person would have to walk up a smooth rock face outcropping of nearly a half mile long.

After the rock face, many twists and turns were required through a small canyon for another half mile or so.

And finally, along a 3 to 4 foot wide trail clinging to a cliff on one side and with open space on the other side, one could see the end of the trail. If one slipped and fell over the side, one would go far. At the end, was this amphitheater like setting with the Delicate Arch as the dramatic high point. It took me well over two hours to make that mile and half, to make the lying SOBs "moderate walk". I rested many times but I was still exhausted.

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Being so tired, I thought maybe the Delicate Arch would be anti-climactic. It wasn't, it was worth every tired step and old man totter. I have a framed poster of it hanging on the wall of my front entry way to commemorate this day’s accomplishment.

Seventy-five turns around the sun I have had and have been diagnosed as having stage 4 prostate cancer that has metastasized to six other places in my body. I just don’t have the energy that I used to have nor did I have the energy I had when I started the primitive walk. At any point I could have stopped and turned around but while I don't know much, I do know that perseverance will often get the job done. So, I persevered and persevered until I was there. It was worth it.

As I started up the easy part of the trail, I saw people ahead with bulky looking back packs. I somewhat mentally sneered at them thinking that they weren't going on a trek, just a mile and half "moderate" walk. Well, at the top these people were perched on outcroppings in the amphitheater, drinking their water, eating their sandwiches, potato chips, pickles, soup, candy bars and other stuff I tried not to notice. But I did. And I had none. I see where sneering got me - hungry and thirsty.

A very nice woman asked me if I was thirsty and offered me a bottle of water. I swallowed my pride (I didn't have any saliva to swallow), took the bottle and gratefully said "thank you." She said "you are welcome" with a European accent that I could not quite place. After an hour or so of rest, I headed down with dread and trepidation because my legs were telegraphing their exhaustion and pain to me. It took a little more than an hour for me to get to the parking lot - gravity can be a nice help mate.

Along the way down, a young woman went zipping by me. She had a baby carrier on the front of her with what looked like a three to four month old sleeping baby. On her back she had a bulky pack. She moved as if she had nothing to carry. I was full of admiration for her and her willingness to do as she was. She was alone, I don't know where the father was, probably someplace having a beer and watching the game.

By the time I got to the parking lot, I was so tired and hungry that I decided that I could do no more touring this day. On the way through Moab to my campground and my blessed Oliver, I saw a sign indicating "Zax's Famous Burgers". So, I decided to surround one. It was a big burger, but I did it, ate the whole thing, plus the fries and the pickle and the lettuce which I don’t normally want.

As I described, the day was difficult and demanding but wonderful because of the amazing views but more so because I was able to do something that I thought I would never to be able to do again.

This was the day that was.

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Custom Made Mattresses

I purchased a single sized foam mattress but this too was unwieldy, not fitting either bed well. I had talked to other Oliver owners and was referred to Southern Mattress located in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. I contacted them and they indeed confirmed they would custom make a mattress for my Oliver Elite. My conundrum was how I could configure the mattress to access the components and storage areas under the seats. A full sized mattress would be just too much to lift and hold in place as I pulled out storage items, much less to try to work on a component (electrical, hydraulics, water, etc.). As I explained this to my wife telling her I wanted to split the mattress in half, she pointed out it would be very uncomfortable, sliding down in the crack. She said ” split it where the bench ends, 1/3 and 2/3s. The crack will be at your knees and you will not feel it”. I contacted Southern Mattress and they agreed to cut it where ever I wanted it cut.

I traveled to Rocky Mount, North Carolina and found this to be a family owned company. I arrived in late afternoon and the owner took me to his home. There, we hooked up my trailer with electrical and water on a pad next to his home. The next morning I pulled my trailer to the factory and they began to make my mattress. With each step, they asked me to approve the work, include changes I wanted made, etc. they measured the trailer, made the pattern and asked if I wanted extra room to be able to put bed linens on the mattress. The pattern was a good fit for the 2/3 – 1/3 combination. In short, I was very pleased with the mattress. I selected a 5″ firm foam with another layer of soft memory foam. That night, I had the best sleep ever in my Oliver Elite.

I also had a mattress made for the smaller dinette/bed. I used the single sized foam mattress that I had purchased earlier in the year. Southern Mattress did not object to this. Again, they cut the foam to the 1/3-2/3 combination. Each mattress was covered in a premium quality quilted cover, fire retardant and straps sewn in to make moving easy. The mattress was double sewn all the way around to reinforce the straps. By noon, I was on the road, headed home.

That night, I slept for the first time very comfortably on my new custom-made mattress. It now slides over easily and stores on top of the other mattress while I access the storage and component areas. If you are interested in a quality mattress, custom made, they now have patterns for both the Elite and the Elite II. They can custom make you a mattress and ship to you. They do not press the mattress in a roll. Rather they box the mattress and ship it to you.

Southern Mattress Company 1812 Cokey Road

Rocky Mount , North Carolina. 800-227-8701

- hardrock on Oliver forums

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For More Cool Ideas check out our forums page at olivertraveltrailers.com

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Footpath for the People

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.


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Hike 100 Challenge

In honor of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail invited everyone to get outside and hike 100 miles on the Appalachian Trail during the year 2016.

The Challenge

In 2016, the A.T. Hike100 Challenge invited people, regardless of skill level (novice to professional), to complete 100 miles of hiking - with at least one hike being on the Appalachian Trail. This included solo hikes as well as group hikes; extended trips or multiple trips involving only one mile at a time. However people choose to complete their 100 mile challenge, the goal was to encourage people just to get outside and have fun!

Those who completed the 100 mile challenge by the end of December 31, 2016 were eligible to receive a limited edition A.T. Hike100 decal/sticker. If you completed the challenge in 2016 and submitted your information, but have not received anything yet, please be patient - we received and are responding to significant interest and a large number of entries.

What is Next?

The Hike100 was a 2016 initiative. We are considering having a similar challenge again. Until then, there are plenty of opportunities to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine and we encourage you to get out there and hike! Check out our trail map to find the closest location to you, and make sure you review our hiking safety tips.

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Christmas in Hohenwald

Every year in December our quaint little town of Hohenwald Tennessee gets into the Christmas spirit. The small town's gazebo pictured above is festively decorated and on the weekends you can find live music and caroling.

The people's trolley takes visitors through a town tour to admire the Christmas lights and decorations.

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Upcoming Events

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For More Information visit olivertraveltrailers.com

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Crustless Cranberry Pie

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 eggs

1 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 inch pie pan.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in the cranberries and the walnuts, and toss to coat. Stir in the butter, beaten eggs, and almond extract. If you are using frozen cranberries, the mixture will be very thick. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

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For More Recipes visit allrecipes.com

Welcome to the Family

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Welcome Debbie LaFleiche to the Oliver Family.

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Please welcome Mr. & Mrs. Geoffrey Howe to the Oliver Family!

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Welcome Greg Korosacki to the Oliver Family.

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Welcome James and Karla Bahrain to the Oliver Family.

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Welcome Mr. & Mrs. Miller to the Oliver Family.

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Welcome Rosina Rahaman to the Oliver Family.

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Welcome Mr. & Mrs. Edwards to the Oliver Family.

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Welcome Bobby & Lou-Ann to the Oliver Family.

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Welcome Mr. & Mrs. Kopish to the Oliver Family.

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Welcome Tim & Paula Warren to the Oliver Family.

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Ollie's Trivia of the Month

Last Month's Trivia:

What American hard rock band recorded a power ballad called 'November Rain' in 1992?

Answer:

Guns N Roses

This Month's Trivia:

What Marlon Brando film was released on December 30th 1953?

On behalf of The Team at OTT and The Oliver Family we'd like to thank you

for your interest in Oliver Travel Trailers.

We look forward to helping you learn more about the Oliver difference.

Feel free to give us a call with any questions you may have at this time.

Kind Regards,

The Oliver Family and Team

For more information about our travel trailers, please give us a call at...

1-888-526-3978

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