Eric is an award-winning business journalist, travel writer and economic development specialist. His articles appear in a variety of print and digital publications.
From gemstones to the Big Tent: Quartzsite, Arizona, is an RV destination 11 months of the year
If you ask what there is to do between Los Angeles and Phoenix off Interstate 10 in Arizona, Shanana Rain Golden-Bear, editor of the Desert Messenger, will tell you to visit Quartzsite—and stay for a while. “This town is a little quirky, but that’s what makes it so much fun to park an RV here,” she says.
Quartzsite is a popular wintertime destination for snowbirds, a regular stop for RVers on one of the major cross-country freeways in the U.S., and a filming location for 2020’s Nomadland. The...
Your Guide to the 2023 Quartzsite Sports, Vacation, & RV Show
Here’s what you need to know about January’s ‘Big Tent’ event, a magnet for RVers, overlanders, and nomads.
The “Big Tent” is what locals call the annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show in Arizona. Ask anyone in town, “Where’s the RV show?” and you’ll likely get a response akin to, ”It’s just south of Interstate 10 on Highway 95, just look for the big tent,” according to Shanana Rain Golden-Bear, who publishes the monthly local newspaper Desert Messenger News.
As it has for 40 years, th...
The RVillage Guide to Buying Your First RV
Shopping for your first RV? Here are a few things you need to know before heading to a dealership.
Shopping for an RV can be an exciting process, but it can also be overwhelming if you’re not prepared to navigate your way through the many rig options on the market today. Before making the trip down to your local RV dealership, there are a few questions you should ask yourself to prepare for your future purchase.
From travel style to sleeping space, here’s what you should consider before you s...
Tribal Associations Seek to Broaden History of National Parks
The National Park Service has upped its connection to its tribal partners and associates to broaden the history and story of America's national parks. Yellowstone and Mesa Verde Chaco Culture national parks are among those taking the lead. Several national monuments are making progress as well.
Get bucked: Western dude ranches have only gotten cooler, with camp counselors, national park rides and luxe resorts
A flat trail and easy pace make it possible for riders of various equestrian experience to head out into the Arizona Sonoran Desert for breakfast at the outpost ramada at White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. (Eric Jay Toll / Chicago Tribune)
“Next up is the team from Chicago,” crackles the disembodied voice over the speaker system mounted above the arena.
A genuine “Yee-haw!” is heard across the dusty corral, as two men and a woman ride hard out of the gate, heading toward the small herd ...
The Dude Ranch Experience in the American West (Photography)
Active ranch and ranch resort options in Arizona and Colorado range from family-ready to adult escapes for city slickers to work for their grub. Visitors dine at the chuckwagon, ride the open range and participate in a ranch rodeo before checking out. A slide show featuring photography by Eric Jay Toll.
Wandering the Hoh Rain Forest
On a July 4th weekend, I slowly circled the Hoh Campground, passing just about every one of its 72 sites in search of an empty, unreserved campsite. With the sinking feeling that my campsite would end up somewhere in the adjoining Olympic National Forest, it was stunning to find a vacant site on a turn in the road and separated from the Hoh River by a line of towering trees. The river was unseen, but I could hear it gently gurgling over some large rocks.
An old friend of mine was a multi-trip...
Winter in Québec: Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
My bucket list trip to experience winter in Québec was made even more memorable by the excursion to Saguenay.
A winter visit to Québec has long been on my bucket list. It seems pretty offbeat to leave Arizona in February and land not far from the Arctic Circle. The trip to Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean was an unexpected detour from Carnaval in Québec Citie. Bundling up meant I was never cold despite an air temperature that never cleared 12F (-11C). The Québecoise are exceptionally welcoming hosts. ...
A sea of sand: In American Southwest, these dune destinations are overlooked gems
With a roar, we’re diving down that impossible canyon with nothing but pink sand visible through the windscreen. In seconds, we’re roaring up the other side seeing blue sky and the treetops. We head back to the Valantine family’s RVs, circled into a family campsite.
Matt and son Cary are whipping up dinner for the families, their collective sons, daughters, in-laws and many grandchildren.
“We just don’t get opportunities like this to have everyone together at one time,” Valantine says while s...
Red, White And Green: Winter Colors In Arches Are Awaiting You
Can you compress it more?”
Her face scrunches with effort. I exhort her, “Push! Really push it!”
“Oomph! It barely fits, but I got it.”
The ski parka needed 15 minutes ago is now far too hot. We’re down to sweatshirts as we crunch across the rising, flat sandstone surface on the trail. It’s winter at Arches National Park in Utah; the hike has us halfway there and already at 4,600 feet (1,402m). Siri said the temperature was 38° Fahrenheit (3 Centigrade) in the parking lot, but we’re toasty wa...
Phoenix and Canada - Natural Partners
The Canada=Arizona Business Council promotes commerce and tourism between Greater Phoenix, Arizona and Canada. In a special section for the Phoenix Business Journal, articles about Canada and doing business in Phoenix were written from interviews, research and purpose.
National Parks Traveler: Chaco Culture - Hard to reach, unexpected discoveries
Why do people squiggle their cars and manhandle SUVs to get to Chaco Culture National Historical Park? Read their words, learn their reasons, and see the pictures in "Hard To Reach, Filled With The Unexpected." Multiple visitor interviews and vivid images were compiled for this article.
Inspired by Innovation: ASU and Mayo Clinic
We are inspired by the notion that innovation provides an equity dimension to health care, said Dr. Steven Lester to kick off the discussion of innovation in bioscience healthcare in Phoenix, Arizona.
Health Care Visions Aren't Science Fiction Any More
Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic Health Solutions Campus is bringing the future of medical technology into the doctor's offices of today.
Photos of Mt. Lassen / Shingletown KOA Holiday
Photography assignment for Roadtrippers and KOA Kampgrounds to photograph Shingletown-Mount Lassen KOA Holiday campground.