Monday, December 8, 2014

Not all RV Parks, State Parks, or Campgrounds are equal...

Many of my fellow RVing friends ask me about where I like to stay, and if I have recommendations. We've all stayed in state parks that are incredibly beautiful, and private RV parks that are from hell. So here's a post with some of my favorites. In some instances I will include photos, but I'm sometimes too lazy to snap pics and download them.

When I'm on the road I stay in a mixture of state parks, private RV parks, and other types of campgrounds. If I take a look around and get bad vibes about a place, I leave. So please, trust your gut feelings and judge for yourself.

State parks are my favorite places to stay - there are so many beautiful ones!

Beaver Hills State Park, Montana
Beaver Hills State Park is along the 90 freeway near Clinton, Montana. It's very small, and I loved it. There's a beautiful river and the campsites have electrical hookups so fill your water tank before parking. There are a few tipis as well.

Jackson Rancheria RV Park (and casino), Jackson, California
This park is immaculate, and has wonderful views. The sites are large and somewhat private. When you arrive a staff member drains your tanks to rid them of chemicals that might be environmentally harmful because they recycle the water for landscape maintenance. They give you a container of safe chemicals to put into your black tank. There is a walking path, fenced dog area, putting green and swimming pool. And of course a shuttle to the casino!

Honeyman State Park, near Florence, Oregon
Love this park! Heavily treed, private sites, hookups. Path to the dunes - a favorite attraction along this stretch of Oregon coast.

Ocean Mesa RV Park, at El Capitan State Beach, just north of Santa Barbara, California
Great private park, expensive - but it's the best place to stay near Santa Barbara. Ocean views and easy walking distance to the beach. Walking path to deli at El Capitan Canyon Lodge.

Yanks RV Resort, Greenfield, California
A great place to stay along hwy 101. New park, nice sites with landscaping. There's even a dog wash!

Deerwood RV Park, near Eugene, Oregon
I stayed here while awaiting a service appointment in Junction City. The most attractive private RV park I've ever seen - owned and run by a friendly couple Mike and Sally Brown. I had a bad cold when I was here, and wasn't feeling too well. Sally called me and volunteered to go to the store if I needed anything. When I missed the call because I was walking my dog, she visited me to make sure I was ok. How sweet is that!

There are so many other places I've stayed since last June that were great, but these are the latest one that come to mind. Granted, the Beaver Hill SP in Montana was quite a while ago, but it's still on my mind because I fell in love with it. More of my favorites to come in future posts!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Almost heading south...

I am camped near Junction City, Oregon, which is about and hour and 45 minutes south of Portland. I'm awaiting a replacement cabinet door to arrive at the service department of Guaranty RV - it's on its way from Manitoba. After the work is completed I will start the journey south to Santa Barbara, where I'll spend Christmas. I promise to post photos of the trip along the 101 highway, and I'm hoping for dry weather! Stay tuned...

Meanwhile, I'm in a beautiful RV park enjoying a latte made with my Mr Coffee Latte maker.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Driving north to Portland

Leaving Santa Barbara I decided to avoid the 5 freeway, and drove along the 101 - headed to Portland for Thanksgiving. This is more time consuming than the big boring 5 freeway, but very enjoyable. The scenery is amazing! Unfortunately the rain started near King City on Wednesday and didn't stop until.....well, it's still raining and today is Monday! It was not easy to take photos but the next time I head south, this is the road I will take and then, weather permitting, I can take more pics. I attempted to take some photos of San Francisco, my previous home, but the fog and rain made it impossible. I especially enjoyed the town of Ukiah.

This herd of elk was grazing along the road near Willits, California. Just north of Willits the road winds through the redwoods of northern California.

There were a few very short dry moments along the Oregon coast. I love this stretch of coast!

Every time I drive this highway I end up here at lunch time - the Red Fish in Port Orford. Yummy food and a great view. There are usually a few surfers braving some pretty big waves. The day was drizzly and cold, but they make great soup here.

My camp site at Jessie Honeyman Memorial State Park. Lots of rain but so pretty!

Next stop - Portland for Thanksgiving. I can hardly wait to hug that little Celia!

Gma Van Moppes

Several kids were instrumental in packing up my mother and moving her from Grass Valley to Santa Barbara. Thank you kids! After spending four days finishing the packing, my mom and I drove south to her new home. And what a beautiful home it is! Quite an adventure for a great-grandmother!

While camping in El Capitan I found a wonderful place - El Capitan Canyon Lodge. There are yurts and great rustic buildings scattered through a wooded area. I stopped for food and wandered around. This is a great getaway place, and the state beach is a short walk away.

The entry to the Canyon

The campfire area

A cool fish sculpture!

The deli/market where I bought a salad for lunch on the road. There are many menu choices and it all looks delicious. There is also a gift shop with interesting bead jewelry, among other items.

Check out this cool table! A work of art.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Driving from Yosemite to Jackson

I drove along highway 49, the old gold country road. I passed Melones Lake, which is shockingly low. Rain dance needed.

An old adobe in Angel's Camp, in desperate need of repair

I think the colors of the old adobe bricks are wonderful.

Hello hello! I backed up to take photos of the adobe and this gentle creature came close.

Jackson Rancheria RV Park - fancy!

In a few days I'll head to Grass Valley to help my mother with her move to Santa Barbara!

Yosemite National Park

Every time I drive into a national park I get excited - I feel very lucky to be able to visit so many parks. I haven't been to Yosemite for many years. I'll be camping in the Upper Pines campground. This camp is very rustic and is often visited by wild animals, like bears, coyotes, and deer.

My camp site

Hiking along the Merced River

The water level is very low. I remember floating down this river on a blow-up raft - many years ago. Now the river is too low.

Koka had fun in a patch of early snow.

The famous Ahwahnee hotel

Rode my bike along this path from the camp to Yosemite Village.

Lawn chairs at the Wawona Hotel waiting for sun worshippers

Getting ready to climb

I think I'll return to Yosemite when it's covered with snow. How beautiful that must be!

Coarsegold, California

I spent a week in this little town nursing a bad cold. I stayed in an Escapees Co-op park, and it was beautiful. A bit rustic but with all the comforts. This RV park/camp was designed and built by a group of friends, and it's wonderfully planned, with large sites that belong to members. Some are rented out and that's how I was able to stay here. The maintenance and governing is done by all the members, who roam around in golf carts with tools and gardening equipment. The park is hilly and overlooks distant mountains.

My site, among the oak trees and large shrubs

It's tarantula mating season, and the males are roaming around, looking for love. These two visited my site. Male tarantulas roam until they find a female's den, and tap their legs to signal their presence. The female may invite him in, or reject him and he moves on, to another female's den. Females can live up to 30 years, but the poor males are often devoured by the female after mating. Tarantulas molt as their exoskeletons grow, and they can even regenerate lost legs. I was sitting in my camp chair reading when I spotted these two.