Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Dalles

Aug 7 we spent the night boondocking along the Columbia River which separates Oregon and Washington States.  This is located at the Rufus exit.  We have stayed here in the past located on land owned by an Indian tribe, and it is a great place to spend one night.  It was 108 degrees so we ran our generator and air conditioners until 9 PM.  There were several homeless people living here so we moved up the river a ways and found a more private spot.  Several indian tribes fish for salmon off these platforms during the peak fishing season.  We had a great unobstructed view of the river from our RV.  Can't get any better than that!

Ponderosa Falls

We stayed here August 5 and 6.  This is a nice park with full hookups, 50 amp electric, sewer, and water.  There internet was not usable as they were in the process of updating it.  I needed to send a file to Knights of Columbus and the office manager was happy to send it for me the day we were leaving.  We had a pull through and was relatively level as we just put out blocks under our tires on the passenger side and it was perfectly level.  There appeared to have some full time residents in the park, but it was well maintained.  There was an issue with the sewer while we were there and talking with other campers in the park, it was not unusual.  We have stayed here before and would come back.  We paid $13 per night with our RPI membership.  I rate this park P***.   We tried to get an extra night the day before, however they were booked for RPI members.  We serviced the motorhome at Speedco August 4 just 2 miles from this park.  Changed the oil and filters, but we had to wait for the following day for one of the filters.  They allowed us to park our rig overnight in their lot, so everything worked out.  We stocked up on groceries the following day and the remaining filter was installed by 1PM.

Yellowstone National Park & Moose Creek Campground

We stayed here August 2 and 3, located 88 miles north, after driving through Yellowstone National Park as there was no available camping in the park.  We pulled into the campground which has only 13 dry camping spots and we lucked into the last one at about 7:30 PM.  We had to move to another spot the next day as ours was reserved.  Both sites were pull through, so we did not have to detach. All sites have a picnic table and fire pit.  All sites were large enough for my rig and there was water to fill a water bottle or bucket, a ventilated pit toilet and trash receptacle which was large enough to accept a 1 cubic foot bag.  This is located along a river with rafters coming through and many satisfied fisherman.  There is also a little traffic noise from the highway which is not well traveled after dusk.  We paid $7.50 per night with our senior pass and I rate this park F****.

We spent August 1 in a rest area just a few miles east of Cody, Wyoming.  We did visit Old Faithful, the fountain which erupts water and steam on a regular basis.  We just missed the last one and waited about 90 minutes to observe the spectacle.  We watched a free 20 minute movie at the visitor center to pass the time.  No parking for our motorhome and connected Tahoe anywhere near Old Faithful.   We found a pull-off that accommodated our length about 6 miles down the main highway and detached the Tahoe to visit Old Faithful.  We also took a 2 mile hike to visit these colorful pools of water which are very hot, 156 degrees.  I guess there is some algae in the water which gives it the beautiful color.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Hart Ranch

We arrived here on July 29 for three nights after a two day journey of 963 miles to Rapid City, South Dakota.   We spent one night in a rest area en route.  This is a one of the best parks in the RPI system, M*****.  Not much has changed since our last visit in July 2014 except the grass was browning out as they have not had enough rain and apparently there is no irrigation system.  Our site was equipped with full hookups including 50 amp electric, water, sewer, and cable TV; all located on a level concrete pad.

 They have upgraded the internet here and our site was directly next to the transmitter; and I have been able to update the blog for the first time in weeks.  The internet worked great!  The bike rally in Sturgis starts next week and the Harley's are already filling up local campgrounds.  We have been catching up on errands that we have not made time for: food shopping, hair cuts, and washing clothes.  Tomorrow we are planning to dine out at the Alpine Restaurant for a Black Angus Tenderloin in Hill City.

KOA Kankakee, Illinois

We stopped here for one night en route to our next stop in Rapid City, S. Dakota and to visit our motorhome friends, Mike and Pat from IRV2 family.  We had a full hookup pull through site.  Our site was off level and had to use jacks to level the coach.   There is not much around here except corn and soy bean fields, and the park seemed to be filled with full time residents.  Other than that, it was a good stop over and we paid $36 for one night.  I rate this park P***.
Mike and Pat treated us to a delicious German meal and then a tour of their beautiful lakefront home in a private community.

Hearthstone Public Campground - Lake George, N. Y.

We camped here for three days to visit Lake George, N. Y.  from July 11 -14.  This is a beautiful N. Y State Park set in the woods alongside Lake George.  There is a swimming beach and you can launch your kayak from shore.  Aggie’s family visits this resort area every year  and I can see why.  This park is close to Lake George Village where most of the action is.  There are boat rides, rental boats, parasailing, all kinds of restaurants, gift shops, and attractions to take your money.  There is even a trolley car that will pick you up at the park which will drop you off into town and take you back for $1 to $2 round trip, which will save you quite a bit on parking fees in town.
That said, this is a dry camping park which has a dump station in the park.  There are water faucets throughout the park, but very chlorinated and there is one faucet where you can attach a hose to fill your tank but we did not utilize it.  No electric, water or sewer at any site.  This park is not big rig friendly, and upon arrival we had to park our rig on a hill and curve to check in.  Then had to navigate between two large trees upon entry.  We detached our toed on a single lane road where no one could pass.  Some untrimmed trees scrapped the top or sides of my rig and most sites were not very level including our site.  There is a very steep grade going down to the sites nearest to the water.  Some sites had a filtered view of the lake.  Our site was situated down hill from the street and even with blocks under my wheels and use of jacks in the back I still was not level.  Ninety percent of campers in the park were camping with tents and tent trailers.
There are two sections to this park which is divided by highway 9N.  I would not attempt bringing an RV over 22 feet on the side away from the lake, but I did notice a 29 foot trailer in there.  There are many tight turns on this side on very narrow one lane roads.
The rules in the park are very restrictive.  No swimming at the beach without a lifeguard and I did not see one there the few times I walked down to the beach.  That did not stop people from swimming there though.  Dog’s are not allowed in day use areas and at the beach.  No opportunity for Buddy to go for a swim.  Generators are restricted from 9 - 11 am and 4-7 pm.  Loud generators will be asked to leave.  Cell phone was weak and we received 6 channels over the air TV, but did not try satellite TV as we were in the trees.  We paid $90 for 3 days which included a $9 reservation fee.  I would stay here again if in the area and rate this park F*** for large trailers and big rigs .  As this park is better suitable for tenting I rate this park F***** for tents.
The closest large grocery store was 9 miles north off highway 87 called Price Chopper.  We needed supplies and took out a small loan to purchase groceries.  Afterward, we found free parking on the other side of Lake George Village in front of a catholic church and wandered around town for a few hours.  We attended an free outdoor concert, purchased an ice cream cone, and Aggie snagged a good value for a new wallet.  The next day we took Buddy for a ride along the west side of the lake and drove through a resort on an island a few miles north of our campground.  I would have liked to put my kayak in, but the weather was not cooperating as thick clouds covered our area with occasional rain each day.

Holland State Park

We arrived here on July 25 for 2 nights.  We camped on the beach side where they do have some full hookups, but we were happy to get one with 30 amp electric only.  Our site was relatively level and there is a dump station and available water upon exit of the park.  The campground was totally on asphalt, but we had no difficulty navigating into our site as the sites were long enough for our 40 footer and they were 40 foot wide.  Enough room to park a second vehicle.  We paid $70 for 2 nights which included an $8 reservation fee.  We were not charged for our toad for day use.  There is a swimming beach across the dunes and opportunities for fishing across the campground.  There was one community fire pit in the park and they allow you to bring a portable fire pit to use in your own site.  No alcohol allowed in this park.  I rate this park F***.
We took a road trip through the city of Holland and visited the downtown area, the DeKlump Wooden Shoe Factory, Windmill Island Dutch Town, and I have included a picture of a huge home owned by one of the Amway family.  The shoe factory was quite interesting and they show you how they manufacture the shoes for free.  These wooded shoes seem to be reasonably priced from $39 to $49 for my size 10.  We did not pay to enter the Windmill Island Dutch Town which charges a $9 fee per person to enter.  The day use area is exceptionally busy and people we talked to came from up to

3 hours away to watch the ships come back off Lake Michigan and watch the sunsets.