Friday, October 4, 2013

Golden Shores RV Resort

On September 29 we arrived here in Long Beach, Ca. for two nights specifically to visit the Queen Mary.  The sites are a little tight, but are level and have full hookups including 50 amp electric, sewer, and water.  The utilities were very convenient and close for hooking up water, sewer, and electric without adding any extensions.  A little traffic noise from the highway as this is located at the end of the 710 freeway and it seemed that most residents in the park were month to month occupants.  We paid $50 per night with Good Sam discount which is in line with surrounding area parks.  There was a fenced dog run 30 X 60 feet, pool, spa, clubhouse, and grocery store.  They also maintain the landscaping and grass in excellent condition.  I rate this park P****. 

This park is located directly in downtown Long Beach on the water and within walking distance to many restaurants, the Pike, and shops.  There is also a FREE bus service which arrives every 15 minutes just outside the park and takes you all around Long Beach including the Queen Mary.  I am not very fond of public transportation, but the price was right, convenient and it saved us $15 parking fee at the Queen Mary. 

The city of Long Beach purchased the Queen Mary in 1967 and has several different tours available on board.  There is also a separate tour of a Russian submarine.  Aggie was interested in the ghost tour, as this ship has had sightings in the past.  The ship operates like a hotel; they rent rooms and do catering for seminars and weddings.  I feel that the tours are way too pricey at about $29.95 per person. 

We did treat ourselves to a great clambake at Gladstone's 4 Fish.  It included a 1.5 pound Maine lobster, 2 king crab legs, shrimp, steamed little neck clams, corn on the cob, boiled potatoes, and a fresh loaf of bread.  It was cooked to perfection, and there was plenty for us to share.  We had great service and had a view of the water. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Avila Beach

What a way to close out this trip.  We pulled into this parking area at 2:30 PM and was lucky to get one of the last 2 waterfront sites.  All sites are first come first served with the exception of special events.  The views of the beach and harbor are awesome.  You notice that I did not call this a campground, as it is more like paying for a parking space.  There are full hookup sites across the street, however.  We paid $40 per night

 for dry camping, no water, no electric, no sewer, no table, no fire pit.  Basically, the Port San Luis Harbor District which operates this park charges this fee for parking off the city street.  The full hookup sites go for $60.  There are pay showers near the pier and you can buy water and you may use the dump station with reservation for an additional $20.  That said, I rate this park P****. (location, location,location)

There are seafood restaurants and markets on the pier within a short walk and Buddy enjoyed a long 25 minute swim in the ocean.  He darn near got caught up in the seaweed chasing a duck.  I thought he would never come back to shore.  This is a protected area and the waves are small, but we can hear them crashing upon the shore.  It was very breezy when we arrived, but has calmed down this evening.  We will drive a few miles south into Pismo Beach tomorrow and sample some more seafood. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Working Hard

Aggie took this while I was updating this blog in my mobile office in the motorhome. 


We spent one day in Carmel, Ca.  We could spend a week in this town and not see all it's art galleries.  We paraded through a good sampling of them and also hit my favorite, Gallery 21 which specializes in Eyvind Earle paintings (my favorite artist).  Afterward, we visited this beach in Carmel before going out for a seafood dinner.  We dined on shrimp, scollops, and clam chowder, yummy. 

Old Fisherman's Wharf - Monterey

After our 17 mile drive, we headed north to the Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey.  We paid $3 for parking which gave us two hours, plenty of time as Buddy was with us.  There were many seafood restaurants along the wharf which were very tempting, but very difficult with Buddy tagging along.  We finally found a full service car wash for the extremely dirty Tahoe and searched for a large grocery store.  We asked several locals for the nearest Safeway or Von's and they had no idea; they shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.  We finally found one the next day in Carmel, just a few miles south.  Here is a good close-up of a seal gliding on the water.

Pebble Beach - 17 Mile Drive

We took this 17 mile ride through curvy roads which meander through pricey residential forested areas.  Many with views of the renown Pebble Beach Golf Course and it's majestic shoreline.  There is a $9.75 fee to drive your automobile through this private community.  Buddy was very excited to run along the beach and chase birds and surf the waves of the pacific ocean.  The few people in the water were wearing wet suits due to the cold water.  The last picture is of Bird Rock which is loaded with seals and sea lions.

Laguna Seca Campground

We arrived here after 6 PM on August 18 for a four day stay to tour Carmel and Monterey, Ca.  This county campground is located adjacent to the Laguna Seca Speedway.  I can see the cars whizzing by as I write this blog.  The county leases this whole park to the Speedway when they have racing events.  We arrived on Sunday and a racing event was winding down.  Our reserved site was occupied by racing fans when we arrived, so we selected another (better site) as there was no management on site to be found.  The campground was emptying out quickly and the racing crowd all seemed to have 40 foot plus motorhomes.  This is a very hilly area and loaded with pine and oak trees along with browned out grass, typical with summer mountain terrain in California.  We are located in one of the two campgrounds which provide water and 30 amp electric.  There is a central sewer dump which campers can use.  Our site was relatively level, but I did use my jacks.  Some sites were more level than others.  There is also a campground for tents and RV's with no hookups.  Many sites have a view of the raceway.  The water here has excessive arsenic in it and they don't recommend drinking it, so I would recommend bringing plenty of bottled water.  I rate this park P***.  Racing fans may rate this park higher. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dos Reis County Park

We stayed here August 17 for one night in route to Carmel.  This county park is located about one mile west of the 5 freeway and 10 miles south of Stockton, Ca.  We reserved a pull through site which was level and equiped with full hookups including sewer, water, and 30 amp service.  We arrived with full holding tanks and empty water from 6 days of dry camping in Lake Tahoe.  This is a small campground which looks like a small city park with camp sites located around a grassy and treed area in the center.  There is a boat ramp inside this park and I would not stay more than one night without a boat.  Verizon cell service is good here and I was able to use my wi fi to catch up on the blog.  We arrived around 2 pm and most sites we taken.  We paid $25 plus a $10 reservation fee.  I rate this park P***.

Toy Hauler

Aggie caught this in Lake Tahoe.

Fallen Leaf Lake

We arrived at our favorite campground, Fallen Leaf Campground, on August 11 for 6 days.  The weather was absolutely beautiful; in the 70's and 80's and no precipitation at all.  We visited our old stomping grounds.  We relaxed along the Truckee River one day while Buddy enjoyed his daily swim.  We attended a three piece concert on classical folk music from France, Spain, Poland, and Greece at the Valhalla theater.  This is a converted boat house.  There was a pianist, a guitarist, and a soprano singer.  While they were very talented, it was not my cup of tea so to speak.  I replaced my worn Aussie hat and Aggie replaced her worn purse.  We dined at Chevy's Mexican Restaurant one night and I donated $180 at the casino playing no limit poker.  It only lasted 30 minutes.  Better luck next time.  I have already rated this campground, but I thought I would post some pictures of the lake.

Tahoe Valley Campground

We arrived here August 8, for a three night stay.  This is an Encore park which is also part of the Thousand Trails Park system.  The skinny and curvy roads are challenging to navigate between the large pine trees throughout the park.  The sites are on dirt and crushed pine needles and were level, I did not use my leveling jacks.  We were assigned a premium site with electric, water, and cable TV.  I could not get satellite reception due to the dense trees.  This is the first time I have hooked up to cable TV in this motor home and it worked fine, but only had about 10 or 12 channels.  There is a dump station in the campground and travellers not staying in the park can dump their tanks and refill water tanks for a fee.  There are also sites with full hookups.  Our rate with RPI discount was $41 per night and another $3 discount because the pool was out of order.  Based on our discount, the standard rate would be $60 per night and I would not pay that price at this park.  That said, I rate this park P****. 

We were ahead of schedule, so we decided to stay here as our friends Chris & Gary were camping here.  As it turned out we did not get to see Gary as he was in Reno at a big car show.  Pictured with Aggie is Chris, her grandaughter Emily, and their friend Barbara.  We were enjoying a pizza and wine in a Lake Tahoe outdoor restaurant.

Bordertown RV Resort

We arrived here on August 7 for one night.  I have rated this campground before at P****.  No change and I was able to upload pictures with their super fast Internet while we were there.  We encountered some very strong wind gusts  and rain on our way here.  If fact, we passed a truck trailer on it's side on the side of the road, (probably blown over in the wind).We had planned to stay at Rye Reservoir for one night off the I80, but I was not impressed with what I saw from the freeway and felt like driving more this day.  We intended to stay in or around Sparks, Nevada, so we could take a day trip to Virginia City, an old mining town.  There was a large car show going on in Sparks called Hot Summer Nights this week end, and the campgrounds that were not booked were charging scalping rates.  This park was 20 miles outside Sparks and I was lucky to get only one night stay at $43.  This is a Good Sam park, but they would not honor the discount because of the car show. 

Salt Lake City, Utah

We spent one day visiting Salt Lake City and Aggie had a laundry list of points of interest to see.  We were only able to fit in the Mormon Temple and surrounding buildings on the huge compound which was built in the 1800's.  All the buildings were available for viewing; some self tour and others you must have a guide.  The guides were very knowledgeable, informative and friendly, and everything was FREE.  That appealed to me.  This compound was so large they had two extensive visitor centers located on site.  The grounds were absolutely beautiful with water falls, and landscaping which included flowers, plants, and trees imported from around the world.  We attended a free organ recital which lasted about 35 minutes.  This organ has 7708 pipes and is housed in a building which seats 21,000 people.  It was very interesting observing the organist gliding his fingers along the five rows of keyboards on this organ. 

The Mormon's were the first to settle this city and all the streets surrounding the Temple are based upon the direction of the Temple.  For example, there are four streets called Temple St.  North Temple does not run north and south, but is north of the Temple and runs east and west.  There were other streets called 400 South which would presumably be 4 blocks south of the Temple and would run east and west.   Needless to say, it took us over one hour to find our car after touring the Temple grounds.  I had a city map with me which was no help.

There was a large indoor/outdoor mall which had waterfalls and a little brook running through it with live trout swimming.  Cool!

The next day we planned to spend 2 hours at the Great Salt Lake on our way heading west out of town.  It was very disappointing as the water level was low and you had to hike a good 1/4 mile to the water.  We walked about 2/3 of the way till the stench of dead birds overcame us. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Welcome Station

We stayed here one night, August 6.  This is a very small park with only 21 campsites.  The landscaping was well maintained and the grass was green and trimmed.  Many tall trees in this park shelter you from the desert heat.  The owners were quite friendly and sat outdoors in the shade chatting with residents of the park.  I had the feeling I was visiting a relative and camping in their back yard.  The park was very dog friendly, as there were several dogs wandering throughout the campground unleashed, but well behaved.  There was a cute spring fed babbling brook running through the property.  The pull through site I was assigned was a little tight, but had full hookups including 30 or 50 AMP electric, sewer & water.  I used my jacks to level the rig.  I was not able to get satellite reception, but those with portable satellite dishes were successful.  It is located right next to the Interstate 80 with much noise from auto's and trucks cruising by at 75 MPH.  Not a lot to do here, but a pleasant stop for one night.  We paid $15 with our RCI discount.  I rate this park P***.

Arches National Park

As we turned into the park our motorhome lost power and black smoke was billowing out my tail pipe.  All my gauges appeared to be normal; I checked my oil and inspected the engine from under the motorhome and could not find the problem.  We limped into the visitors center and called a diesel mechanic in the next town Moab, 7 miles down the road.  We detached the Tahoe and Aggie followed me at 10 miles per hour to the service center.  Fortunately it was a minor fix; the pac brake detached from the bolt holding it in place.  The tech raised the pac brake from under the motorhome while I reinstalled it back on the bolt where it belonged.  Replaced the e-clip which holds it in place and I was on my way. 

There are over 2400 arches in this park, but most visitors only see 100 of them.  We were treated to much thunder and lightning both nights.  We attended a campfire program on the animals of this park one night as the program on bats was rained out the night before.  We hiked two trails and observed the rest of the park from the parking lots near rock outcroppings.  This is a small sample of what you will see here.