Friday, September 5, 2014

Boulder Creek RV Resort

This was our last stop on this trip and we needed to stop to dump our holding tanks as we were dry camping for a full week.  This park is located 2 miles south of Lone Pine on highway 395 and is just south of Diaz Lake.  This is a relatively new park and I remember when they built it.  It may be 15 years old and the trees are mature inside the park.  We had a level pull through site with full hookups including 50 amp electric, sewer, and water.  They had a huge fenced dog park for Buddy and the grounds were natural as this is the desert.  There is a great view of Mount Whitney from this campground.  We paid $36 with our Good Sam discount and I rate this park P****.

Lake Tahoe

We end up here every year and this year is no exception.  We were able to stay at our favorite campground, Fallen leaf campground.  I have rated it before so you can check some of my numerous posts on this campground.  We arrived August 11 for one full week and it was unusually very relaxing as we spent more time than usual inside the campground.  The lake was as low as I have ever seen it and the raft companies were out of business this year as very little water was trickling down the Truckee river.  Shortly after we arrived a thunderstorm came through and pelted us with hail.  We could not get reservations for the full week in one campsite as we did not book until April, so we had to pick up and move to another site one day.  I could not pick up satellite reception at either location and could not get over the air programming either.

We visited many of our usual stops along the lake and did drive around the lake one day which took a little longer than usual as there was some construction going on and they reduced the speed limits around the lake by 5 mph.  We tailgated the Bruno Mars concert at Harvey's Casino one night as we could not afford the $140 per person entry fee.  The concert was basically sold out and people were parking on streets for over a mile away partying.  We were standing just outside the entrance and could partially see one of the overhead screens.  While he put on a good show, we left early to enjoy a Coldstone Creamery ice cream.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

99 RV Park

We arrived here in Vancouver, Wa. on July 31 for one full week to visit our son Matt and our grand daughter Danika.  This was the highlight of our trip, but I can't say the same for the campground.  We had a relatively level site with full hookups with 50 amp electric, water, and sewer.  Not all sites are created equal in this park as our site was located parallel to the main street in the resort.  Our awning protruded into the street.  Our site was rock and very messy with Danika playing in the dirt daily.  It appeared to have many full time residents in the park and it is located in the city with shopping centers all around.  It was a clean park, but had no facilities other than rest rooms and a club room which closed at 5PM.  I paid $25 per night with Good Sam Discount and I rate the park P***.  We will try to find a more child friendly park next time we visit here.

We drove down to Coos Bay, Oregon to pick up Danika which was a 4 hour trip in each direction, but it was a beautiful ride.  We visited Jamie's father and step mother (Steve & Melanie) for a short visit and then stopped by Jamie's grandmother for another visit.  Matt had to work so we took Danika and Buddy to city parks during the day while Matt was working.  We took Matt & Danika to the Portland Zoo one day and had a great lobster dinner at Joe's Crab Shack on the Columbia River afterward.  We also visited a State Park one day where Danika and Buddy went for a dip in the river.

Snoqualmie Falls

We took a day trip here while staying at Lake Sawyer in Black Diamond, Wa.  The falls are very powerful and the you could feel the spray 200 yards away.  They generate electricity here and the river, trees, and shrubs are just awesome.  The paths to the river were narrow and it was a challenge as Buddy was very excited.  Our GPS was lost and sent us around in circles until we stumbled upon the park.

Sparks Marina RV Park

We arrived here on Aug. 9, in Sparks Nevada for 2 nights before going to Lake Tahoe.  This is a very clean park.  All sites are level with concrete pad and full hookups including 50 amp electric.  All sites have a picnic table and green imitation grass between sites.  Each site has a single tree which provides a little shade.  All surface driveways are asphalt.  There is a small pool and spa which was very clean and bathrooms were immaculate.  I paid $37.08 per night and rate this campground P****.

There is a small lake accross the street with park like grounds all around the lake.  There is a swimming beach with lifeguards on one side and the other side has a huge fenced area for dogs where they can swim also.  Buddy went for a swim and a much needed bath.  Free admittance and free parking.  California would figure out a way to tax this!

Seattle, Washington - Space Needle - Pikes Market

I am glad we visited Seattle to see the Space Needle and Pikes Market, but I have no interest in revisiting Seattle in my lifetime.  First off, everything here is expensive; food, restaurants, bars, and parking.  The only good value at Pikes Market was the floral arrangements; they were beautiful and very fresh flowers at very reasonable prices.  King crab and lobster tails were being hawked at $32 to $40 per pound and they were not even from Maine.  Salmon was $18 - $36 per pound and this is where they catch it.  There were some nice looking pastries but I observed an eclair the size of a small hot dog for $6.50.  How about $4 per pound for tomatoes and $6 per pound for peaches.  I did not see many tourists falling for this rip-off, but they did buy some $5 coffee's and $3 bottles of water.  A couple times per hour the fish market employee's would toss a fish from the display case a few times and return it to the case for sale.  I was not impressed!  We paid $16 for 5 hours parking while we toured the city and the Space Needle.  As for the Space Needle, if you don't make reservations in advance online, you are relegated to waiting in line 30 or 40 minutes to purchase an elevator ride to the top starting at $26 per person.  After purchasing your tickets there was a 2  to 2.5 hour wait. What???  They must think this is an E ticket ride at Disneyland?  I am sure when this was built, it must have been quite a spectacle, however there are more interesting buildings across this United States and they don't charge you for the elevator ride.  We decided to pass on this.  You can ride for free if you agree to buy a $37 hamburger, but those tickets were sold out.  There were some interesting sculptures around the complex.  Traffic is a nightmare here in and around Seattle.  While the only highway through this city is the I5, it was always crawling while we were here.  The streets downtown are very poorly planned and it took us nearly an hour to go 4 blocks to the freeway.  I could have walked it there and back twice in that time.  You had better have GPS around here as most streets have numbers on them like NE 188th St. or NE 18th Ave.  Believe it or not, those two streets intersect.  Most residents know how to get around, but have no clue of how to give directions if you give them the address. 

We did enjoy a musical play in Seattle one night "Jane Eyre".  The lead in the play, Art Anderson is the son of a good friend of mine.  The theater was very intimate venue,

and probably only had maybe 200 seats.

Coeur d'Alene RV Resort

We arrived here July 19 for 2 nights.  This park is located in the city of Post Falls near all kinds of shopping.  We drove into this park without reservations, something we do not do regularly, but they had room for 2 nights.  This was a well maintained park with full hookups including 50 amp electric, sewer, and water at all sites.  The concrete pads were level and red rock between sites.  There was a fenced in dog run and a large grassy parklike area to walk the dog.  Most sites seem to have full time occupants here but the park is clean and they do have an indoor pool and spa and clubhouse.  We paid $40 per night with Good Sam discount.  I rate this park P****.

We shopped in downtown Coeur d'Alene one day and walked their claimed largest walkway on the water at 3300 feet.  It basically wraps around the enclosed marina.  As you would expect in a millionair's playground, there were many fancy yachts.  We ordered pizza at the Pizza Factory in Post Falls, and was pleasantly surprised how good their pizza was.  We are pizza snobs and very picky.  This pizza had the perfect crust, fresh ingredients, and lots of stringy cheese.  We will definately check out our local Pizza Factory at home.

Lake Sawyer (Sunrise Resorts)

We arrived here July 21 for 6 nights to tour Seattle, Washington.  We were very disappointed with this membership campground located in Black Diamond, Washington.  The sites were so close, my neighbor could not fully extend his awning.  While there was no 50 amp electric in the park, the 30 amp electric worked.  Sewer connection was only available to members of this park.  The only dump station was not working when we arrived but was working when we left.  One camper told me he was scolded and charged $15 extra to dump his tanks when he arrived.  I had to use jacks to level the coach and our pad was all dirt and rock.  Many campers were permanently living in this park.  This park is situated on Lake Sawyer which is a very peaceful setting with lilly pads just off shore.  The only lots with view of the water were converted to cabins.  No cable TV, no satellite reception, and could only get one chanel on my over the air antenna.  We paid $14.44 per night which included a $3 resort fee per night.  What a joke!  I rate this park M** and won't be returning.

Ocean Breeze RV Resort

We stayed here for 4 nights from July 27 - 30.  This membership park is located 2 miles south of Ocean City, Oregon.  While this is on the Oregon coast we opted to drive the three miles to the beach.  The campground is heavily treed and most sites were created by clearing an area in the forest.  We were able to find a site with satellite reception, but the 30 amp electric was not strong enough to run our microwave and voltage was too low.  I would be willing to bet that someone on our same line was using a power booster.  Our 30 amp extention cord was visably burnt, so we disconnected the electric and used our onboard batteries and inverter.  We purchased a new 30 amp extention in town and moved the motorhome to the next campsite and power was still marginal.  Many sites were closed to RV's due to no electric.  I have not had any difficulty with electric before or after this stop.  All sites had water and I needed jacks to level our coach.  Most sites had picnic tables and firepit.  We were disappointed that we could not see the ocean or walk to it from the campground and no sewer hookup at sites.  There were dump stations near the exit though.  We were fogged in nearly our whole stay and it was chilly.  It was the first time we wore jeans and jackets this whole trip.  We paid $11.15 per night with our RPI membership and I rate this park M***.  If they could upgrade the electric to 50 amp and add sewer to the sites I would upgrade to ****. 

We did a little 4 wheeling on the beach with the Tahoe and Buddy was able to run free on the beach and chase the thousands of sea gulls on the beach and in the water.  I had to keep a close eye on him as the fog would sweep in and out and I had to run after him to keep him in my sight.  We dined on steamed clams, raw oysters, and clam chowder in Ocean Shores, a couple miles to the south.  We also chowed down on a prime rib special for $11.99 at the local Quinault Beach Resort & Casino in Ocean Shores.  We joined their players club and won $21 which I gave back when I entered a poker tournament.

7 Feathers RV Resort

On August 7 we pulled into this resort for 2 nights and is located just off the I5 just north of Canyonville, Oregon.  This is the best park we have stayed at in our travels.  This park is truely a resort with well manicured weedless lawns, shrubs, flowers, and trees throughout the complex.  It is owned and operated by the Indians here and is also attached to a gambling casino which is a healthy walk, but they provide door to door free shuttle service with a call to the front desk.  The inside roads were all asphalt just like any new housing tract and perfectly level concrete pads with full hookups including 50 amp electric, sewer, and water.  The only gripe I had was the electrical box was 50 feet from my rig when parked to the back of our pad.  I don't carry 50 amp extensions so I had to park all the way forward next to the street which left about 20 feet unused behind my coach.  We were able to park our toad 200 feet away in visitor parking area.  A lot of high end motorhomes in this park and there was an American Revolution Ralley going on here while we were here.  The park appeared to be full both nights we were here and it was very quiet, you could not even hear the freeway as the campground was located below the freeway with hills separating the campground from the freeway.  The casino has several restaurants and we elected to eat at the buffet which was seafood night, Thursday.  It was $21 per person but had fish, clams, oysters, crab, clam chowder, prime rib, Italian food, Mexican food, a salad bar and great looking pies and ice cream bar.  There was an indoor pool and spa in campground and at the casino which was attached to their hotel.  We will make it a point to stop here any time we travel I5 in northern Calfornia in the future.  We paid $33.21 per night with AAA and their free players card discount.  I rate this park P*****.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Glacier Bay National Park

We spent one day cruising through this park and entrance was free to us with our America the Beautiful Senior Pass.  The roads are very narrow and windy with rocks jutting out on one side and big drop offs on the other side of the roads.  These cavernous holes in the ground were carved out over many years by glaciers.  The park is filled with a multitude of waterfalls and streams and rivers.  We drove by a granite wall with water coming out of the wall they call the weeping wall.  We only saw one of the 29 glaciers left in the park and they estimate they will be all gone by the 2030 due to the global warming.  This park is filled with wildlife but all we saw this day was a chipmunk.  Most deaths occur from drowning in this park and a few happened this month alone. 

There is certainly much beauty in the United States of America!