Friday, January 31, 2014

Williard Bay South Marina Campground

We arrived here August 3 for three nights which is located about 50 miles north of Salt Lake City, Utah.  This is a state park and in addition to camping, there is a boat ramp for boaters to launch their boats into the water.  This is a very shallow lake, but looks as big as Lake Tahoe.  There was no swimming beach on this side of the lake, but I understand there was one on the other side, but we did not check it out as it was several miles north.  The site we were assigned was relatively level, but I did have to use my leveling jacks.  The campground was basically a large asphalt parking lot with RV's on one side and tents on the other.  We had full hookups with 50 amp electric, very high pressure water, and sewer at all RV sites.  Even though there was many clear area's to obtain satellite reception, I was  unable to get Direct TV.  Not much here and don't bother to make reservations, as there were never more than 5 RV's while we were here.  I had bees buzzing around me while hooking up, fly's entered RV when you opened the door, and swarms of gnats and mosquito's in the early evening near the lake.  Each afternoon an obnoxious odor came into the campground that smelled like garbage burning.  We paid $25 per night which only made sense if you had a boat.  I rate this park F**.

Countryside RV Resort

We arrived here in Apache Junction, Arizona, on January 24 for 3 nights to visit our relatives that we had lost contact with for many years.  While this is more like a mobile home park; (at least 50% of units are permanent park model units) it has to be one of the friendliest parks we have ever visited.  From the check in to parking our rig in our spot, everyone waved and made us feel very welcome.  We simply used this as a home base and did not use any of the facilities.  That said, there was a pool, exercise area, clubhouse which had meals and music at least one night we were here.  There are all kinds of activities here as well and the park was very clean.    The only gripe I had with this park is all the trash dumpsters were located at the far side of the park (a good 10 minute walk each way), and our site #190 was encroached by a permanent shed on this lot.  Also, entering this park from the 60 freeway is a very tight fit; I clipped the curb with my toed vehicle.  It was relative level, however I did use my jacks and full hookups including 50 AMP service.  Internet was available for an additional fee and I had good cell phone and satellite reception.  This is an Encore park and I paid $20 per night which included an extra fee for our dog, Buddy.  I rate this park M****.  This park is located at the beginning of the Apache Trail which we dedicated one day to cruise on up to Tortilla Flats, a separate post.

Apache trail & Tortilla Flat

We were camping at the base of the Apache Trail, route 88 in Arizona.  We took Buddy for a day trip to Tortilla Flats.  Buddy took a much needed swim in Canyon Lake.  This road is filled with turns and switchbacks which was very suitable to all the motorcycles traveling along this route.  We only averaged about 20 - 25 MPH on this road with much traffic. 
After stopping a Canyon Lake, our next stop was Tortilla Flat.  There was a restaurant and bar here along with a few shops selling ice cream, candy, and assorted gifts.  There was a live two piece band playing outdoors and they seemed to be entertaining the crowd.  We toured a small school house that served 12 students back in it's day.  The bar had horse saddles as seats at the bar and the whole inside of the building was covered in $1 bills, like wall paper. 
I decided to return toward base camp as fuel was low and we got a late start.  We toured Goldfield Ghost Town on the way back.  When we arrived, there was a recreational gunfight going on and the gun blasts were too much for Buddy.  I kept my distance while Aggie toured the shops.  There was a bar with live music playing and several shops.  Ice cream seemed to be a hit as many people were walking around with a cone. 
There are many other attractions along this route including Superstition Mountain Museum, Lost Dutchman State Park, and Dutchman's Hideout at the Mining Camp Restaurant which was quite busy with cars parking along the street. 
This is an interesting ride along the desert landscape and you need more than one day to enjoy it all.

2014 Quartsite Monaco IRV2 Rally

We enjoyed another 6 days with our IRV2 family on January 18 for six nights.  I heard we had up to 35 coaches when we left and they come from as far as Denmark.  The weather was spectacular this year;  70's daytime, 40's at night, and calm winds.  Mike (Drifter) adjusted several coach doors again this year and barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers for the crowd one day and he made sure the camp fire was well supplied with wood each night.  He also is the person who organizes the rally.  Thanks Mike. 
This year I purchased the Rand McNally RVND7720 GPS.  It seems to work just fine for the first three addresses I programed into the unit.  It keeps telling me I am speeding - I guess I had better turn that feature OFF.  Check out my previous rating of this campsite on my June 2010 post. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Catalina Spa & RV Resort

We arrived here on November 14, 2013, for 2 nights.  This park is located in Desert Hot Springs, Ca.  We normally do not use the swimming pools or spa's at campgrounds, but we made an exception here as the pools and spa's are heated by mineral hot springs.  This park mandates a $5 surcharge for 30 amp electric or $7 surcharge for 50 amp service.  The use of generators are prohibited in this park and this surcharge increases campsite fees by 50% to70% per night with my RPI membership.  The 30 amp sites are quite small and barely fit my forty foot motorhome in the space.  It was not wide enough to pull my toed into either, so I parked halfway into the street somewhat blocking traffic.  It was not too busy and management did not bother me about parking in the street.  Since this was winter, I did not need 50 amp service.  Since this is the desert, camping here May through October will require air conditioning and 50 amp service.  I like the fact that all sites were first come first served and you can pick out whatever spot you like rather than being assigned.  The fenced dog run was closed for at least one month because the dogs killed the grass.  While the fella at the front gate was very helpful, I could not say that for the people inside the office.  Two women and one man completely ignored me for 5 minutes  while I stood waiting to pay their fees once I found our site.  I paid $15 per night and rate this park M**. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Woods Valley Kampground

We arrived here on December 31, 2013 for three nights to celebrate new years with our friends Grant and Kathy Stephens.  We actually camped here about 25 years ago with this same couple along with their 4 children and our 2 boys.  We have celebrated together as long as I can remember, the only difference these days is we call it a night at 9:00 PM instead of midnight and the kids are grown.  This campground is located about 8 miles north of Escondito, Ca.  Our site was relatively level, but I did use my jacks; and equipped with 30 amp electric and water.  A dump station was available near the swimming pool, however, you had to back into it and it was a little tight for my 40 footer.  Verizon cell phone was intermittant and I was unable to find a satellite signal and their cable TV was disconnected as rodents ate the wires and the RV parked elected to discontinue service.  If you like camping in a federal park that has electric, water, interior dirt roads and dirt sites, this is your place.  That said, this is a very nice park nestled in the oak and pine trees and the manager is quite friendly and checked on us on occation to see if we needed anything.  All sites had a sturdy picnic table on their site and the manager delivered a fire pit upon request.  We paid $16.50 per night through our RCI membership and they also accept Passport America at the same rate.  I rate this park P***. 

We were treated to warm weather in the mid 70's daytime and down to the 40's at night.  Listened to coyote's howling while we sat around the campfire at night.  We chowed down on shrimp, lobster, steak, prime rib, crab, mussels, clam chowder, and sushi; at the Valley View Casino located only 2 miles from this campground.   After signing up for their players card, they provide this buffet for free.   Life does not get better than that!