Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cheyenne Mountain State Park

We arrived here on July 10 for 6 nights to visit Aggie's brother Bob, sister Joanie and her husband John.  This is a very nice state park with full hook ups including 50 amp service.  Our site was relatively level on a concrete pad and I did not use my levelers.  There are hiking trails throughout the park, but dogs are not allowed on the trails.  This is a very popular park and I would recommend reserving your site in advance as the park was full nightly.  Many sites have spectacular city light views from their site, ours was not one of them.  The sites had mature bushes between sites which gave good privacy and we had good cell reception and satellite TV.  We paid $27.50 per night plus $7 per night for day use pass.  I rate this park F****.
We basically used this site as a home base and did not spend a lot of time here with the exception of having a barbecue one day.  Joanie as usual kept us very busy every day.  We visited the Rosemount museum in Pueblo, Co., the Penrose Heritage Museum in Colorado Springs, took in dinner and a play in Cripple Creek an old mining town now filled with gambling casino's, shops, and restaurants, and we took a hike along Helen Hunt Falls.  We also took a train ride on the Royal Gorge Railroad, went kayaking one day at Redington Lake, and made a day trip to Breckenridge & Frisco.
I understand that Colorado Springs has been receiving an unusual amount of rain this year and every afternoon the clouds would build up and may or may not drop some rain.  One day I was drenched running from the house to our car as it was raining buckets.

Lathrop State Park

We arrived here for one night on July 9 and this is a Colorado State Park located in Walsenburg, Colorado.  There were two lakes here so many campers here were towing boats.  Our site was a pull through and relatively level but I did use my levelers to level the coach.  We had 50 amp electric service but no water or sewer.  Our site had a picnic table and fire pit.  That said, the electric and site were on the same side which required us to walk around our motorhome to our campsite.  We paid $27.94 which included the $7.00 State Park day use fee.  I could not pull out of the site when leaving the next morning as the campsite next to ours utilized the whole site so I had to back up with my toed to enable me to make the turn.  I rate this park F***.

Mesa Verde National Park (2)

On July 8, we camped inside the Mesa Verde National Park at the Morefield campground for one night.   We stayed here before and rated it so I won't rate it again and as last time we encountered several deer wandering in and around our campsite.  We attended a campfire program about the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) The CCC was created during the Great Depression to provide employment to unskilled young men which created this park along with 800 other parks across the United States.

Ten X Campground (2)

We arrived here for 3 nights on July 5, 2015, which is the first stop on our 2015 summer vacation.  I have already rated this park on a previous post so I won't rate it again, but we enjoyed our stay here and as last time we observed 3 elk on a short hike in our campground.  One day we hiked along the south rim of the Grand Canyon with Buddy.  He was a hit with all the tourists as usual.  The Grand Canyon was as beautiful and majestic as ever and we are so lucky to enjoy it's wonderful spectacle. We checked out the RV park inside Grand Canyon National Park and were happy we decided to stay at Ten X because of the large spacious sites.

Monday, July 6, 2015

2015 Vacation Schedule

We left home on July 5 and our first stop was Ten X campground, just 5 miles south of the Grand Canyon.  We enjoyed a thunder and lightning show on the way here and also drove through a few sets of rain, something we don't see much of near our home.  It hit 80 degrees today and very comfortable.  This is a great campground and I won't rate it again, but we did come across 3 elk grazing and resting in our campground just 60 feet from the road.  We will stay here 3 nights and then off to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.  Our next stop will be a state park near Colorado Springs where we will spend 6 nights to visit Joanie, John, and Bob, Aggie's family.  That is as far east we are travelling this trip and we will head northwest from here.  Our next destination will be Riffle Gap in northwestern Colorado.  We then head to a campground near Provo, Utah for two nights, and on to Mountain Home, Idaho for 3 nights.  Our next stop will be in Bend, Ore., to visit our good friends Chris & Gary for 3 nights.  July 25 we will arrive in Portland, Ore., to visit our son Matt & our grandaughter Danika.  After 8 or 9 nights we will cruise over to the Pacific Ocean in Seaside, Oregon for 3 nights.  We then will head south down the 5 freeway to Canyonville, Ore., and stay 2 nights a casino called 7 feathers.  We will have one unscheduled stop before we arrive at Lake Tahoe, Ca. where we plan to stay one full week.  We will make one stop in Lone Pine, Ca. before we head back home again.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Las Vegas R V Resort

We arrived here on Jan. 29 for 3 nights.  We stayed here last year and it is a nice park.  I would guess that 75% of this park is full time residents which is not a problem as the park was kept very clean.  We had a level cement pad with full hookups and 50 amp electric.  They have two small fenced dog runs which are well used as there is virtually no grass in this park except a little patch near the clubhouse.  Buddy did not even want to enter the dog area as the smell was probably too strong for him.  I think they need to water the stones down really good in there.  The park is a short drive to the Las Vegas strip and all the casino's.  We paid $29 per night.  I rate this park P****.
We took a day trip to Lake Mead which is very low because of the drought.  We could not find a place deep enough for Buddy to go for a swim.  We also visited Barbara and Bill, fellow postal retiree's who now live in the Vegas area.  We also snapped a few photo's inside the Encore casino lobby.  It seems like they have a rose parade of their own as these decorations are covered with flowers.

Lost Dutchman State Park

We stayed here January 25, 2015 for 4 nights.  We had a long 100 foot pull through paved asphalt site with 50 amp electric and water.  There is a dump station in the park, and there are also dry camping spots.  My only gripe is they placed the electrical and water on the wrong side and I had to run my water and electrical cords under the motorhome in order to have door facing picnic table and fire pit.  Other than that, this is a wonderful park with natural desert landscaping throughout the park.  A beautiful view of Superstition Mountain with trails leading to the mountain.  We paid $30 per night plus $5 reservation fee and you can also dry camp for $20 per night.  The campground was full every night so reservations are recommended.  We had a huge coyote prance 50 feet behind our site at dusk one night and he was as big as Buddy.  I rate this park F****.
We stay here to visit our relatives Stan, Jo, Kathleen, Arlie, & Greg.  This campground is located on Apache Trail and just across the street a Gold Mine attraction with tours of the old gold mine on a train along with a bar, restaurants and several shops.  There was a country singer Paula Williams who was very good and did a great job of yodeling.  Aggie purchased one of her CD's.  We also took Buddy for a ride to Canyon Lake where he was able to go for a much need bath in the lake after 10 days in the desert.  I was able to snag a new cowboy hat, Yeehaaaaa.

Quartzsite 2015

This is our 4th year meeting up with the IRV2 Monaco group.  We stayed 6 days as that is as long as our holding tanks last when dry camping.  It has been in the same location for the last 4 years and I have posts here from past years.  Nothing much to write about here except a GREAT group of people who are willing to share their knowledge and experiences with their motorhomes.  Here are a few pics of the group at Silly Al's Pizza.

Blythe Bluegrass Festival

We arrived here in Blythe, California on January 15 for a Bluegrass Festival which starts on the 16 for 3 nights.  We have never been to one of these venues in the past, so I thought it would be interesting.  Blythe borders the Colorado river which serves as the dividing line between California and Arizona.  It also separates time zones from pacific to mountain time zone.  As it turns out, I was not too excited with the music which seemed very repetitious to me and after two sets, I had enough. The average age at this venue was 65 so the music started 10AM and ended around 4PM.  Many campers would congregate around their campsites singing and playing their music into the wee hours.  There were about 12 different bands playing and most played two sets as they had two stages located at this fairground location which also serves as a race track.
We arrived around 4PM and noticed that our refrigerator was not working.  It turned out to be the Norcold recalled overtemp sensor was defective again for the second time.  Fortunately, there was a RV service center close by who actually had the recalled part in stock.  We ended up putting 20 pounds of block ice in the fridge until the service tech came out to bypass the defective unit.  They could not replace without permission of Norcold on Monday.  It was covered under warranty.
We camped in the overflow area which was a little farther from the venue than the other campers, but worked well for us as we had all kinds of room to ourselves.  The other campers were packed in like sardines.  I don't think we will be returning since it is not my cup of tea, but we had to do it once and the cost was very reasonable at $140 for 4 nights dry camping and 3 days of music for 2 people.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pasadena & The Tournament of Roses

I have lived here in Southern California permanently since 1973 and this is the first time we have traveled to Pasadena to see the floats.  I said floats because we did not brave the freezing temperatures to observe the parade, but visited afterward to just see the floats.  These floats are truly remarkable as they are covered exclusively with flowers, seeds, grass, spices, and crushed and combed bark.  People travel from around the world to see this spectacle.  This was the 126th annual event and also is associated with the Rose Bowl College Football Playoff games.  I am not an avid fan of football or any other sports for that matter and not particularly crazy about parades either.  How un American!!!  That said, if you don't mind mingling with 10,000 or more tourists, this should be on your bucket list.  Each float represents thousands of hours of labor and no two are the same.  I think we walked 2 miles to see them all.  We parked at the Rose Bowl for free and caught a bus to the area where the floats were parked.  The bus was $3 round trip and $10 entrance fee to walk the floats.  Here is a small sampling of what we feasted our eyes on.

Prado Regional Park

On Dec. 31, 2014, we stayed here for 4 nights to close out 2014 with our friends Kathy & Grant.  This park is very nice and the sites are level and many long pull through sites.  Ours was over 100 feet long and had full hookups including 50 amp service.  There is a stocked fishing lake, clubhouse, baseball field available to use for an additional fee.  We paid $45 per night which was a $10 premium per night due to the holiday weekend.  Your camping fee allows entrance to 4 people without an additional fee per person and fishing required a California fishing licence in addition to $8 per person fishing fee.  You are also charged an entrance fee which was $10 this week end.  I did not see anyone catch a fish.  The grounds were well taken care of.  You can rent the clubhouse and ball fields on an hourly basis.  I feel this is a little pricey, but I rate it F**** and would return again.  There were no vacant spaces while we were there so reservations are necessary which is another $5 fee.  My biggest gripe was that our site along with many others had the hookups on the wrong side of the site.  Our site was set up on a one way road and our hookups were on our camping side.  The alternative would be to drive the wrong way into your pull through site and then run your water, sewer, and electrical hoses underneath your rig.

This county park is located in Chino Hills which is in San Bernardino County.  It is within an hour drive to most attractions such as Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Hollywood, Orange county beaches, and Pasadena which is why we selected this site to visit the Rose Parade Floats after the parade.  We woke up to frost on the ground in the mornings as the temps dipped down into the 30's which is cold for us southern Californians.  That said, we spent most of our weekend inside the motorhome with the heater running full time.