Archive for October, 2012


Porto Bodega Marina – Bodega Bay, CA

  • Simple gravel parking, lovely view of the Bodega Bay. Pay more to park directly on the Bay.
  • Clean pleasant restroom and showers but is a bit of a walk.
  • Wi-Fi provided in the meeting room near the office–a further walk.
  • Verizon signal and hotspot excellent.
  • Dog walking fair, range is restricted.
  • No access to shops or restaurants.
  • Would stay again for the view and ambient sounds.
  • $47 (including tax) Full season rates.

Silvers at the Wharf – Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg CA (Restaurant)

  • Greatly enjoyed in spite of the thick fog and the cold night.
  • Dogs cheerfully allowed on the deck.
  • Service and food excellent.

Pomo RV Park Campground – Fort Bragg, CA

  • Woodsy and private (pretty)
  • Lots of room to walk dogs
  • Showers and bathroom clean but no windows and few amenities
  • This was the only location for this trip in which payment (quarters were required for the shower and as per usual shower cheated on time.)
  • Very bright spotlights at some parking spots – I had one of these huge lamp posts and had to use several block out curtains which was a shame since is was woodsy.
  • Paid $43 plus $1 for pet and tax, $47
  • If I stayed again would ask for spot away from bright light and request full hook-up (only $3.00 more.) My parking spot was private and quiet, there are many spaces which are shared.

North Coast Co-op – Aracata, CA (Food supplies)

  • Have stopped here many times. really appreciated back up rear view camera for getting out of crowded parking lot
  • Selection not as inclusive as I remember from the past, but a fun stop to stock up on natural foods
  • Farmer’s Market in town square but dogs not permitted.

Emerald Forrest of Trindad – Trindad CA

  • I’ve stayed here before but I didn’t remember. Much nicer than the other parks I saw in the area more like a state park in an area of redwoods.
  • I had a spot with partial hook ups and no nearby neighbors
  • Good walking for the dogs around the park
  • I did not get Escapee Club rates
  • Nice place, would stay again

Arimitage Park – Lane County near Eugene, OR

  • Excellent walking for dogs, very scenic. Included natural trails and large off-leash dog park
  • No showers or hot water
  • Lovely camp site but did have annoying “park” lights at each site attached to plug-in.
  • Quiet
  • $30, full hook ups

Barnacle Bistro – Gold Beach, OR (restaurant)

  • Picked up Fish (Alaskan Cod) and Chips (sweet potato)  and an Australian Root Beer to go…. was yummy
  • Didn’t see any pet friendly dinning area

Secret Camp RV Park – Gold Beach, OR

  • Like a summer camp
  • Dogs had opportunity to play ball off leash (relaxed friendly atmosphere)
  • Full hook ups and WI-fi
  • Clean free showers and bathroom
  • Quiet
  • Couldn’t walk dog very far in the woods because of stickers and brambles
  • Paid off season rates!
  • Driving necessary to get to town, ocean, etc.
  • Many folks staying monthly
  • $25

Port of Suslaw Campground and Marina – Florence, OR

  • This camp is definitely not for everyone but almost my favorite. wish I had stayed another day.
  • Simple, nothing fancy but well located.
  • Great walking for me and the dogs! Can walk around boats, the harbor with birds, sea lions and fishermen to the Old Town stores and restaurants and along the river.
  • My spot was private and quiet and had full hook-ups not all spots may be this way.
  • Typically there were spotlights but not as bad as some.
  • Nice tourist video:  http://www.portofsiuslaw.com/video.html
  • I think this was $26

Sisters Bakery – Sisters, OR

  • Delicious house made bear claw and muffin souffle vege lunch treat.
  • I was intending to overnight in Sisters except for the nearby fire….  I was weary of smoky air by this time.

Crown Villa RV Resort – Bend, OR

  • My favorite park of the trip even though I passed it by at first
  • 12 Acres, very pet friendly with good sized off leash dog run
  • Clean, lots of grassy areas for walking, a few trails, lots of trees
  • Beautiful bathrooms / showers and nice hottub
  • Was street traffic but died down at night
  • I took a street side location for a discount
  • Woodsy, personal site services
  • Car needed to get to town, etc.
  • Discount site $40

Caldwell Campground and RV Park – Caldwell, ID (near Boise, ID)

  • I was lucky, arrived on a Sunday and found a peaceful site open near the little lake, other sites were not as nice (crowded and little privacy)
  • Many long term campers with trailers
  • Fairly quiet until midnight, then a long parade of trucks drove past my parking spot….  lasted for 45 min. Lights shinning in my windows and noisy Not sure why they didn’t take the other road into camp.)
  • A bit rundown and unkempt but decent
  • Lots of cigarette butts and dog waste in spite of sign to pick up after your pet
  • Lake area was nice, fair walking. Had long trail but didn’t have time to try it.
  • Freeway / highway noise
  • Nothing interesting in the area
  • $25 (I think)

Best Western Plus Cotton Tree – Pocatello, ID

  • I will not stay here again
  • Uncomfortable and noisy
  • I enjoyed driving around the town and found a nice park for the dogs.
  • $85 plus tax, was given $5 refund for discomfort

Huckleberry AnnE’s, West Yellowstone, MT

  • It’s terrible, I can’t remember the name of the restaurant, but I think this might have been it. The patio was closed so the dogs had to wait in the LT.
  • The food was wonderful!

Signal Mountain Campground – Grand Tetons National Park, WY

  • Loved this campground – I had the best spot in the camp overlooking the lake
  • No showers, no hot water, no showers even at the lodge area
  • Main drawback was the smoke from the area fires. The smoke obscured the view completely. . . could not see the mountains
  • Other drawback was neighboring campers…  walked though my space and caused my dogs to bark (they could have walked around but were too lazy) and someone left their generator running.
  • Stayed two nights, could have easily and happily stayed longer.
  • $20.65 per night.

Dornan’s – Moose, WY ( food and hootenanny)

  • Camp chow, music and fun. . . darn they didn’t have salmon the night I was there.

Mangy Moose  –  Jackson Hole, WY (restaurant and bar)

  • Don’t bother eating here just look at the cute decor and go somewhere else.

Jackson Whole Grocer – Jackson, WY (grocery and natural foods)

  • Ate at their deli several times and stocked up on food supplies
  • Really enjoyed this store

Smiths – Jackson WY (grocery and supplies)

  • Pleasantly surprised to find lots of fresh organic produce and great selection of supermarket supplies.

Employees Parking – Grand Tetons National Park, WY

  • Boondocking….  I was given permission to stay here for some nights. This is not something one can normally expect; others should not plan on doing this. It was a great location for touring with my friend on his off hours from work at the Lodge.

Rendezvous at the South Fork – Swan Valley, ID

  • I think this was the place I stayed – it was a last min. find backtracking down the canyon. It was getting late and I was tired.
  • Park was okay.
  • Nice hot shower – it was getting cold outside
  • Right off the highway
  • Somewhat quiet…  someone rented the cabin right behind me and turned on the blazing outside light after I’d gone to sleep – it woke me and I sat there waiting and trying to block out the light….  finally had to knock on their door….  fellow immediately apologized and turned out the light.
  • Mediocre walking for the dogs because of stickers and highway on the other side
  • I was sick so appreciated that few others used the bathroom / showers… clean and lots of hot water.
  • Don’t remember what I paid. Prob would not stay again, but it was okay.

Jerome KOA – Jerome, ID

  • Normally I don’t care for KOA camps. .  . they can be very expensive and have too many smoky campfires. I was very lucky at this one not being able to find a place for the night. My Mom helped locate this (and many others)
  • My parking spot was off in the long-term section, nice and private away from the others who were all squished together and therefore quiet and peaceful.
  • Nothing to complain about – arrived late and exhausted, left fairly early.
  • Decent walking for the dogs.
  • $38

Sparks Marina RV – Sparks, NV

  • Nice walking across the street
  • Park was clean and quiet.
  • I used the pool and hot tub.
  • Very large park, when full it must be crazy.
  • Even being an off time I was the only “little guy” in the park.
  • Think I paid $33 with a discount

Private Boondocking

  • Had a nice opportunity to boondock outside someone’s home in a guest parking area.
  • Quiet and peaceful
  • Friend let me use their shower and made me a wonderful breakfast!

The Trip

It’s Fall now, so I can look back and say Summer is gone. Over. Finished. And it’s a good thing. Summer in kid days was camp, swimming and horseback riding, chasing frogs in fields of tiny wildflowers, rafting cold wild rivers and sleeping to the heavy blur of crickets. This last summer was a lost valley. I hit the end. The end of the road, the end of the line, the end of patience, the end of hope. Headaches, heartaches, sinus pressure, clogged ears, ragged nerves and just not feeling well. It’s over now. Severed connections alive and dead merging with new people and connections with long-lost people. Like the bird that died at my retreating feet, Summer is still. Time has flown. Fall, not yet discovered.

Because the world is beautiful…. one more slideshow: The Trip to Wyoming (hmm…. not quite in order… will try to fix…. later)

Thank you everybody who made comments or told me you enjoyed my writing or my photos. I love comments! Thank you for your kind words. And thank you (again) Mom….. it was you who helped me push past my sadness to be strong and confident. I can run my little RV without incurring offers of help, I can back into my space, hook up, take care of both my dogs (and they both needed doctoring) and keep the road under the LTs wheels. Come Winter the dogs and I will head to the desert, see friends, check out the happening at Quartzite and look for the vancampers. I will begin a section here on my blog on the camps and parking places in which I stayed, with my comments of course.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Waves travel in groups (something I’d like to try as opposed to alone with the dogs.) Waves create a bit of deception. We can sit in a trance like bliss watching them pound the shore—it seems that sea is lapping at our feet, clamoring for attention, shouting at the land to dissolve so it can explore further and further the mysteries of dry land. What is really going on is energy. Depth, shape and slope determine how that energy falls onto the shore. Sets of waves pile together pushing steeper and higher until they topple as a breaker . . . the lovely surf. Influenced by currents, sea temperature, wind speed and direction, gravity, the rotation of the earth, water pressure, fresh water melting and running to the sea . . . it’s complex and dramatic.

Wikipedia says the Pacific Ocean covers 165.25 million square kilometers or 63.8 million square miles of the Earth’s surface.

Here in the Pacific the colder deeper water is driven towards the surface, in upwelling, bringing nutrients such as nitrate, phosphates and silicic acid for phytoplankton mixing with carbon dioxide and light, attracting life in abundance. I searched for a video on upwelling but did not find what I wanted, nevertheless here’s an intro http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al8WrXkLuL4&feature=relmfu

Everyone should understand these basic earth processes, how the ocean works, the atmosphere, and so forth. Evidence of change is constant and we cannot effectively prepare to sustain ourselves without observation, knowledge and critical inquiry.

Standing, sitting or driving through the sunny, foggy, rainy coastal pacific is an experience of massive process displaying such stunning beauty its hard to believe we are gifted the perception to see this.

Driving Across Oregon to the Sea

Driving Across Oregon to the Sea

The Oregon Coast

Looking inward at Siuslaw River in Florence Oregon

Okay…. here goes my usual rant with WordPress…. trouble with photos being clipped and WP not responding to edits, alas! Will make a second post for a slideshow….. up next….

I pushed my Little ’96 Dodge Leisure Travel on narrow 2-lane highways and scenic bypasses – it doesn’t hold the road nearly as well as those big 4X4 trucks and SUVs and nowhere near as tight as the little sports cars, motorcycles and road gripping sedans, so why then do they try to cut me off, crowd the LT or want to race to the next cutoff? No not everyone does this but sometimes even though I religiously pull over to allow passing, there are foolish motorist who believe that they won’t fare badly scraping with a “big” little, old motorhome driven by a cantankerous gray-haired woman determined to enjoy the stunning panoply of trees, light and water over roads that would scare the dogs worse than the bear if the dogs had any sense of the road.

Not surprisingly I didn’t see a lot RVs on the cliff hugging coastal highways, the scenic mountain bypasses or the strange paths I sometimes choose to travel. I did see some, mostly little guys like me, but I did see a few big ones — I wondered if they’d realized what they were getting into and now it was too late to turn around. Wouldn’t be so bad except the condition of the roads, especially in CA is abysmal. Rough Rut Lane ahead for the next 300 miles: they should post that on the highway! Prepare to have doors and hinges fly open, bumping and grinding, gut wrenching banging and clanging and who know what sliding around. The dogs give me dirty looks, really it’s as slow as I can go!

So my new dream vehicle would be on of these: The First 4×4 Sprinter in North America? I notice it has a road master steering stabilizer on the front end. Here’s another look.

Still dreaming: A $122,000 Trakka Torino on the Fiat Ducato from Australia: . . . here’s their Sprinter version

Think how fun it’d be to say, Oh, I have a Jabiru!

Meanwhile here’s some shots from my travels after Southern Idaho and Central Oregon starting with Bend and the scenic route west from Sisters. . . next post the coast.

Crown Villa RV Park: Luxury with paving stones, a personal trash can, storage, lots of trees, a large dog park, a hot tub, game room, lush grass and a gorgeous shower room.

The dogs enjoying the paving stones

I don’t normally take pictures of dead birds but this little sweetheart dropped to its death directly behind me at the Old Mill shopping area in Bend, OR. There was nothing I could do but honor its life with a memory.

The walking path at the Old Mill District. Very dog friendly. Their doggy station says: Dog Rest Stop. . . Only You Can Prevent Dog Piles. . . . very cute with a drawing of a dog like a ranger holding a shovel.

Leaving Sisters Oregon via the 2-lane scenic byway the smoke from the fire begins to clear.

McKenzie Pass Highway and The Sea of Lava in beds of craters

McKenzie Pass: elevation 5325

Dee Wright Observatory panorama of the Cascade Mountains

Yellowstone, The Falls

This slideshow requires JavaScript.