Marina RV Park, Sparks, NV

23 09 2017

Marina RV Park, Sparks, NV

Sparks Marina RV Park is a beautiful addition to the new Marina district on the east side of Sparks, NV.  The centerpiece of this retail and residential space is 77 acre Helms Lake situated on a natural occurring aquifer.  At the retail mecca of “The Legends at Sparks Marina” you’ll find outlet stores from Adidas to Nike and Vans (seems like lots of shoes) to the big stores of Lowes, Target and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse (more shoes) and a foodies delight at Olive Garden, Fuddruckers and Taco Bell.

The RV park gets high marks both on rvparkreviews.com with an 8.9 Excellent and on Good Sam – a triple 10!  With almost 200 sites, this is a large park.  The outside edge provides deep back-in sites with a privacy/security fence to the rear.  These fences are short enough to allow viewing over them from back windows, so they offer a bit more privacy than the 3 center pull-through rows.  Each site is full-hookup with water, electric, cable and sewer.  Each site also has a picnic table set on an island of AstroTurf and a couple of trees.  Our back-in sites also had several more trees and bushes to the rear.  All internal roadways and site pads are paved.  And the WiFi worked well.

Besides the sites themselves, Marina RV has a beautiful pool/hot tub, 24-hour laundry, Clubhouse with full kitchen, BBQ patio, ping pong and pool tables.  A very well stocked retail store, a putting green and immaculately clean dog runs.  For $45/night excluding the Good Sam discount, this is a great value – we’d return to Sparks Marina RV Park again.

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Ponderosa Resort, Lotus, CA

22 09 2017

Ponderosa RV Resort, Lotus, CA

Good Morning from Lotus, CA

After a bit of a navigationally challenged day, we’ve made the relatively short trip from just outside Yosemite National Park to Lotus, CA – a small town just on the edge of the Sierra Nevada foothills.  We’re headed toward I-80 which we’ll take at least all the way to Salt Lake city on our route back to Colorado.

We’re assuming that construction along highway 49 interrupted our navigation systems to the point of having us driving back-country roads with the minimum of  width and height clearance for our 3 large fifth wheels.  In a second departure from the planned route, we visited the residential section of some small town near Placerville along with a loop past the grade school and through a small mobile home park.  Arriving in Lotus, we find yet more road construction that causes us to miss the entrance to the RV park.  2 U-turns, some very narrow winding roads and a travel time nearly doubled were all good reasons for a rousing discussion among all of our drivers and passengers upon arrival.

We’re parked in sites E3, E4, & E5 at Ponderosa RV Resort.  This Thousand Trails/Encore resort is an interesting maze of curvy, hilly roads between 6 sections of RV sites, tent sites and cabins, many along the beautiful American River. Site options aren’t provided – you’re handed a park map and a list of possibly available sites – “go find one that works”.   From a non-member perspective, this isn’t a good value. No TV (cable or OTA), no sewer port and non-functioning WiFi – all for a bargain rate of $64/night!  We’ll leave this to Thousands Trail members where they pay between $1 and $10 for site upgrades such as a view and sewer dump.

Perhaps the best part of this park is the pleasant quietness of overnight.  But, we’re headed out later today – off toward I-80 through Reno, NV and on to Sparks.  More from Nevada!





Sac-West RV Resort, Sacramento, CA

17 09 2017

Sac-West RV Resort

We’ve traveled about 160 miles down I-5 from Redding in northern California and are parked at Sac-West RV Resort, just  west of Sacramento.  This former KOA has it all, a beautiful swimming pool, a huge dog run area, clean restrooms and laundry facilities, 20 tent sites, 10 cabins, about 100 RV sites, and even an on-site food truck.  All sites are gravel pull-throughs and most provide some type of shrubs or a tree for privacy and shade.  We’re parked awning to awning in sites #3 and #4, in the row in front of the office.  In site #1 is the 24 Karat Grill, the on-site food truck (it’s actually a trailer) for breakfast burritos, handmade burgers, wings and a large selection of fried favorites from 8AM to 1PM.

Sites aren’t spacious, some even lack the space to deploy awnings fully.  Our sites in the first row were adequate for awnings and a picnic table squeezed in between the two trailers and trucks parked across the front or rear of the site.  The roomiest sites are those along the eastern edge, 86/99,  While still pull-throughs, these sites have nothing behind them except the driveway and an open area at the edge of the park.  $61-67 per night isn’t a bargain, but they do honor the 10% Good Sam discount.

After enjoying the weekend including a swim in the pool and a Denver Broncos game, we’re going to pack up and head toward Yosemite National Park.  More from Yosemite!





Marina RV Park, Redding, CA

15 09 2017

Marina RV Park, Redding, CA

After unexpected circumstances on the California coast, we’ve just spent 4 nights at Marina RV park in Redding, CA.  Right on the banks of the Sacramento River and just east of downtown, this park is convenient to everything here.  The park is separated into an upper and lower section.  The upper section, with about 30 sites and beautiful views out over the river appears to be mostly full-time residents.  There are RVs, modular and mobile homes in this section.

In the lower section, sites are spread across several large smooth cement areas with each site marked with a number and painted lines.  We’re in sites 36, 37 and 38, a smaller section with a fair amount of shade and a small grassy area behind the sites.  Sites in the row to the west (#42-54) also have some good shade.  Within the office building are shower houses and a small inexpensive laundry room.

To the front of the property is very clean pool that was put to good use during the triple digit temperature days.  On this side of the river a small impound provides a smooth setting for sailing or boarding – as long as you don’t fall in.  Water temps are only in the high 50’s!





Emerald Forest Cabins & RV, Trinidad, CA

9 09 2017

Trinidad, CA Beach

We’ve arrived at the Pacific Ocean!  We’re parked at Emerald Forest RV park in Trinidad, about 20 miles north of Eureka.  The RV and Tent sites here are scattered through the forest of massive, tall redwood trees.  Darkness comes early and shadowy dawn lingers long past 10AM – making for some great sleep-in opportunities.  We’re in the first row of about 12 sites that back-up to Patrick’s Point Road.  There are about 10 additional RV sites in this front section along with about 10 cabins.  In the back part of the property (closer to highway 101) there are about 20 additional RV sites, both pull-through and back-in and about 25 tent sites.

Full hookup sites, including cable TV are $46 for back-in and $48 for pull-through.  The office has a good selection of local craft beers, some RV items and lots of maps and advise about what to see and do in the area.  We’ll be in Trinidad for 4 nights to tour up and down the coast including the small town of Trinidad, Redwood National and State Parks and Patrick’s Point State Park.  We also plan to do some shopping in Eureka and drop-in at the Lost Coast Brewery.





Aurora RV Park, Clear Lake, Nice, CA

7 09 2017

Aurora RV, Nice, CA – Lakeside sites

Welcome to Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in California.  We’re parked in sites 5, 6, & 7 at the Aurora RV Park & Marina, literally on the edge of the lake in Nice, CA.  These 6 sites are premium back-in sites, narrow, but with a grassy area and picnic table overlooking the lake.  Each of these sites offers 30amp power, water and a sewer port.  All hookups are on a raise pedestal, making the run to the sewer port a bit of a challenge.

Across the street are the majority of the sites, 8 extra-long pull-sites, about 30 back-in sites around the perimeter and 8 standard pull-throughs.  The park is in the midst of what appears to be refurbishment and reconstruction near everywhere – there is a new pathway out to a pier, awaiting concrete pour.  The office/laundry is under construction, awaiting final framing and flooring and wall covering.  Bathroom/shower rooms are also awaiting a new coat of paint and flooring.  Planned for the future is a swimming pool and hot tub.  Inside, a large meeting area is also scheduled for refurbishment along with an new outdoor grilling area.  Someday, hopefully in the not too distant future this will be a resort-level RV park.  But, for now – the staff does a terrific job, the free kayaks are fun, the WiFi is exceptional, the utilities are fully functional and the laundry room – while a bit worn out, works great.  We’d come back!  Oh, and they honor Passport America discounts!

We’ll spend 2 nights here on Clear Lake before heading out to the California coast at Trinidad.  More from the Emerald Forest RV park there…





Inn Town Campground, Nevada City, CA

4 09 2017

Inn Town Campground, Nevada City, CA

Happy Labor Day from Nevada City, CA – our first stop on the new route which will take us south of the fire that has closed highway 299.  We’re parked in sites 16, 17 & 18 at the Inn Town Campground, just off of highway 20.

These sites provide water and electric and we’re able to find some OTA TV during nighttime hours.  Once the sun comes up, these channels fade off into pixelation.  The campground WiFi works well.

This is a large complex of 18 RV sites, about 30 tent sites and 21 “glamping” sites. These glamping sites consist of a fully furnished tent with outdoor porch, fresh linens, heated bed mattress and electric lighting.  The campground also provides a beautiful common area with library & kitchen, a small camp store, a refreshing outdoor pool and a few shower houses scattered throughout the complex.  With all these amenities, the prices are higher than average here, about $60 for an RV site, up to $150 for a glamping tent and up to $50 for a tent site.  Our 3 sites overlook the nearby Narrow Gauge Railway Museum – a worthwhile stop for those with rail preservation interests.

On an outing for fuel and a few groceries we discover the historic old downtown area of Nevada City.  In a short excursion we also check-out the nearby Scott Flat Lake Park. This park would provide ideal camping for smaller RV’s or tents since many of the sites overlook the beautiful Scott Flat Lake.

After two nights in Nevada City we’ll continue across Highway 20 toward Nice, CA.  More from Clear Lake country…