The Rest of the California Trip

23 09 2017

After departing Sparks Nevada we’re headed to New Frontier RV Park in Winnemuca, NV.  We stayed in this park last August and still give it high marks.  NEW FRONTIER REVIEW

New Frontier RV Park, Winnemuca, NV

From Winnemuca we’re headed to the KOA in Wendover, NV.  We visited this park last year and REVIEW IT HERE.

Wendover Will

Our next destination is the Mountain View RV park in Wellington, UT.  However, arriving here we find a rather run down gravel lot next to a Motel 9 that holds little appeal.  We pass on the Mountain View and instead travel another hour to Green River State Park.  We’ve been in Green River twice now, REVIEW IS HERE.

Finally crossing the Colorado state line on day 30 of our California Road Trip, we’re pleased to meet up with good friends and enjoy a couple of relaxing days at Island Acres, a State Park campground in the beautiful Glenwood Canyon.  ISLAND ACRES REVIEW.

Wine Tasting in Paliside, CO

It’s been a great trip, filled with unexpected events; wildfire detours, hospital visits, a few thumbs down RV parks as well as my first time towing the RV.  What a fantastic experience!   And so ends our 32 night adventure to the Northern California coast!

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 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.

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!

Yosemite National Park

18 09 2017

Good Morning from Yosemite Pines RV Park in Groveland, CA.  We’re parked about 30 minute west of the entrance to Yosemite National Park where we’ll spend the next 2 days.  With about 80 sites organized across a sloped area, many of the sites are on terraces and might be somewhat difficult to level.  The upper sites are the most level but are least private.  There are plenty of other options besides RV sites – yurts, tent sites, cabins and 8 classic or retro trailers.  The new owners have inherited a long list of overdue maintenance items ranging from non-working washers and dryers in the laundry to poor WiFi and inoperative TV cables.  This “resort” boasts a nice pool, playground, a Clubhouse with full kitchen, a Group Pavilion area and a sand volleyball & horseshoe area.

Getting to Groveland can be a bit of a challenge.  From Sacramento, we followed highway 99 south to Stockton, then highway 4 into the foothills to highway 120.  About 8 miles west of Groveland we started the ascent of Priest Grade, a very winding, narrow and steep incline up to Priest, CA.  This is the New Priest Grade road with over 100 curves and hairpin turns in its short 2 mile run.  Old Priest Grade runs along the spine across the canyon at up to 18% grade and appears that it could be impassible for any type of trailer or motor coach.

On our first excursion to Yosemite, we travel east to the Big Oak Flat entrance station and continue toward Yosemite Valley.  Of course, any visit to Yosemite wouldn’t be complete with out the stop at Bridalveil Fall on the way in and El Capitan on the way out.  In Yosemite Valley we saw the Three Brothers and explored the Majestic Yosemite Hotel including the awesome view of Half Dome from the hotels dining room.

Our second day we detoured up to Mather and entered the park on Hetch Hetchy Road.  This road leads to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir impounded by the O’Shaughnessy Dam.  This reservoir is unique since in 1913 the US allowed for the first and only time in history, a single city (San Francisco), to appropriate an area in a National Park for their exclusive use – the dam of the Hetch Hetchy Valley.  The dam and aqueduct provides water for over 2 million people in San Francisco and other cities in the west Bay Area and is so pure, it’s some of the cleanest in the nation and said to be even better quality than most bottled water.

After exploring the western half of Yosemite, we’re headed back to Colorado.  Next stop, Lotus, CA.  More from there…

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.