Gunnison KOA

19 09 2019

Gunnison KOA

We’ve just left the Gunnison KOA where we spent 1 night on the way to Palisade for the annual Winefest.  This KOA occupies a beautiful area near the Gunnison River just west of town.  The 75 spacious sites are set among a grove of large trees and lush green grass.  This is a “Journey”, complete with a playground, stocked trout pond and a paddle boat pond.  We parked in site #23, a very wide, deep back-in site to the rear of the property.  Just over a wire fence is menagerie of barnyard animals, Shetland ponies, a large Angus steer, several goats and a few pigs.  Apparently some of the animals have found their way into the campground where goats and a huge pig roamed free.  We’d stay here again – it would make a great place to explore Gunnison or perfect for an overnighter.

Gunnison KOA

Gunnison KOA

Las Cruces & Albuquerque

15 05 2019

We’ve left Texas and the central time zone behind as we transit north of El Paso and into Las Cruces, NM. Here we’re parked in site #13, the same beautiful back-in premium view site we occupied 2 years ago.  This is one of our favorite KOA’s and we’ve been here 3 years in a row now.  And, just as last year we enjoy wandering around the old Square in Mesilla and a cocktail or two at the Imperial Bar at the Double Eagle.  Can anyone name this beautiful desert plant that was in full bloom in Las Cruces?

Beautiful Las Cruces Flower

From Las Cruces we’re headed north toward Albuquerque.  We’ll spend two nights at the Isleta Lakes & RV Park just south of town.  Isleta Pueblo, home of the native Tiwa people, occupies about 210,000 acres along the Rio Grande, 15 miles south of Albuquerque.  The RV park is next to two stocked fishing lakes and just across the street from the Isleta Casino.  Amenities at the park include a clean laundry room and a small bait/snack shop.  A new “yet-to-be-opened” club house promises free coffee and donuts on weekend, a small workout area and a couple large screen TVs.   Sites are gravel with full hookups and covered picnic tables for around $35/night.  The only downside of this park is the nearby rail line.  During the week, the commuter Rail Runner train calls on Isleta Pueblo 14 times, each time whistling it’s arrival and departure.  After dark, unknown number of long, fast freight trains use these rails as they rubble north or south along the Rio Grande.

From Albuquerque we’re headed home.  We’ve stayed at 12 different parks and resorts and covered about 2600 miles in 38 days.  As always, a great time with friends and family in some our favorite campgrounds and RV parks across New Mexico and Texas!

Spanish Peaks – Back Home!

San Antonio KOA

13 04 2019

San Antonio KOA Holiday

After staying at Travelers World south of downtown San Antonio a few times, we opted for the KOA on the east side and were impressed.

With about 300 sites, this “Holiday” park was selected as the KOA Campground of the Year in 2015.  The wooded park-like setting alongside Salado Creek provides beautiful sites with many offering extra space, or grass/patio areas.  We’re parked at D-1, an end site with a large concrete patio complete with two Adirondack chairs, a fire pit, picnic table and large grassy area.

Prices at both Travelers World and the KOA are comparable with the upcoming “Fiesta” celebration set to kick-off next weekend.  The rate for our “patio” site was $78/night less our 10% “Value Kard” savings.  The park is about a 15 minute drive to the downtown River Walk area, or about a 30 minute ride on a city bus with a stop just outside the main gate.  There’s a made-to-order Hunts Brothers pizza onsite, as well as “Fred’s Fixins” breakfast cafe that’s open Wed-Sun.  And, unlike so many other KOAs the WiFi actually worked well here!

The River Walk has always been a favorite!  We enjoyed a boat tour on Sunday afternoon and a wonderful dinner at Rosario’s on Monday.  Tomorrow we’ll head south to the Rio Grande Valley, where we’ll spend a night or two and then cross the Isabella Causeway Bridge to South Padre Island.  More from Padre…


And, on to Colorado

27 04 2018

Ft. Stockton RV Park

From Del Rio, our travels are a bit more quick paced as we settle into single nights across west Texas and eastern New Mexico.  Our first night is at Ft. Stockton RV park where we spent a night on the way south.  Then we’re off to Artesia RV park, located about half-way between Carlsbad and Roswell, NM.

With first hand knowledge of the terrible section of highway 285 between Pecos and Carlsbad, we reroute north to Hobbs, over to Lovington and across to Artesia.  This route is better, but there are still plenty of oil or natural gas rigs running around. In fact, we’re amazed with the number of pumping rigs along highway 82 east of Artesia.  This must be one of the highest concentrations of rigs in the Permian Basin.  You can literally see hundreds of rigs and 4 or 5 burning flares from anywhere you look along the highway.

Hundreds of Drilling Operations east of Artesia

Arriving in Artesia, we find a pleasant oasis of green grass and tall trees surrounding the “overnight” section of the park.  More long-term RV’s are relegated to what looks more like a gravel parking lot.

Artesia RV Park, Artesia, NM

From Artesia we spend one night at the Las Vegas, NM KOA and then make the relatively quick transit over Raton Pass into Colorado.  Our last night of the 2018 Spring Road Trip is spent at Lathrup State Park outside of Walsenburg, one of our favorite parks in the Colorado system.  We’ve spent 71 nights at 25 resorts and parks, and traveled about 4000 miles.  Once again a great time, of course spent with great friends and family along the way. Happy Spring!

Apache Junction / Mesa KOA

25 02 2018

Apache Junction / Mesa KOA

We’re parked at site #1 in the Apache Junction KOA, the first of our multi-days stay in the Phoenix area.  RV spots around Phoenix prove difficult to reserve this year – and unfortunately we won’t be back to our favorite, Lost Dutchman State Park.  Even here, the KOA can accommodate us only until the 1st when we have to vacate this spot.  Site #1 is located near the office/entrance and surrounded by KOA Kabin’s and a few tent locations.  This is a oversized spot, with full hookups (water, sewer port and 30A electric).  After calling to confirm they had only one spot open (#1), I reserved online noting we’d like site #1.  Upon arrival we were charged a $25 specific site reservation fee, in addition to the $47/night reservation fee (less our Value Kard discount)

The facilities at this KOA are well maintained.  The pool and recreation building seem to be constantly busy with social activities.  The sites are raked and manicured between each departure and arrival.  The laundry room is also busy – with 6 washers at $2/load and 3 over-sized commercial dryers that also run about $2 with a combined load.  With great cellular coverage (there is even some type of cellular “tree” right in the park) there’s not much need for the parks WiFi – which is good.  It’s as unreliable as any we’ve seen.  Even with an access point next to us in site #2 and within 300 of the transmitter on the office building, the network is weak and inadequate for nearly any use.

Here on the outskirts of Phoenix we have 50 or more OTA TV channels,  most of the nationals are duplicated from Phoenix and Tucson.  Located on the edge of Apache Junction, the park is sandwiched between Tomahawk Road and Old West Highway, about 1 mile north of Highway 60, the Superstition Highway.  There is some road noise from Old West Highway and it would be worse on northern edges in sites 39-50 and 120-124.  The southern sites are probably the quietest, but maybe not the most appealing since they look out over a junk yard.  However, #12-#15 might be the best since they have fairly large trees to the back of the sites.

On Thursday we’ll pack up and make the 5 mile trip from the KOA out to Canyon Vista’s RV resort in Gold Canyon.  More from there…

Apache Junction / Mesa KOA

Apache Junction / Mesa KOA

Apache Junction / Mesa KOA

Apache Junction / Mesa KOA

California Bound

29 08 2017

We’re California Bound, expecting to arrive on the northern California coast in about 10 days. Once across Utah and Nevada, we’ll spend 2 nights at Susanville, CA, then 2 more nights near Lake Shasta at Redding.  We’ll cross over to the coast for 4 nights at Trinidad, CA then 3 more nights at Crescent City, CA before starting the return “loop” through southern Oregon.

Our first stop after leaving home is the KOA in Silt, CO.  A favorite KOA, we’ve watched as the owners opened to torrential rains and a muddy mess of a campground about 3 years ago. Now nicely landscaped, we enjoy the spacious riverside sites the best.  Our second night finds us back at Green River State Park.  We visted this park last year and would note that it still suffers from over watering and a fly/mosquito problem.  But, for a quick overnight – the cottonwood treed oasis is just fine.  Tomorrow we’ll continue to western Utah at Delta.  More from there…

Douglas, WY – Eclipse Day

21 08 2017

Eclipse Viewing Equipment

It’s eclipse day and all around final tweaks, tests and re-calibrations are being done to insure the best views and images of the 2 minutes and 22 seconds that we are all here to see.

Totality begins on the Oregon coast at 11:15AM (MDT). It takes only about 30 minutes for darkness to arrive in Douglas where we enter totality at 11:44AM (MDT). Just over 60 minutes later the shadow will have finished crossing the US when the South Carolina coast enters totality at 12:46PM (MDT).

Special thanks to Jim Matzger, a fellow camper at the Douglas KOA for these images:

Going Away!


Light Returns!

The eclipse starts at around 10:30AM with no perceivable difference to this beautiful sunny day in Douglas.  Eclipse glasses are the only way to note the very small “bite” out of the upper corner of the sun.  By about 11AM, the lighting is different – different colored and different intensity. And the shadows of tree leaves and other objects take on a strange oval shape.  But still the only way to see the eclipse is through our glasses. However, just as totality occurs, a quiet hush falls over the campground followed by a roar of applause  – and everything changes.

Removing our glasses, it’s not completely dark, the hazy orange twilight sky is all around us, birds have quieted and it’s cooled nearly 15 degrees. The sun is a glowing halo in the sky.  A few of the campground lights twinkle on and headlights can be observed on the vehicles moving along the highway.  The 2:22 minutes of totality goes by very quickly and without warning, we begin to see and feel sunlight returning.  Again donning our glasses we see the sun beginning to peek out around the edge of the moon.   And, the event is over!  Under nearly perfect weather conditions, perhaps even enhanced by some of the smoke haze of western forest fires, we’ve all just experienced what is undoubtedly the best North American eclipse of our lifetimes.

Comments from friends outside of totality run from “non-event” to “kinda weird”.  Many around the campground talk about two completely different experiences from past eclipses – outside of totality is like seeing a mountain peak, totality is like being on the mountain peak.  Outside of totality you’ll wonder what the hype is all about, inside totality you’ll begin planning to be there for the next one!