Thursday, August 16, 2018

JGW RV Park- Redding, California (July 2018)

How is it that we were wearing coats and running the heater in the morning in Oregon and then we were greeted by 100+ degrees that afternoon in California? We only traveled 200 miles south and were surprised to see the temperature change to “hot.”

View of Mt. Shasta as we headed to Redding, Calif.

There were several fires in California and Oregon that we drove near that day. We didn’t see the fires, but we could smell them.

The sign at JGW RV Park

Redding, California, was about as far as we wanted to travel in a day and the reviews on AllStays were positive about this park. We were able to “walk in” without any problems. Our choice checking in was to occupy a regular site or one by the river. Since we were there for the night, we elected to save $5 and skip the river sites. That may have been a mistake after we noticed it was cooler next to the river than in the rest of the campground.

The river

It was easy to see that the good reviews on AllStays were accurate. This was a very nice park and a well-maintained one. Also, the individual campsites were larger than those found in most private campgrounds. Of course, all of this comes with a higher than normal nightly rate. 

Here are some specifics about this campground:
  • Our site had 20, 30 and 50 amp electrical service 
  • Our site had a water connection 
  • Our site had a sewer connection 
  • Our site had a concrete pad and was level 
  • Our site was a pull-thru
  • The park had a clean, modern and well maintained restroom and shower facility near our site
  • Our site had a basic tier of cable service 
  • The park offered free WiFi, but it was terrible. The wireless port was immediately behind Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer, but the service was either painfully slow or our iPads gave us an error message that said the Internet was unavailable. There needs to be a set of standards developed for WiFi connections that inform potential users if the service is good or practically unusable 
  • AT&T placed a moderate signal over our site for voice and data
Walking around the campground that evening, we came across an Airstream International in the storage area. We noticed that this trailer was built the same year as Rosie. We also noticed that the license tag expired more than seven years earlier, meaning the trailer had probably sat in that grassy field unused and not maintained for that length of time. This International was in terrible shape. 

The discovery of this Airstream was very sad to us. We kept thinking of the happy times and adventures we were having with Rosie while this trailer was deteriorating in the campground’s storage area. 

Someone once told us that the wheels on an Airstream trailer are designed to be turning and that Airstreams are happy when moving down the road. We felt better when we saw Rosie again. The road grime didn’t matter so much because Rosie had just been on a cross-country trip and was at the center of our current adventure. 

I think that both Airstream trailers and Airstreamers are happy when moving down the road. 

Rosie in the JGW RV Park

P.S. After returning home, we learned about the terrible fire storms that struck the Redding area three weeks after our visit there. While news reports suggest that this campground was spared, many homes around Redding were destroyed. 

We hope that the fires will be quickly extinguished and those affected by the fires quickly recover. 

Rosie at JGW RV Park

Mount Shasta

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Diamond Lake RV Park - Crater Lake, Oregon (July 2018)

Our trip to Crater Lake was a spontaneous idea. We needed somewhere to camp for a few days before heading to California and Crater Lake National Park was a great place to visit. 

We made reservations for Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer, in the large federal campground along Diamond Lake near Crater Lake. Similar to most federal campgrounds, this was a dry camping experience without any utilities. As we were getting closer to that campground, we noticed that warm temperatures were in the forecast. The other factor was the wildfires in Oregon and the growing possibility of smelling smoke during our stay. We saw the haze from the fires as we traveled and we realized that we needed a plan B. 

We found Plan B on our iPhone's AllStays app. There was a private campground with full hookups across the street from Diamond Lake. That meant we could run our air conditioner and air purifier. It also meant we would have to forfeit the camping fees already paid for the federal campground. 

The choice was easy. We opted for the private campground.
Sign at the campground

As we were checking in, a campground staff person came out and looked at our hitch. He used his radio to inform the person checking us in that we had a ProPride/Hensley type hitch and that we needed one of the more level sites. That turned out to be a very helpful observation as we heard some sites in this park had front-to-back slopes. 

I was surprised to hear someone say my name as I was working outside Rosie. A fellow member of the WBCCI Alabama Unit was also camping there. It was great to see our Airstream friends in Oregon.

Meeting a member of our Alabama WBCCI Unit near Crater Lake

Here are some specifics about this campground:
  • Our site was paved mostly with dirt 
  • Our site had 30 amp electrical service 
  • Our site had a water connection 
  • Our site had a sewer connection 
  • The park did not offer a WiFi service, as far as we could tell 
  • We did not see any service from AT&T over our site 
  • We could not see any tv signals while using Rosie’s antenna 
  • The park had good restrooms and showers that were clean and well maintained 
We think the reason people camp in this park is to visit Crater Lake National Park.

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake is a beautiful park and well worth visiting. Our decision to come inland from the Oregon Coast and to move ourselves to a campground with full hookups turned out to be very good.

At Crater Lake

At Crater Lake
Haze in the background from the Oregon and California fires

Crater Lake

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Coyote Rock RV Resort - Lincoln City, Oregon (July 2018)

Our idea after the Airstream International Rally in Salem was to spend a week along Oregon's coast. It seems that Oregon's coast is similar to Florida's Gulf Coast in that it is difficult to get reservations there. We were happy when Coyote Rock had a site on the river available for Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer.

Rosie at Coyote Rock RV Park

We were surprised when we arrived and noticed that most of the trailers in the first loop of this park appeared to be “forever” residents and some of those trailers appeared to have skipped several maintenance appointments. It also appeared to us that most people sought out this campground to go fishing on the river.

View from the river

Our site was a back-in along the river. That meant we had a great water view. It also meant we heard the sounds of the fishermen as they left in their boat every morning. 

We were not there to fish. We used this location to explore the Oregon Coast. Our daily trips allowed us to see tidal pools, whales, seals, star fish and lighthouses. We also found some good seafood, crab cake and clam chowder.

Lighthouse along the Oregon coast

The Devil's Punch Bowl in Oregon


Here are some specifics about this campground:
  • Our site had 20, 30 and 50 amp electrical service 
  • Our site had a water connection with higher than normal pressure 
  • Our site had a sewer connection 
  • The cable TV connection at our site did not work 
  • We were unable to see any TV stations using Rosie’s antenna 
  • AT&T placed a weak signal for voice and data over our site 
  • The bathhouse serving the campground was very undersized. It is best that one person at a time use the restroom 
  • Speaking of the bathhouse, it needs to be updated 
We were amused by the growing number of signs at the campground. It became a game to spot the new hastily handwritten signs put up during the day to warn the campers of the consequences of some newly discovered problem. Maybe it was a good thing that we were gone during the days we camped in this park or we may have been the inspiration for more signs. 

Suzy looking out Rosie's door

Oregon's coast

The Tillamook Dairy

The line waiting to  buy Tillamook ice cream

Friday, August 10, 2018

Oregon State Fairgrounds - Salem, Oregon (June 2018)

It is always exciting to arrive at a WBCCI International Rally. You are greeted by a sea of shiny aluminum Airstream trailers already on the grounds. By the end of the week, approximately 700 Airstreams were on the fairgrounds in Salem.

Arriving at the Salem WBCCI International Rally

This was our fourth IR, Airstream lingo for International Rally, and it also marked the farthest distance we have pulled Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer, since becoming Airstreamers.  

It is easy to be anxious over the parking process when you arrive at an International Rally. The parkers assign spaces systematically. While the parkers say there isn’t too much difference between sites on the fairgrounds, anyone having attended an IR before knows that some sites are a long, long, long way from the activities at the rally. We noticed that our escort took us past the trailers parked at the back fence as we were being led to our site. We couldn’t believe our luck as we were told to park in a site close to the buildings being used for the rally. After three years of parking away from things, we had a front row space for the Salem rally.

Following the parkers to our site

In line to be parked at the WBCCI International Rally
Our site

We heard before we arrived that Salem had issues with its water. The levels of algae in the city’s water supply was unsafe and we were told to arrive with a full fresh water tank and plenty of bottled drinking water. To help with the situation, the Airstream Corporation provided a special water filter site that allowed us to fill water bottles for drinking. We quickly learned how to conserve water while there. 

As a side note, officials in Salem's city government were saying that the city will have to invest more than $230 million in water treatment plant infrastructure to fix this problem or it will continue to reoccur in the future. Chances are that once the chemical treatments get the current problem under control, talk about actually fixing the problem will fade away. 

Camping sites at the Salem Fairground

As soon as we parked, we started recognizing our fellow Airstream friends already in Salem. It is amazing how many people we knew from previous International Rallies and from caravans.

Becky meets her "Airstream Twin"

Becky wins First Place in the Watercolors Category for her painting

This was a different IR for me. I was responsible for three presentations and two meetings. I look forward to going back to being a participant at the next IR.

Steve participating in the WBCCI IR Flag Ceremony

Here are some specifics about this campground:
  • Our site had 30 amp electrical service 
  • Our site had a water connection 
  • Our site did not have a sewer connection 
  • A septic tank truck pumped out our gray and black tanks twice while we were in Salem 
  • Our site was paved with asphalt and was close to being level 
  • To get 700-ish trailers on the fairgrounds, the parkers had to place them close to each other. We had enough room to open the awnings with a few feet to spare
  • The fairgrounds offered a slow and overwhelmed WiFi service in several buildings 
  • We were amazed at the lack of TV stations in Salem. We were able to see several TV stations from Portland using Rosie’s antenna 
 The two most common questions we heard people asking in Salem were 1) have you found the showers and 2) how do you exit the fairgrounds?  We heard reports of phantom showers in various buildings on the grounds. We finally found a shower facility that appeared to me to be similar to the ones used during basic training in the Army. 

Finding an open gate to exit the fairgrounds was a challenge. As a security precaution, only a few gates were open and some people had to drive around searching for one before they the found the open gates. 

One of the events we enjoy at IR is the vintage trailer parade. It is always amazing to see early Airstream trailers that are 70+ years old, fully restored and still being used.

Vintage Airstream Parade

Vintage trailer parked on the grounds

Steve check out Airstream's Nest trailer

The Basecamp RV

Rosie on the fairgrounds

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Bend Sisters RV Resort - Bend, Oregon (June 2018)

We have stayed in campgrounds that were called resorts before. With the exception of Topsail in Florida, which is a real resort, the only thing that ended up being resort-worthy at those so-called places was the fee. Not so at Bend Sisters RV Resort. Their resort camping fees come with a real resort.

Sign at Bend Sisters RV Resort

As you can tell, we thought Bend Sisters was a very nice RV Park. The grounds were well groomed, the swimming pool and the hot tub were both clean and the individual campsites were well maintained. We felt that we were camping in a resort.

Taking  Suzy for a walk

This was our last stop before arriving at the WBCCI International Rally in Salem. By the number of Airstream trailers in the park, we were not the only Airstreamers who thought this would be a good place to stop before heading to Salem.

Airstream trailers in the campground

As this was simply an overnight stop, we didn’t explore the park nor the area. From our conversations with other campers, this is a park that one could easily enjoy for several days. 

Here are some specifics about this campground:
  • Our site was a pull-thru
  • Our sit was paved with asphalt and was level 
  • Unlike many campgrounds, there was some “green space” between sites and we appreciated not having our neighbors so close to us
  • Our site had 20, 30 and 50 amp electrical service 
  • Our site had a water connection 
  • Our site had a sewer connection 
  • The park offered WiFi. The person who checked us in did not give us the passcode. That was OK since we heard other campers complain about how slow the Internet connection was. 
  • AT&T placed two bars of 4G voice and data over our site 
  • The park provided a basic tier of cable TV service 
  • We were able to watch ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC using Rosie’s TV antenna. We also saw digital channels Decades and ME-TV
  • The campground had a good laundry facility 
  • The campground had several restrooms and showers scattered throughout the park. These were clean and well maintained. A problem was that the showers ran out of hot water too early. 

Many flowers around  this park

Monday, August 6, 2018

Bully Creek Park Campground - Vale, Oregon (June 2018)

We were following our GPS to Bully Creek Campground. It seemed that we were on a road to nowhere. 

The park had a Corps of Engineers look to it when we finally arrived there. Individual sites were large and there was a grassy area in the middle of our loop.

Large sites in Bully Creek Park Campground

Our site was on a lake. Our concern was that the site had a pronounced front-to-back tilt. Since our site was gravel, I hoped we would not have trouble getting out the next morning and asked another Airstreamer in our group to stay until we leave to make sure we could pull out. By the way, our truck had no problem pulling Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer, out the next morning.

Our site

It was easy to see one of the differences between this campground and most others. We didn’t have a water connection. You could see where it once was, but it was removed because there was arsenic in the water supply. We were told when we made our reservation there to arrive with a full fresh water tank, so the arsenic wasn’t a big surprise.

Here are some specifics about this campground:
  • There were several loops in this campground. We camped in the one next to the lake
  • Our site was gravel and we could not level Rosie left to right and front to back
  • Our site had 20, 30 and 50 amp electrical service 
  • Our site did not have a water connection 
  • Our site did not have a sewer connection 
  • The campground had a dump station 
  • The bathhouse was clean but needed updating. There were multiple signs warning you not to drink the water because it was not safe
  • We did not see any service from AT&T at our site
  • We were able to watch ABC and NBC using Rosie’s TV antenna. We also saw digital channels Decades, Retro and THiS
This campground may hold the record for having the most doves cooing in the evenings. We were glad that the doves quieted down after sunset.

The  lake

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Mountain View RV Park and Restaurant - Arco, Idaho (June 2018)

Our first impression of this campground wasn’t “Chamber of Commerce” perfect. When we reserved a site in this campground a few months earlier and they took our credit card information, we were given a cost for the night. When we arrived, the cost had significantly increased. When we questioned this unanticipated change, the woman working the counter tersely said she didn’t know who would have given us that rate, besides prices change. 

So much for our welcome to the Mountain View RV Park. 

On the positive side of things, we couldn’t help but smell bar-b-que while checking in. The restaurant part of the campground was cooking ribs and we were hungry. We can report that the ribs were good and that saved us from having to worry about dinner that day. 

The campground is a few miles away from the Craters of the Moon National Monument. It didn’t take long after eating ribs before we were driving through the monument. The monument's name seemed appropriate to us. It is mostly a large area covered with black volcanic rocks. Signs in the monument warn motorists to watch for wildlife while driving there. We couldn’t help but question what type of wildlife would want to live there?

Craters of the Moon National Monument

While we were enjoying our visit to this national monument, a quick rain storm came up. We used the water from the storm to help rinse the accumulated dirt off our truck.

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Here are some specifics about this campground:
  • Our site was gravel and we needed some leveling tools to correct a side-to-side lean
  • Our site was a pull-thru
  • Our site had 20 and 30 amp electrical service 
  • Our site had a water connection 
  • Our site had a sewer connection 
  • The campground had a restroom and showers that could be best described as “rustic.”
  • Taking out the trash was an adventure. The dumpster appeared to be outside the campground and you had to unfasten a spring loaded clasp while holding your trash to get to it
  • AT&T provided four bars of 4G voice and data service over our site 
  • The park claims to provide WiFi service, but we were not given the passcode to access it
  • There was a wide area between sites but the access roads were single lane and the space between rows was very narrow