Saturday, July 22, 2017

Put Your HORSE on a Leash!

Great Dane on loose at Florence Keller Park

Ok, so it isn’t a horse…but it is tall enough to be a miniature horse, and I would hate to have to carry around a poop bag for this baby.  I don’t understand WHY some people think their dog is too good for a leash.  First noticed this friendly monster as I took Bubba and Skruffy for a walk after we changed sites at the Florence Keller Park…more on the change in a bit.  As I walk by the site this large group of people were at I noticed this HUGE dog, with a short lady holding onto its collar.  Its head came up past her belly button…but the dog did not fight her, or do anything but look at Skruffy and Bubba as they past by.  Skruffy did not see the dog, but at the last minute she smelled it and just started to run over that way until I gave her a small tug.  Bubba did see it, went over by it, but just did nothing but keep walking.

Great Dane on loose at Florence Keller ParkTo be fair, in both of these pictures the dog is on a leash.  But it was running around off leash for a long time.  Just prior to this picture I was outside at our new site sitting on the bench.  I look down and it is looking right at me.  Then it looks at its owner, then back at me and takes four steps my way.  Then stops and looks back at the owner, who is oblivious to the dog, and the dog is smart enough to know this, so it takes four more steps, looks back, sees it is clear, and trots over to me.  It is very friendly, and I tell it hello and pet its head, which is eye level with me as I was sitting down.  Then the “master” calls for it, and I tell it to go home and not to come back.  Next time I see it, it is on leash.  However, a few hours later I see it is off leash again.  PEOPLE, you might think YOU have a nice dog…but the dog someone is walking by your site might not think it is so nice, and a fight could come fast and furiously. 

Florence Keller Park

Here is our new site…it is the largest pull through in the campground…site “B”.  Why some are numbered and some lettered beats me…I think this portion of the campground is not as old as the numbered area.  After two nights we decided that we needed to catch some free WiFi to download some movies from Amazon.  We first tried Walmart, but it was very slow…but we did buy just a few things while there.  Then we tried Starbucks, but the Home Depot signal came in better…but I was still thinking we could do better.  We headed over to the Public Library, and before I went inside I tried to find some WiFi…and to my surprise, the State Park Headquarters across the street had a good, fast, strong WiFi, and we sat there for a couple of hours downloaded about six movies.  While there, I decided to finally try a DVD in our GPS Sound System…I had told Marcia I thought a DVD could play in it, and yes, it can.  So we watched “Quiet Man” for about the tenth time in the past couple of years.

Florence Keller Park

You can see between the two pictures above that this pull through is very large…however, if you have a 40-45’ motorhome, keeping your tires on the pavement might be hard to do as it curves around these trees.  However, a truck and trailer combination would work just fine.  We would have pulled into the spot we had the past two nights, but some car with a tent took it from us.  We did not try to save it because we were only 90% sure we would return…and return we did.

Florence Keller Park

All of the sites come with a picnic table which is made of hard plastic or rubber…I am sure it uses recycled materials, it is very firm, very durable, and you don’t get splinters in your butt.  There is a fire ring, and a nice place to pitch a tent if you are so inclined to do so.  All for $15, and there are many water spouts throughout the park, along with toilets…although many of the latter are the kind you see along side the road in work areas…if you know what I mean.  And their trash bins are made to look like tree trunks of cut-down trees…cute, but without signs I think many people don’t even know they are there.

Old Duracell Batteries
In every RVer’s life comes death…death of your batteries.  I have noticed that our battery charge is getting shorter and shorter.  Once we got down to one of three lights, but after just an hour or so it would go from three lights to two lights on our meter reader…and I have voltage tester that I plug into a 12V outlet and it dropped from 12.6 volts to 12 volts in less than an hour with very little juice being used by us.  In normal use we could stay above 12.4 volts for a few hours.  So instead of waiting for a full death, I decided to get new batteries today (Saturday).  Being so close to Oregon, where not sales tax exist and typically cheaper prices, we headed to Brookings to Fred Myer.  This Fred Myer was as big as the one in Soldotna Alaska that we used a lot last year, but the parking was smaller…go figure.  However, they only had ONE of the Interstate batteries that I wanted…but as luck would have it, there is a place right across US 101 from Fred Myer called Carpenter Point S Tire & Auto Service, and they had two of the batteries I wanted.  Total price was $295, but we will get $30 back on Monday when we return the old batteries.  Went up to the rest area just north of Brookings where I “thought” we were going to change the batteries.  Thought about it and remembered a Passport America park just south of the border that we had been to before, so I called Salmon New Interstate BatteriesHarbor Resort (I hate when they use that resort name when they are nothing but a park), and they had one last spot that we could have for $19 per night.  So we turned south, declared no fruits or fire wood at the border check, and we pulled into the park in less than 20 minutes.  After resting for about an hour I took out the old batteries and put in the new…An hour later we were back in business with power.

Salmon Harbor RV Resort where Smith River meets Pacific Ocean     Salmon Harbor RV Resort where Smith River meets Pacific Ocean
Salmon Harbor RV Resort where Smith River meets Pacific Ocean

Salmon Harbor has some nice views…especially if you are one of the dozen lucky enough ones to get the waterfront spaces as seen in the picture above-right.  For everyone else, you are stuck in the other area which has little space, little privacy.  For us, however, we just wanted to get the batteries installed and give them a nice charge before we camp in more secluded areas.  Sunday night we will most likely stay at the Lucky 7 Casino and give the new batteries a try.

Salmon Harbor RV Resort

This is the office, game room, etc.  They have laundry, showers, and about 2/3rds of the sites have mobile homes in them.  Salmon Harbor has been a family-run business since 1989, but eight months ago the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation (which owns the casino) purchased the Salmon Harbor Resort and some other surrounding lands, about 60 acres in total, which are historical lands of the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation.  For now, nothing has changed in the park…put people who have lived in the park for a long time are worried that it will shut down.  This area along the shoreline was a major village of the Tolowa Dee-ni’, there was a large Native American city in the area which was destroyed in 1853.  I think soon the whole area will have a new name…Xaa-wan’-k’wvt Village and Resort.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dwarfed by the Redwoods

 Florence Keller Park, Crescent City, Ca
Sometimes you just find the perfect little park to settle down in.  Today, we certainly did that.  After our two night stay at Golden Bear, we headed north to Crescent City…after we headed south to drive the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, part of the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.  Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, along with Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and Redwood National Park. All are free to visit, $35 to camp.  By 1:00 we had arrived in Crescent City, gassed up, and headed for what I hoped would be a two or three night stay at the Florence Keller County Park & Campground, a Del Norte County Park.  There are around 50 sites…only one has electric, and it runs $20 per night…and was taken.  The others run $15 per night, and only about one-third of them would be able to handle an RV that is our size.  The catch…no reservations, it is first come first serve.  The reality…we could have pulled into any one of around a dozen of the sites which would fit us…and the place is only15-20% full.  As you can see from the Map of  Florence Keller Park, Crescent City, Caabove picture…it is a nice score.  Paid for 2 nights, and in reality we might just stay for four.  There is a 5 day limit.  As shown on the map to the right, the park is very close to downtown Crescent City…only 5 miles.  It boarders highway 101, but you cannot see it from the highway, nor see the highway from the park.  However, you can hear the highway, but where we are, near the entrance, the sounds are pretty muted. 

We enjoyed another two night stay at Golden Bear.  What did we do?  One load of laundry…and walked the dogs…and slept in until after 10 am (except for short time to feed the dogs at 7 am…a must to feed them around 7 both morning and night for that diabetic little Skruffy.)  Met a lady from Maryland while doing laundry.  She was married to a police officer for around 15 years.  Her good friend was the officer’s partner and introduced them.  Well, he died within the last year of a heart attack.  Her female friend, husbands ex partner, retired.  They decided to get away from Maryland for awhile and “see the land”…and they together bought a 24’ Class C, and have been traveling since May.  They love it, they are not sure how long they will do it, how far they will go, and I gave her our website and urged her to follow some of the other blogs listed on our website.  Also urged her to get a tire pressure system…even though they just got new tires.  I sure wish them luck, two gals in their mid to late 50’s spreading their wings. 

Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, near Klamath, Ca     Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, near Klamath, Ca

We have driven the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway at least a half dozen times now.  You enter it from Highway 101, and you exit it at Highway 101 about 11 miles down the highway.  The Parkway itself is only 9 miles long…but it is NOT a shortcut…it is a 45 mph max scenic route.  I say this in defiance of the California Idiot who got behind me on the scenic route flashing his headlights over and over and over again, while I was going around 35 mph.  He, in a large Chevy SUV of some sort pulling a boat, wanted to run along this 9 mile stretch as fast as he could.  Problem was, there were no turnouts for me that were not already being taken by other cars.  So what did I do?  I dropped my speed down to 30 mph until we came upon a turnout about 2 miles later.  Marcia said I should have stopped, got out of the RV and looked around to see what was wrong…but he would have just pulled over the double yellow and zoomed by had I done that.  I get a bit frustrated by idiots like this because I am very good about letting people pass me.  I did pass by a couple of thin pullouts which I might have squeezed into…but for this jerk, it wasn’t worth the effort.

Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, near Klamath, Ca     Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, near Klamath, Ca
Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, near Klamath, Ca
Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, near Klamath, Ca     Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, near Klamath, Ca

These Costal Redwoods are tall, the forests are thick, and the ferns that cover the ground are a great compliment to such a mighty creature.  We liked our drive so much, at the southern end of it, we turned around and went back the other way.  The middle picture shows that even these giant Redwood Trees are not invincible. 

Pacific Ocean near Crescent City    Pacific Ocean near Crescent City

On the way to Crescent City you get a few good views of the Pacific.  There was some road construction, but it flowed well other than having to wait a few minutes for flaggers or red lights to change to allow our side to ride on the one lane that was open.

 Florence Keller Park, Crescent City, Ca

I was so happy when we pulled into the Florence Keller Park and saw that there were many empty camping places.  I never did tell Marcia that the park was full of Redwoods…thought it would be a good surprise for her.  I did have a backup plan…and that would be the Elk Valley Casino in Crescent City.  We are trying to stay in the area through Sunday morning so that we can attend church again at the Calvary Chapel of the Redwoods, which is between Crescent City and the Oregon border.

 Florence Keller Park, Crescent City, Ca

The only thing wrong with this place is that our solar panel will be useless…won’t even bother getting it out because the trees cast so many shadows, I would be constantly moving it all day trying to catch what rays I can get.  We did fill up with gas on our way in, so we can keep the batteries charged via the engine, since the engine is not nearly as loud as the generator is.  I figure we can stay here for four nights if we wish…and there is a faucet right across from us to fill our water tank if we need more water…but there is no dump station, and four nights will be at our limit for our holding tanks.

Monday, July 17, 2017

‘Three for Three’ in Klamath California

Golden Bear RV Park, Klamath, Ca

After giving another Casino, the Blue Lake Casino in Blue Lake, California, a feeble try, we decided to move on to our second alternative…the Golden Bear RV Park in Klamath California.  This is a Passport America park, $35 for a two night stay.  We both felt like a good full hookup for longer showers was well in order.  This park has no TV, but good Verizon Internet, and a good view of the Klamath River just before it enters into the Pacific.  Sometimes the river runs towards the Pacific…other times it runs away from the Pacific, and twice a day it seems to stand still.  3 for 3?  Well, you will have to read on to see what that is about.

Near Ferndale, Ca      Near Ferndale, Ca

Yesterday I said we were going to Fortuna to look at some of their Victorian Homes…but they are not known for having Victorians.  The sign I saw quickly as it passed on the Freeway was for Ferndale, not Fortuna…so we headed back over that bridge and back to Ferndale.  These images above are part of an advertising campaign sponsored by the Humboldt County Farm Bureau, they advertise portal to agricultural interest in Humboldt County.  I saw two other signs similar to these as we were traveling…both of these are on the road to Ferndale.  (Good time to note that if you click on a picture, it will open in a larger format)

Ferndale, Ca     Ferndale, Ca
Ferndale, Ca     Ferndale, Ca
Ferndale, Ca     Ferndale, Ca
Ferndale, Ca     Ferndale, Ca

Going back to Ferndale gave us a chance to take pictures of more of the Victorian and just older homes.  We really both like to see them, but neither of us would want to live in one.  First, most are two story structures…not good.  Second, they would be hard to keep a constant temperature.  (speaking of which, an RV is hard to do the same with…but the size makes it easier to heat up or cool down real quick).

Ferndale, Ca     Ferndale, Ca

As we said yesterday, Ferndale is a nice little town…unemployment rate is among the lowest in California between the tourist industry, farming/ranches, and general retail stores. 

Eureka, Ca
Even before we had decided to skip the Blue Lake Casino, we decided to drive through Eureka and see their Victorian and older homes today, along with a quick stop at Safeway. Eureka has a lot of older homes, with a concentration of them on Hillsdale Street between C and E streets, and then just around that entire area.  If you have not noticed, it is not easy to get pictures of these homes driving a Class C motorhome…and we both were snapping pictures in Eureka and in Ferndale…although Marcia probably took two-thirds of the shots.  This one above, in Eureka, was the most colorful one, and about the only house she cut the top off of.  She said it looked like a hippy house with all those different colors.

Eureka, Ca     Eureka, Ca
Eureka, Ca     Eureka, Ca
Eureka, Ca     Eureka, CaEureka, Ca     Eureka, CaEureka, Ca     Eureka, Ca

Well, we could have driven around for an hour or two more…but sometimes I get a itching to just move on…and glad we did because when we got to the Blue Lake Casino and heard the noise of generator or air conditioner or whatever behind the gas station, right where they make the RVs park…well I knew that noise would bother me both day and night.  So my alternative, and I try to always have one or two alternatives, was the Golden Bear RV Park right along the Klamath River.

Golden Bear RV Park, Klamath, Ca - Klamath River     Golden Bear RV Park, Klamath, Ca - Klamath River

You see, we have been to this park twice before…back in 2012 and again in 2013.  That is where the 3 for 3 comes in…

Golden Bear RV Park, Klamath, Ca - 2012     Golden Bear RV Park, Klamath, Ca - 2013
Golden Bear RV Park, Klamath, Ca

Upper left picture was from my June 28, 2012 Blog…that was our American Eagle, and 2012 was our initial RV summer trip.  Upper right is from August 21, 2013 blog.  The American Eagle was traded in for a 32 foot Jayco Melbourne.  We both liked that Melbourne…but in March of 2014 tragedy struck when the storage lot we had it stored on caught fire taking out about 35 motorhomes…including ours.  A few months later we got this Dynamax Isata…and we have driven it further than the other two combined.  But this is the first time the Dynamax has been to the Golden Bear RV Park.  And, unless I am mistaken, it is the only RV park which has seen all three of our motorhomes.  Hence, the ‘Three for Three’ theme of this particular blog…three visits in three different motorhomes.

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