Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nice to "get away", Rock Crusher Canyon RV Park

Wow, it is so nice to get back into the Motor Home and get away!  After our first night at the rest area on Sunday, as I headed for the Flying J, I said to Marcia, "You know, we are not that far from home right now....but I feel just like I did while we were visiting another state this past is as if we are back in Montana, or Oregon...we are back in our "home on wheels", and it is so nice."   Marcia agreed....

Speaking of the summer travels, after much thought, we just cannot "pick" any one area, or even a few areas, which we thought were the best.  The entire trip was great.  We approved of just about every RV park we stayed in.  Some we liked better  because of the space between RV lots, and the surrounding trees, mountains, water, etc., that some offered.  Overall, we enjoyed the people in the parks, with the hardest environment people ways being the first night at Hidden Valley R.V.Resort and Campground, south of Madison, Wisconsin because they have a "Halloween Party" every Saturday in October leading up to the event.  This "party atmosphere" is just one that we had not been faced with before, nor do we wish to take part in it again.  As for the National Parks, State Parks, Historical Sites, and towns that we visited...well, we liked them all.  Some are real jewels, as many of you know...such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Crater Lake, the various Redwood Forests, the Pacific Ocean, the Black Hills....some were just pleasant finds, such as our visit to Bonner's Ferry in Idaho where we found a gem of a restaurant called Mugsy's where the owner made us feel at home, and McCloud River and seeing two of the three falls that are just to the east of the town of McCloud.  We enjoyed the many churches that we attended, and we met so many nice, good people throughout the areas that we visited.  Rarely did we have a moment where we said something like, "That person is sure a jerk....", although a few drivers who flew by us showing us that they have an "I.Q. of 1" and announce it to the world by sticking their hand out of their car putting their one finger up into the air, window was the exception.

Now a little about the Rock Crusher Canyon RV Park that we are currently staying in.  As I mentioned in our last posting, it is a Passport America park, and it is costing up less than $20 per night, including taxes, for the 50 amp, sewer, cable, and Wi-fi services that are offered.  The Wi-fi is great, the cable has over 60 channels, and their is peace and quiet, except for when a dog is being walked or a squirrel goes by which gets Skruffy and even Bubba barking every now and then.  Many times Skruffy will just start doing her hyper-ventilating routine working up to a bark...but holds back on the bark so that "dad" will tell her what a good girl she is instead of yelling at her to shut up.

Above is one of the many local little friends that Skruffy and Bubba have been looking at fondly with memories of Uncle Arny and Aunt Sandy's house and the much larger Squirrels that they grew fond of there.

They have a doggie run here, and Skruffy and Bubba really enjoyed the visit there yesterday, and perhaps later today if the weather holds.  Below are a few pictures of them enjoying the dog run.

 Bubba really enjoys being "off" the leash....and since Skruffy is off the leash a lot now, it is not as exciting to her....after she has gone around and sniffed and smelled everything, she wanders back to me...while Bubba enjoys every second of freedom he can get.

 As we walked back to the car from the dog run, we passed the shuffle board area (above) and the horseshoe area (below).
 A bit further is a nice play area for kids (below)...but with school in session, we have seen no kids at all in the park.
 And as we drove away, I got a picture of the club house, which includes a nice, large swimming pool, enclosed inside a lanai/screened in area.
 On our way back to the motor home, I drove around the park and will include just a few pictures of this park which has nearly 400 rental spots.  As is typical in many Florida parks, you park on the grass.  Some of the spots have concrete areas for the picnic table, or for setting up a patio tent on....but ours does not since we don't sit outside much anyway.  The ground is very, very sandy, so even with rain, the water soaks down into the ground real fast.  Of course, most people come to Florida during the winter, and the rain is not as prevalent as during late spring and summer.
The picture above and below were taken near the front entrance to the park.  Above you can see two empty sites which are close, but they are separated by the trees, and they don't seem to mind if you move the tables around to where you want to have them.

 Above is an example of a "long-term" renter.  The park does not mind dressing up your area, and with permission, will allow for some types of portable sheds.  There are many who have tented patios, as also shown below.

 The above empty spot is a good example of how many of the sites are cushioned by trees and brush.  Below is an example of that with a motor home in the same type of site. 
 A site like this (above and below) would be good even if the park was at or near capacity, as it is in the middle of winter.
 Finally, you also have sites like this one...where you are at the edge of the park and you can set up lawn chairs, put out your awnings, and have a wonder view of trees, brush, and be "people free".
 When I checked in on Monday, I asked how business has been.  Last year they reached 95% capacity during the winter, so they always had an opening...but I would suggest getting reservations if you want in during the winter months.  And the Passport America discount is good from April 15 through December 15, and good for three nights.  You need about a week to pass before you can use the PA discount again, so if you don't mind moving from park to park, you can get a good discount by moving from one park to another through the winter.   But you can also get a two month price of $1,250, which comes out to just over $20 per day for 60 days.  Not too bad if you want to sit still for a few months and wait for things to warm up a bit during the middle of winter.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Crystal River, Flordia

First, God Bless all of you Vets, and thanks for all you have done.  I never served, too young for Nam, too old for the Gulf Wars.  However, as my genealogy shows, I have had relatives, many direct line relatives, who have fought in every military war and conflict America has ever been in.  I admire and respect those who did serve.  I wish I could have met my mothers brother who gave his life in WW2, but I did enjoy her other brothers who did serve and returned from that historic war.  To my brother who served in Nam, thank goodness you life would not have been the same had you not.  To my other brother who did not have to go to Nam because his younger brother was over there, your service was just as important.  God Bless America, now, more than ever....

After being home in Palm Harbor for less than a month, it was time to get back to the Motor Home and get away.  We had planned to go to the Florida Keys, but decided to wait until December so that we can see the Christmas Lights in the Keys, Fort Meyers area, and we would not feel rushed to be back by Thanksgiving...but I am sure we will feel rushed to be back by Christmas depending upon when we are able to get away.  :)

Over the past few weeks Marcia has had a few yearly medical check-ups, and except for the possible need for scoping the knee to get rid of a minor tear, all is well.  She is having a hard time deciding when and if she should have the surgery, which should not put her down at all, but will be a major irritation for a few days.  When her knee hurts, she says she is going to have it...when it does not hurt, she wants to put it off. 

As for me, besides being a taxi service for John and Tara, I have been slowly working on getting the outside of the motor home detailed out, removing the months of grime we picked up on our wonderful trip.  For a 14 year old motor home with 44,000 miles on it, the outside is in pretty good shape (as long as we ignore the scrap I put on it back in June).  I also fixed the lift, and that is nice to know that Marcia does not have to walk up the stairs anymore.  

So last night we left our Palm Harbor home and stayed at a rest area along I-75.  It is a brand new rest area, which I should have got pictures of but failed to do so.  The have a separate area for RV's than for the trucks, and that is REAL nice.  This morning we drove to a close-by Flying J to get coffee (we accidentally left the coffee filters at the house) and then drove on to Crystal River where we are staying at the Rock Crusher Canyon RV Park.  This is a Passport America (PA) park, and we just joined PA.  Normal price for three nights here would be $102, but as members we only paid $55.59.  The cost to join PA was $49, so we essentially have already paid for the membership!  They do not allow the discount from December 15-March 15 due to the "snow bird" season.  Other PA parks have already started the snow bird season and won't allow the discount until April or even May.  "Snow Birds", for those who don't know, are the folks who live up in the cold northern states and Canada who love to come down to Florida, Texas, and areas along the Gulf to enjoy the mild, warmer winters.  The real season seems to start after Thanksgiving, peaking out in January and February.  Many snow birds have RV's, but some have condos or relatives that they enjoy staying at during the winter months.

As for this RV park, so far, we love it.  It has shade, there are many open sites so there is room between sites.  It is quiet, and we both agree that we would have loved staying here as much as any of the other parks we have stayed at all year...but of course, the scenery was a bit better in places like Yosemite, Lassen, Crater Lake, Glacier, Yellowstone, Black Hills...well, I think you get the point.  But this park is even better than some of the parks we stayed out while visiting those places.

 Above and below are a few views of our spot.  With so many trees, the grass is lacking, but there is grass right across the street in some empty spots.

 Above is a view showing the tree coverage that we have, and the one 5th wheel a few spots over from us.
 The pictures above and below are of the same road, taken at the same camera spot....just a nice, peaceful area, and neighbors are not close at all.

 And these last two pictures of our site show the other side of the RV.  Yep, I think this is just the type of place we will enjoy.  Even if an RV pulled in between us and that 5th wheel, it is far enough away that it would not bother us...but with all the open spots around here right now, I doubt anyone will pull in here.

 And for you dog lovers, I just have to include a message and pictures about our doggies.

Bubba is happy to be back at home, and loves seeing John.  Skruffy is having a few adjustment problems....has a need to mark inside the house...but she is doing much better about that now.  She loves going with me on the taxi service rides, and has spent a lot of time outside as I cleaned up the outside of the motor home.  But for some reason, probably because there was a dog that lived in the house before we moved in, she has marked the same 5 foot area of the carpet a number of times.  We tried a new spray, and that has helped, so we hope she is over this problem.  On the good side, she is trained to go out front without a leash and stay on the property....and she is doing real good with that.  As for Bubba, he is a runner and just can't be trusted too far yet.  He has gone from the inside of the motor home to the front door without a leash...but he hesitates and looks to the left where there is a path to escape to.  Once he took about six steps that way, but halted when he heard the generals "STOP" command....turned around and came inside the house.  Perhaps one day he will be trusted....but not now.  Bubba did visit the groomer and is shaved way down again.  I am going to try and keep him that way, and intend to try and cut each of them once a month.  I did Skruffy a few days after Bubba went to the groomer, so this should work out "if" I can keep Bubba cut way down as he is now.
Above you can see them looking out the window.  There are many other dogs in the park, so this is going to be fun for them both.