Showing posts from January, 2011

A treasure in the desert

I have to say the name of this park fits. Here we are in Pahrump NV, which my friend Nancy calls the “arm-pit” of Nevada, in a very nice RV resort, one of the nicest we have been to. When we left California we were looking for somewhere to contemplate our next move. John’s back was bothering him so he wanted somewhere with amenities like a hot tub. I remember this one from Evelyn and Kevin’s blog. Showed it to John and he was sold. It also was in between the two areas we were considering - Zion and Arizona. Well we have already made use of their outdoor hot tub and if the weather gets colder they have one inside in each of the locker rooms in their fitness center. The weather has been beautiful. Sunshine and the high 60’s, low 70’s and NO fog!! So what’s to do in Pahrump NV? How about some wine? Sounds good to me. Today we visited the Pahrump winery and enjoyed a wonderful tasting and bought a couple bottles of wine - cost a wee bit more than the stuff we have been getting from Trader …

A surprise entry

As many of you know I try to get John to write more. He is a talented writer, a lot funnier than me (he makes me laugh everyday, some days so hard I am actually crying). Yesterday after posting I was checking my email and I found one from John that was part of the post he was working on. He wrote it on the iPad and didn't have what he wanted to save it so he emailed me the post. I'm not sure why he didn't go back and get it to add into his post. I did ask his permission to post it. So add this to the post of a couple days ago. So here's Johnny....

The second day
And on the second day, we drove out of the fog.
We were banished from the kingdom and decided to head south and east in  search of sunshine. I figured if we left after noon we would avoid the densest fog, and I was right. We could actually see for over 500 feet when we left. (California puts markers on the freeways so you can calibrate yourloss of vision.) Fog lights all the way to Bakersfield. The next morning wa…

Pahrump NV

Still haven't decided where to land so decided to go half way in between the places we are considering. Thought about going back to Zion but maybe somewhere further south. We are leaning towards a place in Tucson or Buckeye Arizona. Need to make some calls tomorrow. I think John is leaning towards somewhere further south. We are at Nevada Treasure RV Resort and Spa in Pahrump NV for the next week. This is a resort that friends of ours visited (Evelyn and Kevin) and it met our in between status. We haven't had time to check out all the resort has to offer but will do more exploring tomorrow. One thing we do want to do from here is check out Death Valley. Thanks for all the suggestions, I think we will find something that fits our needs. John just wants to find somewhere to land for a month and then we will start our journey back to Iowa for the summer.

Happy trails.......

Leaving Middle Earth (by John)

You can’t kick us out, ‘cause we’re leaving.  Actually we were asked to leave so they could close the entrance road into the park while they repair an unstable hill next to it. This is the second time we’ve been asked to leave a campground due to weather related problems in the last two months. It’s good to be mobile, but I’m looking forward to staying somewhere for more than a month. Maybe somewhere warm. With sunshine. And full hook-ups. Eastman Lake reminded me of Middle Earth the day we arrived. Very green from all the rain this area had received with lots of hills that might appeal to a folk who preferred to build their homes in the side of a hill. The piles of boulders scattered about added visual appeal and a bit of mystery: how did all these rock piles end up here?  The park’s campground had already been closed to the public by the time we arrived the first week of January. We had to drive around the barriers to get to our camp site. So for the next two plus weeks, we shared this…

Learning Flexibility

Originally we were going to head to Sonoma for a week but while cleaning the shoreline John stepped wrong and something in his hip popped. He hobbled back and we put ice on it (20 on 20 off just like our favorite ortho doc has taught us). It is better today but he doesn’t feel he will be up for any long bike rides for a little while so we decided not to do that trip just now. Adding to that, the valley fog is back and another friend of ours said Sonoma has lots of fog this time of year too. We will be back and it will stay on our list.
These little things keep teaching us that in this lifestyle as in any flexibility is a necessary skill.  The good thing is it is a little easier to do when you are mobile. So it is on to new adventures.
Thought I’d share a few photos of some of the feathered creatures that we share this park with. I’ve seen more than this but these are the only ones I caught in the camera.

Happy Trails..........

A New Toy!

Once we got back we could hardly wait to get it out. John had read online that we needed to inflate it and wait 24 hours (to check for leaks) before taking it out on the water. So we got it out of the box and inflated it. How cool. We have to check on a few things before we take off, like does it need to be registered. It doesn’t have a motor so maybe not. We will check with Ranger Keith tomorrow.  Tomorrow is a big day too. There is a volunteer meeting with the “bosses”. As I have mentioned before, our campground is closed due to an unstable hillside along the only access road. We had been directed to only take the road when we needed to go to town. It is a problem for this park because all the campgrounds and the camp offices are on this road. The day use area is not affected. We have been in limbo since we got here not knowing if we will be staying or if they feel we need to leave. The consensus among the volunteers is that we will be asked to leave. We are all glad that tomorrow we…

First Week work-camping done

One week into our work camping and we keep thinking we will take a day off but the people we needed to work with were on this weekend so back to work we go. I learned how to use their slide scanner and while I am doing laundry I will also be scanning their slides, since they are all in the same building. Scanning slides is a tedious job that I am very familiar with. I scanned about a thousand slides of John’s dads a few years back. The computer they have this set up on is old and incredibly slow. If John was assigned to this I think he would shoot the computer or maybe throw it out a window, he has no patience for old slow computers. We also are learning about trail maintenance and water bars. John spent Saturday with the student ranger Adela and today all three of us went out to work. We are working on the Lake View trail that is 4 miles in length and hasn’t had much maintenance done in the last few years. We made it about 3/4 mile today. John and I are hoping we can make a differenc…


What a beautiful day we had today. The sunshine made it’s way to Eastman Lake and it was a joy to behold. I’m not sure what our high temp was today but I know it was in the 50’s and after several weeks of 40’s and grey days we were celebrating the sun.
We like this park more each day and from what we can tell it is a well kept secret in California. One of the rangers said they don’t even have it on the printed California map, though you will find it on Google maps. We have met people from Fresno (50 miles away) that had no idea where it was and one of our fellow volunteers said even people in Madera ( 20 miles away) don’t know where it is. So if you are looking for a place in the foothills of the Sierras, actually not that far from Yosemite, this would be a great place to stay. Now you will have to wait until at least April as they have closed the campground (except for the volunteers) until then. The day use area and boat ramps are still open.
I think I mentioned in the last post that …

Arrival at Eastman Lake

We have finally arrived at Eastman Lake Recreation Area near Madera CA.  This is where we will have our first work camping experience. For our friends that aren’t RVers work camping is simply working for your site in many cases and sometimes for pay. We have chosen the volunteer route where you volunteer to work a set number of hours a week in exchange for your campsite. We feel this is a way to lessen our expenses and at the same time be of benefit to the parks that are really feeling the pinch in these difficult economic times. Parks have used work campers for many years but from what we have been told they are relying on them even more now. California had lots of rain in December and consequently lots of flooding so last week I called to check on the campground. On Monday they were fully open and things were fine. When we arrived there were signs indicating the campground was closed and the road up to the campground was blocked off. We went off towards the day use area so we could f…

Travel Day

Finally we have left Las Vegas. We need to get to Eastman Lake north of Fresno CA on Saturday so today we drove as far as Bakersfield. Not the tourist mecca of California but found a park with a stay 2 nights get one free rate for FHU so it works for us. Not sure what there is to do in Bakersfield but I will do some searching tonight. Maybe we can find a winery - we passed a lot of grape vines on the last part of the trip - or maybe a microbrewery/brewpub.  We really don't need much to entertain us.

The trip went well considering these roads were closed 2 days ago. There is some snow left in the mountains but it looks like everything else had melted away.  The only difficult part of the trip was on CA223 from CA58 to the resort. Just a few miles off CA58 we ran into thick fog that stayed with us on and off until we got here. Luckily it was only about 25 miles worth. An RV friend of mine, Rich, had warned us that there had been a lot of fog in CA lately. Thanks for the warning, we j…

Leaving Las Vegas

We are still lounging away in Las Vegas. Our next stop is Bakersfield on our way to Eastman Lake, California. We were hoping to leave tomorrow but today highway 58 in California and I-5 are closed because of snow. The weather has been just crazy out here. The good news is tomorrow the sun is suppose to come out and temperatures are going up. Even though there is a chance the roads would be open tomorrow we decided to give it one more day to make sure. Pulling our rig through this area in snow is not something we would like to do. There are a couple small passes on our way, nothing that would bother us at all in good weather. I called ahead to the resort we want to stay at in Bakersfield and called Eastman Lake to check on conditions. Both said they are fine. Eastman Lake said the lake is up but no flooding in the recreation areas. This will be our first work-camping position and we are looking forward to getting there. Eastman Lake is in the foothills of the Sierras and, as our friend …