March 27 2011

Monument Valley, UT

We stayed at Goulding Campground and RV Park, but I can’t recommend it. It’s saving grace is that it is about the only one here and it does have full hook-ups. Paved roads, but red clay sites and close together. My sewer inlet was a good 12 inches about ground, making tank emptying a bit difficult.  Plus it was $50 a night, way too high for the level of facilities.

But the views along the way were great.  Pictures can’t express the magnitude of these rock formations, we will definitely be back to stay longer and take some of the tours, but will probably stay in Bluff (see other post)


Monument Valley Collage

March 24 2011

Comb Ridge Café and Expresso, Bluff, Utah

While driving between Monument Valley, UT and Moab, UT, we stopped for coffee at a small town called Bluff, UT (pop 300).  The Frommer’s guide stated that they had basic services and it was a good place to stop.  The town is mostly populated by artists and artisan’s, about 60% of the shops in town are artist shops or galleries.  I think I have the name of the coffee shop correct, but you can’t be too confused, the town is too small to have much more than one.

The coffee shop was a pleasant surprise, they serve breakfast until 11:00, blue corn pancakes, which unfortunately I missed.  Starting March 31, 2011, they will be serving wood fired pizzas, which I also missed… Anyway, great coffee and very nicely decorated, besides coffee shop fare, they had a nice selection of artisan made jewelry, vintage native american jewelry, and native american pottery, as well as a nice selection of second hand books.

There are a couple of RV parks in Bluff, one across the street from the coffee shop looked the best, but were were moving on to Moab, so we didn’t stay here.

Bluff looked interesting enough that we plan a trip back there just to visit that area.  Its close to Monument Valley, Natural Bridge, Mexican Hat, and the 4 corners area, so it would be a good base camp area.  A very nice looking lodge and plenty of galleries and other quaint shops. A nice find in the middle of nowhere…

I must add that the scenery between Monument Valley and Moab is exceptional.  This is our first trip along this route and it has been beautiful. We have been stopping often to take pictures, but they do not show the magnificence and magnitude of the rock formations, it is breathtaking to see nature it all its glory.

April 18 2010

Cape Lookout State Park, Tillamook, OR

Cape Lookout State Park, Tillamook, OR – Summer 1999


This was one of our favorite parks, especially before the winter storms in 2000. We could get a campsite right on the beach, but the winter storms washed that away. But its still a beautiful park, off the beaten path, with a relaxing view and not too crowded.

Cape Lookout is located on a sand spit between Netarts Bay and the ocean, giving you a terrific view of the ocean with easy access to the beach. Beachcombing is popular here, and the park is reputedly a good place to find glass floats. More than eight miles of hiking and walking trails wind through a lush old-growth forest. The Cape Lookout trail follows the headland for more than 2 miles. A bench is located at the end of the trail. Enjoy the view! You might see a whale or two along with other wildlife.

Two walking trails — a nature trail and the Jackson Creek trail — are perfect for a shorter jaunt. The nature trail gives you a close-up view of native trees and other plants. Numbered markers are keyed to a trail guide. The Jackson Creek trail starts with an interpretive panel describing the local salmon restoration project.

Be sure to look up when you visit this park … hang gliders and paragliders fill the air with colorful wings as they catch thermals and rise to dizzying heights. Along with Cape Kiwanda and Cape Meares, Lookout is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route.

State Parks Web Site

NAME: Cape Lookout State Park-
Where: Tillamook, OR
Admission: $3 day use – $$-$25 camping
Camping: 38 full hookup, 1 electric, 173 tent (maximum site 60 feet); 13 yurts; group tent (2 areas); hiker/biker camp; 3 deluxe cabins (with bathrooms, kitchen, tv/vcr), hiker/biker camp.
Month/Year visited: Summer 1999
Comments: For information only, call (503)842-4981 or (800) 551-6949. To make reservations, call 1-800-452-5687.

April 18 2010

RVs and Camping

I have been camping for many years, using tents, campers, travel trailers, Class C, 5th wheel, and hybrid.  I have posted here some of my adventures and mis-adventures. I make a distinct difference between “camping” and “RVing”.  its not based on the type vehicle, but how and where you go. You can “camp” in an RV.  Camping is going to the out of the way places, without RV pads, or full hookups, and leaving a lot of your electronic toys behind.  RVing is taking it all with you, to a park with RV pads, 50 amp hookups, cable, water and sewer. With my 17 foot hybrid, I could “camp” or RV, depending on how much I wanted to rough it.  In my 32 foot 5th wheel, it was mostly RVing, most camping areas were too small to accomdate it. You get the point…

I will post more detail about each RV and the adventures with those camping experiences in other articles.  This is just a summary.

I tent camped for many years, even when the family was young.  My oldest son was a mosquito magnet so we knew to continue camping we needed something better than a tent.  Plus with 26 years of military life, I know canvass. So in 1972, I bought my first RV, a 1968 Chevrolet 3/4 ton pickup with a cab-over camper. It was great and we used it often.  Then in 1974, I got orders to transfer to Alaska, the wife didn’t want to travel that far with the kids riding inthe camper, so I sold that and purchased a 23 foot Terry Travel Trailer and a 1974 Chrsyler Town and Country Station Wagon for the trip to Alaska. That was an experience, me, the wife and 3 kids lived and travelled in that for almost 60 days getting to Alaska, including an ALCAN drive of 1500 miles of gravel road.

Next came the Class C, a 23 foot Free Spirit by Holiday Rambler.  Flew out of Alaska to Arkansas, purchased the Class C and drove it back. Used it for a couple of years, then sold it prior to leaving Alaska. Then we took a break for awhile and purchased a 1990 Oddessy Micro Motor Home on a Toyota chassis.  We used this for a few years and finally upgraded to 1995 Alpenlite 5th Wheel, 32 feet, with dual slide outs.  We used this setup for over 7 years and loved it. Then after buying a home in Arizona, we sold it.  Of course, our grandchildren kept pestering us to go camping, which to them meant going out in grandma and grandpa’s RV, we purchased a Jayco Kiwi 17A hybrid. Great little trailer for getting into some of the remote campgrounds in the Nationall Forsest and small state parks, but just a little too small for the wife to truly enjoy, and to prevent us from bumping into each other, we sold that and upgraded to a 2008 Trail Cruiser 23SB, with a slide out rear queen bed.

July 25 2009

Sea Perch RV Resort, Yachats, OR

Sea Perch RV Resort is located south of Yachats, OR, on Highway 101.  All the sites have a view of the ocean with some sites being on,y about 10 yards from the beach. The amenites are great, the cost is a little pricey, but not too bad for the quality of the park.

Sea Perch Web Site

We stayed here as part of our 45th Anniversary trip and it was a great choice.  The prices run from $40 – $60 per night depending on site location.  We got on right on the beach for 4 nights, but I don’t think there is a bad site, all have ocean views.

May 20 2009


I found this Hot Water Heater Safety Tank at a Goodwill store.  While its large for an RV (they make a much smaller one) the price was right so I decided to try it.  I had to build a platform to rest it on and keep it clear of the pump.  Installed a tee fitting and used flexible hose to connect everything up.  The tank has 40 lb of pressure in the air bladder and dampens out the fluctuation of pressure in the water system.

The first shot is of the platform, the second of the "T" fitting and hoses.

The tank installed in its proper space and finally, a shot of the finished product under the dinette seat.

I was lucky it fit, since I hadn’t measured prior.  The installation make a huge difference in pump noise and running time.  Its now a low humm rather than the former ratcheting sound.  Plus water pressure stays a lot more constant. These shots were made during the initial install.  I had to modify the T filtting, the stell fittings leaked, so I went to brass fitttings and nipples with plenty of plumber’s tape.  That worked fine, no leaks.

May 20 2009

Fort Flagler State Park, Port Hadlock, WA

Fort Flagler State Park is located on an old Coastal Artillery site.  We visited in May 2009 and they had just re-opened after a major remodel.  They have installed full hoookup sites in two of the primary loops.  We had a site just off the beach, with a great view of the water. We mostly like to go up in this area to visit Port Townsend, so we pent Saturady driving aorund checking out Thrift Stores and Yard Sales. Port Townsend was having a prarde and festivities, which we didn’t care to fight the crowd for, so we didn’t spend much time downown.  Port Townsend is a great place to visit, good resturants and plenty of shopping.

Had great weather, so we got to sit out and enjoy the view.  I went flyfishing for Searun Cutthroat Trout on the other side of the park. Got one in about 10" in length, had a few more strikes.  Lots of people were out clamming on the beach.  We took a couple of beach walks, got some driftwood, and had a great time.

Wonderful bakery (The Village Bakery) at the turn-off to the park.  They are only open on Saturday from 8:00 AM untill sold out (usually 2:00 PM or so).  There are also some wineries in the area.  They do mostly reds, so the wife opted not to go to any for tasting, but if your a red fan, check them out and let us know.  We drove up 101 and stopped in Hamma Hamma for seafood.  fresh oysters, clams, mussels, and crab are hard to beat.  Get the seafood, the bread locally, bring your own wine, or get some locally, makes for a great weekend, regardless of weather.

April 27 2009

Sequoia Nation Park, CA

Sequoia National Park web site

We stayde at Sequoia Ranch RV Park while visiting the park.  Its a nice RV park, with a very friendly staff, but its close, not much privacy. Roads were tight and moving around when its full cna be problematic.  It was easter vacation, so it was full while we were there, making it hard to get to the dump site and around the park.

3 Rivers is a real small town, with not much going on prior to the summer season, beautiful river and scenery.  Don’t eat at teh Gaeway Resturant, its too expensive and food is only OK.

April 27 2009

Black Rock Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Black Rock Campground is located at 4,000 feet elevation, has 100 campsites, no utilities, water is available. Fees are $15 per night.

The entrance road to this campground is bad, potholed and in desparate need of reapir.  Not ure who it belongs to the NPS, the state, or the city, but it need attention.  The park roads are not too much better.  This is an old style park, made for car and tent campers, small motor homes, an  short trailers.  I have s 23′ and it was tight in many places.  No signage, so arriving after dark makes it really fun and exciting.

We had a pull through, but it wasn’t level in any direction, so getting setup was interesting. I don’t think we will be returning here.

Reservations: Sites at Black Rock and Indian Cove campgrounds may be reserved from September through the Memorial Day weekend by calling 1-877-444-6777 up to six months in advance of the date you want to reserve. Or you may make reservations online at

Joshua Tree National Park web site


April 27 2009

South Beach State Park, Newport, OR

South Beach State Park and the surrounding areas offer a variety of recreational opportunities.

One of the most exciting additions to the program at South Beach: kayak tours. Folks who register for the activity will launch from nearby Ona Beach (5 miles south) and spend two hours exploring the fascinating Beaver Creek area with a guide.

Other activities around the park include fishing, crabbing, boating, windsurfing and beachcombing. Attractions nearby include the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, marine life exhibits at the Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

These are just a few of the opportunities you will encounter when you visit and explore the central Oregon coast.

Kayak Tours

Kayak tours are offered during the summer. No experience necessary. South Beach State Park supplies the kayaks, paddles and lifejackets, and interpretive host guides. Minimum age is 6. Paddlers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. $15 per person (subject to change). All trips start at the Hospitality Center at South Beach State Park. All trips include about 2 hours of paddling.
Reservations strongly recommended. The reservation number is 541-867-6590.