Category Archives: Travel Report

Campground Report: Potters Creek Campground, Canyon Lake, TX

Potters Creek Park Campground, site 74. Note the portion of the site where the truck is parked and how it slopes down to the campground road. Many if not most of the sites on the uphill (northern) sides of the campground roads are like this. Sites also include a separate area to the side for tow vehicle parking. that area is unused in this photo. You can see the concrete pier at the rear of it.

Potters Creek Park Campground, it is located at Canyon Lake, a reservoir created by the COE in Canyon Lake (a “census designated place”), TX, a part of Texas known as Hill Country, roughly halfway between San Antonio and Austin in what might be termed the south central part of Texas.

Like many COE campgrounds RV campsites here have water and electricity, paved campsites with decent spacing between them, and the campground is on the edge of a lake created by a COE dam. COE campgrounds are also known to be reasonably priced. Here they are $30 a day or if you have an interagency pass such as the Lifetime Senior Pass the rate is half that. We stayed at Potters Creek for 5 nights for $65, a sum less than many much less pleasant independent campgrounds charge for one night. [READ MORE…]

Yucaipa Regional Park Campground, Yucaipa, CA

Along Zanja Peak Trail
We stopped at a little stone bench somebody made along the trail to Zanja Peak in order to enjoy the view and snack on some trail mix. (Click or tap to enlarge.)

We stopped here for the second time in January of 2019 for a few days on our way from the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park area to the San Francisco Bay Area. We had been here once before and liked it enough we thought it was worth at least an extra day or two instead of being just a one night stopover. The park has quite a bit of bird activity this time of year. Although we didn’t see the osprey or a bald eagle reportedly seen recently, we did see red-tailed hawks, black phoebe, say’s phoebe, American coots, mallards, western bluebirds, yellow-rumped warblers, American robins and northern flickers and some LBBs (unidentifiable little brown birds).

The campground is adjacent to some hills. While there we enjoyed a hike to Zanja Peak that involved an elevation gain of 1,000 feet or so over roughly 2 miles one way, 4 miles out and back. Views were nice especially since nearby mountains had a dusting of snow. [READ MORE…]

Campground Report: Cajun Haven RV Park

Cajun Haven: One Ray of Sunshine
I didn’t look closely at this campsite, but it was colorful and seemed the owner of the RV was exercising some inventiveness in decorating. To me this site was something of a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary environment.

We stayed at Cajun Haven RV Park as a one night stopover between New Orleans and our next one night stopover in Texas on our way toward Potters Creek Campground in Canyon Lake, TX. Reviews I found of Cajun Haven prior to camping there were a little bit mixed as they often are. In my own experience, management was very friendly, access to I-10 very convenient, and our campsite was pretty level as were the others because the campground is on a flat open field. There is a small lake or large pond at the campground. Apart from that written above and the rate of $20 for full hookups with 50 amp service, oh, and the free entertainment provided by ducks waddling around the campground there is little I can find to say about Cajun Haven on the positive side. [READ MORE…]

Campground Report: Hat Creek Hereford Ranch RV Park & Campground, Hat Creek CA near Lassen Volcanic National Park

Camped in the field at Hat Creek Hereford RV Park & Campground
Because there were no camp sites available for the time slot we wished to stay we camped in “The Field” at Hat Creek Hereford RV Park & Campground which serves as overflow camping for a rig or two. We were told the field would flood when the neighboring farmer flooded his field. Oh, great… Nevertheless we took our chances based on reassurances from the campground host that wasn’t likely to happen during our stay.

Hat Creek Hereford Ranch RV Park & Campground is what I would call a rural, family oriented park. This park is situated north of Lassen Volcanic National Park which is why we came to the area. Although there are other camping options nearby including another independent park and some Forest Service campgrounds, this is the only place we could find a spot in which we could fit, and as you will see it wasn’t really a spot.

Often, it seems to me rural parks are a little less formally run, and a little less spic and span. They seem to lag a little bit in terms of maintenance and upkeep, the showers may need refurbishing, the trash need may lag in being emptied… As a child of the 60’s/70’s the word “funky” comes to mind, although that could also describe a genre of rock music. READ MORE...

The Adventure Continues

Japanese Garden, Lithia Park, Ashland, OR.
Japanese Garden, Lithia Park, Ashland, OR.

After a brief pause of something a little less less than 2 years–well, that’s brief in geological terms, anyway–my 18 month adventure of traveling the USA in a motorhome that concluded in October 2015 has resumed. It will be different this time: rather than traveling by motorhome I’ll be towing a 5th wheel RV with my new pickup truck. (Those of you who follow my blog may have caught my four part series How to Get the Best Deal on a New Car or Truck Without Ever Talking to a Salesman.) I also hope to take more time traveling the USA this time around, more than the 18 months I spent the first time. However, the biggest, most important difference of my trip this time will be that it won’t be my trip, it will be our trip, as I will be traveling with my lovely companion Diane whom I met back east on my earlier excursion. (Previously, in A Single RVer’s Guide to Finding Romance on the Road I wrote about my methods for pursuing love while RVing the country. I was extremely fortunate in my pursuit.)

Bowling Ball Beach, CA.

A few days more than a month ago Diane and I loaded up our pickup truck with things we wanted to have in our new 5th wheel and we set off from Berkeley toward Portland to pick up the new trailer. We traveled mostly along the California and Oregon coastal route because Diane is a coast lover and hadn’t yet seen much of the CA coast and none of Oregon’s.

Mt St. Helens. When she last blew in 1980 she took out something like 232 square miles of terrain. Holy cow!

On Oct. 10 after loading the RV with things from the truck we hitched the two together “officially” launching this new chapter in both of our lives. From the Portland area where we camped in beautiful Milo McIver State Park we headed north toward Seattle to visit Diane’s family. We stayed one night at a Walmart along the way in Yelm, WA, so Diane could see what “Walmarting” is like. The next day we found ourselves at the Washington State Fairgrounds RV Park in Puyallup where we parked while visiting Diane’s family. After that it was down toward the Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mt. St Helens which is highly worth a visit. There we stayed in Silver Lake at the new and sparkly Silver Cove RV Resort. This was followed by a couple days in Ashland and a couple nights in CA before arriving back in the bay area where we are now tasked with readying the rig and our lives for full-timing beginning sometime in the spring. Before then we plan to head south for a month or so to enjoy some desert warmth and sunsets at the Imperial Dam LTVA about which I penned a five post series and separate boondocking report when I stayed there back in 2014-15.

A view along the Oregon coast.

Our new fifth wheel, BTW, is an Arctic Fox 29-5T. We settled on it after many months during which we compared more than a few. Things that influenced our decision included: warranted even for full-time use; floor plan; lots of windows; large enough to live in and as small as we could get to feel that way; custom made frame; large net carrying capacity, nearly 4,000#; reputation for being well insulated; we can navigate the entire rig when the slides are closed and access most cabinets, the fridge and bathroom. The trailer is about 34′ long.

Windows abound in the 29-5T which lets in lots of light and provides ample opportunity to see the sights outside while camped.

RVing to the Stars

The starry nights were amazing. We were camped at 9400', miles and miles from the nearest city lights. The Milky Way was clearly visible. Plus, we were there during the Perseid meteor shower. We slept under the stars and set the alarm for 2 AM. Over the next hour we saw dozens and dozens of shooting stars.
The starry nights were amazing. We were camped at 9400′, miles and miles from the nearest city lights. The Milky Way was clearly visible. Plus, we were there during the Perseid meteor shower. We slept under the stars and set the alarm for 2 AM. Over the next hour we saw dozens and dozens of shooting stars. (Click image to enlarge.)

One thing I think is sometimes overlooked when talking about the adventure of RVing is that sometimes an RVing destination is a jumping off point for another kind of adventure. For example, I recently returned from a wilderness adventure into the high Sierra back country of the the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The area I visited was in the Hoover Wilderness just north of Yosemite National Park. This trip took me to elevations above 10,000’, 20 miles from the nearest road–an area that as a younger man I backpacked to but in recent years have gone in via “four hoofed RV”… READ MORE

Mission Accomplished

Charlene at Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort
Charlene at Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort on my very first shakeout cruise.

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago… well, maybe sometime in 2011-2012, I got this idea to buy an RV, spend 6 to 12 months traveling the country, then selling it. I spent quite a long time learning about RVs, deciding what kind to buy, and finally in October, 2013 I took the plunge and bought a 30′ Class C Coachmen Freelander motorhome. It was about 7 months from the time I took Charlene home until I set out on what was to be an 18 month sojourn around the states and easily the greatest adventure of my life. READ MORE…