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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Florence, Oregon

From Klamath we continued our excursion up Highway 101 to Florence, Oregon where we stayed at the Thousand Trails – South Jetty Park.  Unfortunately during our stay the A & B sections of the park were closed, greatly limiting the number of full-service sites that were available.  We found a site up on Grant Street that looked like it might be deep enough to accommodate our forty-foot rig.  Unfortunately, with the tree stumps and partially washed out road at our corner site, parking was a challenge.  We were tempted to stop about half way through to sell tickets to the entertainment.  It took about twenty minutes to get parked, but we finally squeezed into the spot … only electric and water … and no chance of Satellite (we have a King Dome and it didn’t have a prayer under the trees).  The staff at the park was really nice … particularly the maintenance worker who helped us park and offered to trim some trees to help us get in, but the facility leaves a lot to be desired.  It is called South Jetty Resort but would be better named South Jetty Primitive Campground.  We were there over July 4th, but the park had no activities to talk about … too bad, as Oregon is still a part of America.  We give this campground a “4” on the Moore 10 point system, and will try to avoid it in the future (we left the park before our planned departure date).

            Florence, Oregon is just a mile from the park and is a nice little coastal town with good restaurants and quaint shopping.  We ate at Mo’s for clam chowder (delicious!), and at the Seafood Station (an old converted gas station) for fish and chips (also excellent!).  There are three big attractions in Florence:  The sand dunes, the sea lions, and the lighthouse.  We took a trip to the sand dunes and they were really interesting.  If you are an OHV fan, this will be a wonderful place for you to stop and enjoy.  We don’t have an ATV, so it’s appeal was not as great.  We did visit the sea lion caves.  This is worth the trip and the price ($11.00 for seniors over 60).  The cave is wonderful and full of sea lions, as is the pullout place (see pictures below).  The lighthouse is being renovated and is shrouded for the job, so was not open when we visited.  We are looking forward to seeing it on our next trip through.

Dunes near the Oregon Coast

The Pacific comes up to the Dunes

Picture of Ocean from Top of a Dune

Lynda waits while Kim Climbs to Top

Climb to Top

Lighthouse with Shrouding

Picture from Top of Sea Lion Cave

Sea Lions Pulled-Out on Rocks

Life Sized Sea Lion Statue

Until next time, keep doing what you love.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Klamath, CA 2012

The drive from San Benito, CA to Klamath, CA is a killer.  We made a similar drive last year and, fortunately, learned from that mistake.  This time we stopped at the halfway point in Willit, CA and stayed at the Golden Rule RV Park on the south side of town.  The Golden rule is a very nice trailer park with a few RV spots for visitors.  The drive from highway 101 down to the park is narrow and challenging, but results in a quiet evening just one mile off of the busy highway.  This was a one-day stay with another early morning start.  We arrived at the Klamath River RV Park around three in the afternoon.  If you haven’t had a chance to stay in this park, we strongly recommend it!  It is a Coast-to-Coast Park and you pay an additional $4.00 per day for electric on top of your normal $10 fee.  In addition, if you want a pull-through site overlooking the river it is another $5.00 per night.  Pay the extra … it is well worth waking up to the river quietly moving toward the ocean just a few feet from your front window … spectacular!  Here are a few pictures!

Sunset from the Park

Sunset from the Park - 2

Lynda with rig ... overlooking Klamath River

Rig parked at river's edge

View from the rig

View from the rig

There are only a few activities at the park itself.  The scenery is the main attraction here, although a number of guests launched their kayaks and/or boats for a ride on the river.  Fishing is available certain times of the year and a license is required.  The real attraction in the area is the great Redwood National and State Parks consortium.  Redwoods National Park is one of the few that has enhanced its management and range by joining with the state park system to provide a larger experience.  Some of the best redwood groves are in the state parks … Jedediah Smith State Park has a wonderful grove that is accessible by car and a short hike.  Another really nice grove is the Lady Bird Johnson grove, located just off of Highway 101.  Don’t miss the elk herds in the park … a great place to see them is by the red schoolhouse off of Highway 101.  We thoroughly explored the park on our last visit, so opted for the more commercial, but interesting, Trees of Mystery this time.  The Trees of Mystery are located on Highway 101.  Don’t just stop at the gift shop … pay the $15.00 per adult ($11.00 for seniors over 60) to hike up to the trees.  The fee includes a ride on the tram and a visit to the Paul Bunyan trail.  It is worth the price of admission.  Here are some pictures.

At Trees of Mystery

The Elephant Tree

Lynda by overturned tree roots

Cathedral Trees


The Candelabra Tree

View from the Tram

Carvings about Paul Bunyan's Life (Here and Following)

Finally, don’t forget to stop and see the rugged Pacific coastline here.  It is rocky, rough, and beautiful!  It is kind of nice to see a beach without a million people vying for the same small piece of sand.

Northern California Coastline ... (Here and Following)

Driftwood along Northern California Coast

Until next time … do what you love.

Friday, July 6, 2012

San Benito

From Santa Barbara we continued up the coast to Paicines, California (around twelve miles south of Hollister on highway 25).  Our campground, Thousand Trails – San Benito – is located four miles off the main road in a nice wooded area surrounded by grape vines and other agricultural endeavors.  San Benito has a small 50 amp. area where we found a site.  Verizon products worked really well here, but AT&T did not.  Many forms of wildlife roam through the park including deer, a variety of birds (saw a large owl and a bat right at dusk), and even a bobcat.  This is a nice park to sit, collect your thoughts, hike, or watch the world go by.  There are huge sycamore trees around the property, some of which have developed interesting characteristics (see pictures below).  On the negative side, they did not deliver our paper … a privilege of VIP membership (we had to go to the country Store to fetch it), the grass was a bit high, and the park looked a bit old and tired.  We would give this park a seven “7” and would probably return.

Vineyards outside of the RV Park

Vineyards are abundant in the area

Deer graze in the park

One of many ancient Sycamore Trees

Some of the Trees are hallow on one side

Odd tree formations

Our campsite amongst the trees

Fortunately, during our stay the San Benito Rodeo and Horseman Show was going on at the county fairgrounds in Tres Pinos (located about halfway between Paicines and Hollister).  The event turned out to be one of the best of its kind we have seen.  In addition to the usual rodeo events (saddle bronc, bare back bronc, barrel racing, calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling, bull riding) there were a number of really interesting local events including ribbon racing (two youngsters race a course on horseback while holding a ribbon between them), cattle cutting (three horsemen/women cut out three numbered calves from a herd while being timed), horsemanship, best boy’s and girl’s working outfit, wild horse race (where a wild horse had to be saddled and ridden a certain distance – very dangerous) and, of course, the kid’s sheep riding event.  For our English friends, Dave and Issy, who also happened to be in this park, this was their first rodeo experience.  Here are a few pictures of the rodeo.

The grand parade to start the rodeo

Saddle Bronc Contest ... This guy lost

Start them young!  Two & Three year olds on bucking sheep

The best part of Bull riding is when they fly off!

Dave & Issy enjoy the rodeo

Speaking of Dave and Issy, we enjoyed three meals together at San Benito, two hosted by them and one by us.  Dave fixed a really nice Cajun meatloaf one night and brought back his winning curry recipe on another.  We hosted a very nice evening of fondue (a two hour meal … you can’t eat fondue quickly).  The meal was serene as we listened to the quiet chiming of our dragon wind chime.

New Dragon windchime

Kim, Lynda, Issy, & Dave ...  Good Friends ... Great Food!

Until next time … keep doing what you love!