Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thousand Trails Lake of the Springs Review

Hi Friends,

We wanted to share a quick review of the Thousand Trails preserve called Lake of the Springs, that we visited in May for our anniversary.

Lake of the Springs
We are learning about reviews of rv parks and campgrounds the more we camp and make camping plans. At first we were excited about going to Lake of the Springs for a week to celebrate 32 years of life together. The closer we came to the date, the more we worried that just maybe we had made a wrong move. After first hearing how great it was, we started reading about how run down it is and that it was less than an ideal place to camp.

Well we had a wonderful time and are happy to report back that Lake of the Springs is a beautiful place, well run and well cared for. We joined Thousand Trails and are looking forward to returning to Lake of the Springs and also to try other Thousand Trails preserves in the area.

Lake of the Springs
When we arrived it was pretty warm, about 95 degrees the first day. Our spot was in section G, a very nice loop in a grove of trees that provided a canopy keeping the temperatures down about 10 degrees or so. Sites in this section were mostly water and electric only, but that turned out to be just fine for us.
There are plenty of restroom/shower facilities available in the different loops to more than make up for not having the sewer hook up. Plus there are sewer dumps (free) as you exit the park. They also have a honey wagon service that can come by a couple days a week for a small fee. You sign up for the honey wagon at the general store.

Kayaking on Lake Mildred
We found the showers and restrooms to be clean and very well maintained.  The people that keep the restroom/shower facilities clean need to be paid much more than they make. On more than one occasion we saw where folks had made messes that were just not acceptable in any situation. Oh well some people just don't have any respect for things that don't belong to them.

We used most of the fun facilities that were offered. We tried our hand at pickelball,  rented kayaks twice and played horseshoes. We even played a little basketball. We still could have tried shuffleboard but ran short on time.  Walking around the preserve is easy with nice walkways and a posted 5 mph speed limit that is very strictly enforced.  We really were worn out by the end of our stay.

Lake of the Springs Map
Evenings it was refreshing to relax around the campsite to talk with friends and bbq. Our campsite had a picnic table and bbq to use. Then we capped of a great day with smores. The nights were amazingly dark. We don't live in a very light polluted area at home, but man was it dark at night. What a treat.

As far as where to stay ... there are so many choices. If you have to have cell phone and satellite
service, section "I" is your best bet. It has fewer trees but makes up for that by having beautiful valley views.
Section "X" is for Thousand Trails members and is an all hook up area near the pool. It was nice up behind the general store. We noticed some park models and yurts up there to rent as well.
"D" loop had pretty views of the valley but seemed to be pretty full of
seasonal or annual sites. Nice units and well cared for more like a community of annual rv'ers that live at the preserve.

From what we could tell "B" loop was mostly big rigs. Some pull thru sites in there and  bit more sun than the other sections. Probably pretty good satellite reception here too as we saw plenty of dishes scattered around.

Lake of the Springs Map
Loop "A" looked nice, more in the trees again. These spots looked busy on the weekend but empty as could be during the week. There were some deer that seemed to hang out down in "A" just about every time we past buy. Section "H" was still closed so we didn't get to check it out. It looked to be higher on the hill so it may have been more of a sunny spot.
When we were doing our planning, we could not find a park map anywhere, so we have scanned the park map and included it here.

We need to add that there is a great little general store on the property that has soft serve ice cream (yum) and just about anything you will need during the weekend. That is also where you borrow the basketballs and other sports equipment. They have a really nice club house that serves meals on the weekends and holds special events during the week. We didn't go in but it looked very nice from the outside.

If we missed anything please drop us a note and we will be glad to answer any questions you might have. Lake of the Springs really turned out to be a beautiful and fun place to camp and we are planning our return in a couple months.

Happy Camping,

Don & Bremda

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Our 32nd Anniversary Getaway

Hi Friends,

My how time seems to fly by.  It is hard to believe that it was 32 years ago that we were married,  and to celebrate we wanted to get away for a few days camping. At first we were going to visit Monterey and camp by the beach, but were excited to learn that our friends Steve and Patty were vacationing the same week. They were heading to the hills, to a preserve called Thousand Trails Lake of the Springs. So we changed our plans and made tracks for Oregon House, California.
Lake of the Springs

To say we were excited would be an understatement. Not only was this our anniversary, but it was also our first camping trip of the year. We planned and dreamed and planned some more in the months leading up to our weekend. We needed, or thought we needed,  a few things that we were missing from last years trips. So we got those little niceties like a bbq and comfy chairs, oh and nifty folding table Brenda was longing for.

The week before our adventure it snowed in Reno and rained on the Western side of the mountains, but the weatherman still promised us that our order for awesome weather was guaranteed. And as luck would have it, it was. When we got to Lake of the Springs it was 95 degrees and just as clear as could be. And it stayed clear all weekend.

Our good friends Patty and Steve had arrived a day earlier and had found us a beautiful spot under a canopy of trees. Perfect!

Kayaking on Lake Mildred
During our 5 days at Lake of the Springs we got to Kayak (our first time) and played horseshoes (haven't even picked up a horse shoe in 40 years). We also went for walks had delicious meals and enjoyed the company of good friends. We both thought Kayaking was just awesome and are talking about getting a couple kayaks for us to enjoy when we camp. We think we might want to learn how to swim too. Probably a good idea...

What a wonderful adventure this was.  We both at one time or another commented that we had just as much or more fun this weekend, than we had on any trip to Disneyland.  We can't wait for our next adventure, probably close to home in the hills by a lake. Oh, and we still have to get down to Monterey for a beach adventure. Below is a short video we made to remind us of this special weekend.

Thanks Steve and patty for sharing an amazing week with us.

Find Your Bliss,

Don & Brenda

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Progress as the Countdown Continues

Hi Friends,

Still getting things ready for our little get-a-way in May. Just a few days but we can't wait to get on the road and away from the rat race. This weekend we worked at getting the camper ready. The cover is off and she got a nice wash and wax. We have started wiping things down on the inside as well. Just making sure everything still works and there are no little leaks or hitchhikers hiding in the dark places. So far we have found nothing at all.

We are so excited, we have a countdown going on the calendar in the kitchen and we decided to add one to the blog as well. We sometimes feel like the shoppers from the old Mervyn's commercial. They were standing outside the store looking in and saying "open, open, open" over and over.

Back to work tomorrow, but we will keep doing little things at night after we get home. Ticker

Monday, April 07, 2014

Spring Fever

Hi Friends,

It feels like Spring in the Nevada desert finally,  and I am pretty sure that last snow storm that blew through last week was the last of the strong storms. From here on out we are hoping for Sunny skies and great camping weather. Of course more storms will come from time to time but we think they will be small ones. So it looks like it is time to uncover the camper and get her ready for some Spring and Summer fun.

Still Sleeping From Winter Rest
We have a Anniversary trip planned in May to the Lake of the Springs Campground by Marysville, but I am thinking we need to sneak away sooner. So I have been considering going just a few miles away to Virginia City. They have a little RV Park there and we can take in the rustic old town and listen to the steam train whistle.

During the Winter we picked up a few things we wanted to make our adventures more fun. I wanted (and bought) a nifty portable gas fire ring. We thought it would be fun when we visit campgrounds that don't have fire rings or that don't allow wood fires because of the fire danger. We also picked up a gravity lounger for my times of rest. Pretty sure I will be falling asleep in that from time to time.

Happy camping everyone. Let the Spring camping season begin!

Don & Brenda

Monday, March 24, 2014

RVillage .. Making The Journey More Interesting

Hi Friends,

We found this great RV community online called RVillage. It was referred to us by the Living the RV Dream Podcast.  Facebook is fine and Google+ has plenty to offer but what is so nice about RVillage is that it is specific to people that enjoy seeing the Country in RV's.

If you are so inclined and want to find new friends or just want a place to swap camping stories stop by RVillage and see what is happening. If you decide to make a spot there for yourself, be sure to friend us so we can keep in touch.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Stampede Reservoir, Logger Campground Review

Hi Friends,

I thought I would share a brief review of the Logger Campground at Stampede Reservoir, one of our favorite places to hideout. If you are considering this campground maybe this will be helpful.

We got our camper pretty late in 2013 so our trips out were few before the cold of Winter set in. Luckily we found the Logger Campground just across the state line in California. Because it was close to home we were able to get our camping skills down without getting too far from the security of civilization.  And it is close to stores in Truckee (10 miles) if you forget anything.

Situated in the pines above Stampede Reservoir, the Logger Campground has over 200 sites for camping. We saw tents and car campers as well as all sizes camping rigs. There are no hook ups in the campground but there are vault toilets that are clean and water faucets sprinkled around. There is also a dump station just outside the entrance that you can use as you leave. All the campsites have a very sturdy picnic table and a fire ring with a grate on it. The campsites we saw were all clean and cared for by the camp hosts.

Just inside the entrance is a camp store that has things you might need like ice and ice cream or sodas. They also have little keepsakes that will help you remember your trip like stuffed bears and such.

It is a very short walk down to the water from the campground. The water was low when we were there but it didn't stop the power boats and paddle boards from having fun. Our campsite didn't have a real view of the water but there are some that back up with an unobstructed view of Stampede. Maybe next year we will try one of those spots out. As it was we woke up every morning to a view of the woods and a beautiful meadow below us. At night we watched deer as they made their rounds o the campsites seeking snacks and handouts. They seem to love marshmallows.

The camp hosts were great and very friendly. They managed to keep the toilets clean and the campsites picked up regardless of how hard the campers seemed to try and leave messes. We enjoyed our conversations with them and look forward to seeing them again in the Spring.

We walked around all the campgrounds and

noticed that some looked better than others. Logger Campground is divided into 6 different loops, all with unique and interesting names. Of the 6 campsite loops we found that we liked "Iron Ox" and "Steam Donkey" the best. We loved site 120 in Steam Donkey and that is where we stay every time we come back now, but those 2 campgrounds seem to be the best maintained and the cleanest. They also looked to be the best laid out.

The roads in the campground are paved and the sites are paved as well. We found it pretty easy to navigate through the maze and found that even big rigs were able to get around with ease. We did need to level our camper with a couple blocks but nothing too extreme. A short drive from this campground is a boat ramp if you are dragging you boat along with you. There were plenty of sites that had room for your camper and your boat if wanted to keep it close at night but use it during the day. There are some sites that are even large enough for three campers at a time, if you are bringing a group.

We saw people running, biking and kayaking as well a some that were doing the stand up paddle board thing with their dogs along for the ride. At night campfires come to life and conversations last until the wee hours of the night, but most are not too loud and after they end it is quiet and very dark. Bring a flashlight as you don't want to walk into a deer during your late night bathroom trip. The deer wander the campground looking for anything you may have dropped or forgot to put away. Some find a nice spot in your campsite to get some sleep or rest for the night.

We are looking forward to returning to this wonderful place in the Spring. Unfortunately the season at this campground is pretty short. Just a few months in the late Spring and Summer before it starts getting cold and they button it up for the Winter. But it is beautiful and affordable when it is open (just $21.82 for a single campsite).

We give this campground at least 5 marshmallows out of 6. We probably would have given it more but we ate them and shared some of them with the deer. If you are visiting Stampede enjoy and wander by spot 120 and see if we are there.

Happy Camping


Saturday, November 02, 2013

Our Oroville Adventure

Hi Friends,

What a trip!

With Summer turning into Fall, and our camping adventures quickly running out of days to explore before Winter hibernation, we headed West to the annual family reunion.  This year the family was gathering in Magalia, California in the Northern part of the state. We searched all the usual sites for a nice place to park our trailer for the weekend and decided we would stay in Oroville.

Space #37
As this was our first stay longer than just one night in the camper, we were really looking forward to spending the weekend relaxing and enjoying all that our little trailer had to offer. Actually it was 4 days and 3 nights by the Feather River at the River Reflections RV Resort and Campground. We really picked the perfect rv park for this trip. The River Reflections RV Park was beautiful and very park like. Lots of trees and grass and the wonderful Feather River made all the hopes we had for a perfect trip come true. Even a neat little fire pit was provided so we could make s'mores and toast marshmallows.

The first evening we walked the 100' or so down to the river to get the stress reduction weekend under way.  Right away we were taken by the huge salmon swimming right next to the shore. They were beautiful and we totally enjoyed sitting and watching them swim right next to where we were standing. The rv park is beautifully cared for and is nature at it's best. We wondered and chatted and then came back to the shore to watch the sunset that evening. Beautiful!

On Saturday we joined the rest of the clan in Magalia for the family festivities. After a slow start on our part,  and a full day of family fun, we made it back to the campground just after sunset. Oh well we still managed to make some s'mores and roasted marshmallows and got to spend some time connecting with some good conversation.
Brenda makes an awesome campfire and there is something completely magical about conversations around a good warm fire.

On Sunday we decided to explore some fun spots around Paradise. I lived around Paradise until about
1970, so it was like going back home again. I was really surprised at the amount of local lore and streets that I still held in my memory. Navigation was a breeze and we enjoyed the adventure. We made it to Noble Orchards, a family owned apple orchard that has been in Paradise since 1929. It was really cool and we bought some fresh off the tree apples and some apple butter, yum!
Then we drove over to Billie Park and explored a bit. I wanted to take in the view of the canyon I remembered from childhood. I can still clearly remember Grandma taking us on a short walk to see the beautiful canyon. It is commonly called the Little Grand Canyon because of it's size and beauty. It was a little testing of Brenda's fears as all over the park were posted signs warning of a mountain lion in the area. We didn't see any but Brenda was on the lookout just in case.
We stopped at Foster Freeze on the way out of town. Again this was a place I remember eating at when I was a kid and it still pretty much is the same place, with a couple changes. It was delicious and fun to spend a few minutes here before we left town.
I did manage to find a place to buy a Paradise t-shirt before we left. We stopped at the Golden Nugget Museum to see if they had any for sale or if they could recommend a store to buy shirts and other goodies.  This is a small town and it deserves one of those small town/World stories. I started chatting with the nice folks at the museum and well one thing led to another and... As it turns out the one guy that was working at the museum once worked as postman in our little valley here in Nevada. He knew all the folks that we see most all the time and wanted to know how they were doing and how Washoe Valley looked now. He left the valley to retire in Paradise, and where I had left Paradise to live in Washoe Valley it made for a nice conversation. It is really a small World.
Brenda made a nice dinner on Sunday night, and again we finished the day with a sunset and s'mores.

Monday was time for us to head back to Nevada. Brenda decided that we should take highway 70 back as she really didn't remember going that way during the day before. It was a wonderful colorful trip. Thanks to the Fall leaves popping all over the Feather River canyon, it was both beautiful and refreshing to travel down this road again.

All in all our first multi day adventure was a huge success and we are looking forward to more travels that will both refresh our spirits and take the stress of life away.

See you in the campground...