Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bear River Reservoir - Surprise get away

Eric had this bright idea to get away from it all, with Carol on a ‘Mystery trip’. Well, if you read this blog with any frequency, you’ll know that Eric tried this trick a year ago to take Carol to see the poppies and it didn’t work out so well. L So, I am hoping for better results on this trip. This time, I thought we’d head up to Bear River Reservoir to hook up with parents of Kimmy Temples, a friend of Katie’s; Mike and Susan Dorris. On the way, we stopped in Jackson at one of our favorite Mexican food places, El Torero in Jackson. The food and service was wonderful as always!  Once we got into the campground, we found they were full, but we had a reservation. We found our site to be nice and big, but at a pretty good slope. We would have needed to jack up the back end of the motorhome a good 2 feet or more, to get the rig level. That’s ok, we’ll make the most of it. One thing we need to do in the future however, is let a lot of air out of the Select comfort mattress when taking on the foot hills, one of these days, we’re going to have a major blow out if we aren’t careful. In the picture below, the angle of the motorhome is a true angle, it is not because I held the camera at an angle.

Here at the ‘Resort’ they have a great little store, that is open until 9:00 PM, where you can get a large number of provisions that you might need. They have a restaurant and Bar as well. The windows from the restaurant and the bar, look out onto the lake, presenting a view that can’t be beat. The staff is very friendly and helpful. And contrary to what some websites might say, they do have WIFI here. It is provided by my former employer, Volcano Communications. This is a vast ‘campground’ that is at about 6,000 feet with well over 100 sites. As such, all of the amenities, (Power and water) are provided by the resort, not by some general utility. Because of this, there is only 15 amps at each site. Plenty to run the TV, VCR, blender and Microwave, but not enough to run the Air conditioner or washer/drier. Also, being in a forest area, setting up a septic system here isn’t practical, but there is dump station for when one is ready to depart. This is a mountainous area, so some of the sites aren’t terribly level. So, coming here with a 5th wheel or travel trailer, one can level their rig in almost any site with a  little effort. However, being here in a Class A motorhome, leveling, may be impossible depending on the site you are assigned. If you are in a class ‘A’, you may want to see if there are other open sites available and scout those out for the most level one, before parking your rig. Because of the altitude, the ground freezes in the winter time. This is very hard on pavement and as such the sites aren’t paved. The sites are dirt. The dirt is very fine, so we had to work hard to try to keep the dirt out of the Motorhome!

It turns out that Friday night, Susan had to baby sit. So we were not able to see them on Friday night. On Friday night, Carol and I enjoyed a nice bar-b-que’d bean burger and grillers potato wedges. Yummy. Something wonderful about being up here is it is so quiet! After dinner, we took the dogs for a walk. After that, Carol and I went to the store to get some yummy soft serve ice cream. Everyone staying here seems to be real respectful and tries to keep the noise down. There is a lot of fishing here and a place to put your boat in the water if you’d like too.

Saturday morning, Carol made us some yummy blue berry pancakes! After we had a chance to enjoy them, we got our showers out of the way and then went for a drive around Bear reservoir. This is a beautiful area of various pine trees and decomposed granite. There are also some summer homes up here, that have electricity and telephone service, believe it or not! After we got done exploring the rim of the reservoir, we headed back to camp. We found Mike and Susans spot and hooked up with them for a chat. After an hour or so, we returned to camp to do some reading and prepare for dinner. We joined Mike and Susan for dinner and introduced them to Whomp-ums. J
We got out of camp fairly early on Sunday morning, around 10:30 AM. Despite the angle the RV was parked at we didn't have any problems closing up the slides or getting out of the campground. We are going to have to get the Rig weighed though. We found we over-heated the motorhome on the way up the hill to camp. We also smoked the breaks coming down the mountain. So, we are going to have to take a different approach to circumnavigate the hills.

Because of the fine dirt, the dogs needed a bath when we got home on Sunday! That’s ok, at least it has been warm out lately! J

Next month, instead of taking a trip, we're going to buy our selves a new TV set, so check back, not for another road trip, but for more enhancements to the RV!
Happy camping! Eric and Carol

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our Family... and made in the USA

Recently, Katies car experienced a problem that required that it be towed to a Chevy dealership to have some repairs done on it. It turned out that there was a design defect with the plug wires and a recall was issued. Fortunately because of the recall, it meant that the car was in the shop for a couple days. Carol and I were so glad that we were able to loan the kids the Honda CRV so Katie had some wheels until her car was repaired. That's what family is for, right? Though we didn't really get a chance to take Russ out to dinner for his birthday, we were so glad that we were able to present him with a gift and a birthday cake. Though Russ is not a blood relative, he is a very important part of our family.

Carol's dad passed away just about 6 years ago, but he is always here in our hearts, and also part of our home. Yes, we have our family pictures, Calvin included in those, but we also have a couple of tools of Calvins as well. When dad moved in with us while we were still living in the house in Pioneer, dad gave me a PVC pipe cutter. I've used this tool just this last week as we were setting up the sprinkler system in the yard. It's one of those rare tools that when we moved from one house to the other, and even down sized to the motorhome, I saw it as a tool, that I might just need. It will probably be a tool that I will keep as long as I have a need for tools.

Other things of Calvin's that I we keep and still use on a regular basis are a flashlight and gloves. We use the flashlight when ever I'm working outside at night and need light. The gloves, I use when ever I need tougher hands, especially when I'm hooking up the tow bar between the CRV and the motorhome.

Carol's mom is always with us as well. One of the important things in our motorhome is pictures of family. There is a picture of Carol's mom also in our Motorhome along with Pictures of my own paretns as well. All of our parents were so important in forming the persons that we become. My mom, would always be a fighter. Though her scoliosis shaped her, it didn't define her. I think it is those qualities in her, that make me the patient but persistant person that I am. My dad, was also a very generous person. I'll never forget the story about how when Karen was in the 'Americanettes' in southern California in the 60's; the director of that group ran off with the money from the organization that was going to be used to pay for the girls to go to the State championships. Well, my dad got a bank loan to pay for the girls to go to that competition. That is what has always shaped my desire to volunteer.

Speaking of Karen, she and my wonderful brother-in-law Mike are heading off to Austrailia for yet another RV trip. We so look forward to following them as they embark on this new adventure. You can find a link to their blog below!

Karen and Mikes return to Austrailia

Lastly, Carol and I have been on a mission lately to try and buy anything made in the USA that we can. Recently, we both bought shoes and socks from a New Balance factory store in Vacaville. All of them are made in the USA. Not all of New Balances products are made in the USA. However, if you look, you'll find that about 40 percent of their product line is made in the USA. We also found a place in Kentucky where mens T-shirts are made. They make their products for the United States Armed forces!

Happy campiing! - Eric and Carol -

Friday, August 10, 2012

More home improvement

Ok, so I know that most of the time, we're working on making our motorhome a better place to live. This month however, I've been working on trying to make the site we are in, a better place. We are working on seeding the lawn, developing a sprinkler system, and improving the path in and out of our site so the RV doesn't rock and roll so much. 

For the first year or so that we were here, we pretty much let the dogs have the run of the yard. Taking care of their business pretty much anywhere they pleased. Doing so, has been killing off the lawn, one patch at a time. We tried an experiment to see if we could get some grass to grow in by using some Scotts seed product called EZ Seed that comes with top soil and fertilizer. We cornered off an area of the lawn and did our best to water it accordingly. Well, amazingly enough, the seed took and the lawn is filling in. So, the next step was to try to isolate the dogs to the part of the yard that the motorhome is parked in and get some seed to take on the reminder of the lawn. Well, we've succeeded in getting the dogs to just the motorhome part of the yard, and have seeded the lawn. The next challenge was to develop a sprinkler system that could water more regularly.

Well, by investing less than $40.00, I was able to get a sprinkler system that will water once a day and hopefully get the grass to grow! We had a timer to run a single sprinkler on a garden hose for a while. So, with the proper plumbing adapter, we were able to pull it all together. This first set up isn't much to look at, and it is intended to be more of a 'Proof of concept' setup, but it does the job. Next pay day, I'll get some different sprinkler heads and finish up the installation with the existing line, and put in a second line and a drip system.

And as you can see, the seed is starting to sprout and take! :-)

Lastly, when ever we take the motorhome in and out of the site, there are some dips as we pass through the gate. These dips cause the motorhome to Rock, pretty violently back and fourth, especially when exiting the site. I spoke to Dave, the 'over-seer' of the RV, park about some 'Road base' that was piled up in one of the empty sites. He said I could have the loose road base, and so I relocated it to our site and placed it at the 'Gate way'. We'll see when we set off on our next adventure if my road work efforts were succesful at all.

Our next departure with the motorhome is to a secret location that Carol doesn't know about yet. It's to a location that might be familiar for her, but I know I've never been too. Stay tuned!

Happy camping! Eric and Carol