Sedona Trip 2021 Day 6

Sunday was a laid back day for us. I made a breakfast of bacon and eggs for us and then we looked up local churches to attend. We ended up attending church at River Bible Church in Cottonwood. It’s at the top of the hill and build on an old cement plant. The people at the church were very welcoming and friendly and the pastor delivered a great message. The message was about not living in fear because nothing separates us from God.

After church we drove back to the downtown area and had lunch at Crema. Cristy took this opportunity to do some more indoor hunting (shopping). She got to check out some of the stores that were closed earlier in the week. Then we headed back to the trailer and took a LONG nap, and did our laundry. For dinner I cooked bacon, chicken-skewers, and zuchini on our Blackstone griddle. After dinner I had a long soak in the community hot tub (as I did most nights). Then took a shower in Rain Spirit’s super clean shower rooms. It was a great day of rest!

Sedona Trip 2021 Day 3

This was the first full day of our vacation. We could wake up when we want and not drive anywhere if we didn’t want to. It was the first chance we’d really had to take a look at the RV park we were staying in. The night before we just had time to set up before the sun went down. So glad I picked this place!

After enjoying the view for a bit we wanted coffee. We don’t drink coffee enough to actually have a coffee maker. It’s just a once or twice a week thing for us. We decided to head into the old town area of Cottonwood to see if we could find some place to get a good coffee. After some searching we ended up at a place called Crema Craft Kitchen. The coffee was delicious! Cristy couldn’t help herself and ordered a breakfast salad (oh the irony, salad for breakfast?) It was actually delicious! But not a good as the huge, gooey cinnamon roll I ordered. That plus the latte I ordered made for a very decadent breakfast (I usually don’t eat breakfast). If you’re ever in Cottonwood, AZ I highly recommend you give them a try!

After our late breakfast we decided to try to do some hiking. I wanted to hike to a place called Devil’s Kitchen. However when we got to the trailhead in East Sedona we could find no parking. So we drove back towards town a little, found a place to pull off the road and hiked on one of the city’s trails.

After our short hike we headed back to the trailer to take our usual afternoon nap, cook dinner, watch a movie and pretty much call it a day. Well, we did go on a walk around the RV park just before dinner.

Sorry it’s taking so long to update these blog posts. My pesky job keeps getting in the way!

More to come…

Sedona Trip 2021 Day 1 and 2

I’m going to group day 1 and 2 of our trip into one post because it was mostly driving to get there. Our plan WAS to drive to Barstow, CA the first day and then from there to Cottonwood, AZ the next day. Well, Clarkdale really, it’s right next to Cottonwood. However, the weather wasn’t cooperating. There was a high wind warning between Mohave, CA and Kingman, AZ. I didn’t want to drive through those kinds of winds so we elected to stop in Bakersfield, CA for the night and get an early start the next day.

Eating lunch just across the AZ border from Needles, CA

The next day the winds were gone and we had a save uneventful drive most of the way… Until we passed Williams, AZ. The clouds started to darken and BIG rain drops began slowly falling on us. Then there was lightening and thunder and the heavens poured forth their bounty. The big rigs didn’t seem to mind they just flew through the torrent on the winding mountain highway like it wasn’t even raining at all. Between the rain and the mist the truck tires were throwing up visibility was maybe 100 feet. I just gripped the wheel with my white knuckles and slowed down and took my time. Eventually we arrived in Flagstaff, AZ, the rain had stopped and it was literally all down hill from there. We finally arrived at Rain Spirit RV Resort (ironic name, huh) at 5:45pm. The office closed at 5pm but the hosts came back and checked us in. 7am to 5:45pm on the road is way too much!

We set up the trailer, cooked some dinner, and went to bed. Too bad the thunderstorms kept waking us up all night! More about that in the next installment.

2nd Trip To Durango RV Resort

Last year we visited Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff, California and enjoyed our stay so much we wanted to go back. Unfortunately my planning was poor in that not only was it Father’s Day weekend, it was the hottest weekend of the season so far! High temps hit 111 degrees F in Red Bluff! However, Cristy and I still made the best of it even if we didn’t take many photos. It was just too hot to be outside much.

We drove up on Thursday and then just hung out and napped the first day. On Friday we drove out to Black Butte Lake to do some kayaking but our GPS took us to the wrong side of the lake. In fact, it was the dried up side of the lake. By the time we got to where we needed to be it was so hot we could only stand to be out on the water about 15 minutes before turning back. Seemed like a good excuse to go have lunch so that’s what we did! We headed back to Red Bluff and had lunch at Los Mariachis.

Later that day we spent some time at the resort’s pool but it was so chlorinated we had to cut it short and head back to the trailer. We watched movies I had downloaded to the iPad for the rest of the evening.

On Saturday we slept in. We had two choices that day, go to Mt Lassen Nat’l Park or go to Mt Shasta Shopping Mall in Redding. Only one of those choices had air conditioning so guess which won? Shopping is indoor hiking as far as Cristy is concerned and she had a ball. I most sat and people-watched and read Telegram. Afterwards we made dinner at home in the trailer and watched more movies.

Sunday was a travel day so we pretty much woke up, got the trailer ready to go (dump tanks, etc) and then hit the road for home. We did stop off at Nancy’s Airport Cafe in Willows, California. They have THE best breakfast you’ll ever find. And if you happen to have an airplane, you can fly in and park right next to Nancy’s.

We split this breakfast. That ham is do die for!
Primo parking for airplanes. I’ve flown in many times myself.

It was hot but it was relaxing and we can’t wait to take our little house on the highway out again!

Celebrating Mrs. Flying Dutchman’s Birthday In Jackson

To celebrate Cristy’s birthday I booked us a weekend at Jackson Rancheria Casino RV Resort. It’s a very nice resort located just outside Jackson, Ca. We’ve been there once before when we first got our travel trailer but it’s been a couple of years. It’s just as nice now as it was then.

We packed up Friday morning and headed toward Gold Country in the Sierra Nevada foothills. We jumped on Highway 88 and took it all the way up to Jackson. We had called ahead and they said it was fine for us to arrive before the 3pm check-in time. We got there around 1:30pm and found we had been given a beautiful cul-de-sac spot near the entrance of the park. I thought it might be noisy but they told us it’s actually pretty quiet up near the office. She turned out to be right.

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Lots of room!

As is my custom on arrival day, after setting up I took a nap. I was lulled to sleep by the sound of raindrops on the roof and thunder lightning. Now, if you don’t live in the central part of California you won’t understand how rare this is for us. There are always thunderstorms in the mountains due to orographic lift of the ocean breezes coming from the Pacific. But the Central Valley rarely gets thunderstorms. So hearing the thunder as I was going to sleep was very nice.

Later we decided to drive into town for dinner. We ate at an unremarkable Mexican restaurant. It was just okay. So I don’t want to call them out on the blog, if you find them, you find them.

Saturday was celebration day for Cristy’s birthday and was pretty packed, for us. First we drove into Sutter Creek which is a historic mining town near Jackson. Cristy did some shopping at the small shops lining the narrow street. We stopped by the farmers market and bought an onion to cook with our steaks back at the trailer. Then we decided to look for coffee and boy did we find it! If you are ever in Sutter Creek plan to stop by Choc-O-Latte. I got a caramel latte and Cristy got a macha latte and they were both DEE-licious. The folks were super-friend and NO MASK REQUIRED! We sat at a small table near the window and finished our coffees before heading back to the trailer to cook lunch.

Sutter Creek
I wonder if the dog’s name is Sutter? He’s enjoying Sutter Creek.
Enjoying coffee at Choc-o-latte.

Once back at the trailer I fired up our Blackstone Griddle and started frying up the onions, steak, and some snap-peas. Again, the grass-fed sirloin was delicious. We enjoyed our leisurely lunch and then made plans to kayaking on Lake Tabeaud near Pine Grove. We got to the lake and spent about 45 minutes paddling around before it started getting cold and windy. By the time we had packed up the kayak the sun had come back out and it was starting to get hot. Spring time in California. We drove in to Pine Grove and stopped at Munnerlyn’s Ice Creamery. Cristy got a pint of dairy-free chocolate chip ice cream (made with coconut milk) and I got a strawberry milkshake. Again both were delicious.

Lunch back at the trailer enjoying this view.
How boring… NOT!

Afterwards we headed back to the trailer and took a before-sunset walk around the RV Resort on their “nature trail”. It’s paved and circles the park. There’s not much nature but it is a beautiful walk.

View from the nature trail.

After we scrounged for dinner we watched a movie and turned in for the night. It had been an eventful day so no problems falling asleep.

The next day (Sunday) Cristy’s actual birthday we listened to church online and then packed up and headed home. A very enjoyable but short weekend. We could do this for weeks and weeks! Can’t wait until my birthday trip next month!

See you all next month!

Fleming Meadows – Lake Don Pedro, Ca

This past weekend we went camping at Fleming Meadows at Lake Don Pedro, in the Sierra Nevada foothills. We’ve been up to Lake Don Pedro many times. I’ve flown over it for years and years. This is the first time we’ve camped there. We picked Fleming Meadows because it is relatively close at only an hour a fifteen minutes away from home and it has full hookups (30A, Water, and sewer) at each site.

We left at around 1pm and got there shortly before 2:30pm only to find that check in time is 4:00pm! However, the ranger at the gate told us our site was unoccupied the night before so no problem with the early check in. Reservations were easy (and highly encouraged) via the Turlock Irrigation District website. TID owns the facilities up at Lake Don Pedro, including the huge hydroelectric dam that creates Lake Don Pedro. We found our site quickly and after a few tries got backed in and settled thanks to the superb directions from my co-pilot.

The first day we just decompressed, took a nap and then took a walk down to the lake to watch the boats and enjoy the scenery. Although there was plenty of scenery to enjoy right at our campsite.

But the walk was well worth it. Not only to enjoy the glimpse of pre-COVID life (very few people were masked and plenty of children running around playing together). We walked down the lake both days we were there.

The wildflowers were simply stunning.

On Saturday we drove into Lake Tulloch to buy some repair items from the hardware store. Some of the trim under our slide-out came loose and although I couldn’t repair it this particular weekend I bought some supplies that will help me make repairs next week. I’ll put up another post about that.

After buying parts at Ace Hardware (and RV repair) we drove to Sonora and had lunch at the Diamondback Grill. They have the best steak salad you’ve ever had. Yes, it’s salad with sliced steak on top. I had a bacon burger with garlic fries. Almost as much garlic as fries! And very good. Afterwards we walked up a couple doors to Revive Coffee and enjoyed two of the best lattes we’ve ever had. We sat and chatted in the coffee shop and enjoyed the afternoon. Cristy shopped at a little touristy store up the street and bought a T shirt that said “Don’t mess with Mama Bear!” (I don’t.) Then we headed back to camp to enjoy the sunset and watch a movie.

Sunday morning I made breakfast on the Blackstone griddle; eggs and bacon. I’m still trying to get the hang of that thing. Looked awful but tastes great! Then we packed up and headed for home. On the way, though, we stopped at Robert’s Ferry Nut Company just outside Waterford. Great little shop with delicious nut-based snacks… and milkshakes! I want to try their almond nut butter milkshake one of these days. After that we headed to the storage lot to put our “little house on the highway” to bed.

Overall Fleming Meadows is a very nice campground with very scenic views. If you can, try to stay midweek as I think it will be quieter. Weekends bring the party and boat crowds and they love to boast of their tales of daring do on the water well into the night. We will probably go back but we’ll make it mid-week and off-season next time.

See you next time!

Yank’s RV Resort – AGAIN

I was looking for a place a place for Cristy and I to go this weekend. I originally wanted to go back up to Durango RV Resort up in Red Bluff but they were booked solid for the weekend. I called around and found that Yanks had ONE MORE SPOT open for this weekend so I booked it. It was a long weekend with a my normal Friday off and then Monday being a holiday. Seems everyone had the same idea. I picked up the Lance on Thursday evening after work and drove it home to plug it in for the night. I also turned the refrigerator on to get it cooled down before we put food in it on Friday morning.

Friday

We loaded food and clothes up on Friday morning and after I checked all the air pressures in the tires we finally hit the road around 10:30am. The drive down I-5 was easy as the wind was at our backs. Driving over Pacheco Pass was fairly stress-free as well due to the lag of big rigs crawling over the steep incline. I was white knuckles the first time driving over but this time I felt very relaxed. We pulled over once for a potty break in the trailer and then finally pulled into Yanks at around 1:30pm. Note that one new change they have implemented is that you now pick up your check-in paperwork outside the front gate rather than in the front office. The nice lady told me they were supposed to call me. Nope. No call. And no big deal as I walked back out the front gate picked up my packet which was basically the park map with our site indicated and the best path to get to it. We drove right to it and quickly settled into the spacious 70-foot pull through site.

We were situated on the very end right next to the (super-clean, brand new) combo bathroom and shower rooms. Each bathroom has a toilet, sink, and shower with marble floors and walls. Very nice and clean. We also had a great view of the hills to the east and Pinnacles National Park. We spent the first day taking a nap, walking around the park, grilling burgers on our Blackstone griddle, and then watching a movie. We watched the marine layer (San Francisco fog basically) roll in while we ate dinner. And that was pretty much it for the first day. My favorite kind of day!

Saturday

On Saturday we slept in and then headed down to Paso Robles to get some lunch. We’ve been through Paso many times over the years but have never been to their downtown area. We headed down 13th street and found some free street parking and then started walking through the small but lively downtown area. Even in the age of COVID it’s a pretty nice place, it must have really been something before the lockdowns. We settled on a restaurant called Fish Goucho on Park Street. It was very good and very pricey! That’s okay, God has blessed me with work throughout this pandemic so I’m happy to help out businesses who are struggling to stay open. Afterwards we strolled down to City Park. It was remarkably clean and free of homeless folks. The centerpiece of the park is the Public Library, which, is closed. Still a beautiful park. Then we walked back to Park Street and stopped at Brown Butter Cookie Company. Cristy bought some gluten-free chocolate-mint cookies with sea salt. I bought some regular cinnamon cookies. All of them were very good but a little on the sweet side. We then walked up to Spearhead Coffee for a couple of latte’s. We drank our coffee at one of their sidewalk tables and watched the fog burn off. The warm sun and the warm coffee felt very nice after the chilly foggy morning.

We headed back to the truck and then drove back to the RV resort. We took showers in their bathroom which is very nice! Nice to take a LONG HOT shower. The rest of the day was just kicking back in the trailer watching the wind blow outside. We watched another movie I had downloaded. Then after dinner clean up and did pretty much nothing until bed time.

I love days like that.

Sunday

We slept in on Sunday morning and then watched our church services online. After lunch we decided to drive up to Pinnacles National Park. It was a little cold and damp but we’d never been there so we wanted to try it out AND it was only a 30 minute drive from our RV park. When we got there we found that the park and visitor center was closed although, they were allowing free access to the hiking trails. We parked along side the road just outside the gates as the parking lot was full. Apparently a lot of people knew there was no charge to enter the park at this time. We just decided to hike one of the smaller loops as it was pretty damp and chilly up there. The peaks there spend much of their time in fog that comes down from Monterey Bay. After our decidedly short time at Pinnacles we headed back down. We spent the remainder of the day relaxing even MORE when we got back to the trailer.

Monday

Monday was travel day heading back home. We pulled out of the park at about 10:30am and made the 3 hour drive back home. Traffic was heavier going home but still not too bad. Not much to write about on travel days. They are what they are. I will add that my personal travel maximums are: drive no more than two hours before taking a break, travel no farther than two hundred miles, stay no less that two days. It’s my 2:2:2 rule. I don’t always abide by it but it’s my goal. Well, that was our trip to Greenfield, CA and Yank’s RV Resort. On to planning our March trip. See you next time.

Durango RV Resort

This past week was our 33rd wedding anniversary. We decided to spend it at an RV resort. I chose Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff, California for no other reason that it looked nice on Google Earth. Google Earth did not lie, this was a great little RV resort! I booked three nights there, Thursday through Sunday.

We drove up on Thursday and had no issues. It was about a 3 and a half hour drive. The hardest part was getting past Sacramento. Before and after that was smooth sailing. We pulled into the resort about 20 minutes before their official check-in time of 2pm and they were fine with that. They checked me in quickly and within 5 minutes of arriving I was being guided to my site. It wasn’t the site that I reserved but that’s okay. It wasn’t a bad site. In fact, in the end it tuned out slightly better than the site I booked because it was quieter.

After setting up, as on all travel days, the first order of business was a nap. We spent the rest of the day reading and catching up on political intrigue as this is an election year here in America. It was warm and very windy so we decided not to take a walk around the park until after sunset.

Our site well after sunset
Three large fountains in the center of the park

The next day was our actual anniversary. We drove down to Nancy’s Cafe at the Willow’s Airport for breakfast. I was a little disappointed. Even though they are still open during the present COVID-19 crisis, the food being served has suffered greatly due to supply issues. I’ll have to take Cristy back when things return to normal. After that we drove up to Redding for a surprise massage I had booked for her. She REALLY enjoyed that.

To round out the day we did some grocery shopping and then cooked dinner. Then it was time for my anniversary present, spending some time in the resort’s hot tub! It felt so good on my muscles.

Enjoying our day in the park

On Saturday we just decided to hang around the park. We spend the day reading, watching movies, and taking walks around the park. Just doing nothing!

Just hanging out

We drove into Red Bluff to buy some ice cream for dessert and took a quick drive through the downtown district.

I spent more time in the hot tub that evening, we took another night time walk, and then called it a day.

Sunday morning we ate breakfast, dumped the tanks, and then hit the road home. All in all a very restful and enjoyable weekend.

See you all next trip!

Angels Camp RV Resort

This past weekend we got away to the heart of the California Gold Country in Angels Camp. We booked Thursday night through Sunday morning and were really looking forward to this getaway. In some ways it did not disappoint but in other ways it did.

We made the hour and fifteen minute drive from our house to the RV park with no issues. The front office staff was very friendly and we were guided to our site. Always a nice touch rather than just giving you a map and wishing you luck. The pilot vehicle driver helped guide me into my back-in spot and we settled in and set up camp. We rounded out the day by napping. Always fun!

The next day we took a longish drive to Grass Valley. It was a fun tour of Highway 49 and the gold country. We didn’t take any pictures because we were in a hurry but still enjoyed the scenery. Cristy had a massage appointment and we didn’t want to be late. As we were pulling in to Grass Valley at the far end of our two and one half hour drive, Cristy got a text from her masseuse saying she had to cancel! Great. We made lemonade out of lemons by having coffee and then lunch in town. Cristy got a rose petal cardamom latte (yes it had rose petals) and I got a goat caramel latte (caramel made from goat’s milk). Both were delicious. If you’re ever in Grass Valley, CA stop in at Fable Coffee. Then we walked over to Sourdough and Co for lunch. Also very good and dine-in was available! Afterwards we made the 2.5 hour drive back to the RV park and… took a nap.

Hot off the disappointment of the massage being canceled we hit the second big disappointment of the trip. We could see that at the end of our row of RVs that a big party was being set up. It was Flavio’s 50th birthday party (whoever Flavio was). The noise for the rest of the day up until 11pm was unbelievable. We called the after hours number but the woman who answered was dismissive of our complaint. I told her we were trying to get away for some peace and quiet and she said “Well, it just depends on what part of the park you stay in.” Seriously, could you know have told me about the party when we were checking in? Maybe give us the option to stay in a different part of the park. At any rate the talking went on until 4am. We got NO sleep that night.

We were grumpy gusses the next day.

We decided to stick close by and headed to Columbia State Park. We shopped half-heartedly before leaving because most shops were closed. We headed into Sonora and hit a local candy store to buy some chocolate because… why not?

Highway 49 bridge on the way to Columbia and Sonora, CA

We took our chocolate and headed back to the campground to find the party mostly wound down. It was around 2pm when we got back and the campground was almost completely silent. Why couldn’t it be this way at night? Around 5pm the revellers all got back from the lake or wherever they went during the day and the party continued until 11pm! But.. hallelujah then it went dead silent. I guess two days of partying was enough for this crowd and they finally all passed out. It was the best night sleep we got all weekend.

This same day we were treated to the most beautiful sunset we had seen in years. Even so, I’d like to say we’ll be back, but we probably won’t.

We’ll see you next month in Red Bluff, CA!

Yank’s RV Resort

Friday:

About a month and a half ago, I was thinking of booking us at another Thousand Trails campground.  I was looking at the one in Paicines, CA but after reading the reviews I decided to look elsewhere.  Doesn’t seem the TT’s in California get very high reviews.  I wasn’t very impressed with the first and only one we’ve stayed at so far.  After reading the reviews I started looking for campgrounds near Paicines.  The thought was that we would take a day trip to Monterey, CA.  Yeah, that was a month and a half ago, before the COVID 19 outbreak.

It was a two and a half hour drive from our home to Yank’s but thanks to the pandemic, traffic was very light.  We arrived around 1pm and check in was super easy.  They had our paperwork waiting for us at the front desk.  We were only one of two checking in that day.  They were really hoping the second party showed up.  They were grateful we showed up.   They guided us to our back-in site, one of only about 8 in the whole park, all others were pull-through.  The back-in sites had more room so I requested one.  They backed us in and camp was set up in less than 20 minutes.

We fixed lunch and took a nap. (Naps are mandatory when we’re RV’ing) 🙂  The weather was beautiful when we arrived.  We took a walk around the park to orient ourselves and stretch our legs.

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The park is fantastically clean, I’m just talking about the grounds.  Our site was bordered with rosemary hedges which smelled wonderful.  They have a pool, workout room, horseshoe pits, and a dog park with obstacles for the dogs (concrete pipes).   They had a nice little convenience store with all the basic “I forgot” items; frozen dinners, candy bars, sewer connections, power cords, RV decorations, etc.  After our walk we went back to the trailer and started on dinner and then watched a movie on the outstanding cable they had at the park.

Saturday:

The next day after sleeping in we decided our mission was to try to find some Kleenex since all the stores in our hometown had been cleaned out of ALL paper products.  We drove down to the Safeway in King City and found two four-packs of Kleenex left on the shelf. Being responsible citizens we only put one in the cart, and a roll of paper towels to be on the safe side.  We bought a few extra snacks as well and then went in search of gas.  Which we located after a brief search; right across the freeway.  As we drove through King City you’d never know that the governor of the State of California had put in a mandatory stay-at-home order.  Folks were in the restaurants, out on the streets, business as normal.  Kind of felt nice to see.

We drove back to the trailer with a full tank of gas and a full grocery bag. We watched more TV as there was not a lot else to do.  It had rained all night and most of the day.  Just before sunset the rain had stopped and we went out for a walk to breath the clean air.  We also took this opportunity to check out the little store in the resort office.  I hadn’t really looked at it when we checked in.  We chatted with the woman at the front desk who was bored out of her mind.  She told us that Yank’s RV Resort was built in anticipation of Yank’s Air Museum which was being built next door, along with some shops and restaurants.  Good to know.  I bought a magnet to commemorate our visit and then we headed back to the trailer.

More movies that night and then an early bed time.  Love the RV life!

Sunday:

We tried to sleep in on Sunday morning but a local crop duster had different ideas.  At 7am sharp he made his first turn over our RV park and spent the next several hours dusting the field around the RV resort.  Ah well….  We got up and set up the iPad so we could watch church online.  After church it was time to clean up.  We would just be ready to go right at the 11am checkout time.

Cristy started cleaning up the trailer, putting things away, etc.  I went out and started dumping the tanks.  If I do it right it usually takes me about 30 minutes with prep time and proper clean up.  I don’t normally put the hose out until I’m ready to dump so this counts as part of the prep time.  I got that dirty deed done and then pack up all the hoses, cable TV connection and stabilizer pads.  We hitched up and then headed home.

It wasn’t a big awesome adventure or anything but it really helped to clear our heads.  Especially with everything going on in the world.  There is just something about RV’ing that slows us down and let’s us breathe and think.  I love it every time I go out.  Time to start planning the next boring adventure. 🙂

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