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Author Topic: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!  (Read 21021 times)

SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #60 on: June 14, 2015, 11:15:59 PM »
Congrats to Cyndi! Take advantage of her new found freedom and go RVing!  I know it's hard to walk away from the money, but do what works for you.  Let us know how the trip goes. 
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SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #61 on: June 15, 2015, 07:57:27 PM »
In route to Ashland, Oregon on 6/9/15 we needed to stop for fuel. We located a Pilot truck fueling station off of Interstate 5 in Weed, Ca.  The reason this station was significant is that it has RV fueling pumps set aside from the truck islands and the usual automotive islands.  The RV pumps are off to the left of the automotive pumps, and they have 3 lanes for fueling.  The only thing about these pumps is that they are marked for RV's or cars so there may be somebody filling their Toyota at the pumps when you pull up.  With the Frequent Fueler card we paid $3.00 per gallon for diesel fuel, and took about 61 gallons.  The last time we fueled on 5/22/15 was in Sacramento at a Pilot and paid $3.50 a gallon. And about 7 gallons of the fuel on this fill were used in the generator in Bodega Bay.  The shorter trips between stops and longer stays at the locations have made a huge difference in the monthly budget.   

Emigrant Lake County Park and “The Point RV Park”  is only about 14 miles from the California/Oregon border off of Interstate 5. This is not a big RV park with only 32 RV sites, bit it is right on the water of Emigrant Lake.  There is another loop for tents and small trailers as well with no hookups.  We found some pluses and minuses with the park, all depending on your point of view.  Emigrant Lake is active for water sports of all kinds, plenty of picnic areas, fishing, 2 boat launch ramps, and lots of trees and green space. The campground is set up in two tiers, and the first 22 spots are on the lower tier.  We preferred a lower tier spot #11 because the way the spots are angled your patio side faces the lake.  On the upper tier the sites are the opposite direction which gives you the view of a dry grass hill, unless you sit at the back of your rig.  If you have a rig with the utilities in the very back, bring enough electrical cord and water hose as those two utilities are at the very front edge of the sites. Each site has a concrete picnic table and a fire ring.  There was also nice shade trees planted by each rig that supplied some needed shade in the warm afternoons.  We paid about $30 per night for FHU paved site.

On the negative points of the park was the long grass at all of the sites.  On our 4th day there the camp host came around with a push mower and started to mow some of the sites, but quit before he got to ours and never came back.  Walking around the park can also be challenging. The RV pads and roads are paved, but there are no sidewalks, or even road shoulders to walk on.  Any walking around the park will make you walk on the streets, with some pretty steep hills to navigate.  There is one dirt path you can get to at the end of the RV park across from site #25. It is about 1/3 mile long and runs next to the lake. 

There is no wifi or cable offered at the park, but the Verizon cell signal was strong, and our air card worked well. The restrooms and showers are in good shape and handicapped accessible. There are coin boxes in the showers, but there was a sticker on each one that said “free”.  There is a handicapped designated camp spot, #18. A sign on it indicates that if the spot is not reserved and still empty at 7 PM, it is available for rent for the night. 

The first night in town Diane had not had a chance to shop for groceries yet, so we went out to dinner. Diane researched a highly rated place on Trip Advisor, Omar's Restaurant and Bar in Ashland.  The interior of the place is a little dated as far as style, but is in excellent condition.  The food however was amazing. I had a steak that was hands down the best steak I have had in years.  It was prepared and seasoned perfectly, and was served hot and timely.  For a really good meal, Omar's is highly recommended.
 
The town of Ashland is a little historic town with many older buildings and original houses. It's also the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival that has been going on for 80 years.  Three designated theaters in town put on a series of plays starting in early February.  Diane and I went to a Shakespeare play, “Much Ado About Nothing” at one of the theaters. The actors were top notch, and the theater itself was perfect.  The ticket prices are not cheap however. The cheap seats were $60 each, and ranged up to $120 each. Our cheap seats were great though, just higher up in the theater, which we prefer anyway.  I joked later on in a Facebook post that Diane had taken me to my first Shakespeare play, but had to get a stick and beat the redneck out of me first! The play was still Shakespeare's work, but it was acted with a modern twist which made the story much easier to follow.  After the play we walked down the street to a restaurant named “Harveys Place” for a cocktail and a snack. It's a newer place but very good food and highly recommended.

Just like most things in life, some are good, and some are not. We went back to see a second play on Sunday afternoon named “Long Days Journey Into Night”. While the acting was still great, the story line made me want to run out of the theater screaming.  Well, you win some, you lose some.  Diane just updated her blog with a much more detailed explanation of the events.

For any major shopping, the town of Medford is just down the freeway about 15 minutes, and you can find any kind of major store you need.

As an ending for the blog, I thought I would list the cool things, and not cool things we found at this RV stop.
 
Cool Stuff:
1) The family of deer we ran past a few times during our stay while out exercising.
2) The HUGE bald Eagle we saw perched in a tree while out on our run.
3) The RV park sites are elevated above the lake, making for some great afternoons viewing.
4) Omar's Restaurant, great food.
5) The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF).
6) Harvey's Place Bar and Grill.  Happy Hour starts at 3:30 and has good food and beer.

The not too cool stuff:
1) The uncut grass/weeds around the RV sites.
2) The lack of sidewalks to get around the park itself.
3) The parking at the OSF was horrible. Come early to  find any parking at all.

From here we head back to the coast to Brookings, OR.
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cadee2c

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #62 on: June 15, 2015, 10:27:57 PM »
Love the campsite view of the lake.
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ArdraF

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #63 on: June 15, 2015, 10:51:57 PM »
Me too!  And the sites look to be a decent size.

ArdraF
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SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #64 on: June 15, 2015, 11:29:48 PM »
Most of them are Ardra. There are a few pull throughs in a crescent shape that are a little narrower but longer. That's one of the cool parts about the bottom tier sites, with your awning on the lake side you have a great size patio area.
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Peteyboy

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #65 on: June 17, 2015, 06:34:06 PM »
Really enjoy the reports,,, you both do a great job.
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SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #66 on: June 17, 2015, 08:32:15 PM »
Thanks Pete!
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SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #67 on: June 24, 2015, 12:20:05 AM »
We jumped back to the Oregon coast for this leg of the trip. As the matter of fact, we will be on the coast for the next two stops as well.  We looked forward to heading back to the beach, and love the ocean views. We picked the Beach Front RV park and Marina in Brookings. There are many RV parks in the area, but this was the only one that had direct beach access on the ocean. There are 98 sites here, but that includes several tenting sites.  The pull through sites in the front row are 30 amp, but the back in sites on the second row are 50 amp.  The water pressure can be pretty low, especially if the park fills up.  We were having problems with our tank-less water heater suddenly going cold, then warming up again.  It took me a while to figure out that the water pressure in the park would sporadically drop to under 20# pressure (as evidenced by monitoring my pressure gauge in the water bay).  That signals the water heater to stop heating the water.  I remedied the situation by supplementing the park water supply with the on board water pump. 

There is Wifi offered here at the park, but it's not too strong and gets crowded easily. However, the signal on our Verizon air card was strong.  The sites are dirt/gravel but there is a decent size cement patio at each site.  The sites are not much to look at, but kind of typical for beachfront RV sites. There is a small fence between the sites that lend an aura of a little privacy.  Each site also has a picnic table, but they are a bit weather worn. The staff will also bring you a ground fire ring to your site if requested. There is a cable hook up at the pedestal, but I am not sure how well it works as we used our satellite.

One of the down sides of the park is that it is built on a public boat marina. There is a row of parking spaces in front of the front row of RV spaces.  It is public access to the beach, and the public comes and goes all day. Sometimes the traffic in front of the rigs is constant as tourists and locals drive by to look at the ocean.  We were never bothered by anyone, but you do get a lot of looky-loo's at the RV's. 

There is handicapped access to the restrooms, but they too are open to the public and not just for use of the RV park. There is also a free standing laundry mat at the end of the park, also public.  The prices they charge here are also common for beachfront camping.  The front row of pull through sites rent for $51 a night, in season.  The second row of back in's are $7 less.  We stayed at the 7 day rate, which gave us one free night. That lowered the cost of the front row site to just under $44 a night. 

The weather here was typical for beachfront camping as well.  The average temps here were in the 60's and only twice did it hit low 70's.  The mornings were usually foggy, and some days it never did burn off.  The one constant though is one of the reasons we love the coast, is the constant back ground noise of the waves rolling in.  Puts me to sleep every night!

There is not a whole lot to do in the way of sight seeing here.  We did drive a little south on Highway 101 to visit Jedediah Smith Redwoods National Park one day.  What an awesome display of nature. If you haven't seen them yet, it is must stop on the bucket list. We used a lot of the time to exercise, run and enjoy the beach atmosphere.  Of course there is always something to do around the RV, and this time was no different.  I got to fix the toaster oven door that wouldn't open, the BBQ grill that wouldn't get hot, the shower drain that was running slow, and wash and vacuum the Jeep just to name a few. 

We are making good use of the Smart TV that I put in a few stops ago, Amazon Prime video is keeping us entertained at night! I think I will need to add a sound bar to the TV though. Since the frames on the newer TV's is so thin, they almost always mount the speakers for the TV in the back.  Since I replaced the 40” TV with a 48” it's bottom edge is only about an inch off of the counter. Not enough volume for these ears. Oh well, another project for another day. 



The Cool Stuff at this park:
1) FHU sites on a beachfront RV site.
2) Strong cell signal that makes for great Wifi reception.
3) The crashing waves right out your front door, easily visible from your RV.
4) The beach is also dog friendly for leashed pets.

The not cool stuff:
1) The public access road in front of the RV sites.
2) The public restrooms shared with the RV park.
3) Low water pressure.
4) Pricey sites with not a lot of amenities to offer.

Next we head north to Waldport, OR. The adventure continues.....
 
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 10:32:59 AM by SargeW »
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Kevin Means

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #68 on: June 24, 2015, 12:55:40 AM »
Nice write up Marty. very detailed. Overall, I think Oregon has some of the most beautiful campgrounds in the country.

Kev
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SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #69 on: June 24, 2015, 10:11:15 AM »
Thanks Kev, Oregon's parks are also some of the highest rated in the country as well. Many of Oregon's state owned campgrounds are FHU, witch makes them pretty popular as well.
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garyb1st

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #70 on: June 25, 2015, 09:14:36 AM »
Stay on the coast Sarge.  Weather channel reports a major heat wave for the west including the northwest.  Temperature predictions for Medford 109º, Portland 98º and close to 90º in the Seattle area. 
Gary B1st

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SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #71 on: June 25, 2015, 10:31:49 AM »
Thanks Gary, we finally guessed right for once! You are right, in Brookings we had a lot of damp foggy weather. We are in Waldport which is further north, also on the coast and the weather has been beautiful!
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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #72 on: June 25, 2015, 10:16:00 PM »
Sutherlin (roughly 60 miles east of the coast) will hit 101 degrees tomorrow (Friday 6/26) and the heat will continue for several days after that.  Very unusual for us.  Chance of thunder storms Saturday and Sunday, very bad for our fire conditions as they are usually dry storms.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 10:18:21 PM by Tom and Margi »

SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #73 on: June 25, 2015, 10:45:49 PM »
Sounds like it will be a toasty weekend in some places.
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Ned

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #74 on: June 26, 2015, 07:55:06 AM »
Come to Milwaukee.  Forecast high of 66° today (heat pump is running right now) and 70s for the next 9 days.
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John Stephens

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #75 on: June 26, 2015, 01:37:46 PM »
Marty, I just got finished reading every post on this thread from the beginning and want to thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

My wife and I have planned out a trip to see as many of the well known national parks as we can and will make the trip in about three years. You are making me rethink our plans because we planned on a 90 day trip that would get us from SW Florida to Mt. Rushmore and then head west to see everything we could, making a big circle through Oregon, Calif., and then head back on the southern route. I was planning on staying in one place more than three nights, just to get a feel for the locale and possibly find a spot where we might want to make a summer residence to get away from the heat at home.

You are now making me wonder if we should stop and smell the roses a bit more. You are also giving me more ideas of stops to make that I had never heard of before. Your input is invaluable.
John

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SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #76 on: June 26, 2015, 02:28:05 PM »
Glad to assist John! I must say that lingering longer at our stops has made a huge difference in our activities. We explore more, and can return to things that we liked for a second look. Not to mention the reduction in fuel budget. Really, that just gives me a few more $$ to spend exploring and taking in the local attractions.  We are enjoying the slower pace.
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blw2

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #77 on: June 26, 2015, 03:01:14 PM »
It seems about a week in each spot.  is that right?

I too enjoyed the thread, and linked over to the blog too.  I wish I had more vacation time to get a taste of that full time living!
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SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #78 on: June 26, 2015, 06:12:20 PM »
Yep, right on Brad. About a week is about good for my attention span.  Then I get itchy feet and want to see what is around the next corner.  We just got back from  "Old town Newport" down the road from our current location.  Enjoyed walking around, window shopping and lunch at the "Rouge Brewery".  Good beer, good food.  The weekend is upon us,  and I will be ready to pull up stakes on Tuesday and head for the "holiday spot" for 4th of July.
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garyb1st

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #79 on: June 27, 2015, 06:52:46 AM »
Yep, right on Brad. About a week is about good for my attention span.  Then I get itchy feet and want to see what is around the next corner. 

Glad I'm not the only one.  Sometimes a week seems too long.   
Gary B1st

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SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #80 on: June 27, 2015, 12:59:07 PM »
Sometimes you are right Gary. While staying for a week will sometimes get you a discounted rate, I am still committed for a week. Normally that is not an issue but if the weather turns on you or the area has an unexpected down side, it can make it feel much longer. 

Our one rule of thumb is though, if the place we are in turns out to be very unappealing for any reason, we pull up stakes and go regardless of cost.  I won't suffer through miserable conditions just to save a buck.
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John Stephens

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #81 on: June 27, 2015, 01:22:14 PM »
Marty, what would say is the average price of the RV campgrounds now in the areas you are visiting on this trip? From your pictures, it appears you are staying in some pretty nice spots. How much of a discount do you get for staying a week - one night's worth? In my research so far, it seems that back in sites cost about $10 per night less than pull through. Does that sound about right from what you have experienced? The last question is important to me because I'm trying to decide whether to buy a scooter and carrier for the back of the coach, or a trailer to tow my 4 wheel drive SUV. I can still back in with a scooter carrier on the back.
John

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SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #82 on: June 27, 2015, 01:44:28 PM »
The average is kind of speculative John. We are not the "look for the absolute cheapest place to stay" types, so we sometimes will pay a little over the average to stay in a park that fits our needs.  In some places a pull through site is a slight bump in price, maybe $5 a night, but often is depends on the desirability of the site.

For instance the Marina RV park we just left in Brookings fit that description. There were 2 rows of sites. The front row were pull through's with great ocean views, but the power was 30 amp.  The second row behind us were back ins so their view was looking past whoever was in front of them. But their sites were 50 amp, and $7 a night cheaper. 

So if saving a few bucks is more important, take the cheaper site. If having the unobstructed view is more important, pay the $7 bump.  Many places will offer a discount for a weeks stay. Often it is pay for 6 and get one night free. In Brookings that extra night brought the price of the site down to the same as the 2nd row back in site.

We also don't stay in WalMart's or truck stops either (unless it's an emergency) but some folks don't mind it at all. Given the choice of towed or scooter, I would personally opt for the towed. More versatile, more comfortable in too hot or too cold conditions ect.  The trailer does add a different dimension to the experience though. But that's the great part about RVing. You get to pick what fits your needs and lifestyle the best. 
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SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #83 on: June 30, 2015, 12:30:41 AM »
We left Brookings and headed for Waldport, OR to McKinley's Marina and RV Park.  This was more northbound driving on Highway 101. Even though it was only 190 miles, the trip still took nearly 5 hours.  The 101 is the coast road, but it runs smack through many small towns on the route.  Even though most stretches are marked for 55 MPH, doing that speed in a large RV is not possible.  And then each small town you drive through will slow you down to 25 MPH as you pass through their downtown area.  Throw in the occasional stretches of twisty's and your average speed is much lower.  It is still a very scenic drive though. 

McKinley's is a dual purpose park, as are many in this part of Oregon. They cater a lot to the boating/fishing crowd as well as the RV customers.  In fact, this particular park is almost 2 parks in one.  One side is the strictly RV side and has concrete streets, pads and patios. In fact there is very little green area between the sites, maybe 1 -2 feet max.  The sites are plenty big though for most any rig.  The cool part about this park is that the builders were smart enough to include full utilities on both sides of the parking pads.  That way a MH can pull in to the sites to face the water with the hook ups on the left, but a TT or 5ver can back in and still have the hookups on the correct site. 

The only down side of that is that if you are in a MH and pull in, but your neighbor is a towable, you patio's will face each other.  Not usually a big deal unless your neighbors are obnoxious.  The other part of the park has a string of 30 or so dry camping sites that back up onto the bay as well. They will accept a full size RV, all the way to a tent. The sites are grass with no hookups at all. Those sites were favored by the fishing crowd that liked the extra space of the grass area and were in close proximity to the bay. There is a port-a-potty for use in the tent no hook up area, or you can hoof it to the regular facilities on the side of the office building.  There is also a laundry mat on site, and it too has a handicapped bathroom inside, but no shower.

It seems as though a very popular past time among the locals as well as the RV'ers is catching crabs in the bay.  Many of the locals came out to one of the long docks on the bay to check and reset their crab cages nightly.

The rates were reasonable as well. We paid $207 for 6 nights and got one free night, making the final rate $29.57 per night.  The park is not on the ocean, but on Alsea Bay. You can launch a boat from the in campground launch for a fee. We paid for a pull in site that faced the water which was nice. The odd ball thing about these sites though is that while you are in the rig you have a great view of the bay and all types of boats coming and going.  While sitting outside on your patio, the park has decided to grow a thick hedge in front of the sites, that is now about 4' tall.  Sitting in your site and looking toward the water you see nothing but bushes. I took the somewhat thrilling step of placing two of our patio chairs on top of the picnic table and sitting on top of the table to see the view. 

They offer free WiFi here, but our Verizon Air card
 had very strong signal from a near by tower. They have handicapped accessible bathrooms and showers, but they are in the RV side of the park. There is a  “play area” in the middle of the park that has such games as “bean bag toss” and “rope ladders” free for use.  The center area of the dry camp sites has a sand volleyball court, basket ball, and horseshoes.

We visited the downtown area of Waldport and the bigger town next door, Newport.   Both had older preserved walking areas to window shop and plenty of restaurants to pick  from. We also visited a few local attractions, state parks and light houses. Diane covers them more in  detail in her blog. 

Our next stop we go backwards 15 miles to Yachats OR. We made that reservation far in advance for the 4th of July week, as we knew things would be packed for the holiday.

The Cool Stuff at this park:
1) Big cement pads and patio's
2) The view of  Alsea Bay that is close to the ocean.
3) Very quiet night time atmosphere.
4) Various family games set up in the grassy areas.
5) The summer time temps in the 60's and low 70's.
6) The reasonable price for the sites.
The not cool stuff at this park:
1) The lack any type of pool or spa available.
2) The excessively tall hedge that blocks your view of the bay.
3) The wind off of the bay can be frigid, even in the summer.
4) Camp fires are not allowed in the RV area, only in the dry camp area.

Diane has just updated our blog with more detail about the places we visited. Stop on by!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 10:33:50 AM by SargeW »
Marty--
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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #84 on: June 30, 2015, 11:56:30 AM »
Marty, good to know about this campground. On our long trip out West, we are planning on visiting friends in Lincoln City, just north of you, and were wondering where would be a good place to stay. Thanks for the info.
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #85 on: July 06, 2015, 07:23:55 PM »
Well this was the 4th of July weekend, and Diane made the reservations for Sea Perch RV Resort back in March. She asked me where I  wanted to be on the 4th of July, and the Oregon coast seemed like a good answer.  Sea Perch is a private campground with only 25 sites, but they are concrete, wide, and  6 of them are on the ocean front. There are also 3 “Villas” for rent on the ocean front also. The ocean front sites from May to Oct rent for $85 a night, and the rest are “ocean view” for $75 a night. For the extra $10 we went for the oceanfront site.  The Villas rent from $175 to $250 in season.  By staying for a week we got a small discount to make it $81 a night.  The amenities here are a nice workout room with various aerobic machines, free weights and a universal machine. There is a TV and DVD player in the room as well.  The clubhouse has dining space, and a game room with a pool table and other table games.

The sites are FHU with cable TV, and the park has good WiFi which we had to take advantage of as our Verizon air card even with the booster was pathetically slow most of the time.  The oceanfront sites are about 100' from the waves at high tide and waves are heard 24/7.  There is not a lot of other amenities close to the park without driving into Yachats north about 7 miles, or Florence about 16 miles south. Yachats is pretty small with limited stores and shops, but Florence is much bigger if you need any significant supplies.

All sites are handicapped accessible as they are flat and smooth, and the restrooms are likewise accessible, but they are limited to one each in the club house.

On the 4th of July Saturday the park put on a potluck, and supplied the main courses with the campers bringing side dishes. The park supplied ribs, baked potato's,  burgers, hot dogs and  hot links as well as soft drinks and some beers. With the side dishes supplied by the campers, the potluck turned out great with tons of food.  And it was all included with the price of your site.

Coast weather being unpredictable at best, while the rest of the country was sweltering in heat, we were wearing jackets and long pants for the first few days. And throw in 20 – 30 MPH sustained winds and we didn't see much outside time for the first few days.  Then on Friday we got a break and the winds slowed  to 5 – 10 MPH and we were able to take many walks on the semi private beach, and dogs were allowed off leash to run and play.

We even did some hiking while we were here, and they were challenging and beautiful. We hiked the Cape Perpetua Lookout, at 1.5 mile trail each way with a 800 ft rise in elevation, but the view was spectacular. The other hike was the Heceta Head Lighthouse trail that goes from Highway 101 up to the back side of the lighthouse and the magnificent coast line. That trail had a 300' elevation gain and was about 1.3 miles each way.  We also ate in Yachats at the Luna Sea Fish House, and the food was fabulous. There were also some attractions we didn't see, like the “Sea Lion Caves”. Being from So. Cal. We have seal lions in abundance along the coast so the it was not unique for us.   

Cool stuff about this park:
1) Cement pads and patios.
2) Oceanfront sites 100' from the waves
3) Well equipped work out room.
4) Weekend potlucks put on by the resort.
5) Good strong Wifi.

Not cool stuff about this park.
1) No pool or hot tub available.
2) Other than the beach, very limited walking area in the park.
3) Small park, kind of pricey.
4) All shopping or stores are a drive N or S on Highway 101.
 
I included a few pics of the resort and views, but visit Diane's blog for many more pics and details.  From here we head north to Fort Stevens State Park on the Columbia River. 
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
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John Stephens

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #86 on: July 07, 2015, 02:02:41 PM »
I'm following each of your stops on Google Earth, and it looks like you're picking some really good ones.
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #87 on: July 08, 2015, 01:02:47 AM »
Thanks John. We are trying to mix it up to keep things interesting. The next stop is completely different than the last one. This should be interesting to say the least. Fort Stevens has about 500 RV spaces..........
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
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SargeW

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #88 on: July 15, 2015, 01:23:55 AM »
Well this stop was quite a departure from the last few stops in Oregon. The last few parks have been small, intimate, and somewhat pricey.  But for some of the prime spots on the ocean, that isn't unusual. However, this time we checked into Fort Stevens State Park, located at the meeting point of the Columbia River and the Pacific.  And this is no “intimate” little RV park.  Fort Stevens has over 500 sites of all types. FHU, Electric and Water, and tenting.  They are arranged in a series of loops, and most of the loops are among stands of giant trees, easily 100' tall.  While this makes for a lot of shade in the warm parts of the year, if the weather is cool you may never see the sun all day.  All the campground roads are paved as well are the parking pads.  The rest of the site is dirt and gravel, so bring a rug if you have one.  There is also large bushes growing around many of the sites, so  your neighbors are partially obstructed.  Each site has a fire ring and a picnic table, but the tables are a little worn.  The site itself was decent size, but we goofed up and picked a site that had the walkway to the restrooms right next to us. It wasn't as bad as  it could have been, but the kids on bikes riding on the “no bikes allowed” sidewalk to the bathroom got a little annoying.  The other problem with the huge tree canopy was that satellite signal was impossible. The roof mounted dish didn't have a chance, and after about 90 minutes with the remote dish, I gave up and went for the OTA antenna.  It worked OK, but most the channels were PBS and a few locals.  So not much TV was used during the stay. 

The bathrooms and showers are handicapped accessible and are in good condition. Our Verizon air card worked decently well here, but there were periods of unexplained dropouts so the service was not 100% reliable.  There is no Wifi offered by the park itself.

This is a great park to bring bicycles to not only due to all of the paved loops to ride through, but there is a whole system of paved bike trails that run throughout the park that take you to the various historic Gun Battery's in the park.  We would have loved to bike the trails, but soon  after arrival I inspected our bikes that we have had with us since we left on the trip in April.  They had not had much use up to this point, and because of the small parks on the coast we have stayed in for the last few weeks, and considering the damp ocean winds we had, both bikes were about rusted solid and wouldn't move! Our bikes have been around for about 5 years, and have been back and forth across the country, sometimes twice every year, riding on the back of the Jeep .  I have been repairing stuff as I went along, but they just may be done for this time.

Without bikes, Diane and I walked and even ran many of the trails in the park. One day we took off walking with Heidi (our faithful mutt) to visit Battery Russell, which is about 1.25 miles from the campground. The trails are mostly shaded  and are gently rolling hills for the mots part.  After Battery Russell, I had the great idea to walk to the next set of Battery's down the road, it couldn't be too far, right?  Well we did the walk and by the time we got back to the campground, we had covered over 7 miles!  Heidi thought we must have lost our minds.  Another fun thing to do is to drive the beach. There is a access road in the park that takes you to the remains of the shipwreck Peter Iredale. Right next to it is the access road to the beach. We drove access road #1 and popped out on the beach and headed south.  You can drive the beach for about 10 miles, and there are a total of 6 access roads in the 10 mile  stretch. A 4 wheel drive is recommended because of the loose sand on the access roads. Once on the firm damp sand, any car could easily drive the whole 10 mile distance.  We drove it twice while we were there, and on the second day we noted that access #6 had been graded and smoothed. Any passenger care could make it easily to the beach.

The other big change with this park, and the reason that it was usually sold out, is that for a FHU site we paid just over $33 a night, quite a switch from the last few stops.  Interestingly, directly across the street from the entrance to Fort Stevens is a KOA campground.  It looked to be a pretty big park, and they usually had a sign out saying that they had sites available. KOA tends to be much more expensive though, and they also charge a pet fee and a resort fee per day.  Another reason why the state park usually sells out first.

Also on the way to Fort Stevens we stopped off in Tillamook at the Tillamook Cheese factory for lunch and some goodies from the factory store. It's about 40 miles south of Fort Stevens, and really worth the stop.  It has a huge parking lot and special lots just for RV's.  We also visited Astoria while we were in Fort Stevens.  It's an interesting town with lots of shops and restaurants, and we patronized a few. Diane's blog will have more detail pics about these locations. 

Cool stuff about this park:
1) Great price for a FHU site.
2) Paved roads and parking pads.
3) Lots of shade trees for sunny days.
4) Tons biking trails, and separate hiking trails as well.
5) Driving on the beach.
6) Lots of stuff to see and do in the park.
7) Separate play ground for the kids.

Not cool stuff about this park:
1) No patio's for chairs.
2) Super heavy canopy makes satellite impossible.
3) Trash dumpsters are not in the camping loops. Set aside in a special parking lot that is quite a hike to get to.
4) No park Wifi, and sketchy cell signal.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Tom

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Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #89 on: July 15, 2015, 09:53:13 AM »
Quote
The last few parks have been small, intimate, and somewhat pricey

Were those private parks Marty? Check out this prior message of mine.
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