Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lots of Deer

Dave & I did a bit of exploring this morning, unfortunately we didn’t take a camera with us…oops. We went over to the store, it is closed Monday and Tuesday so we went up to the Lodge. Very nice and quite large with a big deck on the lake side. After that it was a relax and read day along with taking a bunch of photos and video of the deer wandering by our campsite. We thought the Chehalis Thousand Trails had a lot of deer, but they seem to be every where here. The squirrels also made an appearance so we caught a few shots of them too. Cheyenne doesn’t seem to care much about the deer, although they seem to care a lot about her! She just wants to watch the squirrels.

We both really enjoy this area. The landscape is more open, a little more desert-like than the evergreen forests of the Oregon coast. Not that we have anything against evergreen forests, but high desert is our favorite. This is more of a cross between the two. One person told us this park was “interesting”, another couple told me it was their favorite park. I guess the old saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is true.

Top: last nights sunset
Middle: Squirrel by our campsite
Bottom: Deer across from our campsite

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lake of the Springs

I know, I say this about almost every place we stay at, but I really like this campground! It is really beautiful…pine forest, fabulous lake, deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, geese, nice sites, clean bathrooms, very nice. We got in a about noon and found a site we thought could get satellite reception and set up. We do have some satellite, just no HD channels which is no big deal. Our aircard gets internet coverage, our cellphone even has reception…so much for the electronics!

We took a short walk over to the swimming/boating area and walked a trail along the edge of the lake. After we got back Dave set up the lawn chairs and we sat outside and read/snoozed. It was a lovely afternoon, in the high 80’s. Before dinner it was time for another walk and we came across a number of deer and wild turkeys. There is also a Pet Beach here - an area fenced off where you can take off leashes and let your pet run and go out in the lake. Cheye loved it! She went for a few swims. I think we will really enjoy our stay here. I’m looking forward to a little more exploring tomorrow.

Top: our camp site
Middle: Lake by the Pet Beach
Bottom: Lake with geese

Video: A few views of the park

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pleasant Day

It was a pleasant, though hot, Sunday. It was up over 100 again today but the morning was pleasant so we took Cheye out for a walk. Once back to the trailer we sat outside and enjoyed the morning. Our plan today was to fix a nice Sunday meal, barbecue a roast and have potato salad, fruit salad and rolls followed by a Boston cream cake with vanilla Gelato we bought yesterday. We ate about 1:00 and it all turned out wonderfully! Not enough room for dessert right away so we took Cheye for another walk and stopped at the area where she can get into the water, and she was anxious to get in. She swam a little and seemed to really enjoy herself.

Once back we cooled down a bit and then had dessert…yum! The rest of the day was watching NASCAR (what a finish!) and reading. Tonight we’re watching some football and getting ready for our move tomorrow. The move isn’t far, about 50 miles northeast of here. Still, have to get everything put away and secure for the trip.

Top: Cheye looking for squirrels
The lake
Video: More video from around the park here at Lake Minden, Nicolaus, CA

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hot Day

We went into town today, we wanted to pick up a few things at the grocery store and get a training collar for Cheye. They have a product called “Gentle Leader” that is supposed to help in gently controlling and training dogs that pull when on a leash. Cheye is so strong that if I have the leash and she wants to chase a squirrel, run up to a person or dog I can’t stop her, heck Dave has to really pull her! So we went to Pet Smart and got one. After our shopping we stopped at an In-n-Out Burger. We had never been to one before but had heard of them. Not bad, simple menu and good prices.

Once we got back we took Cheye for a very short walk (it was very hot) to try out the new lead; wow what a difference! Just the gentlest pull on the leash and she stops pulling. She is still getting used to it but she responds wonderfully! It even comes with a training DVD to teach the humans how to use it. Good product! The rest of the afternoon was spent inside avoiding the heat. Dave watched some of the NASCAR qualifying and I watched a Jane Austin movie.

It was over 100 degrees today. 80’s are fine but 100’s are just way too hot! We think perhaps we came to California a little early. Now we know! :o)

Top: A hawk flying
Middle: A Eucalyptus tree
Bottom: Cheye in her new Gentle Leader collar
Video: More from around Lake Minden

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pretty Hot Day

I started my day with laundry. While waiting on the laundry I went into the Adult Lodge with my laptop and surfed the ‘net for a while. However when a line dancing class started I decided to just wait in the laundry room. ;o) They really do have a lot of activities a person could do at all of the Thousand Trails parks. Some day I’ll have to try a few out.

The rest of the day was taken up by relaxing and staying cool. It got up over 100 today…too hot for me! Since we didn’t do much I just don’t have much to report. I’ve put together another video of Old Sacramento from our visit yesterday. Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Old Sacramento

I was feeling much better today so we decided on a visit to Old Sacramento. They restored the area back in the 1960’s and made it into a touristy area with shops and restaurants. There is also a couple paddle-wheelers and a train. It’s a fun visit. The restoration is well done, and I would have enjoyed a ride on the paddle-wheeler but the schedule didn’t work for us. It is a hour trip on the Sacramento River for $16.00 for adults. Maybe another time. Actually it was rather quiet in the area, post Labor Day I guess. We ate lunch at a pasta/pizza buffet and then we headed back to the trailer.

The rest of the afternoon was taken up by relaxing, a little bit of cleaning. The gnats seem to be staying at the campground for a while so we are leaving the windows shut in the evenings so we don‘t have to clean up dead gnats everyday. Our friends from Hawaii, Carl & Jackie, offered to send us some geckos to help out with the gnats. Cheyenne would love them, I can see her now running around the trailer knocking everything over trying to catch them…probably not a good idea, but thanks anyway guys! :o)

Photos: All taken in Old Sacramento, CA
Video: Scenes from Old Sacramento, CA

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Night of the Gnats

Last night, just before we went to bed the trailer was “attacked” by a swarm of gnats. It was really odd, we have been here a few nights and opened up the trailer the same as usual but not with the same result. Gnats all over the window screens, a lot got into the trailer too so we were swatting and spraying gnats for a while before sleeping. I even got out the vacuum and vacuumed them up, flying or not! So this morning found us washing windows and window screens clean of dead gnats….yuck!! I’m hoping that was just some strange one night phenomenon and it won’t repeat tonight. I’d much rather sleep with the windows open than with the air conditioner fan.

Besides cleaning up gnat corpses (sorry but it is getting close to Halloween) we just hung around the trailer today. It was quite warm and I wasn’t feeling the greatest so I watched an old movie - Angel and the Badman, did a little computing and a little bookkeeping. Dave read, emptied the galley water, and watched some old movie serials. I joined Dave & Cheye for a morning walk but they went by themselves in the afternoon.

By the way, my legs weren’t nearly as sore as I thought they would be from our paddle boat excursion yesterday. Guess all those walks have paid off. :o)

photos: all taken at Lake Minden, Nicolaus, CA

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oh my achin’ legs!

We rented a paddle boat for an hour today. Only $3.00! We paddled all around Lake Minden, every so often I’d beg a break in the shade of the trees growing by the shore (it was in the mid 90’s today) but we made it to the opposite end and back in about 50 minutes. I was wobbly-legged when I got out of the boat so I’m sure I will be good and sore tomorrow. I know….it‘s good for me! We really did have fun. After our outing, which took place after lunch, we sat and had a Coke at the Lakeside Café and then back to the trailer.

Our morning was pretty routine except we got to talking about this winter. We were planning on going to Texas but are now thinking of going only as far as Arizona. There really wasn’t any draw for Texas other than I would like to see San Antonio, but that’s a long way to drive for just one town. There is a number of places we would like to see in Arizona so we are looking into puttering around that State. It’s so fun being able to change your plans at any time just because you want to.

Top: Out on the lake
Bottom: A little frog sitting in the middle of the road
Video: Taken while out on the paddle boat

Monday, September 22, 2008

Shopping Day

We were getting really low on groceries so we needed to go in to town, we were also expecting mail today so off we went. The Post Office is just a few blocks away in Nicolaus but the closest Walmart was in Linda California about 8-10 miles away. It was good to be in a store where I could find things and brands I am familiar with. Also Dave has one prescription and since it is in the Walmart system he can pick up a refill at any of their stores…very handy. Anyway, we got all we went for and more. I’m afraid I lost track of how much I bought that needed to go in the refrigerator…oops. I managed to squeeze it all in but it’s kind of difficult to find anything in there!

The afternoon was quiet, computers and reading. We took our usual walk around the lake before dinner and Cheye waded out into the water a little. She was too concerned with squirrels to be bothered with swimming today. This evening it’s football and barbequed salmon. Yum

Top: A local Walnut grove
Bottom: The lake
Video: More views around Lake Minden Campground

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Last night we decided we would go to the breakfast they serve at the Lakeside Café here in the Lake Minden campground. So we walked down to the café this morning, Dave had biscuits and gravy, I had pancakes. Quite good and big portions for only $4.75 a piece. From there we went back to the trailer. Typical morning, really typical day. Reading, walks, computing and relaxing, emphasis on relaxing.

Of course with Sunday there is Nascar and Sunday night football. We have Dish network on satellite but since our service address was Pasco, WA we lost the local networks just after we left Newport, OR. Actually I was surprised they lasted that distance! So today we called Dish and all we had to do was change our service address (not our billing address) to this campground and ta-da, we had ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX out of Sacramento, CA. I believe we get charged $5.00 each time we do that but no matter. It will be interesting to see how far away we can get from Sacramento before we have to change them again.

On our walk before dinner we let Cheye go swimming in the lake. She heads out just until she starts floating and then turns around and comes right back. Dave threw a stick for her, not very far out, and she wasn’t quite sure how to get to it without swimming. She would paddle a bit and then it was right back to shore to stand and look at the stick. Poor baby, she’ll figure out this swimming stuff sooner or later!

Top: Sunrise this morning
Middle: View from the Lakeside Café
Bottom: A view of the lake

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Lovely Day at the Lake

Today started with laundry but it was a dual duty trip to the laundry room. I waited for the laundry to dry at the Adult Lodge and used the wireless internet to watch a tutorial on my new video program. I learned how to add audio and how to edit the audio…I hadn’t been able to figure that one out on my own. I also chatted with one person that has been full-timing for 2 years and a couple that has full-timed 10 years! We talked about some of the different 1000 Trails parks, good information. Dave & Cheye walked over and met me and after the laundry was dry we all drove back to the trailer.

After some reading, lunch and a short nap we went on a walk around the lake. We aren’t sure exactly how far it is around the lake but we suspect it is a little over a mile. Anyway, about ¾ of the way around there was a dock and Dave wanted to see how cold the water was so he and Cheye went out on the dock. Cheye immediately started trying to paw the water but couldn’t figure out how to get in. We looked around and quickly found a spot we could get to the lake so Cheye went in for a swim or two. She does love the water.

Once we got back we sat outside and just enjoyed the afternoon. The weather has been wonderful, cool mornings and evenings with mid 80’s in the afternoon. We are enjoying Lake Minden a lot.

Top: The lake
Middle: Our campsite
Bottom: Cheye in for a swim
Video: View of the lake and Cheye swimming

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lake Minden

Our trip wasn’t too long today, about 135 miles. I-5 from Redding to Nicolaus is flat and pretty straight so the drive was pleasant but uneventful. We arrived around noon and found the park very different from the other Thousand Trails we have stayed at. It is a very open park, not so many trees which is a nice change for us. Coming from the east side of Washington we lived in rolling hills, sagebrush and bunch grass and you could see forever. Since we have been with Thousand Trails we have been on the coast, so lots of beautiful trees, green, hills and views as far as the next tree. We enjoy both, it was just time for this kind of change.

After we set up camp we had lunch and then went for a walk around the lake. Lots of squirrels so Cheyenne is happy. The lake is much bigger than I expected, very pretty. No place for dogs to get into the lake, just beaches and swimming areas for people. Once we got back to the trailer it was time for some computing and later Dave barbecued steaks for dinner.

We did meet one neighbor out walking his pet…you’ll have to watch the video. :o)

Top: Taken along I-5
Bottom: Lake Minden

Video: from today's drive and at Lake Minden

Redding, California day 2

Today’s “B.C.” comic strip really sums up today:
A: Whatcha doin' today?
B: Nothing.
A: You did that yesterday.
B: I wasn’t finished.

So basically we didn’t do much today. I worked on learning my new video editing program and finally got a few thing figured out with help from Dave and the Adobe forum site. Still have a lot to learn but at least I can create a video now. We also took a few walks around the park and enjoyed the fabulous weather. Tomorrow we are off to Thousand Trails Lake Minden .

Video: more from around the Premier RV Resort in Redding, CA

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Redding, California

Today’s trip was loaded with very steep climbs and a number of 6% downhill grades, but is was really a pretty drive. I do have to say that I am used to seeing Mt. Shasta with some snow on it but not this time of year! Still it’s quite an impressive mountain.

We drove as far as Redding today and decided to treat ourselves to a “fancy” RV park.We’re at a Premier RV Resort and I’m impressed. The landscaping is lovely and well tended, there is a nice pool and the bathrooms are terrific! Each space has a little grassy area beside it, most with a shade tree, so we sat out in the lawn chairs this afternoon and relaxed. Dave was on his computer, I was trying to read the manual for my new computer program (but I fell asleep) and Cheye varied between sleeping and chewing up a stick. We walked around the park a couple times and found a man-made pond and stream, volleyball court and horseshoe pits. We decided to stay tomorrow night too before heading to the next Thousand Trails campground. Kinda fun to splurge a bit! :o)

Top: Lake Shasta
Bottom: pretty pink flower in the RV park
Video: Premiere RV Resort in Redding, CA

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It Warmed Up

We were on the road about 8:00 a.m. heading inland. There is a Best Buy in Springfield Oregon so we decided to stop there and shop around some. I got a new video and photo editing program and we got some DVD’s. There was a pizza place nearby and since it was conveniently noon we ate there and then it was back on the road.

Our trip took us down I-5 through farm land and rolling hills along with a few good climbs and steep down-hills. We noticed the trees are starting to change color a bit. It is definitely warmer, like in the low 90’s , a far cry from our high 60’s low 70’s at the coast! So we are now in shorts and running the air conditioner rather than jackets and the heater. It’s the change we wanted however. It feels good to be out in the sun in dryer weather even though it is hazy out due to a wildfire.

The RV park we are at is a Passport America camp called Meadow Wood RV Park. It’s okay, there is a pool, some trees and it is fairly close to the I-5 entrance. I think we will just stay here tonight and move on tomorrow.

photos: All taken on our trip today, farms, trees changing color and the three of us in the pickup!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Farewell to the Oregon Coast

Today is our last day on the Oregon coast for awhile. Tomorrow we take off for California, the Thousand Trails campground Lake Minden in the Sacramento area. We have given ourselves 3 days to get there and have no definite plans on where to stay along the way, but that’s okay.

Since we are going to be on the road for a few days we went into town and picked up a some groceries. We also picked up the mail and then went back to the campground. Of course with today being the last chance Cheye will have to run on the beach for quite some time, we headed down to the beach even though it was rather foggy. Cheye had a grand time as usual, romping, splashing and sniffing. Then it was time for a little organizing for tomorrow’s trip. Still have a few thing I should do before I go to bed tonight.

We’re both looking forward to our move. It’s been a great stay along the Washington and Oregon coast but it’s time for a change. I’m sure we will be back in this area again next summer.

Someone’s sandcastle after the ocean washed over it
Cheye in the fog
video: A foggy farewell to the beach

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another Month

We have completed our 4th month of full-time RV’ing. In 4 months we have stayed at 20 different RV parks and driven through 6 different states. Since we joined Thousand Trails we have stayed at membership campgrounds only - 56 nights. Our plans have changed since we started out. We originally planned to go to Florida for the winter and have scaled back to Texas. No need to be in a rush to get across the country when there are lots of great places to stay on the west coast. Cheyenne has gone from a dog that was quite confused by not being in “her yard” to being very comfortable living in campgrounds. She has also figured out how to swim and gone from being afraid of the ocean to loving it. But more than anything we have met a lot of nice people and learned a little along the way.

It’s been great so far. We’re having fun planning where to go, doing a little sight seeing and just living life. It’s a wonderfully low key lifestyle. No big demands, plan as much or as little as you want. Even if you plan a lot you can change your mind at any time. We were just talking the other day and agreed going back to living in one place would be kind of hard now. I know full-timing isn’t for everyone, but we are lovin’ it!

Photos - looking back a some places we have been (top to bottom):
Cape Disappointment, WA
Deer in Chehalis,WA
Wild Bill Hickok’s grave in Deadwood,SD
Coyote Rock, OR
Devil’s Tower, WY

Heceta Head, OR
Hood Park, Pasco, WA
Silver Falls, OR
Kendrick Family Mansion, Sheridan, WY
Mt Rushmore, SD

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Farmers Market and Bay Front

We decided to go into Newport to the Bay Front area for lunch. As we were driving in Dave remembered that the Farmer’s Market was held today in Newport so we thought that might be fun. They have it right beside the City Hall on Hwy 101 so it’s hard to miss. There were a number of produce booths, some baked goods, hats, trinkets, jewelry, wind chimes, etc. and even a couple musicians playing. We bought some cucumbers, tomatoes and corn and wandered around a bit. Then it was off to Bay Front area. There we found the usual galleries, t-shirts,wind socks, souvenir and candy shops. My purse is falling apart so when we walked by a leather shop I went in and bought a new one. The only thing we didn’t find was any place we wanted to eat. Most places were pretty pricey or the menu’s just didn’t sound good. Of course there was Mo’s, a seafood restaurant that is quite famous around here, but Dave has had his fill of seafood so we decided to go back into town and just grab a sandwich.

Once we got back to the campground we took Cheye down to the beach. What fabulous weather at the beach today! Sunny and warm with just a little breeze. Cheye took full advantage and ran to her hearts content After dinner we all went for a walk around the park. A very pleasant day.

All three taken down at Bay Front in Newport, seals sunning by the docks
Video: Highlights from the Farmer’s Market and Bay Front