Monthly Archives: September 2014

A day at Grand Canyon, AZ

Our last visit to the Grand Canyon was in 1985 and our return for a day’s visit there reminded us of just what a amazing place it is. We took many pictures but we know they can’t begin to show the depth and color we enjoyed. In addition to the canyon views we saw three condors soaring above us at one overlook. We also saw elk wandering around the park which was an added plus. There are free shuttles and everything from walking trails to major league, challenging hikes to the canyon floor allowing people at all levels of fitness and time the opportunity to enjoy the park. This trip should be on everyone’s bucket list.

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Shortstop: Canyon Gateway RV Park – Williams, AZ

PHOTO_20140924_142901.jpg This RV Park is a couple of minutes from I40; a good spot for those traveling and in need of a place to land for the night. It’s also about 60 miles south of the Grand Canyon. Both the I40 and the Grand Canyon proximity made Canyon Gateway RV Park in Williams, AZ a good shortstop for us. Admittedly, there’s some traffic noise off the Interstate but we didn’t find it to be especially objectionable. They are building a truck stop adjacent to the campground, so in the future being sandwiched between the highway less than a mile away on one side and the truck stop on the other noise may become an issue.

Still, I see this as a good spot for a short stay. The sites are level with full hookups. The restrooms and showers were very clean and the campground offers decent WiFi and even a few channels of cable TV. In addition to the mega attraction of the Grand Canyon being an hour away, downtown Williams is a fun place to visit. After a stroll up and down the main street we especially enjoyed our meal at the Pine Country Restaurant and recommend it. Williams also is where the Grand Canyon Railroad begins. This RV Park doesn’t pretend to be a destination, but it works well for travelers as well as folks who want to spend a day at one of our nation’s most visited, and beautiful, national parks.

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Shortstop: Sunrise RV Park – Kingman, AZ

After a 300 mile drive across the Mojave desert – past the famous mothballed aircraft field, Edwards AFB, Boron (and Twenty Mule Team Road) – we arrived at Sunrise RV park in Kingman, AZ for a one night stay. Using our Passport America discount we paid $17.50 and were assigned one of the drive through sites. We have 50 amp, full hookups although the sewer is way at the back of the site and situated in such a way that it is almost uphill from the camper.

We have neighbors just a few feet away on either side of us and some kind of discount Marriott motel is looking down on us from across the street. Still, for an overnight this works just fine. The restrooms are clean, the roads are paved, the interstate is just a few minutes away, and the sites are pretty level. The campground offers free WiFi but I found it very slow and went back to my Verizon 4G. There are restaurants in walking distance. For an “in town” RV park that can be had for the price we’re paying it will do just fine.

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Shortstop: Mountain Valley RV Park – Tehachapi, CA

PHOTO_20140922_162438.jpg We don’t like doing one nighters but once in a while we need to move to what I call “repositioning mode” and it’s such a move that brings us to Tehachapi, CA; just east of and considerably higher in elevation than Bakersfield.

The town and campground are in a nice mountain valley. For us it is the reward for pulling 20+ miles up the mountain – climbing from 400 feet to 4000 feet. The campground is on the southern side of town and away from Highway 58 but right by the local airport. In fact, you can walk out to the runway from the campground. There are several gliders parked by the runway and it must be fun watching them fly.

This is a nice campground with level, pull through sites, 50 amp electric, and water. There are no sewer hookups, but there is a dump station. There is also a small laundry and clean restrooms with showers.

If you are traveling California 58 this is a good spot for a few days.

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Campground review: San Benito Thousand Trails, Paicines, CA

100_3291.JPG San Benito Thousand Trails is around 25 miles south of Hollister, CA in a quiet valley away from the sounds and lights of the city. One travels south on Hwy 25, then turns off of it to drive a road that meanders through fields and vineyards before entering the hills. If you are looking for a quiet, away-from-it-all campground, this is it.

100_3288.JPG This is a big campground with hundreds of sites and two pools. There’s a camp store and a restaurant. Just about all the sites are full hookups and there’s a fairly large 50 amp section. There are several pull through sites, some back to back. We heard a lot about the local bobcats but didn’t see any. We did see prairie dogs, quail, deer, and lots of red-headed woodpeckers. Being away from the city we enjoyed sitting out at night counting the satellites as they glided overhead. We even spotted a few shooting stars.

100_3276.JPG The electric boxes on many of the sites have big red dots on them. That means there’s no working electric at that site. Someone told me that the campground is working through those sites and fixing them. Obviously, there are more sites than there are campers but it is frustrating to see a potential and empty site only to then see the dreaded red dot. Hopefully, more and more sites will be returned to service soon.

100_3271.JPG Also, there are plenty of annual residents in the campground. The campground is pretty much flat and open, but if you look around a bit you’ll note that the residents have gyrated to the sites that offer a bit of afternoon shade. Again, this is a big campground so most everyone should be able to find a suitable spot in spite of the “red dots” and the annuals. If you don’t need 50 amps and don’t mind being a bit of a distance away from the main activity center you might want to look at the area nearer the small adult pool and adult lodge. There’s a section there with some big, shady trees and you would pretty much have the adult pool to yourself.

The staff is friendly and helpful. We were able to get Verizon 4G and satellite TV. It’s hard to believe that the coast with all it’s hustle and bustle (and Pacific beauty) is only 25 miles away over the mountain (and 60 miles away by highway). All in all, we like this place and hope to return.

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