Just Journaling

Blogging, mmm, is it my thing? I was told that it would be like writing a journal. So here I sit, journaling. We have set out on great adventures. The three of us. Michael; my husband, myself and Hennessey our miniature poodle. Seeing America the beautiful. It really is beautiful. The beauty of each of our states reflects its geographic and cultural uniqueness. Some are subtle while others are very obvious. We have noticed that the road color change depending on where we are, the root color may be red, black or another color. This, of course, has to do with the earth/soil from which it was locally made. Michael is color blind and he at times is able to notice the change.

We have been traveling through the midwest and southwest states. There has been a lot of ” weather.”. I say weather in quotes because from the area we are from there is not much change from day to day, much less hour to hour. First, there were the signs going into Arizona giving us a heads up to the fact that we may encounter a dust storm. Nice to know. However, what to do, if in fact, we encounter one?? Well, we came into New Mexico and here was the answer to our dust storm questions. This state had large billboards on the side of the road telling us exactly what to do. Keep our seatbelts on, pull over to the side of the road, take your foot off the break, turn off your headlights and wait for the storm to pass. (There may have been more information, this is what I recall). We felt like the state of New Mexico cared about their travelers’ safety. Thankfully we did not need to put this information to use on this trip.

We moved on to Texas. Serious weather to be found here. Thunderstorms, where you are told to move inside and stay away from windows. How am I supposed to see the lighting light up the sky? Well, of course, you’re not, you’re to be safe. Then we found ourselves in a tornado watch. Never being in a tornado watch we weren’t sure what to expect. We didn’t even know that there are to steps when it comes to tornados watch and warning. A warning being the scariest of the two. We knew what campground we were in, not what county we were in, or the names of the counties near us. You really should have this information so that you understand what danger you are in. The park rangers didn’t seem concerned at all when we asked them what we should do should the tornado come our way. We were directed to the brick building that is the restroom/showers. We were told that we would have three to thirteen minutes to get to our safe place. Our safe place was too far for either of us to walk to. We figured out how to disconnect the RV quickly and Michael slept in his clothes. The news kept extending the watch by several hours and he ended up staying awake most of the night. Thankfully there was no tornado. We didn’t find out for several days that there was a difference in the degree of tornados. That is when we learned about the warning and watch. We skirted areas that had warnings, we never were in a warning. However, we were humbled by the power of Mother Nature with her tornados.

There is so much flooding. We have traveled through so much damaged farmland from the floods. We are heartsick for the farmers. All the crops that will not be planted and harvested. The rarity of some foods will be seen soon and the prices will reflect that.

Our country is beautiful and most of the people are nice.

Another Adventure, Folsom

Here we are on another adventure. We have become two Boomers and a Poodle at this point. Our rescue is a miniature apricot poodle, whom we have named Hennessey. He is new to us and we are new to him. All three of us are finding our way in this new family dynamic. Hennessey was about six years old. when he joined our family. He was a great traveler right from the start. He calms my soul and mind. My husband and I understand why so many RVrs have their dogs traveling with them.

This trip took us to a campground we have not been to before. It is Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area in Folsom, CA. This is one of those times that our GPS got us to the neighborhood. We went to the wrong park, which was not for RVs. We scrapped our RV on low hanging branches. We finally found our way to the correct park. We were such newbies at the time. We used our RV’s GPS and our google maps but still struggled to find our way. We are learning that the RV’s GPS knows we are an RV and keeps that in mind when telling us how to travel. I find it very nerve racking when our RV’s GPS is telling us we weigh too much for the road we are on or that it will be too narrow. RVing is to be relaxing not causing anxiety. Since we now use the mindset that between our three GPS ( Yes, I do mean three. His google maps, my google maps, and our RVs Rand McNally)  Sometimes they all agree about how we should get there and other times not so much. We now know, that if the info is too far off we need to revisit the information we gave the GPSs. Because, we all know that sometimes it is, user error.

This campground; Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area in Folsom, CA was very clean. Our campsite was level, it is a disabled site. There are disabled restrooms as well as regular restrooms. We found no graffiti in the park. The park offers a lot of shade. There is poison oak. We were told that when it is hot out there are rattlesnakes. Friendly staff as well as campers. We could hear frogs and crickets singing all evening and into the night. Nice place to walk Hennessey. The loop is a pleasant walk. We would visit here again, just not when it’s hot, rattlesnakes are not my thing.

empty campsite across from our site

Leo Carrillo State Park

                        Today I’d like to share with you an adventure. Over a year ago we camped at Leo Carrillo State Park, 35000 Pacific Coast HWY, Malibu, CA 90265.

We came with no reservation in the middle of the week and were able to have a campsite. It was offseason. The park started filling up on Friday afternoon and was full by the evening.  The campers arriving were definitely there to have a “good time”.

The Sycamore trees were lovely. It’s a great looking campground. The restrooms were flush toilets and there are showers. The mirrors did have graffiti.  Other than that, the area was kept clean.

 We took short walks around the campground. There were students arriving during the morning hours and were taken on a short-guided tour of some kind, by what appeared to be park staff or volunteers.

There are so many squirrels and they all appear to be starving. The ecosystem is out of order at this campground, it seems. One squirrel made it into our RV and treated itself to some of our snacks in a drawer. We never saw the lil guy, just heard him. We were warned by other campers the squirrels are bold. They are, as they try to come into the RV as you exit or enter. The staff in the park were very friendly.

Our RV was sabotaged by fellow campers. We saw two people in their mid-20s walking very close to the outside of our RV. Thinking that was odd as there was plenty of room to walk through the campground without coming that close.  A few hours later I heard a sound outside the RV that sounded like one of the doors to access the storage and water areas was being closed. Which was odd since we were both in the RV. Being new to RVing at this time we were defiantly on a learning curve. We learned later that Winnebago doesn’t have unique locks for each RV and that the two people were most likely checking our lock numbers so that they could return later and open the door to our grey and black water. They pulled the valves on our water so that when we went to the dump station, we had no control over the water coming out and both the grey and black waters came gushing out all at once, leaving us with a big mess. We thought pranksters such as this would be in the area to watch the mess unfold. However, it being early in the morning and the two of them were most likely recovering from the previous night, didn’t make it to the dump station performance. We learned that we needed to get our locks changes so that they are unique to our RV to avoid this event being repeated. We made it a point to have the locks changed as soon as we returned home.

Since we work online while traveling it is important to us that we have Wi-Fi and cell service. Our site had neither. Our site did have electricity. Site 1 and 2 have some signal and while no one was camping in those sites we were able to go to those sites, along with fellow campers to have a cell signal. The parking lot also had a signal, near where you check in. However, that was a further walk.

This park has a lot going for it, access to the beach and it is lovely. We, however, will not be returning. At least on the weekend or during their season.

Eating area of our campsite.


Back side of our campsite, there is a lot of common area.

Another view of the back side of our campsite and common area.

Starting the RV adventure

My husband; Michael had the “bug” to have an RV. Being the computer guy he is. He shopped online for our RV.

We have been campers for 40 years. Tents at first, then we moved up to a tent trailer when our boys were in elementary school. Then back to tents, as they grew older. When we became grandparents, we rented trailers. The trailers would be brought to our campsites and be set up for us. We just had to move in.  We rented an RV and liked the size and that we were able to pack it up in front of our house and unpack it, in front of our house. So, we thought we had some experience with what we wanted.

We believed that we knew the exact model and features we wanted. It seemed that a lot of other folks wanted the same one because we had a tough time finding a previously owned one. Finally, Michael found one out-of-state. Utah to be exact. The pictures showed an almost unused Via. So, Michael researched what you are able to, utilizing the VIN-number. We put down a deposit and made a date to pick it up. December 27th we’re off to pick up, our new to us, Via.

Our first adventure in our Via was to drive it back to Southern California from Salt Lake City, Utah. It was cold in Utah and there was some snow on the ground. We left the dealership in high sprites looking for our first KOA stay. Wow! To say we were lucky with where we chose to camp on our first night is not adequate. There was a wonderful man assigned to assist us at the KOA. We had no supplies for the RV, it’s self. The store at the KOA had so much of what we needed. A heated hose and water gage for our drinking water, for the hookup. We needed a waste hose for the dump hook up. We were level at this particular site, so we didn’t learn about leveling tools at this stop.

We were on the road, cautiously presiding on our adventure. We traveled through Utah, enjoying the beauty the state has to offer. Then onto the colorful state of Arizona, experiencing the age-old allure of the sights.  Then home.

Through the ten days on the road we took getting home, we adjusted to the handling and sounds of our RV. It was good to be home. We had lots of laundries. There were items to unload and other items we need to pack for our next adventure.