Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Random Photo #6

Taken at George's Creek sandtrap north of Lone Pine, California. Don was enjoying catching little trout here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Review: Del Mar Beach, Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, California

We camped here March 23-27, 2007

This is the view from the rear window the first night.

Address: Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base (GPS Coordinates: 33.221026, -117.405385
Phone: (760) 725-2134
Website: http://www.mccscp.com/lodging/index.cfm
To make a reservation: Must be done by phone; time restrictions based on rank. (Active duty, for example, can call months in advance, while retirees can only call a couple of weeks in advance)
Rates: $30 per night

General Information:
# Sites: 100 (they’ve built some new ones)
# Sites with hookups: 100
Dump station: Not sure if there’s one. All sites have sewer, so it’s not really necessary.
Size of sites: They’re pretty close together. If you have slideouts next to slideouts, it could be a bit cramped.
Office hours: 8 am to 5 pm, I think.
Interstate access: You access this campground by exiting Interstate 5 and going through the gates of Camp Pendleton. It’s about a mile from the main gate to the campground, and the roads are wide and easily navigable by big rigs. There’s also a gate you can use near the Del Mar Housing area to go directly back and forth between the campground and Oceanside Harbor.
On site staff? Friendly, helpful? : The two young women working the desk were friendly and competent, and we had no problems with our reservation.

Noise info: This is a military training base, so you have squadrons of marines running by 3-4 times a day, chanting, and about once a day tanks come though from maneuvers in the area to the north. But this is minor noise, which is muted somewhat by the sound of the surf.

Restrooms: Two buildings house the restrooms; one to the south, which is mainly for the sunbathers and surfers, and the other in the middle of the campground. These are made of concrete block, and do not have roofs.
Showers: In both buildings.
Pool: No- you’ve got the ocean.

Cell phone reception (I have Cingular): Strong.
Laundry: In the south bathhouse.
Store: There used to be a shoppette, and there are still signs for it, but it’s not there any more. There is one about a half mile away.
Notes: I don’t really understand why you wouldn’t want one of the sites right on the beach. They’re wonderful. All have large fire rings, so on the chilly nights you can keep warm, toast marshmallows, and enjoy the evening. Lifeguards are on duty during the day if you’re swimming.

Notes for future reservations: Don’t camp in site #1, since there’s a site #0 which they assign to tenters. One night we had a group of 17 (4 adults, 13 high school cheerleaders) in 6 tents next to us.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Quote for the Day

"The trail is the thing,
not the end of the trail.
Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for."

Louis L'Amour, Ride the Dark Trail

Monday, February 26, 2007

Random Photo #5

June 1979 - Badlands National Monument, South Dakota. I stopped there for a couple of days before some training at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Random Photo #4

July, 2001 - Lake Irene, Rocky Mountain National Park

We'd fled to Colorado from Montana due to a heat wave that had temperatures in the high 90s every day, and wouldn't cool down at night. Colorado was, as usual, perfect.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Why we didn't go camping this weekend

We were scheduled to go to Emerald Cove on the Colorado River this weekend. It's a membership campground that (like lots of others) gives you some free nights of camping in exchange for listening to their sales pitch. We were looking forward to it - until Don had a run-in with a bungie cord while loading his truck. Hit him right in the eye. Almost blinded him. Well, yes, it DID blind him in that eye, but he should get the sight back in a month to six months. He has a 1/3 to 1/2-inch long vertical scratch centered right across the pupil and iris. There's a lot of blood pooling under the lens, so between the scratch and the blood, he can't see out of that eye. He also has a heck of a black eye from the bruising above and below, and is just now recuperating from all the vomiting he did when he went in to shock at the ER.

It'll take time, but he'll be fine. He even drove himself to the post office yesterday, though he overshot the parking space by about 5 feet. He's got to get used to the one-eyed driving.

So, no camping this weekend. Just a quiet 3 days relaxing at home. Next trip? Don't know. It'll be up to him.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Lake Perris, again

Since this was a three-day weekend for us, we decided to go to Lake Perris again. This time the weather was better for Don to fish, except for a mild storm that came through Sunday morning. To the right is our rear view - looking out the kitchen window.

This is the view northeast from our campsite, looking at the San Bernardino Mountains.

Here I yelled at Don to turn around as he was coming in to shore for some lunch. The fishing wasn't that good, but he did hook a large trout and a big largemouth bass.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Random Photo #3

2005 - Ponytail Falls, in the Columbia River Gorge east of Portland, Oregon.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Random Photo # 2

1982 - The mountains above the Königsee, near Bertchesgaden, Germany. We were stationed in Germany, and loved to go south to the Alps.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Random Photo From the Archives

This was taken in 1979 along the Gros Ventre River east of Grand Teton National Park. It was a cloudy, gloomy day, and at just the right moment the sun came out and highlighted the red hills.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Dreaming of Yellowstone

We've been planning our summer trip, which is going to take us to two places outside of Yellowstone - Red Cliff Campground on the Gallatin River north of the park about 45 miles, and Yellowstone Valley Inn, along the North Fork of the Shoshone River between the East Entrance and Cody. We'll be able to visit the park, and I plan on taking the drive on the Beartooth Highway.

While I've been doing my research, I came across this: a live webcam of Old Faithful! It refreshes every 30 seconds.

Old Faithful Webcam

What fun! If you're patient, you can see Old Faithful erupt!

Get Well, Gary!

We met Gary last year - a true fisherman. He's retired, lives in Las Vegas; parked his motorhome for the winter up at Overton Beach so he could fish any time he wanted. This year we spent a lot of time with him, both in his motorhome watching football and basketball on his new big screen tv, and out on the lake. (Though I just went out one time; DH went out as much as he could.)

On New Year's Eve we went out on the lake in his boat - Gary, his wife Debbie, DH, and me. Gary was complaining of "discomfort" in his chest. He knew something wasn't right. He insisted on going fishing, and wouldn't go back to Las Vegas that day. We joined them for some champagne around 7:30, and he said if he still felt bad in the morning, he'd leave. He did. We saw that both cars were gone on New Year's Day.

We left Overton on Wednesday (the 3rd) to come home, and Wednesday night Gary called from the hospital! He'd had an agiogram done and they discovered a 99% blockage in one of the arteries! Debbie called Thursday night to tell us he'd had an angioplasty done, the stent was inserted, and he was resting - would go home from the hospital on Friday or Saturday.

He emailed us yesterday to let us know he's doing better and should be back out on the lake again soon! GET WELL, GARY!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Blue Point and Rogers Springs

Blue Point Spring and Rogers Spring are between Overton Beach and Echo Bay. The first one, Blue Point, can be found by walking up the stream to its source, about a quarter mile from the parking lot. The water comes right out of the rocks, into a small gaging station, and then down a little gully to Lake Mead - about 2 miles away. Palm trees grow all along the waterway. The water is warm, too - these are both thermal springs. Rogers Spring is much larger, and there's a pond that flows out under a small bridge and then down to the lake.

More Overton Beach Pictures

My favorite picture from Overton Beach - Moonrise over Lake Mead.

This is the view of Lake Mead from our trailer.

One of many great sunsets.

After a cold front moved through, the Virgin Mountains were blanketed with snow, and the winds made whitecaps on the lake.

One of many large catfish that Gary and DH caught.

The stripers were all too small, and got thrown back.

Another great sunset picture.

One more.

Review: Overton Beach, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

BAD NEWS: The Overton Beach Marina, including the RV Campground, is closing. The National Park Service decided that due to low water levels, they’re going to move the marina and boat slips to Callville and Temple Bar. They decided not to renew the contract with the concessionaire, which expired December 31, 2006. The people who live in the mobile home park have been told they have to find a new location by March 31, 2007. The store, showers, laundry, and rv park will also be closed by that date as well.

Address: HC 30 Box 70, Overton, NV 89040
Phone: 702-394-4040
Website used to be http://www.overtonbeachmarina.net, but now that website is down, probably because of the pending closure.
To make a reservation: call the above number
Rates: $21/night. Weekly and monthly rates used to be available; call to see what’s planned up to March 31.
General Information: This campground has been a delight, sitting on a small bluff overlooking the Overton Arm of Lake Mead, with expansive views across the lake to the Virgin Mountains.
# Sites: 40
# Sites with hookups: 40
Dump station: yes
Size of sites: long enough for all big rigs; wide enough to park next to your rig if you want.
Office hours: Daily, 7 am to 5 pm.
Interstate access: Not really. From I-15 at Glendale, it’s about 25 miles to Overton Beach.
On site staff? Friendly, helpful? : The staff at the store are wonderful. They are all devastatd about the pending move, but will continue to be professional and helpful. The woman who checked us in could have charged us 11 days at the daily rate, but surprised us by giving us a weekly rate + 4 single days, which was considerably cheaper.

Noise info: We were there in winter, so there were only fishing boat sounds during the day. The only sounds you hear at night are the coyotes and the occasional braying of a Lake Mead burro.

Amenities Marina and boat launch facilities, store with rv and marine supplies and limited groceries. They also serve hot dogs.
Restrooms: Toilet and sink facillites at the rv campground, more over at the store/marina area.
Showers: Yes, $1.00.
Pool: No. But if it’s warm enough, you can swim in Lake Mead.

WiFi: no
Cell phone reception (I have Cingular): Strong. Tower about ¼ mile from the campground.
Laundry: Yes.
Store: Yes.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

St. Thomas - A Once-Flooded Ghost Town

St. Thomas was founded in 1865 by Mormon settlers, who built their homes in the bottom of the wide canyon near the confluence of the Muddy and Virgin Rivers. With a railroad spur built to stop at St. Thomas, the town served not only farmers, but miners and prospectors and railroad people. After Hoover Dam was completed, the rising waters of Lake Mead forced the abandonment of the town in 1938. Now that the lake's water level has dropped so drastically, the remains of the town are easily explored.

A three-mile dirt road takes you to a parking area overlooking the town, which is virtually invisible from above due to the overgrown tamarisk and other vegetation. You hike down into the flats, and take a 2.5 mile loop trail through the brush. Small side trails take you to various ruins, and the main trail goes to some of the larger builidings.

We also took a few photos from the boat when we went fishing; the first one is of an old Model T.

Looking Out the Rear Window: Overton Beach

This photo is the first one in a series of photos I will take out of the rear window of our trailer. Since I have a rear kitchen, this is the view I have when I wash dishes. Not bad!