Saturday, July 7, 2007

Saturday, July 7th

We are heading home today. We may do the 430 miles in one day or break it up with stops and an overnight in Goldfield or Tonopah.




Update: 2200hrs

We are home. The Nevada roads were perfect. I can't remember a single pot hole in 400+ miles. We left Carson City at 1100hrs and arrived home at 1900hrs. We stopped three times, once for lunch, a 15 minute stretch in Tonopah and 30 minutes in Amargosa where I talked to a husband and wife, trucking couple that had just done a big portion of our overall route in reverse. Good people!!

The Monsterhome performed perfectly. Not a single issue with the coach or truck. The Renegade-Kibbi product remains a "ten" in my book!

We averaged just under 8 MPG for the whole trip. The Eslcalade was towed 80% of all miles and our avereage speed for the trip was 47 MPH, too include all the tight twisty roads of California Highway 1 and US 101.

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I will be editing the photos and the blog over the next 30-60 days. The best photos will be made available on my http://pjcnlv.smugmug.com/ gallery site and the Blog will be edited to add road conditions and RV park reviews as much as possible.

Looking back, there are a few places we definitely plan to camp out for extended stays in the future. In order:

1) Virgina City, NV - This town has great future potential with the reconstruction of the V&R railroad by 2010.

2) Charleston, OR - The southern and central Oregon Coast is breathtakingly beautiful and adds a real working environment of fishing and logging towns to make it real.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Friday, July 6th

We will be touring Virginia City and possibly circling Lake Tahoe today. Here is our planned route.




Update: 2215hrs

Virginia City was a hit! We spent almost the whole day there.

Downtown Virginia City.



One of the restored storefronts, era 1865.



Harleys out in front of the Union Brewery and Brass Rail Saloon.



The bar inside the Bucket of Blood Saloon.



Another vintage bar, this time at the Delta Saloon.



More motorcycles, out in front of the Silver Queen.



The bar inside the Union Brewery. Look closely, thee are about a hundred, women's bras hanging from the ceiling.



The desk Mark Twain launched his literary career from.



The inside of the Mark Twain Museum. Not to be missed.



One of the Vintage Fire Engines on display at the Comstock Fireman's Museum.



The Old Washoe Club. The upstairs portion housed the Millionaires Club where back in the 1860's you had to have a minimum net worth of one million dollars before you were considered for club membership.



An old timer playing at the original piano from the Old Washoe Club.



We only managed a quick trip up to Lake Tahoe. This photo is from the east side.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Thursday, July 5th

We are heading to Carson City, NV today which is just 170 miles away. The last two days have been 350 miles plus per day on two lane country highways, and a bit tiring.

Our route is as follows.



Update: 2145hrs

Sorry, I did not take photos today. We will be touring Lake Tahoe, Virginia City and hopefully, the local Railroad Museum tomorrow.


CAMPGROUND & ROAD REVIEWS


CAMPGROUND:

Comstock Country RV Resort
URL: http://www.comstockrv.com/

Pros:

* A great base for the area to reach out to Tahoe, Virginia City etc.
* Clean, well maintained common facilities.
* Easy to find, right on Highway 395 at the west, Highway 50 intersection.
* Friendly staff.

Cons:

* Lots of highway noise.
* Sterile, gravel and asphalt park.
* Extremely tight quarters.
* Wifi is worthless!!

ROADS:

California, Highway 44 - South from Hat Creek to the Highway 36 Junction. The typical, beat up, poorly maintained California road 'till you cross the Lassen County line to the Highway 36 junction, where the road is excellent.

California, Highway 36 - A good to excellent road from the Highway 44 junction to Susanville.

California, Highway 395 - The typical, beat up, poorly maintained California road along with construction to resurface the highway, starting about 10 miles north of the Nevada border where the road is resurfaced and superb.

Nevada, Highway 395 - California Border to Carson City, NV. A perfect road except for a few rough patches in Reno. The new freeway, presently under construction between south Reno and Carson City will just make it better.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Wednesday, July 4th - GOD BLESS THE USA!

What's a trip on Oregon, Highway 97 without a side jaunt over to Crater Lake?

Here is our route for today.




I surprised the family and diverted our route today to include Crater Lake, National Park. It has been 40 years since I was here last. The Lake is as beautiful as ever!

Can you say "BLUE" and "WOW"!

From the village on the south side of the rim.



Also from the south side.



From the rim near the north entrance.

We have been blessed with superb weather this trip. The photos above are indicative of being in the right place with the right climate.

We are in Hat Creek, CA tonight - truly in the Northern California outback. Highway 97 was a superb road 'till we crossed into California where it either presented complete disrepair or, as the mother road of makeshift repairs. I think all Caltrans does is patch pavement cracks with what must be an endless supply of road tar. The question begs - what in the is California doing with all the tax and lottery revenues?

Tomorrow we will head to Carson City, NV for a one day layover with visits to Comstock Country, i.e. Virginia city as well as Lake Tahoe.

Just a reminder, all the photos you see here will be available at my http://pjcnlv.smugmug.com/ photo gallery site, within 60 days.

Cheers!


CAMPGROUND & ROAD REVIEWS

This is my first, formal review on the campsite we stayed at and on the roads that led us to our destination. I hope that you find this information useful.

CAMPGROUND - Hat Creek, Hereford Ranch, RV Park & Campground
URL: http://hatcreekrv.com/

Pros:

* Great for kids!
* The creek side, swimming beach was refreshing.
* Superb Wifi access.
* Spacious sites - easy navigating for very large rigs.
* Beautiful grounds.
* Friendly staff, the office was open 'till 2000hrs,

Cons:

* The park is about 30 years old and the facilities show it although everything is maintained well.
* 30 amp AC outlets only.
* A little tricky to find if you are heading eastbound on Highway 89. There is no sign 'till a 100 yards or so before you need to turn off the highway.

ROADS:

Oregon, Highway 97 - A superb road the entire length. Well maintained, marked and safe.

Crater Lake Access - Note: Disconnect and have your Tow'd follow if you plan to take a large RV through the park.

We entered the park via the northern gate. The road from Highway 97 and to the gate was excellent. The rim road to the village on the south side is extremely narrow, steep and winding with no shoulder and no guard rails. The parking area at the village is small and tight and barely has turn around facilities for larger rigs. The southern access route to the park via Oregon, State Highway 62, starts out south from the village with fairly sharp curves and a steep downhill grade. The road progressively straightens out into a very good, well maintained road all the way through Fort Klamath and back to Highway 97. The route through the upper Klamath Valley is very beautiful with expansive ranch land bordered by mountain ranges.

California, Highway 97 - As soon as we crossed the border, the road went downhill and became a fairly bumpy patchwork of new and old asphalt. The road is straight and fast with the exception of turns and grades at the area nearing Weed, California.

California, Highway 89 - A good mountain road but also in disrepair in many places. Watch for road construction between Bartle and Cayton.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Tuesday, July 3rd

We are at the Crooked River Ranch RV Park near Bend, Oregon.

We clicked off 360 miles today to include a route along the east side of the Olympic Peninsula, through the sprawling city of Portland and along side, towering Mt Hood.




After 7 hours in the saddle, I was a bit lazy to set out on serious photo subject hunts. I hope the following will tide you all over for a bit.

The Hama Hama River Bridge on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula.



Towering Mt Hood as seen from Highway 26.



The Crooked River Bridge, north of Bend, OR. Once the highest, single span bridge in the US at nearly 300 feet above the Crooked River, it was built in 1926 and designed by Conde B. McCullough.



Fidel mentioned "Raw Americana" earlier. Here is another taste - American, RV Families enjoying perfect evening weather in the Crooked River Valley, Oregon.



We have another full travel day tomorrow. We will drop the tail hook in Hat Creek, CA.

Cheers

Monday, July 2, 2007

Monday, July 2nd

Our last day in Victoria, BC.

I went for a walk today at 0600hrs to capture the still harbor waters and morning light near Fisherman's Wharf. There is a good sized, house boat community moored in that area which always make great photo subjects.



A row of sailboats at the wharf.



The Gatsby Mansion, built at the beginning of the 20th century by William J. Pendray who made his early fortune in the California Gold Rush. The home is now the forefront of a large, well appointed Hotel.



Update: 2230hrs

We are back in Port Angeles, WA USA!

We visited the Butchar Gardens today. By far, the most famous of all on the island. 'Following are a few photos that barely touch the visual experience.









As our Ferry was departing the inner harbor at Victoria, a float plane landed nearby and had to skirt around our vessel to reach its mooring. In the background are a few of the houseboats I covered earlier today.



For the sailors - A Panamanian Tankers lies in wait outside of Port Angeles.



We are off to central Oregon tomorrow on our return leg home.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sunday, July 1st

We are in Victoria, BC Canada. It is Canada Day!

The Canadians celebrate Canada Day much like we celebrate the 4th of July in the US.

We left the Monsterhome in Port Angeles and loaded up the Escalade on the ferry, MV Coho of the Black Ball Line and departed for Victoria. The MV Coho is over 47 years old but is immaculate. We recommend the Black Ball Line for any applicable travel in the Puget Sound area.

The photo below is as we depart Port Angeles with snow capped, Hurricane Ridge in the back ground.



We were in Victoria and at our Hotel on the waterfront in 90 minutes. The downtown area and inner harbor area of Victoria is in 100% party mode to celebrate Canada Day.

Earlier in the day, we set out to walk the town. The photo below is of Johnson Street, with many buildings from the 1800's.



The Empress Hotel which first opened its doors in 1908 was built by the Canadian Pacific Railroad for a huge sum - at that time of more than $1.5 million dollars.



The Craigdarroch Mansion, built by rags to riches, coal baron, James Dunsmiur.



One of the interior bedrooms in the mansion. The home and grounds are open to the public via self guided tours. The mansion has extensive history to include being a Military Hospital, post World War II.



Canada Day at noon. A band stage is setup in front of the Legislative Building.



Later in the evening at 2130hrs, the bands are playing and crowds gathering.



The fireworks show comes at 2230hrs. Already, the best harbor side spots are staked out.



A shot of a very fast paced and well done, fireworks show. It was all over in 10 minutes.



Tomorrow, we will venture out of town a bit to visit the Butchart Gardens and perhaps more. To end the day, we will cruise back to Port Angeles at sunset.

Update: July 3rd, 0800hrs

Notes on Vancouver Island and Victoria:

* Gasoline is $4.40 a gallon or roughly $1.15 a litre. This is must be attributable to high fuel taxes as Canada has immense petro resources.
* Very friendly people and accommodating to visitors - much like the people of Hawaii.
* Victoria presents a considerable Bohemian Side similar to other northwest cities.
* Victoria, had a considerable and evident homeless population as well as apparanelty productive people that present themselves to live with one foot in the street and the other under a roof at night.
* In our brief travels of the city and island we found it hard to find restaurants that were family friendly.
* Private properties are very well kept especially in the more rural areas. There was not a mobilehome to be seen.

Will we return to Canada? Absolutely! We are planning an Alsakan Highway venture and I would also like to explore the western interior of the country to include Calgary during the annual Stampede as well as travel throughout the Canadian Rockies.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday, June 30th

We are heading up to Port Angeles today with a lunch stop in Forks, WA to visit the Logging Museum.



While you are the next post, I invite you to see "Rocky, the Motorhome Driving Daredevil" as he attempts to jump 35 cars in a motorhome. http://rvvideos.blogspot.com/2007/06/daredevil-jumps-cars-with-motorhome.html

Update: 2100hrs

Spectacular weather today! Just perfect!

As we were heading up Highway 101 on the east side of the bay from Long Beach Peninsula, we captured one of four air boats navigating the wetlands at good clip. Yesterday, I forgot to add that we really liked Long Beach. The property values are sane, the town hosts everything from one of the biggest Rod Runs, to Harley meets to a Sand Castle competition and more. It is good to see a local community with life in perspective and not too influenced by lesser humans that live in great concentration, in small boxes, hundreds of miles away.



Highway 101 from Long beach to Port Angeles is a superb road. We made great time. I reccommend this route for any sized vehicle. We stopped briefly on the coast at "Beach #4" for a few photos. On the beach were local, Hoh Indians catching perch by the bucket full.



As mentioned, we stopped at the Forks, WA Logging Museum and bypassed the Hoh Rain forest. The museum, operated by a friendly staff is small but packed with artifacts. Below is a vintage, chain saw display.

My youngest now wants a Log truck for his toy collection, and that is just right!






For 15 miles, Highway 101 sits right on the edge of Lake Crescent, a very deep lake with the most blue waters I have ever seen. The photo below captures the hues of the water from crystal clear to the immediate drop off and deep blue waters.



We are in Port Angeles. The scene out our RV window includes the snow capped mountains of the Olympic National Forest to the south. It's nightfall now and a Circle Track Raceway a few miles away has added proper music for the evening.



Tomorrow, we plan to visit Victoria, BC Canada.