Monday, July 28, 2014

RV Life: Lake Tahoe, Idaho, Utah

Day 1: Saturday, July 19
I had spent the week making food & packing the motorhome for the trip.  We had debated on sleeping in the motorhome Friday night & just taking off early Saturday morning, but we ended up sleeping in the house.  I got up extra early Saturday morning & finished packing the last few items that couldn't be packed ahead of time.  I told my son the night before that I would be waking him early so we could go camping.  I woke him & gave him a quick shower & we ate breakfast in the motorhome on the road.

I love to see the sun rise.  This one I saw as I was going back & forth packing the last few items Saturday morning.

Pretty clouds--I took this right before we drove away.

There's a whole lot of nothing but desert as you cross California to Nevada.

My son likes to live on his head these days, even while we're travelling in the motorhome!

We stopped at a gas station & I just had to take a pic of this!

We stopped at a park to eat a quick lunch.  It was very pretty.

Back on the road, at least there were mountains to look at as we passed through the Eastern Sierra.

I'm not a big fan of the desert, I think it looks dead & dry &a little depressing; so I was very happy to see a little stretch of forest!

We passed a lot of water--reservoirs & lakes.  This was Lake Mono, I thought it was very pretty

My son enjoying the view

My hubby didn't even know I took this!  

Since I woke him so early & there was so much excitement about the trip he ended up taking a nap!

Crossing the border into Nevada, back into desert

We kept seeing signs warning of a fire nearby & to watch for low flying aircraft.  We never saw anything aside from this one lonely fire truck

We took a strange route to Lake Tahoe.......turns out the RV Park gave hubby the wrong address, but the route was pretty nevertheless.  Here we were climbing a big mountain & we were looking down on farms.....there were millions of cows down there

Back into forest!!

We were headed down a narrow road with lots of little cabins.  I asked hubby if he was sure he reserved for a RV Park?  I didn't see any other RVs on this road.  We were both getting more & more suspicious that something wasn't right & then the GPS on hubby's phone told him to turn HERE!  As we passed it the road came to an end.  We got turned around & it was then hubby & I compared addresses & realized the error.  

This place was really nice & right across the street from the beach.  We were very near the entrance so it was a really quick walk to the beach for us.  When making reservations most places were completely booked & we ended up with the very last available spot at this place.  Apparently there was some sort of professional golf tournament going on in the area that was contributing to how booked up everything was.

This was our camp site.  The lady told us it was a little "different" but that it was all she had.  We realized the way it was set up we were sharing our camp space with our neighbors, we were both turned in opposite directions due to the location of the hook ups.  They were nice people & it was a large enough space that it wasn't a problem though.

On the pier with my son

Playing on the beach

Burying his toes in the sand

So I buried mine too!

There were lots of geese around

It was a little stormy, we saw lightning a few times in the clouds

Day 2, Sunday July 20
I got up early, as I usually do while we're camping.  Hubby & son slept in a little.  So I had some nice quiet time to myself in the morning as I ate & read my Bible, etc.  I spotted lots of beautiful birds in our campsite before our neighbors got up.  There were warnings of bears & they told us they were having issues with one specific black bear, but thankfully we never saw him!

As we left Tahoe to head to Idaho we went through this tunnel

There were lots of pretty streams on the way north

Still plenty of desert terrain

A little hard to see, but this is a prison.  There was a sign on the highway that stated "entering prison zone, hitchhiking prohibited"  It was a little creepy.

We passed through South East Oregon.  It was a little sad to see.  It looked like an area that was hit very hard by the economic collapse in recent years.  Lots of empty & abandoned businesses.  Lots of farmers & most living out of shacks & houses with holes in the roofs, windows, walls, etc.  I did want a pic of the sign stating we entered Oregon, but I didn't feel comfortable taking pics of the things I saw that made me sad.

As we entered Oregon we saw nothing but a long straight flat highway, it looked like it went on forever, with nothing in sight.

But as time went on we got some curves & hills

It's interesting to me to see how different states do things differently.  In California we have "call boxes" along the highways.  That is something I don't see in other states (I think Nevada might have them?)  Some states have rest areas along the highways, & some states have much nicer rest areas than other states.  In Oregon I didn't see call boxes or rest areas, but I did see lots of turn outs with a trash can along the highway.  And they had a sign stating "no littering".  I found this a little odd.  I mean, this was truly in the middle of nowhere.  I had to wonder first of all, who would pull over just to throw away trash.  And secondly, who comes along & empties these trash cans??

We finally entered Idaho & were clearly back in desert terrain.  I had no idea so much of Idaho is just desert.

There were a few mountains.....but they weren't pretty mountains like in Utah or Arizona, just dry dead mountains.

I've always heard that it's the potato capitol of the country.  So I was surprised to see so many fields of gluten......uh, er, I mean wheat!

Entering Boise, which is the big city area I guess.

We had passed up a Whole Foods in Reno, NV but we did stop at the one in Boise & got some steak & potatoes

Boise was an interesting mix of old dumpy stuff & lots of new development going on as well.

We made it to our RV Park.  This place looked really pretty on their website, but it was not pretty when we got there.  Hubby felt he made a bad choice, but I think that's just all there is in a city like Boise.  The spot they had assigned to us was right up against this giant electric-blue motorhome.  Even the windows were electric blue.  The place was basically just a big parking lot.  No grass, no picnic table, nothing.  The office was closed when we arrived so we couldn't talk to anyone there.  As hubby tried to hook us up (in the rain I might add) he found it was a 50 amp hookup (& we need a 30 amp hook up).  We got out & walked around.  There was a small strip of grass with hook ups & a few cabins beyond that.  We looked there & the hook up had a 30 amp option.  We were worried if we took the spot someone else might be coming for it & we would have a problem.  But there were no other forms left for anyone, as our's had been.  So we went ahead & took that empty spot.  Nobody ever came to claim the spot & no one came banging on our door asking what we were doing there.  The next morning hubby went to explain to the office & they apologized.  It was all fine & dandy.

Here we are in the grass spot we weren't supposed to be in!!

Even in places that aren't so pretty at first glance I search for something pretty.  I found this little stream near the entrance of the camp.  

My silly kid

Day 3: Monday July 21st
We left the camp in Boise, heading an hour north to Payette, Idaho.  We had heard it was a nice area.

More gluten fields

And lots of corn fields

This area was very old & very dumpy.  And this time hubby was sure he had picked a good place.  But once again, I don't think there were any really good places in this area.  

It was mostly filled with people who were living there permanently.  At least it offered trees for shade & a picnic table, I am always grateful for those.

We wandered a little & found the Payette river

And the history of the city

As I wandered around in the RV Park itself I found this beautiful garden.  It had flowers & fruits & veggies.  It was amazing!   It was out in the open, anyone could've come & raided it for food.  We learned it was owned by the people running the RV Park.  They said we were welcome to take whatever we wanted, but they warned that there was a weird bug on the raspberries that they didn't know what it was.  Take at your own risk they said.  :)

Just beyond the garden was a train track

My son loves flowers

And he loves to put them in my pocket, LOL

Corn, tomatoes, watermelons, squash, cucumbers, there was LOTS of food growing here!

The only nice looking home in the area of Payette that we saw

Just beyond the train track was this little creek

Not the type of photo I would normally take, but this fire hydrant in the RV Park was too funny, I couldn't resist!

Day 4: Tuesday, July 22nd
We left Payette & headed to the Sun Valley area of Idaho, about 3 hours east.  We were told this area was really nice, but we had been told that about Boise & Payette too, LOL

I saw lots of logging trucks in this area

There were some hills, but it was still very dry & desert like terrain.  Not very pretty to look at.

We stopped at a gas station & considered some roadkill for lunch......but decided to pass

We kept seeing something up ahead on the highway when it was flat enough to see far ahead.  But we couldn't make out what it was.  I kept thinking it was a truck side ways across the highway, but every time we saw it it was the same, even though it was moving forward, so we knew it couldn't be.  We finally caught up to it & saw that it was a wide load that was taking over the entire highway.  At this point it was struggling a lot & we finally realized there was a little car trying to get around the wide load!!  If you look closely you can see a big rig stopped at the top of the hill here.  Behind it was a line of cars.  There was no chance of passing this truck for us.  Finally the highway split into 3 directions & it went straight while we turned left.  

We passed a few Christmas tree farms

We finally made it to our RV Park.  Hubby was certain that he had picked a good one this time.  Although there were very few to choose from in this area.  It was the nicest we had seen so far in Idaho, but once again they had the hook ups opposite so that you had to share your camp space with your neighbor.  And the space itself was very small.  That was the only downside to this place.  We did have nice neighbors thankfully.

Our neighbors ended up getting a second picnic table put in so we could each have our own picnic table at least.

Thankfully we were out of the desert & into the forest, but just barely.  

Our son has been begging to put the awning out.  We finally did here, this was our first time putting it out.  It was VERY nice!!

I was very excited to add Oregon & Idaho to our map!!  Now I can't wait to go to Washington LOL!

We went exploring & found a little river

Throwing rocks in the river

I thought the starbucks was cool, with all the logs.  And the logs are loose, you can easily remove them.

This was in the window of a store, I thought it was funny so I had to get a pic

For some reason the sun sets very late in Idaho, around 10PM

Day 5: Wednesday, July 23rd
It got super cold this night.  Thankfully hubby got up & turned on the heater. He snapped this pic of our son, all bundled up, which is rare for him.  He was definitely cold.

I went exploring & found this river, The Big Wood River, running down the street from our campground.

I had heard that lots of celebrities & big wigs have home here in Sun Valley. The real estate is very pricey in this area.  I kept wondering where the celebrity homes were located & then discovered they were on this river right here.  From the highway you turn in to enter the RV Park we stayed in.  Just past that if you continue on the street is the nicest mobile home park I've ever seen.  Just past that is a biking/hiking trail.  And just past that is this Big Wood River & private streets.  We ventured into one of the private streets but none of the others.  Then I started googling the street names & coming up with 20 million dollar homes!!  We could see some of the houses through the forest from the hiking trail.  One of them we had thought was some sort of lodge or hotel, but later realized it was a house.  I thought it was pretty funny to hide the celebrity homes behind the RV Park & Mobile Home Park!

We rented bikes & did some more exploring

Despite his face in this pic, he was really having a good time & really loved being towed in the trailer

We stopped to pet some horses

I spotted this giant chair & HAD to get a pic of my son on it, LOL

Day 6: Thursday, July 24th
Went exploring again.  Down the street to a biking/hiking trail.  

This is a little hard to see, but it was a very nice wood carving.  A bear waving on top & a fish on the bottom

We stopped at the botanical garden, it was so pretty & the people here were so nice.  They couldn't wait to tell our son about the sandbox, which was a very nice sandbox.  

On our way back to camp, we stopped at the river for a little bit first

I don't like watching TV while camping, but occasionally I allow it.  After finishing Oliver & Company (is that what it's called??) there was an ancient Disney short film on the VHS.  He was sooooo into it.  I loved this expression as he watched it, just had to snap a pic, hehehe

Day 7: Friday, July 25th
This day we packed up & left, coming home on the 15, through beautiful Utah.

Because it got so cold the first night, I turned on the thermostat for the heater the second night.  We turned it on, but still at 4 AM my hip woke me up, in horrendous pain.  Even though it wasn't all that cold inside the motorhome somehow my hip knew it was cold just outside.  I had to look at the weather app on my phone just to see how cold it was for that to happen.  Yep, pretty darn cold, especially in July!

Finally spotted a potato farm!!

And I finally got a shot of one of these "choo choo trucks", as I call them.  Not sure what they're really called, but I've never seen one in CA.

We stopped at a gas station & there was some really cute stuff so I had to take pics!

Crossed into Utah!

Utah has some weird cement trucks.  When I first saw one driving down the street I thought it was going backward!!  My son really enjoyed watching these!

I'm sure I probably passed through Salt Lake City when I was a kid, but I don't really remember it.  I was excited to see it this time.

Of course we had to make one final stop for fruit!

This was Friday at 5 pm in Salt Lake City.  The traffic is NOTHING compared to our home.

We could see a fire just over this mountain.  I did a little searching on my phone & found there was a 2000 acre fire at zero containment in Levan, just over this mountain.

It was a little stormy.  A few sprinkles, but plenty of lightning.

And then suddenly we had driven through the storm!

Stopped at another gas station

Beautiful sunset

My kid is soooo dramatic.....since the day he was born.......even when he's sleeping!

We were behind schedule all day long & arrived at our campground pretty late, although the sun sets earlier in Utah than it does in Idaho.  

Day 8: Saturday, July 26th
The final stretch homeward this day

It was too dark when we arrived to get a pic of our motorhome in our camp site.  This place was VERY nice.  I actually wish we had been able to stay here a little longer.  It was a very fast stay.  No picnic tables, but everything else was really nice.  

I so love the red rock of Southern Utah, it's just so beautiful

And then we crossed into Arizona.

Arizona doesn't have the red rock like Utah, but the mountains are still pretty, unlike most of what we saw in Idaho

And then we crossed into Nevada, which isn't worth taking photos in my humble opinion.  Just dry, dead, depressing desert & depressing Las Vegas.

And then we crossed into California.  There's a whole lot of nothing out here, not much to take pics of.  And I actually ended up falling asleep, which is very rare for me.

How my kid entertains himself on long drives

We always stop here when we pass through Barstow.  Great shoes, socks, etc.  We love Timberland!

One of the MANY reasons I love travelling by motorhome.  You can be so totally comfortable during the long drives.  

Of course we had stop & go traffic to welcome us home!!