Mar 15, 2017

From Arizona to Florida -- February 2017

February 1st we started our trip back to Florida from Quartzsite Arizona. Here is a break down of our 16 day trip
February 1st we were back in Quartzsite Arizona at a free camping spot on BLM land.-- By the first of February Quartzsite is back to being a quiet peaceful camping area.  All the RV show people have left and now only a few hundred campers remain in this BLM area. It was hard to leave such a peaceful spot but we had to continue on our journey.

Our next stop was Gilbert Ray Campground in Tucson Arizona. We stayed  2 nights and paid $40.00   Arizona has such beautiful sunsets and Gilbert Ray Campground did not let us down.  The campsites are surrounded by the natural landscape of cactus and rocks.  It seemed the sunset just brought out the beauty of the landscape.
 
While we were in Tuscon we took a trip to the Biosphere 2.  Owned by the University of Arizona since 2011, it is a Earth systems science research facility. 




From Tuscon we headed east on Interstate 10 to Demings New Mexico  We spent 2 nights at 81 Palms Campground.  The cost for the 2 nights $56.00.  If  train noise and interstate noise bothers you then this is not the campground for you. This is the second time we have stayed at the park so you can tell the noise doesn't bother us.  Plus it was time to do some laundry and this campground has a large laundry facility. All work and no play is not fun so after the laundry was done we headed to Rockhound State park for the rest of the day.  Being Floridians we get excited seeing rocks of different colors and shapes.  The park ranger told us not to stay on the designated path if we wanted to find some really nice rocks so we ventured up the side of the mountain.  It was a perfect day for a hike and we found some beautiful rocks to take home.

 Our next stop was White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo New Mexico.  After a visit to the visitors center and viewing a video about the dunes we spent the day walking the sand dunes and watching people slide down the dunes.  Hard to believe that in the middle of all of these mountains and rocks is such a beautiful white sand area.
The park ranger at the visitors center gave us directions to a free camping spot on BLM land just a few miles from the park. Here is short video showing the camping area


 White Sands National Monument New Mexico free camp

Our next stop was an overnight stop in Stockton Texas.

Hilltop RV Ft Stockton Texas  $30.00

After boondocking it is nice to stay overnight where the tanks can be flushed and the water topped off.  Hilltop RV is located just off Insterate 10 in Ft Stockton Texas.  The next day we were back on the road by 11:00 AM headed to our next stopover in Junction City Texas.




Once we arrived at Junction City and set up camp we took a drive into town.  Our first stop was the Chamber of Commerce.  The two ladies at the front desk was so kind and helpful and said they hoped we had a wonderful time staying at the city park.  They directed us to the one and only grocery store in town.  After a little grocery shopping we went back to camp and explored the park.
This eagle is only one of several wood carivngs found in the park.
Also we were lucky to see a deer on a small island in the river.







KOA Austin Texas  $42.50
Cut N Shoot Texas  2 nights $81.00
Fontainbleu State Park Louisana  $26.00
Rivers Edge Holt Florida $28.00
                                                      Cairo Georgia 2 nights free camp

Total 
Miles Driven 2647
Camping  343.50  15 nights 
Fuel Cost  540.59  


Mar 5, 2017

From Florida to California -January 2017 Travel Cost


Traveled from Ocklawaha,Florida to
Death Valley,California to
Valley of Fire Nevada, and then
Lake Mead Recreation Area Nevada
2909 miles  driven month of January 2017
14 travel days with average of 209 miles per travel day
14 different camping areas - 7 camping areas the first week of travel from Florida
                                                                 

January 1 - 7 2017 Week one               January 8 - 14 Week Two            January 15- 21 week three
Free Campsite                                        Benson Arizona     $31.57          Quartzsite AZ  free
Robertsdale Alabama    $34.60              Tonopah Arizona    28.80
Rayne Louisiana            30.00               Quartzsite Arizona   free
Cut N Shoot Texas         40.50
Junction Texas               35.00
Van Horn Texas             38.50
Benson Arizona              31.57

Week one Camping       210.17             Week Two Camping   130.41      Week Three
                 Fuel Cost       575.38                  Fuel Cost                  60.37                 zero cost              
Total Spent                     785.55               Total Spent                190.78       Total Spent  0            


January 22 - 28 week four                                       Last three days of January 2017
Lake Havasau Arizona   95.00 3 days                     Death Valley California         $7.00
Death Valley California  40.00 4 days                     Valley of Fire Nevada            30.00
                                                                                    Lake Meade Rec Area            10.00

Week Four Camping    $135.00                            
                   Fuel Cost     115.51
Total Spent                    250.51                            

  Monthly Total       
                                                             31 days camping         522.58
                                                             fuel cost                       751.26
                                                            Total Monthly Cost    1273.84


                         

Mar 2, 2017

Here's the Plan for our Spring 2017 Adventure

Our kayaking and RVing plan is complete.  The reservations are made and paid for.  The excitement is building


Total days for this adventure is 41

Amount paid for campground sites $582.34. $14.20 average per day
         We used our interagency senior pass (people 62 and over) for the Corps of engineer parks, National Seashore, and the U S national Forest.  As Florida residents we received a 50% discount on the Florida State Park.

Budget for gas in motorhome. $450.00. 1518 miles 

Total average per day for travel (gas for motorhome) and campsite 25.00 

Here is the line of travel with campground specifics


Leave South Georgia 
Arrive Gunter Hill Montgomery Alabama. 191 miles traveled
           Corps of Engineer Park
            26.00 per night with our pass we paid $13.00 per day
           the site has electric-- water -- sewer-- 90 ft paved pad -- riverfront
           

Blue Bluff Campground Aberdeen MS. 190 miles traveled
           Corps of Engineer park
           22.00 per night with our pass we paid $11.00 per night
           The site has electric-- water-- 71 ft paved pad -- riverfront

Chickasaw Hill Enid MS. 113 miles traveled
           Corps of Engineer park
           16.00 per night with our pass we paid $8.00 per night
            The site has electric-- water-- 65 ft paved pad -- lakefront

Lake Lincoln State Park. Wesson MS 199 miles traveled
             State Park
             24.00 per night plus 1.68 tax total $25.68 per night (no discounts)
             The site has electric-- water-- sewer -- paved pad -- waterfront

Fontainebleau State Park Mandeville LA 128 miles traveled
              State Park 
              $28.00 per night plus 1.50 tax total of $29.50 per night (no discounts)
              The site has electric-- water-- 120 ft paved pull through pad-- not on water

Davis Bayou Ocean Springs MS traveled 83 miles
              Gulf Island National Seashore
              $22.00 per night with our pass $11.00 per night
              The site has electric-- water-- paved -- not on water

Fort Pickens Campground Pensacola FL traveled 129 miles
               Gulf Island National Seashore
               $32.00 per night with our pass $16.00 per night
               The site has electric-- water-- paved -- not on water

Camel Lake Campground Bristol FL traveled 191 miles
                U S National Forest Recreation Area
                15.00 per night plus 9.00 reservation fee for the 4 nights minus 5.00 night discount
                Average per night cost $12.25 per night
                The site has electric-- water-- 70 ft gravel site -- lakefront

Eastbank Campground Lake Seminole GA. Traveled 42 miles
                Corps of Engineer Park
                 24.00 per night with pass $12.00 per night
                 The site has electric -- water -- waterfront

Manatee Springs State Park Chiefland FL traveled 175 miles
                 State Park
                 20.00 per night plus 6.70 reservation fee and 3.60 tax on 4 night stay
                 Florida Resident Senior cost 10.00 per night plus fees $12.55 per night
                 Electric-- water-- sewer-- no waterfront



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Feb 28, 2017

How We Planned Our Great Loop of RVing and Kayaking


RVing and kayaking are two of our favorites things to do.  As spring approaches we are planning a trip that combines the two. 

8 Factors We Used for Planning This Adventure

1.  Weather - we prefer eighty degree weather -- try to avoid the tornado alley at peak season -- 

2.  Mileage between each destination-- Travel no more than 200 miles on a travel day 

3.  What is the checkin times at each campground  --we prefer to arrive at campsite around 2:00 and no later than 3:00 This gives plenty of time to set up camp before dark, maybe explore the area, and cook dinner.

4.  Can we get a reservation for at least two days at the campground -- state park campgrounds seem to be booked solid on weekends sometimes only offering a campsite for one night.  We try to avoid one night stands when possible.  The two day plan allows one full day to explore the area or enjoy a day of kayaking

5.   Choose campsites on water or close to water 
Being able to access the water without having to drive to a boat ramp to launch our kayaks

6.  Parks that offer discounts to seniors -- 
      Corp of engineers and national parks are 1/2 price with    interagency senior pass...National Forest   Agency offers discounts with this pass...  state parks only offer discounts to seniors that are citizens of that state.

7.  Cell phone service -  our kids get upset when they can not stay in contact with us -- they like to know we are safe

8.  Check out the reviews of the park -- campendum and allstays are the two sites we depend on for reviews - these internet sites gives us information on most of the things on this list. 


The reservations are made, the RV is packed, the kayaks are loaded on the toad, and the GPS is programmed with the coordinates of each campground. Planning is done -- let the adventure begin.

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Feb 8, 2017

Free Camp Near White Sands NM Area

Just three miles from White Sands National Monument in New Mexico is a great place to camp for free. ( The directions are at the end of this blog post.)
 Recommended by the Ranger at White Sands National Monument
 The RV spots on the lake was very nice but the landscape behind the RVs was a dump. Literally a dump where large amounts of concrete was dumped.

Campsites are close but not as close as many of campgrounds that charge fees
 If you look close you can see the cars on highway 70 but the noise was not bad
 Here is one of the clues that you are in the right spot.  The binoculars with the 61
 When turning off 70 into the camping area there are fence posts that are quite close together. Watch your hips and mirrors as you travel thru
 The gate is open and as you can see has been for a long time even though the sign says keep closed




 It is very peaceful by the lake watching the sun go down.

To get to this great location go north past White Sands National Monument on Highway 70 to mile marker 203.  Look for the sign with the binoculars and the number 61.  Turn left. Watch for traffic coming south on 70 and when clear then cross the highway and  proceed slowly between the two fence post.  There are several camping spots to choose from.

Coordinates are 32.811124  -106.12017

a video of the drive into the BLM camping area



Feb 2, 2017

The London Bridge in Arizona

As our adventure continues we found a treasure in Lake Havasu Arizona. This bridge in Arizona was built in 1830 and used as a bridge in England over the River Thames. Not only is this bridge beautiful to see but it is still being used. 



The vintage lamps are made from melted down cannons but now led lights light up the lamps instead of the traditional gas lights.


This is the tourist part of the London Bridge called London Land. The visitors center offers tours and history of the bridge.  



The dragon welcomes you at the entrance to London Land in Lake Havasu City
London Land has steps leading to the top of the bridge

There are many love locks on the bridge. Sweethearts come from all over to place a padlock with there name or initials on the bridge to symbolize their love.


We took the stairs to the top of the bridge and the views were spectular. 

London may not be in our future travels but it is nice to see part of it as we travel across America.

There are so many of these small treasures to see across America. Finding theses treasures is an exciting part of the adventure.  

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Jan 23, 2017

Camping at Quartzsite Arizona

Camping at Quartzsite, Arizona in January is to RVs as Oshkosh, Wisconsin is to airplanes in July and Sturges, South Dakota is to motorcycles in August Every year thousands of people flock to Quartzsite not only for a warmer place to be in the winter but to hob nob with other people that love to RV.



RV's as far as the eye can see.


Quartzsite offers free camping on BLM but has no hook ups for the RV.  There are lots of options in town for full hook RV parks but we always choose to dry camp on BLM for several reasons.  First it is free, second plenty of room between sites, and without the lights of the city it offers great views of the stars and moon.  

RVers have plenty of room to gather together 

 RV clubs of all types meet in Quartzsite

School Bus Conversion Group 

This bus named the Pickle




Tent Campers and Van campers
This group called the Rubber Tramps 

Escapees Club
or choose to be alone


So much to do out in the desert
Many bring OHV (off highway vehicles) to explore the back roads and mountain trails

Others bring gliders to explore from the air

Quartzsite has a lot to offer even if you don't own an OHV or glider there is plenty of exploring to do. Even shopping can be considered exploring since there is such a variety of vendors selling anything from food to rocks. If you are looking for a bargain then it can be found. 


Our new flag and flag pole at half the price of the ones at Camping World. 

 After a great day of shopping and exploring downtown, hanging out with friends, or roaming the countryside it's nice to sit back at camp and watch the beautiful sunset.




Then as an extra bonus a giant moon rises over the mountains



What a way to end a great day at Quartsite Arizona.

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