Happy 100, Oregon State Parks!

In celebration of 100 years of Oregon State Parks, I thought I’d put together a post highlighting the Oregon parks we’ve had the pleasure of staying in. The Oregon park system is comprised of 254 parks with more than 100,000 acres. Oregon State Parks offers more than 50 campgrounds across the state, with the majority of them accepting reservations. We’ve had the opportunity to stay in seven of the park campgrounds during our travels, which I’ve briefly reviewed below. I cannot sing the praises of the Oregon park system enough. We’ve found most of them to be gorgeous and well maintained — and a few of these parks rank at the top of our favorite-places-we’ve-ever-stayed list. Check out everything the Oregon State Parks system has to offer, including making reservations, by visiting their website.

From east to west and then south, with regards to the above map, here are the places we’ve stayed:

Emigrant Springs State Park | Meacham, OR

This park gave us very mixed feelings. It’s a beautiful little park along the route of the Oregon Trail, and pays homage to that history with displays and ranger talks (in season). We spent two nights here end of September/beginning of October 2021 as we made our way west from Bozeman to drop the Airstream off at Ultimate Airstreams in the Portland area. We had one of the 16 full hookup sites, 5 of which are open year round. There are also 32 sites with no hookups. Amenities include restrooms with individual shower rooms, firewood for sale, cabins for rent, and horse sites. The campground is small and wooded and VERY pleasing to the eye. The ears, however, not so much. With the convenient access right off I-84 comes a lot of noise. Like A LOT. Of the 122 different overnight locations we stayed with the Airstream, this was probably the loudest. It’s so unfortunate, because it really is a beautiful park, but some of the sites actually back right up to the interstate. Another issue with this park is packrats. We had never heard of packrats being an issue outside of the Southwest, but noticed multiple people with their hoods popped, including the camp host. We asked him if there was a packrat issue and he said yes, they’re terrible. I would rate this park 3.5/5, deducting 1 star for the noise and .5 star for the packrats. To read more about our stay, check out this post.

Ainsworth State Park | Cascade Locks/Corbett, OR

We stayed at Ainsworth State Park for two nights right after our stay at Emigrant Springs. There are 40 full hookup sites here which I believe are all pull throughs. There are also a handful of tent and hiker/bikers sites. Amenities include restrooms with showers, firewood for sale, a dump station, and hiking trails. I’ll be honest — Ainsworth State Park does not compare aesthetically to the other Oregon parks we’ve visited. The campground could use a little love, but it was quiet, the restrooms were clean, and it’s in the perfect location to explore the waterfalls (including Multnomah Falls) of the Columbia River Gorge located along the Historic Columbia River Highway (U.S. 30). FYI, the campground is closed in the winter. I would rate this park 4/5 stars due to having full hookups and a great location despite its shlumpy appearance. To read more about our stay, click here.

Silver Falls State Park | Sublimity, OR

We had the pleasure of spending four nights at Silver Falls State Park in early November of 2021. Silver Falls is known as the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Park system and it’s easy to see why. Located about 65 miles south of Portland and 20 miles east of Salem, the park, including the campground, is a forested, mossy, waterfall wonderland that is meticulously maintained. It’s the largest state park in Oregon and has more than 24 miles of walking/hiking trails, 14 miles of horse trails, and a 4-mile bike path. Amenities include water & electric sites, a dump station, horse sites, group sites, cabins, a playground, and restrooms with individual shower rooms. The day use area of the park also has a restaurant, a gift shop, an off-leash dog area, and a swim beach. The main attraction in this park is the Trail of Ten Falls, which is a 7.2-mile trail that weaves through the forest to each of the 10 waterfalls in the park. When we stayed in early November, we were able to still enjoy the fall colors, but it was very damp and rained pretty regularly. Regardless, this park definitely finds itself towards the top of our favorite places stayed list and might just be our favorite Oregon State Park! This park definitely gets 5/5 stars, even though there isn’t much around it. To read more about our visit, check out this post.

Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park | Florence, OR

We stayed at Jessie M. Honeyman in mid-August of 2018. We had originally planned to visit Crater Lake, but due to a wildfire, we rerouted and booked 3 nights at this park on short notice. Our site was the only one available at the time. This campground is open year round and offers 47 full hookup sites, 121 sites with electric & water, and 187 tent sites. In addition, there are yurts, group sites, and hiker/biker sites available. So, it’s a pretty big campground, and VERY busy during the summer months. (According to a Campendium review, it’s also quite busy during the winter.) This state park is a few miles south of Florence, one of the nicest little towns you’ll find on the Oregon Coast. The lodge at the park’s Cleawox Lake offers various watercraft rental. But the draw for this particular park is the sand dunes. Access to the adjacently located dunes is available from H Loop of the campground. Guess what loop we were in? That’s right — H Loop! Seeing as we really needed a place to stay when our plans changed fairly last minute, beggars can’t be choosers, but H Loop is loud. Like, really, really loud. For this reason, and because our site was really difficult to back into (it was at the wrong angle), this state park campground may have been our least favorite state park stay ever. At any state park. However, I would like to point out that based on the reviews that this park has received on various platforms, pretty much everyone else loves this park. So, take my opinion with a grain of….sand, I guess. We’d rate this park as a 3.5/5, deducting 1 star for the noise and .5 star for the difficulty in accessing our site. But we loved the location in regards to Florence, which not only offers good food options, but is also home to Heceta Head Lighthouse, one of 11 lighthouses on the Oregon Coast. To read more about our stay and activities in this area, read this post.

Bullards Beach State Park | Bandon, OR

Bandon, home to Bullards Beach State Park, is another fantastic little coastal Oregon town that has everything you might need during a visit. We had a couple of wonderful meals during our stay, but it’s not just the town that’s great — Bullards Beach is another fantastic state park! We spent four lovely nights here in October of 2019. We had a private, level, back-in site with full hookups. The campground also offers yurts, a horse camp, hiker/biker sites, restrooms with showers, a dump station, and a trail to the beach. The 4.5-mile long Bullards Beach is accessed by a 1.25-mile paved trail from the campground. You’ll also find Coquille River Lighthouse about 3 miles from the campground. Our tranquil, quiet stay may have been due in part to the time of year we visited, but we felt so at peace at Bullards Beach and would recommend this campground to anyone. Obvi, 5/5 stars. To read more about our stay, including some great food options in the area, check out this post.

Humbug Mountain State Park | Port Orford, OR

Humbug Mountain is a really nice little campground with 90 sites; two-thirds tent, one-third RV. It also offers hiker/biker sites, restrooms with showers, a dump station, and a short trail to the beach which is basically a private beach for the campground because of how it is accessed. There are a few hiking trails that leave right from the park, including the Old Hwy 101 Scenic Trail, which is 2.6 miles one way and is part of the 425-mile Oregon Coast Trail. Port Orford has some of the prettiest coastal views, including the views from Battle Rock City Park right in town, as well as from Cape Blanco Lighthouse at Cape Blanco State Park. To read more about our time at Humbug Mountain SP, click here. This park gets a 4.75/5 from us, with a slight deduction due to lack of privacy between sites.

Harris Beach State Park | Brookings, OR

Harris Beach State Park is situated directly on the ocean along the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, arguably the most beautiful stretch of coastline Oregon has to offer. This is a high-demand campground and with a handful of sites with ocean views, it’s easy to see why. The sites are spacious, with some offering full hookups and others water and electric. It’s a short walk down to the wild, sand beach with large rock formations. There’s a paved trail that leads into downtown Brookings from the park or it’s about a 5-minute drive. Brookings has all of the amenities you would need, including some restaurants and breweries. This campground gets a solid 5/5 from us. To read more about our stay at Harris Beach, check out this post. There’s a lot of natural beauty to explore in the area, so just hop in the car and drive! Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park is only about a half hour drive.

While the state of Oregon is home to 254 state parks, coastal Oregon is home to 36. Thanks to the 1962 Beach Bill, the public has free, unrestricted access to all of the state’s beaches. The 36 state parks (averaging one every 10 miles) found driving down the 101 allow for numerous places to pull off to enjoy the view, picnic, use a restroom, or stroll on the beach. The 362 miles of Oregon Coast is really the perfect place for a road trip. We spent four weeks on the Oregon Coast in July/August of 2018. Besides staying at the parks mentioned above, we also explored some of the state parks that don’t offer campground facilities, but do offer access to beautiful sights and recreational opportunities.

Shore Acres State Park | Near Coos Bay, OR

Shore Acres State Park was a delightful and unexpected little park located just south of Coos Bay. It was once the grand estate of pioneer timber baron Louis Simpson and features a beautiful botanic garden. There’s a formal garden, a Japanese-style garden with lily pond, and two rose gardens. There are also trails, one of which leads to secluded Simpson Beach. There’s also an observation building, which sits where the Simpson mansion once stood, to protect you from the elements as you view the ocean, looking for whales.

Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint | Near Tillamook, OR

Known for its lighthouse, stunning ocean views, and octopus-shaped Sitka spruce, Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint is a must-see when driving the Three Capes Scenic Loop. The day we visited was quite overcast, but on a clear day, it’s possible to see sea lions, dolphins, or migrating gray whales. There are a few short trails through the forest, which also double as a National Wildlife Refuge.

Cape Blanco State Park | Near Port Orford, OR

Built in 1870, Cape Blanco Lighthouse is the oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon coast, as well as the westernmost point in Oregon. According to the Oregon State Parks website, more than eight miles of hiking trails lead to the beach, viewpoints of ocean vistas, fishing spots along the Sixes River, and the lighthouse. The Historic Hughes House, built in 1889 for ranchers Patrick and Jane Hughes, is also a part of the park and available for tours. Cape Blanco State Park has a 52-site campground that also offers cabins, hiker/biker sites, and a horse camp. But hold on to your hats, because it’s regularly quite windy here.

Devils Punch Bowl State Natural Area | Near Newport, OR

A popular surfing area, Devils Punch Bowl State Natural Area is a day use park. The naturally carved bowl shape fills with water from crashing waves that then violently swirl, churn, and foam. The park is also a great area to view whales during migration season.

Seal Rock State Recreation Area | Near Newport, OR

While Devils Punch Bowl is located about 15 minutes north of Newport, Seal Rock State Recreation Area is located about 15 minutes south of Newport. The large rock formation in the picture below is actually not named Seal Rock, but Elephant Rock. The smaller rock formations to the left of Elephant Rock  (better seen in the second picture) are the Seal Rocks, where seals and sea lions used to gather regularly. To read more about where to see seals and sea lions in the wild along the Oregon Coast, read this article from the Travel Oregon website. Seal Rock State Recreation Area, however, is still a great place to explore tide pools and see sea birds. Or run along the beach with your dog, because as you can see from the pics below, even in the middle of summer, Oregon beaches are sparsely populated.

Brian Booth State Park | Near Newport, OR

Brian Booth State Park is located just north of Seal Rock State Recreation Area. The park is comprised of two distinct areas: Ona Beach (which is a day-use area with beach access) and Beaver Creek State Natural Area (a marshy area popular for kayaking). We only visited Ona Beach, but as you can see from the picture below, it’s another beautiful, somewhat otherworldly beach on the Oregon Coast.

As you can see, the Oregon State Parks system offers bountiful opportunities for great places to stay, a mix of recreational activities, and amazing views, whether they be forests, waterfalls, or rugged coastlines. Some Oregon State Park campgrounds are first come, first served, but most are on the reservation system (and reservations are highly recommended at those parks). Campsites become available at 6am PST six months in advance, so planning ahead may be required for summer stays at some of the more popular parks.

The Last Hurrah: Our Final Stay

When we would spend prolonged periods of time in the San Diego area, we preferred to stay at Surf & Turf RV Park in Del Mar. You can read about our previous stays there here and here. This is a barebones park that is essentially a gravel parking lot (though some trees are present) surrounded by a fence. Water and electric hookups are available and a pump truck comes around three times a week to empty your tanks. However, Surf & Turf decided to upgrade its hookups and install sewer connections this year, so our usual spot was out of commission temporarily. Our plan was to wait it out in the meantime across the street at the fairgrounds, where there are 58 RV sites with full hookups. They don’t take reservations, so after spending our one night in Temecula, we contacted the fairgrounds to make sure they had a spot for us before heading that way. The response: We’re closed until December 6th. A bit of a problem seeing as it was November 20th.

Surf & Turf is also owned by the fairgrounds, so I can only assume that both places are getting a little primping at the same time. We found ourselves in quite the predicament. After driving 750 miles from our condo in Bozeman to pick up our Airstream in Clackamas, Oregon where we had some work done, and then driving more than 1,250 miles to Southern California where we planned to spend the next four months, we appeared to be without a place to stay.

We both felt sick to our stomachs. How were we going to find a place to stay in San Diego County with no notice in late November? There are not many options for extended stays in an RV in the area and there are even fewer options that would be considered anything close to affordable. It might be possible to string together a few nights here and there at various regional parks and state beach campgrounds, but that wouldn’t work for us. We had very recently scrapped a lovely part of our route that would have taken us to a beautiful olive oil ranch in San Ardo, a week in Pismo Beach, a few nights in Ventura, and a few more nights in San Juan Capistrano, in order to arrive and get settled in San Diego earlier than originally planned in order to take care of some new work commitments and a personal commitment that required an airport. We needed to be able to stay in one place for the foreseeable future. We had ever only stayed at one other RV park in San Diego County for an extended period of time – Escondido RV Resort – and there were things about it that we didn’t care for. You can read about that stay here. However, we went back to our ‘it’s best to know what to expect then not’ school of thought, and decided to reach out to them first. Ultimately, thanks to a recent cancellation and moving a guest to a different site (you’re welcome for the upgrade!) they were able to get us in that day for a one-month stay. Phew! Our plan was to move to the fairgrounds after our month was up, and then hopefully Surf & Turf would be open.

At the time, we had no idea this would be our last time hitching up, our last travel day, and the last place we ever stayed with the Airstream — more about that shortly.

We had gotten lucky. We had never left such a long stretch of time to chance like that before, and this is why. Even though we had a plan that seemed like it would work, it didn’t. After almost four years of Airstreaming, mostly full time, we continued to learn lessons and experience things we hadn’t before. Some people are able to float from one place to the next without much of a plan in place and still sleep soundly at night – we are not those people.

We made the uneventful 33-minute drive down I-15 to where we’d be spending the next two months. (That’s right, TWO months — more about THAT shortly as well.) The RV park was everything we remembered it being: cramped, noisy from the nearby interstate, and with a cell signal that for some reason drops to sometimes unusable levels the moment you drive in. We wedged ourselves into our site with zero inches to spare and breathed a sigh of relief.

RV Park Stats

Name: Escondido RV Resort

Address: 1740 Seven Oaks Rd, Escondido, VA 92026

Website: www.escondidorv.com

Dates Stayed: November 20, 2021 – January 20, 2022

Site: 66

Rate: Whatever They Feel Like Charging + Electricity

Amenities:

  • Full Hookups
  • Restrooms with Showers
  • Laundry
  • Dog Run
  • Pool with Spa
  • Propane Fill
  • Wi-Fi
  • Cable TV
We just barely fit into our site. Actually, sometimes we hung over a few inches. The sites on the lower level of the park are small, with many people not able to fit their vehicles completely in their sites, making navigating with an RV and backing into sites more difficult than it should be.
We backed up as far as we possibly could while still having the steps over the concrete.

Oh, site 66. You are divine during the sunny hot days, with all the shade you provide. However, once winter hits and the rains come, your lack of sun makes for an incredibly damp, muddy stay, made worse by the sprinklers going off every night. Also, road noise, almost constant sewer smell, and not a whole lot of outdoor space — two thumbs waaaaay down from us.

A few more notes about the RV park:

(You may want to read about our previous stay to understand where some of these are coming from.)

  • The bulky cable boxes have been switched our for coaxial cable hookups at the pedestals. We use streaming services, so this was not a benefit to us, but at least they’ve upgraded this since our last stay.
  • The AT&T signal is still atrocious within the confines of the RV park.
  • They offer two levels of WIFI: 850kbps speed free for 3 days, meaning you have to sign in every 3 days; and 5mbps speed available for 1 day ($5.99), 1 week ($12.95), or 1 month ($39.99). We opted for the 1-month plan, as we needed to work and the speed of the free WIFI wasn’t going to cut it.
  • One load of laundry costs $7.00. And you can’t make it a full load, because if you do, it won’t dry completely, even on the highest setting.
  • Since our last stay, they’ve shifted from being just a short-term stay RV park to having many long-term residents, or people living there. This means that it’s difficult to get one of the nicer, larger sites in the upper part of the park, as many are occupied for the foreseeable future.
  • You may have noticed that I wrote ‘Whatever They Feel Like Charging’ for the rate. There is no rhyme or reason to their rates. They fluctuate, they surge, and two people in two identical sites may be charged drastically different amounts. We were at their mercy. And don’t get me started about what they charge for electricity. Again, whatever they feel like charging.

Anyway, a few days after getting all settled in, we ran a bunch of errands, which included Travis getting his booster shot. He felt fine for the first 24 hours, normal fever & exhaustion for the next 24, and then started having chest pains and shortness of breath. After 24 hours, we decided to go to the ER on Thanksgiving. He ended up being admitted due to an elevated troponin level. Troponin is a protein found in heart muscles that is typically only measurable after a cardiac event. Anything above 40 usually signifies a heart attack. Travis’s was 13,000. The staff at the hospital was very calm and professional, but it was clear this was unknown territory and serious. While it seemed the booster was the culprit, the cardiac team did their due diligence and investigated any possible causes as well as thoroughly examine his heart to make sure there was no permanent damage. He had x-rays, EKGs, an echocardiogram, an angiogram, and a cardiac MRI. Everything looked great, considering, and his troponin started to trend down. He was released a few days later as there really isn’t a treatment for his diagnosis, which was myocarditis. That means one of the layers of his heart was inflamed. They confirmed Travis was one of the few people to have myocarditis as a result of receiving an mRNA vaccine. But Travis went above and beyond by having an actually unheard of troponin level — his doctor said he was a 1 in 5 million case. The staff at the VA Hospital in La Jolla was great and we felt very fortunate to be somewhere that he was able to receive such incredible medical care. After being released, he was instructed to take it easy and not lift anything greater than 5lbs. Walking was fine, but no hiking or any other activity that would get his heart rate too elevated. It was because of this, that we decided to see if we could extend our stay at Escondido RV Resort to two months, so that we wouldn’t have to worry about the bit of stress that hitching up and towing can bring. They were able to extend our stay in our same site. While I’m not a fan of the RV resort’s billing practices, they were VERY accommodating.

In the following weeks, we kept a low profile so that Travis could recover, but we did get to spend some time with friends by way of lunch and dinner dates, as well as one of our favorite past times — trivia at the brewery. It was kind of a weird time. With Travis’s illness, the holidays, and COVID still hanging around, the lovely, eventful, social winter in San Diego that we had previously imagined was kind of anything but. We were somewhat detesting the RV park. The weather was crap. The annoyances of living in a small space were becoming overwhelming. We were missing our condo in Bozeman — the space, the king-size bed, the washer & dryer, the dishwasher, even the low humidity (seriously, it was SO damp in the Airstream). We had talked about selling the Airstream a number of times during the previous months, and maybe even year. There were a number of reasons discussed, and I plan to go into them in more detail in an upcoming post, but for now you can refer to this post for a few of them. But the time felt right. Like, really right. So, we listed it. And we sold it. To read more about the selling process, check out this post.

After selling the Airstream, we moved into a hotel. We weren’t ready to leave San Diego quite yet and Travis had a followup appointment with his cardiologist scheduled at the VA in La Jolla. However, after they called to change it to a virtual visit (because, COVID), we decided there was no reason to hang around any longer. We had just seen our friends again at trivia on Thursday night, the doctor called on Friday, and we bugged out Saturday morning. We spent Saturday night in St. George, Utah and made it back to Bozeman Sunday evening. We had rented out our condo for the months of November and December, so we spent many hours cleaning that night and unloading the truck. We finished getting things situated in the condo on Monday, as well as doing load after load of laundry, and then emptied out the Airstream’s storage unit.

We were officially no longer Airstreamers.

From Pinnacles to Pechanga – Two Days and Hundreds of Miles

After our stay at Anthony Chabot Regional Park in the Oakland area, we made the 3-hour drive to Pinnacles National Park in Central California. Pinnacles is definitely one of the lesser known parks in the national park system, with many Californians not even aware of its existence. Though one of the fairly newer parks receiving national park status (in 2013), Pinnacles obtained national monument status in 1908 from President Theodore Roosevelt under the Antiquities Act. Pinnacles is 16th on the list of least visited national parks (if you’re curious, find that list here) and is also one of the smallest national parks at just 26,685 acres. For reference, the 10 largest national parks all measure in at over 1.5 million acres.

Because of all this, we felt staying one night at Pinnacles Campground would be sufficient. And it would have been, if we had had a little more energy to hit the purported best trail in the park, but we didn’t — more on that later.

Pinnacles has two entrances, East and West, and they are not connected by a road (you must drive outside of the park to get from one side to the other — about 2 hours). The east side of the park finds the Pinnacles Visitor Center, Pinnacles Campground (with a decent camp store), and Bear Gulch, which has picnicking, trailheads, park headquarters, and Bear Gulch Nature Center. The west side has the West Visitor Contact Station with park information, exhibits, a film, and a small bookstore. There’s also the Chaparral Parking Area, with a trailhead, visitor contact station, restrooms, and water. I thought the road into the east side was curvy and narrow, but park information warns that most of CA 146 (the highway into the west entrance) is winding, steep, and one and half lanes wide (in some places only one lane wide) — and NOT recommended for RVs, large vehicles, or trailers.

The campground offers some sites with electric hookups, which is what I reserved. In mid-November, the average temps in Pinnacles are 70 for a high and 36 for a low, but the records are 94 and 15, so I wanted to make sure we had electricity in case we needed to run the air conditioning OR the space heater. The hookups section of the campground feels very much so like a parking lot, a description that is used regularly by RVers to describe some sites, though very much valid in this situation. Apparently, the non-hookup section of the campground, which we didn’t visit, is nicer. Two odd things about this particular national park campground: 1) There’s a swimming pool (not open during our visit); and 2) They charge more for weekend nights, which is the only time we’ve encountered a price surge at a national park campground based on the night of the week.

Campground Stats

Name: Pinnacles Campground

Address: Pinnacles National Park, Paicines, CA 95053

Website: www.recreation.gov

Dates Stayed: November 18, 2021 – November 19, 2021

Site: D113

Rate: $37 Nonelectric/$49 Electric (Add $6 if Fri or Sat); Half off with Access Pass or Golden Age Pass

Amenities:

  • Electric Hookups
  • Cabins
  • Dump Station
  • Water Fill
  • Restrooms
  • Coin-Operated Showers
  • Picnic Table
  • Fire Pit
  • Firewood for Sale ($12/bundle)
  • Camp Store
  • Gift Shop
  • Swimming Pool
  • WIFI for Purchase

I feel as though our site, D113, was the best site in the RV area. It was incredibly large, easy to back into, had trees behind us, and no one on the door side of our site.

As you can see below, the RV section of the campground is pretty low frills and definitely has a parking lot feel to it.

Pinnacles was national park number 20 for us!

The WIFI that was offered is actually pretty decent, so worth the purchase if you aren’t able to be completely disconnected.

As I stated earlier, we were lacking the energy to commit to the 5.5-mile Old Pinnacles Trail to Balconies Caves and Cliffs or the longer loop trail that would continue on to Juniper Canyon and Tunnel Trails, so we opted instead for Condor Gulch Trail and Moses Spring Trail to Bear Gulch Cave Trail. Condor Gulch Trail is a 3.4-mile out and back trail with a viewpoint at the 1-mile mark, which is where we turned around, covering a total distance of 2.15 miles with 543′ of elevation gain.

We then hiked the Moses Spring Trail to the Bear Gulch Cave Trail. We covered 1.2 miles round trip with 307′ of gain, but I think this can be made into a longer loop trail. This was actually a pretty cool cave trail (bring headlamps!) that also traversed some canyons where there’s a lot of climbing and bouldering opportunities available.

We wish we would’ve given Pinnacles a full day to experience, or at least checked in right at 1pm to give ourselves more time, but we didn’t. The park is a nesting area for the California condor and is one of few release sites in the United States and Mexico. An aggressive captive breeding program taking place at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park, as well as other locations, has allowed members of the endangered species to be released back into the wild. Pinnacles is home to 33 condors, and it would have been neat to see them in their natural habitat (we’ve seen them at the Safari Park), but we had no such luck. After a few hours of exploring, a camp fire with pricy firewood purchased at the camp store, and one night in one of the more expensive national park sites we’ve stayed in, we were off to our next destination the next morning.

The roads to enter and exit the park are narrow, curvy, and a bit bumpy, so that’s how our longer-than-usual drive started when we got underway at 7:30 that morning. Eventually, the narrowness subsided, but the bumpiness was fairly constant, even along some of California’s most traveled interstates. Though I rarely wear a bra, this was NOT the day to not wear one! Anytime we stopped to use the bathroom or grab a snack, we walked in the Airstream to what can only be described as a household explosion: couch cushions and pillows on the floor; bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom cabinets slid open, allowing for clothing to tumble onto the bed below; loose screws appearing from unknown hiding places that I hope were accidentally dropped during our recent modifications and not dislodged from somewhere of importance. Add in grades, traffic, and California’s speed limit of 55mph for any truck towing a trailer, and the six-hour-and-thirty-minute drive that Google Maps promised turned into nine mind (and butt) numbing hours. We both admitted to each other the next day that after lying down in bed that night, the room was spinning. The extended drive and less-than-ideal road conditions caused us both to experience something not unlike when you spend a day on a boat but still feel the rocking motion once you get back on solid ground. The infrequency of safe places to pull over for a brief rest and the absence of signage alerting to grades adds to the annoyance that is driving in the lower two-thirds of the Golden State.

I had called ahead to Pechanga RV Resort in Temecula to reserve a site for a night during one of our few stops. The $81 they charged for that Friday night (that’s with a 10% discount, no less) was much more than we care to spend, but we just needed a place to stay and were happy it would be somewhere we were familiar with. We have stayed at Pechanga a handful of times now due to its proximity to North County San Diego and you can read about those stays here. While Pechanga’s guests fall victim to the weekend surge pricing that many RV resorts employ, the cost is sometimes worth it when you know what to expect. And when it’s been a very long day. And when you know you’ll arrive at your less expensive (or so we thought) final destination the following day. And when you’re just kind of – done.

We almost broke one of our rules, which is to not arrive at our site after dark. After the 9-hour drive that day, we backed into our site as the sun was setting. We quickly got things set up, forgoing connecting the sewer hose as we would take care of emptying the tanks at our next location, and drove to In-N-Out to grab some dinner. Once we returned to the Airstream, we slipped into our swimsuits and ambled over to the hot tub for a much-needed soak. Thankfully, we had the entire pool area to ourselves and were able to relax a bit after what turned out to be a pretty strenuous day.

RV Park Stats

Name: Pechanga RV Resort

Address: 45000 Pechanga Pkwy, Temecula, CA 92592

Website: www.pechanga.com

Dates Stayed: November 19, 2021 – November 20, 2021

Site: D18

Rate: $81.00 (10% off with Good Sam; Part of Passport America – Weeknights Only)

Amenities:

  • Full Hookups
  • Pull-Thru Sites
  • Buddy Sites
  • Cable TV
  • Wifi
  • Restrooms with Showers
  • Laundry
  • Pool with Two Spas
  • BBQ/Grill Areas
  • Community Firepits
  • Gas Station with Mini Mart, Diesel, Car Wash and Propane Fill
  • Horseshoe Pits
  • Fenced Dog Run
  • On-Property Shuttle Service
  • Security Patrol 24/7
  • Walking Distance to Casino and Restaurants

Even the least expensive sites are long and easy to back into — this is one RV park that is definitely built to accommodate even the largest of rigs!

For more information about Pechanga’s (very nice) casino and RV resort, as well as the Temecula area, make sure to check out the posts about our previous stays.

A Peaceful Stay at Anthony Chabot Regional Park in the East Bay

The campground at Anthony Chabot Regional Park in the East Bay’s Castro Valley, just outside Oakland, is a true gem. There are 12 full hookup sites and ~60 non-hookup/tent/group sites, some of them having views of Lake Chabot. The drive in is curvy and steep and narrow, and it’s not very easy to back into a lot of the FHU sites, but we were surrounded by bright, green grass and towering eucalyptus trees. It was crazy quiet and super peaceful, and about an hour drive into SF; 25-30 minutes to Oakland. Cell signal was good and we had no issue being able to work or stream.

Campground Stats

Name: Anthony Chabot Campground

Address: 9999 Redwood Rd, Castro Valley, CA 94605

Website: www.reserveamerica.com

Dates Stayed: November 14, 2021 – November 18, 2021

Site: 12

Rate: $45.00

Speed Test: AT&T – 31.9 Mbps down/6.54 Mbps up

Amenities:

  • Full Hookups
  • Pull-Through Sites
  • Tent Sites
  • Group Sites
  • Equestrian Sites
  • Picnic Table
  • Fire Pit
  • Firewood for Sale ($10/bundle)
  • Restrooms with Showers
  • Hiking Trails
  • Biking Trails
  • Horse Trails
  • Fishing
  • Water Spigots
  • Dump Station
  • Gated from 10pm to 8am

I did a lot of research when reserving a site and feel we ended up with the best site in the full hookups area. The road through the campground is narrow and lined with trees, and the sites aren’t angled as much as they should be, so backing into our site was quite difficult and took a bit of time. Some of the other sites are much easier to get into, but are grouped fairly close together. Site 12 sits far enough away from the one neighboring site and has an abundance of green space around it as it sits at the end of the loop.

Some of the non-hookup sites have nice views of the lake, as seen in the pic below, and seem to be easier to get into than the sites in the FHU area. Only a couple of these sites were occupied during our stay, so the campground was very, very quiet while we were there. I do think weekends can be quite busy, but we stayed a Sunday to a Thursday and there were very few other campers during that time.

Anthony Chabot Regional Park has some nice hiking, biking, and horse trails throughout, with some leaving right from the campground.

From the campground, we took the Honker Bay Trail down to the lakeshore, walked along the lake for a little bit, and then took Huck’s Trail back up to the campground, which made for a nice 2.63-mile loop with 541′ of elevation gain.

The rangers were incredibly helpful during our stay, with one recommending the hike up Brandon Trail to get a view of the bay, downtown Oakland, downtown San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate, and the San Mateo Bridge. We walked out past the campground’s entrance along Towhee Trail until it intersected with Brandon Trail, and then followed Brandon Trail up to the viewpoint. While it may be hard to make out in the picture below, Oakland is to the right with San Francisco right in the middle and the Bay Bridge spanning the water between them. This hike was 2.12 miles roundtrip from our site with 337′ of elevation gain.

Did you know the proper collective term for a group of turkeys is a rafter? Well, you do now. This rafter of wild turkeys would stop by every day for a visit.

We went into San Francisco one day for a little sightseeing. Of course, we had to stop by for a view of the Golden Gate. The view below is near the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center. When we pulled into the parking lot, there were signs posted everywhere about issues with smash and grabs and to not leave any valuables or luggage visible in your vehicle. While the parking lot at the visitor center is small, there’s a lot of traffic with plenty of people coming and going. We didn’t think too much about it, but did make sure there wasn’t anything of value in the truck. We stopped in the welcome center for a souvenir, got our shot of the bridge as seen directly below, and then followed the path along the batteries to another overlook where we got the second and third shots. We then walked back to the parking lot where we found three cars had had their windows smashed, one on either side of us. This took all of 30 minutes to happen. So, I would not recommend parking where we did. Or if you do, make sure absolutely nothing is in your car. Or have one person stay back at the car. We should have gone to a more scenic location to take in views of the bridge, but I didn’t really do any research of where to go and we weren’t really feeling driving across the bridge.

After that experience, we weren’t really in the mood to check out much else. We’ve been to San Francisco multiple times before pre-Airstream and stayed in lovely hotels in lovely neighborhoods and had a lovely time, so the smash and grabs didn’t sour us on the city — just that particular day. We then drove over to the Presidio area, picked up a quick lunch from a coffee shop, and sat by the Yoda Fountain outside Lucasfilm headquarters. The Presidio is gorgeous and wonderful and if we were in a better headspace, we would have explored it more.

On the way back to our little slice of peace and quiet at the campground, we got gas as we knew we wouldn’t be venturing out again, and stopped at the closest grocery store, which is 25 minutes away.

Anthony Chabot is a great place to stay in the Bay Area, especially the East Bay, and we would definitely stay here again. Next stop, Pinnacles National Park!

2021: A Year in Review

The beginning of 2021 found us in Bozeman, Montana, dealing with the first real winter we’ve experienced since we moved from Wisconsin to Southern California in 2011. Thanks to Covid, we decided to spend the winter in our condo that we purchased in July of 2020, instead of heading to warmer climes. Bozeman is as equally as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer, but after almost six months of cold and snow, we were ready to adventure again.

Our very first night back in the Airstream for the year was May 15th. We spent two nights at a nearby campground to get the rig de-winterized and to make sure everything was still functional after its long winter sleep. Besides needing to replace the propane tank hoses, all systems were a go! It was during this first outing that we started a new tradition we refer to as #CampfireSweatshirtSeries. Here’s a sneak peak, but I’ll share more about that later:

Without further ado, our year in numbers:

 

States Visited: 5 | Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and California – We weren’t able to add any new states to our Airstream travel map this year, so our total sits at 20. (And that’s where it will stay, but more on that later.)

Montana | Glacier National Park
Wyoming | Grand Teton National Park
Idaho | Craters of the Moon National Monument
Oregon | Silver Falls State Park – Sublimity, OR
California | Sue-Meg State Park – Trinidad, CA

Miles Traveled: 3,410 | We opted to stay mostly close to home this year and it really made for an enjoyable spring, summer, and fall to not be putting too many miles on.

Gallatin Gateway, MT | May 23

Nights on the Road: 100 | I’m actually pretty happy with this number, seeing as we spent almost the entire first half of the year in our condo.

Anthony Chabot Regional Park – Castro Valley, CA | November 15

Different Overnight Locations: 24 | We had a good mix of site types this year, with a fifth of our nights being spent in national park campgrounds; a healthy blend of city, county, & regional parks; four state parks, all in Oregon; a sprinkle of casino, Harvest Host, & fairgrounds stays; two different KOAs; and the remaining nights being spent in private RV parks/campgrounds.

Millsite Park RV Park – Myrtle Creek, OR | November 5 – 6
Emigrant Springs State Park – Meacham, OR | September 30 – October 2
Azalea Glen RV Park – Trinidad, CA | November 11 – 13

Total Site Fees: $4017.79 | That number is a combination of nightly/weekly/monthly rates, tax, reservation fees, and electricity. It comes out to an average of $42.72/night, which is much higher than we like to spend. However, our not-too-ridiculously-priced place where we usually spend the winter in San Diego County was closed for maintenance and the also-not-too-spendy backup wasn’t available when we first arrived, so we had to settle for one of the holy-crap-this-is-stupid-money RV parks for the last month and a half of the year.

Cheapest Site – $0.00 | Harvest Hosts at Milano Family Winery in Hopland, CA — November 13
Most Expensive Site – $86.15 | West Glacier KOA — July 12 – 15

National Park Service Sites: 6 (Officially) | We revisited a few of our favorite national parks – Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier and Redwood. We also added a new one in Pinnacles. We visited Crater of the Moon National Monument as well, and minus Redwood, our 20 nights in national parks campgrounds were spread across those 5 parks. We also made it to see the Golden Gate Bridge, but didn’t officially cross the bay to Golden Gate National Recreation Area. And one of our favorite places to visit this year was the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, which is actually managed by the U.S. Forest Service as opposed to the National Park Service.

Grand Teton National Park (Stayed at Colter Bay Campground) | May 24 – June 4
Yellowstone National Park (Stayed at Mammoth Campground) | June 29 – July 2
Glacier National Park (Stayed at Fish Creek Campground) | July 8 – 12
Redwood National and State Parks (Stayed at Azalea Glen RV Park) | November 11 – 13
Pinnacles National Park (Stayed at Pinnacles Campground) | November 18 – 19
Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (Stayed at Lava Flow Campground) | October 27 – 28
Golden Gate Bridge (Stayed at Anthony Chabot Regional Park) | November 14 – 18
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (Stayed at Ainsworth State Park) | October 2 – 4

You can find information about all of the places we’ve stayed and traveled to in previous blog posts.

You can find wrap ups for previous years here: 2018, 2019, and 2020.

As I mentioned earlier, we started a new thing we refer to as the #CampfireSweatshirtSeries. For some reason, we decided to start taking campfire photos at every place we stayed (with a fire pit) while I sported a ‘Campfire Sweatshirt’. Are we weird? Yes. Do these pics bring me joy when I look back at them? Also yes. We have never shared these publicly before, so enjoy!

Cheers to us! at Colter Bay Campground | Grand Teton NP – May 28
Taking in the sights at Mammoth Campground | Yellowstone NP – July 2 (It was too hot for an actual fire.)
Bucks game at Fish Creek Campground | Glacier NP – July 8 (It was still too hot for an actual fire.)
#instahusband at West Glacier KOA | Coram, MT – July 13
Scrabbling at Emigrant Springs State Park | Meacham, OR – September 30
Fireside tea time at Ainsworth State Park | Corbett, OR – October 3
High five for starting a fire in what is essentially a rain forest! at Silver Falls State Park | Sublimity, OR – November 3
“There’s no one else I’d want to live in a 200sqft aluminum can with” at Harris Beach State Park | Brookings, OR – November 7
Caution: Hot at Anthony Chabot Regional Park | Castro Valley, CA – November 15
Our 20th national park at Pinnacles Campground | Pinnacles NP – November 18

We also did a Phase 2 of modifications at Ultimate Airstreams. You can read all about that here, but here are a few pics of what we had done:

We replaced the rounded sink and cabinet with a straight cabinet with new square sink.
This gave us much more room, especially in the area between the sink and the desk.
This of course required a new countertop, so we chose Corian’s rice paper color.
We also replaced the old Atwood stove/oven with a the new Furrion model. We love its look AND functionality!

On the personal front, we got on a plane in July for the first time in a long time to fly to Wisconsin to visit and spend time with family. We explored a lot of things we never got around to while living there, such as:

Lambeau Field Tour and Packers Hall of Fame – Green Bay | We’ve been to plenty of games and we’re even Packers shareholders, but Travis hadn’t done the tour since he was a kid and I had never done it, and neither of us had ever been to the Hall of Fame.

Harley Davidson Museum – Milwaukee | The museum is pretty great and has an onsite restaurant.

Lakeshore State Park – Milwaukee | This is a smaller, urban state park, but is nice for a walk along Lake Michigan.

While in Milwaukee, we were also able to catch the traveling Beyond Van Gogh exhibit…

…and check out Fiserv Forum a few hours before the Bucks won the championship!

Summer in Wisconsin can be pretty great!

We also flew to San Diego in September for our friends’ wedding. This trip actually felt like the kind of vacation we would take pre-Airstream life…

Speaking of pre-Airstream life…

While we didn’t put on a lot of miles this year and most of the places we spent the bulk of our time we had been to before, we really enjoyed our travels this year. However, towards the end of the year we officially decided to do something that we’ve been discussing for a looooong time — we’re selling the Airstream. There are many reasons that go into this decision and I’ll share them at some point, but for now, you can find more information regarding our rig at the blog post here, the RV Trader link here, the Airstream Marketplace link here, or the Airstream Hunter link here. If you are interested, please reach out. If you know someone who may be interested, please pass along our info.

 

Phase 2 at Ultimate Airstreams

We made our trek from Bozeman to Clackamas, Oregon at the end of September for one main purpose — to drop the Airstream off at Ultimate Airstreams. To read about where we stopped along the way, check out this post.

Whenever you tow, the weather is very important to take into consideration. Once we had decided that we were going to do some modifications at Ultimate, we needed to choose a date to start the project. We knew we wouldn’t be spending the winter in Bozeman, but in the San Diego area instead, and we knew that winter weather can start early in the northern Mountain West region, so we took both of those things into consideration. We ultimately decided that we should be safe leaving Bozeman at the end of September, taking the longer, flatter route to avoid mountain passes just in case Mother Nature decided to get winter started early at the higher elevations. We allowed ourselves 8 days to travel and enjoy the sights along the route to Clackamas. We dropped the Airstream off on October 4, a rainy Monday morning, and immediately hopped back in the truck and drove the absolutely gorgeous, shorter (750 miles vs 900 miles) route home. It took exactly 11 hours to get back to Bozeman and exactly one week later, we received our first snow fall. The timing really couldn’t have been better, as not only were we able to avoid snow, but also below freezing temperatures that would’ve required us to winterize the Airstream. Four weeks later, we packed up the truck, drove west once again where we were blessed with fantastic driving weather, spent a night in Spokane, and then continued on to Clackamas where we spent one more night before picking up the freshened up and fixed up Airstream.

By the way, this is our second project with Ultimate Airstreams, or ‘Phase 2’ as they dubbed it. To see what we had done during Phase 1, click here.

So, what did we have done this time? The major project during this phase was to replace the round, bumped out kitchen sink and cabinet with a straight one. Ian at Ultimate suggested this to us the first go round, as it would give us more space to move around, especially with the addition of the desk, but we said no. It didn’t take us long living with it to realize he was right, but we put the idea of another modification session off for a while. Like almost two years. If we were going to go in for a phase 2, we wanted to make sure we had a list of every possible item/issue that needed to be addressed.

We decided that if we were going to change the bumped out kitchen to a straight kitchen, we could change out the round sink for a square one. We also decided to replace the stock Atwood oven/stove combo with the newer Furrion model that now comes in the new Airstreams. Seeing as the Corian countertop was going to need to be replaced, we opted for the ‘rice paper’ color as opposed to the original (which has a yellowish tint), as it is a lighter, brighter color.

We also had two things addressed from phase 1. First, the bottom kind of fell out of one the drawers underneath the couch (our fault, not theirs), so they fixed that and reinforced it. Second, the arms of the couch had sharp edges, so we had them upholster those.

After that, it was just a list of maintenance items: Fix the hinge on the water heater door, replace the blind in one of the vista view windows, and fix the trim along one of the walls.

I did an absolute horrible job at taking before pictures, but was able to scrounge some up to show how some of the items looked pre-phase 2.

Before

After
Before
After

As you can see in the above photos, we now have so much more room between the desk and sink area. The original round design was actually not very good. That bumped out sink took up so much real estate and the round cabinet doors were literally falling off as we drove into Ultimate Airstreams parking lot on the day of drop off. We are so much happier with the straight cabinet design!

The rice paper color of countertop has little flecks in it to make it a little more interesting (and to hide crumbs better).

The previous oven had a metal door, so in order to look inside, it had to be opened. It also didn’t have an oven light, which the new Furrion model does. Besides looking much sexier than the previous, the new oven/stove also has a very functional safety feature. Whenever one of the knobs is turned on, whether it’s for a burner or the oven, the ring around it lights up red. This is a fantastic safety feature as it lets you know that there is propane actively flowing. With our past stove, one of the burners wasn’t shut off completely once and the propane detector ended up going off, so we’re very glad to have this feature.

One would think that replacing that large, round cabinet would mean losing storage space, but I think the storage is actually better now than before. Again, I didn’t take a before picture, but previously there was a small garbage can under the sink that took up a bunch of space. We didn’t use it for garbage seeing as we had a pull-out garbage can installed in the desk in phase 1. That being removed, plus the fact that this sink isn’t as deep as the previous and the builder was able to move the plumbing back further, really freed up a lot of space. They were able to design the little storage notch that you see in the bottom pic, which keeps bottle from moving around while we’re under tow.

Before

After

As you can see, after phase 1, the arms of the couch had sharp edges. I hit my back on that corner more times than I count, and when we decided to do phase 2, getting some padding on there was definitely a must for me. I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and so is my back.

Another successful project with Ultimate Airstreams is complete and they did a great job addressing the issues and maintenance items that needed to be taken care of!

 

Campgrounds/RV Parks near Ultimate Airstreams:

Pheasant Ridge RV Park – Wilsonville, OR

Ainsworth State Park – Corbett, OR

Portland-Woodburn RV Park – Woodburn, OR

Emerson Vineyards (Harvest Hosts) – Monmouth, OR

Silver Falls State Park – Sublimity, OR

All About Harvest Hosts

As we continued to make our way south in California, we stopped at Harvest Hosts site Milano Family Winery in Hopland, California for the night.

If you are unfamiliar with Harvest Hosts, you can visit their website for more information here. That link will also give you 20% off the annual fee for the life of your membership. The gist is that for one low annual membership fee, you get access to over 2,500 locations throughout the country that allow you to spend the night in your RV on their property for free. These locations can include wineries, breweries, farms, museums, golf courses, etc. You are expected to purchase something from the host, whether it be a bottle of wine, cheese, wool socks, admission tickets to the museum, etc. As the Harvest Hosts network continues to expand each month, some hosts are starting to offer amenities not seen in the past, such as longer stays or options for partial or full hookups. However, it’s a good rule of thumb to assume that you need to be a fully self-contained vehicle that does not need access to water, electricity, or sewer, as well as that your stay will consist of just one night. It seems many hosts have signed onto the reservation system available through the Harvest Hosts app or website, but some still prefer to be contacted via phone or email to arrange your stay. It’s important to keep in mind that these hosts are business owners whose first responsibility is their business and customers. They are not campground or RV park managers and these are not campgrounds or RV parks. Make sure to thoroughly read the instructions and rules of each host both on the Harvest Hosts website/app and whatever information the host gives you directly.

The two RV spots at Milano were located right off the highway in a gravel parking lot. There was plenty of room to maneuver, but they were a bit unlevel and had consistent road noise. We knew what to expect, though, as I had read a number of reviews in the Harvest Hosts app. After getting parked, we went in and did a wine tasting and purchased two bottles of wine. We sat at a picnic table while sipping our wine and enjoyed the menagerie of animals that call the winery home.

Back at the Airstream, we chatted with our neighbors for a while, who were also Airstreamers, albeit an Interstate van as opposed to a trailer.

Some of our favorite stays have been at Harvest Hosts, which are such a great option when you just a need a place to park for a night as you travel one place to the next:

Sanders Family Winery – Pahrump, NV – January 2019

Our very first Harvest Hosts stay was on January 1, 2019 at a beautiful and quiet winery located in Pahrump, NV. It was FREEZING, but our gracious hosts let us run our generator as the temp dipped down to 22 degrees that night. It may have been cold, but the views were beautiful!

Emerson Vineyards – Monmouth, OR – October 2019

According to the reviews, this is a popular stop that features live entertainment on Friday nights, though we were the sole RV on the Monday night that we stayed. We didn’t do any wine tasting, but did purchase a bottle of their award-winning Brother Red. Minus the sporadic distant gunshots, this was a peaceful, private stay where we were able to test our newly installed solar and lithium batteries.

Sentinel Ranch Alpacas – Belgrade, MT – August 2020

The alpaca ranch is located just outside Bozeman, Montana and is a very popular Harvest Hosts location. They graciously allowed us to film part of our House Hunters episode there that highlighted our transition from full-time Airstream living to part-time condo living. You can also visit the ranch sans RV, as they have a nice little gift shop and an area to pet and feed the alpacas.

Garvin Heights Vineyard – Winona, MN – September 2020

This was a lovely little winery that set us up in their parking lot. The weather was absolutely perfect, allowing us to leave our windows open all night to listen to the summery midwest sounds and get one of the best nights of sleep both Travis and I had had in a very long time.

Big Snow Resort – Wakefield, MI – September 2020

This was one of our favorite Harvest Hosts stays. The Sky Bar and Grille atop Big Snow’s Indianhead Mountain is open for most of the year, offering food and drink to be enjoyed on their expansive outdoor deck. Once we parked, we grabbed some drinks and a basket of fries and took in the view. We also enjoyed walking up and down the ski runs, enjoying the beautiful fall colors that started to settle in.

4e Winery – Mapleton, ND – September 2020

Another lovely winery setting with the nicest people! This Harvest Hosts is a particularly popular one, and we were thankful they had room for us. Even though the winery was closed on the day of our stay, Lisa allowed us, along with three other RVs, to stay and opened the tasting room for us. We made sure to thank her for her hospitality by purchasing a bottle of wine. They have a large, level open field for RVs to park in, and besides the hundreds (thousands?) of crickets jumping around, it was a very peaceful evening.

That’s a wrap on some of the great places we’ve stayed through Harvest Hosts! It’s a great program that we love to utilize whenever we can.

Redwoods and Rocky Shores on the NorCal Coast

As we made our way south to our winter destination of San Diego County, we spent two nights at Azalea Glen RV Park in Trinidad, California. While it was a fairly short drive from Harris Beach State Park, the 101 along this stretch is known to have regular closures. There were multiple points where the road was only one lane due to road construction. It seems the highway isn’t the only road that’s prone to closure in this area. When I called Azalea Glen a few weeks earlier to make the reservation, they didn’t require a deposit because during this time of year, the weather can be unruly, causing downed trees, rock slides, flooding, and other issues that may close roads immediately around Azalea Glen or on the way to Azalea Glen. The woman on the phone just said to call to let them know if we couldn’t make it. Luckily, during our 2-night stay, the weather was pretty spectacular for this time of year — no rain, sunny-ish skies, and warm-ish temps.

RV Park Stats

Name: Azalea Glen RV Park

Address: 3883 Patricks Point Dr, Trinidad, CA 95570

Website: www.azaleaglen.com

Dates Stayed: November 11, 2021 – November 13, 2021

Site: 5

Rate: $50.00

Speed Test: AT&T – 176 Mbps down/10.3 Mbps up; Verizon – 18.1 Mbps down/5.46 Mbps up

Amenities:

  • Full Hookup Sites
  • Pull-Through Sites
  • One Tent Site
  • Deck with Chairs, Picnic Table, & Fire Pit
  • Laundry
  • Restrooms with Showers
  • Cable
  • Wifi
  • Swing Set
  • Enclosed Off-Leash Dog Are
  • Smoke-Free Property
  • Recycling

Our site was a back-in, full hookup site that backs up to a pond. We had a wooden deck complete with chairs, fire pit, and picnic table. Fences topped with out-of-control vines gave us privacy from the sites on either side of us. There are only a handful of sites that have a deck, which was a welcome amenity considering the sites are all grass. Normally grass sites aren’t a big issue, but it’s very damp in this area, and even with the no rain and sunnier days we experienced, the grass just never dried up. So, while the deck caused our site to be much shorter than the sites without decks as we could only back up so far, it was nice to not have to deal with wet grass and mud at our doorstep. There are four pull-through sites that can accommodate any size rig, but the remaining sites are back-ins positioned at 90 degrees. We stayed at Azalea Glen a little over three years prior, and while that site was the same level of difficulty to back into, there was at least more room for our truck as it was a much longer site. My recommendation for a site here is one of the sites in the 20’s; however, many of the people staying here are permanent, or at least long-term, residents and beggars can’t be choosers.

We packed a lot into our 2-night stay: Laundry (the dryers aren’t very hot, so use extra high heat); Grocery shopping; Exploring Sue-Meg State Park (fka Patrick’s Point State Park), which is located directly across the street from Azalea Glen; Hiking the Cathedral Trees Trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park; and spending a few hours chatting next to the fire with fellow Airstreamers Dirk & Kat (in the middle in the above pic) and Stuart & Brittany (on the right above).

To read about our previous stay, a little bit more about the city of Trinidad, and other locations to visit in Redwood National and State Parks, click here.

Harris Beach State Park on the Southern Oregon Coast

Harris Beach State Park is situated directly on the ocean along the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. It’s another one of Oregon’s fantastic state parks that’s well kept and in high demand. Our site was a nice blacktopped site with water and electric hookups that just fit our 28′ Airstream and truck. In addition to the tent and water/electric sites, there are 63 full hookup sites, some of them offering pretty great ocean views (site A20 and vicinity). It’s a short walk down to the wild, sand beach with large rock formations. There’s a paved trail that leads into downtown Brookings from the park or it’s about a 5-minute drive. Brookings has all of the amenities you would need including some restaurants and breweries — be sure to check out Black Trumpet Bistro for some delicious food! There’s a lot of natural beauty to explore in the area, so just hop in the car and drive. The coast is absolutely gorgeous here and it’s only about a half hour drive to Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park.

Campground Stats

Name: Harris Beach State Park

Address: 1655 Chetco Ave, Brookings, OR 97415

Website: www.oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com

Dates Stayed: November 6, 2021 – November 11, 2021

Site: B33

Rate: $30.00

Speed Test: AT&T – 68.7 Mbps down/2.82 Mbps up; Verizon – 17.2 Mbps down/7.26 Mbps up

Amenities:

  • Mix of FHU, W&E, and Tent Sites
  • Yurts
  • Hiker/Biker Sites
  • Restrooms with Individual Shower Rooms
  • Dump Station
  • Picnic Table
  • Firepit
  • Firewood for Sale
  • Playground
  • Recycling Center

The End of an Era: We’re Selling the Airstream

UPDATE: Sold 1/7/2022

We’ve made the difficult decision to sell our Airstream. Why, you may ask? While it has taken us around the Western United States and into Canada to places we would have never otherwise considered visiting; from mountains to deserts to lakes to oceans to rivers to beaches to forests; from cities to small towns to ‘where the heck are we?‘; allowing us to visit family and friends and to meet new people along the way; and to explore amazing state parks and national parks, as well as myriad of points in between — we’re ready to give our new city of Bozeman the attention it deserves as well as to start traveling a different way.

We bought our Airstream in July 2017 and started traveling full time in January 2018. We traveled freely for two and a half glorious years, but when the pandemic hit, we decided to get off the road for a bit. We purchased a condo in Bozeman, Montana last summer, and have really started to fall in love with our new city. We’ve continued to travel in the Airstream since purchasing our sticks and bricks home, but it has felt different than when we first started. Ultimately, we’ve decided that we’d rather have someone else be able to enjoy the Airstream life in the amazing adventure mobile we’ve created, but our time on the road is done. At least for now.

So, without further ado, here’s the info you’ve come here for:

FOR SALE: 2017 Airstream 27FB International Signature – $99,950

We have modified this unit to be the perfect Airstream for today’s digital nomad! Whether you travel a few weeks a year, a couple weekends a month, or on a full-time basis, you’ll find that working, traveling, and living in this modified 2017 27FB International Signature will be both comfortable and functional. We removed all of the factory seating and replaced it with a comfortable couch (a real couch!) as well as a desk that gives you plenty of work space. We swapped out the round, bumped out kitchen sink and cabinet to a straight cabinet to increase the valuable floor space without taking away any precious storage space. We’ve outfitted the unit with solar and lithium batteries that will allow you to live and work off-grid pretty much indefinitely. To make sure you have a cell signal in some of the more remote areas, we’ve installed a WeBoost cell signal booster. And in order to assure a good night’s sleep, we installed the Froli sleep system for great support and air flow as well as recently upgraded the stock mattresses with custom mattresses. The 27 layout with twin beds is known to be one of the most spacious Airstream layouts when it comes to storage, both inside and out. We’re including everything you need to hitch up and hit the road immediately, including the anti-sway/weight distributing hitch, hitch lock, surge protector, and tire pressure monitoring system!

Answers to questions we’ve been asked:

Clear title. We have been the only owners and purchased it outright, so the title is free and clear.

We tow with an F-150 3.5L Ecoboost.

The GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is 7600lbs.

Currently located in Escondido, California (San Diego County).

 

Exterior Specifications
  • Height: 9’ 9”
  • Width: 8’ 5.5”
  • Length: 28’

 

From the Factory
  • 30amp Service
  • 1000w Pure Sine Wave Inverter
  • 15,000 BTU Ducted A/C with Heat Pump
  • 25,000 BTU Furnace
  • 6 Gallon LP/Electric Water Heater
  • 39 Gallon Freshwater Tank
  • 39 Gallon Blackwater Tank
  • 37 Gallon Greywater Tank
  • Two 30 Gallon Steel LPG Bottles w/ Aluminum Cover
  • Electric Jack
  • 7 Cu Ft 2-Way Auto Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Separate Bathroom and Shower
  • 2 Fantastic Fans – Exhaust w/ Rain Sensor
  • 2 Samsung LED HDTVs w/ HDMI
  • FM/AM Radio w/ CD Player, 4 Speakers, & Subwoofer
  • Blue-Ray DVD Player
  • OTA Antenna

 

Add-Ons from the Dealer
  • MaxxAir Vent Covers
  • BlueOx Sway Pro Hitch
  • Awning Package with Curbside Power Awning and Manual Roadside & Rear Awning

 

AM Solar (Springfield, Oregon) Lithium Battery & Solar System Installation

August 2019 | $9,000 in Upgrades

  • Four 100w Solar Panels with Rocker Mounts
  • Two 100Ah Battle Born LiFePO4 Batteries w/ 10yr Warranty
  • Victron Battery Monitor System
  • Lithium Compatible Charger Upgrade

 

Ultimate Airstreams (Clackamas, Oregon) Modifications

September 2019 | $16,500 in Modifications

  • Replaced dinette with couch featuring two large drawers underneath and cupholders in the arms.
  • Added two 100v/USB popup outlets at shelf behind couch – one that works on shore power; one that works on inverter.
  • Replaced side bench with desk with butcher block countertop, drawer, and pullout garbage can.
  • Added one 110v/USB outlet below desk.

October 2021 | $10,000 in Modifications

  • Replaced round sink/cabinet bump out in kitchen with straight cabinet.
  • Installed new kitchen Corian countertop.
  • Installed new square sink with flush Corian sink cover.
  • Replaced factory-installed Atwood propane stove/oven with Furrion model.

 

Other Upgrades/Modifications
  • New Mattresses – Spring 2021
  • New Goodyear Endurance Tires – April 2019
  • WeBoost Cell Booster
  • Ring Doorbell
  • Froli Sleep System
  • New Curtains in Living Area

 

Other Included Items

Interior: Beddy’s bedding set for each bed; Desk chair; Dishes; Silverware, knives, & other kitchen utensils.

Exterior: 30amp power cord; Progressive Industries 30amp EMS surge protector; Proven Industries hitch lock; Tire pressure monitoring system; Wheel chocks; Lynx levelers; Miscellaneous hoses, tools, and replacement parts.

All user manuals are also included.

 

Any maintenance issues that needed to be addressed were taken of while it was at Ultimate Airstreams in October 2021.
For more information, please contact us through this blog’s contact page.