Camping at LOTS – Lake of the Springs

Camping Trip #3 – Camping at LOTS

Saturday January 17, 2015 – Oregon House, California

We are back at Thousand Trails Lake of the Springs (LOTS) for our third camping trip in the Journey.

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We found a campsite that overlooked the fog and low clouds of the Sacramento valley.

Overlooking Sacramento Valley

Sutter Buttes sticking up out of the clouds below

Originally we had planned to leave Friday mid-morning after Christine finished with her teleconference.  Then first I had to work all day Friday and then Christine ended up having another teleconference Saturday morning.  So I picked up the Journey from storage early Saturday morning and got it packed while the other half worked.  It is an easy 90 minute trip and we broke out of the clouds mid-way to Oregon House.

We selected “I” section because it’s the easiest section to get into and out of for a 40′ motorhome, plus it is a bit more remote than the sections that are closer to the little lake on the preserve.  There were only a half-dozen campers in “I” section at the top of the hill.

We first tried  the same site we used last time, but it was uneven and our front tires were way up in the air, so we decided to try another spot.  We backed into a 2nd spot overlooking a little ravine towards the east, but we didn’t have enough room.  So we pulled into a 3rd spot and it was pretty good, but when we leveled the Journey our back wheels were off the ground.  So back out, turn around and back into the spot.  Finally!  Sound like the Three Bears?  Christine is becoming an expert guiding my parking!  Well, anyways – home at last.

LOTS Journey

The Journey pointing West

Lake of the Springs Thousand Trails

Lake of the Springs Thousand Trails

Once we got set up the dogs wanted to explore and stretch their legs after that long hour and a half trip!  We took them out to explore the preserve.  It surprised us how empty the campground is.  This is a holiday weekend and even though it’s January we expected more weekend campers wanting to escape the clouds and fog in the valley below.

There are some nice trails throughout the campground.  Some of the areas are closed off – “hibernating” for the winter.  It is quiet and peaceful and before long we started relaxing and forgetting about work.

Before getting the slides out I wanted to finish the product videos that I had started some time ago.  We purchased the Hughes Autoformer Power regulator and I had done an unboxing video.  Before posting I wanted to include how it gets set up, so out with the camera.  The video and finished product review are posted here.

Then we pushed the slides out, brought out the dog beds and our books and we all stretched out to read and snooze.

Quick Pizzas - Mushroom and Olives

Quick Pizzas – Mushroom and Olives

For dinner we made some quick pizzas using our new microwave convection oven.  I put together some home-made pizza sauce and we added some sliced mushrooms, olives and sweet peppers with a few onion slices.

Great way to finish off the day!

Sunday, January 18th 2015 – Oregon House, California

The dogs got us up at the usual 5:30, and I took them out to look at the stars.  It was fantastic – a low moon at the horizon and thousands of stars at Thousand Trails.  Christine stayed in the Journey to catch a few more Zs.

Thousand Trails - Deer

Thousand Trails – Deer

We took the dogs for another walk through a hibernating area and spotted a family of deer foraging.

Manzanita Leaf

Manzanita Leaf

The manzanita are just starting to poke out new leaves, and the bark is all smooth.  In the summer the outer bark splits and looks like red paper wrapping the bush.

Manzanita Branch

Manzanita Branch

Here’s a shot of a Manzanita branch with the red wood circling an old branch cut.

Lichen and Moss

Lichen and Moss

If you look, there is lots of color – sometimes in unexpected places.  I liked the cooler color of the lichen with the moss.

Lichen on Rock

Lichen on Rock

Manzanita Blossom

Manzanita Blossom

A few manzanita are blooming too!  Great to see some real color in January.

Lichen and Moss

Lichen and Moss

Manzanita

Manzanita

And some new Manzanita bark – just starting to peel.

Sunday Smoothie

Sunday Smoothie All Done!

Then, back to the Journey for a breakfast smoothie, and more reading and complete veg-out.

In the afternoon I took out the RV QuickShades and finished the product review for the new shades we bought, and posted that product review here.  One thing that surprised us was how transparent the shades were at night:

RV QuickShades at Night

RV QuickShades at Night

Because it was very cool we couldn’t test how much heat the RV QuickShades kept out of the coach – we will revisit that in an add-on review later.

Another dog walk taking us by the lake at Lake of the Springs –

Lake of the Springs at Thousand Trails

Lake of the Springs at Thousand Trails

You can see what a nice day it was.

Monday, January 19th, 2015 – Oregon House, California

Last day at the campsite.  More reading and walks.  We were sad to have to take the Journey back to the barn.  We can’t wait until we are full-timing!

Journey @ Lake of the Springs

Journey @ Lake of the Springs

 

 

 

 

 

 

CJ!

 

RV Books Review

January 19, 2014

book_reviews

RV Books Review Page

Today I am learning more about WordPress and creating and writing an informative blog.  In addition I added a second RV Book review – The RV Buyer’s Survival Guide by Bob Randall and Mark Polk.  This adds to the first book review Buying a used motorhome – How to get the most for your money and not get burned, by Bill Myers.  The first book looks at the process of purchasing  a used RV, and the second a new motorhome.  These books are like bookends providing a pretty complete picture of the variety of ways to purchase an RV.

Why book reviews

For us just starting out, we wanted as much information as possible.  Web searches provided manufacturers websites that provide good data about new and previous RV models, various RV associations provide paper and electronic magazines, articles and blogs and many individuals have contributed information in various forms including comments and blogs on many sites.  Books however can still provide a wealth of information.  These first couple of books were purchased after searching Amazon.Com.  Other books we will review were purchased on Amazon as well as self-published through their own websites.

To view our book reviews – click here.

Ok, back to learning about WordPress!