Likely Place Golf and RV Resort

Likely Place Golf and RV Resort Review

Just outside of Likely California

On our way south to visit our daughters and their family in the Sacramento area after staying at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument near Bend Oregon, we stop at Likely Place Golf and RV Resort.

Fires in Northern California

Usually we travel down 97 to Interstate 5 and take it south, however because of forest fires as well as the closure of I-5 we decide to take a more easterly route to Alturas on US 395 to Interstate 80.  We had not traveled with Lola along US 395 in Northeastern California, so it was a new area to see.

Our halfway point according to RVTripWizard (our trip planning software) is Likely California.  We found an RV Park close by called Likely Place Golf and RV Resort and decide to stay there for a one night layover.

Likely Place Golf and RV Resort

Likely Place Golf and RV Resort is a great place to stay.  Besides being a half way point in our travels south, it has an 18 hole golf course.  It is in a pretty remote area in Northeastern California yet close to US 395 to make it a convenient stop.

Dark Skies

There are 5 or 6 cement pads and a few more grassy areas all with power for telescope setups.  With the dark skies and high elevation Likely Place Golf and RV Resort is perfect to do some stargazing.  Since we are only here for one night, Jeff set up the tripod and camera to get some practice getting some Milky Way pictures.  He focuses on Cassiopeia and Andromeda Galaxy and uses Deep Sky Stacker (DSS) to process the images.

Other Activities

Besides stargazing, the resort offers a host of other activities such as fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking and nearby places to ATV.  California’s Lava Beds National Monument is close by and many other attractions to explore.  Several scenic drives are listed on the Lively Place Golf and RV resort sure to keep any family busy while staying here.  See more here.

Likely Place Golf and RV Resort is on our list of places to come back to – as a matter of fact we plan to revisit the resort next spring on our way north to Alaska.

Happy Trails!

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A Drone’s Perspective – 2017 Trippin’ Year In Review

ColoradoA Drone’s Perspective – 2017 Trippin’ Year In Review

2017 was a crazy year.  Living in an RV and being retired allows us the flexibility to do the unplanned!  Join us with a look at where we traveled this past year.  Check out or blog at RVBuiltForTwo.com or our YouTube channel Trippin Engles for more videos on our travels.  We linked to some of the Blog/Video posts in the underlined links below.

Happy Holidays

The Year In Review – A Drone’s Perspective

Florida

January saw Christine holding down the ‘fort’ in central Florida while Jeff flew to Eugene to attend his dad’s funeral.  Then in late January we trekked down to Lake Okeechobee to stay a month in South Central Florida.  When we arrived at our campsite in Moore Haven Florida, our DJI Mavic Drone (Eyes of Lola) was waiting for us allowing us to capture airborne video for the rest of the year’s wanderings!

March: Heading West – Escapade in Tucson

Next we made our way west to the Escapee Escapade RV rally in Tucson spending time in Texas at a couple of Thousand Trails campgrounds Lake Tawakoni and Lake Whitney and visiting good friends of ours in Arlington,Texas.

The Escapee Escapade in March was a great experience in Tucson – even if Jeff had to get some dental work done and we had to get our slide-out repaired at La Mesa RV while we were at the rally.

April: Visiting in Sacramento

We made it to the Sacramento area in April, staying at Thousand Trails Lake Minden and visiting our two daughters and their families who live in the area.

May and June: Eugene Oregon

May and June were months we dedicated to fixing up my dad’s house to get it ready to sell, and a trip up to La Conner Washington for a family vacation.  We got some great video of Deception Pass Bridge, Whale Watching from Friday Harbor and a video essay on Lone Tree Point at La Conner.

July – September: Sacramento

July, August and most of September were spent fixing up a real fixer-upper we came across in the Sacramento Area.  Something that was not on the radar earlier in the year, but we decided to take advantage of a chance to get a house to fix up and sell.

October: Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Towards the end of September we head off to the Escapee HOP in Albuquerque, New Mexico – heading straight east through Nevada stopping in Fernley and Winnemucca first.  Read about getting new tires on the toad in Winnemucca in that post!  Next we head through the Bonneville Salt Flats, Salt Lake and stay 3 days at Scofield State Park exploring dinosaur and mammoth bones at the Wasatch Plateau. We even got snow on the 1st of October.

Cortez, Colorado was the last stop before getting to Albuquerque and we have to come back for more!  The Canyons of the Ancients and Mesa Verde along with horses on the Ute Mountain Reservation gave us a preview of what we can explore in this area.  While in Cortez we got Lola’s engine computer updated at Cortez Diesel.  Check our Cortez post.

Bucket List!  Yes, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is everything it is claimed to be.  We had perfect weather each day.  From exploring old town Albuquerque, the Pueblo Indian Cultural Center, Santa Fe to the wonders of Balloons from 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.  What a blast!  This was our first Escapee sponsored mini-rally or HOP.  Check out Day 0 and 1 when we get set up and enjoy our first morning Balloon Sunrise.  Day two – more Balloons (of course) and the Petroglyph National Monument.  Day 3 – Balloons, Sante Fe and the Kuaua Pueblo at the Coronado State Historic Park.  Days 4 and 5 wrap up the Balloon Fiesta with a trip to the Pueblo Cultural Center and Sandia Tram.  Lots to see along with all the Balloon Fiesta Activities.

October: Loreto BCS Baja Mexico

We left Lola in California and flew to Baja California to enjoy the sun of Loreto at the Villa Del Palmar with some friends.

The last part of the year was spent continuing to fix-up our fixer upper.  We hope to be finished by late spring and back on the road to explore the Mountain States and the Dakotas.

Happy Trails and See you on the road in 2018

Jeff and Christine

Happy Trails and see you on the road in 2018!

Jeff and Christine

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Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – Day 4 and 5

Balloon Fiesta – Day 4

Balloon Launch

Another morning we missed the Dawn Patrol, but a surprise landing of several balloons between the RVs.  Quite a treat!  Use the arrows to scroll.

Here’s one of the balloons right in front of Lola:

Nice morning for the Balloon Fiesta again!  We have great weather, fantastic breakfasts and dinners through the Escapee Hop and fun side-trips to keep us busy.

Gas Balloon Challenge

The first evening of the International Balloon Fiesta launched several gas balloons.  They are now in the eastern US and Canada and still travelling!  Amazing how high and far these balloons go.  Gas Balloon Challenge Results here.

Gas Balloon Challenge
Gas Balloon Challenge

Sandia Tram

The Sandia Mountain Tram is the longest tram in the US, and the longest public tram in the world!  The early bird gets the worm and we head off right after the balloon launch to catch the tram as soon as it opens.

It is a quick drive to the tramway, and saw several balloons along the way as well as from the top of the mountain.  The tram goes 2.7 miles and rises 4,000 feet.  There is a ski facility and lots of trails to hike once you get there.

Pueblo Cultural Center

Operated by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico, The Pueblo Cultural Center has history, art and demonstrations of Pueblo culture.  We enjoyed the live entertainment at the center as well as the craft tables and shop.

We learned a lot about the Pueblo Indians.  They were one of the few truly agricultural Native American groups in the Southwest.  Most of the other groups were hunter-gatherers.

Wow – so many things to do when in Albuquerque!  Balloons and so much more!

Balloon Fiesta Day 5

Last day in Albuquerque!  The Balloon Launch included a competition to drop a sand bag in a circle or land and take off in a specified area.  Good wind conditions brought the balloons right to us again for some great video.

Happy Trails

 

 

Santa Fe – Coronado Historic Site – and Balloons

Santa Fe – Kuaua Pueblo – and Balloons

Balloon Fiesta Day 3: Morning Balloon Fix

We slept in this morning and missed the Dawn Patrol.  Then we found out that it was cancelled when we went for breakfast.  Cool!  Didn’t miss anything.

The balloons did launch, so we still got some good pictures.

Sandia Mountain Tram (NOT!)

We drove up to Sandia Mountain after breakfast, but there was a wait of over 2 hours, so we decided to get an earlier start tomorrow for the tram.  Instead we decided to drive up to Santa Fe.  Some of the Escapee Hop attendees took the train but we wanted to include the dogs so we drove up.

Santa Fe

It’s only about an hour to drive to Santa Fe from Albuquerque.  Weather was nice and it was an interesting drive going by all the different Pueblos.  We parked a few blocks away from the old downtown area, got coffee at a quaint shop about half way to the old city square.  They were very dog friendly and brought out some water for the thirsty pups.  It is the oldest capital in the US – founded in 1630.  And at an elevation of 7189 ft. it’s the 10th highest city in the United States!

The old city square was busy with a dance group all dressed out in Spanish-American costumes.  Lots of music too!

Route 66 & Kuaua Pueblo – Coronado Historic Site

We got off the freeway just outside of Santa Fe to drive on old Route 66.  We drove through many small towns.  There are several Pueblo tribes and nations throughout this area.  We happened to see a sign for Coronado Historic Pueblo and took a short detour to see it.  Kuaua Pueblo was first settled about 1325 when approximately 1200 people settled the area.  Francisco Vásquez de Coronado named the pueblo in 1540 while he was searching for the cities of gold.  Coronado is on the banks of the Rio Grande river.

Great place to visit.  Managed by the New Mexico State Park system it is another dog friendly place.

Happy Trails!

 

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Day Two

At The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Day Two

Dawn Patrol

The Morning Dawn Patrol was so cool this time.  Yesterday there was a good breeze and at dawn the launched balloons went by pretty fast.  This morning it was very calm – and as the balloons lifted off and headed toward us they get in a loop.   About half way to the field in front of us they gradually started drifting back towards the launch site.  This made for about 40 or 50 minutes of entertainment.  We dressed warmly, brought our chairs and tripod to sit back and enjoy the show.  We took the best 8 minutes of video for the final video.

National Petroglyph Monument

After the Dawn Patrol, we watched some of the balloons float overhead – some landing among our RVs – before we headed out to the National Petroglyph Monument.

There are several trails at the monument.  After talking to the woman at the visitor’s center we picked the Rinconada Trail.  We found out from another couple on the trail that this trail was not as well-marked as some of the other trails, but we found lots of petroglyphs to photograph.  Folks have come up this canyon and scratching stuff on rocks for over 3,017 years!  Yup – earliest petroglyphs date to about 1,000 BC (BCE).  The last carving from Native Americans date from about 1700 a.d. The volcanic rock in the area is from an eruption about 200,000 years ago.  Way back before Jeff was even around!

The trail is just over 2 miles long, so we left the dogs behind.  They are getting too old for that long of a walk.

Old Town Albuquerque

Next, we drove to Old Town Albuquerque.  Lots of neat little shops and the old square and church.  Albuquerque was founded in 1706 and there are still some old buildings that date back to that time.  Parking is a challenge – especially on Sunday during Balloon Fiesta!  But we found a spot near one of the museums a few blocks away.

International Balloon Fiesta Grounds

Once we got back to the RV and had dinner with the Escapee Hop group we took a school bus to the Fiesta Grounds proper.  We are amazed at the number of people and vendors there.  THOUSANDS of people with DOZENS and DOZENS of all type of shops.  We ended up not buying much because we were looking for things a bit more unique than most of the vendors had for sale.  What we really came for was the Twilight Twinkle show.  We walked up a small hill away from the crowds so we could have a good view of the evening entertainment.  We were NOT disappointed.  Even though we forgot a blanket to sit on it was fun.  Jeff set up a little tripod for the camera and Christine made friends with a retired couple from Alberta Canada.

Twilight Twinkle

Well worth the trip to the Fiesta Grounds & making your way through the throngs of people.

 

 

 

Cortez Colorado

Cortez Colorado

Last Stop Before the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

 October 2-4

Our last stop before getting to Albuquerque is Cortez, Colorado.  We stayed for 3 days to explore the area.  It sure was nice to get into some green farmland again – a nice change from the deserts of Nevada and Utah.  We stayed at the Sundance RV Park in Cortez.  It was a very nice park that is well maintained with friendly staff.  It’s central location makes it easy to go to Mesa Verde National Park, and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.

Cortez Diesel

Our first stop though was to Cortez Diesel – a Cummins diesel shop.  Lola – our Winnebago Journey hesitates when accelerating after we got fuel.  We always get fuel at a major truck stop, so fuel quality should not be an issue, but throughout this trip after stopping to get fuel it continued to happen.  At first it was a slight hesitation – I thought my foot may not have been on the accelerator fully or slipped off the gas pedal.  The second time it was a more significant, and the third time it happened in the middle of the intersection just outside of Salt Lake City during rush hour traffic (now that makes you start to sweat). The engine caught and we were off and running.  Since the problem was getting worse we decided to get it checked out.

We called Cortez Diesel after checking web reviews and talking with the service manager Cory Schmitt, we scheduled a morning appointment.  Cory checked out the throttle and saw no issues, then ran a diagnostic – that also looked good.  However, he noted that we were many many revisions behind on our Cummins software.  One of the fixes that we were missing was engine cutting out at low RPM.  He also noted that if that did not solve the problem there is a controller under the throttle that is simple to replace – even though the diagnostics indicated it was OK.  {Lola ran great for the rest of the trip to Albuquerque and back to California to see the kids.}  Thanks Cory & Cortez Diesel.  We highly recommend them if you need any diesel work.

Canyons of the Ancients

Visitor Center

Our first stop is to the Canyons of the Ancients visitor’s center just outside of Cortez.  Very friendly staff and going through the visitors center we learned a lot about the early settlers and the native Americans.  Gives you a better idea of what you want to see in the time we have.  They explained how much time it takes to get to the different places to explore.  We also really enjoyed the green fields and snow-capped mountains!

 

Lowry Pueblo – Canyons of the Ancients

Leaving the visitor’s center we drove to Lowry Pueblo – our first stop.  Built about 1060 a.d.,  it is so cool to wander around where native Americans once lived so long ago.  It’s a nice walk around the site with the dogs.

Hovenweep Pueblo Complex – Canyons of the Ancients

Next we drove to Hovenweep Pueblo – just across the Colorado – Utah border.  Another good place to walk the dogs.

Mesa Verde National Monument

Mesa Verde National Monument is one of the premier places to view pueblo cliff dwellings dating back 1300 years.  There have been inhabitants in this area dating back to 7500 BCE!  Most places are accessible to those with pets.  As with all National Monuments – drones are prohibited.  Who wants to hear the buzz of a drone while enjoying these sites?  No problem here!

At an elevation of 8572 Park Point fire lookout has a commanding view of the valley below.  You can see why this was a choice defensive position for the Paleo Indians and Native Americans for millennia.

This Episode’s Video

Happy Trails!!

Eastern Nevada and Utah

En route to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Eastern Nevada and Utah – En route to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Our Route from Winnemucca to Scofield State Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California Trail Interpretive Center – Elko Nevada

September 28th

After leaving Winnemucca we drove through the high desert of Nevada to Wendover on our way to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta .  On the way, we stopped at the California Trail Interpretive Center in Elko Nevada – it’s well worth the stop and has easy bus and RV parking.  The dogs enjoyed the break and there were some nice trails for them to stretch, sniff and wag.

Pictures of the California Trail Interpretive center (Hit the arrows to scroll):

Wendover

It’s a typical Nevada border town with casinos galore!  We stayed at the Wendover KOA behind a casino.  We were very close to an airport and after getting approval to keep it low we took The Eyes of Lola – our DJI Mavic Drone – for a quick look-see.  We could just make out the white of the Salt Flats in the distance.

 

Salt Flats

September 29th

At mile marker 10 just inside Utah on I-80 is the Salt Flats rest area.  Again – The Eyes of Lola went up for some better views of the Bonneville Salt Flats – and a stretch before driving through central Utah.  Check out the video at the bottom and the pictures below (Hit the arrow to scroll)!

Scofield State Park

September 30 – October 2

Our destination of 3 days – a stay at Scofield State Park.  The fall colors were all around us and we enjoyed several drives in the area.  Up at 7,656 feet elevation it got chilly at night and we even had snow on the last full day at the park!

During out stay we visited the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry where one of the largest finds of Allosaur bones are found with museums around the world getting skeletons from this quarry.  Unfortunately it was closed the day we visited, but we hiked the area and spotted some cool rocks.

Wasatch Plateau

During out stay at Scofield state park we had time to expore the area.  The Wasatch Mountains and Plateau is an active coal mining area, a perfect area for outdoor enthusiasts with roads and trails for ATVs all over.  We spotted many fishermen on the lakes and streams.  With roads at over 9,000 ft in elevation you get breathtaking views of the valleys below the Wasatch Mountain Range.  A good driving guide is found on the Sanpete website that includes several loops that you can drive.  One cool stop is to the Mammoth skeleton found near Huntington Dam.

In 1989 during the construction of a dam a Columbian Mammoth was found in the mud – one of the best preserved mammoth skeletons.

The site of the discovery is right off the road and there are some nice trails and fishing spots.

 

This Episode’s Video

Fernley and Winnemucca Nevada

Heading to the Balloon Fiesta from California

First Stop Fernley Nevada

We left Sacramento on September 25th, heading east to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque taking the long road there!

Balloon Fiesta Trip Overview

We had a bit of a rocky start when our RVi Brake acted up braking hard when it should not.  After getting frustrated about the RVi Brake we accidentally pulled the toad a bit in park!  After several thousand miles pulling our vehicle it shows we can still do stupid things when we get side tracked!  Oh well, live and learn.

We arrived in Fernley, set up camp and took the Eyes of Lola out for a fly.  Our DJI Mavic worked like a charm.  We stayed at the Desert Rose RV Park.  It was a no-nonsense park that was clean and new.  It was on Alt-US 50.

Next stop – Winnemucca and NEW TIRES

On the 25th we drove on to Winnemucca, and wanted to see a bit more about the town.  We visited the Humbolt Museum first then down to Wal-Mart to get groceries.    Thump-thump-thump… something was wrong with the toad.  We stopped at one mechanic that had good Yelp reviews, but he didn’t have time to look at it, so he referred us to Speedy’s just down the road from the RV park that we are staying at.  Once there Jeff spotted a flat spot on one of the tires, and the mechanic confirmed that was where we need to start in figuring out the problem.

You guessed it, we needed to invest in a new set of tires.  Good thing there is a Les Schwab Tire Store in town.  Of course, because of the all wheel drive you can’t just get one or two replaced.  Nope, all four. Augh!  Well, it could have been a lot worse.  The transmission was fine, and the tires were past their prime so it wasn’t to bad that we needed to get all four replaced.

Weather was great and the high desert was… very dry ;-).   We had to keep remembering to drink lots of water.  (Beer too!)

We stayed at the New Frontier RV park outside Winnemucca – it was off the highway a bit so it was relatively quiet.  We spent 2 days here so we could explore the museums (and get new tires).  And another flight with Eyes of Lola.

 

Happy Trails!

Lake Minden

Lake Minden, Nicolaus California

 

Lake Minden RV Resort is a NACO/Thousand Trails RV park located in Nicolaus California between Sacramento and Marysville where highway 99 and 70 split.  This is the second time we have stayed at this RV park.  We are staying for 3 weeks.

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The park is close to Sacramento and the Lake of the Woods State Wildlife area.  Our daughters live close by and it is a convenient place to camp while visiting family and friends.  We are also catching up on dental, medical and vet check-ups.

Lake Minden has a small lake where fishing is popular with the campers.  The California drought seems to be over for now, and it rained most days for the first two weeks at the campground.  The sites are level, and our campsite finally dried up the last week at the park.  Since we spent most days out visiting and taking care of business it did not impact us too much, but we welcomed having a dry space to enjoy sunny weather the last week here.

The only campsites that have sewer is Section A.  Only one spot was available when we arrived, and we didn’t fit in that site.  Only a few sites in Section A accommodate a 40’ RV.  The other section for RVs is Section D.  The sites have more space but only have water and 30 amp power, so we have to pull around to the dump station to empty our tanks.  We could have paid $25 for the honey wagon to empty us but decided not to use that service.

For the past several months, our Norcold refrigerator has had a lot of condensation that pooled at the bottom of the inside.  I finally took some time to diagnose the issue.  I first checked the drain hose and it seemed clear.  Then I checked where the drain hose connects to the tray under the fins inside the fridge.  I had to take out the restraining bars that prevent the shelves from sliding out then pulled out the tray.  The drain hose connector is broken where it connects to the tray so I ordered both a new drain hose and tray from norcoldparts.com.  Since I was not certain whether the hose came with a new connector or if it was part of the tray I got both.

I also sold the RViBrake2 and got the new RViBrake3 control panel set up.  The Tire Patrol tire monitoring sensors from RVi are not available yet, so we will continue to use the TireMinder sensors for tire pressure monitoring until they come in.  Once the Tire Patrol sensors arrive we will have one control panel for both brake status and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).  We bought the RViBrake3 at the Tucson Escapee Escapade RV rally.

We spent time with our friends and family – here’s pictures from a walk in Rocklin

 

 

Our summer schedule has firmed up, and we will be going up north to Oregon for May and part of June, then up to the Puget Sound area north of Seattle for the rest of June and July.  Then back to the Sacramento area in August to work on a house there.  For the fall, we will be going to the Albuquerque Balloon festival!  We are excited about that.

Happy Trails!

 

Seligman Arizona to Lake Minden California

Seligman Arizona to Lake Minden California

March and April 2017

Route 66 and Seligman Arizona

March

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 On our way to the next stop after leaving the Verde Valley is Kingman Arizona.  Before reaching Kingman is the little town of Seligman and a nice stretch of Route 66 that branches off the freeway.  We stopped at a ridge along Route 66 and gave our DJI Drone Eyes Of Lola a chance to stretch her propellers!  Not only did Lola travel route 66, but the drone did too.
About 20 miles down Route 66 is Seligman where we enjoyed walking by old cars and classic neon harking back to the days of 2-lane travel. After buying some Route 66 memorabilia we stepped back outside for some SNOW!  As usual, Sam the yellow lab was in the driver’s seat ready to get back on the road.

Desert Diamond Distillery

Kingman, Arizona

At Escapade in Tucson, we signed up for Harvest Hosts.  It is a service that matches RVers to farms, breweries, wineries and other businesses that let RVers lay-over for the night.  Many of these are a bit off the beaten track and look like fun diversions while traveling.  At the Fourth Street fair in Tucson, the oldest distillery in Arizona – Desert Diamond Distilleries – shared a bit of their product with me.  I am typically not a rum person, but “if you like sippin’ bourbon, you will like Gold Miner Dark Rum”.  With one sip that I could feel from my lips to my toes I knew it is a winer and a bottle slipped into my messenger bag!

Planning our route from the Verde Valley to California took us through Kingman Arizona.  Checking Harvest Hosts guess what business is listed in Harvest Hosts?  You guess it, Desert Diamond Distilleries!  We arrived mid-afternoon after driving a bit of historic Route 66 and stopping at Seligman to buy T-shirts and enjoy a bit of snow.

 

Peggy Sue’s Diner

Yermo, California – April

We drive through a small stretch of Nevada after leaving Arizona where we made a quick side-trip so the dogs could swim in the Colorado river at Bull Head City.  We drove through some beautiful desert country all through Arizona, Nevada and California especially this year after the desert received more rain than usual.  Another Harvest Hosts business is Peggy Sue’s Diner in Yermo, California, where we stayed next.

 

We had a nice dinner in the diner and took the dogs for a walk through a brushy area next to Peggy Sue’s.

Mojave and the Nipton Trading Post

We missed the peak blossoms at the floor of the Mojave, however the weather was perfect and the desert is green.  We traveled the back roads through Mojave and stopped at the Nipton Trading Post for pictures and a break.

Horse Creek Campground

Lake Kaweah, Lemon Cove, California

The drive up along Highway 65 going north from Bakersfield is magnificent this time of year with the wildflowers blooming and the Sierra mountains shining bright with fresh snow.  Our next stop is just outside of Lemon Cove at the Army Corps of Engineers campsite at Lake Kaweah.  The Horse Creek campground is only open from January to May.  After May it is usually under water.

With our senior discount staying at the campground is a real steal.

Lake Minden Thousand Trails

Nicholaus, California

A full post of Lake Minden is here.

 

Happy Trails!