Campground Review: 49er Village, Plymouth, CA

Far Horizons 49er Village RV Resort is located in Plymouth, CA, right in the heart of California’s Gold and Wine Country.  We stayed at 49er Village on a busy Labor Day holiday weekend a few years back.  This was the first “RV Resort” we had ever stayed at and this was the first place we stayed that had full hook-ups.  I can’t tell you how amazing it was to run the air conditioning in our trailer for the first time while in that 90 degree heat!

As I mentioned earlier, this was our first venture to the RV Resort world and I remember that my first impression was how close all the trailers were to each other.  We had been used to camping in the “wild” and this RV resort was definitely not in the wild and was, in fact, right off of a little highway.  Each RV site has full hook-ups and a small patch of grass on either side and picnic tables.  The area is paved and is very family friendly.  The kids in our group rode their bikes and go karts all around and were perfectly fine.  There were times throughout the weekend that the RV resort seemed very busy and bustling with activity, but I will attribute that to the fact that we were visiting on a holiday weekend.

49er Village has many amenities that include  2 swimming pools, enclosed spa tub, billiards, volleyball courts, shuffleboard courts, laundry facilities, cafe, gift shop and wi-fi.  The resort also has a large pond on site and the kids absolutely loved catching giant bullfrogs!  I can attest that the swimming pools are a popular attraction and was filled to the brim with kids.  The resort employees even have special events planned on these holiday weekends such as the poolside boat race that they had for the kids one afternoon.  Upon arrival to the resort, the employees provide you with their guest guide, which is a nicely put together guide with resort information and things to do in the area.

Speaking of things to do in the area, there are wineries, golf courses, historical points of interest and our favorite, Apple Hill.  We planned our weekend so that the men of the group played golf at two different courses while the ladies and the kids spent the day in Apple Hill.  If you haven’t been, definitely check it out!  They have lots of cute shops, petting zoos, wineries, produce and anything you ever wanted to eat that was apple flavored!  The other great outing this is very close to 49er Village is the Black Chasm Cavern, National Landmark.  I highly recommend this and it’s definitely worth a visit!

 

Overall, the best part about 49er Village is the location and I would stay there again, however I was not thrilled about being so close to your neighbor in the tight RV spots and the resort seemed a little worn.  For additional reviews on this resort, check out RV Park Reviews.com.

Have you ever been to 49er Resort?  Does this resort make it on your list?  Please share!

Happy Camping!

Coral

Now what?! A new camping hobby

If anyone has a young kid, you know that’s the question that is asked as soon as there is an idle moment.  “Mom, I’m bored…now what can we do?”  Kids aren’t known for just relaxing, reading a book and enjoying the quiet time as adults like to do.  This is especially true for parents with an only child, as is our case.  We love having an only child, but that just means that he doesn’t have siblings to play with and that his companions are mom and dad, so we continually have to have things planned or think of fun things to do.

Of course, when camping we have the standard items that we bring with us to keep our little man busy.  They include the following:  bike, scooter, electric scooter, jump rope, a small bin of toys, homework if we are camping during the school year, and the always favorite iPad.  But this past year, we started a hobby that our 7-year-old absolutely loves and that is GEOCACHING!

Geocaching, as I like to put it, is an outdoor scavenger hunt where you use your GPS or cell phone to find the locations and/or coordinates.  Once you find the cache, you log it in to the app (which posts a smiley face on every one you find) and sign your name on the paper log that can be found in the cache container.  Caches come in all different sizes and containers (see image below) and we have tried to find many where we were ultimately unsuccessful, but that’s part of the fun too.   My son’s favorite caches are the ones where you can take knickknacks and leave one behind.  Most are little treasures (or oddities), but to a kid, it is so cool!  I get more joy out of watching him find one of these and write his name down than anything else! That’s pretty much all there is to it!

IMG_1486

Screenshot of the Geocaching app

On one of our group camping trips to Graeagle, our friends brought along someone who was an avid geocacher and she showed us the ropes and got us hooked!  We eventually convinced everyone to go on a geocaching outing one afternoon and we had the best time!  This is a hobby that we will always try to do each time we are out camping!

Have you tried geocaching?  Download the app and you will be amazed at how many are near you!  Please share with me your geocaching stories, I would love to hear it!

Camping Top 5

After posting my latest campground review, I started thinking about my dream camping destinations.  I know of several places that are relatively close to the area that we have not yet ventured to.  Today, I decided to make a “Top 5” of places that I want to go in the near future!  I’m hoping I can get some of these off the list over the next two summers.

1.  Yosemite National Park

As someone who collects National Park Passport Stamps, I’ve always wanted to go to Yosemite and I can’t believe that I haven’t gone yet considering it’s so close!  I’m definitely going to take a look at my calendar and plan an adventure that way.  Part of my delay has been the fact that I’ve heard it’s VERY busy there and VERY hard to get reservations….but I’m not going to let that stop me!  There is something about that beautiful valley that I just need to see in person.  Located in central California, Yosemite was established in 1890 and has four million visitors a year.  Some of the popular sights to see include the Yosemite Valley and El Capitan, the world’s tallest granite monolith and one of the world’s top rock climbing destinations.  Other sites include Yosemite Falls, Giant Sequoia trees and Half Dome.

Half dome

Photo Credit: Brittanica.com

yosemite

Photo Credit: NationalParks.org

2.  Convict Lake, CA

Located in Mono County, down Highway 395 at the base of Mount Morrison, Convict Lake is a picturesque lake that offers horseback riding, fishing, camping and hiking.  When I was touring the Nevada State Prison in Carson City, NV last year, I learned that the lake was named after prison inmates escaped the prison, fled to the lake area and battled their way out with a shootout.  The history of this place is just another reason to check out this beautiful area!

convict lake

Photo Credit: Flickr.com

3.  Redwood National Park, CA

The Redwoods are currently managed by the National Park Service and California State Parks and includes 40 miles of coastline in addition to the “Tall Trees”.  Located in northernmost coastal California, it is 325 miles north of San Francisco.  In addition to the beautiful redwood forest, other attractions include scenic drives, Pacific Ocean overlooks and the Avenue of the Giants.  Redwood National State Park is also recognized as a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve because it’s resources are considered irreplaceable.  This is truly a gem that I must get to!

redwoods

Photo Credit: WorldHeritage.routes.travel

505Pave-of-the-giants-1

Photo Credit: Redwoods.info

4.  Big Sur, California

Big Sur holds a very special place in my heart as my husband proposed to me on the beach at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.  Located on Highway 1 in Big Sur, the area is in Monterey County, which includes the city of Monterey and Carmel.  The area features redwoods, oaks, amazing granite cliffs and many choices for camp sites.  Temperatures are pretty mild in this area and if camping here, I would definitely bring a lot of layers.  In addition to camping, there is hiking, the gorgeous beaches and if planned correctly, whale watching as well!

big sur

Photo Credit: Monterey.com

5.  Cannon Beach, OR

Beautiful beaches are the focal point of this area of Oregon and this is precisely why it has been named “one of The World’s 100 Most Beautiful Places” by National Geographic Magazine.  The iconic Haystack Rock is the landmark that most people would recognize when visiting the area.  Located on the coast, west of Portland, it would be a trek to camp here (approximately a 12 hour drive), but definitely worth it in my book!  In addition to the beaches and natural landmarks, there are charming little towns to explore, wildlife to see and lots of relaxing to do!  I bet you can also get a great bowl of clam chowder near by!

Haystack-Rock-Cannon-Beach-Oregon

Photo Credit: theoceanlodge.com

Cannon-Beach-Bonfire-web

Photo Credit: surfsand.com

Now that you have seen my Top 5…what are yours??  Please share!

Happy Camping!

Coral

 

Campground Review: Plasse’s Resort at Silver Lake

Plasses header

Photo Credit: Plasse’s Resort

This week’s campground review is of Plasse’s Resort, located in Pioneer, CA, on beautiful Silver Lake.  Just a little west of Kirkwood Mountain; this is a great camping area that has lots to offer.  We have visited this place on several occasions and have always had a great camping experience.  We even have our reservations all set for this summer!

plasse

Located off Highway 88, you will see a sign shortly after the Silver Lake campground area, directing you to turn on Plasse Rd to the Resort.  After descending way down to the valley floor, you enter the resort area.  Upon check-in, you will be directed to your camp area, where you have water hook-ups, tables and fire rings.  It is important to note that this is not a full hook-up site as they don’t have electric or sewer hook-ups.  They do have a dump station on site OR you can arrange for them to come to your site and empty your sewer.  This is a very nice feature so you don’t have to pack everything up to go dump your tank.  There are fees associated with each option.  The camp facilites are all in good condition and the sites are adequate.  The staff overall are pretty nice and can answer most of your questions.  Booking a reservation is fairly easy by calling the phone number on their website.  Please note that when you call to make a reservation in the off-season, you are directed to an insurance company.  Don’t worry, they take the reservations there!

Once you are all set up at camp, you can venture off to the many amenities that Plasse’s has to offer.   There is a general store, propane station, laundry facility, horseshoe pits, volleyball and basketball areas, a small arcade and canoe or kayak rentals.  There is also a restaurant called Plasse’s Thunder Mountain Restaurant.  On big holiday weekends, they have BBQ specials, horseshoe tournaments, chili cook-offs and live music.  We camped there in the summer of 2014 and we were lucky enough to experience an “Elvis in the Meadows” concert!  Who knew we would get a concert while camping?  Let alone an Elvis impersonator!  Needless to say, it was quite entertaining and a blast!

elvis

In my opinion, some of the prettiest features that Plasse’s has to offer (besides the lake and surrounding nature) are the chapel on the lake and the horse camp.  I haven’t been to too many campgrounds that have a chapel, especially ones that are situated right on the lake.  I can imagine a beautiful wedding being held here!  It is such a neat, picturesque chapel.  The second feature that I think is cool is that on one side of the resort there is a horse camp.  It’s always packed with horse trailers and you see the horses and riders all along the lake and it’s a neat experience to camp with these animals nearby.  We would always enjoy an after dinner stroll around the campground and would enjoy seeing these beautiful horses in this gorgeous setting.

chapel

Photo Credit: Plasse’s Resort

horses

Photo Credit: Plasse’s Resort

In addition to the canoeing, kayaking, fishing and boating that you can do at Plasse’s, our favorite place to visit is a short 5 minute drive to an area called Potholes.  This is a fun little excursion to take where you can swim in beautiful, naturally carved swimming holes.  Located in the Silver Lake West campground area, you actually park along the Highway and hike in through the campground.  All you have to do is follow the Pot Holes feet!

I have really enjoyed my camp adventures at Plasse’s Resort and think you should check it out!   Take a look at their website and schedule a visit!  I know I have!

Happy Camping!

Coral

Campground Review: Annett’s Mono Village, Twin Lakes, CA

Annett's

Photo Credit: Annett’s Mono Village

I could tell as I was driving towards gorgeous granite mountain peaks that I was headed somewhere beautiful.  It was October 2015 and it was our last camping trip of the season.  We had selected Twin Lakes as our final trip of the year because we had never been camping towards the Bridgeport area and we wanted to take advantage of the lake access and take our little dinghy out for some fishing.  Besides, we had heard a lot about Twin Lakes and knew of so many people that camp there and love it…. we also knew it was known for its curious bears!

But WOW…Twin Lakes is BEAUTIFUL!

We decided to take our trailers to Twin Lakes and camp at Annett’s Mono Village, which is located on Upper Twin Lakes.  This was our first venture to this campground and probably won’t be our last.  The first item to note about this campground is that there are NO reservations, which can often be difficult for campers who like to camp in groups, especially if you are camping in the height of camping season.  We had felt pretty sure that there would be enough space to accommodate three trailers since we were technically camping in the “off season” in October.  We drove down there after work on a Friday night and got there right at dusk.  We quickly found campsites that looked suitable and secured our camp area.  You pay for your site upon check-in, but since we arrived after hours, we dropped off our envelope to the camp host first thing in the morning.

Annett’s Mono Village does have several hook-up campsites, all of which seemed to be reserved for the whole season.  Additionally, upon seeing the hook-up areas the next day in broad daylight, I would prefer not to be in that section.  Many of the spots were crammed right next to each other and I think I would feel as if I was intruding on someone’s summer home!  Our group settled on normal, non-hook-up sites and even though the sites were much more primitive than we were used to, it worked fine for the weekend.  I’ve come to the conclusion that even though I do have my preferences on what I like to have when camping, I find that once I’m there, I don’t really care!

As mentioned earlier, Annett’s has a lot of amenities to offer in addition to camping and fishing.  They have a very impressive tackle and bait shop as well as dock slips for you to dock your boat during your stay and they even offer boat rentals.   They have cabins available to rent as well as the following onsite amenities: fully stocked grocery store, ATM machine, café, cocktail lounge and a very stocked gift shop!  Around the grounds, we found places to ride bikes, a large lawn area, BBQ’s, picnic tables and clean shower & bathroom facilities.  Annett’s Mono Village pretty much has everything you need right there on site.

We loved the fact that we could dock our boat all weekend and walk to our campsite.  It was so convenient to be fishing on the lake and when we wanted to take a break from the sun and hang out at our campsite, we would just walk on “home”

I would say it was an eventful weekend!  We caught 3 fish that weekend, had many deer come right up to us at camp and had that bear sighting we were hoping for when a large bear strolled right through camp.  That same bear also managed to get my friend’s cooler that night too!

I know that we will definitely be back to Annett’s Mono Village now that we know what to expect and would recommend it to others.  I also know that there are lots more in the area to check out and we will also try other campgrounds and RV resorts near Twin Lakes.  Twin Lakes is too beautiful to pass up!

Do you think you will try camping in the area?  Is there another spot in that area that I should check out?  Please share!

Happy Camping!

Coral

Bottoms Up! Favorite camp cocktails

Camping with my group of friends is definitely a lot of fun.  We are all family focused and have professional careers, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a good drink at the campsite.  I’m known for always trying a new recipe and sharing with my gal pals during each camp trip.  Yes, most of these drinks below are geared toward the ladies, but it doesn’t mean we don’t (or won’t) share with the men!

And without further delay, let’s talk drinks!

As mentioned before, we tend to do group meals, which also leads into group drinks!  When I have been in charge of the group breakfast, the accompanying camp cocktails are usually:  Bloody Mary’s for the men and spiked iced coffees for the ladies.  These are always a big hit!

cocktails

Drink Buffet

Spiked Iced Coffee:  To make this breakfast drink, we use the store bought Starbucks brand of iced coffee and pour it over ice.  Add Cinnabon flavored vodka (such as Pinnacle brand) and a splash of Coffee-mate Sweet Cream creamer to taste.  Bottoms up!

 

 

 

 

After a hot day at the campsite, there is nothing more refreshing than a cold drink.  Usually the men are throwing back some beers, or Micheladas, and playing a game of bags.  This is about the time that I mix up a drink for the ladies.  One of the most popular ones that I’ve made is again using the Pinnacle brand of Vodka.  This recipe is definitely worth a try.

PINNACLE® WHIP APPEAL

whip-appeal

Photo Credit: Pinnacle Vodka

1 PART Pinnacle® Whipped Vodka

1 PART Orange Juice

1 PART Pineapple Juice

Muddled Strawberries

Mix ingredients and serve over ice.

 

 

This past summer our group was into trying out different shot recipes.  While the kids cooked s’mores, the adults would try a different kind of dessert.  By far the best one has been the White Russian Pudding Shot.  These are very good and quickly disappear!  Just be sure to have enough!

White Russian Pudding Shots

pudding shot

Photo Credit: Allrecipes.com

1 cup milk

1/2 cup Bailey’s liqueur

1/2 cup vodka

1 package chocolate pudding mix

Whisk together all ingredients until blended.  Spoon the mixture into disposable party cups and freeze overnight.  Enjoy!

Now have I tempted you into trying one of these delicious concoctions?  What drink do you think you will try or what is your favorite party cocktail?  Please share!

Happy Camping!

Coral

 

 

Clio’s Rivers Edge: Saving Marriages since 1971!

Today’s blog post is my first campground review.  It is a review of what I would consider a “luxury” campground, actually an RV park, because you can’t technically tent camp there.  Keep an eye out for future campsite reviews where I review a typical/average campground and camping on BLM land known as dry camping (no hook-ups).

We have been going to Clio’s Rivers Edge in Clio, California for several years now.  Just two hours away from our home, it is located in the Plumas National Forest and we absolutely love it.  Your trip begins with the online booking process.  I’ve found that their website is very user friendly, contains all the information that you would need to know and you can book online at  http://www.riversedgervpark.net/.  One of the key items to note here is that you aren’t assigned a spot at the time of booking as it’s first come, first served.  We have found that if you leave instructions in the comment box, they can almost always accommodate your group to be near each other upon arrival.

So, what did you say about saving marriages??

golf cart

My hero!

Upon arriving at Rivers Edge, you stop at the check-in area and then, get this, YOUR MARRIAGE IS SAVED!  Once you give them your confirmation number, a park employee gets in their fancy golf cart and escorts you to your assigned spot.  They then proceed to help you back in and park in your spot and all I can say is WOW!  I can’t tell you the amount of times an argument has occurred with my beloved when trying to back in and park the trailer.  This AVOIDS all arguments and it’s an amazing way to start the camp trip!  I love Clio’s Rivers Edge for this reason alone!  I also wish we had a golf cart escort everywhere we camped!

Once you are all set up at camp, you notice right away how clean the RV park is and how friendly the employees are.  I get the sense that they truly care about the place and the guests that visit.  Every time someone checks out of their spot, the staff are immediately laying new gravel, making sure the spot is clean and tidy and leveling the ground for the next guest.  All spots have a concrete pad to park your trailer on, have full hook-ups, nice picnic tables and are all very spacious.  As mentioned, all of the sites have gravel which really keeps the indoors and outdoors clean and dirt free.  We always select the “outer perimeter” sites that back up to the wire fence and the woods.  This is a view from the outer perimeter sites.  It is so relaxing to sit outside and enjoy this view!

outer perimeter

View from an outer perimeter campsite

The amenities at Clio’s includes a dog park area, an area where you can play mini golf, horseshoes and bocce ball, a volleyball court and the kid’s favorite, a free ice cream social on Saturdays.  Rivers Edge also has a bathroom facility for guests to use and an office where you can ask questions of the owners and, more importantly, buy ice cream.  The park has locked trash dumpsters to prevent bear activity and strict quiet hours.  Sometimes that a good thing, for our group and other campers!  The best part about Rivers Edge is that it’s so family friendly.  Every single time we have gone, my son and the kids that we camp with have all made friends.  Then they usually all band together and ride bikes and scooters through the camp all day long on the nice paved roads.  They have all been known to set up a lemonade stand and start a weekend business.  We fondly refer to them as the bike gang.

We usually make a trip to Clio’s when we have a long weekend because there is plenty to do around the town of Graeagle.  In our camping group, the men usually hit one of the many local golf courses in the area while the ladies head over to downtown Graeagle to hit the boutiques or hike and paddle board around Mill Pond.

Mill Pond trail

Trail around Mill Pond

There is also horseback riding and a miniature golf course close by.  On the popular holiday weekends, there are lots of sales at the stores in town and there’s a buzz of excitement in the air.  We also recently discovered a new hobby of geocaching and introduced it to some of our friends.  We found a good handful of geocaches around the Clio and Graeagle area and the kids absolutely loved the “treasure hunt”.  In fact, you can see them in the background of this picture, covering up a geocache that they found!

Welcome to Graeagle!

Welcome to Graeagle!

Clio’s Rivers Edge is one of our favorite sites…. clean, beautiful, family friendly and close to lots of activities.  If I had to give it a rating, it definitely earns an “A”.  This is a site that we plan on returning to year after year and think you should give it a try!

Do you have a favorite spot that you are willing to share?  Or have you been to Rivers Edge?  Please share your experiences!

Happy Camping!

Coral