Campground Review: Gold Country Campground Resort

Last year we tried out a new campground called Gold Country Campground Resort located in Pine Grove, CA.  Just off Highway 88, it is 8 miles east of Jackson and 48 miles from Sacramento.  We went in late September because our kids had a Monday off from school and we knew the weather would be warmer in California.  A co-worker had recommended we try it out, so Gold Country it was!!

We camped there in the “off-season” so a lot of the campsites were unoccupied for the weekend.  The RV sites did  have occupancy, but overall it was a  nice and quiet weekend.  Because it was relatively empty, the kids in our group were able to ride their bikes all around, but quickly found a treacherous turn that got the best of all of them.  Thank goodness for bike helmets!  It seems everyone got scraped up that weekend.  What I liked best about camping there and not leaving until Monday was that all the other RV’s pulled out on Sunday, while we got to stay an extra day.  We pulled the TV from our trailer and hooked it up to the cable hookups and enjoyed watching Sunday football outside.  It was great!

Since we did go in the off-season, we didn’t get to enjoy all the amenities that Gold Country has to offer, but I’m sure if we make it back there, we will enjoy them!  They have a swimming pool, a splash park, dog park, billiards, horseshoes, mini golf, a playground, arcade and clubhouse.  From taking a look at their website, they also have Friday night Bingo!  The resort also has cabin and cottage rentals for the non-camping guest.

Because we ended up heading to the campsite after work on Friday, by the time we got to Pine Grove, we were all starving.  We grabbed a bite to eat at the local 88 Giant Burger and we were not disappointed!  Over the weekend we also grabbed an ice cream cone from Munnerlyn’s Ice Creamery and all really enjoyed it.  We also visited Black Chasm Caverns again since the family we camped with had never been.  They all loved that excursion and I know we will do it again!  It’s a big hit with the kids.

ice cream

Photo Credit: Yelp

Gold Country is located close to historic Jackson and there is plenty to do in the area. There are lots of historical areas to visit, mine tours, gold panning, lots of shopping, dining, golf and wine tasting.  I highly recommend visiting this cool town!  I know that if we are planning to go back, we would definitely stay at Gold Country again.

Have you ever been to the Jackson area?  If so, what should we check out?  Please share!

Happy Camping!



Camping Recipes Part 2

Camping season is getting so close and I can’t wait to try some new recipes!  I’ve been scouring the web and have come across a few that are making it to my “must-try” list.  I thought I’d share that list with you today!

Breakfast:  One method I came across was something called “campfire bacon”.  You simply thread your bacon slices onto a skewer and cook over an open fire.  Sounds great!  I just need to remember to bring skewers with me when camping!  Also, threading the bacon onto the skewers ahead of time is a possibility to help save some prep time when at the campsite.  Pair it with  hash browns and eggs and I will have a happy family!  The second idea is called an Idaho Sunrise.  I like this idea because your breakfast is already in the hollowed out potato shell!  I can also see mixing it up with different breakfast meats inside and even a Mexican version! We have a few fellow campers that are gluten-free and this looks like a great recipe to accommodate their dietary needs!

Lunch: OH MAN…Campfire Chili Cheese Fries!  These look really good and I can already imagine these becoming a big hit with the kids and teens that are usually in our group!  Recipe is simple enough and again, this is a gluten free option.  Best part of this recipe is NO DISHES!

Dinner:  Again, this campfire version of a Philly cheese steak looks amazing!  For the picky eaters, you could even make a version of this without the peppers and onions and please everyone all at once!  I think this would be a great main dish served alongside some German Potato Salad made by my friend Lindsay.

Dessert:  I stumbled across this easy dessert idea and it looks great!  Everyone can make their own variety with a few different pie fillings.  They are called Campfire Pies and it looks like the only equipment needed are sandwich irons.  I see a Nutella pie in my future!

I hope you like what I’ve got cooking this summer!  Let me know if you have ever made anything like this or have an idea that I need to try!  Please share!

Happy camping!





Campground Review: Indian Creek Reservoir

Well, what can I say about Indian Creek Reservoir?  We have camped here numerous times and have enjoyed it each and every time!  Located in Alpine County just off Highway 89, it is between Woodfords, CA and Markleeville, CA.  This site is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and it includes a fully developed campground, restrooms with toilets and hot showers, a dump station and a boat ramp.  This is a relatively primitive campground, but it’s so close to us and so easy to get to, that we have camped here many times.  There is an area designated for tents and a larger loop that accommodates trailers.  There are 10 tent sites available and 19 more available in the loop.

The camp hosts are always friendly and often check in to visit the guests and make sure that they have everything they need.  They also usually sell firewood in years when we are allowed to actually make a fire.  The facilities are kept in good condition and the camp site fees are very good.  There are  many things to in the area with the most popular items being fishing, boating and hiking.  I can tell you that it’s very fun to fish out on the reservoir and has been the site of my husband and I’s fishing competition…where I won of course!

Indian Creek is also the same place where we have had lots of exciting bear activity!

When camping there, you must definitely use the bear lockers to store any coolers or food.  You can also see coyotes, porcupines, chipmunks, squirrels and mule deer.  But let’s also not forget the frogs and snakes.  I clearly remember going into the shower facilities with my son, who was probably 4 at the time.  We placed all of our shampoo and conditioner and toiletries inside the shower and turned on the water.  I turn around to close the shower curtain and THREE frogs were clinging to the shower curtain.  I screamed and pretty much froze in place.  There was no way that I was going to shower in that bathroom.  I sent my poor kid back in there to retrieve our toiletries and he was so brave to get them for me!  A nice lady who came into the facility was brave enough to grab all the frogs from the curtain and place them outside so we could shower!  That is something that I’ll never forget!  No matter what adventures we encounter at our many camp trips, something is always memorable.  We continue to come back to this place and I’m sure we will be there again in the future.

Have you had any exciting animal adventures?  Please share!

Happy camping!



Wolf Pack! A Tailgating Review

Before moving to Nevada many moons ago, my husband and I went to school at California State University, Long Beach.  Although I LOVED my college (GO BEACH!), we didn’t have a football team, so I often felt cheated in my tailgating experiences!  Since moving to Nevada, we try to make it to a few Wolf Pack games each season.  Since our camping buddies usually hit the games with us, we got the idea to try and tailgate at a University of Nevada, Reno football game.  And last year we finally did it!

Tailgating is generally free to do at UNR and there are usually lots of areas to play bags, have a BBQ and have some drinks.  The games are a lot of fun!  In order to reserve space to bring a trailer, you need to call the number that is found at the Game Day Guide site and actually pay for trailer sites.   My friend Jamie was nice enough to book space for 3 trailers and found out that we were allowed to set up our trailers the night before the game.  Each trailer cost us about $75 for a tailgating spot.  We had tickets for a Saturday football game, so we all rolled out on Friday night to our designated spots in the parking lot behind the baseball stadium.  If you are taking your trailer to a tailgate, I highly recommend getting there early as the lot gets crowded and I can’t imagine trying to back in amongst all that chaos.  Luckily we were pretty early getting in there and had lots of room to maneuver around and park in our allotted spaces.  It was really nice to make a U-shaped area with our trailers and actually got a little bit of privacy.  This also helped to corral the kids in our camp.  The only issues we encountered were parking pass issues and that was eventually resolved.

The next day we enjoyed hanging out before the game by grilling up some food.  At game time is was so nice to just walk over to Mackay Stadium and enjoy the football game.  Making it even better was a Wolf Pack win!  After the game, we made our way back to our trailers to the sounds of the Wolf Pack howls….it was awesome!  All the tailgaters were friendly and nice and would visit each campsite getting to know each other.  We stayed up and made some more food and really enjoyed the experience.  The next morning, it was amazing how quickly things were packed up and how emptied out the lot was!  I enjoyed the tailgating experience and look forward to doing it in the future…especially now that I’m truly part of the Pack!

Have you ever tailgated at a football game?  Please share…I would love to hear about it!

Happy camping!


Selecting the right trailer for you!

I laugh at the title of this blog, because when we purchased our trailer, we had no idea what we were doing or what kind of trailer was the ideal choice for us!  I do know that we had an acquaintance that was selling her trailer and that my husband had always wanted a tent trailer.  The stars aligned and next thing we knew we were the owners of a 2008 Forest River Rockwood Roo 21SS.  We also knew that our first trailer was going to be a used one because that’s the one we would raise our kid in and “practice” being trailer owners.  We figured we would get many years out of this used trailer and when the time is right, invest in an upgrade!  Our Rockwood Roo is 8 years old now and I still don’t feel like I want an upgrade…I love our little home away from home!  But when I see the pictures of what is out there online now and how nice everything looks (like the snazzy new Roo picture below)…I just might be convinced to bite the bullet one day!  Below is a quick summary of the types of trailers that are out there!  There is definitely something for everyone.

POP UP CAMPERS:  These are also referred to as tent trailers and are very lightweight.  Most any vehicle can tow one of these, so having a large truck isn’t necessary.  They usually have the bare necessities and not all the frills that a big trailer will have.  To select the one that’s right for you, you need to figure out how many people will be sleeping and eating in it.

TRAVEL TRAILERS:  Travel trailers range in size from 12 feet up to 40 feet.  I would not want to be backing in something that large!  These types of trailers have it all…you probably won’t be missing much from home in one of these new types of trailers.  The larger ones need a vehicle that has the correct towing capacity.  Make sure you have the right vehicle before setting your sights on a particular trailer.  There are many variations of travel trailers, some have queen beds, others have bunk beds and they may or may not have a slide out.  It all depends on what you are looking for, how many people you need to accommodate and whether you want more living space or need more sleeping space.  The luxury of some of these new trailers is insane!  Our trailer is technically a hybrid travel trailer as we have the tent fold down beds.


FIFTH WHEEL TRAILERS:  Fifth wheel trailers have all the same variety and options as a travel trailer, with the key difference being how it’s towed.  This makes for easy towing and better handling.  One key characteristic is that the master bedroom is up in front.


MINI MOTORHOMES:  Mini motorhomes are campers that you can drive.  No need to worry about having a vehicle to tow your trailer with this option.  Many drivers feel comfortable with this option because it feels like you are driving a van or SUV.  Sizes range from 20 to 35 feet long.  Again, there are many options, layouts and features to choose from with this type of model.


CLASS A MOTORHOMES:  These are the big boys at the RV parks!  Sizes range from 28 feet to 40 feet and can have multiple slide outs.  These are the Titanics of the trailers and can cost a small fortune depending on the lifestyle that you want to lead!  These are the motorcoaches that retired couples sell their homes for and purchase one of these to travel the USA.  Most of these large luxury motorhomes have a diesel pusher engine at the rear of the coach and is more economical for the couple or family that travel many miles a year.


So which one are you interested in or what kind do you have?  Please share!

Happy Camping!







Campground Review: Walker River Resort

Walker River Resort is a nice RV park located in Smith Valley, Nevada.  To get there (at least for us), we headed south on Highway 395 and then you take a left hand turn on Highway 208.  About 20 miles in and you have arrived!  Walker River has large, shaded RV sites with full hook-ups and is fairly priced.  Other amenities include a bar, clean swimming pool and cottages that are available for rent.

It has been a long time since we stayed here and it was B.T. (before trailer).  We had just wrapped up a busy tax season at work and a big group of my co-workers headed out to Walker River for a “post-tax season party”.  Several of them had trailers and my husband and I made our tent on one of their sites.  Needless to say, we had a blast, but that could have been due to the party type atmosphere and the endless cocktails!  I do remember that I thought the resort had lots to offer.  We definitely got use of some pool time and frequented the bar area.  The bathroom facilities were very nice and clean.

Lots of visitors to Walker River bring their RZR or quads as the trails are endless and you can make a day exploring the countryside, visiting old ghost towns and mines.  There is also fishing nearby in the Walker River and they even have a sporting clays course to get some shooting practice in.

Within a days drive from Walker, there are many places of interest including Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Topaz Lake, Mono Lake, Virginia City and the amazing historical ghost town of Bodie.  If you’ve never been to Bodie, I highly recommend it!!

I would definitely recommend Walker River Resort and I may just reserve a spot right now!

Have you ever been to Walker River Resort?  What did you think?

Happy Camping!



Dutch Oven Cooking

One thing that I’ve never tried, and have always wanted to, is dutch oven cooking.  When I think of dutch oven cooking, I think of someone from the great frontier, the Pioneer Woman or a character from the movie “Tombstone“.   Needless to say, I’ve never tried it and it kind of intimidates me.  When we go camping, we usually cook on a gas grill and when there are years of drought, most places won’t let us have a campfire with an open flame.   I’ve heard the best way to cook with a dutch oven is over an open flame with charcoal.  I think the trick of dutch oven cooking is knowing the temperatures and keeping the heat consistent.  When cooking in the outdoors, you don’t have the convenience of knowing if you are 350 degrees, but have to develop a good system for knowing how to maintain your temperature.  A website that I found has some pretty good cooking calculations and they even have a calculator to help you calculate the time and temperature depending on what you are planning to cook.

Next up, purchasing your dutch oven.  Dutch ovens can be purchased at many places.  I happened to be in C-A-L Ranch the other day and noticed this guy for $59.99.  There are also lots of cookbooks and websites available to get me on this journey and to start practicing.


Now, to decide what to cook!  There are lots of recipes out there and to give you an idea, I’ll start with my friend Lindsay’s blog.  She made a dutch oven lasagna, which is a dish that I never would have thought to make at the campsite, but sounds really good!  The traditional items that come to mind when I think of dutch oven cooking include stews, braised meats and hearty dishes, like the one below.  Websites like Pinterest have tons of ideas and groups of recipes for “beginners”.   I’m also amazed that breads and desserts can also be made in a dutch oven.  Some of the items that sound amazing are cobblers, cinnamon rolls and dump cakes.  I can’t wait for camping season to get started to try some of these out!

What is on your list to make in a dutch oven?  Please share!

Happy camping!