Rural Respite

After some enjoyable months of urban camping, we were ready for some open landscapes!  During the last week we have appreciated our rural respite through California into southern Oregon.


We saw power production areas in southern California including mirror collection and wind turbines.

We were amazed at the amount of traffic in this desolate area between Las Vegas and Los Angeles!  We were even more amazed when it came to a crawl.   Fairly soon we saw a sign that indicated a California inspection station two miles ahead.  I had forgotten about the inspection station when I had stocked up on groceries the day before!   After creeping along for two miles, we came to the station and they were not stopping anyone.  The good news is we got to keep our produce!


We spent one night at Success Lake – a ways north of Bakersfield. It was so rural at the lake that there wasn’t cell or data service (tolerable for one night). We loved our view from our campsite the next morning.

The hills surrounding the lake were very green and I saw a number of these large white birds on the lake.  Our birder friend Mark says it is a white pelican.  Thanks Mark!


The next day we traveled to a park between Fresno and Yosemite. Our primary reason for being here was to spend time with Aloha and Bob, our camp hosting partners from last summer at Farragut State Park. It was terrific to spend a couple days with them both at our place in the park and then at their home near Fresno.

IMG_1419Elko even got to spend time with his friend, Yukon!


As a bonus, we really liked the RV park where we stayed! Park Sierra is a co-operative – built, occupied and maintained by Escapee (SKP) RV club members – a group we belong to. The park was beautifully designed to embrace the natural landscape and the friendly residents and cooperative spirit were very appealing. We aren’t looking for an RV home in central California, but if we were ready to consider such a thing – Park Sierra might be the place.

Our next stop was Minden Lake, north of Sacramento.

This campground was uninspired but the lake on one side and the agricultural fields on the other satisfied the current rural preference.

The last time we drove this route was in November of 2014.  We took pictures of the historically low water levels in Lake Shasta due to the extended California drought.


Lake Shasta – November 2014

Although still considered to be in drought condition, the wet winter and spring have the lake and surrounding areas looking much better.


Lake Shasta – March 2016      Whoo-hoo!


P1030897We also remember seeing these “State of Jefferson” signs and billboards from our last drive through the area. In fact, the original State of Jefferson efforts to carve out a new state from northern California and southern Oregon began in 1941!  Currently there are 21 counties in northern California that have submitted, to the California legislature, their intention to separate and form their own state – The State of Jefferson. If ignored or disallowed, they plan to sue California for lack of representation.

We crossed the border into Oregon and came to the familiar Emigrant Lake County Park in Ashland, Oregon.  While setting up, Randy realized he “knew” our neighbor.  Bill Gehr writes technical articles for Trailer Life magazine and Randy reads them every month. They talked shop for a while.


We are in the same campsite as our last stay here in November 2014 and took these pictures from a similar vantage point. This lake is looking good too!

Our main reason for coming to Ashland was to see family. My parents came down from Vancouver to meet us and we planned to spend time with cousins Guerin and Donna. Unfortunately, illness kept Guerin and Donna from joining us but we had a good time with my parents.P1030910

We went to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival but alas, during this year that William Shakespeare would be 400 years old, at one of the oldest Shakespeare Festivals in the country, we did not see a Shakespeare production. Totally a factor of what was showing when we could be here, we saw Dickens’ Great Expectations at one of the indoor theaters. It was terrific!

For you veterans of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival – familiar actress Sara Bruner is now here in Ashland. We didn’t see her in this play but the playbill indicated she is in two productions at the Ashland Festival this year.

We also celebrated Elko’s birthday!  We adopted him six years ago and now consider him to be eleven years old.   He is such a sweet boy- and a very easy traveling companion in this lifestyle.  Elko’s favorite thing to do is go outside and hang with his dad!  Happy Birthday Elko!

About Serene

Former full time RVers, transitioned to homeowners and travelers. We've still got a map to finish! Home is the Phoenix area desert and a small cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona.
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6 Responses to Rural Respite

  1. Mark McClelland says:

    You guys are covering some ground. We very much prefer the wide-open spaces to more urban areas. BTW – Your large white bird is a White Pelican, not a stork!!

  2. Paul Welker says:

    Ah yes, the cargo shorts pose… every man knows it well 🙂

    • Serene says:

      Ha ha -chuckle! I hadn’t even noticed but Randy said he did. I didn’t even know there was a cargo shorts pose. It was just the only photo of them both facing somewhat foreword.

      One of the RV blogs we follow is a millennial couple. She has sanctioned no cargo shorts ever!

  3. Amy Urian says:

    Serene, great hair do! This is so great a wonderful classical theater for a 4oo year old classical writer. Its March here in Idaho and by school and PTA timeline the time is fast approaching summer break! Safe travels to you and the great looking wanderers you 3 are!

    • Serene says:

      Thanks! It is spring break in Oregon too. We were in a B-17 airplane yesterday with two very inquisitive boys and their dad.

      I use to love spring break. Especially if I already had my report cards done! The end of the school year seemed like it would fly by after spring break!

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