- March 2016
- March 2016
Real Camping, or in other words, how we’ve become spoiled as campers.
I’m sure every reader has stories of their early camping experiences. In the absence of a campout for our editor Lynne to report since Quartzsite, I’ll share one of my early stories.
My first camping experience was with my family in the mid to late forties. I was about 8 to 10 years old. My dad, and instigator of the camping trips, liked the western High Sierra slopes so we camped on the north fork of the Kings River, east of Fresno. My grandfather also ran cattle in the area in the early 19 hundreds so that may have influenced my dad’s choice of a camping location.
First all the camping gear and food for a week had to be packed in his 1939 Ford coupe, while leaving room for my sister and me in what could marginally be called a back seat. Once packed he always preferred to leave about 3 am for the trip up old San Fernando Road, then over the Grapevine, and on up to Kingsburg or Selma on old 2-lane, or sometimes 3-lane, Highway 99. Since the Grapevine nears 4000 feet around Gorman, it was cold, even in summertime, and my sister and I nearly froze in the marginal back seat, or so it seemed. But that would change as the day progressed and we descended into the San Joaquin Valley where summer temperatures were always 100 degrees, plus. Remember, cars in those days did not have climate control, so that was one reason my dad chose to leave so early.
Once we reached Selma, and turned off the main highway (2-lane Hwy 99), after stopping at one or two rest areas, also known as gas stations or fruit stands, we headed for the real challenge. The first challenge was the Tollhouse grade, a steep road with many twists and turns. A weak spot in the early Ford V8 design was the flat head design, where the gas line and fuel pump was mounted atop the engine, nicely placed to produce a vapor lock anytime it was hot, and the engine was stressed. That usually resulted in one or two stops on the grade while a wet rag was placed over fuel pump and gas line to change the vapor back to gasoline.
Once up the grade, somewhere around Dinkey Creek, we took off on something that could loosely be called a logging road, naturally shared with logging trucks and tractors, until finally reaching our destination at the chosen campground, adjacent to the north fork of the Kings River. First we checked with the camphost. The camphost then was whomever happened to have been camping at the location the longest. There was no official designation. Then we chose a camp site, preferably under some pine trees, and relatively flat. There were no marked camping sites, with a post to hang a receipt, or paved area with a rails to keep the vehicle behind the marked space. There was also no sign at the entrance advising us to find a camp site, then return to deposit a fee, or perform some other official act as required to camp.
I didn’t mention that my grandparents, and aunt and uncle, would usually join us, so upon arrival everyone had to pitch their tents, setup a table for eating and cooking, and usually putting a watermelon or anything else in the creek that had to be kept cold. My grandmother’s first order of business was to scour the wood outhouse with Clorox, for the convenience of all. Unfortunately this didn’t help the smell, but there was no doubt that we had the cleanest outhouse in all of the Sierra mountains.
Somehow the first day, the grownup men always found time to do some fishing, while the ladies prepared things for cooking. The two genders had specific roles in those days. As kids, we mostly played and tried not to get lost, or chased, or eaten, by a bear.
Then in a day or two the ranger would stop by. He wasn’t there to verify we were camped in the marked space, with a properly displayed receipt, but rather to discuss the weather and fishing. This usually resulted in a visit of an hour or more, at least a couple cups of coffee, and sometimes even a meal — my how things have changed!
So I compare that with dry camping today in places like Quartzsite where we rough it. Now I think I’m really roughing it when we don’t have full hookups. Sometimes we even have to revert to starting the generator to charge the batteries, run the TV, or operate the microwave oven. Then there’s that terrible time on the road in a climate controlled vehicle, with cold drinks in the fridge to be consumed at a rest area with full amenities.
That’s one of my stories so now share yours. Otherwise I may have to bore you with my stories of when my folks upgraded to a travel trailer. (Editor’s note: Yes please!)
Dick Miller KJ6W
Quartzsite 2016 Campout
Quartzsite here we come…Sunday morning the Eddys, Smiths, and Mankins (soon to be new members) arrived at Mile Marker 99. As we were setting up camp the Kirshs and Schleuses arrived to help define our camping circle. The Herd/Wares were next. A little bit later in the afternoon Dick Miller and Lynne Chambers arrived with Sue and Paul Craft (Dick’s daughter and son-in-law) in tow. Gary and Debra Meyers (visiting guests) arrived and just behind them were Margie Hoffman and the Sherwoods. The Johnstons and the Clements completed the folks that were arriving on Sunday. The weather was excellent and a beautiful sunset was enjoyed.
Monday brought the rest of the campers. Terry and Eloth Bunres (guest of the Herd/Wares) arrived early, while Don Duncan, the Rowlans and the Schnelbachs caravanned arriving together. The Bruno’s along with (Larry and Susan Bruno), the Ferrees, Dusty Oess and Loretta Snelson, and the Gleatons completed our group at MM99. Others camping in town or at other locations were Bob Dahl, the Kepners, and the Eriksens. Altogether there were 21 rigs at MM99. We had a great Happy Hour with another beautiful sunset. The colors were gorgeous. Later in the evening while enjoying the campfire we saw a huge ring around the moon. “Ice crystals”, someone said. Could this mean rain?
On Tuesday morning we had great weather for our Chapter Meeting along with morning coffee, Irish cream, scones and biscotti. It was announced that Sue and Paul Craft were now new members of Sam’s Radio Hams. After that some folks took advantage of the Quartzfest/hamfest events nearby, others went into town or to the big white tent, and still others went geo caching, exploring the desert on their quads, or just hung out and relaxed at camp. For Happy Hour we enjoyed Wahdingers which were a fun treat for all. A Special Shout Out and Thank You to Don and Barbara Schleuse and Marcia Bruno for showing us novices how it’s done and all their hard work. It was Mexican style with all the fixings and they were delicious. Another beautiful sunset and evening camp fire were enjoyed. We even had a short spell of a few rain drops sprinkled in here and there but not enough to ruin the beautiful night.
Wednesday morning had some folks making breakfast Wahdingers made with eggs, sausage, potatoes, cheese and all the fixings. The usual morning coffee, along with Irish cream, biscotti and cranberry bread, were enjoyed. Some members participated in Quartzfest events, some went on the Quartzfest Off Road Trip, while others went into town, shopped at the big white tent, went RV shopping, bike riding, geo caching or just relaxed. The evening Happy Hour was enjoyed with great food, fantastic weather and yet another beautiful sunset. An evening campfire topped off the night.
On Thursday morning a few of the campers left early in the morning to head home, as
others left later in the day. Many folks stayed into the weekend enjoying Quartzsite and
all the activities it has to offer. Overall, it was a great campout and it was great to see folks
coming in from all different directions. Thank you to all that
Lindsay Eddy, KD7ROX
Midland Campout- 2015
November 2-6 or so
The Midland campout was fun but smaller this year compared to past years. We had a total of 7 rigs, all coming and going at different times. The weather started out nice, then got windy and then calmed down a bit. We even had a little bit of rain on Wednesday! There were camp fires and happy hours as we watched the sun cast beautiful shadows and colors on the mountains! There were jeep rides and quad rides on what use to be the old train tracks. Some went to the old mine to see what all the earth moving was about. Word has it that the Burkarts stopped in to see Frank and Jan. As usual, Midland is a place like no other. We always enjoy our time there!
KD7ROX and KD7ROY
Lone Pine Camp-out
September 21 to 30, 2015
September 21 to 30, 2015
Summit Adventure bike ride route was great for both the
Saturday morning woke up bright and early for a great breakfast at the
VFW Hall; those nice ladies started at 4:00 am preparing our meal.
Sunday the pizza party at noon with awards went well. The Riders raised approx. $60,000 for Summit Adventure and for their programs. The 2015 Huddy Award for this Year went to Bob & Kristi Bailes for the Sammers and Ed & Glenda Schnelbach for the Hammers.
Creek RV all our RV's were in there sites before noon, so when we returned from
the pizza party we could relax until the happy hour.
Monday morning coffee and then the debriefing. Afterwards Dick
Miller took us
Tuesday morning Sam's Radio Hams Business meeting all is well with our
Wednesday a day to relax, some went to the museums others stayed to relaxed.
Thank you to all that were able to help with the bike ride and the camp out this year.
coo-dos to Dick Bruno for filling in at the last minute as ride coordinator.
Thank you from Host's and Co-host's
Ed & Glenda Schnelbach
August 11,12,13, 2015
Click here for the excellent CLIO Report made by Lindsay Eddy
Golden Shore RV Park Campout Long Beach
May 4,5,6 2015
May 4,5,6 2015
The campout started out like many others, 8 rigs, 16 people, 1 dog and 1 cat but that quickly changed so get out your score cards and read all about it.
Sunday was an early day and the MacBrides, Schmitts and Prestons arrived amid blue skies and a light breeze.
Monday the rest of the group arrived (Smiths, Duncan, Schnelbachs, Gleatons) but scratch the Eriksons rig (minus 1 rig) which was still in the repair shop. They came via the Hyatt Hotel. We all enjoyed a Pollo Loco dinner and were glad to have Madolyn Lacy drive in from Seal Beach to join us. Charlotte Schmitt left after dinner to take care of remodeling issues at home (7 rigs, 15 people)
Tuesday’s meeting was held in the club house as the weather was overcast and cool. The Bruno’s, the Kepner’s, the Malanoskys , and Madolyn Lacy were drive-ins. A new couple, Alga and Mel Forrest came to the meeting to see what we were all about and possibly joining. We had our meeting in the club house with all attending except for Don Duncan and Mazie who had to leave for a doctor appointment (scratch one rig, 1 person and 1 dog) followed by a picnic lunch out on the grass. The afternoon brought the sunshine and we indulged in walks, bike riding, geo caching, riding the free Passport bus, and a ladies craft. Happy Hour was on the grass with dinner on our own.
Wednesday found us enjoying a delicious pot luck breakfast followed by a day visiting the Long Beach attractions. A few went to the Queen Mary, some to the Aquarium and some into the downtown area. The Ericksons headed back home (scratch 2 people) and Charlotte Schmitt returned (add 1 person). Happy Hour was again out on the grass with the clouds telling us there could be rain. Tom and Becky, friends of the MacBrides, joined the Happy Hour. The Gleatons left early due to the possible rain and a leaky roof (scratch 1 rig and 2 people) it was a smart decision because we did get rain Wed. night.
Thurs. had us all packed up and ready to head home. (5 rigs and 11people) It was a fun filled relaxed 3 days and everyone had a great time.
March 16, 17, 18, 19 2015
ACTON CAMPOUT REPORT
In spite of the LA traffic hazards and maneuvering through numerous freeway exchanges the Bruno’s and Roger Kepner made the trip from home to the Acton KOA in less than 2 hours. On arrival we found that one of the sites assigned to us was occupied. When we inquired about the status we were told that the occupant was a couple from Pennsylvania and the husband had a stroke and was in UCLA hospital. Camp management then added an additional site to our reservation. Later in the day early arrivers were our hosts Dan and Beverly K6PQA, Dick Miller KJ6W. Max and Doris Smith KG6KDF drifted in from baseball spring training camp in Goodyear Arizona later in the day. Day campers Dan and Adrian joined us from Lancaster for the day.
On Monday arrival day the remaining campers arrived at various times during the day and everyone just relaxed and prepared for Happy Hour which again was held outdoors. In addition to the usual tall tales and shared memories, the philosophical question posed to the campers was, “why is happy only an hour?” to which there was a lot of opinions but no logical explanation. The conversation drifted to younger years which revealed that Dick Miller KJ6W had spent his teen years in the same area of Los Angeles that Dan K6PQA and Marcia N6ISW had lived and he attended John Marshall High School which was a rival to Franklin and Eagle Rock High Schools where Dan and Marcia had attended. In later years Dick had lived in the same area of Orange County where Roger and Carole lived. More tall tales were exchanged and adult beverages were enjoyed until the evening breeze got cool enough to drive everyone indoors.
Tuesday morning brought comfortable cool breezes and bright sunshine. Topic for the Barnyard net was; if you could be a member of an exploring expedition; which would you choose? The choices were Lewis and Clark, Apollo Moon missions or Christopher Columbus. Overwhelmingly Lewis and Clark were chosen except for 2 brave souls who would like to go to the moon with the Astronauts. Pancake and sausage breakfast was served by the hosts followed by the chapter meeting.
After the Chapter meeting the campers enjoyed free time sitting around, reading, visiting with each other or walking around the park. Roger and Roxy discovered; while exploring the northern extreme of the park that the Pacific Crest Trail went right through that end of the RV Park. They also found a structure and a developed area that appeared to be a rest stop along the trail. Some campers explored the area around Acton looking for restaurants and markets (why is it always about food?)
At happy hour in the clubhouse the campers enjoyed green beer, peanuts & pretzels provided by the hosts. Everyone wore green in observance of St. Pat’s special day including a lady with green hair who claimed to be Irish but we had our doubts. Tall tales were shared along with recollections of when Irish eyes smiled and Irish mouths blinked. Dinner was a gastronomical delicatessen of corned beef, potatoes and cabbage and green beer followed by Killian Red ale and some Irish brown beers, ales and Miller Genuine Draft. Following dinner we were served ice cream with cookies topped with green sugar sprinkles. By 8PM, after everyone pitched in cleaning up the clubhouse we were ready to head back to the rigs to rest up and reminisce about the day’s activities.
On Wednesday morning 20 campers drove to the Lance Camper factory in Lancaster where we were treated to an excellent tour and detailed explanation of their manufacturing processes. Some of us were surprised that Lance also manufactures travel trailers and toy haulers. We followed the trailer assembly line from the assembly of the chassis to the delivery point. Lance also owns the trucking company that delivers the product to the dealers. We were impressed with the quality of materials and workmanship that goes into their manufacturing process and some remarked that; if they were in the market for a travel trailer, they would certainly consider Lance as a choice. Pictures of the tour are posted on the web.
Happy hour in the clubhouse included more Irish beers and lots of good conversation mixed with tall tales. Carole K6PUP arrived just in time for Happy hour after driving all the way from Temecula with one hand because of her broken wing. Marcia and Dick’s daughter Kelly came up from the San Fernando Valley and shared a game with the ladies; much to the consternation of the men who were relegated to the clubhouse. The men were left wondering what they were missing that was so funny. It was rumored that some men were worried that it was a sales presentation so they hid their wallets and claimed that they forgot to bring it. Just about dusk a big thunderstorm was brewing north of us and we saw several beautiful lightning displays and heard the roaring thunder. The men who claimed that the forgot their wallets were quick to take shelter for fear of a lightning strike. While we braced for a rainstorm it didn’t amount to much and by morning there was just a little dampness on the ground.
Thursday morning Barnyard net subject was “What is your most memorable RV experience and early rig”. Lots of great experiences were shared ranging from tent camping to Luxury RV’s camping. The rest of the day; when the campers weren’t at the Verizon “can you hear me now” hotspot next to the trash can trying to make cell phone calls, they were resting or exploring the area.
Several campers traveled to Sylmar on Thursday morning to visit the Nethercutt Collection of Classic Cars and musical instruments. This was the same venue that we visited at the campout in 2014 at Acton. Everyone enjoyed that visit and they were home in time for Happy Hour. At one point in that day everyone with a cell phone decided to make a call and rushed over to the “Can you hear me now” spot and Jim got a good picture (check it out on the web). At Happy Hour more Irish Beer was consumed along with MGD, Bud Light and some good wine. Immediately following Happy Hour the campers enjoyed a great pot luck dinner provided by everyone. What a spread we had; even some veggie items for the non-carnivores.
On Friday the campers left one by one to their respective shacks with many memories of a great campout and all were looking forward to a good night’s sleep uninterrupted by train horns, bells, whistles and the clickity-clack of the wheels.
Footnote: The Acton KOA is under new ownership and there are plans to make some much needed improvements, maintenance and maybe even some cabins.
DECEMBER HOLIDAY CAMPOUT
Camping Corner December 2014
The Holiday/Christmas campout was again at Golden Village Palms. Most all of us arrived Sunday and
were hooked up and ready to party by the afternoon. Dinner at El Vaquero’s was delicious as always
and an easy way to start the week.
Monday morn was free to finish up shopping, visiting with friends in the area, and just relax. Happy
hour was in the B room which is kind of small and was the site for the rest of our events.
Tuesday morning the officers served a bountiful breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, and
assorted juices and coffee. Each member was given a Christmas coffee mug to use for the remainder of
the campout. Our chapter meeting followed. The rest of the afternoon was free for shopping, playing
cards, geo caching or just kicking back and listening to the rain on the roof tops of our rigs. We went
back to the B room for our gourmet Happy Hour and the Dogs for the Deaf Raffle. There were several
gorgeous handmade quilts, dozens of poinsettias, gift certificates, gift baskets and many many other
items. Everyone went away with smiles on their faces and the trunks of their cars loaded.
Wednesday morning after the net we had a pot luck breakfast and again went away with very full
tummies. A bit of free time before our catered dinner and the installation of new officers. We were
able to get back to our rigs before the rains came… And rain it did. So thankful to be warm and dry
during the deluge. By morning the rain had stopped and we had a safe and easy drive home. Many
many thanks all the officers who were the Hosts for this campout and especially to Ed and Glenda for all
their planning and effort .
K6ALM -- Amy