All posts by Christine

This information will best be discovered by reading the blog posts and scrolling through them.

Call For Input and Help … Form for Trailer Towing Calculations DRAFT

Disclaimer:  Tow, Trailer and Cargo Form posted for input, not approved for use.  Will be updated and freely posted once all problems and questions have been ironed out.
Possible trailer cargo calculation form
Working on this form – posting for input.

As previously stated, I’ll get back shortly to the Sierras.  I have been striving for four years to understand the towing language and think that maybe I finally understand it but I am going to run it by as many people who do understand them as possible.  Therefore, please comment on this one.  The request for reviewing this will be going out to fellow travelers on forums and soon on YouTube.

INDEX RoadTripsAndCampfires.com

NOTE:  Temporary blog suspension as I cannot break away from exciting project.  Can’t wait to share.  Will get back soon ….

Here is the last  blog recently written:

The goal of this website is quick access to information while on the road as well as a good read when time permits.    We’ve updated the links 2/16/2018 which provide easy browsing and links to information on the site.  Simply click on the Blog Post And Subject Index above the blogs and below the banner to access.  Below is a version of what those links look like today.  This blog page will be deleted once we resume the Sierra series but the information is located permanently by accessing the tab.  We will update the category links shortly as well also accessed through the tabs above.  Here’s what you’ll find on our website currently:

Journey To Getting There

Downsizing 7/9/2017

Downsizing, Sorting the Small Stuff.  Two posts, Feb. 9 and Feb. 10, 2018 discuss using small boxes to sort neatly over a period of time.

Downsizing – the Bookcase Method.  Also discusses clothing bags, weekenders and duffle bags.

Downsizing Music and Movies 7/23/2017

RVs and Camping Equipment

Our list and photos of RVs, Trailers, tents and things we’ve used.  Tents, trailers, Class B’s and a motorhome.  Porta-potty tents and campground accessories.  Even an oven with grill.

 

Cost of Restoring a 1989 Dodge B350 V-8 High Top Camper Van, This was to be the vehicle we were going to do our then 1-year journey.  2 adults + 2 good size dogs and a month living in it awaiting a Colorado home changed our minds.  Perfect for 1 + pet or 2 and maybe 1 pet if small.  So in prepping to sell I pulled the records to share for others who want to take the rebuild it so it doesn’t keep breaking down and I can use it route.

Restoration

Replacing pleated curtains

Independence Day July 2017

Trailer Shopping

Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) and Water Weight (7/15/2017)

Camping California

Glacier Lodge Series starts Feb. 11/2018 and continues through (currently ongoing so will post finished date later).  Big Pine and nearby camping iis also discussed.  The series includes (or will shortly) Sierra Mountain camping in the area and information on long term stays.  This will be publishes within the week.

LaJolla Indian Reservation Circa 1970s & 80s.  It will never be the same.  This article looks back on the old days.  If you don’t have a pet you can still camp there today and now they have RV spots.

Red Rock Canyon State Park.  Another absolute favorite.

Camping Colorado

Pike Forest Blue Mountain Labor Day Weekend September 2016.

Roosevelt National Forest Walk The River With Us– Cache La Poudre Labor Day Weekend September  2017.  Provides a link to the video.

Cache La Poudre Getting There 9/2017.

Cache La Poudre Bikers and Bears.  Tells the story of the name and gives a link to some bikers I found while hiking the road and taking pictures.

First Aid and Safety

Safety In Camp 7/28/2017

Bears Near Camp Cache La Poudre area Sept. 2017. Sprained ankle help.  9/17 – who knew?

Spa In a Forest.  Footpain, back pain, neck pain – I had it all this weekend but refused to give up the trip.  Winter was coming.  How I survived at La Poudre.  A future video is planned with some footage of this period.

Pets

Carrots! A story about training and replacing biscuits with carrots for our dogs.

The Cat Who Came In From The Cold.  We lost her for a year while she stayed at a campground after jumping ship.

How we make our dog food.  We will be updating this in the near future.

Bear Camp Video is here but it needs to be remade.  It discusses a bear in a nearby camp eating camper’s food.  It was among my first learning attempts at filmora software and I still had a lot to learn.  I will redo it.

 General Discussion

Post Stroke Success 7/14/2017

Labor Day 2017 Bikers on Hwy 14.  Video taken at Dutch George of unknown bikers.  If anyone knows these guys let them know they have this keepsake for the taking.

 About Us:  These are posts that provide an insight into our world in some way.

REBOOT.  Why Christine wasn’t blogging for 4 months.

Snowboots In September.  Related to the Above

Smart Phones Are Now Welcome In Our World!  2/8/2018

Cost of Organizing and Accumulation of Stuff With Age (2/10/2018) is a downsizing article that provides a look into some of our part-time ventures in the past.

 

Glacier Lodge Brochure Circa late 1980’s

Here are the four pages from a brochure we picked up when staying at Glacier Lodge in Big Pine, California.  We found a website that has older brochures from the Owens Valley including some from Glacier Lodge.

Glacier Lodge Brochure Page 1
Glacier Lodge Brochure 1980’s
Page 2 of the Glacier Lodge brochure shows the interior.
A view of the lodge interior.
The lodge appears on page 3 of the brochure.
A Very nice view of the lodge along with description of acommodations.
Page 4 of the brochure provides a photo and directions.
Another nice photo and directions on the back.

Glacier Lodge 1988

The original lodge was built in 1917 and destroyed by fire in 1967, rebuilt in 1967, then destroyed by an avalanche in 1967.  Glacier Lodge was again rebuilt in 1969 and is shown below in a 1988 photo.  Scroll to the bottom for an area map.

Photo of Glacier Lodge 1988.
Glacier Lodge circa 1988.

It remained the building known as Glacier Lodge until it was destroyed by another fire in 1998.  Currently one of the cabins, which were unharmed during the fire, serves as the new Lodge until a replacement can be built.  Below are photos of the lodge dining room as seen in 1988  and the lake map that used to hang in  Glacier Lodge.  This page rounds out with a hand drawn map showing the area around the lodge and points of interest.

A photo of the Lodge dining room before the 1988 fire.
The Dining Room of The Lodge in 1988.
Map from pre-fire days.
The old Lodge had a painted map on the wall showing the area lakes.
Photo of Glacier Lodge Cabins.
Some of Glacier Lodge Cabins 1988.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map of Glacier Lodge and nearby Points of Interest

Map of Glacier Lodge and surrounding area.
Glacier Lodge Map showing Big Pine, Bishop and Lake Sabrina. NOT TO SCALE.

Visit the Glacier Lodge Website for rates and information.

Tomorrow’s blog provides information of the campsites in the areas.

BE AWARE OF BEARS and AVALANCHES

Glacier Lodge, Big Pine California and Palisades Glacier

The Eleven Mile Road To Glacier Lodge

SIDE NOTE:  As downsizing continues photos are a big project.  I’ve suddenly found inspiration in creating these blog pages to match up with photos that needed to be scanned.  
The eleven mile road takes one past several camprounds on the way to Glacier Lodge where cabins and RV camping are available except during the off season.

Below are areas the next few blogs will cover.  Tomorrow’s post will provide an overview map of the area and photos of the lodge before the 1998 fire destroyed it for the third time.  

Glacier Lodge

Glacier Lodge was built in 1917.  Fifty years later the lodge was destroyed  by fire and rebuilt.  Later that year, 1967, an avalanche struck which resulted in an explosion, once again destroying the lodge.  Twice in one year, how heartbreaking.

The photo captures Palisades Glacier as it was in 1988.
Palisades Glacier as viewed in 1988.

1969 saw the lodge rebuilt where it reclaimed its home once more in the beautiful Sierra’s known to John Muir.  The lodge boasted and boasts a fantastic  view of the Palisade Glacier and became a favorite for such celebrities as John Wayne, Rita Hayward and others in the industry.  Glacier Lodge was referred to as the Jewel of the Sierras and was known to many.

29 years after the 1969 fire the lodge was once again engulfed and destroyed on the night of May 5, 1998.  Owned bythe Huffman-Jordan families only since the previous October, an electrical fire in the kitchen began which lead to a complete loss of Glacier Lodge.

Although electrical was destroyed to the cabins the buildings were saved and remain standing and in use today.  One of those cabins has become the temporary new lodge headquarters.  Both the lodge and this  cabin can be seen on the upcoming blogs thanks to a winter visit Wayne and I had in the late 1980’s.

Big Pine Creek Campground

In 1988 we stayed during the summer at Big Pine Creek Campground located 0.3 miles from Glacier Lodge.  That winter we stayed in the cabin that is today the lodge headquarters.  We will be sharing more photographs in the blogs which follow.  

Links

Links to points of interest nearby and information on the area will follow.  In addition to Big Pine Creek Campground there are additional accommodations:  Big Pine Canyon Group Camp Site, Upper Sage Flat Campground and Sage Flat Campground.  We’ll provide links to a few good YouTube videos we’ve discovered as well to let you really get a feel of the area.

TIP! If you have a lot of photos from lots of trips start a travel blog.  A good excuse to actually take the time to digitalize them and create a record of your past ventures as well as information for others.

 

 

 

Cost of Organizing and Accumulation of “Stuff” With Age

A close up of sorting boxes.
A close up of boxes used for sorting small items.

A recent online conversation about yesterday’s post included an exclaimation about using a lot of boxes and the cost.  Actually, the boxes looked kind of cool so in a way the organizer was a part of the everyday office furniture and served us well. We got the boxes for about $3 to $4 each using weekly coupons and acquired them over time.   We used them for many years. As one thing was disposed of other items were stored and or sorted in the boxes. Later we went to cheap Home Depot boxes for the larger items as well as document boxes which are a subject of their own. Those boxes bought in 2011 and 2012 have been swapped out so many times over the years they have more than paid for themselves.

Below gives you an idea of why downsizing was an ongoing process and how we disposed of some items.

We had had previous businesses so we had a LOT of inventory to get rid of responsibly.

Logan made stained glass display.
Wayne made this display which came apart with bolts and wingnuts.

We used to sell stained glass and do shows – most of the glass went to daughter who creates beautiful mosaics.

 

We had a graphic arts business for quite awhile (T-shirts, business cards, wedding invitations, band brochures, restaurant stuff, etc.).

A client's artwork used to create a business card.
A client’s artwork on a laminated business card.

A lot of the supplies used in our graphic arts business we continued to use for our own products and advertising in our next venture.  We stopped doing graphic arts when computer programs became push a button and spit out a business card.

 

Bottles and Jars awaiting purchase.
We used to drive to buy in bulk and wholesale and spit bottles into individuals and various sized packs (6, 12, 24, 100, etc.)
A copy of a soap label printed on a muslin bag.
We printed our soap labels on muslin bags.

We sold soap and incense and that expanded into selling soaping supplies, bottles, jars, essential oils and such.  Some of these supplies such as fragrance and essential oils had to be disposed of according to legal restrictions so this took awhile longer to sell.  Eventually I found someone wanting to get into the soaping business so those supplies went in one large purchase with the exception of some soap molds and small items sold previously in garage sales.

We also did gift shop items at the swap meet with left overs sold at garage sales.

All of these businesses had online stores that we sold at.  The only physical selling was the occasional swap meet, products placed in stores and the personal interaction of some clients during our graphic arts business.

So all of that took time and space for inventory. Slowly all of that is gone as are many things sold through garage sales.

If you are young you likely do not have a lot of things to dispose of. But if you are in your 50’s and up you probably or possibly do. Yesterday’s tip will apply to someone taking their time to reach their goal with a lot of living and buying behind them. I’ve had a lot of garage sales and a lot of these items were organized,  cleaned and priced before the sale. I just kept it up over the years and I’m getting there.  Being disabled doesn’t mean you are dead, it just takes longer to get things done and some need help.  So disabled isn’t a good word, I just need a bit more time and it gets done.

I’ve had a fun time doing what I’ve done in my younger years – all those jobs were on top of my husband’s and my full time busy jobs and we worked a lot of hours (I used to come home from work and say, print out 500 custom designed musln bags for a wedding order). Wayne would mail them the next day and be working on his own clients. We worked well together and had a blast.  Whoever brought the client in had the last say if there was a disagreement so it kept us friendly.

If you have a long way to go just start and keep at it as you can.  Eventually downsizing gets done this way.

Sorting Small Items

After we moved across states we found we were not as organized as one would like.  Similar or same items were in various boxes and places.  To continue our downsizing we first needed to get rid of duplicates and unnecessary items.  We had a shelf I began filling with boxes purchased at Michael’s which I labeled with various titles such as light bulbs, remotes, hair supplies, etc.  These were various things that would end up throughout the house which slowly began to be grouped together.  I found the different colors and patterns helped me find the right box quickly in addition to arranging them alphabetically.  As an item was dealt with I’d make a different label.

I used my coupons of 40% off on a weekly basis to amass my collection.  Eventually all items in these boxes were dealt with and they went on to hold and organize other things.  Now only a few boxes remain.  The photo was taken in 2012.

I really liked this system and it did help me to whittle down the small loose stuff.

I blew up a photo to read the old labels and thought I’d list them here to give you an idea of how I used them (I could get 3 lines on a label, I list them horizontally here):

Cell Phones, Cell Chargers, Cell Headsets

Clothes Pins

Crochet and Craft, Etc.

Film, Tapes, Etc.

Flash Drives, Scan Discs, Floppy Discs & Drive (<— old huh!!)

Garmin GPS

House Phones and 2-way Radios

Incense

Kodak Camera

Misc. Business Cards, Etc.

Monster Cables

Mouse/Webcam

Notecards

Office Supplies – Misc. Staples, Etc.

Pens & Pencils

Rechargeable Batteries & Chargers

Remotes

Router

Scrapbooking

Sony Direct DVD

Tools

Toshiba

USB Cables

Zippers & Elastic

Plus 2 blanks for misc. sorting.

So whatever you tend to have a lot of and is small makes for a good label.  This helped me find missing parts to electronics and other items.

Then you kind of duplicate this system using bigger boxes for other items one needs to deal with until one day you can put the sorting away and move the few items left into your tiny house.

 

Smartphones Are Now Welcome In My World

We finally got smart phones last year.  With our plan to take off drawing closer we realized for us the ability to connect on the internet via a phone is a convenience we would like to have.  Yes, we’ve traveled thousands of miles with maps and notes for decades of years and gotten there and have seen it just fine.  There isn’t really any need for explaining the why a smartphone is almost a necessity for travel these days as any reader here would know.  GPS, directions, Gas Buddy apps, travel info, and even entertainment and of course, a safety item when it has reception.

Thank You To YouTube!

The learning curve is not easy for most electronics these days because manuals are incomplete or almost non existent.  Thank goodness for YouTube!  And thank you to all the creators who are good at explaining and strive to be accurate and informative.

 I am surviving my senior years because of you.

I was able to watch hours of videos before  the arrival of my latest gadget, a GoPro Hero 6. Yesterday I watched the setup videos.  I am proud to say I only concluded once that it had to go back.  I stuck with it and although it took me most of a day I managed to get it connected and updated.

 

La Jolla Indian Reservation Circa 1970’s & 80’s

Camping At LaJolla Indian Reservation

This was by far my #1 place to camp as a young adult.  I used to keep a packed milk crate containing camping supplies in the hall closet and would stop by the store

Photo of Christine floating on the river.
A very old shot of Christine floating on a small boat down the San Luis Rey River. Sometime in the 80’s.

on a Friday night for ice and other needs, gas up and head out at a moment’s notice.  Several of us would head to the campground with just a call from anyone saying let’s go!

Carrie and Wesley took different routes .

 

 

 

 

About an hour’s drive from San Diego we were lucky in those days as $5 would get you and your carload in.  We’d bring our own tubes or you could rent them and spend all hot summer day tubing along the San Luis Rey River located in the campground.

Teresa and Sarah return from tubing. Tom’s catching some rays.

 

 

Denise and Steve Cooking it up. I get the tongue from Denise.

 

One would take the long hot trek uphill from camp by the lower calm river to the higher starting point for the not too difficult rapids over rocks and tree parts.  Then the calmer water would float us down to our campsite where we’d stop to grab a beer or get food or pee and then head back up with tube in hand and do it all over again all day long.

Today the prices are higher and there is RV parking to boot.  In those days the ground was dirt everywhere with rocks and trees and river.  Your car would get you so far, pack it in if you want to go futher.  No assigned spots, we would camp where it fit our style.  I believe it was the late 1980’s when I discovered my old camping spots were now dedicated to the RV’s.  That trip something was going on and the loud speakers spoke where the wind said shut up.  I’ve never been back.  We plan to go during our California to Oregon and Beyond Trip and explore this and other old stomping grounds.    That is, unless pets are still banned of course.

If you have current information to add post to the comments and I’ll publish it here.

Back then there were plenty of places to hike into in the uphill section and even across the river on the green bank of tents.  Beautiful places to hike to in the lower river.  We were always next to our vehicle as well as the river with almost always friend or friends camped close.

Photo of secluded area of campground.
Exploring brings one to all kinds of great places where you or your group can get away from the crowds.

I used to be like many of the campers there, we’d bring pallets of wood and have huge campfires part of the night only winding down as we did.  It wasn’t until the 1980’s that Mark and Sioux taught me the value of conserving the size of the fire and emissions of same.  (Something I’ve practiced since I’d like them to know should they ever stumble upon this site.)

I remember one trip we camped up the hill and discovered a HUGE pile of dirty diapers, trash and toilet paper.  Someone must have been there a month or a whole tribe of people had stayed there a week.  We couldn’t leave it and cleaned it up.  Those grounds were sacred to some of us.

Summer weekends were insane with huge crowds of people decending upon the land.  I guess that’s why the prices have become what they have, to control the crowds and keep the foot traffic reasonable.

I remember one time driving past the office and they had a burnt picnic table on the lawn clearly facing out to the dirt road right next to it so anyone driving in or out could see it.  A big sign was painted and hung on it that said something to the effect of “They did this.  You should see what we did to them and they are the ones in jail.”  I guess someone forgot to bring firewood.  And their manners.

One time I camped with just me and my daughter, I think she was two at the time.  Ever the camper who brings it all, I had a ton of wood in the form of 2×2’s and other assorted shapes.  I made a table to use while camping.  I woke up the next morning and someone had taken it for their fire (most sites had no tables and the firepits were all rocks from the mountainous land we were camping on).  It was bring your own wood or purchase from the small campground store.

One of the fondest memories of my life was talking my parents into camping here with me and actually going on the tubes.  My dad was called “Archie Bunker” by my and my sister’s Burbank friends and yes, after the TV Archie.  My mom on the other hand had a story about having gunshot fired at her for stealing a watermelon in her Texas teens so it made more since that she was up for it.   They both came.

Times sure have changed through the years.  At one time there was a waterpark built above the campground area.  I can’t find any current information on that and it was built after I had camped there last. At one time the river water was diverted and I think the waterpark was built for that reason but it appears to no longer be there or perhaps someone else owns it or?  Today I went to their website listed below and it is for the campsite closed for the winter – but they will be taking reservations for group and RV sites.  So possibly campers can camp in the summer and there will be some means to pay, either by phone or perhaps at the gate.

I only got a recording when calling the campground.  I wanted to know if they still ban pets (see below taken from one of their old websites and I removed the waterpark number).

The La Jolla Indian Reservation is located along State Highway 76, ten miles west of Pauma Valley, and six miles east of Lake Henshaw.  This statement was found “The whole family is welcome — but no pets, please. It is wise to call first for updated information 760-742-1297 (campground).”  That phone number is not a correct number so for now the 2018 status of the campground is unknowns.  UPDATE 2/15/2018:  Clicking the above link takes you to a new and improved website from just when this article was written.  The new site looks great and I imagine shortly all the info you need will be there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camping At Red Rock in California

Red Rock Canyon State Park, Ricardo Campground

One of my top 5 California campgrounds when living in southern California.  Below are two relatively poor copies of 12×12-inch scrapbook pages that give you an overall experience of camping at Red Rock.

Photo of camping at Red Rock Ricardo State Park in California.
Camping at Ricardo Campground in Red Rock State Park CA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was here in 1986 we drove to see Haley’s Comet, arriving the night before the event only to find a booked campground.  It was after hours so it was drive around, mark your site and pay in the box but there were no sites – telescopes and campers were throughout the land.

As we drove our second pass around a stranger hurried towards us asking if we like to share their site as they had plenty of room and thus they saved the trip and our chance at seeing the comet.  I’ve always said, campers are the BEST people!

Current camping fees (2/2018) are $25 night/$23 seniors plus $6 for extra vehicle. No online reservations.

Note that trailers and motorhomes must be no longer than 30 feet.  I called the park information numbers provided 661.839.6553 or 661.946-6092) and only got recordings so I will keep trying until I can answer that my 19′ truck plus possible future 22′ trailer is ok as long as I disconnect..   I think from camping there many times in the past that there was plenty of room to park along side it but I want to make sure as it’s been 11 years since our last trip.

No online reservations available.  No drones permitted.

Rather than my going on about the extensive history of this beautiful desert area I would direct you to a wonderful write up on Wikipedia.

I will update this page when I add the maps and other information to the California Camping section of this website and provide a link.  (And then remove this message).

CampsitePhotos.com provides campsite photos.  Awesome!

California State Parks Annual Pass might be something you are interested in.  The link provides all the current information.

Note:  (I’ll be scanning some individual photos for the California Camping pages of this website and try to re-scan the ones here as well.)