We have been traveling in company with my sister and brother-in-law; on their first adventure in their new to them, 2007 Winnebago Journey. Way out of character for Chris and I, we actually had sat down and planned our trip back north; surfing the forums for suggested routes and things to do. We had plenty of time so the need for running on the interstate never materialized and looking back we've all come to the conclusion taking highway 95 was probably the best decision we could have ever made. Excellent roads, light traffic, and either touching or in very close proximity to all the folksy Americana you can ask for in one trip. Our last blog entry is a fine example of what I'm talking about and if memory serves (it does, I looked it up) we left our readers in Oatman with the donkeys.
Picking up from our last entry, I would be doing a disservice if I didn't mention Moon River RV Resort in Fort Mojave. The park had just changed hands and there was talk of the planned improvements. At the time of our visit it was still gravel, close sites but with good room to maneuver. Having the standard amenities, Moon River makes for a good, quiet, overnight stopping place. At the time of this writing, I could not recommend it for any long-term stays.
From Fort Mojave we continued north and again had a short travel day. It just so happened our next stay was to be in Pahrump, Nevada at the Wine Ridge RV Resort. This planned two day stop allowed us to thoroughly check the rigs for anything that may have rattled loose after being parked for such an extended period and gave us time to see the area a bit better; popping into some of the nearby attractions easier. That was the plan, what actually happened was we spent a good amount of time indoors avoiding the results of a cold front that had come through. No worries, being next door to a winery did have its advantages.
Before we could even try to find some of the neat places to go in Pahrump, it was time for us to leave with our longest, and what could be considered our most boring leg ahead of us to Winnemucca. Over 470 miles. Seven driving hours which makes for close to ten on-the-road hours. Of course the cold front that had plagued us during our stay wasn't quite done shaking things up with and generated several storm and flood watches. All reported constantly by the Garmin along our route. These alerts, which consisted of heart stopping beeping and with minimal information, quickly became a thing to dread and ultimately to despise as each alert while along our route was well ahead of us in distance. By the time we reached an area of one of the watches, the storm had already passed; usually only leaving a damp stretch of pavement.
Arriving in Winnemucca in the early evening we could finally see the sad results of a flood warning with some side road closures and flooded fields. Get your notepad ready, if you are ever in this neat little town, stay just a bit outside at the New Frontier RV park. The park is brand spanking new with paved and gravel sites generously spaced apart. The “club house” has tons of room with an attached mini market/store, a TV room fit for any superbowl party, and from what we could see, a steam line for snacks and such during the season. Of course, being Nevada there is the obligatory casino and grill next door.
Still on highway 95 but soon switching over to OR-78 our next destination is one I've mentioned several times before – Crystal Crane Hot Springs. This was our original reason for taking 95 before finding out how nice a road it was as offered the shortest, most direct route to our most favorite stop. We had actually made reservations early on so we were able to park in two of the three full-hookup sites with a very short walk to the springs. While the pond is free with unlimited access if you are in an RV spot or cabin, for a small fee you can book one of the huge private hot tubs which is what Chris and I did this time round. You see, spring break was in full swing there and we really couldn't see ourselves getting caught up in one of the numerous spontaneous water fights. After all the road time, the quiet soak was just what the doctor ordered.
We got to spend two very relaxing days at Crystal Crane and our brother-in-law Randy has become a convert; swearing they'll be coming back in the very near future.
While our next planned destination was Prosser Washington to revisit the tasting rooms, we had a day to kill before arriving so we opted to take to the hills and come into Pendleton Oregon via the back way. What a simply stunning drive and while sure, there were a couple of grades and lots of curvey roads just north of John Day, it was nothing we hadn't seen before nor was it overly difficult. Four hours took us from the scrub desert of Crane, through the mountain meadows of Sylvie Valley Ranch and the high timber of Battle Mountain to the high plateau grasslands of Pendleton and the tribal lands of the Umatilla. It is really hard to pass up on the all you can eat buffets and senior specials at the Wild Horse Casino - nor having a shuttle bus at our beck and call from the RV park to the casino or the cultural center.
Wine Country RV in Prosser is quickly becoming another favorite of ours. Not due to the proximity of several tasting rooms but really in large part due to the friendliness and professionalism of the staff and of course the part itself. Wide, long pull thrus with 50amp full hookups, grass patios with picnic tables and ample room between even the tightest sites. We could have easily gone directly to our next hosting gig from Pendleton but this park deserves a visit; even when it took us 20 miles out of our way.
Okay, I'll admit it, the wine wasn't bad either.
That's it, we've been sitting at Lincoln Rock State Park for the past week picking up our campground hosting duties like last year and just trying to keep warm. Seems this year we may have come north just a bit too soon.