Monday, May 16, 2022

Tollbridge Campground

Five sites make up this small campground. It's located along the Desolation Creek which flows into the North Fork of the John Day River. The creek was very high and fast with spring runoff during our visit but I suspect that it becomes shallow and calm in the summer. Amenities include tables, fire rings, and a vault toilet. The campground is opened all year round even during the winter when snow mobiles provide the only access but is not maintained from mid November to Memorial Day weekend. No fee when it isn't maintained.
The site closest to the toilet is considered accessible but other sites are usable.

The road in is full of potholes but still okay for any RV and the pull through site is long enough for any RV.  Campground  44.99644, -118.93472

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Hines Pine Mill House

The mill house, now a bed and breakfast, was the headquarters for the Edward Hines Lumber Company from 1930 to 1983. The present owners, Mason and Holly Watson, renovated the house and offer a banquet room and dining hall for rent besides operating the bed and breakfast.

This is also a Harvest Hosts site and even though the bed and breakfast is not opened for the season we were welcome to stay. All of the necessary information such as where to park is available on the Harvest Hosts website but we never saw the caretaker and didn't get a confirmation email until we had been settled in for hours.

The mill house is located in the industrial section of town and right on US 20, a main route through town,  so it's a bit noisy. Parking is in front of the house with the back area reserved for the bed and breakfast guests but large RVs may be parked in back if the front parking area is too small. Mill House  43.54865, -119.08488


 

 


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

UC Ranch Road Boondocking - BLM

The Quinn River Valley has enough water for agriculture and private land is mixed in with BLM land however UC Ranch Road travels for about 4 miles through solid BLM land, There aren't many places to pull off but we found a flat area near what may have been a quarry or a dug out pond. The small amount of water in the pond attracts several species birds. Normally we don't park close to water sources in the desert but this is a wet area with plenty of other sources.

            
The road is good condition but large rocks make for a rough ride. The boondocking space is large enough for most RVs but turning around may be difficult. BLM   41.88195, -117.70135

Monday, May 9, 2022

Railroad Springs Boondocking-BLM

There aren't a lot of good places to pull off on this section of US 95 so when we saw a dirt road heading of  to the west we decided to check it out. After driving just over 1/2 mile we came to a flat spot with a rock campfire ring and decided it was a great spot to spend the night. The road continues but we didn't explore so there may be more camping spots farther in.
The road is in good condition and the spot is large enough for any RV with a loop for easy entering and exiting. BLM   37.61849, -117.22677

Friday, May 6, 2022

Torrance Ranch Preserve

The preserve is in the Oasis Valley which a part of the Upper Amargosa River Watershed. The free flowing water of the Amargosa River, numerous springs, and marshes are home to the endangered Amargosa Toad and a stop over point for many migratory birds.
The preserve is a work in progress. It's 130 acres but the part that is accessible to visitors is very small. There's a picnic area, a interpretive kiosk where a ranch house was located, a short dirt trail that leads to a short boardwalk, an old road that goes to  the ruins of a stone miner's cabin, and an uncompleted dirt trail. All the trails can be measured in feet rather than miles but this is still a nice stop and a welcome bit of greenery in the desert. We did not see any toads or fish though.
 
The preserve is accessible with help. Only two sides of the three sided kiosk are accessible due to rocks marking the edge the path and blocking access to the third side. The dirt on the trail is soft and silty making pushing difficult. The boardwalk does not meet flush with the ground. The old road is steep and rough.
 
There isn't a sign for the preserve on US 95. Look for Oleo Road on the east side of  95. After turning onto Oleo Road, turn left onto Torrance Ranch Road. There's a gate that must be opened. The road ends at the picnic area where there's enough room to park and turn around RVs. Preserve  37.00238, -116.72457

Monday, May 2, 2022

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Scenic Drive

The thirteen mile scenic drive is one way and starts off of Route 159, west of Las Vegas. Stop at the small visitor center and get a map which has all of the parking areas and trails marked. There are 23 trails along the scenic drive with varying degrees of difficulty.
  The visitor center is accessible but the accessible parking area is not large enough for RVs. The RV parking area is down a steep hill so visitors with mobility problems may wish to be dropped off at the entrance. Very little along the scenery drive is accessible  however the scenery is beautiful - rounded mounds of red and tan sandstone contrasting with rugged, gray limestone - so it's worth the trip. The Calico 1 parking area is large enough for RVs. The overlook walkway and interpretive signs are accessible. The High Point Overlook and interpretive signs are accessible. The Petroglyph Wall Trail is paved and accessible with assistance but the parking area is not large enough for RVs.
      
The road is winding and hilly but any RV can be driven along it. Most of the parking areas are small though so if you plan on stopping for hikes a smaller vehicle would be best.  Canyon  36.13385, -115.42588

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

HOWA-Bring Your Own Vehicle

It's been so long since I posted! We've been camping in the desert above Pahrump, Nevada with a group of HOWA volunteers and recipients of the Bring Your Own Vehicle program. Our job title is camp host which means pitching in if anyone needs a hand and watching over the camp when people are away at the build site. Mostly we're just hanging out and socializing. :-D It's been fun getting to know all of the new nomads and catching up with old friends.
The Minivan Build Program is Homes On Wheels Alliance initial program, fulfilling a mission of supplying minivans to people who would almost certainly become homeless if they didn't receive some help. Between the summer of 2019 and the fall of  2021, HOWA granted vans to eighteen people. However the skyrocketing price of minivans has currently made the program unfeasible which led to the development of Bring Your Own Vehicle. This program is tailored to current nomads who cannot afford to upgrade their homes on wheels due to the expense of parts and installation. Nine nomadic recipients  are currently in the program. Some are getting almost full buildouts - insulation, floors, wall coverings, beds, shelves, vents with fans, and solar systems - others are getting simple additions such as floors or solar systems.

We've had several potluck dinners, a pancake breakfast, game nights, and nightly campfires. The weather has run the gamut from hot to cold, calm to windy, sunny to cloudy and the sunsets have been gorgeous.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Tropicana Casino–Laughlin

RV parking is permitted in the two large lots at the western end of the casino property. Follow Tropicana Drive to the top of the hill. At times the lower lot is reserved for event parking and RVers will be asked to move to the upper lot.
These lots are not free like some of the other casino lots but because they’re set back from Casino Drive they're much quieter than the other lots. Register at the front desk – $10 a night, $50 a week, and $5 for dump and water. We stayed for two night so that we could visit with friends- thank you Fred and Barb for the great visit!

We did not check out the accessibility of the casino but getting to it from the parking lot using a wheelchair is difficult due to the hill and lack of sidewalks. Casino 35.15879, -114.57898

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Alley Road BLM Boondocking

Scenic Loop Road changes names as it twists and turns through the hills south of Ajo. We’ve camped in the southeastern section where it’s known as Derby Wells Road. We like that area a lot but decided to try Alley Road which is in the southwestern section and is accessed from Rocalla Ave in Ajo.
There are pros and cons to camping on either end of Scenic Loop. The dirt road to Darby Wells camping is very washboard but the sites are numerous and the roads are better for walking/rolling. Alley Road is in better condition but it’s narrow and has steep grades. Rolling along the roads is difficult. There are a few small sites and a main site that is very large and flat. Phone signal is better along Alley Road than along Derby Wells Road.
It’s possible to drive any RV along the entire Scenic Loop Road but be aware that sometimes sections are washed out. The dirt road is 7.5 miles. This is a beautiful area of the Sonoran Desert with a variety of vegetation and wildlife. Alley Road Boondocking  32.34737, -112.8958