Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Leaving Cool Oregon and a New Favorites List

At Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California...
(Yes, I'm behind with posts; I'm going to try to catch up.)

As we saw the temperatures televised in triple digits back home in Texas, Sandy and I looked at each other and said, "Now tell me again why we're leaving here?"
The 70-degree weather we've been enjoying in Winchester Bay and other Oregon coast locales seems surreal. Were it not for the influence of the cold Pacific ocean air flowing inland for several miles, the Oregon beaches would likely assume the "real" temperature of perhaps 90 degrees. So, we've been smug, thinking we're getting away with something God hadn't intended.
So knowing all good things must come to an end, we pulled in the slides and pointed Phannie away from the cool air and toward the furnace to which we'll be returning in a couple of weeks. Why? Well, the best reasons we can come up with is more medical and dental appointments with our own medical professionals and a nagging need to check on the house--who knows what may have broken there? (I think it is times like these when I really envy fulltimers.) I console myself somewhat with the knowledge that, on this trip, we escaped to cooler climes for a couple of months during most of the hottest part of the year. That was a first, and it was so appreciated.
Our first stop after leaving Winchester Bay was the Seven Feathers Casino and RV Park near Canyonville, Oregon. This is another "best of the best" RV parks in my book or rather, now in my blog. As mentioned before, I'm beginning a new page today, "Best of the Best RV Parks," for which I've placed a link above, near the "Favorite Restaurants" link. So why do this? Well, it's really for my own use, more than anything else. We seem to find ourselves gravitating toward the higher-rated parks and their more reliable amenities than those for which a low price is the only consideration. Some of the cheap overnight spots we've found from time to time have been sort of scary, and we think paying a little extra is okay to increase our comfort level. I needed a way to consolidate these better parks for easy reference, so I thought I would offer it to others, as well. I've looked at some websites that claim to list the best parks, but I've found they are not immune to being manipulated to include parks that shouldn't be listed. Bear in mind that this list is not nearly finished, and I'm hoping that readers will help with their own recommendations, as well as to help me catch those that don't belong.
So, how does a park make the list? Well, these are the criteria, as they appear in the actual page when you click on the link. A best of the best park must:
  • Be reasonably secure and safe, not in proximity to troubled areas
  • Be very well kept, with good landscaping and tidy throughout
  • Not accept mobile homes or permanent residents
  • Have all paved roads and hard surface pads that are reasonably level
  • Accommodate big rigs, preferably with pull-thru sites
  • Not accommodate very unsightly rigs
  • Have 50 amp electrical service, cell service, free wi-fi and cable
  • Have parking spots that are not crowded
  • Not be too near sources of excessive noise 
 If I've stayed at one of these myself, it's pretty easy to make judgment on it. (I've placed an asterisk by the names.) If not, I do some research, looking at photos and checking out their ratings among the various directories. I also look at forums and solicit recommendations from readers. I'll also reveal a little secret: We have a rather serious dislike for parking places that are muddy. Most unpaved parking places have this potential, and we steer away from them whenever possible. I'm afraid we will never be boondockers, and we don't apologize for it; we're pretty well in touch with what we like and don't like. 
We found Seven Feathers RV Resort obviously worthy of inclusion, but we had a pretty good idea about that from some forums we happened to read. The photos below show what we think a best of the best park should look like:

 Now, I know what you're thinking: Mike, you have gone all hoity-toity on us, haven't you? Well, no. Remember that we live in a relatively modest house, and we don't buy new RVs or cars (any longer). For goodness' sake; Phannie is nine years old! It's just that we can stay in a lot of nice RV parks, eat out a lot of meals and buy lots of diesel fuel with the two hundred grand we've saved by buying Phannie and our cars used. She may not be the fanciest rig on the road, but she has all the comforts we could want, she is well cared for and she has repaid us by performing nearly flawlessly for years of fairly heavy use.

But, with all this in mind, we're not such prima donnas that we don't love discounts! We belong to several discount RV clubs and use their cards often.

So, I don't know if this new list will be useful to anyone, but it's helpful to me and, like the favorite restaurants list, it's just my opinion and worth only what it costs you. Now, remember, it's not nearly complete yet, so if you know of a best of the best park that meets all the criteria above, please let me know, and I may include it. I'll even give you an attribution.

One more thing: There are some really fine parks out there that may be among your favorites, but they don't have all the criteria listed like, for example, paved roads and sites (Goulding's in Monument Valley comes to mind--a great park, but no paved sites). That doesn't mean these aren't fine and desirable places, it's just that I have to draw the line somewhere, and the list can't be so long as to lose usefulness.

Next post: Crater Lake and Almost Off the Grid

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.

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