Monday, November 30, 2015

First camping trip


Last month we bought a travel trailer (2016 Keystone Passport 2920BH) and this month was the first time we got to use it!  We wanted to go somewhere not too far away so we could work out the kinks and just get our feet on the ground with it before we try a longer haul.  We decided to go to Kernville and we stayed at Rivernook Campground and it did not disappoint.


We learned a few things about camping, met some nice people in the campground, partially froze our butts off and made a list of everything else we still need for the trailer.  The whole reason we wanted to get a trailer was to get our kiddos outside and up close to nature.  The entire ride up to Kernville they talked about how they were very nervous because of the bears.

0M1A3735One of the things I discovered is that when camping, it’s okay to over pack.  I was trying to not over pack, so I brought the kids outfits for each day and then 2 extras and they were both through 3 outfits in the first day.  Ben fell in the stream about 10 minutes after we got up the first day and soaked his only pair of shoes.  (Just got him a pair of rain boots for camping now.)  Abbie likes to play musical outfits on any given day anyway, so she changed 3 times the first day too.  Next time I’ll bring more clothes for both of them, plus more shoes.



The scenery at the camp ground was gorgeous.  There’s just something so refreshing about being out in nature, especially when you add water to it.  This camp was along the Kern River and then had 3 creeks running through it and one was right behind our camp site.  We had fun wandering the grounds taking it all in.  The kids can NOT go for a walk without bringing half of the things they pass back with them.  Leaves, sticks, shells, pine cones, moss, grass, dirt.  You name it, they pick it up and bring it back with them.  And our little Jamison is apparently a natural in front of the camera.  Every time he saw me take a picture of him he’d get a big cheesy grin on his face.  Mark says it’s in his DNA.  I think he’s just too cute!

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There were a few walking trails north of the camp ground that we walked along.  Fall is my absolute favorite time of year to travel.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in Europe or the States – the fall colors are amazing and I love the cooler crisp air.  The fall colors along the river didn’t disappoint.


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The first time we saw these little rock towers was in Santorini, Greece.  They were all over the volcano there.  They are known in Canada as “Inukshuk’s” which mean “You’re welcome here” or “You’re on the right path” so Mark made a little one.

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One of my requirements for the trailer was to have an outdoor kitchen and I’m so glad we have one.  It’s nice to be able to cook outside and not stink up the whole trailer.  I just wish our outdoor sink had a drain.  Instead it’s just a “sink” that you dump out when it gets full.  At least there’s running water out there.  We also got an outdoor rug for under the canopy.

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Kernville is just south of the Sequoia National Forest so we decided to take drive north and check it out.  It was BEAUTIFUL!  Thank God my husband is patient and stops the car every mile or so for me to jump out and snap photos.  I might print a few of these.

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Seriously, every time I pointed the camera at him, he grinned.


And a few more from around the campground and the Kern River.  We’re hoping to come back in the summer!

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Here’s to the first camping trip of many!!


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Our new toy


A few weeks ago we got stuck down in LA.  We went to the beach and when we tried to come home we discovered there were mudslides on all the roads we could take to get home.  So we decided to amend our plans a bit and instead of driving home and then coming back to LA two days later to go to the RV show, we just went and found a hotel by the RV show and moved those plans up a day.


We have been researching buying a travel trailer for almost a year now.  We had originally wanted a bunkhouse with double or double bunks.  But then we found the Cruiser RV Radiance that had a separate room with 4 single bunks in it and it was under our requirement of having the dry weight be under 6000lbs.  We decided we really wanted that one, only to discover they don’t make a 2016 version of that – it was switched to a Shadow Cruiser model.  No biggie.  Still basically the same thing, just with a different model name.  So we went to the show wanting to see the Shadow Cruiser for the first time in person and most likely buy it.


However, we didn’t even make it over to that side of the show.  We got stuck at a Keystone dealer who had a Passport Grand Touring bunkhouse that we liked even more than the Shadow Cruiser.  It had a wrap around dinette instead of just the two seats and we lived the pull out couch a lot better in the Passport.  The only thing we liked better in the Shadow Cruiser was that the kids room would have had a door and there was a little more storage beside the TV in the living room area.  But I think I can put up a curtain to separate the kids room and we’ll deal without the extra storage.  We need to keep it light anyway.


We’re pretty excited to start exploring more of CA in this!  I’ve been looking at campgrounds for months too so it’ll be fun to start checking them out!  There are a ton of them!