2006 GMC 2500HD w/2001 Lance 845

Check out my interview in Truck Camper Magazine!    Original Interview     Follow-up Interview

See current year travels

NEW FEATURE (You didn't ask for it, but you got it anyway): RAMBLIN' RALPH'S SPORADIC BLOG (last entry 7/17/07 "Closing the Loop")

Previous years' travels: 2006

I bought my truck and camper in late October of 2005.  After taking a few short trips in it, I "hit the road" full-time May 2006 for 6 months.  Now it's 2007 and I'm doing it again (cuz it was so much fun).  Not all of my nights are spent camping, but most are.  I'm not making entries that are repeats of previous campgrounds for this year or when I stay with my kids or friends.  Campsite fees are for one night with no discount (and no hookups).  However, being the old geezer that I am, I get 50% off at U.S. Guvmint CGs with the valuable Golden Age card, plus free entry to National Parks..  One of the few ways (in addition to retirement) it pays to get older.

You can email me here.  If you're interested in music, click the piggie to go to my Hog Time Music home page.  

Note: Click on small photos for a larger one.  Click on the USA map/flag () to see the actual camp location on a map (+/- 50 ft).

Photo Albums: 2006 - Lassen National Park, Yellowstone National Park,  Crater Lake National Park,  Montana
                       2007 - Bristlecone Pineforest, Oregon Coast



Campsite & Other Photos (click links)



New travel year has started.  Click here.




I'm back in my "sticks & bricks" winter home on the Central Coast of California.  Sure had a GREAT 6 months of RVing.  A total of about 10,000 miles and spent around 95 nights in campgrounds.  The other time I was either at friends or my kids (and frequently sleeping in my camper)  Average cost per campground (mostly National Forest type & some free) was $11.50 ($15 w/o senior discounts).
Since my last campground entry I was in California staying with my kids, friends or in campgrounds already mentioned this year.
I'm planning on hitting the road again around May 1, 2008.  Check back then.  Thanks for visiting my webpage!!.




Indian Valley CG (USFS) 31 N of Nevada City, CA on hwy 49.  2300 ft.

N. Yuba River

17 paved and well shaded sites on the beautiful N Yuba River ("bathtub clear" water).  Should have fished it, but didn't.  Had some problems with little "eye flies" swarming around my face. $20.


Amador County Fairgrounds, Plymouth, CA for Plymouth Bluegrass Music Festival.  1000 ft.

U.S. Navy Band
Little Kids Band

 Fun, medium size bluegrass festival.   I also attended last year.  Perfect weather.  Really enjoyed it, especially since my son & daughter-in-law came up for the weekend!  Best band (IMHO):  U.S. Navy Bluegrass Band (Country Current).  Yeehaw!


Indian Creek Recreation Area CG (BLM) 2.6 mi NW of Markleeville, CA on hwy 89 and 4 mi NE on Airport Rd. 5600 ft.

Very nice CG in tall pines.  29 paved sites, well apart.  Showers.  Large lake nearby.  My only gripe is that they charge $10 for the dump station, even if you camp here.  $%^&.  Highly unusual.  Tried an hour or so of flyfishing the nearby Carson River ... no luck.  $20.


Burnside Lake (USFS) boondocking camping (south of Lake Tahoe, CA).  5.7 mi S on Burnside Lake Road (dirt & fairly rough in spots) from the hwy 88/89 jct.  Note: Trailers or large RVs shouldn't try this place.  7700 ft.

Burnside Lake
Mirror, Mirror
Ducks on the Rocks

My first real boondocking (not in a developed campground) in my camper!  Hard to find a semi-level RV spot.  Beautiful small mountain lake.  About 4 tents set up when I got here, but they left late afternoon (Sunday).  I'm all alone in this beautiful spot (except for the bears).  What? Bears??  I'm outta here.  $0


Hope Valley CG (USFS) south of Lake Tahoe, CA.  2.5 mi SW of the hwy 88/89 jct and 1.5 mi S of hwy 88 on Blue Lakes Rd.  7000 ft.

Meadow & Mountains
Try My Cell Phone?

Nice 20 site CG with plenty of trees.  Pretty meadow and mountains view across the road.  Kind of tight maneuvering for trailers.  Very helpful & nice CG hosts.  $14


Davis Creek Park CG (County) 11 mi N of Carson City, NV off hwy 395.  5000 ft.

Loneliest Road Sign

Very nice 63 site CG in tall pines.  Several arc pull-thru sites..  Looks down on hwy 395 and Washoe Lake.  Hwy produces a bit of "hum" noise.  Paved sites.  Really level ones for RVs are a bit hard to find.  Showers. $17


Bob Scott CG (USFS) 7 mi SE of Austin, NV on hwy 50 ("The Loneliest Road in America").  7100 ft.

Loneliest Road 

Nice little CG!  Only downside is that it's close to the hwy.  10 sites (gravel).  Many not level, though.  Coyote sounds at night.  Be ready to pay the big bucks .... $0 (not a typo).  (I thought Nevada would be hot, but it's been quite pleasant).


Ward Mountain CG (USFS) 7 mi SW of Ely, NV on hwy 6.  7200 ft.  New state in my camper!

Desert Mountain
Antlers & Shack

Nice CG.  29 sites in "short trees".  Gravel sites, many with "arc" pull-thru.  Only 2 other sites occupied.  $8


Hope CG (USFS) 8 mi N of Provo, UT on hwy 189, then 5 mi SE on paved Squaw Peak Rd (steep and curvy).  Last 1/4 mile on rough, one lane dirt road.  6700 ft.

Provo Lookout View
Provo Canyon

24 site secluded CG.  Kind of primitive feel.  Dirt sites and many unlevel.  This CG not high on my list.  I missed the turnoff to another CG I'd planned on.  Oh well.  Heck of a view from a lookout point on the road up.  $13.


Firefighter's Memorial CG (USFS) SW of Flaming Gorge Reservoir Dam (Utah) on hwy 191.  6800 ft.   New state in my camper!

Flaming Gorge Dam
Flaming Gorge Resv.

Nice 90+ site CG with on "open" feeling and scattered large pine trees.  Slight road noise from trucks.  Hardly anyone here at first, but that changed on Labor Day wknd (still not full, though).  Had a GREAT guided float trip on the Green River and caught lots of trout!.    $15.


Half Moon Lake CG (USFS) 8 mi NE of Pinedale, WY near Fremont Lake.  7600 ft.

Half Moon Lake
Pony Express Sign

Small CG on a nice lake.  However, only a couple of sites can see the lake.  Others in heavy brush.  This CG didn't appeal to me as much as most others I stay in (YMMV).  While in Pinedale I visited the Museum of the Mountain Man.  Very interesting.  $7


Hoback CG (USFS) 14 mi N of Bondurant, WY on hwy 189.  6200 ft.

Small 14 site CG on a nice river.  Just off the hwy, so some road noise.  Paved pads.  Very nice view looking across the river at the trees.  $15  


Signal Mountain CG in Grand Teton National Park 18 mi N of Moose, WY (Jackson Hole area).  6500 ft.

Mirrored Tetons
Dam Outflow
Moose on the Loose
Lake & Tetons
Another Tetons View

80 sites at the south end of Jackson Lake.  Most sites don't have a lake view, but it's a very short walk.  Plenty of medium size trees and sites not real close together. Mighty pretty country in the park!  $17


Wade Lake CG (USFS) 37 mi S of Ennis, MT and 5 mi off hwy 287 on a (at times somewhat rough) dirt road.  6200 ft. (Note: For some reason neither Mapquest or my GPS shows Wade Lake, only the nearby Cliff Lake)

Wade Lake
Mesa Falls (Idaho)
Wheat Fields & Tetons

24 site CG on a nice lake.  Very secluded and peaceful (just like I like it). Saw a movie scene, with Kevin Bacon, being filmed in Ennis, MT on the way here.  Wheeeee! $12


Had a great time visiting  my cousin and wife in Dillon, MT.  Lots of fishing days, 3 of which were outstanding.  Now it's back to the ramblin' life (or else I lose my "title").


Hooray, house showers, not RV showers.


Black Sandy State Park north of Helena, MT on Lake Hauser.  3600 ft.

Mighty Mo River

A repeat from last year in MT!  33 sites right on the lake.  I'm looking at it from my dinette.  Boat docks for campers  Smoky skies just like last year. Grrrr.  $15.


Dicks RV Park in Great Falls, MT.  3300 ft.

Hard Work
Great Springs
One of the Falls

My intended route to Dillon, MT was closed by fire, so I detoured via Great Falls to see what's there.  I was in the "cheap seats" section for tents, but OK for me.  Regular spaces had nice green grass.  $14.  Enjoyed the Lewis & Clark Center the next day.


St. Mary Lake CG in Glacier National Park, MT.  On east side of the park.  Enter from St. Mary, MT on US89.  4800 ft.

Logan Pass East View
Windswept Trees

148 sites.  Some small trees, but many sites in full sun.  Short walk to the Vistor Center where I caught a free shuttle to the Logan Pass Visitor Center. Nice views from there.  $23.


Many Glacier CG in Glacier National Park, MT.  On east side of the park.  Enter from Babb, MT on US89.  4800 ft
Back in the good old USA!  Sure enjoyed Canada, though.  Mighty friendly people there.

Nice Waterfall

109 sites.  Nicely wooded.  Most sites are the "arc pullthru" type.  Even though it's Saturday, there were several sites empty at 3 p.m. when I arrived.  Forest fire somewhere ruins visibility.   Bummer.  Met someone from my high school in Ark. that is 2 years younger!!  Amazing!  $20.


Chain Lakes Provincial Park 25 S of Longview, AB off hwy 22.  4300 ft.

Campsite View
Hay Field & Mountains
Great View #4789

120 sites.  No trees, but bushes enclose most sites.  I got a nice open one with one of the best campsite views I've had in Canada!  Hadn't planned on staying here, but saw it on my route to another CG.  My final night in Canada (for this year, anyway).  $15.


Tunnel Mountain Village #1 CG in Banff, AB.  4700 ft.

Old Banff Hotel
Bow River View

Mega-CG with 600+ sites.  Since I don't use hookups I stayed in the mostly-tent section.  City bus stops at entrance to CG, so easy to get to town a couple of miles away.  I took the 3 city bus routes for a low-cost tour.  $25.


Rampart Creek CG in Banff National Park, about 55 mi N of Lake Louise on hwy 93.  This will be my highest latitude camping for this season's travels at 52 deg (3545 mi N of the Equator).  4700 ft.

Ice Bus
Columbia Icefield
Icefield Up Close
N. Saskatchewan Rvr

50 site CG more to my liking than last night.  Sites well apart, plus I got a spot with a view of the N. Saskatchewan River.  Hardly anyone here when I arrived at 1 p.m.  Went on Columbia Icefield tour in the afternoon.  300 ft. deep ice!  $15.


Lake Louise CG (tent section) in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.  5000 ft.

Bear Fence
Lake Louise
Moraine Lake

217 site CG.  Lots of trees.  Sites fairly close together.  Electric fence around whole CG to keep out the bears!  Got a site w/o a reservation around 1 p.m.  CG was filled when I got back from sight seeing around 8 p.m.   The moral to this story is  ....??  Oh come on, it's obvious.  $26.


Dry Gulch Provincial Park 3 mi S of Radium Hot Springs, BC off hwy 93.  3000 ft.

Kootenay #2 River
Columbia Lake

26 site CG far enough off hwy that noise is only a hum.  Upper part, where I am, slopes down, giving nice view.  One of the dreaded  "generator critters" is making noise somewhere down the hill.  Quick, someone get a gun and shoot it! :)  $17.


Yahk Provincial Park in Yahk,BC on hwy 3.  2800 ft.

Christina Lake
Wall Mural
Kootenay #1 River 

Typical nice Prov. Park campground.  26 sites.  Small river adjacent.  Large sites spaced well apart.  Moderate noise until night due to just off hwy and train track otherside of hwy. $14


Jewel Lake Provincial Park 2 mi E of Greenwood, BC and about 8 miles off hwy 3.  Last couple of miles good gravel road.  3600 ft.

Osoyoos, BC
Jewel Lake

26 site secluded CG.  Very nice lake about a 100 yard walk from my site.  CG filled up a couple of hours after I got here around 2:30 p.m.  Staying 2 nights since it's the weekend and don't want a problem finding a site Sat. Warm during day; cool at night.  Popular family spot.  $14.


Stemwinder Provincial Park 2 mi W of Hedley, BC on hwy 3.  1700 ft.

Similkameen River
Me @ Manning Pk Lk

27 site CG.  I got a primo site overlooking the beautiful Similkameen River.  CG is on the hwy, but noise not bad (river sounds drown most of it out).  Hotter than I expected; low 90s.  $14.


Coquihalla CG in Hope,BC,Canada. 200 ft.  My first campsite in Canada!

Big Fraser River
Chainsaw Bear

100+ site CG on the Coquihalla River.  Wanted to stay in town for restaurant meals and shopping. Gotta get used to gas in liters, distance in kilometers and dollar coins. :)  Don't need a calculator as U.S. dollar is about the same as the Canadian.  $21


Douglas Fir CG (USFS) 10 mi E of Maple Falls, WA on hwy 542.

Raging Noonsack River

Nice 28 site CG on the Nooksack River.  River is raging due to recent rains.  I'm right by it.  Hope it doesn't rise more. :)  $17


Wenburg State Park, Marysville, WA about 6 mi W of I5 off hwy 531.  400 ft.

Suburban State Park with houses in view from my site.  Normally wouldn't stay in this type of a CG, but wanted to have dinner with a friend in the area.   Yikes, I get surrounded by a kids party (boombox and all) after I select my spot. :(  Turns out to be not so bad.  $19.


Darrington, WA Bluegrass Festival 3 mi W of Darrington on hwy 530.  500 ft

Mountains Photo

Beautiful setting for a music festival.  Unfortunately, it rained a good bit of the time.  However, I still heard plenty of good music and enjoyed it.


Turlo CG (USFS) 11 E of Granite Falls, WA on hwy 92.  900 ft.

River Photo

19 site CG with trees, bushes and ferns on a nice river.  Moss in trees gives it kind of an eerie feel.  Guess that's what lots of rain does.  Still snow in the mountains higher up. $17.


Millersylvania State Park 7 mi S of Tumwater, WA & 2 mi E of I5 (exit 95).


168 site CG in tall, tall trees and bushes.  Rainy, so I didn't get outside much.  $19.


Bruceport Park (County) 7 mi W of South Bend, WA off US101.  100 ft.  (My first campsite in Washington!).

Backdoor View Photo

35 site CG in a nice setting with lots of green stuff and overlooking Willipa Bay (oyster capital of the world, the host said).  Many sites not level.  Slight noise from Hwy 101, but tolerable.  $15.


Fort Stevens State Park 10 mi W of Astoria, OR. 100 ft. (Wow, I'm now just a bit over halfway between the Equator and the North Pole!!).

Lightship Photo

Mega CG with around 500 campsites!!  Reminds me of Yellowstone and Yosemite CG sizes.  Lots of bushes between most sites, unlike "Y" CGs.  $22 (w/hookups).


Devil's Lake State Park in Lincoln City, OR off US101. 50 ft.

RVJuly07 233.jpg
Cape Perpetua Photo
Nice Old Bridge Photo

89 site CG with more green stuff.  I'm glad I like it, otherwise I'd be sick of it by now. :)  On a small lake (not visible from my site). This CG is actually right in town (unusual), but not noisy.  $17.


Lagoon  CG (USFS) 7 mi S of Florence, OR off US101.  50 ft.

RVJuly07 207.jpg
Lagoon Photo

Nice 38 site CG.  The usual Oregon beautiful trees and bushes.  In the Oregon Dunes Natl Rec Area.  I never went to see the dunes, although I did see some from the hwy. $20.


Humbug Mountain State Park 6 mi S of Port Orford, OR on US101.  50 ft.

Oregon Coast Photo

94 site CG in another beautiful setting.  However, since it's right on US101, it's a bit too noisy for me (your mileage may vary).  Less than 1/2 mile walk to the beach (under 101) with almost nobody there. $14


Patricks Point State Park 5 mi N of Trinidad, CA off US101. 200 ft.

CG Ocean View Photo

Large 125 site CG.  Beautiful setting in the trees and heavy vegetation, including ferns.  Ocean view just 25 yards from my site.  My lucky day - I got the last site available!  $20


E-Ne-Nuck CG (USFS) 10 mi SW of Orleans, CA on CA96. 400 ft.  (See blog for details of the road trip today).

Small 10 site CG.  Hwy 96 only 1/4 mi away, but blocked by trees.  Some noise, though, during day.  Sites fairly small.  Just me and the CG host.  Never seen one of these in a USFS CG -  old incinerator or wood stove for cooking? $10


Trail Creek CG (USFS) 16 mi SW of Callahan, CA on Callahan-Cecilville Rd.  4700 ft

Nice 12 site CG.  Lots of trees.  Only 2 or 3 other sites in use.  Creek-like S fork of the Salmon River alongside.  $10


Scott Mountain CG (USFS) 55 miles N of Weaverville, CA on CA3.  5300 ft.  (Note: No sign on road for CG.  Pull into parking area at the summit for Pacific Crest Trail and go to the south end and look for a gravel road with a hard-to-see sign)

Wildflowers Photo

Primitive 7 site CG with small dirt sites (mostly unlevel).  Not a place for big RVs or trailers.  No water.  I enjoyed the place, though.  I gave a couple of backpackers 2 cold beers as my good deed for the day.  $0.


Douglas City CG ( BLM) in Douglas City, CA off CA299.  (A very curvy drive on 36 & 3 to get here).  1500 ft.

Trinity River Photo

Another nice small CG (20 sites) in the woods.  Nicely flowing Trinity River alongside.  Was 100+ deg when I arrived mid-afternoon (H-O-T).  Not very pleasant for a few hours. Still 83 deg at 10 p.m. $10

(lucky date!!)

Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park about 20 miles east of US101 on CA36.  200 ft.

Small CG (about 30 sites) in a nice setting with lots of redwoods.  Van Duzen River alongside.  Hwy 36 a bit noisy, but not at night. $20


Standish-Hickey State Park about 90 miles S of Eureka, CA off US101.  700 ft.

Big CG (160 sites).  I didn't have a reservation, but lucked out, since they'd just opened the 60 river sites for the season.  I'm right on the (very low) Eel River. $20.


Hendy Woods State Park on CA128 about 20 miles from the CA coast. 300 ft.

Pacific Coast Photo

Beautiful spot for a CG in a dense forest including redwoods.  Most campsites very shady (which was welcomed at 90+ deg).  Navarro River nearby. $25


I didn't camp for about a month while I went on my annual fishing trip (31st straight!) and visited my kids.  Now it's back to the road!




Sandy Flat CG (USFS) a few miles W of  Lake Isabella off CA178.  (Note: How to get there not well marked.)  2400 ft.

Kern River Photo

Winner!  Nice setting down in a deep canyon with big rocks and trees.  Kern river close by.    Only fished a few minutes .... no fish.  $17


Boulder Gulch CG (USFS) on Lake Isabella on CA155.  2600 ft.

I like lake CGs, but this one doesn't do it for me.  Too far from the water and too close to the hwy.  Oh well, they all can't be winners. $19


Bishop Park CG (USFS) 16 W of Bishop, CA on CA168. 8400 ft

Still on Bishop Creek, but flowing faster here.  Weather not conducive to fishing, so I stayed in the camper (zzzzzzzz....then work on this webpage). Down to near freezing that nite.  $19


Sabrina CG (USFS) 18 W of Bishop, CA on CA168. Broke my campground altitude record at 8900 ft.

A Low Lake Sabrina

Right on Bishop Creek, which I've fished for 35+ years.  One of my favorite spots to fish.  Creek very low (little snow this year), but still lots of fish.  Caught over 10 in 2 short fishing sessions. $19


Devils Postpile National Monument CG (NPS) about 13 miles (part narrow and curvy) from Mammoth Lakes, CA off CA203.  On the western side of the Sierras, not the eastern like last night.  7700ft

Devils Postpile Photo

Small CG ideal for fishing.  Right on the San Joaquin River.  I caught 4 brown trout flyfishing.  Sites close together (but few people here).  Amazing how the cooling lava formed the hexagonal posts!!.    $14


Twin Lakes CG (USFS) a few miles SW of Mammoth Lakes, CA.  New altitude record for a campground in my camper at 8500 ft.

Waterfall photo

Nice CG on small, shallow lakes.  Beautiful waterfall feeds lake.  Lots of tall pines.  Sometimes closed due to snow this time of year.  Plenty of empty sites. $19


Convict Lake CG (USFS) about 37 mi N of Bishop, CA and W of US395.  7300 ft.

Lake photo

Another beautiful setting.  High, high peaks enclose the lake.  Nice little creek flows out of the lake.  Caught a fish on my first 3 casts!!  Could it be because they stocked fish this a.m. or am I just a great fisherman?  Wow, flush toliets.  I think I'm at home.  $18


Horton Creek CG (BLM) about 10 mi N of Bishop, CA and W of  US395.  4900 ft.

Valley view photo

Beautiful setting at the base of the Sierra mountains and overlooking the Owens Valley.  Small creek makes peaceful sounds for sleeping.  Many potholes in asphalt road and sites.  However, the price is right!  $5


Grandview CG (USFS), Bristlecone Pineforest.  15 miles east of Big Pine, CA and 6 miles N of CA168.  8300 ft.

Bristlecone Photo Album

 Nice CG with sites spaced well apart and small trees between them.  No water.  5 miles up the road is the Visitors Center and the "Schulman Grove" of Bristlecone Pines (up to 4000 years old).  Wow, I feel young again!!  Longest I've stayed in one spot (due to holiday wknd).  $3 


Ricardo CG, Red Rock Canyon State Park.  25 mi north of Mojave, CA off CA14.  2600 ft.

Red rocks photo

Desert environment.    Interesting rock formations here.  Off highway far enough to be very peaceful.  $12


Doheny State Beach CG, Dana Point, CA. 40 ft.


 Nice beach CG.  Been here many times before.  Choo choo (aka train) track nearby.  $25


Observatory CG (USFS) N of Palomar Mtn, CA and CA76.  4700 ft.

Observatory photo

Very nice CG!  Lots of big trees and birds.  Would have stayed longer, but needed to leave.  Visted observatory with 200 inch telescope on the way out.  $12.


Culp Valley CG, Anza Borrego State Park CA. 3300 ft.

Sunset photo

Another camping "area" with no designated spaces.  At least 10 deg cooler here.  Very pleasant. Big rocks.  Clean vault toilets. $0


Yaqui Well CG, Anza Borrego State Park CA. 1400 ft.


More of a camping "area" than campground.  No assigned spaces.  Sand road thru the CG with room to pull off.  Clean vault toilets. $0


Borrego Palm Canyon CG, Anza Borrego State Park, CA. 800 ft.


Nice desert CG.  It's late in the season (95 deg), so not many people here.  No one around me at the upper end.  Hardly a sound at night.  $20


Steckel County Park, 5 mi N of Santa Paula, CA. 700 ft.


My usual stop halfway between Morro Bay and Orange County.  OK, but nothing special.  Now up to $20, which is overpriced.