Monday, November 24, 2014

A lot in Coarsegold

It is a big change for me.  After  21 plus years on the road with no base except a mail forwarding service in Livingston, TX, I  have a lot in Park of the Sierras in Coarsegold, CA.   I have an assigned RV site with full hookups, a storage shed, and use of all the communal areas of the park.

No, this does not mean I have given up my nomadic lifestyle.  I still plan to travel a lot in the motorhome, will live and work in Yellowstone again next summer, and am not hanging up the keys.  But I decided I was ready to have a home base.

This one has a lot to offer me.   It is in the foothills of the Sierras, between Fresno and Yosemite. When I am here I can easily drive to Yosemite for a day.  I can also enjoy the rolling oak studded hills of this area.    I am close enough to keep my Kaiser medical coverage now that I am of Medicare age, and I have a shed to store some things in.  I also have a good place to leave the motorhome when I want to travel abroad.  Finding a place to store the motorhome when I traveled by air, water, train was always an issue.   When I am not here, my lot goes into a rental pool for traveling rvers and drops my monthly dues.  The dues are very reasonable; about what I paid to store the motorhome in a storage facility when I was in Ketchikan and I get a whole lot more for it here.  When I am here, and I plan to stick around this winter, it is close enough to the Bay Area to visit friends and family there.  In fact I am headed up to enjoy Thanksgiving with Chris, his daughter and her family, and a large group of their friends.  It is about a 3 hour drive.  But I am going by Amtrak instead of driving.  A neighbor will drop me at the station in Fresno and I will have a relaxing ride to Martinez.

This park was built by member of the Escapees RV Club of which I have been a member for years.  Using volunteer labor to build it and to maintain it, it is a friendly spot where I already know a number of people and where one quickly meets lots of new people.

There are 161 acres, about 250 lots, a large club house, workshop and rig wash station, storage for RVs, lots of paths, wi-fi, and laundry facilities.  It is on rolling hills, typical of the Sierra foothills. This area was part of the California gold rush and it contains a section of the old stage coach road which carried people to Yosemite in earlier times.  There is a creek which has been left as a natural area.  Right now it is dry.  It will take a good deal more rain to restore it.  But it can run high in the spring when snow melt higher up feeds it. I've been busy getting settled but will get some photos of that area and put them in a future blog post.

Escapees is the parent organization, the RV group to which I have belonged for years.  This park was created by some of the members.   They did a beautiful job, fitting the sites into the landscape saving the trees and granite rocks, views, and habitat for lots of wildlife.   Quail, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, woodpeckers, lots of songbirds are common.   I've only been here a few days but know, from previous visits here, that deer and bobcats are seen fairly often.  This year there was a black bear and a week ago some of the volunteer work crew saw a mountain lion.  I don't have to worry walking in the inhabited part of the park, but will limit walks in the undeveloped areas, especially across the creek to times I have walking partners.  I am accustomed to this.  It's how it works at Yellowstone where bears are an issue for solo walkers.

Here are a few photos taken the last couple of days as well as some from when I stopped here last December.  Some of you may remember that I had an issue with the motorhome and getting the parts put me way too late to do the pre-holiday and holiday visiting I had planned.  So I came here and enjoyed a communal Christmas dinner and good company.
That's my site on the left with the white car.  It has a small deck.

View from a little further back.   The pile of granite rocks are typical of the area

View from the back of my lot.  My front window faces east for morning sun.  
This is another site, just to give an idea of how they are situated on the hills.

This is the clubhouse, which has a large kitchen, library, laundry, mail room, office, deck, and plenty of room for large activities.  I attended Mary and Elaine's wedding here several years ago, and have been here for large dinners, a melodrama, musical events and movies.

Landscape in the park.  Oaks and granite boulders.

Madrones, with their beautiful peeling red bark are also common in the park

A woodpecker stores acorns in an oak stump

The work of woodpeckers

View to the northeast.  It was an overcast day which resulted in a light rain.  We need a lot more.