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SKP Park Sierra and SKP Timber Valley Co-Op Parks


wa_desert_rat

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Our winter "shakedown" cruise had a major hiccup beginning on the second day. We got off to a blistering start the first morning when we left the driveway at the crack of noon with the intention of staying at the SKP co-op in Sutherlin, OR. We gave up in Albany on a dark and rainy night at a nice rest area. The next morning the engine would not turn over. Nada. Called Coachnet and spent the next 5 days (over the New Year) parked next to a repair outfit. At least they had 30-amp for free but no dump and no water.

 

Those five days threw a monkey-wrench into our plans of boondocking in AZ. So we mooched southwards aiming more-or-less for Indio where we could at least get some desert time. But calculating travel times (and fuel costs) I figured that we'd only have 4 days of boondocking in the desert before we'd have to turn around and head for home (in WA).

 

I was mulling over our options when, at some point just south of Stockton on I-5, I saw a highway sign that mentioned "Yosemite" and suddenly remembered that there is an Escapee co-op park somewhere near Yosemite. A few minutes on the cell phone and we were on US 99 headed SE towards the exit that would lead us to Coarsegold, CA.

 

SKP Park Sierra is unlike any RV park we've ever been in; without the lines of RVs parked in sites slanted all in one direction and all more-or-less similar in size and shape. The sites at Park Sierra are molded into the hillsides (this is the "hilliest" RV park I've ever seen so there are LOTS of hillsides!); each with its own character, view, shape, size, etc. We were guided into our pull-through site by a park volunteer (almost everything is done by park volunteers) just before the daylight failed and were quickly hooked up to 50-amp electricity at a well-maintained pedestal that also offered 20-A and 30-A and cable TV.. Just behind the pedestal was a WiFi access point. Next to the pedestal were two pristine sewage receptacles (one straight and one slanted) and a covered, insulated, dual faucet water access.

 

The next morning we awoke to a sunny day with bluebirds and hummingbirds in the trees and flowering bushes all around us and we spent time in chairs on the patio enjoying our view across the valley in the sunshine and 70-degree temperature!

 

We had planned two nights... and ended up staying 10! Our plans for this shake-down had included Jeep trails, mountain bike trails, and exploring old mines in the desert. It turned out that all of those were available right there (okay... maybe not the desert. SKP Park Sierra has a terrific mountain bike trail on their own property (although they hadn't thought of it as a mountain bike trail) and the park itself makes terrific bicycle workout. Maybe a little more than terrific, come to think of it. It will whip you into shape, that's for sure.

 

Old gold mines accessed by 4wd Jeep trails, 49er towns, ghost towns all around and then there is Yosemite National Park only 30 miles away! But the nearby casino, alas, had closed "temporarily". All this plus a nearby town (Oakhurst) with supermarkets (even a Grocery Outlet), sporting goods, hardware stores, etc.

 

When it came time to leave we reluctantly unhooked and headed north to jobs and businesses. And a chance to - finally - visit the SKP park in Sutherlin, Oregon (Timber Valley) where we spent a quiet, very rainy, night. This park is perfectly situated for an overnight between CA locations and WA locations (if you include a stop at a casino or rest area somewhere in NoCal) and even features a big Shell fuel station only a few blocks away (easy in and out even with a toad). The next morning, walking over to the clubhouse (where someone had prepared coffee for Saturday buns and coffee) we saw deer casually walking between the sites and long-eared jackrabbits browsing the shrubbery. (This explains the tall fences around the gardens.) We would have loved to spend a few days here (and will next time).

 

We traveled the rest of the way home (400 miles) in one day and slept in our SnB last night for the first time since last year.

 

A shake down cruise is supposed to be long enough to uncover defects in the operation of the "vessel" but in this case it also revealed new possibilities for RV travel using SKP parks. Clean, spacious, friendly, well-priced, and well maintained parks in locations that make it easy to explore the area before moving on. And new ideas for long-term living and RVing in the future.

 

My wife, who had no real idea of what Escapees was before this trip, is enthusiastic about the club and spent a lot of time in the motor home reading literature and information.

 

What a great idea!

 

WDR

 

 

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WDR, Couldn't agree with you more! Park Sierra is really nice park. I love the way they have utilized the trees and hills! No two sites the same! Very enjoyable. We also like Timber Valley. Can't believe all the wildlife they have. We had the deer and the turkeys. The walked around like they owned the place. Glad you enjoyed it. Dennis

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Glad you had a good recovery from a rough start. For sure, remaining flexible to on the fly changes, will allow you to turn problems into opportunities!

 

We are POS members, so a bit biased, and concur it is a unique park in both layout and style. And, location, location, location.

 

Have not hit the Oregon or Washington parks, yet, but I can also suggest you make a visit to Jojoba Hills Coop too.

 

Salute to you both, for not letting our opportunities of challenges at the start, ruin your trip!

 

Best,

Smitty

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I agree with all the comments of SKP Park Sierra.

 

We had a great time and stayed there for almost a month.

 

http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/02/eastman-lake-coe-madera-california.html

 

If you are in the area this check out this COE area. Great place and not to far from the SKP park. Worth a visit if only to go hiking for the day.

 

http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/02/eastman-lake-coe-madera-california.html

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If you are in the area this check out this COE area. Great place and not to far from the SKP park. Worth a visit if only to go hiking for the day.

 

http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/02/eastman-lake-coe-madera-california.html

We have enjoyed COE parks in the past but up here they close them down at Labor Day and don't open them until Memorial Day... and the reservations are all filled by January 2nd! So our only chance is mid-week and even then the parks (all of them between Pasco and Lewiston). Even so, they are usually crowded and busy but we are often in the mood for that with our own little crowd of kids and grandkids and bicycles. (Even though we both bicycle a lot, the hills of PS had us doing a hike-a-bike more frequently than usual.)

 

We did go through Madera on the way up to Park Sierra but didn't know it was there. Even so, PS is such a sweet spot...

 

Wish we had known you guys were in the area...

 

WDR

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