Wednesday, February 29, 2012
usbackroads destination--Park of the Sierra's, Coarsegold, California
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We have been camped in the Park of the Sierra's since early February after leaving Black Butte Lake. The Park of the Sierra's is a private campground affiliated with the Escapees organization which touts itself as a TOTAL support network for RV'ers. If own an RV you might want belong to this organization. If your a full-timer RV'er you really SHOULD belong. Here is the link: Escapees.
The Escapees Discussion Forum. Great advice, great bunch of people on the forum. So good, we joined Escapees just to support the forum.
But there is more to Escapees than the forum. They run several Parks under various organizational umbrella's. So there are many different Escapees Campgrounds run under different management arrangements. The Park of the Sierra's is a CO-OP Park. You MUST be a member of Escapees to stay in one of the Parks.
Here is the link for Park of the Sierra's. The good news is that this is one of the nicest parks we have visited. The Park is great. The original co-op members did an outstanding job of laying out the park given the topography. It is more like a Forest Service campground than a RV park. Full hookups, of course and a club house complete with library, internet access, and various activities.
We were pleased with all the bird life inside the Park. Bring your binoculars and field guides. From hummingbirds all the way to Hawks. Lots of birds, including many, many woodpeckers. I am surprised that they did not name it Woody Woodpecker Park. If your into birding, late winter and early spring the Park is full of a wide variety of birds.
There is a dog run that Bugaboo and Snowpatch really enjoyed during their stay here. The initial greeting from the resident dogs was less than friendly, but it was all for show. The crew got along real well, and the human companions were great company. For large dogs, like Bugaboo the crossing over Coarsegold Creek offers an isolated area that they can stretch their legs. The crossing is only slightly wet.
The only downside for Bugaboo was all those noxious weeds. We did end up shaving his tail to remove the burs he picked up on the "Mexican" side of the border. See photograph above. Click to enlarge if necessary.
With the topography in the Park, parking that RV can be a challenge. Well, this is a good place to practice your parking skills. Plenty of time and patience to get it just right. A very nice park. Not much downside INSIDE the Park. The only downside was no internet access at the campsite. So Susie's IPHONE hotspot got quite the work out this month. Hopefully, all that time was under 5 gigs.
It is just off Highway 41. A very busy highway. From Fresno, call the Park for directions and stay in that left turn lane no matter how many people are honking at you!!! Coming from Yosemite and Highway 49 north, CALL the Park. That right hand turn...well you do not want to try it without some warning!! It is an adventure WITHOUT the tow vehicle.
Our other disappointment was the steepness of the public roads around the Park. The electric bikes pretty much were used in Yosemite Valley and inside the Park. The narrow shoulders and high speeds on the county and state highways made bicycling a suicidal endeavor.
For our tastes. Fresno was too large. Oakhurst was too busy. However, see all our postings since February and they were all made with Park Sierra as a home base.
You can join the co-op at Park Sierra and get your own camping spot. There is currently a waiting list for available sites.
If you have never been a member of a co-op click on this: Rochdale Principles. While a student at the University of California at Berkeley in the late 60's and early 70's I belonged to the student housing co-op. And it being Berkeley they were the roachdale principles. And it was a definite case of the inmates running the asylum. But hey, we did not know how nuts we were!! Well, I had a clue...Destination: America
Living in a co-op is not for everybody. My parents were born into a variation on co-ops in 1917 and it ended VERY BADLY for them. However, I still belong to credit unions and the REI co-op. And the student co-op at Berkeley was cheap enough that I could afford to pay for half my college education by working summers for Smokey. I found that I just needed to be "somewhat" removed from the day to day of living in a co-op.
So stay at a co-op park for month or so. Talk to the residents. Attend the Board of Directors meetings. Decide if living the co-op lifestyle matches with your personality and needs. Be honest with yourself. Co-op living is not for everyone.
The idealism meets head on with human nature in the co-ops and there is no place to hide. And those idealistic folks, well sometimes it is about their THEIR idealism not YOURS!! So remember so many things look so good in theory.
That said we do enjoy staying in the escapees co-op parks. It reminds me of my university days.
Posted by Vladimir Steblina at 8:36 AM