Totally fed up with Thousand Trails' lies, misrepresentation and deplorable living conditions, while living in another parking lot and without sewer, satellite or cell phone service, no Wi-Fi and unable to cook on our charcoal grill outside (all billed as amenities of the campground) we opted to forfeit 8 of the 14 days we already had on reservation there and moved our motor home about 175 miles north to Eagle Lake RV Park, just 26 miles north of Susanville in California. Susanville is a small but quite commercial town of 15,000 and change, but it has just about everything that most larger cities have; all the stores, restaurants, hospital, a community college and even the High Desert State Prison nearby. To Eagle Lake about 26 miles to the north there are two ways to get there and each takes you through two different ecosystems: the flatter and more desert-like with rock-laden hills and dry, parched yellow valleys with few trees, and the mountainous, pine-filled forest environments with steep climbs, deep descents and narrow roads with snake curves from point A to point B. Eagle Lake (the part where this campground is located is actually the western part of the Eagle Lake area, which due to the vast draught that California is suffering from has left at least 1/2 of this lake area low and dry. Even the wet part where water still stands is only 6" to 2 feet deep. Thus the draw that this location. And campground cater to, namely camping and fishing, is vastly reduced. As such, this campground is very empty of campers. Out of 90 total campsites (65 for RVs and 25 for tents) we counted only about 10 campers here (no tents), as campers who come for the fishing and active lake environment go to the southern part of Eagle Lake as that area is still up to 75 feet deep. However, even there the tourism is suffering due to an abundance of plankton (natural fish food) this year which has stuffed the fish's diet and thus keeps them less willing to bite at lures. Sad as it is for those that depend on the tourism, we have really enjoyed the peace and quiet here. We came for 3 days with our Passport America membership at 50% of the $36.00 daily rate for the first 3 days, and decided to extend our stay an additional 4 days. There are some things to do and go see but we are in no hurry to leave the park, as it is so beautiful and calm here, with full hookups (50Amp electric, water, sewer) plus cable, Wi-Fi, game lodge, clean restrooms and showers, and the most complete and organized convenience store we have ever seen in a campground. Also we can cook on our charcoal grill outside, and have a fire in our fire ring, neither which was allowed at the TT Snowflower CG in Emigrant Gap.
We were luckily given the best campsite in the park, towards the back so it's shady, yet allows the satellite dish to hit the satellites. There are trees for shade, but not so many and so close together that one can't see through them. Actually, from our campsite we can even see the watery part of the lake, the rest of the campground and the abundant wildlife of this area.
Funny story... Our first night we are tucked in for the night watching TV at about 11:30pm when we feel the motor home rocking a bit as if something was pushing on it. Immediately we figured on a bear who may have smelled food in the coach, but Bill went outside to check and no wildlife around (beside himself). Then, when going to bed it hit us... Could it have been an earthquake? Checked it on www.earthquaketrack.com and sure enough by the time felt... a 4.5 and a 4.0 a few hours later, about 5-6kms depth in Janesville, which is about 13 miles south of Susanville. Researching it here are the statistics:
- 13 earthquakes today
- 114 earthquakes in the past 7 days
- 339 earthquakes in the past month
- 3511 earthquakes in the past year
- With the strongest being a 4.7 magnitude, in Bayside California.
- The largest earthquake in Northern California this week was 4.5 Magnitude, in Janesville, California.
So apparently earthquakes are a part of daily life here, most of which are barely noticeable. At least we don't have to worry about the roof falling in on us.
We have not seen any large wildlife here yet, (except about 10 deer under a tree, on our way to shop in Susanville). What was exciting about that is that among them there was 1 big BUCK. You can see his antlers in the photo. Bucks are seldom seen out and about in the middle of the day. Yet we are told that there are mountain lions (Cougars... NOT the human kind, though they may be around here too), black bears, deer, and smaller mammals to be found in the area. The only grizzly bear in California now resides on their flag. Of the smaller mammals we have many Chipmunks (Chippers, as Mary calls them) which are all over the campground and all around our campsite, are not the least bit shy about our presence. So much so that we have even hand fed them (they are very gentle and take the food gently from the fingers) and we taught them to take a malted milk ball off of a Coke can without tipping over the can. The jury is still out as to which they like better... 'Whoppers' or Yogurt covered malted balls. Actually, this trick came about when Bill left a malted milk ball on top of his Coke can (on the table) with our German Shepard dog "Rex" standing guard next to it when we walked to the office to extend our stay and when we came back the malted milk ball was gone with the Coke can and Rex undisturbed. So we put the can with a malted milk ball on top of it on the ground and got the camera ready to see if they would do it again... and they did. Another funny story as to these crafty devils: The camp owners told us that they no longer have food items on the lower shelves of the store because the Chipmunks like to sneak into the store when customers walk in and dart to the candy on the lower shelves, grab one and dart right back out before the door closes again. I guess they are not aware that if a table does not stop them from getting their treat, a second shelf won't hinder them either. We were warned not to leave our coach door open as they have been known to let themselves into it looking for food, now that they know who the patsies are.
As this was the campsite where the owners stayed at while building this campground, our campsite is the only one with a little grass garden and a birdbath and a bird house, which were visited by various birds finding it empty. So we filled the bird bath up with fresh water and suddenly the news spread and we had all species of birds coming for a drink and a bath. Even the bees seemed to like it and they played nice with the birds (and us) so we all loved it. The camp owners were so nice that they even separated Campsite #17 (we are in #16) for us to park Edith, keeping her in the shade without giving up any of our campsite which is wonderful, in the shade under our awning. Unfortunately this morning another large motor home came by and wanted Mary to move her car from the site next to us (#17) where Edith has been parked. Imagine that! Of all the spaces available to use in this very vacant campground, they wanted to park next to us. Being as nice as Mary is, she agreed to move Edith, until... Bill pointed out that in doing so they were going to block our view of the lake completely, so she went out again and politely explained that such a plan would not work out for us and asked then to go elsewhere away from us, which they did.
We plan to stay here until Wednesday August 10th and are currently planning our next place to visit and stay at. IF we have Wi-Fi availability there as well, we shall update our blog with a new post. Otherwise we shall do so the next time we get Wi-Fi to get another post into the blog. Here are some photos (and a video of the Chipmunk) of our stay at Eagle Lake RV Park and the Susanville area.
Grilling hamburgers for dinner...
Even the bees liked the bird bath getting filled with water.
Edith is happy. She has her own parking space.
'Chip' eating one of Mary's Yogurt covered Malted Milk Balls (and liking it.)
A different chipmunk with a striped face and all kinds of birds and small wildlife...
He just took a nut from Bill's hand.
Just before he grabbed the malted milk ball (see video below at end).
Mary grilling some steaks from Costco. Mmm!
Sorry for the shaking camera at the end. We just couldn't stop laughing.