Monday, February 24, 2020

Snowbird RV Adventure Part 1: Merced River to The Lakes in Chowchilla

Part 1: Days 17 - 21

A Union Pacific Train heading north near Merced.
November 20: We left Merced River five minutes before the 11:00 checkout time. We don't have far to go, so there's new hurry.

All the way down the Valley we've heard train whistles day and night. The tracks parallel Highway 99. Soon after leaving Merced, we saw a Union Pacific engine pulling a mixture of cars but no caboose. I sure miss seeing those iconic cars.

When we reached our off ramp in Chowchilla, we stopped at a Save Mart Supermarket. It's a local chain of stores that started in Modesto in 1952 and has expanded primarily in the Central Valley region. When we finished shopping, we walked next door to Taco El Grullense for our first meal out since Travis.

The Lakes RV and Golf Resort Clubhouse from a lakefront RV site.

Just a mile east on Highway 26 we reached our destination, the Lakes RV and Golf Resort. Like the shopping center, it was built as a planned community of upscale homes, the Pheasant Run Golf Course, the Final Round Bar and Grill and an RV park where you can purchase or rent sites. Each overnight stay comes with free golf if you want it.

Site #78 with full hookups, privacy hedges, trees and patios.

We settled into Site #78 with blue skies and warm temperatures to end the day outdoors.

November 21-23: On our second night, we walked over to the 18-hole Pheasant Run Golf Course to have dinner at the Final Round Restaurant.

The Pheasant Run Golf Course and Final Round Restaurant in Chowchilla.

 Our plan was to stay here at The Lakes for four nights. Two things changed our mind. First, we really like the quiet laid back atmosphere at this luxury RV resort. It's a rare find in the Central Valley. Secondly, the weather forecast is for rain and even snow new week. We decided to cancel our campsite reservation at San Luis Reservoir and extend our stay here an additional day.

Football Saturday on the road with a built-in TV.
To celebrate, we walked to the Final Round Bar and Grill for a steak dinner. On Saturday, we used the free cable for college football including the USC vs. UCLA game.

November 24: We used our extra day wisely, relaxing. That's what this Snowbird RV Adventure is all about, in addition to exploring and reliving good memories of course.

We'll be back here at The Lakes on our trip north in April for sure! -- Wayne and Margy
Trip Mileage Log
Leg - 38 miles
Total - 1074 miles

Here's a picture of my kitchen. It's complete but compact. The burners have a folding cover, but it isn't a flat surface. To the left of the sink is a flip-up counter, but it blocks the exit door when in use.

They do sell a cover for the sink, but when I'm preparing meals I always need to use it to wash foods or rinse utensils. Plus, to order one through Forest River was expensive.

My solution was a 15x21" wood cutting board. Mine came raw, so I spent a few days curing it with mineral oil from the drug store. It's food grade, easy to find and doesn't get rancid over time.

My kitchen work surface with the extension and chopping board in place.

It's perfect to cover the burners on top of my Furrion stove. When I need to use the burners, I just lift it off. It really comes in handy when preparing meals and for cleanup afterwards.

When we are traveling, I slip it under the mattress so it doesn't slide around and become a dangerous projectile.

What are some of your space utilization strategies in an RV? 


  1. Replies
    1. Each leg is like a new trip, especially when we can spend three or more nights in one spot. - Margy

  2. I'd opt for the extra day at the RV resort, too. Hope you're snug and warm in all this rain. Happy Thanksgiving to you. :-)

    1. We've been plenty warm inside the RV. At night we have a propane heater that runs on a thermostat. During the day we use an electric ceramic to save our propane. Since we are at a site with electric hookups, that works well. - Margy

  3. not sure we could survive that closeness!

    1. Wayne and I have lived in small spaces, condos, our float cabin, a 24' cabin cruiser and now the 25' RV. We are used to compact living so it isn't hard. - Margy

  4. I've never traveled by RV! How fun and exciting! I would certainly love the experience. Bucket list item!

    1. I highly recommend giving it a try. We started with a rental. That way if you don't like it, there isn't a large investment. - Margy

  5. You have an enjoyable accommodation! :)

  6. I would love to follow you on one of your tours. Must be very interesting and exciting.

    1. They do have guided RV tours. We like to go at our own pace. - Margy

  7. Your adventures are so great to read about. It's the 'retirement' that everybody should enjoy :)

    Your link at 'My Corner of the World' this week is much appreciated!

    My Corner of the World

    1. I would not do well with a retirement where we stayed home (especially in a city) all the time. - Margy


Thanks for stopping by. Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome. - Margy