Road Trip Spot #6 – Pine Mountain Club, CA

Today was another moving day. We slept in a little and left Spot #5 in Anaheim at noon. This wasn’t our first time at Anaheim RV Park and the stay there was right in line with our previous stays. It’s in the city and there’s some traffic making noise (and sometimes police or news helicopters too), but it feels safe and the RV park is nice. It’s pricey for a full hookup site, but not compared to what hotels cost around the area. The staff is really nice and the amenities are a nice touch (pay laundry, free coffee & muffins, pool, hot tub). We’d definitely stay there again.

Here’s our Spot #5b (Anaheim RV Park spot #171) as we were getting ready to leave.

Traffic leaving LA was pretty much horrible. I-5 and I-405 were both clobbered with bumper-to-bumper brake lights, but we eventually made it out of the LA basin. Seriously, where was everyone going at noon on Saturday? Anyway, escape velocity from LA was achieved.

On our drive to the next spot, we stopped by a few stores in Santa Clarita, CA to do some resupplying. Parking lot planning is a big deal with dragging a travel trailer with you. There are some parking lots that work really well and some that are horrible. We learned today to avoid the Sprouts in Santa Clarita when you’re pulling a travel trailer. It’s a fairly big parking lot, but it was jam packed (granted, Saturday mid-day) and the flow of the parking lot doesn’t work for something with a giant turn radius. On top of that, everyone else in the parking lot was annoyed by our unwieldy rig lumbering around. Not. Fun.

Sadly, there was a really bad vehicle rollover accident with at least one fatality that closed the road to our next spot for several hours. We had a conversation with the kids about how dangerous cars can be, but we don’t know any specifics on the accident. The Los Padres National Forest Service rep that was there helping with traffic flow did an awesome job keeping people informed and at a safe distance.

It was a serious drive to our Spot #6: Pine Mountain Club Campground. The road from I-5 up to Pine Mountain Club was way steeper and more twisty than I expected. Normally when the road signs say “trucks use low gear,” they mean don’t be in overdrive. Not this time. This time, they meant “USE FIRST GEAR ONLY!!!!” There were some really steep sections with sharp curves that kept us from going faster than about 30 mph. I messed up and had the truck in 2nd — which wasn’t enough to keep me from getting my brakes really hot (REALLY HOT). After a couple of constant-brake sections, I had to pull over to let the brakes cool for about 20 minutes. Not cool.

Next time, I’m doing that road in first gear at 15-20mph. A diesel truck with an engine brake sure would be nice too.

Once things chilled a little and I decided that 1st gear was where it’s at, we finished the drive to our meeting spot with Tanya’s second cousin Linda and her husband Chris. I explained my slowness and we continued on to the campground. They graciously reserved the one campsite with full hookups for us.

Much like the road in, the campground was not meant for big travel trailers. It took a team planning meeting, a five-point turn in a 3-way single-width campground intersection (dodging mountain drop-offs and trees), and two spotters to make it into the campsite. The new Haloview wireless backup camera helped a ton too. I’m sure the tent campers were laughing at us with our stupidly-big clamping setup, but we made it happen and the campsite’s awesome. The photo at the top of the post is our spot at Pine Mountain Club Campground.

We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening at Linda & Chris’ house. It has an amazing view overlooking the valley from it’s tree-nestled perch. They cooked a wonderful tri-tip dinner and we had a great time catching up. We looked through some of Chris’ outstanding photos of the local area (bears!) and another one of our planned road trip stops. The stars were gorgeous from their house too.

Sophia decided that she was staying at their house, so (after much drawing and coloring) she stayed there while Cameron, Tanya and I went back to the trailer. The campsite was pitch black and peaceful. We have no planned wakeup time tomorrow, soooooo….goodnight.

Author: bryan

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