Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ghost Mountain



About a year ago we join a membership RV campground group known as Colorado River Adventures. This is a group of campgrounds where we can stay free of charge (after giving them a wad of money up front), mostly in Southern California and Arizona. Shortly after we joined, they acquired a campground halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe known as Ghost Mountain Ranch Resort. It is located in Pollock Pines, a wide spot along Highway 50, 10 miles east of Placerville.

This is an RV park that has apparently been around for many years and had become rather dilapidated. It is built on the site where they shot the old television show "The Virginian" and the set for the town is apparently still standing and is referred to as the "ghost town", I guess because it sounds better than "the ghost movie set". They have been trying to fix the place up since they purchased it last summer with mixed success.

First the good news. They did a pretty nice job of fixing up the area around the swimming pool with a grassy lawn, new sidewalks, refurbished plaster and coping around the pool creating a fairly nice area to sit around and relax in the afternoon. They repaved the main road through the park so it's reasonably decent although it's only about 10 feet wide so keeping your motorhome on it is a bit of a challenge. And… and… Well that's about it really.

Now for the bad news. There are no full hookups, i.e. no sewer system. There is no store. There is no clubhouse or community facilities. There is no Internet access, no cable TV, no 50 amp electrical service. The first camping site that we pulled into, the ground was too soft to actually hold our motorhome. Our jacks dug holes in the loam. The park advertises horseback riding but there are no horses. While the road inside the park is newly paved, the semiprivate road to get to the front entrance is a little over a mile of potholes in aging asphalt too narrow for two RVs to pass each other. Heaven help you if you meet someone coming the other direction.

To make up for the lack of a sewer system, they are supposed to have a "honey bucket" service, basically a sewage truck that will come and empty your wastewater tanks. But it is apparently not working, so in the middle of the week we have to break camp and drive to the dump station at the entrance. Sort of a moderate pain in the butt (but hey, what else do we have to do?).

video
 At least it's not crowded


In short, they still have a lot of work to do here. Whether they intend to actually spend the money to do it is sort of an open question. In the meantime, the nicest part of staying here is that it is largely deserted. The park supposedly has spaces for 170 camping units but there are only about a dozen of us here at the moment. So it feels pretty roomy. That's a good thing since neither the bathrooms nor the laundry could possibly support 170 campers. (We actually have a washing machine in our Allegro but it is pretty much useless if you don't have a wastewater connection.)

When we bought our first Winnebago back in 1993, most places where you paid to park your RV were called "RV parks". If an RV park paid for significant improvements, like a clubhouse, spa, miniature golf course and playground for the kids, etc. they would call themselves a "resort" and charge an extra $10 a night. Then some genius figured out he could call his RV park a resort and charge the extra $10 without paying for any of the improvements and suddenly every RV facility in the country seems to have become a resort. Now we have this place that has essentially no amenities at all, calls itself a resort and they don't even get the extra 10 bucks.

Colorado River Adventures tries to have some kind of community activities/entertainment on the weekends where you can have a meal and mingle with your fellow campers. Here, the Saturday night entertainment was karaoke, that Japanese abomination where any no talent slob can be handed a microphone and pretend he is a rockstar. Take this guy for instance.



video



 Pathetic loser.

4 comments:

  1. I agree with your review. I am a CRA member and drove up here from Southern California to stayfor two weeks. I left as soon as I was able to get a reservation for the nearest TT resort.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am a car member also. We had read all the negative reviews and were hesitant to visit. Some friends had camped there and loved it. So we went there two weeks ago. The road to the campground is narrow but they have paved and put gravel on the roar. The roads inside the grounds have also been recoated and traveled. The check in was very pleasant, our site was nice and spacious. The sites do not have sewage so I signed up for the honey wagon to pump our waste. They come Monday,Wednesday and Friday, and you don't have to be there. It's free to members. The pool area is nice but the snack bar is limited in it's hours of operation. They have activities for everyone. The ice cream parlor is very clean and nice, I nad a banana split for $3 what a great deal. The new managers are doing a great job in making improvements and keeping things clean. We will be back next year. I highly recommend this place.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am a car member also. We had read all the negative reviews and were hesitant to visit. Some friends had camped there and loved it. So we went there two weeks ago. The road to the campground is narrow but they have paved and put gravel on the roar. The roads inside the grounds have also been recoated and traveled. The check in was very pleasant, our site was nice and spacious. The sites do not have sewage so I signed up for the honey wagon to pump our waste. They come Monday,Wednesday and Friday, and you don't have to be there. It's free to members. The pool area is nice but the snack bar is limited in it's hours of operation. They have activities for everyone. The ice cream parlor is very clean and nice, I nad a banana split for $3 what a great deal. The new managers are doing a great job in making improvements and keeping things clean. We will be back next year. I highly recommend this place.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am a car member also. We had read all the negative reviews and were hesitant to visit. Some friends had camped there and loved it. So we went there two weeks ago. The road to the campground is narrow but they have paved and put gravel on the roar. The roads inside the grounds have also been recoated and traveled. The check in was very pleasant, our site was nice and spacious. The sites do not have sewage so I signed up for the honey wagon to pump our waste. They come Monday,Wednesday and Friday, and you don't have to be there. It's free to members. The pool area is nice but the snack bar is limited in it's hours of operation. They have activities for everyone. The ice cream parlor is very clean and nice, I nad a banana split for $3 what a great deal. The new managers are doing a great job in making improvements and keeping things clean. We will be back next year. I highly recommend this place.

    ReplyDelete