Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CONTENTS

The "highlighted" link is the one most recently modified.




WORKAMPING WITHOUT A TOW CAR


SIGHTSEEING -
      
Locations with Good Public Transit - added taxi service in Rawlins, Wyoming.  


Places Where You Can Bike or Walk  -

Stories from Others Who Don't Tow a Car 

EMERGENCIES and Creative Situations -

Enterprise Rental Car


LOCATIONS WITH GOOD PUBLIC TRANSIT SERVICE

New additions will be shown at the top in green, then later moved down to alphabetical order, by State, then by city.

MASS TRANSIT


WYOMING

RAWLINS, WYOMING

There are basically three campgrounds  in Rawlins, Wyoming.  I stayed at Western Hills Campground in Rawlins, Wyoming in late April 2014, with the intention of staying one night and moving on.  However, due to a wind storm, I ended up staying four nights.  The three campgrounds are on one end of town, the shopping area is at the other end of town, not withing walking distance.  It was too windy to ride my EGO bike.  I got desperate to get out and go somewhere.  So, I did some googling and found out there is actually a taxi service in Rawlins, Carbon County Cab (307-324-9442).  So, I called and got a ride for $8 to the grocery store.  They came within 20 minutes after I called, picked me up at the campground.  When I was ready to call them back for a return ride, I noticed another taxi service picking up other passengers at the same grocery store (City Market, which is part of the Kroger chain).  This one did not show up when I did a google search, but it is also in Rawlins.  S&W Taxi at 307-324-9466.  I used them to go back to the RV park.  They charged $7 per ride.  

CALIFORNIA

EUREKA, CA

I have to tell you, Eureka, CA is NOT RV friendly.  Don't even try to shop in your RV in Eureka.  The access points to all the parking lots for "big box" stores have this "dip" that causes you to scrape bottom.  I scraped bottom at Rite Aid because I parked there take my EGO bike to a repair shop two blocks away.  Also, I tried to go to Costco and had the same problem, scraping bottom when I tried to get into the parking lot.  I did see a WinCo Foods that looked promising for parking next time I come here (when I pick my bike up), or, I may just set up in an RV park and take a taxi to the bike repair place, then ride the bike back to the RV park.  

COLORADO

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
These three RV parks are very close together (within a five mile range), and all three of them are located on Mountain Metropolitan Transit Route #3:

Fountain Creek RV Park - Colorado Springs, near shops, banks, and restaurants
Garden of the Gods Campground - in Colorado Springs, Colorado (very close to Manitou Springs)
Pikes Peak RV Park & Campground - in Manitou Springs, very close to shops

I stayed at Garden of the Gods Campground and I rode three of the bus routes. The online schedules don't publish "transfer" information to other buses, and the downtown transfer terminal didn't have any printed schedules. Maybe they want to save paper by not having these. However, there was a kiosk where you could map out your trip, but it wasn't real user friendly to me. On the good side, the downtown terminal did have employees who could direct you to what buses you need to take, so that was helpful.

TOWAOC/CORTEZ, CO
If you stay at Sleeping Ute Mountain RV Park in Towaoc, Colorado; the casino has an hourly shuttle that will take you to Cortez (10 miles away) for any needs. Although I did have a nice overnite stay at the RV park, I didn't personally try out the shuttle. I'm just noting that it is there.

I D A H O
COEUR D'ALENE, ID
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho has become quite the resort town. The city has a small transit service called "City Link" that can take you up and down the main part of town, or to other nearby points in Idaho, such as the Coeur d' Alene Casino in Worley, Idaho. Guess what, it's FREE!!! If you stay at River Walk RV Park , you can catch the City Link bus three blocks away at the Riverwalk Transfer Station.

O R E G O N
TILLAMOOK COUNTY, OR
If you stay at RV Parks along Highway 101 in Tillamook County, Oregon (anywhere from Pacific City, south of Tillamook, to Cannon Beach, north of Tillamook), you can ride a bus anywhere up and down Highway 101 between these locations. Here is the route schedule: http://www.tillamookbus.com/route-schedules.htm . Keep in mind, depending on the location, there are only 3-6 routes a day, daytime hours, and Monday through Saturday. However, within the city of Tillamook, there are many "town loop" routes during the day for sightseeing (such as, the Tillamook Cheese Factory within Tillamook. I stayed at one RV park south of Tillamook, Pleasant Valley RV Park that had a bus stop at the entry way. I did not get an opportunity to try out the bus line, I am just noting that it is available.

NORTH CAROLINA
RALEIGH, NC
TRIANGLE TRANSIT operates in Raleigh, NC.  I checked the web site and Triangle Transit appears to have frequent service to most places you might want to go to.  I did not get an opportunity to ride the transit system, however. 

MINNESOTA

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN

If you stay at Red River State Recreation Area  in East Grand Forks, you are right in the middle of downtown East Grand Forks.  You can walk a brisk short distance and catch Cities Area Transit (CAT)     Bus Route 11  in front of Cabela's and ride around the area.

OREGON

CURRY COUNTY/GOLD BEACH, OR


If you stay in one of the many fine parks in Gold Beach, OR, you can ride  Curry Public Transit from the park you are staying, in to Gold Beach.   However, the service is rather limited.  If you are staying in an RV Park outside Gold Beach, the Dial A Ride will pick you up at 9:30 at the earliest, and you can get a return ride back to your park at 2:00 PM at the latest.  The Dial A Ride will pick you up at your RV site.  But.... this service only runs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday (not Thursday or weekends).  The Coastal Express will take you up and down Highway 101 from North Bend, OR, all the way down to Smith River, CA and runs Monday - Friday.

With the limited schedule, it's impossible to use the transit system to "spend a day" away from Gold Beach.  Just to go to Brookings, you would have Dial A Ride pick you up at 9:30, then you can ride the Coastal Express at 10:00 and arrive in Brookings at 10:45.  But, you would have to return  on the 11:15 bus back up to Gold Beach to catch a Dial A Ride back to your RV site.  If you miss the 11:15 bus from Brookings, there isn't another bus until 3:00, which is too late to get a Dial A Ride in Gold Beach.  Not a problem if your RV park is in town.  But if you are staying in an RV park outside of town, you can have the Coastal Express drop you off along Highway 101 and you can walk back to your park.  

Another option if you are staying at a park outside Gold Beach ( Turtle Rock Resort, for example, 1.5 miles south of Gold Beach), is that you can get on Curry Public Transit by walking 3/4 of a mile to Highway 101, and standing on Highway 101 and flagging them down.  If you do this, you need to call the phone number shown on the website and let them know you are doing this.  You could go Northbound as early as 7:45 AM and as late as 3:30 PM, or Southbound as early as 10:15 AM or as late as 5:30 PM.

If you plan carefully, you can use Dial A Ride to get most anything you might need in Gold Beach.

On the other hand, there are two places in Brookings and one place in Gold Beach where you can rent a car.  

A.  BROOKINGS:  In Brookings, as of this writing, basically the prices are $39.95 a day (24 hour period) wir eth 50 miles included and 25 cents a mile charge for miles over 50; or $59.95 a day with unlimited miles.  One of the rental car places (Carpenter Auto) is located next door to where the Curry Public Transit drops you off in Brookings.  The other (Little Bay Motor Company) is a ways down Highway 101.  It's not a drop off place for Curry Public Transit, but you can request to be dropped off there.  Curry Public Transit is pretty flexible about "stops" as long as the "stop" is on the route.  (I used Carpenter Auto because of their proximity to the Curry Public Transit drop off point.) 

B.  GOLD BEACH  The Port of Gold Beach  has two cars and rents them for $25 a day and 25 cents a mile, there is no option for unlimited miles.  However, the pricing at the Port is not based on 24 hour periods, it's based on "days."  For example, if you pick up a car at 10:00 AM on Monday and return it at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, you will pay $50 (plus 25 cents a mile), not $25, even though it's a 24 hour period.  The rationale is that you had the car on two different days.  So, pick it up as early as possible on pick up day and return it as late as possible on return day, it doesn't really matter.  Port of Gold Beach will not do "turnaround" rentals.  For example, if you are returning a car on, say, Tuesday morning, the Port will not re-rent the car to someone else the same day.  

I recommend using Port rentals for local travel around Gold Beach (use Dial A Ride to pick up the car).  For trips farther out, I recommend taking Curry Public Transit down to Brookings and renting a car down there. 



W A S H I N G T O N
LONG BEACH, WA
If you stay at Andersens RV Resort, you will be staying right on the dunes! However, this park is a few miles out of town. Pacific Transit has daytime only service on Monday - Friday, limited service on Saturday, and no service on Sunday.
If you stay at either Driftwood RV Park or Sand Castle RV Park , you will be right in town, along Highway 101, close to most businesses. At Driftwood, you are a couple blocks, very short walk, from the beach. At Sand Castle, you can still walk to the beach, but it's a bit farther, more of a "brisk" walk. For both RV parks, there are some places within walking distance, other places are a "brisk walk," and you can take Pacific Transit for anything else you might need in Long Beach. I have stayed at both parks previously.

OCEAN SHORES, WA
I camp hosted at Ocean City State Park near Ocean Shores, WA during December 2010.  Grays Harbor Transit has service between Ocean Shores and Aberdeen, but it's at limited times.  However, to just go to Ocean Shores, you can stand outside the entrance to the State Park and flag down any bus going between North Beach Casino and Ocean Shores.  You just stand there and wave, and the bus will stop for you.  The Dispatcher told me to use the"Ocean Shores Chance a la Mer" column and subtract 15 minutes.  

Alternatively, you can walk to Ocean Shores, if you are up to it.  It's a 1.5 mile walk. 

PORT TOWNSEND, WA

JEFFERSON COUNTY TRANSIT operates in Port Townsend, WA.  You can take Jefferson County Transit to most locations in the Olympic Peninsula area. You can travel and transfer to the following bus systems to go around the Olympic Peninsula:

Clallam Transit  for travel to Sequim, Port Angeles, and Forks
Grays Harbor Transit for travel to Aberdeen and Ocean Shores
Kitsap Transit  for travel to Bainbridge Island, Kingston, and Bremerton
Mason Transit for travel to Shelton and Olympia
Island Transit for travel via Washington State Ferries to Coupeville, WA

I went from Port Townsend (Jefferson County) to Port Angeles, (Clallam County) and it only cost me $3.75 for the whole trip!  Driving a car would have cost much more!

The  JEFFERSON COUNTY TRANSIT website has a Trip Planner that you can use as a guide.  However, I wouldn't depend completely on it for inter county transportation, just use it as a guide.  Consult the individual county transit schedules and plan accordingly.  The trip planner assumes the closet transfer, even if it's ONE MINUTE.  One minute is too close for my comfort. I used the suggestions given by the trip planner and ultimately needed two bus drivers to intervene because the transfer was too close.  The trip planner suggested I do the following for a trip from Port Townsend to Port Angeles:

11:35 AM, take Jefferson Transit Route 11B to Haines Park & Ride to transfer to Route 8
11:45 AM, take Route 8 to Sequim
12:45 PM, take Clallam  Transit Route 30 to Port Angeles

I boarded the Route 11B at 11:45 AM, only to have the driver tell me the transfer was "too close" and I would miss it by 2 minutes.  Route 8 to Sequim has infrequent service (every 2 hours or so).  The very nice bus driver for Route 11B radioed the driver of Route 8 and asked him to wait.  The gracious Route 8 driver agreed to wait.  As a result, I had a pleasant trip to Port Townsend.  My thanks to those two drivers! 

For my return trip, the Trip Planner suggested the following:

3:40 PM take Clallam Transit Route 30 to Sequim
4:20 PM take Jefferson Transit Route 8 to Port Townsend Haines Park & Ride
5:30 PM take Jefferson Transit Route 11B back to my destination

Instead of taking the 3:40 bus, I decided to leave at 3:10.  Good thing!  Route 101 had an accident which slowed down traffic, to include the bus I was on.  Had I taken the 3:40 bus, I would have been 5 minutes late for transferring to Route 8, which ran infrequently (about every 2 to 2.5 hours). 



Again, use the Trip Planner on the Jefferson Transit web site as a guide, but check each transit system schedule and plan accordingly.  With some good planning, you can have a pleasant trip from Port Townsend to most places in the Olympic Peninsula using Public Transportation!  Or you can just use Jefferson Transit to travel around Port Townsend! 

SPOKANE, WA
Park Lane Motel and RV Park is located on Sprague Avenue on a bus line with frequent daily service to downtown Spokane. The initial bus you would need to take is #90. Check here for schedules for Bus Route 90: ( http://www.spokanetransit.com/ridesta/routesschedules.asp ). This RV park location is also good if you wish to attend an event at the Spokane Fairgrounds.

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ZIPCAR -  This is an option I want to try one of these days. It's a car sharing service.  Costs appear to be cheaper than a rental car.  However, they are located only in VERY MAJOR cities, and not in locations I usually travel to.  But I do intend to try them one of these days!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ALTERNATE VEHICLES


WAYS TO GET AROUND WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A TOW CAR
ELECTRIC BIKE/SCOOTER
EGO
I own an electric bike that I bought from a company currently located in California ( www.egovehicles.com ). I ordered it straight from them. (NOTE:  This company had temporarily gone out of business, but is now back in business, headquartered in Atascadero, CA!)  However, you MAY be able to get this bike locally if your city has a VESPA scooter dealer. VESPA Scooter dealers may carry the EGO bikes. This bike has two speeds, FAST and FAR. Fast goes about... 25 mph, more or less. FAR goes about 15 mph, more or less. The bike will go up to 25 miles on a charge. The great thing about this bike is that the charging cord is the cord from a desktop computer! When I got my bike, I called the EGOVEHICLE company and asked, and they said, indeed it was! I happen to have two extra cords from old computers, so now I have a total of three cords to use for charging cords.
Most of the parts on this scooter are bicycle parts. Replacement parts can be obtained at bicycle shops. But I do want to make one recommendation on the tires:

1. If the front tire goes flat or has any other problems, any bike shop can fix that.
2. If the rear tire has problems, you should take it to an authorized dealer, because fixing the rear tire involves messing with the drive belt. Bike shops aren't qualified to deal with this.
The best thing about this bike is that, in most states it does not require a license. (Check with your state to be sure.) My state indicated it's considered the same as a Segway, no license required.
One negative thing about this bike is that it does not do well on gravel or dirt roads. Since the bike uses regular bicycle parts, you may be able to get around this by using mountain bike tires, but I'm not sure if there are any that fit this bike.

On one of my trips, I had to take my cat to the vet on this bike! Kitty did not appreciate the ride. I put kitty in his carrier, put the carrier perpendicular to the foot rest area, and then I had to "hug" the carrier with my legs to hold it in place, and ride that way. Kitty howled the whole way, but I got him there.

As of 2014, I have owned this bike for ten years.  The battery finally went POOF, plus I had some minor issues I wanted fixed.  Luckily, I was in Gold Beach, OR, which just happened to be 137 miles from Eureka, CA, which had an authorized repair place, Henderson Center Bicycles.  They did a good job of replacing my battery, which was the largest cost, plus some other minor repairs I needed, about $600 worth of work.  My bike is practically new again!  

EVT
This is another electric scooter. I'm not as familiar with these. ( http://www.evtworld.com/scooters.html ) You would need a sturdy carrier on the back of the RV to carry these. Like the EGO, it would not require a license in most states, but check with your state just to be sure.


LIBERTY BIKES
Here is another type of electric scooter. ( http://iloveebikes.com/ ) It appears that some of these models can be folded up, and some would need a sturdy carrier on the back of the RV. I'm  not sure about licensing for the larger models.  Check with your state just to be sure.

LICENSING REQUIREMENTS:

My current state, Washington, does not require a license for electric scooters. I did run into one "snag" in North Dakota in 2012.  North Dakota law REQUIRES all scooters, gas or electric, to be titled and licensed.  
 
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These bikes require a sturdy carrier on the back of the RV. The EVT is heavier than the EGO, so the carrier used will have to keep weight limits in mind. The carrier I am currently using is a Blue OX carrier, with a ramp that tilts. Although this carrier appears to have been made for handicapped scooters, such as "Hoverround," etc., it works for my bike. Further, the entire carrier folds up when I take the bike off the carrier. Why did I select this particular bike carrier? The RV dealer got it for me. Here is what happened: Previously, I had a 30 foot RV with a very nice heavy duty carrier that did NOT "fold up." I currently store my RV in a covered storage area meant for 30 foot RV's, but the carrier caused the RV to "stick out at the end a little" in the storage area. The owner/manager of the storage area was ok with this, as long as I didn't stick out too far and cause people not to be able to drive around. When I traded for the RV you see in the picture (which is a 31 foot RV), I knew that the one extra foot, along with the heavy duty carrier I was using, was going to "push the envelope" with the owner/manager of the place where I store my RV, and I would have to pay more money and move to a longer storage area. So, I told the RV dealer that "making the deal" was contingent on them finding a solution to my "RV storage" problem. The dealer found this carrier, and threw it in the deal at no extra charge.

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GAS SCOOTERS - These require a license.

VESPA
These are great little scooters that get good gas mileage. ( http://www.vespausa.com/ ) However, you will need a sturdy carrier on the back of the RV to carry these.
PIAGGIO
Another great little scooter that get good gas mileage. ( http://www.piaggiousa.com/ ) However, you will need a sturdy carrier on the back of the RV to carry these.
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CONVERT AN EXISTING BIKE


At one RV park where I stayed, the camp hosts, Babe and Chris, converted a mountain bike to an electric bike using an E-Bike Kit.


The top picture is the Lithium battery they ordered from some place in China.  The bottom picture is the complete set up.  Chris said it was really easy to install.




OR.......... THIS ALTERNATE IDEA!

Just own an RV that is small enough to drive as a car (posted from one of the blog readers).
 
AND.......... HERE IS ANOTHER GREAT IDEA!

Would you believe......... used bumper cars from an amusement park can be made street legal if you put them on top of motorcycle motors?





Yes, you read  that right; these little beasties are street legal. They run on either   Kawasaki or Honda motorcycle engines and co-opt vintage bumper car bodies into  the most awesome form of mini-car we've seen in too long.  There are seven  of these little monsters floating around California, and they're all the  creation of one man, Tom Wright, a builder in the outskirts of San  Diego who figured the leftovers of the Long Beach Pike amusement park  needed a more dignified end than the trash heap.  They were originally  powered by two cylinder Harley Davidson Motorcycle engines but they rattled  like heck because of the two cylinder vibration and Tom replaces them with  four cylinder Honda or  Kawasaki 750's and a couple have been measured as  capable of 160 MPH, which is terrifyingly fast in machines with such a short  wheelbase.  By the way, they are almost  indestructible in accidents!