Days 89-91 of Isolation – not what we planned

We were supposed to be in Glacier National Park – instead we went to Prado Regional Park. Definitely not what we planned! COVID sure is putting a crimp in our summer plans! Not sure we are going to make our goal of 20 public parks and/or 20 nights in public parks during 2020. 3 nights of our 20 complete!

The National Park refunded our reservation money about a month ago when it was decided they would not be open this week for camping.

Prado Regional Park is in the southwest corner of Chino, California. It has full hookups (meaning we have water, electricity, and sewer connections), most are long pull-through sites with asphalt pad for parking. A concrete patio area with picnic table and fire ring is also at each site. Cost is $40 per night. The sites are pretty far apart. Good AT&T cell reception.

** 11/2020 – the lake is contaminated and no water activities are allowed until further notice. Please check their website for more information.

South view shows neighboring site and local mountains.
North view from same location, showing patio area and nearest neighbors.
West view showing location of closed bath house and distance of neighbors in that direction. Washer and dryer available for use at bath house.

From their web site: “This park is loaded with outdoor recreation and adventure offering, fishing, camping, hiking, biking and nature trails, splash pad, disc golf and outstanding picnic facilities are just a sampling of what this park has to offer.

A unique feature of Prado is that it has a meeting room that seats 80 people and is ideal for club meetings, parties and receptions.

Additional activities at the park include two 18-hole golf courses at El Prado Golf Course, an Olympic shooting range at Shoot Prado, an equestrian center at Prado Park Equestrian Center and an archery range by Oranco Bowmen Archery Club.”

We had a unique easterly view. Mid-afternoon on Wednesday a small fire started in the equestrian/hiking area. 28 acres burned. Pictures show progression and how close it was to us. Friday morning John saw a deer going towards the river in this area.

My only complaint about this park has to do with the bugs. It is near a wilderness area and has its own “lake” so the mosquitoes and other biting bugs are plentiful. I really don’t like to use bug spray but you really should at this place!

Now I’m off to do laundry – too bad “vacation” doesn’t include a respite from these kind of chores!

PL #2 – Hodge Rd Outdoor Shooting Area

We ventured to our second Public Land recently.  This one is the Hodge Road Outdoor Shooting Area near Barstow, California.  I’m not sure which agency has control over this area.  We originally thought BLM but now think it might be the county of San Bernardino.  BLM website says it doesn’t have any designated shooting sites.

We were VERY DISAPPOINTED!  We would NOT recommend this location.

We didn’t arrive until about 2pm.  It was a very spur of the moment outing – a discussion that there was an outdoor shooting area near Barstow at breakfast with friends, deciding we had nothing else to do, gathering all our stuff, and driving out.  Those who know us know this is very normal behavior for us!

It was windy and very crowded.  As we drove along the hillside to find a place to set up, we encountered a group who actually had all their weapons set up on one side of the dirt road and their targets on the other side.  As we approached, one of the men waved us through while a kid about 10 was holding a rifle.  When the kid turned towards us, he had it pointing directly at us!  Needless to say, this was a common sight – the mishandling of the weapons by kids – thankfully not all were on opposite sides of the road from their targets.

We finally found a place not too close to others but quickly found out why – a tire was burning/smoldering.  We used all of the water we had with us to douse it.

As we were setting up a table, someone near us yelled “Cease Fire”.  In my world that means stop shooting and even putting your weapon down.  Not here!  People on the other side of them kept on shooting.  How do you replace your targets if people near you keep shooting?  This was the deciding factor for us – we don’t belong here and need to leave!

We left and went to Cracker Barrel for a late lunch/early dinner!

Pictures:  The hillside had a TON OF WASTE!  We aren’t talking just a little, we are talking about so much that is was disgusting.  These pictures were taken farther in than most people travel.  It was even worse closer to the interstate.  Shell casings were EVERYWHERE!  Burned up cars, furniture, targets, lots of glass shards, and shot up propane bottles is a sampling of the stuff left behind.   Don’t people know the mantra “LEAVE NO TRACE”?




PL #1: Grand Canyon National Park

Public Land #1 – Grand Canyon National Park

Us and the Canyon!

We visited Grand Canyon National Park over New Years.  This is not our first visit to the park.  We usually stay in Flagstaff or Williams when we visit just about every year, sometimes more than once a year.

It was the first time we actually stayed the night in the park.  We were talking about where we wanted to go over New Years a few weeks before the holiday and John said he wanted to stay IF we could get a room with a canyon view.  Lucky us!  I went online and there was one room available in the Kachina Lodge!  Thankfully we have a flexible schedule during the holiday break.

We spent 2 nights in the Kachina Lodge.  This lodge does not have a lobby or restaurant and is only 2 stories with no elevator.  There is a sitting room with a view of the canyon.  You check in at the El Tovar Hotel.  The room was very comfortable and had a great view of the canyon.  Do you notice all the people???  It was amazingly quiet with few people walking along the icy walkway.  Maybe because it was New Years Eve??

View from our 2nd floor room.

We ate in both the Bright Angel Lodge and the El Tovar Hotel dining rooms for dinner.  We enjoyed the view and food at the Bright Angel Lodge better than the El Tovar Hotel.  Both lodges were about a 5-10 minute chilly icy slippery walk from our lodge, especially the trip back in the dark.

We brought oatmeal (just add hot water) and fruit for breakfast so we didn’t have to go out early in the cold on New Years Day.  There was a coffee maker in the room but no microwave.

Our dinner view at sunset from a window table. Weird lights are a reflection of the chandelier.

We woke up our last morning to new snow.  It wasn’t much but this Southern California girl thought it was beautiful!  Glistening snow!  On the drive out, we saw elk chillin’ under the trees.

Elk in Grand Canyon National Park

John cleaning off the snow!  It wasn’t much but enough for us!  We even cleared off the windows of the truck next to us.