All posts by Chris

Chris is an iOS software developer that works from home, but can work anywhere there's an Internet connection. He loves spending time with his family, traveling and games.

Coyote Valley RV Resort

Address: 9750 Monterey Road, Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Telephone: 1-408-463-8400

Dates Stayed: 06/02/2017 – 06/09/2017

Rate: $85.00 per night (including taxes and fees)



This campground sits within the very scenic Coyote Valley, hence the name. It is not hard to get to as long as you take the exit south of the RV park. Monterey Road has a concrete barrier leading nearly its entire length, so although making a U-turn is possible if you happen to take the exit north, it may be tough depending on your rig. As I mentioned, Coyote Valley sits in a very scenic area with hiking trails and mountains behind and in front of it. By far the biggest drawback to this RV park is its proximity to Monterey Road. It is a very busy road and road noise is nearly constant. Next to Monterey road is a CalTrain line. Yes, train tracks. You know when a train is coming from not only the noise, but the blaring horn. The trains start nice and early in the morning and go pretty late at night. If you are looking for a peaceful, quiet RV park near San Jose, this RV park is NOT it and you can stop reading now.


Checking in was fairly straight forward. Amber was driving, so she pulled Irving in front of the office while Christopher and I checked in. They were in and out in about 10 minutes, but we did have to wait for someone to escort us to the site. The roads are pretty wide and we paid for a premium site which is extra wide, so backing in was pretty easy.

Camp Site

I went through our pictures and realized that we didn’t take a picture of our campsite. I am pretty disappointed, but we are still a little new to this.

The site is back in and it was not hard to get in the camp site. The camp site (20) is very level concrete and our automatic leveling jacks had no problem leveling quickly.

The services included at the site are 30/50amp electric, fresh water (2 spigots) and sewer. There is cable TV, but we found the stations were few and came in poorly on our TV. We tried our luck with what we could pick up from our over the air (OTA) antenna, but it wasn’t much better. We saw a lot of RVs in this park with satellite dishes and we understood why. You are pretty much on your own for TV.

There is no picnic table or grill at the campsite, it is literally a concrete pad and nothing else. You can have a picnic table delivered to you site for $5 for your stay, but we paid for a premium site and almost all the campgrounds we have visited, even cheaper ones, had picnic tables on each site. All premium site really means at this RV park is that it is much wider than the rest. In addition, the premium sites are closest to the road, so you have to pay more for more noise. Nice touch.

CalTrain Line and Noisy Monterey Road

Office Staff

I had to call the office because of loud noise that was occurring during quiet hours. Quiet hours for this campground are from 10pm to 8am. At 7:30am on Saturday, a mobile detailing business was pressure washing the 5th wheel in the site next to us. We were already up when it started so it didn’t wake us up, but I wondered how any people that worked all week and were counting on Saturday to sleep late felt about it. I called the office to just to let them know. Unfortunately, the office doesn’t open until 8am, when quiet hours are over. The response? “I’m not sure what I can do about it now. Is it bothering you?” It wasn’t until I mentioned quiet hours that she said “I’ll send someone out to talk to them.” She did and I saw them talk to the mobile detailing team. The result was what I expected, but the initial conversation was not.

WiFi & Cellular

I was working on the way from Marina, CA, so I needed to finish up after we got to our site. The WiFi seemed decent enough when we got there, but as the weekend started it became dismal. Tons of disconnections and very slow speeds made it unusable. I fired up my Verizon hotspot and it had full signal strength, so we used that and it worked great. For a so called resort, I expected much better WiFi. We have stayed at much smaller and cheaper RV parks that had much better WiFi. WiFi Grade: F, Cellular Grade: A


There are buildings that we assumed were shower and bathroom facilities, but we didn’t use them this trip. We can’t comment on their cleanliness.


Although the park itself is in a very nice location and very well kept, we would not recommend it to anyone and we will certainly not stay here again unless we have to. For what we paid, we expected much more for what we got. The noise is horrendous, the WiFi is terrible and the TV is non-existent, big sticking points for us.

Even though we were upset with our stay here, the proximity to San Jose and San Francisco cannot be ignored. It is in a good location and that may mean a lot to someone.

June 10 – Barstow, CA to Flagstaff, AZ

Today’s drive of 384.2 miles was another long drive as we make our way back home.

We traversed the Mojave desert today and we ran into a little snag. We noticed that the cab air conditioner start blowing warm air. This was not a great place for this to happen since it was extremely hot. We eventually turned on the generator and ran the roof A/C units to keep things cool. We will definitely have to get this worked out when we get home.

I think this is the first time Christopher has seen a landline phone…
Can anyone guess where we stopped for lunch?
Mojave Desert rest stop.
Not much to see in the Mojave desert.

June 9 – Morgan Hill, CA to Barstow, CA

Today’s drive of 368.4 miles was a long day, however,  the views were very nice. Farms and mountains were abundant. This leg of the trip starts our trek home, which means we will be on the road every day for the next 9 days. It would be nice to take our time, but all vacations must come to an end sometime.


Endless rows of trees
and more trees…
We went through Arvin, CA. I had never heard of it either.

Barstow KOA

Camper are different. 99.9% of the time we look for nice, quiet, full hook-up campgrounds with concrete, level pads, etc. But when you are trying to get from point A to point B, full hook-ups is a good starting point and this KOA offered that. Let’s face it, Barstow KOA is in the middle of nowhere, at a crossroads between California and Las Vegas. However, this was a very nice place to stay for the night and recharge for another long drive the next day.

Irving looking out at the mountains
Barstow KOA
Not much to look at, but provides all the necessary hook ups.
Christopher the rock star and Irving

June 2 – June 9 – Coyote Valley RV Resort (Morgan Hill, CA)

The drive of about 60 miles from Marina to Morgan Hill was the shortest of our trip. It’s so cool to just pick up our house and move it up the road. We drove inland a bit from Marina, hooking up with Highway 101 and up to Morgan Hill. Boy, could we tell the difference in the climate. Morgan Hill was much warmer than Marina. We had almost gotten used to the cool weather, so it was a bit of a change.

On the road to Morgan Hill, CA

Coyote Valley RV Resort

Of the campgrounds that we’ve been to across the US so far, this one was one of the best. It sits at the foot of the Diablo Range, close to Morgan Hill and a short train ride north to San Jose. From our research, it was the closest campground to San Jose we could find. It feels very remote here, but right down the road are small to medium size towns with grocery stores, restaurants, big box retailers, etc.

Coyote Valley RV Resort
Office and rec. center

Coyote Valley RV Resort

Coyote Valley RV Resort
The shop in the main office

Coyote Valley RV Resort

Coyote Valley RV Resort
Laundry room

Coyote Valley RV Resort


As you can see by the screen shot of the map above, there is one major con to this campground…noise. Right in font is a major four lane road which, by itself, is noisy. When you add the CalTrain line that sits across the road from the campground, it makes for a sometimes unpleasant experience. Our campsite (not the maker on the map above) was right near the entrance, so we were close to the road. We knew when the train was coming because we could hear its horn long before it got to us. And when the train was right in front, it was pretty loud. If you are coming here for quiet, you may need to bring some earplugs.

Another issue we encountered while staying here was the disregard for campground rules. There was someone having their fifth wheel pressure washed an hour before quiet hours were over. When I called the office, they didn’t really seem to care. When I brought up quiet hours, they sent someone to talk to the owner and the wash crew.

San Jose

As you can see by the pictures, I was attending Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose during this week. On Sunday, the three of us took the train to San Jose to pick up my conference badge. It was Christopher’s first train ride!

Christopher’s first train ride
San Jose
Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference

San Jose

San Jose
Guadalupe River Park, San Jose

San Francisco

What trip to the bay area of California would be complete without a stop in San Francisco. Since we didn’t tow our vehicle on this trip, we rented a car during our week stay in Morgan Hill. This allowed us to drive about an hour up highway 101 to San Francisco. It was Christopher’s first trip there and he loved it as you can see by his smiling (mostly) face in the pictures.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge
View of San Francisco From Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Bridge
Gold Gate Park
Pier 39
Sea Lions

Pier 39
Alcatraz Island
Pier 39
Alcatraz Selfie

Pier 39

Pier 39
Coit Tower and Transamerica building

Pier 39

May 29 – June 2 – Marina Dunes RV Resort

The drive today was about 224 miles through valleys and mountains. We saw oil rigs all over the place and we never figured California had them. We also drove by vineyards with what seemed like endless rows of grape plants. California has a lot to offer, climate wise. We drove through desert, fertile valleys and when we arrived in Marina, the climate was very cool with sea breezes and lots of fog.

Our Travels So Far

Marina Dunes RV Park

This was our second stop in California and it was a chance for us to see the Pacific Ocean. We could not have picked a better place to camp. Marina Dunes is as close to the Pacific as you can camp in this area. It is just across the street from the protected dunes, with a path leading to the beach. Aside from the location, the campground itself is amazing. We had all services, a fire ring and a big site. We can’t wait to get back there again soon.

Marina Dunes #1

Marina Dunes #2

Marina Dunes #3

Christopher loved Stetson
S'mores #1
A fire was nice on a cool day
S'mores #3
Smorey McSmoreface
S'mores #2
Christopher loves to read


I had never heard of Marina before this trip, but it’s proximity to Monterrey was why we chose to camp here. Just a few minutes north of Monterrey, it shares the beauty and climate of without the tourist feel. It was a bit of a walk, but we were able to share a Pacific sunset with Christopher for the first time. It is a great place.

Marina #1


Marina #2

Marina #3

As you can see, the weather changes quickly



Pebble Beach (17 Mile Drive)

I hadn’t heard of 17 mile drive, but Amber had. You pay a $10.25 fee at the gate and you can drive the 17 mile road around the golf course, beaches, wooded areas and multimillion dollar houses. If you in this area, this is a great way to spend a few hours or more. Sea lion spotting was great here also.


Yeah, this is actually a golf course…

So a seagull and a squirrel are sitting on the beach…
Sea Lions
More Sea Lions
The Lone Cypress

Pizza My Heart

We were hungry and saw the Del Monte Shopping Center while driving on Cabrillo Hwy (CA 1/68) in Monterrey, so we pulled off and decided to check it out. We wandered into Pizza My Heart and we had no idea that on Tuesdays, kids got to make their own pizzas. They delivered the dough, sauce, cheese and toppings and Christopher built it himself. Once he was done, they baked it and brought it back to the table. He loved it!

Pizza My Heart #1

Pizza My Heart #2

Pizza My Heart #3

Pizza My Heart #4


I’m sure there is more to Monterrey than Fisherman’s Wharf, but it is a must see when you are in the area. We love the scenery and sea food restaurants.

Monterrey #1

Monterrey #2

Monterrey #3

Monterrey #4

May 28 – Las Vegas, NV to Bakersfield, CA

This leg of the trip was about 276 miles via I15 and CA-58 W through the Nevada and California deserts to the orange groves of Bakersfield. It was extremely windy going through the desert and it was stressful keeping Irving on the road.

The Road to Bakersfield

The desert ended and we started seeing fruit and vegetable farms. It was nice to see some green after the hot, dry desert.

Bakersfield #1

Bakersfield #2

The California Fruit Depot

This shop is right next to the campground we stayed at, so before we set up camp, we decided to take a peek at what we could buy. We wanted to buy everything!

Bakersfield #3

Bakersfield #4

Orange Grove RV Park

I wish we had gotten more pictures of this RV park, but that’s something we intend to do more of in the future. If you look close, you can see the RV spots among the Orange trees. During orange season, people staying there can freely pick the oranges off the trees. When we were there, there were very small, green oranges on the trees. Christopher loved seeing them.

Bakersfield #5

May 26-28 – Las Vegas, NV

I was looking forward to this leg of our trip the most before we left. There’s something about Las Vegas that makes me want to keep coming back. I’m not sure what it is, but there is plenty to see there.


Not only is the Bellagio a place to stay, but it has many things to see for any tourist. The famous fountain show is probably the biggest attraction, but inside it houses an amazing topiary display. It was pretty fun to share with Christopher.

Bellagio #1

Bellagio #2

Paris Las Vegas

Christopher loves to look at maps and he loves the Eiffel Tower in Paris, so we had to get a couple of pictures.

Paris #1

Paris #2

Top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris Las Vegas

And of course, we had to take the elevator to the top and take in the awesome views of the strip and surrounding area.

Eiffel Tower #1

Eiffel Tower #2

Eiffel Tower #3

Eiffel Tower #4


Luxor is a great destination when in Vegas. Christopher loved seeing the Sphinx all the Egyptian themed items.

Luxor #1

Luxor #2


No trip to Las Vegas is complete without a trip to the top of the Stratosphere. As you can see, it offers amazing 360 degree views of the city. At night it’s extra special with all the lights of the Strip.

Stratosphere #1

Stratosphere #2

John Mull’s Roadkill Grill

We saw this place on Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives. I love barbecue and hoped it would be worth the long drive to north Las Vegas. It didn’t disappoint. The food was amazing and Chuck was happy to pose for a selfie.

John Mull's Road Kill Grill #1

John Mull's Road Kill Grill #2

John Mull's Road Kill Grill #3

May 20-25 – South Rim Grand Canyon

It took a while, but I combed through all the pictures of our stay at the Grand Canyon and picked the ones that I thought came out best.

Visitor’s Center

When we arrived, we made our way to the Visitor’s Center, the center point of the south rim. There are trails that extend east and west from the Visitor’s Center and offer different views of the canyon.

Visitors Center

Visitors Center

Visitors Center

Visitors Center

Visitors Center

Visitors Center

Bright Angel Trail

West of the Visitor’s Center is Bright Angel Trail where hikers can descend all the way to the Colorado River. Fortunately, the upper sections are a fairly easy hike. But watch out, there are not hand rails or fences between you and the edge!

Bright Angel Trail #1

Bright Angel Trail #2

Bright Angel Trail #3

Bright Angel Trail #4

Bright Angel Trail #5

Bright Angel Trail #6

Bright Angel Trail #7

Bright Angel Trail #8

Bright Angel Trail #9


On the road into Grand Canyon National Park is the town of Tusayan. There are hotels, restaurants, gift shops and campgrounds. There is even a small airport where helicopter tours leave from. We just got one picture here at a sandwich shop we ate lunch and we didn’t stay very long. We just weren’t in the mood for spending an entire day on a tour.



Elk are everywhere at the Grand Canyon. As with any wild animal, it is NOT a good idea to approach them. It is pretty cool, however when they just stroll through the campground and pose for pictures.

Trailer Village Campground

Trailer Village Campground

Desert View

At the extreme east end of the South Rim is Desert View. Since we didn’t have a car and none of the buses went out this far, we hired a cab to take us there. It was pretty expensive, but as you can see, it was well worth it.

Desert View #1

Desert View #2

Desert View #3

Desert View Tower #4

Desert View Tower #5

Desert View Tower #6

Desert View #7

Desert View #8

Desert View #9

Desert View #10

Desert View #11

Desert View #12

Desert View #13

Desert View #14

Desert View #15

Bright Angel Lodge

Our Longer Hike

We took a bus to Bright Angel Trail head and decided to go further west. We got on another bus and got off at The Abyss. We hiked from The Abyss to Monument Creek Vista, which is about 1.0 mile. It was pretty isolated out there with only a bus coming by every 10-15 minutes or so. Good thing we brought plenty of water.

Hike from the Abyss to Monument Creek Vista

Hike from the Abyss to Monument Creek Vista

Hike from the Abyss to Monument Creek Vista

Hike from the Abyss to Monument Creek Vista

Hermit’s Rest

At the extreme western end of the South Rim is Hermit’s Rest. Great views, snacks and a gift shop highlight this area.

Hermits Rest

Hermits Rest

Yaki Point

On our last day, we decided to make our way to Yaki Point, which is east of the Visitor’s Center.

Yaki Point

Yaki Point

Yaki Point

Yaki Point

May 19 – Winslow, AZ to Trailer Village, South Rim Grand Canyon

Today’s drive of 128 miles was a breath of fresh air. It was a short drive and we were finally at a stopping point in our journey. For the last 8 days we had moved to a different place each day, packing up and setting up each day. It wears on you a bit, but when you have a goal ahead of you, it keeps you going. Once we got to our campsite on the south rim of Grand Canyon’s Trailer Village, we will be stationary for 6 whole days. I am on vacation from work, so I will be able to rest up from the wear and tear of the journey thus far.

We stopped at a Walmart Super Center on the way to the Grand Canyon to resupply for our stay. Here, Christopher saw and touched snow for the very first time. We were able to have a small snow ball fight.

Christopher’s first time seeing snow.

Finally on the road to the Canyon

The road leading to the south rim.
The road leading to the south rim.
The main gate!

Christopher is happy to be here

Christopher has conquered the rock!

Elk are plentiful at Trailer Village

Camping with elks.

May 18 – Albuquerque, NM to Winslow, AZ

Today’s drive of 276 miles was better. Amber drove for 2-3 hours today until she had to stop because her eyes were bothering her. She is going to try again tomorrow. Winds were not as strong as yesterday, but at times I had to keep Irving from heading off into the nothingness on either side of us. We left New Mexico and entered Arizona, one more day until we get to the Grand Canyon. The step grades were enough to slow Irving down again, but he did great. We crossed the Continental Divide in New Mexico, which is 7,275 ft. above sea level.

New Mexico driving:

New Mexico driving.

We crossed the Continental Divide (7,275 ft.) in New Mexico:

Continental Divide in New Mexico

We crossed into Arizona:

Arizona Border

Before setting up camp, we visited Meteor Crater:

Meteor Crater
Astronaut Hall of Fame

We added two more states to our travels:

Our Travels