Alaska 101: South Rolly Lake Campground / Experience Camping with Motorhome For The First Time.


Motorhome or RV is very popular in Alaska and USA. It is popular among families that have a lot of kids (economical way to travel) or retired couple for recreational. If you visit Alaska, you will notice that (almost) every home has one motorhome parked at the side of the house. Big one, small one. When I first got here, I thought Alaskan is a wealthy type of people (but rich people do choose Alaska after they retire) because I saw every house has at least 2 sedan cars, 1 to 2 pick up truck, 1 Motorhome, 1 Motorboat (for fishing) and 1 ATV (for summer activities or hunting). Each house sit on a vast house lot and every room in the house has 48 – 60 inches TV.

And then Mike told me that, what I saw is attainable by a middle income earners, managerial level people. Wealthy people here own mini plane, horse stable and hectares of land around their house for the horses. But people here wont’t show off their statuses and brag on Rolex or Ferrari. So, if you see messy old man, don’t be quick to judge. He might have everything and still prefer to look like a red neck.

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Back to my story, experience camping with motorhome is fun. At least, fun for me since I came from Malaysia, from a red neck town too. I didn’t mean to sound like bragging, but to get a chance to camp with motorhome once a while made me feel like I had to post about it since few of my friends asked about it. Actually this motorhome is belongs to Mike’s dad.

We do have a thought of borrowing this motorhome for our upcoming USA 48 states road trip. But, according to Mike, it will be quite a problem when it comes to motorhome parking spot. Yes, you can’t simply park your motorhome here and it is not free parking since it provides facility like electric power and water.

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This is my 2nd time camping in South Rolly Lake. The different is only this time we no longer sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag. FYI, campground in USA isn’t free. The fee for camper with tent is $5 and $20 for motorhome (per night). The interesting part is, the fee station is sitting remotely in the wood with no supervision or staff. Apparently this system can be done easily in the first world minded country where people has no problem to follow the rules and honesty is part of way of living. If in Malaysia, cash box sitting in the wood with no people around  is impossible since people still break in and steal donation box in the mosque. Sad huh? The longer I stay here out in foreign country, the more I realized how degraded “Malaysia truly Asia” is. This has nothing to do with government fault what so ever. This can be done by starting from yourself.

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Picture speaks thousands words. You can see yourself how beautiful and clean is the camping lot. In fact, it’s prettier than your home’s front yard. This setting is important and very much needed in Malaysia if we want to encourage people to spend more time, outdoor. I am so angry every time I think back of PARKING LOT in Kelana Jaya and Shah Alam which is full of crap and foul smell. But yet they never failed to put parking fine ticket on my wiper. I wonder, with all the money people paid for the parking lot in Kelana Jaya and Shah Alam, every day, they still unable to clean the area properly.

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We tried to find the best lot as our camp site. But most of the best spot taken  by other campers that came earlier than us. So this is the second best spot we manage to get.

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We wish to get open front lake view. But then we had to settle with this little lake view in the end. I don’t know why I was so fussed about the view since we were not sleeping outside, on the ground.

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While Mike is busy setting up the motorhome, getting the living room and bedroom leveled and ready, I walked around, checking the lake area (and snap more pictures)

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I swear that this campground is SUPER CLEAN. Not even a single cigarette butt. A place where $2o is worth spent. I couldn’t pick up a slightest foul smell like urine and no spit can be found anywhere unlike our park and camping site back in Malaysia 🙁 Public toilets are also provided in this camping area. I know that Malaysia has high humidity in its weather so we should be more aware on waste disposal management. But too bad, we are not.

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Simple activities here are kayaking, fishing, jungle trekking and sit at one spot do nothing but day dreaming (er, that’s me). Talk about fishing, it is mandatory for you to get fishing license before you fishing. You can simply buy the license at grocery stores and gas station. The number of fish that you can catch per day also stated on the license (yes, there is limitation). The money from the fee imposed isn’t for buying private jet or spend on family members to shop during ‘official visit’ to foreign country but they spend it on work to maintain the ecosystem and number of fish in the river and lake. You must remember that the air, the greenery and all the living things in the wild, we share with the wildlife too. For Alaskan case, are bears. They also consume fishes from the lake and river around Alaska so, if you took all the fish, would you willing to serve them (the bears) pie and grilled BBQ when they come knocking at your door?

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This quaint and quiet campground do make me sleepy. So I went back to the motorhome and just like any other good wives out there, I make ourselves a pot of coffee. Hehe.

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Let me tell you about this motorhome and coneveniences it has to offer. This motorhome has it all for everyday living. In fact, it has more than what my apartment back in Shah Alam does. My mother in law stocked a whole pack of new socks in a drawer in case our socks get wet from rain or water from the lake.

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It has a full shower room and toilet bowl. I had an experience traveling with small caravan across South Island New Zealand for a week. But that caravan has nothing compare to this motorhome. That caravan is so small, I had cold on second day trip.

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It has kitchen with 2 doors fridge, 3 burner cook top, microwave and oven in case you feel like to bake a cake. I think I would bake some cake if this camping trip is more than a week. Since it was just 2 days 1 night, I just let Mike take over the kitchen.

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It also come with a good size bedroom with queen size bed. There are more storage/ clothing cabinet in front of me complete with big mirror. I told Mike that, if we are so poor in the future and can’t afford to built a house on our own in USA, I am willing to live in this motorhome for the rest of my life. Haha.

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It has decent door separates living room and bedroom as well. Decent vanity corner and oh, this motorhome also run hot and cold water too.

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After a cup or two, we decided to explore further. We did planning to go canoeing, but on second day. Today we just wanted to walk on available trail.

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There is one trail available in South Rolly Lake which lead / connected to Red Shirt Lake. The trail track is 4.8 kilometers and we decided to try although we haven’t taken lunch yet.

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This trail is so beautiful. This is my very first time seeing beautiful track trail in the wood. All the pictures taken and posted here still unable to do the justice.

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The track is even. Maybe at some corner it has little slope but nothing serious. My heart was singing while I walked along the trail. Only God knows the serene and calm my heart at that moment especially without little kid like Lacey talking non stop around. Haha. I think I will come up with beautiful poem in order to describe the feeling and beauty of this trail if I try hard enough.

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These little white flowers adorns the pathway gave me the feeling that I was walking to Hobbit Town. All of the sudden, my Malay superstition belief kicked in. I pinched my cheek and clap a little to make sure I am still in this world, not in the other world. Due to the paganism upbringing in Malay culture, we believed that we had to constantly cautious when stepped into the woods. If you suddenly reached unbelievably beautiful place with sweet scents lingering out of nowhere, you might already leave the normal world and stepped into super natural world where fairies and dwarfs reside and they will keep you in forever. Mike was 20 steps ahead of me, suddenly the stark quiet surrounds creeps me out. Haha. I didn’t tell Mike about this stupid brief thought that I had because I don’t want him to make fun of me later on.

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Butterflies, the sounds of birds chirping and cool breeze created an instant therapy, better than any spa can give you. We walked for about 2 kilometers and then I started to pant. We didn’t bring water with us and that was a mistake. Mike turned to me and said “we don’t have to make it to Red Shirt Lake you know, if you are tired”. Well, 4.8 kilometers per way is quite heavy for me to call as simple stroll and I guess the thought of carrying me on his shoulder on our way back terrifies him out. So we returned back to our camp site, left the exploration unfinished.

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We had lunch as soon as we reach our campsite. I didn’t cook since I packed my lunch from home. Right after that I felt so sleepy and for what I know, Mike woke me up at 5 for dinner and got the fire up ready outside motorhome.

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All in all, I think this simple activity is good for couples. I know I am not in the position to preach on marriage issues since my marriage still new, like, 1.5 years. I am happy that I realized that Mike still took his time to bring me out, teach me how to enjoy being in the outdoors when we are not traveling to foreign cities. I must admit that, I had series of serious relationship before Mike. But we spent time together by hung out at shopping mall and watched movies. It looks like we did spent time together but, the truth is, I was busy checking on the clothes and shoes, and when we were in the movie theater, we drowned ourselves in fiction and fantasy played on the screen. Besides that, we bad talked about other couples that we came across and that was it. I can’t believe how useless and pointless I was before.

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Next morning, I woke up with the smell of good coffee. My addiction towards coffee is becoming worse since I stay here. American have the best coffee in the world. It feels like I drank Starbuck on daily basis, except, it is not as expensive as Starbuck. While Mike preparing brekafast, I just sat down and enjoying the view by the window.

One thing I like about Mike is that, he able to live the day without bugging me. Be it indoor or outdoor, he do stuff on his own but with me in his mind. I think this why I don’t give a fuss to join any kind of activities that he loves and in no time, I started to like it too since I don’t feel burdened. He don’t mind buying me new sport shoes and sport gear in order to encourage me more. I wish he do the same for designer shoes and handbags 🙁

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That’s the view from our window. Next to our camp lot is another motorhome camper too. An old friendly guy greeted Mike day before and said ‘Nice Rig’. Mike replied him – “it’s actually belong to my dad. We just borrow it”. “Well, you have a great old man” – said that old guy again. So I figured it he won’t be lending his motorhome to his son anytime soon.

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Tadahh! – So this is what Mike prepared for breakfast. Non oily kind. But care to compare the portion size of our breakfast though.

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This is more like feasting, not breakfast.

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Solution for those who hate to drink plain water. Me likey!

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Don’t you ever think that every one will get fair and lovely skin while staying in four season country. I never cared about sun screen before except the one already included in my  foundation and day cream. When you stay in four season country, sun screen will become your new best friend. You cannot ignore on this one especially you are in ‘matured’ age category. Haha. I love this Neutrogena Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum. It’s not sticky and fast absorb. I wear this even I stay indoor since I love sit by the window. The situation here is very tricky since you don’t feel the heat although you stand under the sun. Suddenly you ended up with patchy face. You can forget about your blusher and falsies when you stay in Alaska. Anyway, once you are at the range of mature women age and up, my advice is, start adding good sunscreen into your daily skin care, especially with broad spectrum.

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We went to the canoe shack as we planned before. Too bad it was closed. So there goes my dream to learn to paddle on the lake for the first time.

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Rate for canoe rental.

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Life jacket here is free. I noticed they have this on every lake and people don’t steal it too 🙂 But most of people bring their own.

Talked about own stuff, suddenly Mike had this idea of owning a canoe instead of renting. So that we can always bring it along every time we go camping.

On our way home, we stopped by at Sportsman Warehouse to check on canoe.

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So many choices and it comes with nice price tag too. And then I told Mike tkat, if we own a canoe, how on earth to carry it onto the plane if we go to Hawaii soon? It is better get the inflatable kind.

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Among of all, we really love this one. It looks fun enough.

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And you can connect the smaller one behind it. Perfect for me if suddenly I decided not paddle at all 😀

Well, I know, this camping story is kind of boring. Not adventurous as my hiking story at Lazy Mountain. Actually both of us was trying the motorhome only. Hihi. But I do realized that, this camping style didn’t tire me at all and I think maybe I an try to do this again during Ramadhan. Let see how.

The End.



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