Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Eastern Sierra (2) 2009

There was no sun today.
I left Lee Vining at 8:30 AM and 45 minutes later I was at the New Shady Rest Forest Campground in Mammoth Lake.
The campground was designed for tent camping and small motorhomes. There are a few larger sites, but it is difficult to get in those spots.
I tried to do it alone, had to give up though. Finally a pick up truck came behind me. I got out of the motorhome and asked the driver to help me. I picked the right guy. He gave me the right directions and without hitting a tree I backed the rig into the space.
After lunch I drove to Convict Lake. I have been in Mammoth Lake several times but never visited this hidden Gem. A good friend made me aware of it.
Since there was no sun and it was perfect weather for a hike, I walked around the lake. It is a two mile hike.
The storm has not come yet.

When I got up this morning it was snowing. Later it turned into rain.
I went to the hardware store to buy a flat water hose. I need 40 more feet to reach the faucet in the campground, to fill up the water tank. I have two 25 foot hoses and one ten foot. I want the flat hose only for situations like this. A 40 or 50 foot round hose takes too much space.
They had only flat soaker hoses.
I found some plastic screw covers though, something I had been looking for.
My next stop was Vons where I bought some red cabbage. From there I went to the library. When I looked out the window it was snowing very hard.
I took off and went to the motorhome. I had planned to come back later, but that white stuff kept on falling down. Getting stuck away from the motorhome would be no fun. I had the chains in my hand before we went on this trip, they stayed at home. That was not very smart.
Back at the motorhome I cooked the red cabbage and made some mashed potatoes. Doreen had made pork chops and they were in the freezer.
If I get stuck here at least I eat well.
While I took this picture it was still coming down. The picture does not show it.

After dinner I put on my rubber boots and went up the hill. Two of my neighbors were standing there, getting covered with snow. They were debating how to get out of here.

One of them has a Jeep and would be able to go to the auto parts store and by one set of chains.
One motorhome could then leave here with the chains on the wheels, and then they could bring back the chains for the other motorhome. Both of the guys have to go back to work.
I do not have that problem, I have plenty of time.
This is the view I have from my side window.

The snow plow had come through the campground in the night. My neighbors are lucky. They can leave now without chains.
I got up and shoveled the snow in the back of the car. We all are lucky that it got warmer and there is no ice on the roads. The snow fell from the trees and is slowly melting.

The parking lots for the stores are open too. They pushed the snow on the side and then hauled it away.
The road to Lake Mary and to Devils Postpile are closed. I hope they will open them soon.
It was another relaxing day, spent at the library, hardware store, Radio Shack, and a few minutes at Vons.

What a beautiful day that was. All day we had blue sky and the snow is melting. The solar panels are almost free of snow. They are not charging the batteries yet.
In the morning I drove to Bishop to check out the cheap campgrounds. I found one at Pleasant Valley Reservoir. They charge $ 10.00 a day, no hookups of course.
Gasoline is $ 2.85 a gallon in Bishop, here in Mammoth it is $ 3.56.
I also stopped at Crowly Lake. After seeing Convict Lake, I was not impressed.
There was no snow on the ground 20 miles south of Mammoth Lakes.This valley is 3,000 feet lower than Mammoth.
In the afternoon I took the drive to Lake Mary. The snowplow had cleared one and a half lanes. There was very little traffic. I went to the end of the road. People were cross country skiing.
On the way back I saw this couple enjoying Lake Mary and the sun.

I am 30 miles closer to home. Pleasant Valley is located about five miles North of Bishop.
The motorhome is standing next to the Owens River. It is a noisy river.

I went right away into town to check out the library and Wells Fargo. The library has no WIFI. That means I can not send any pictures.
When I came back I walked up to the dam and reservoir. It is a lot warmer here than in Mammoth Lakes. I am wearing shorts again.

Yesterday I had another nice experience. My neighbor told me that she will be going to have her recall done on her refrigerator. Frank Muzzy had sent me an E mail to check whether my refrigerator needs the recall kit installed. I found out that is does.
She told me that Phil Dore of Adventure in Camping had helped her getting her refrigerator going without charging her, and that he still has one kit and would install it. So on my way to Bishop I stopped at his place. He told me that the only kit he has left he promised a lady and he did not know when the new order would come in.
When I came back from Bishop my neighbor told me that Phil had come to the campground looking for me. Her refrigerator had been taken care off by the previous owner and that Phil could take care of mine now.
Late afternoon he came back and when he took the refrigerator cover off he found out that the kit was already installed on my refrigerator too.
He tied down a couple of wires and put the cover on again. I wanted to pay him for his time but he said that "Thanks" is good enough for him. He wasted his time on two motorhomes and did not get angry.
I had already checked where I would have to go, when I get home, to have it taken care off.
If anybody has trouble with their motorhome, when they are in the Mammoth Lakes area, they should call Phil Dore at 760- 935-4890

I went up Bishop Creek Canyon in the morning. First I went to South Lake. Since it is Saturday a lot of anglers were in the water and on shore.
The lake is at an altitude of about 8,000 feet. There was some snow on the ground.

Most of the trees had lost their leaves since they get frost at night.
My next stop was Lake Sabrina. A lot of people were fishing there too. This is a beautiful spot.

On the way down I stopped at Bishop Creek Group Campground and had my lunch.
Back in town I went to the Visitor Center and the adjoining park.

At the library I could not sent a new post. The computer told me that I was not on the Internet. Which was not true since I got my Juno E mail. I have to find a place with WIFI.

Today I went up the White Mountains, to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. The White Mountains form the Eastern border of Owens Valley.
From 10,000 feet one has a good view of the snow covered Sierra Mountains on the other side of the valley. Schulman Grove is at the altitude of 10,000 feet.

I walked the Discovery Trail which is a one mile loop and does go up higher. There are plenty of benches along the way. And I used them.

The Bristlecone trees rewrote radio carbon dating technology. The growth rings of those trees do not lie.
Some of those trees are older than 4,000 years.
Many trees look like they are dead, but there is one live branch.
Last time I was up here, there was a beautiful Visitor Center, unfortunately it burn down last year.
After all that walking I had a hot chocolate, at the Loony Bean Café, in Bishop, and I did my E mail. They have WIFI.
Coming down the hill I saw my little home on wheels near the Owens River.

Next to it are my neighbors in their fifth wheel. The day before yesterday he was setting up the dish for television. He got so frustrated and almost threw the dish in the river.
Finally he went into town and bought a gadget to help him zero in on the satellite.
They run their generator all day and watch television. In the evening they go and make some money. When he told me this I started laughing. The Indian casinos are not better than Las Vegas when it comes to paying out money.
My other neighbors are Curt and Peg. They are nice. They have a real beautiful cat. I have never seen a cat with colorful fur like his.
The cat throws up on winding roads, probably because of his age, he is 18 years old. He walks around outside and does not go very far away from the trailer.

In the morning I went to the Laws Railroad Museum. The towns of Laws does not exist anymore. It disappeared when the mines in the area closed down. Only the railroad depot, water tower and a few buildings are still there. Some of the buildings were brought in from the country side and other towns.
They have displays of a dental office, doctor office and stores from the early 1900s.
When the city of Los Angeles bought most of the land in Owens Valley for the water rights, farming and ranching stopped too. That did not help the town.

For traveling only sixty miles today, I left early. At 6:30 AM I was on the road, heading to the gas station at the Indian Casino. Gasoline is $ 2.85 at the casino, versus $ 3.19 and $ 3.29 at the other stations. Since the tank was only half full it paid to stop there. Later, one has a problem getting a pump. It is especially difficult to get in there with a motorhome and a car in tow. I needed 37 gallons. The 65 gallons in the tank will get me to Death Valley, out of the valley and almost home. With my old motorhome I had to be careful and carry gasoline in cans, instead of paying the high price in the valley.
Five miles south of Bishop I saw a herd of elks, in the meadow, next to highway 395.

At 8:30 AM I arrived at the Diaz Lake Campground in Lone Pine.
Like most of the land in Owens Valley, this park is owned by the city of Los Angeles and leased by Inyo County.
It is a beautiful lake. On one side I see the Sierra mountain range with Mount Whitney, in the front I see part of the lake and the White Mountains, and of course Doreen’s companions, and on the other side the lake.

In the afternoon I went to town. The library, like other Inyo County libraries has no WIFI. Tomorrow I have to get a hot chocolate at the café, and do my blog there.
The park has 200 sites and there are less than 10 rigs here.
Today I bought 1 ½ pound of ground beef and grilled beef patties. One big one I ate with vegetables and a baked potato, two went in the freezer and two in the refrigerator.

This morning I went to the Alabama Hills. Those hills have been settings for about 300 films, mostly westerns.

The Movie Road is a 12 mile dirt road. A small portion of the road was like wash board, most of it was fine.
On the way home I stopped at Manzanar National Historic Site.
At this place about 12,000 people of Japanese ancestry were interned from 1942 to 1945.
It is a very emotional place.
The restored auditorium houses historic photos and displays.

The Mount Whitney Fish Hatchery, near Independence, was my first stop this morning. There were no fish in the hatching basins, only in the pond.
The building and its surroundings is worth the trip. It is a typical European building, with three feet thick stone walls. The building blends in with the mountains.

My second stop was The Museum of Film History in Lone Pine.
The museum has every poster of films made, or part of it made in Lone Pine. There are also cars of the period and pictures of the movie stars, and memorabilia of the making of the movies and its stars.

Some of the stars I never heard of. As a young boy we walked to our neighboring town and saw Hopalong Cassisdy movies. I also remember Tom Mix. I never saw the singing cowboys in the movies, but later heard of them.
Besides westerns, they filmed movies where the action was supposed to be in Africa or Asia, in Lone Pine.
The entrance ticket also included a movie at 7:00 PM and cartoons 30 minutes earlier.
They showed two Have Gun-Will Travel shows. I really paid attention to the area the shows were filmed.
Yes, the action was in the Alabama Hills.

I am getting ready to go down to Death Valley. This afternoon I will get a lot of neighbors. The camp sites on the edge of the lake are marked with "Reserved" papers. The weekend is coming.
At the visitor center I checked out the temperatures in the valley. The highs are: 94 degrees F (35C)
and the lows: 61 degrees F (16C). I can live with that.
I went in town and filled up the gas tank in the car. I hate to tow the car with a full tank, but the price of gasoline is extremely high in Death Valley.
The rest of the day I took it easy.


Barbara and Ron said...

Although those snow pictures are just gorgeous, I hope you're heading downhill!

Bob Parker And Donna Huffer said...

Hope I never get a picture of our rig like that.