Saturday, October 3, 2009

Eastern Sierra 2009

We had a good travel day. The clouds stayed behind us.
We took a little detour and visited Joy and Ed in Richmond, Utah. They are the parents of Vicki Daley.
We usually see them In Death Valley and in Winterhaven, near Yuma, Arizona.
When we unhooked the car at the Elks Lodge in Bountiful, Utah, a car stopped next to us and a couple got out. I heard my name when I turned around, it was little Linda and Bill from the WINs. They are also staying at the lodge.
We treated ourselves and walked to a Japanese restaurant for dinner.
It is a lot warmer here than in Idaho Falls.

We headed west on I-80. After traveling the last five weeks on small highways it is pretty boring driving 55 miles per hour on the Interstate.
We rested at the Bonneville Speedway Rest Area. As far one can see there is salt.

At 11:00 AM we stopped at the Mountain Shadows RV Park in Wells, Nevada. It was a bit early, but it felt right. Then we realized it was actually 10:00 AM. We had entered the Pacific Time Zone.
Last night I had bought a 30 Amp outlet and a box for the 120 volt line from the inverter. So far I used a regular 15 Amp plug. This meant I had to use a reducer from the 30 Amp.
Every time I used that combination I had problems. I had to play with it until it worked.
Nothing changed, I put the 30 Amp plug in the new outlet and sometimes it works, and sometimes it does not. There are no loose wires. I give up.
Doreen cooked a big fancy dinner today. It was an easy relaxing day. We had full hook ups, even cable television.

The plan was to go to Reno today. When we woke up and looked out of the window we got a surprise. Doreen took a picture out of the window and I could not resist to go outside and take some pictures.

This is a Freightliner truck, pulling a giant fifth wheel trailer, and on the end a little Smart Car. All three vehicles have the same paint scheme.

It had rained all night, we expected that. But it turned cold in the morning and the rain turned to snow.
When it stopped making noise on the roof of the motorhome I was happy. I had left the sewer hose and water hose connected and it is no fun working on that in the rain. I thought I had gotten a break.
Now, this is another story, snow.
We decided to stay one more day and hope the weather is better tomorrow.This was a day for relaxation. Doreen did a lot of knitting and reading.I made progress with reading my book.

The rain and snow are gone now. The clouds are still there.
It was perfect weather for driving. We ended up at the Desert Rose RV Park in Fernley, Nevada.

I am alone again. This morning I took my copilot to the airport in Reno. Doreen does not feel good right now. Her bladder infection came back and she will feel better seeing her own doctor.
The last five weeks I have been waiting for my new drivers license. My temporary license expires in a few days. Our neighbor missed the letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles. It had arrived at home. Every time I called the neighbor she told us that it was not there.
Doreen will send the license to me now. I will stay here in Fernly until it arrives.
The weather has improved. Today was a sunny day.
For excitement it did two loads of laundry and went to Wal Mart.

On Interstate 80,trucks with three trailers are common. We do not see those in California.

I cooked a big breakfast and then called Doreen to wish her a happy birthday.
At 9:30 AM I took off for Virginia City, Nevada, an old mining town. It is a tourist town now, somewhat like Oatman, Arizona, only ten times larger.
Before I arrived at Virginia City I came through Silver City, and Gold Hill. Time forgot those two places, there are only a few houses left. But around those towns are old relics from the past. There are towers and old run down mining buildings.

Virginia City is alive and many tourists were there.

They have a few museums, including the Mark Twain Museum. He worked for his brother’s newspaper.

The weather is agreeable again, cold at night and in the low 70ties during the day.

In the morning I cleaned the front of the motorhome and gave the car a quick wash with a bucket and a towel. Now the car is white again. I also made a large chicken pasta salad with onions and peas. This will last for a few meals.
I was ready to leave Fernly at 12:00 noon but the post person was late. At 1:15 PM I finally got the letter with my new drivers license, and 15 minutes later I was going South on highway 95A to highway 50 West. At Carson City I took highway 395 South.
This road goes through large valleys which have the Sierras to the West and another mountain range to the East. It is a beautiful drive, with the snow capped mountains, the lakes and the river, which follows the road.
At 4:00 PM I stopped at a small Forest Service Campground South of Walker and North of Bridgeport.
A small river flows through the campground and people are catching trout. One couple had quite a few.
I was told that last night the temperature was 18 degrees F.

It was cold this morning. I had prepared for it and was warm during the night.
I got up, turned the furnace on, and jumped back in bed.
When I finally left my warm bed I turned off the furnace and turned on the catalytic heater. After a while I had to turn on the furnace again, for another half hour, to really warm up the motorhome.
I left Chris Flat Campground at 8:30 AM.
Highway 395 is really beautiful now. The fall colors are just starting, a few more nights with frost and the trees will be covered in gold.

Driving is easy too, there are only a few sharp curves. The Drive down to Mono Lake was steep
I stopped at the visitor center at Mono Lake and stole one picture of the Tufa Towers.

The Forest Service Campgrounds will close on the 12th. I will be staying until then at the Lower Lee Vining canyon campground. It is located on highway 120, four miles West of Lee Vining. The distance to Tioga Pass is 11 miles, and a bit more than two hours to Yosemite Valley.
From the campground I can see the mountains of Yosemite.

A small river winds itself through the camp. Young people in tents camp at the side.
All camp sites have "Bear Proof Food Lockers". They are especially for the tent campers.

It was another cold night. Because it was warm all evening I thought it would be warmer in the night. I was wrong. At 1:00 AM I had to get up and put another comforter on the bed. That did the trick.
After breakfast I packed a lunch and took off for Yosemite National Park.
It took two hours to get to Crane Flat. This included stops at different outlooks and staying within the speed limit, which is 35 MPH and 45 MPH at certain places.
I had not been to Glacier Point for many years, so this became my first stop.
Being on this high mountain and looking down into the valley, and having Half Dome almost at the same height is some experience.

The cars on the road were tiny spots.
My next stop was the valley. Since it is October , there were more people than I expected. But the weekend must have something to do with it. Besides there are many foreign people.
The weather could have not been better.

Tuolumne Meadow is six months out of the year covered with snow. Right now it is snow free. In a few days or weeks it will change.

This morning I went to Mammoth Lakes to find a place to stay for the next few days.
On the way I got off highway 395 and traveled the June Lake Loop. This was a beautiful, pleasant drive.
The aspen and birches are almost in full fall colors. The area near Silver Lake is especially pretty.

In Mammoth Lakes I went to the Visitor Center. I was told that a storm is coming either Monday evening or Tuesday morning. We have blue skies and it does not look like a storm. If I was smart I would move down to Bishop, where it is not as cold at night and they probably will not get much snow.
The Forest Service Campground in Mammoth Lakes will be open until the end of the month.
I checked already the sites and I will go there tomorrow morning.

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