Monday, October 21, 2013


Last Friday morning we went back to the Columbia Gorge to visit Latourelle Falls which was worth seeing again.  We got back to the campsite about 10:40.  I dumped the tanks while Aileen walked Mitzy then we both worked at packing up.  We pulled out shortly after 11 am and hooked up in the fire hall parking lot next door since there was a much better access to the road.  It was nearly 11:30 by the time we hit I-84 heading east.  Lunch was at a rest area after about 45 minutes. 
We took Hwy 197 from The Dalles, OR over to join 97 and found it to be not that motor home friendly.  There were a lot of hills and the corners weren’t banked very well for the most part.   I would avoid that road in the future if I could remember.
We spent Friday night just north of La Pine, OR at Cascade Meadows which is a Passport America park.  Just over $20 with the discount and boy were we glad to have electricity as it was down around 20F with heavy frost. 
On Saturday morning, we took Hwy 31 from 97 through to 395 and it was a great road.  No bad hills and very little traffic.  We stopped for lunch at a rest area across from the Summer Lake Store.  There were some Lombardi Poplars showing fall colour and the temperature was perfect.  We spent Saturday night in Alturas, CA at High Desert RV Park.  It’s not very appealing but it was $15 cash, no registration required and the power worked. 
It was just below freezing Sunday morning when we went for our morning walk.  It was a gorgeous start to the day but the air quality in Alturas is the worst I can remember experiencing anywhere.  There were lots of wood stoves burning and I think many of them were burning garbage.  We saw a doe and fawn in one yard then a while later we heard a couple of dogs barking furiously.  When we got closer we saw they were barking at a large three point buck that was totally ignoring them just on the other side of their fence.
Sunday night was spent at Honey Lake RV Park which was just north of Milford, CA where it cost us $21 for the night but they had the best shower we’ve ever used in a campground.  There was lots of hot water and the volume was amazing; it was like standing under a waterfall.
 We had a nice drive today, but it was a bit frustrating to drive past so much good scenery (fall colour) without being able to shoot it.   Reno, NV was almost like going through Las Vegas with traffic just flying along.  We made it through with no problem and found a picnic spot further along where we were able to get well off the road for lunch. 
We stopped at Topaz Lake on the Nevada/California border for gas and I was able to fill the little cylinder as well as the main propane tank after gassing up.  Then the guy let me fill the fresh water tank which I’d neglected to do this morning.   Gas in California tends to be a little more expensive than anywhere else down here and today we paid $3.69 a gallon at Topaz, NV.  The next station we came to later down in California  was $4.99, a whole $1.30 per gallon more!
After at least three major mountain passes, the highest was over 8100 feet, we found Pleasant Valley Dam Rd just north of Bishop, CA.  We unhooked at the highway and I went ahead to scout out Pleasant Valley Pit Campground which is in and around an old gravel pit.  We are in #34 for $2 per night.  There are clean pit toilets, garbage and recycling on site.  We also have pretty fast internet which is great.

We hope to spend a few days parked here exploring some of the surrounding area.  Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake, Tioga Pass on the way to Yosemite and many other attractions are within reach with the car.  We’ll just have to see how things play out.
This morning we received the sad news that Jane, the wife of Lynn, one of our ATV friends in Caliente had passed away.  She'd been battling cancer for the past couple of years and kept bouncing back to everyone's amazement, but not this time.  Their daughter was in Michigan to help them drive down and just before their departure, Jane passed.  

 This one is for you Georgia.  Look at all the bugs on the windshield!

Chewaucan River at Paisley, CA yesterday

Oak tree in mid afternoon light yesterday above our Honey Lake camp

Our three point bucks this morning

Oak trees in morning light

Topaz Lake on the Nevada/ California border 

Mono Lake, NV

Cottonwoods above Mono Lake