Monday, October 28, 2013


We packed up to head down the road as we needed to dump the tanks for sure.  It was fairly windy driving south on Hwy 395 to the RV park where we dumped and Aileen got talking with a couple who told her the wind further south was going to be worse.  I went online and today was going to be the windiest but tomorrow would be much calmer.  With that information in hand, we decided to reclaim our spot in the Alabama Hills.  With many very strong wind gusts overnight we hadn’t slept all that well so it seemed like a good excuse for a rest day.  Since we don’t have a deadline like crossing the border, an extra day or two doesn’t matter much.  The beauty of travel plans set in jello!
After a good long nap for Aileen and both computer and reading time for me, we gave up waiting for the weather to improve and went for a drive.  It was pretty dull all day but got worse as the afternoon progressed.  We drove up the Horseshoe Meadows Rd which climbs rapidly as you’ll notice in the photo below.  We turned around at 9,583 feet elevation as the road started to go down and there was snow on the road.  It was -4C with a strong wind blowing so not too inviting when we got out for a few minutes.  I googled Horseshoe Meadows and apparently there is a huge meadow at the 10,000 foot elevation and several major trailheads going to various Sierra Nevada Mtn locations including the Pacific Crest Trail.  Perhaps if we get back here when the weather is a little better, we’ll drive to the end of the road.

We’ll see what the wind is doing in the morning before making our travel decision.  The weather will probably have some bearing as to where we stop tomorrow night.  We’re running the little Honda generator for a bit tonight to top up the batteries.   The forecast is for it to be frosty in the morning.  We already have the propane heater running so we’re cozy.   I get up and start it in the cool mornings then hop back into bed for a few minutes.

Here's a few more sunny shots from yesterday

Hi Georgia

Is it Yeti? or a Sasquatch?

Lone Pine Creek waterfalls

This is today at 9,583 feet

Looking back at the switchback road.  We were nearly 2,000 feet higher than what you can see as the road went around the far corner and headed away from the sidehill.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


We had planned on a quiet day for today but waking up with a sore back kept me a little more contained as well.  I did make several walks close by with my camera as the light changed.  This little pile of rocks is amazing for the number of shots one can find.  We did take a drive up to the end of Whitney Portal Rd after a chap I met told me about it.  In 16 kms we gained about 4,000 feet elevation.  It was all paved and in good condition.

An early shot this morning

A few minutes later

Here's our hidey hole

Looking down from about 7,000 feet towards our camp.  We're down and around the corner to the left from the furthest piece of road that you see in the top three quarters

Saturday, October 26, 2013


We were overwhelmed by young rambunctious climber types last night.  When we got up this morning there were 61 carloads of them in the campground and most cars contained several people.  Being happy and having fun translates into a fair bit of noise for those of us who seek peaceful surroundings.  Figuring tonight would be even noisier, this morning we put the solar panels down, the trucker antenna away and generally packed up to leave.  We made a couple stops in Bishop using the car before hooking it onto the motor home and heading south down 95.
After unhooking along the highway in Lone Pine, Aileen napped while I took the car and found us a spot for a couple nights.  We are only a couple miles up Whitney Portal Road which is paved and right in behind the big face on a rock.  People are continuously stopping for photos of it.  I took a short walk up behind us and tonight’s photos are the result.
I noticed that one of the bloggers I read was camped a couple miles up from us so later Aileen and I went and visited RV Sue.  She has a little Casita trailer like the one we used to have and so enjoyed.  I think we’ll probably stay a second night here then head for Florence, AZ.  I think we’re still 1,000 kms (600 miles) away.  We’ll probably break it up into three days driving.

Hi Georgia!

I thought this looked like an elephant walking toward me

This looked like a fat marmot turning his head

If you look really hard to the right of the foreground rock, you might spot our car and motor home

Friday, October 25, 2013


We took lunch makings with us and headed for Mammoth Lakes, CA mid-morning today.   We took the short walk in to the Devil’s Post Pile and found that to be interesting.  They are still cleaning up from a major wind storm back in November 2011 that blew down thousands of mature trees.  The winds ranged up to 180 miles per hour!
After spending some time in the Mammoth area, we went back out to Hwy 395 and went further north to Lee Vining then took Hwy 120 to Yosemite National Park.  Because of the time and distance, we didn’t go too far into the park, but Tioga Pass at around 10,000 feet elevation gave us some great scenery.  We’re running out of time here and there is still so much to see.  There is the possibility of snow for Mammoth on Tuesday.

We’re waiting to see if it will get noisy here tonight.  When we got up this morning, there were about thirty carloads of young people camped in the pit in front of us.  We’re guessing they are mostly rock climbers.  I’m expecting to see even more when we get up tomorrow morning since lots of them probably had to work today.   It’s much different from our first couple of days when there were only about eight of us here and none were very young.

Taken about 2 kms from camp this morning just after the sun appeared

Closer to camp

Nearly Crowley Lake about 20 miles up Hwy 395 from Bishop, CA

The Devil's Post Pile

This is one large Lodgepole Pine at about 7600 feet elevation

A little waterfall near the Post Pile parking lot

Along the road up to Tioga Pass from Lee Vining

In Tioga Pass

Tioga Lake

This is one twisty pine!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


We took it pretty easy today after our more strenuous yesterday.  Late this morning, we took a drive to the volcanic tableland which is just across from us.  We didn’t take the very rough Chalk Bluffs Rd this time but went to Bishop and took the paved road until we got to the gravel road heading up onto the tableland.  We found the boondocking spot of Paul and Nina who have a blog called Wheeling It which I read at times.  We continued down past their spot to the end of the little road at the edge of the Chalk Bluffs.  There was a great parking spot there but it was occupied.   It was the best spot for photos of the Eastern Sierra’s that we’ve seen so far in this area.
After lunch, I went I into Bishop for gas and to visit the Mountain Light Gallery which highlights the photographic work of the late Galen Rowell.  He was a contributor to National Geographic and a regular writer for Outdoor Photographer.  It features many large prints of this area and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in general but there were also some great shots taken in Patagonia and other areas of the world.  There was a large print on display of his iconic shot of the Dalai Lama’s temple with the rainbow striking it.

There is so much left to explore in this area we’ll have to come back again.  We are planning to stay until Sunday, I think, then, perhaps move another 50 or 60 miles down the road to near Lone Pine.  From there we plan on making it to Florence, AZ in three days of travel.

The Eastern Sierra's taken from the Volcanic Tableland 

A couple of cottonwood tree portraits taken on the way home from town

There was a bit of sunset after supper

And here we have the kissing clouds

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


We packed lunch supplies, extra clothes and the required photo gear into the car and headed north up Hwy 395, destination Bodie Ghost Town.  It was close to 100 miles each way and the last three into Bodie were very rough gravel.  I was surprised how many buildings there were. I'm glad there were no more people than there were as it was fairly difficult at times to get shots without someone in the picture.  I gave up on lots of shots for that reason but, of course, I still took a lot.  We took the June Lake Loop road on the way home and there was some nice colour in the poplars along there.

This shot was taken a little ways behind our motor home this morning

Here are a few shots of Bodie

The firehall

Peeking in through a window

I was too tired to stop and work Mono Lake so contented myself with a few shots from the road

Along the June Lake Road

Aileen and Mitzy at Gull Lake