Wednesday, March 09, 2011

BOON DOCKED IN THE EVENING SHADOW OF MOUNT WHITNEY:))

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CAMPED IN THE ALABAMA HILLS WEST OF LONE PINE CALIFORNIA

Our little ‘grassland’ boon docking spot about 3 miles northeast of Joshua Tree’s west gate has served us well.  Despite our misgivings at first about being way out there in the middle of a big yellow grassy field this has turned out to be a great spot for our Joshua Tree explorations.  This boon docking spot has a clear 360 degree view all around us so don’t have to worry about any Hippopotamus’s sneaking up on us.  Google map below shows location of our boon docking site.  I have many more photos of Joshua Tree National Park & am hoping to put together a photo album before too long about Joshua Tree. 

BOON DOCKING

YELLOW MARKER PIN POINTS OUR BOONDOCKING SPOT NEAR JOSHUA TREE

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OUR BOON DOCKING SITE IN THE ‘GRASSLANDS’ JUST A FEW MILES FROM THE WEST GATE TO JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

Beautiful warm sunny morning as we hitched up the Jeep & had the big wheels rolling by 9 a.m.  Thought maybe we would head up Barstow way.  Weather was good & we didn’t have any high winds trying to rip the rig’s paint off so we put the hammer down, picked up highway 395 & headed north for the Alabama Hills & ……LONE PINE:))

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Going to include mostly Joshua Tree photos for tonight & then tomorrow I will shoot up some Lone Pine stuff…..:))

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SPOTTED A LARGE TRYSAUCEROCLOPS SWIMMING IN THE BARKER DAM WATERS

We were sure glad to clear the 8 lane traffic congested & traffic light infested area around Apple Valley & Victorville but we did manage a McDonald’s brussel sprouts stop & groceries at Albertsons in Apple Valley before getting out of town.

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MOUNT JACINTO AS SEEN FROM JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

The drive between Joshua Tree & the town of Ridgecrest is a real sleeper.  Not much to see except endless miles of creosote bushes & scrub desert.  If you ever have to make this drive just throw the rig on Auto Pilot, go grab yourself a snooze & set the alarm clock to wake you up when the rig get’s to Ridgecrest because this is where the scenery begins to dramatically pick up.

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SO NICE TO SEE SOME BIG TREES AGAIN ON THE WAY TO LONE PINE

Highway 395 running north of Ridgecrest enters into the Owens Valley flanked by the Inyo Mountains on the right & the beautiful snow capped peaks of the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountain Range on the left.  The Sierra Nevada’s will lead you right to the old western movie town of Lone Pine.

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DON’T ASK….I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS!!

But, let me back up a bit.  Kelly & I had never heard about the town of Lone Pine until a couple years ago.  Unknowingly as a kid, I had probably seen the area around Lone Pine many, many, times.  It was here in Lone Pine that a lot of good old dusty western movie were made.  More about that later.  We were put onto Lone Pine by another RV couple we met for the first time in the Bisbee Breakfast Club.  Another RV couple most of you know.  Laurie & Odel from SEMI-TRUE TALES OF OUR LIFE ON THE ROAD.  Like me, Odel is a fan of the old wild west Cowboy days & they said if we ever get a chance to head for Lone Pine to just do it.  Well, today we just did it:))

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HEADING THROUGH THE ALABAMA HILLS

I will tell you more about the town & area over the next few days as we get out & about to see what we can see.  But, boy did we get a WOW eyeful as we approached the town of Lone Pine.  The majestic Sierra Nevada mountain peaks were covered with snow & with the late afternoon sun beginning to cast long dark shadows into the snowy slopes it gave the rugged mountain peaks a magical cloak all their own.  It was hard to keep my eyes on the road & off the mountains.

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We rolled into the old western looking town of Lone Pine about 3:15 & made a left turn onto a road called Whitney Portal which led us directly up into & through the Alabama Hills.  Bit of a climb but our Chevy Workhorse engine handled it fine.  We were headed directly for Mount Whitney which at 14,494 feet is the highest point in the whole Continental United States.  A left turn onto movie famous Horseshoe Meadows led us a short distance to a right turn & our final destination about a mile in.  We had found the Turtle Creek BLM campground.  And WOW, what a great campground it was.  This will go down as one of the all time best boon docking sites we have ever had.

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AFTER 3 ATTEMPTS WE FINALLY FOUND A NICE SITE

About 70 sites altogether & not many people here.  Now, how great is that:))  Unhooked the Jeep & went looking for a level site.  Took us 3 tries but we finally found one of the highest sites in the campground.  Nobody even remotely close to us & we are camped right under Mount Whitney itself.  Nice:))

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THAT’S MOUNT WHITNEY ON THE LEFT

Satellite TV dish is set up, Verizon signal is fast, great cell phone coverage, doggy guys are all asleep, Kelly’s on the other computer & all is well with the Bayfield Bunch for another day:))

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GROANER’S CORNER:))   Tornado warning issued for Dallas. Residents are advised to go to the Dallas Cowboy’s Stadium for shelter, as the possibility for a touchdown there is highly unlikely.

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The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.

19 comments:

  1. A sadly famous site along that highway is the old Manzanar WWII Japanese internment camp. A lot of history there.

    Emjay

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  2. That place you are in now is possibly one of the most beautiful spots you've plopped your RV..If I were you guys, I would stay and explore for at least a week..What fabulous photos...and I can hardly wait for more..I do love the snowy rugged peaks....We are soooo jealous...Can you channel some of that scenery our way?...We got nothin' but wet roads and dirty shrinking snow piles here.

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  3. Beautiful photos, Al. Surprised Mount Whitney doesn't have more snow on it.

    Don't be in a rush to get back to Ontario. Had six inches of heavy wet March snow overnight.

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  4. Al, you just have a knack for finding great spots to camp. that spot is to kill for. be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

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  5. How well we remember that area! Although we had our rig in an RV park in Bishop, we did explore the area, including Whitney Portal Road. We weren't in boondocking mode then, just as we aren't now, but we can do a night or two -- when our generator is working. You have made us re-think late-April / early-May route from SE Arizona to Carson City, NV. Your site looks very tempting!

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  6. It looks like you have yourself a beautiful spot in the shadow of Mt. Whitney. I am looking forward to hearing about your stay there.

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  7. Make sure and check out the small creek running thru the Turtle Creek Campground Lots on fish.(trout

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  8. We are SO GLAD to read that you made it to Lone Pine. The place is made for you, Al! :) Can't wait to read your take on it.

    Our two recommendations: the new-ish movie museum and the visitor center south of town, a combined effort of BLM, USFS and some other public agency - don't remember which one. They have great info about everything to do in the area. You won't want to leave.

    I have some great photos from Tuttle Creek campground, the place we stayed the first time we BD'ed in Lone Pine. The morning there is fabulous, and we saw incredible vistas of dust moving off the dry lake bed. The history of water wars there makes great reading.

    Okay, I have to stop now - I get totally carried away on the subject of Lone Pine!! Since we are settled in Sacramento for a few months, your visit to Lone Pine will feed our travel lust.

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  9. Gosh dang it, Al, now I'm really starting to get upset! Here you are going to all my favorite places in the whole world and I'm sitting in the rain in Eugene!! Guess, I'll just have to do something about that. Most all of my family vacations as a child were spent in the Owens Valley, especially the area around Bishop. When you go through Bishop, would you email me a loaf of Sheepherder bread from Schat's Bakery please...or just a whiff of the bakery itself ☺☺. And if you have the time or inclination, take a trip to the Laws Railroad Museum just north of Bishop on Hwy 6. It's only about 5 miles off 395 and well worth the visit. Lots of parking and not many people. It's mainly an outdoor museum and really worth the visit. Have fun and don't use up all the fun along 395 cuz "I'll be back"!! Loved all your photos and the one of the nearly "perfect" Joshua tree was especially nice.

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  10. Al,

    You are going to get some fabulous pictures of the Sierra Nevada in the early morning hours. Enjoy!

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  11. My very most favorite boondocking site in the whole west, Al! Of course your photos are a whole lot better then mine, but we camped across the road from the campground in the nowhere lands. You might get a kick out of this:

    http://mohotravels.blogspot.com/2009/03/boondocking-in-alabama-hills.html

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  12. Great camping spot Al. These are places to write into our 'must see' log. Really nice photos of your travels.

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  13. A new chapter in the Book on Al and Kelly's RV adventures. The pictures are stunning.

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  14. Now here's a man who truly loves peace and quiet:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/garden/10texas.html

    He lives in his Field Lab in remote Texas.

    Interesting story and blog.

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  15. Man, you can sniff out a boondocking site at 100 miles out!

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  16. It looks beautiful, we almost went there from Death Valley, now it's on the list for next year.

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  17. Looks like a great place to do some exploring.

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  18. boondocking perfection site!!!..what a 360 degree view!..so jealous!..enjoy this one..!..it has to be my all time favourite so far!!!

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  19. Al, have followed your blog for quite awhile now, only second post tho. If you know anyone on the west coast please get in touch with them and let them know a tsunami is on the way to Hawaii and the west coast! Please get to where you can get the national news to find out more about this.

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