Monday, March 14, 2011

IT’S TIME TO GET THE BIG WHEELS ROLLING AGAIN

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Word came down from headquarters that we will be rolling out of Lone Pine Tuesday morning so that meant groceries & laundry in town today.

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We had considered a day trip up to Bishop & Mono Lake but it’s 55 miles to Bishop one way.  Rather than do a rushed day trip we would like to return to this area next winter & boon dock somewhere around Bishop & Mono Lake.  That way we can relax & take our time to have a look around in that neighborhood.

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When we leave Lone Pine Tuesday morning it will mark the beginning of our long homeward journey.  We still have a list of places to see here in California, Arizona & New Mexico along the way but once we clear New Mexico it will be pedal to the metal for home.  Until we reach Texas we’re in no hurry to get back to Bayfield so we’ll doddle around here in the southwest for as long as we can.  And where are we headed next?   Well, we’ll consider our options again in the morning but we do have some nice places up our sleeve:))

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Signs of Spring are in the air here with buds sprouting on many trees.  The apple blossoms are looking especially beautiful.  Seen & heard my first Robin Sunday night  & we have seen some Daffodils & Dandelions. 

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Despite the snowy mountain scenes we are very warm here lower down in the Owens Valley.  Short sleeve shirt stuff as long as there is no breeze.  Daytime temps have been averaging around 65 to 70F with nights around 50F.   At high noon in Lone Pine this morning we were at 79F & 10 minutes later at our campsite higher up we were showing 67F on the Jeep’s thermometer.   As always, it depends on altitude in the southwest.  We could feel the temps dropping as we drove up toward Mount Whitney Sunday morning & saw a few patches of snow.  Half an hour later we were in short sleeves with windows down cruising through the Alabama Hills.

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Slipped into Lone Pine first thing this morning & did laundry, grabbed a Spinach sandwich at McDonalds, groceries at Josephs, hit a few little stores & took some pics around town.

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THESE PLAQUES COMMEMORATE LONE PINES ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL WITH THE NAMES OF ACTORS, STUNTMEN, DIRECTIORS, ETC WHO HAVE ATTENDED THE FESTIVAL OVER THE YEARS.  I SAW CLAYTON MOORES NAME (LONE RANGER) AMONGST MANY OTHERS…IF YOUR IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD NEXT OCTOBER, DROP IN AT LONE PINE'S ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL

Because we are rolling out in the morning Kelly opted out of the mountain road drive to get a few things done around the rig.   That was OK because I wanted to slip back over to Movie Road & look for the Lone Ranger site I had heard about.  My GPS told me I was in the neighborhood but alas, I did not find it.  With the picture of the spot in mind instead of photo in my hand I just couldn’t remember the rock formations.  I did take a photo of one spot but when I checked it with the photo on the computer here it was not a match.  Drats!!  Bet if I went over there again I could find it next time, but……… 

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TURNS OUT THIS WAS NOT THE SPOT:((

Anyway, I did have piece of paper with a rough map showing a general area where the Gene Autry, Gary Cooper & Hopalong Cassidy rocks were.  Well, sort of.  There are thousands of rocks & formations out here so I just took some photos of the general areas.

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THIS AREA ON THE LEFT SAID HOPALONG CASSIDY’S AMBUSH ROCK BUT I THOUGHT THE ROCK ACROSS THE ROAD LOOKED MORE LIKE THE TOP OF HOPPY’S HAT:))

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AREA AT LEFT SAID GENE AUTRY ROCK WHILE THE ONE ON THE RIGHT SAID GARY COOPER’S ROCK

Gotta say again how beautiful this area is.  Well, at least to me it is.  Some folks may prefer the flatlands of Texas, some the greenery of Florida & some an ocean vista somewhere but for me it’s the rocks, deserts & mountains.  The rock formations I was climbing around on today have to be seen in person.  My photos are no where near to capturing the true beauty of this land.  You just got to come out here & experience this vast land for yourself.

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I THINK SCENES FROM ‘CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE’ WERE FILMED HERE

Said a final good-bye to all my old boyhood Cowboy Pals & headed south back down Movie Road.  Right on Whitney-Portal Road & then left on Horseshoe Meadow past our Tuttle Creek campground & started my long climb up the mountain road.  Well, my climb ended abruptly about 5 miles later.  Up over a hill, around a right hand curve & into a gully….and that was it.  Gate across the road with a sign hanging on it saying, ‘Road Closed Due To Winter Storms.’  Drats again!!!!  I had heard this road switch-backed itself all the way up the mountain to a meadow where hang gliders hung out.   But, it was not to be today so it was back down the mountain I went & 5 minutes later I was back at the rig.

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HEADING UP THE LONG MOUNTAIN ROAD

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I really wished I could give this great Tuttle Creek campground a two thumbs up but unfortunately I can’t because they have done a very stupid thing here.  Five totally ridiculous speed bumps are angled in at various distances along the single half mile asphalt road leading in to the camp ground.  Even a straight across speed bump is better than an angled one.  Any RV’er knows how bad an angled bump or rut can be on a Motor Home or Trailer.  Each wheel passes over the bump separately & that sets up that violent rocking side to side motion that twists your coach, scatters your dishes & scrambles your shorts!!  Kelly was talking to the camp host today who said the Park is going to be closed for 2 months beginning in May for upgrades including a Dump Station.    New picnic tables replacing the old ones & metal fire rings will be installed instead of the stone fire pits.  All sites will be leveled as well.  Yaaaay on that one!!  No electric or water at the sites but there are (locked) taps along the road.  We hear there is a new water system going in as well.  But, what’s the point in doing all that when you have speed bumps tearing apart people’s rigs trying to come in or out of here.  Oh, & one other very stupid decision somebody made here.  The road is waaaay too narrow for two rigs to pass.   Somebody would have to back up a long way on twisty winding road.  Before asphalting it they should have widened the road.  Can’t believe someone in a responsible position made such a bad error.  Obviously the powers that be in these matters have never driven an RV!!!!

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ONE OF 5 MISERABLE & ILL CONCEIVED SPEED BUMPS…PLUS NARROW ROAD!!

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ONE OF TUTTLE CREEK’S OUTHOUSE BUILDINGS

All said & done though & aside from those 2 gross oversights we think this is a great scenic campground.  For the nearly 6 days we were here we have had only the sounds of birds, wind in the lone pine tree & the babbling of a mountain stream nearby.  A very special place indeed & will go down as one of the most scenic campsites we have ever had.  By the way we were in site number 76 which is about the closest one can get to the Sierra Nevada mountains at this campground.

DSC_0102<<< THIS MOUNTAIN STREAM RUNNING THROUGH THE CAMPGROUND IS STOCKED WITH TROUT

For Campground reviews in this area & others check out RAMBLIN' RALPH'S RV ROAMINGS.  It was RR who put us on to this Tuttle Creek campground.  He responded to our Boondocking question in RV NET FORUM:))

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JEAN & SKIP are into some bad weather on their trek home to Vancouver Island.  For sure it will make there arrival home all that much nicer.

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Welcome to our  250th Blog Follower, NantucketBreezes.  What a nice sounding catchy name that is.  An east coast Gal I suspect:))

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Not sure where we will end up Tuesday night but if you don’t see a blog you will know we have landed in a ‘no Verizon signal’ zone.  I will do a post anyway but might have to wait a day until we can find a Verizon signal.  Until then….Adios my friends & we’ll see you on the flip side….10-4:))

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GROANER’S CORNER:))  And did you know these little known facts………

-Why aren't fishmongers generous? Their business makes them selfish.
-You Need Degas to Make De Van Gogh
-Bessie stopped giving milk the other day. She's an udder failure.  -

Bacon & eggs - Hens are involved but pigs are committed.
-Streakers *repant* your end is in sight.

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

18 comments:

  1. Those speed bumps can also break your windshield! This is a beautiful campground, but you are right - you don't need to stay here. You can stay in the Alabama Hills. There are 3 other equally beautiful BLM campgrounds between Lone Pine and Bishop.

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  2. Great pictures, and I know they will bring back some good memories when you are back in Bayfield.

    Those speed bumps look lethal! My dually rear wheels don't like the straight across kind of bumps, and I can't imagine what the angled ones would be like.

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  3. You just can't beat rocks and desert....your pics are just awesome!! Wonderful country and you really capture it with your camera. Have enjoyed following your trip.
    -michael

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  4. Ah, the long journey home, hope your area is finished for the year with snow, I thought we were, but we got some yesterday again.Keep us posted how you are doing on your trip, if you decide to head across MO give us a holler we have room for you. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

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  5. Safe Travels,,,,In about 2 month's we'll be headed North ourselves towards South Dakota.....My how time flies...

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  6. Al, Your pictures are absolutely wonderful! Thanks for the virtual trip!
    Donna

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  7. Travel safe! I think this is the first time I heard you say what many of us say often, "I can't capture this in a photo". Although, you do a dang good job of it.

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  8. I have to tell you two that Lone Pine and surrounding mountains is BY FAR AND AWAY my favorite place you AND WE have every been. That is going on our list of must see stuff..maybe even next year! Thanks so much for opening our eyes to the beauty of the East side of the Sierra Vistas!! Travel safe and get those egg salad sandwiches made up.!

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  9. Wow! If your pix don't capture the true beauty of the area I'm afraid I might suffer sensory overload seeing it in person.

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  10. gorgeous photos once again..thanks for the ride, today!..we are going to add this place to our ever growing list!!

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  11. I'm a rock and desert lover. Your pictures are incredible. If you're headed towards AZ they are talking about stormy weather this week-end.
    Waiting to see pictures from your next location.

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  12. Thanks again for letting us all ride along on your trip through Lone Pine...and through time. So enjoyed all the photos and commentary about the old time movie locations. Wondering if those road are accesible by small cars other than jeeps? We tow a Honda Fit (wish now we had gotten a 4 wheel drive) and am wondering how it would fare on some of those dirt roads. We are sure looking forward to our next trip to this area. Travel safe and have an fun journey home. We'll be enjoying your travels right along with you!!

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  13. Everyone says your pictures of deserts and rocks and mountains are splendid, and we certainly agrtee. But your picture of Max backlit was also a winner! Safe travels, Amigo and Amiga!

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  14. Al & Kelly, next year you should absolutely go to Bishop. There you will find Mountain Light Gallery home of many great pictures taken by Galen Rowell (1940-2002). As you may already know, he was one of the world's foremost outdoor photographers. He devoted his life to photography, mountaineering, writing, and adventure. Frequent contributor to Life, National Geographic, Outside, Sports Illustrated, and many other publications both here and abroad.

    You would certainly enjoy seeing the many beautiful pictures he took over his career. There are some great books with his photos. I like "Mountain Light" 'in search of the dynamic landscape'. Beautiful photos, and great notes.

    Your photos remind me a lot of his, Al. I really enjoy seeing what you come up with. Will look forward to seeing many more!

    Have a safe journey to your next destination.

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  15. Thanks for the memories, Al. My last West Coast duty station is just a bit south of Lone Pine called China Lake Naval Weapons Center. I used to hit the streams around Bishop and Lone Pine for fishing in the spring....beautiful trout.

    Watch for the speed-bumps of life, too.

    Ray
    Tumbleweed Photo Group
    http://www.tumbleweedphotogroup.blogspot.com

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  16. I agree, Al, the area is amazing and the rock formations are fasciating. This is definitely n area to explore aong 395 all the way to yosemite. Love your pics. At least you don't have to clean the dust spots with the new body :)

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  17. Whoever designed those speed bumps never drove an RV obviously. Gorgeous pics...and the streaker thing had me giggling...gotta pass that one on to my Dad who will love it!

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  18. Awesome pictures! Have been reading your blog for a while now. Still a few yrs away from FT (planning on a 5th) but I'm build a list of must go places and the spots you've been in lately are high on the list. No longer enjoying the winter up here in ON. Not sure if exploring the back roads will be possible with a dually pickup so may have to figure out a way to haul a dual-sport.

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