Friday, January 20, 2017

On the road again

This morning there was a bit of wet snow. The snow plow rumbled down the street, so we knew all was okay for our departure. We drove over to Hertz to pick up the rental car. I drove home quickly to meet Valerie. She was going to say goodbye, drop off some sox for me that Ben had outgrown and get some last minute instructions for watching the house. Bill drove up in a big dual cab 4WD truck. We got an upgrade, aka this truck is wanted in San Francisco.
Valerie showed us a few pictures from her house. She was inside the snowline.

Before she left she took a picture of us with our bit of snow.

The drive to San Francisco was pretty uneventful. Google maps did take us off of 80 at one point to get around an accident.
We got to our favorite preflight lunch restaurant with plenty of time to spare. The Kitchen in Millbrae closes for lunch at 2:30. This is a very authentic Chinese restaurant. Mostly Chinese eating here. We chose three small tapas-like dishes.
Steamed shrimp dumplings, salt and pepper dried squid and pan-fried fish chunks.

 The flavors were extraordinary. I could pictures that fish wriggling under the cleaver as the chef chopped it into chunks. You did have to be careful of the bones. And the fins were tasty, but unusual.
We fly out of SFO at 9:25 am and land at 10 PM the next day in Chennai, India. It takes a long time to fly around the world.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Hike around Gull Lake and festival

September 30, 2016

Yesterday was a hike around Gull Lake

Today October 1 was the June Lake Autumn Beer Festival.
Maybe we are staying longer as it looks like we can't beat the upcoming tiny storm.
We made it home. But I forgot to post this. So I'll have to do it now to clear the decks for all my posts on our long trip. We fly out for far away on January 21st. More to come.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Virginia Lakes

Maybe part of the goal of this trip has been getting away from electronics. In Bridgeport we had wifi but no cell phone coverage. Here in Virginia Lakes we have neither. I'm getting caught up on book reading. We were only going to stay for 2 days, but have extended for 4.
Me at camp at Trumbull Lake
William at Trumbull Lake
Lots of Wildlife
Looking back at the campground
Little Virginia Lake hike from the Virginia Lake resort
Leave  the camp for a minute and the wildlife move in

Big Virginia Lake

Big Virginia Lake

Big Virginia Lake

Old miner's cabin
Frog Lake

William at Frog Lake in Hoover Wilderness
Lots of pretty foliage, but would have been nicer if it hadn't been so dry. Many leaves turn color and then blow off. If the summer had been even a bit damp, the colors would have been brighter and the leaves would have stayed on longer.

As we left, a Pleasure Way RV identical to ours pulled up to take our space. It was a 2006, we are a 2004, but they looked identical. Small world.

We are at June Lake now. We won't stay longer than the two nights we booked. Weather is heading our way. We need to scoot back over the pass tomorrow to beat the storm.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Saturday in Bodie

September 24, 2016

Arriving at Bodie after many miles of rough, washboard road. Neither Mono County nor the state keeps the dirt road up.

In the Visitor Center there were two horse drawn hearses. Life was rough in Bodie. The miners union provided some benefits for the dependents of those who fell down the shaft. 

The old miner sits on the sill of the Dechambeau Hotel reading the walking tour guide.
The old miner and his old truck

The Swasey Hotel is barely still standing.
A selfie with the mine in the background

The hops that used to grow on the porch of the Conway house were said to be the only green plants that could survive in Bodie.

This big house was where the mine superintendent lived. Theodore Hoover, brother of President Herbert Hoover, was also a mining engineer.
The old miner's last stop in town was Maiden Lane and Virgin Alley.
We took a rest break and snack stop back in the RV. We still wanted to tour the cemetery on the hill overlooking the town.
Evelyn, known as the Angel of Bodie, was almost 3 when she died in 1897. She died after being struck in the head with a pick axe while a ditch was being dug around her house. Life was often short and violent for children and adults in Bodie.

Still alive in the Bodie cemetery.

This monument was intended for the man who originally discovered gold in Bodie. But since he died in a blizzard soon after and his remains were not found for 20 years, the monument was dedicated to President Garfield after his assassination.
Many people were buried outside the cemetery, such as prostitutes, indigents and the illegitimate. Rosa May was a prostitute. This headstone memorial to her is in back of the large morgue building outside the fenced cemetery.

We were greeted by the proprietor of the Virginia Creek Settlement restaurant. Despite his appearance, the food was excellent. I brought home enough for two more meals.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Short trip down the East Side of the Sierras

September 22, 2016
Usually when we are near Bridgeport, we are just heading home. But this trip is going to be concentrated in the upper part of the East Side as far south as the road to Tioga Pass and June Lakes. Our first night is at the Paradise Shores RV Park next to the Bridgeport Reservoir. We will stay here a few nights and explore the surrounding area. The reservoir looks low and there is no vegetation around the edge. Very bleak. The wind is expected, but it is so cold it feels like my nose is going to fall off.  William says this is the coldest night of the trip.
     The next morning I take my coffee over to a neighboring picnic table, because of birds. I think they are starlings. They land in a large silver-leaved tree near our site, then swoop off with a clatter over our rig and then down toward the water. The evidence on our rig and our picnic table indicates that they are being successful at gathering food.
missed the starlings in my picture
     Our first side trip is to Twin Lakes. We parked at Arnett's Mono Village. Lots of activity around here mainly oriented around fishing. There is a huge RV park with decent wifi and many summer homes. We hiked for a few hours, part way to Barney's Lake and later found the start of the lakeside trail.
Trails are not marked the way Italian trails are. You are lucky if you find a sign that marks the trail and the descriptions of how to find the trails are not entirely clear.
After lunch we found the parking in the middle of the twin lakes and walked a while along the lakeside trail from the middle.
William walked part way up the Cattle Creek trail.

On our way back on the access road we saw quite a few kokanee salmon. We'd seen a few earlier in the creeks leading into upper twin lake. Fishing season is over in the creeks.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Heading Home From Silver City

May 10th we head for Truth or Consequences New Mexico. Since it has been 5 years since we did much traveling in the Southwest, we try to hit all our favorite spots. First on the list is Riverbend Hot Springs. We know they are constructing a new addition, but they have two spots open in their small RV park across the street.
Construction area

The construction was fairly quiet

A deep therapy pool is part of the addition

In the private pool in the evening

William is floating flower boats

The night lights on the public pools are lovely
There is one restaurant we particularly like in Truth or Consequences, but they are closed the first day we are here. So we are really prepped for our visit on May 11th. We decide to go quite early, but still look for the old sidewalks on the way.
These agencies put people to work during the depression building anything. Federal Emergency Relief Administration built the sidewalk in 1935. Works Progress Administration built the curb in 1940. I'm glad to see these are still here.
We get to Cafe BellaLuca and the sign on the door said they were sorry to be closed tonight. But the back door was open, so we went in to find out why.  They had a failure of the refrigerator. But the cook said he felt so sorry for us coming so far to eat there, that he cooked for us anyway. Just using no perishables. So none of their Calamari, which is just the best. But what he cooked was wonderful. Arancini di riso is not on the appetizer menu now. I pitched for putting it back on. Next year we might come to Truth or Consequences before working at the Tour of the Gila. I am sure the boys will want us back.

Our next stop on May 12th is at Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area. The only sites left are double ones. Our close neighbors have two little dogs, but they are quiet. But there are five dogs in the other double site right next to us. In the tent trailer they have a Newfoundland, a yippy long haired chihuahua and an old fat bulldog. In the Cruise America rental rig they have two Pomeranians. The older couple with the poms took the dogs and two fishing poles to scramble down to the lake. But that's not the way. Bill says there is a cliff there. But we heard no blood-curdling shrieks.
Painting my nails

The lake really is a long way down there.
On May 13th we head on to Sedona. The down town looks like just a mass of shops. We enjoy the red rock views from the windows of the PW, then stop to eat lunch at The Wildflower Bread Company. Excellent food and wonderful decor of huge glass flowers in a stand up to order and find a seat place.We were lucky all around. We found a parking place, there was a lull in the crowd and we found a place to sit.
Real flowers on a cactus outside
Our stop for the night is Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood Arizona. It is 93 degrees but feels like 100. William gets out the hose and floats a spray of water over us in the breeze. So refreshing. Lots of fat bunnies and fat quail. There is a big rig with a few small dogs in it about 3 spaces down.  The bunnies hop near to eat the nice grass and it sounds like a dog fight in there as all the dogs bark, growl and scuffle around because of the bunnies they smell. Hysterical!

On the morning of May 14th we stop at Tuzigoot National Monument. Tuzigoot is the remnant of a Southern Singua village built between 1000 and 1400. It crowns the summit of a long ridge rising 120 feet above the Verde Valley. The original pueblo was two stories high with 87 ground floor rooms.

On to Jerome and Jerome State Historic Park. The historic park preserves a historic mansion and tells the story of copper mining in the Jerome area.
The town of Jerome is up on the hill

outside the Douglas Mansion
Jerome is hard to get around in. It is a warren of tiny streets and businesses clinging to the side of a steep hill.  It was once a copper boom town of 15,000 people. From that it dwindled to a ghost town. Now it is a tourist destination for art and history.  The ghost of Jerome played a trick on us while we were here.

We were looking for a restaurant in Yelp and had picked one out and walked to it. But it was a gift store. The owner said it hadn't been a restaurant for 15 years. But there were recent reviews in Yelp for that same place at that same address.

We found another very nice place to eat after trudging back up the same hill.
at Grapes restaurant
On the street in Jerome

We spend the night of the 14th at Point of Rocks Campground in Prescott, AZ. Really a nice place with lovely rocks and lots of native vegetation separating the camp spots.

Rocks at Point of Rocks
May 15th and we are heading for home. Our last stop is at Bailey's Hot Springs outside of Beatty NV. Bill said it had mixed reviews (I'm sure), but he couldn't resist stopping. The big, blowsy blonde who shows up to check us in isn't much on paperwork. Just hand her the cash and pick out a spot. She is sure that Bill has been here before. "But he wasn't here with you." (referring to me) Later by ourselves we laugh hysterically about that. She claims to be a bit disorganized because of all the company that has stayed over after her daughter's quinceanera party. But that was a couple of days ago. Lots of animals and kids around. The typical quail and bunnies, but also a screaming peacock who comes around to bum food and a black pig also looking for handouts. The private baths are not bad with sand and rock covered bottoms.

The pig and the local ambiance.
On the morning of the 16th we head for home and pull in about 3pm. Now we have time to get cleaned up and organized before our next trip.