Lone Pine, CA to Las Vegas, NV via Death Valley

This’ll be short tonight, because I’m typing with one finger. I’m not a millennial, so it takes me 29.5 minutes to type a sentence with one finger.

Left early.

Saw a great sunrise.

Thought we lost T’Chat in Death Valkey, but found her in the cabinet under the sink.

Had morning coffee in the desert. Nothing better.

Spent this evening with dear old friends Billy and Jennifer O’Donnell at their Vegas condo. Camping tonight in their secured parking lot.

Speeding out tomorrow early, toward Phoenix/Tucson, to avoid bad weather due on Sunday.

Standish, CA to Lone Pine, CA

Woke up to 17 degrees in Standish. Actually we were awake much of the night, as the heater did little to dispel the cold. No insulation in these RV’s!

We packed up and left the campground at sunrise ~ as quickly as we could chip the ice off the inside of the windows.

Passed into Nevada and got the replacement part for the toilet at a little RV store in Reno. Stopped for breakfast (our green blended smoothies) at a lake in Nevada. And T'Chat took a walk (see video, above).

Then passed BACK into California…again through an Agricultural Quarantine Station. This time, the same lemons as yesterday actually had to be hand-inspected by the agent. When he saw that the lemons were harvested in California (originally), he gave them a pass. Something about citrus diseases.

We stopped in Bishop, CA for groceries and to pick up a sandwich at Erick Schat’s Bakery. We ate there in 2016 when we camped in the Sierra Nevadas…such good homemade bread!

Ended the day in Lone Pine at Boulder Creek RV Resort. As with the bakery, we stayed here in the spring of 2016. A nice campground with good wifi, clean showers and a safe place to exercise.

We took a brisk 2-mile walk to shake out our legs. Ross (Super Plumber Man) fixed the toilet. We are back in business.

Tonight, I’m feeling a little sad. The last time we were here we had Mr. Spock with us. He was such a trouper, traveling in the teardrop trailer. We both have been reminiscing about him and miss him a lot right now. Peaches too. Lucy too.

Bend, OR to Standish, CA

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Pretty low-stress day, considering we packed up ourselves, closed up the condo and drove 5 hours to start our 2, 3, or 4 month getaway from the winter. It was a beautiful, uneventful drive out of Bend to 395 South. We love the 395 drive through western California.

T'Chat had her ritual vomit about one hour into the drive. It happens every trip on the first day, then NEVER after that! Now we prepare; the towels and cleaner were at hand at the start of the trip.

Covered 315 miles today. We split the driving. I, Robin, like to take the first leg every day, as that’s when I’m freshest.

We both put our earbuds in and listened to podcasts along the way.

Me: Two Crime Writers and A Microphone ~ hilarious Scottish guys interviewed Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham and Eva Dolan. Stay Tuned with Preet Bharaha ~ who interviewed retired Russian chessmaster Gary Kasparov. You are Not So Smart ~ On how immersive storytelling can change one’s thinking about a topic.

Ross: Rhonda Patrick, PhD ~ interviews with Dr. Judith Campisi (cellular senescence), Dr. Satchin Panda (circadian clock and food), sauna benefits.

Plusses: Gorgeous sunset! Didn’t get in trouble for carrying our citrus fruit into California. We admitted to carrying in 3 lemons at the border and were cleared to carry on.

Minuses: We seem to have sprung a leak in our toilet. Luckily it’s in the fresh water intake side…nothing icky. We’ll work on fixing it at our next destination.

Dinner: Homemade split pea soup and homemade chicken salad over spinach! Plus (my first sugar since before our fast) ~ one Seeley mint chocolate piece.

Click, click, click. There's no place like home.

Daily Summary

  • May 19

  • Day 37

  • Start Fallen Leaf Campground in South Lake Tahoe, CA

  • Finish Home in Bend, OR

  • Today’s Miles 448.2

  • Trip Time 10:16:32

  • Moving Average 55.4 mph

  • Speed Max 73.3 mph

  • Time Moving 08:33:27

  • Odometer 2510.7

Highlights/Lowlights

  • Once we make up our mind we’re doing something, we get very focused on completing the goal. In this case, the decision to head home was the first domino to topple. And so we drove 450 miles home. And while it was a long day, we were glad to be home. We parked in the underground garage and unloaded only the essentials. The rest will have to wait until tomorrow. And then we luxuriated in our hot shower and high speed internet. And we drank a toast to ourselves.

  • The totals:

    • Adventure days: 37

    • Adventure miles: 2,511

    • Adventure memories: too many to count

Our Teardrop is a Poikilotherm

Daily Summary

  • Day 35

  • Start Gull Lake National Forest Campground near June Lake, CA

  • Finish Gull Lake National Forest Campground near June Lake, CA

Highlights/Lowlights

  • So while we are enjoying the good weather at Gull Lake, 10-day forecasts are showing a large weather pattern bringing freezing temperatures and possibly snow later this week. Here’s the lowlight: this weather pattern spans from the Sierras all the way up to the Oregon Cascades. So there’s no escaping the cold. We remind ourselves that this trip was initially conceived to head south into California to ESCAPE the winter for a month or so. Oops! We have had many more cold days than warm.

  • We are declaring our trip an overwhelming success and now it’ time to wrap up. Our plan is to begin to head home to Bend arriving around Saturday.

  • Back to the highlights: pie in a jar. Who knew? We stopped at Mimi’s Cookie Bar yesterday while running errands in Mammoth Lakes. We bought a jar of Sweet Banana Caramel Cream Pie and Mammoth Mud Pie. And they were oh so good!

Meandering Home

Daily Summary

  • Day 36
  • Start: Gull Lake National Forest Campground near June Lake, CA
  • Finish: Fallen Leaf Campground in South Lake Tahoe, CA
  • Today's Miles: 165.3
  • Trip Time: 06:49:35
  • Moving Average: 38.7 mph
  • Speed Max: 65.0 mph
  • Time Moving: 04:29:17
  • Odometer: 2062.5

Highlights

  • If the weather promised to stay nice over the next week, we could have seen ourselves staying in this area for a few more days. But alas, it’s time to start heading home. We drove the rest of the so-called June Lake Loop past Silver and Grant Lakes (and several waterfalls) and back on to Highway 395. We were aiming to get as far as the Lake Tahoe area. But first we made a side trip to the ghost town/state park of Bodie, CA. At one time a booming gold mining town with its own Chinatown and red light districts, Bodie fell on hard times and was abandoned. Now it is maintained as a state park in “arrested decay” meaning there is no renovation of the structures but they are maintained by the state park system. Pretty interesting place.

  • After reading RV Park Reviews, we set course for Fallen Leaf Campground in South Lake Tahoe, CA. Situated on the north shore of Fallen Leaf Lake and near the south shore of Lake Tahoe, the campground is a great base camp for exploring the recreational opportunities in the area. When we arrived it was nearly empty having just opened for the season. The campground is beautiful and well-maintained by one of the concessionaires contracted by the NFS. Our site #25 was adjacent to Taylor Creek. Mr. Spock loves a good creek; however, the creek was too swollen and rapid for his little paddle legs. The four of us took a nice stroll along the creek until T'Chat got spooked by the loud, rushing water and ran back to the teardrop. It’s amazing that her little internal GPS knows exactly where “home” is.

Lowlights

  • There’s a lot of road construction in the area with long delays that worsen the already terrible traffic in the area.