Welcome to the next post; a pretty momentous occasion. We are on vacation. We rented an RV from a company in Cameron Park and drove over Echo Summit on Friday. We camped that first night at the base of Monitor Pass. Just pulled over at about 11pm and went to sleep. In th emonring we toured down 395 along the Walker River through Bridgeport and past Mono Lake; one of my favorite drives.
Then we stopped at “the hot tub,” a hot spring in the middle of the Owens Valley where we all had a mid morning soak. The water wasn’t too hot or too cold. The view could not be beat. After the soak we continued southward to Bishop and Schat’s Bakery for Shepherder Bread (the worlds greatest bread) and donuts, raisin bread and strude. l should have got some Garlic Cheese bread too, what was I thinking?
At Independence we turned east and into Death Valley National Park. I haven’t really been here since 5th grade. It hasn’t changed much. We camped the second night at Stovepipe Wells, a giant flat gravel parking lot with parking bars to mark the “campsites.” The only redeeming naturalness to it was the tent campsites around the perimeter of the campsite. The girls played in the sand and made a “mole mountain.” I drank my first beer in 12 months. It was a Corona Light and I fell asleep after drinking it.
Sunday morning was partly cloudy and in the 70’s. We played in the sand dunes near-by. I hiked with the family all the way out to the dunes, climbed the steep dunes and even slid down them. The girls had a great time jumping off the tops of the dunes. I must have walked over one mile. That was huge for me, I felt like I had done a big ride when we got back to the RV. I did one of those straight to the kitchen and make a big sandwich post workout maneuvers. Then we went for another hike up Mosaic Canyon. It is a beautiful slot canyon the required a bit of advanced hiking. I went as far as I was comfortable and then headed back to the RV for some shade and a cool drink.
It feels really really good to be on the road and having an adventure. It has been 1.5 years since we went somewhere as a family. The girls are great travelers and are having a great time. I am already looking forward to our next trip, whatever it might be.
The RV is perfect for us and our current situation and considering the time of year. We are totally self contained. We can pull over and sleep anywhere. All the food is right with us and you can make a sandwich rolling down the road. We’ve got tons of food and have yet to go out for a meal. The RV drives like a pig, but that is what you get.
Then we turned the nose of our 24’ RV north to Ubehebe Crater. It is a big hole in the ground created by volcanic action. The girls took the steep trail down into the crater while I watched and shot photo’s. The wind at the top of the crater was intense. At times I had to lean into it to stay standing. Dana pooped out at the bottom of the crater so the Chickenhawk piggybacked her out of the hole. It was amazing to watch that tough woman schlepping the 40 pound rug-rat like she was a small load. I amazed at how tough that woman is.
We camped at the northish end of the park at Mesquite Springs which much more resembles a campground, with benches and fire pits and toilets that aren’t a ½ mile away. We are now at Scotty’s Castle.