It’s good to be back in the desert again.
The crew and I come down off the mountain from Hartley Springs Campground early this morning, towing the Best Little Trailer. We backtrack to Mono Lake to see it one more time. I make the turn to go to the Southern Tufas. Several warning signs convince me it’s not a good idea to take the BLT any further on that road. I turn around, get back on Highway 395, and head south.
What a beautiful stretch of road!
And what anguish not having a working camera to photograph the magnificent mountains of the Sierra Nevada! Around noon we reach Lone Pine, California, and are pleased to see the townsfolk arranged a festival for our arrival. I park the Perfect Tow Vehicle next to the town park and we browse the booths selling handmade jewelry, pottery, tooled leather items, metal art, photographs, etc.
I learn this is the last day of the three-day Movie Festival.
The Alabama Hills are a few miles behind Lone Pine. Lone Ranger and Tonto fought crime and rescued damsels in those hills, back in the day.
After watching part of the festival parade, the crew and I find a place to set up camp. The view is pretty nice, wouldn’t you say?
It looks like this photo only without the snow.
I’ll have to continue this post later. I’m in town for internet and the crew is driving me nuts in the PTV. I probably won’t be able to post again until tomorrow. We’re going back to our desert home. I plan to camp on this BLM land for the next two weeks.
Hi Sue, First time commenting. Being in Alabama, the Alabama Hills caught my attention. There is nothing in Alabama that looks like your picture! I enjoy your blog. Saw a BLT in the Corp property on the Alabama river this past weekend and thought of you.
You’re right, Frances… This looks nothing like Alabama!
Sue, if you had it to do again, would you still pick your PTV? I am starting to look for my next vehicle and want something to pull my little fiberglass camper and thinking of coping off you. I figure I could keep my camp stuff in there ready to go so weekends would be easier. Just wondering.
Angie, FYI, my wife and I have seen Sues setup and it is GREAT. We are thinking of downsizing and using Geris Chevy TrailBlazer as tow vehicle and setting up the solar the same way. Park the trailer in the shade and move the tow vehicle to the sun.
Yes, yes, yes, I would still pick the PTV!
Feel free to copy, Angie . . . A van with tinted windows or with solid sides makes a perfect tow vehicle.
Sue, LOVE all your posts and wish you and the dogs the best of everything. Am camping oceanfront in Maryland at the time! Ain’t life grand!! We are both so blessed! Jane
Yes, life is grand! Nice comment, Jane. Thank you.
Just a hi Sue! Did you remember to get fresh batteries for the camera to see if they help? Keep on truckin….Hi to the co-pilots.
Hi Jim… I tried fresh batteries and they didn’t help.
First comment and a new blog follower. We love to read about your adventures. We’re about two weeks away from heading out from Albuquerque in OUR BLT (2012 Casita) with our 2012 Ford Expedition. Going full-time. Just sold everything and can’t wait to get going. You’re in our old stompin’ grounds….you’re just north of China Lake, Ca (Ridgecrest). Hope to meet you on the road some day.
My goodness, Emma J. I just finished talking to son#3 in Ridgecrest . He says it’s till in the 70’s there at night, so I guess the daytime temps there are toastier. Sue is likely experiencing Bishop’s version of the same temps.
Welcome, EmmaJ! So glad you are reading my blog . . . and congratulations on your Casita and Expedition. You are about to launch into a new and wonderful life beyond all expectations… Best Wishes!
Glad to hear the townsfolk had some festivities all ready for you. lol. Yes, great view!!
This is a photographer’s Eden… Everywhere I see subjects for photos.
The Alabama Hills are so interesting and scenic. Hope you enjoy your time there.
Thanks for the good wish. The crew and I are enjoying the Hills so far!
Sue, I’ve been all over the country and I think 395 on the eastern side of the Sierra is my favorite drive anywhere! I especially love the Alabama Hills and Lone Pine. I think it is in my top 5 places in the country. Lots of great camping up on Movie Drive. The Inter-agency Ranger station is great also. If you are headed toward Death Valley from there, be aware there are some monster hills to go over to get there.
About your camera troubles, I know we are all on a budget, but i can’t recommend enough the Canon 12G highly enough. It’s the best point and shoot you can buy–period. To take full advantage of it there is a fairly steep learning curve because it gives you so much control over nearly every aspect of the picture. BUT, the pictures you will get are well worth it!! It’s very expensive so I bought mine from Best Buy and bought the 3 year extended warranty.
As always, I love your blog! Bob
Hi Sue, I agree with Bob, the Canon 12G is a fine camera, I have one too. Pays for itself in the long run. Love your blog, I always look forward to reading it. I hope one day I will get to travel. Pat
A very strong second recommendation for the Canon G12, Sue. It won’t fail you, and it just may be worth it, considering how important your blog–and your wonderful photos–are to all of the kind folks who enjoy it so much! Though I don’t comment as often as I should, I read (and look!) with relish every morning! You go, Sue, Spike, and Bridget!
Sorry for the double comment, but be sure to check out the arches on the road. One has an incredible shot of Mt Whitney (the highest mountain in the Lower 48) through the arch. The Ranger Station has maps of how to find them. it is just a 10 minute walk to it and the dogs will love it. I camped very near to it so i could walk over and get shots of it at sunrise and sunset. Beautiful!!
The one further up the road to Whitney was much harder to find and a pretty good walk and climb, but still very pretty! Bob
The crew and I are camped near the arches!
You are a bad influence, I was ready to buy a cargo trailer and build it the way I wanted it. Then along came Sue,talking about her Casita and how well it has worked out.
For the last month I have been reading and researching the Casita trailer .
Next week I am going to Rice and look all there models over.
Aint that just like a women ,ya,ll are great at changing guys minds.
Ron, having had 2 Casitas, you will love it. My preference was for the Liberty Dlx, like RVSues. Set mine up similar to hers with two twin beds(she uses one side for storage). With the Spirit, you have the ‘middle of the night climb over your partner’ manuver! I removed my heater (you can order it without and it becomes xtra storage) and used a Lil Buddy(crack a window). Converting to LED bulbs is huge power saving.
Good Luck, Chuck
Your comment tickles me… I wish I could get a commission for all the Casitas that are bought from reading my blog! You’ll enjoy your tour at the Rice factory. The people are great! If you’re like me, you’ll know which model is right for you the moment you see it. Of course, I had to make my choice from GA!
If you are in Ridgecrest, check out their donuts. i spent 18 months out there 12 years ago and still want donuts from Ridgecrest. A friend from work that still goes to China Lake said the shop is still there and taste just as good. We eventually had to limit ourselves to flight days only to keep from weighing 500 pounds when we left. Maybe EmmaJ can tell you the name of the shop. I just remember they came in Pink Boxes then. The shop was owned by a Chinese couple and were always open at 5 AM. They were located in a shopping center with plenty of room for the PTV and BLT to swoop in (not to tempt you or anything). We have a MH and plan to travel out west next year when i retire – i will find the shop when i arrive!
Katy in New Hampshire
Katy, I’m not sure which donut shop you’re talking about. Is it Crest? http://www.yelp.com/biz/crest-donuts-ridgecrest
I dunno….it would take more than donuts to make me want to go back to China Lake. The only thing we miss and do still stop at when we are there is Benjii’s Basque Restaurant in Bakersfield. Lots of Basque restaurants there but we like Benjii’s the best. The “Set Up” is a wonderful way to taste delicious Basque soup, beans and salsa to put into it, fresh bread, pommes frites and Basque salad.
Are you kidding? Donuts? I can’t even eat a slice of bread!
Without looking at a map, I’m thinking you’re near one of our favorite BLM sites, Fossil Falls. Hope you’ll get to see Manzanar, the Japanese internment camp. Believe it or not, they have done a great job of refurbishing it and creating heart-wrenching displays.
No, I passed Manzanar. I’m not doing museums and displays much at this time. It’s enough for me now to camp in beautiful, new-to-me, and interesting places with my crew.
Happy to hear you arrived safely in the Alabama Hills, altho’ it’s a total bummer about your camera. Hope to join you there in a week or so after we explore Bishop.
Okay, Nina. I’ll probably still be here. It’s nice to be stationary for a while.
Beautiful. Glad you found a place you like to hang out in for awhile. The whole 395 corridor is so pretty !!
Nice to hear from you always, Susan.
Holding my breath that California does right by you. I’m a native — neither fruit nor nut, as they say — and I want you to like us! Happy trails (not trials)!
California is treating us really well. We even went through a checkpoint and the inspector-lady was all smiles!
Have you seen Bob the Wagonteamster? He is right there at Mono Lake at the June Lake Junction tonight… He has a wagon and three horses pulling south down the road. 395…
I’ve only see Bob online. If he’s headed south on 395 maybe I’ll see him before we leave Lone Pine.
If you were a Lone Ranger fan, you may enjoy this story:
Thanks Bob that was funny.
Hlarious! Thanks, Bob.
You may be in for some weather starting tomorrow Wednesday the 10th through Friday the 12th. Probably no snow in the Antelope Hills but you will see it on the Sierra as the storm moves through. It will be much colder so you might have your Wave 6 ready to go to work.
Hunker down and enjoy!
Hi Ed… The weather is still perfection here, but I do see cloud cover across the blue sky… white clouds. It’s been comfortable sleeping weather so far, but my heater’s ready to go to work if needed!
Hi Susan, I am sorry to hear about your camera. I enjoy your pics so. Do you think it would be worth it to get a phone with a camera? Then you could attach video as well. 🙂 It is a little colder here too now but still warm during the day. It is getting down to the 50’s but then we are back up to 75-80 ish. Rocky and the gang say hello to you and the crew. Meow…..