High Sierra's Trip 2020

Diary of Linda, Charlie, and Roger High Sierra's RV trip June  2020

06/08/20 We left at 7:15 am this morning for our 2 week RV trip into the Sierra Nevada mountains to Lone Pine and Ridge-crest for one week at each location. This is our first trip from home since the Covid19 media exaggerated epidemic started back in January. We invited other people to join us, but non were able to join us. We reached our first stop at Boulder Creek RV park just before the town of Lone Pine. It was a bit congested with about 10 RV’s checking in at 1 pm. Most of the people were wearing masks but a few dumb woman were not. I tried not to get too close and for sure did not face them. We got a nice site with no one next to us and I got set up in about 45 minutes. The Dish Network took several tries, but finally got it running. Had to call Dish to change local stations to LA and then they did not work. That greedy Dish charged me $1 to change them and then they would not work. Dish blamed the LA stations for not negotiating with them??? The weather was perfect sunny in the high 70’s Got our food and supplies all organized. The wifi is surprisingly good here. Maybe I will be able to do bbo while here.

06/09/20 Trip is going very well. Weather is perfect especially in the mornings in the low 70’s with no wind. The RV park is 35-50% occupied and not crowded at all. All sites have a view of Mt. Whitney. We drove to Alabama Hills where the original filming sites for the old time western motion picture shows were done. Beautiful pristine BLM land that allows camping (even big RV’s & trailers), drone flying, horse camping, off road ATV’s etc. all with a view of MT Whitney. We did a short hike to Mobius Arch Rock for photos. We were going to drive up the mountain to Mt. Whitney Portal campground, but were told that the road was blocked 5 miles from Portal. We wanted to walk a mile or two up the Mt Whitney peak trail, but we did not want to walk an extra 5 miles to trail head so did not drive up there. The hikers now have to walk a total of 32 miles round trip to reach the peak instead of 22 miles.

06/10/20 We are kicking back to day in camp. I introduced a neighbor to the DISHFORMYRV app which my friend Mitch told me about a couple of years ago. We got his TV working after using the app and discovering that a tree was totally blocking the signal. He did not realize that the 110 satellite was so high in the sky. It was really hot today and in the mid afternoon the AC froze up. I had to turn it off for 2 hours to let it thaw out. We waited in the shade outside for the AC to work again. It took an hour to recover down to the high 70’s. I was later told that running just the fan on high will make it thaw out faster which I must remember for future freeze ups. We had salmon salad sandwiches made by me for lunch and pot roast for dinner with a glass of wine. Watched 2 more episodes of Mc Leod’s Daughters recorded from Amazon Prime Video to my ipad at home. I have an adapter that allows me to connected the ipad to my smart TV in the trailer.

06/11/20 The ambient temperature throughout the night was in hi 50’s to low 60’s great sleeping weather. We got up around 8:30 am after a good nights sleep with no AC running. It was going to be hot today so we decided to take a short hike 2.5 miles from our RV Park on a back isolated dirt road to the dry lake bed of Owens lake. Linda and Charlie dog were in hiking mood and got way a head of me. The walk back was very pretty because of the panoramic view of the eastern Sierra mountain back drop including Mt. Whitney. It was an extremely clear windless day, but by the time we got back it was too hot to suit that wimp Linda. We were hungry now, so I made cheese omelets, bacon, and English Muffins with cherry jam for breakfast. Spent couple hours doing diaries and photo processing on my laptop. The wind came up big time with a temperature of 96 F. We started the AC before breakfast and kept on high speed the whole day and it kept us at very comfortable 75 F in the trailer. In mid after noon the wind started blowing at 25 mph so I hunkered up in the trailer all day until sunset when the wind totally subsided and the temperature dropped to 88 F.

06/12/20 Did not get out of bed until 9:00am. I made blueberry butter milk pancakes for breakfast YUM YUM. After breakfast Charlie and I drove down to the Owens lake bed to see what the LA water district did for the Dust Mitigating law suit settlement. That semi dry lake bed is huge and I can pretty much guarantee that the LA water district spent billions to prevent dry arsenic from polluting the local atmospheric environment. They covered much of the dry lake with gravel to keep arsenic from blowing around. They also brought huge high voltage power lines to feed various pumping systems to flood the arsenic infested areas. The amount of roads and intra structure done on this project is really quite impressive. They also reduced water extraction from the Owens river to bring up the water levels where the arsenic dust was located. This project has even made the environmental left wing groups happy. I returned to the trailer to pick up Linda for another local excursion. We decided to drive up the Mt Whitney Portal road as far as we could go. The road was blocked 5 miles before the Whitney Portal Camp Ground. We stopped at two camp grounds on the way up to this point. The first one was called Turtle Creek a large BLM dry camp ground on a small creek. All sites had a panoramic view of Mt Whitney. The next one was called Lone Pine camp ground also a BLN property. This one was right on Lone Pine Creek a very rapid flowing good sized creek. This one was also BLM land with no hook ups. It was very scenic with lots of trees. Most sites had a view of the mountains near Mt. Whitney. The max trailer site was perhaps 26-30 feet. Linda, Charlie dog, and I walked about a mile around this camp ground. It had a trail going up 4500’ and 5 miles to the Portal camp ground where the Mt. Whitney trail head is located. It was 3 pm and we decided to go back to camp and rest up for dinner. It was still very windy perhaps 25-30 mph gust. Our mats had the camp ground where in danger of flying away. It was 96 F, but again with the AC on max speed it was keeping inside of RV at 72-76 F. Rested a few hours and had spaghetti dinner the sauce being brought from home. It tasted great YUM YUM The wind subsided at sunset. Hopefully wind will not come up tomorrow so I can fly my drone in Alabama Hills.

06/13/20 It really cooled off last night. It was so pleasant no AC required and no wind this morning all motivated me to sleep in until 9:30 am. Showered and had a bagel for breakfast. Linda, Charlie, and I decided to walk the entire RV Park as there was no wind and was cool in the upper 70’s. The park is now at about 60 - 70% occupancy. We met a really friendly fun family on the way back and talked with them for at least 1/2 hour at 4-6’ apart. They all loved Charlie and the man was a retired Electrical engineer, so discussed our careers a bit. The man’s son had a PHD. in some kind of low energy wave theory and participated in talking about his jobs before coming a PHD. Returned to trailer and started doing some preparation for our departure to Bridgeport tomorrow. I made salmon salad sandwiches for lunch. Linda loves fresh sandwiches way better than left overs. I drained our sewer and gray water tanks. Filled fresh water tank as H2O here is quite good Also checked our propane levels and had then filled. They offer free pick up and return of tanks here, something quite rare at RV parks. My AC just partially froze up again, so I turned it off to let it thaw out again. Very weird as the outside temperature is less today. I am thinking more and more that I should have purchased a new RV for our old age as our old aged trailer seems to be presenting us with many maitenance issues.

06/14/20 Got up early and made further preparation for departure. I drove town to the Alabama Hills Cafe to purchase fresh bread, cinnamon rolls, and cookies. The drive to Bridgeport Paradise Lake RV Park will only take 3-4 hours total. We left about 9:30 am north on 395 on beautiful sunny morning with very little wind. We purchase gas and a few groceries at the Von’s Center in Bishop. An excellent placing for buy supplies and to have a nice rest stop. Several of the businesses (K-Mart being the largest) in this center have closed permanently so there is a huge amount of parking. I took Charlie dog for 1.5 mile walk around the parking lot while Linda shopped. Continued on to the north while listening to an audible book by David Baldacci called THE FALLEN. We stopped at Mono Lake to have lunch and to take a walk with Charlie to the lake side tofu’s. Weather was perfect in mid 70’s. We arrived at our destination at Paradise Lake Reservoir near Bridgeport 6,500’ elevation. Checked in electronically with no human contact. The park was full, but space between sites were way beyond social distance guide lines. RV’ing during this pandemic is awesome because the traffic congestion typical for this time of year is way way less and must tourist sites if open have very little attendance. I think it is safer than at home in San Diego. We always eat in our trailer or outdoors. I have not been in a restaurant for 3 months. When we get gas or do go to buy food there is way less people than in San Diego. Our recreation is normally quite isolated; mostly short hikes in the mountains with Charlie dog doing photography or drone flying. We have visited small out of the way attractions that we never had the time to do in the past.

06/15/20 It got down to 43 F last night brrrrrrrr. Linda and I sleep apart because we both snore. She in main living room area and I in a separate bed room. At night she loves it cold and I like it warm. We both continually fight over changes to the thermostat setting. I must get out the electric heater tonight so I can stay toasty instead of shivering 1/2 of the night during the 45 F time. We got up late at 9:00 am. I took very hot and long shower to warm up. We had another cinnamon roll from the Alabama Hills Restaurant. Linda wanted to visit Twin Lakes about 25 minutes away. There is a huge camp ground and marina at the 2nd lake farthest from Marina. Most of the sites have no electric or sewer. The campground extends at least a mile into the forest and up into the mountains. We parked at the Marina and walked south west toward the high mountains and eventually along Robinson creek observing some beautiful RV’s in awesome forested scenery with views of meadows, creeks, and snow capped mountains. Later in our trip we intend to come back and hike up to a water falls up the mountain. Decided to make Midwestern style barbecue for dinner. It turned out great and Linda was happy. I opened a nice bottle of red wine to accompany it.

06/16/20 I made blueberry buttermilk pancakes, real maple syrup, and fried bacon for breakfast this morning. I decide to go north about 30 miles up the Little Walker creek to a trail head to Emma Lake. It is supposed to be one of the prettiest trails and lake in this area. On the way north on 395 we ran into road construction which delayed us 25 minutes. We then got to the dirt road that led up to the trail. It turned out to be a bit scary without 4 wheel drive. When I reach a remote NFS campground on the way and found out that this road was also under construction. With 4 miles left to the trail head I decided that this mountain road was too risky and turned around to come back to camp. I filled up with Diesel for $4.09 in Bridgeport. Got back to the trailer and had a nap for about 1.5 hours. Had left over barbecue for dinner tonight. We continue to watch downed loaded Netflix TV show - “Mc Leod’s Daughters” and Amazon Video TV show - “Marcello”

06/17/20 It was a very cold night at 40 F. My sinuses got plugged a bit and my breathing became a bit difficult. This morning for a moment I thought maybe I had contracted Covid19 disease, but after a hot shower I felt normal again. I made buttermilk French toast using the sour dough bread from Lone Pine. YUM YUM We were going to visit Mono Lake today, but too windy and cold in mid 60’s so we stayed in camp today. I made my one pot pork sauerkraut casserole for dinner tonight. It takes about 3 hours to bake.

06/18/20 We decided to go back to Twin Lakes Resort today for a hike through the camp ground and up stream on the river to where the water falls section of river begins. It was very scenic with huge black pine tree forest surrounding the river. It was too steep for Linda. I continued on up about 1/3 more miles along the fast moving river rapids taking still photos and video along the way. This was great exercise at this high altitude. Returned home and rested up for dinner. I decided to make a pasta, shrimp, sausage, and vegetable stir for dinner.

06/19/20 It was windy and cold today too windy again to fly the drone. We decided to go home one day early tomorrow. We started packing things up and getting the trailer ready for a morning departure.

06/20/20 Got on the road at 9:30am. We stopped in Bishop at Von's center to buy gas rest a bit. Linda purchased a chicken sandwich for the road. We continued on to Lone Pine and I then decided to drive all the way home in one day. I went to the Alabama Hills Cafe & Bakery to purchase an awesome beef sandwich on home made multi-grain bread for the road. Got back on the road and stopped at Alancha shade rest stop on the road to eat our sandwiches. My roast beef one was indescribably delicious. YUM! YUM! Ready to leave, but the diesel truck would not start. I panicked as we were in high mountains with no gas stations in site. I suspected vapor lock. I opened up the engine hood and tried pumping fuel in on the filter/pump manual pumper device. It seemed hopeless, but finally on the 3rd try of priming the fuel system with the manual pump the engine fired up and ran perfectly the rest of the trip. The next 3 stops I left the motor running during rest and gas stops. Arrived home around 6:30 pm and started unloading the trailer.