Archive for Wanderlust

Camping in Hawthorne, Nevada

Walker Lake and Mount Grant

We had a short but scenic ride through Northern Nevada today from Carson City via Yerrington and arriving at Hawthorne for our next couple of overnight stays. Good weather conditions and light traffic prevailed for this leg. Before leaving Carson City, we shopped at a Walmart and fueled up with diesel.

Damsel took the image above just a few miles before arriving in Hawthorne. Walker lake, not seen in its complete glory in this image, is about 11 miles long and 5 miles wide. On another vacation through this area many years ago, Damsel and I witnessed a perfectly flat and calm lake one early morning, with the mirror image of the mountains in the distance reflected in the water.

We had a good, relaxing stay at the previous campground, just watching some baseball on the satellite channels and playing on the internet. We’re actually planning on continuing that in this campground and probably the next two stops on our return.

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We’re Underway Again

Carson City

After our now completed four week mission with family in K-stan, we are finally back on the move and are camping in Carson City, NV for a couple of nights. As I mentioned before, the return trip will be at a bit of a more leisurely pace and staying for more than one night at each stop.

Our route today was a scenic one, driving over the Sierra Nevada Range from Stockton to Carson City. We started with a short trip up CA 99 to pick up CA 88 going northeastward. The scenery rapidly changed from suburban to agricultural to rolling foothills and then the mountains.

Kit Carson Pass crests at an elevation of 8574 feet MSL. Even though it is well into the spring season, there was plenty of snow on the mountains and a couple of the alpine lakes were still mostly frozen. The Carson River flowing down the east side of the pass was moving rapidly with plenty of white water from the spring thaw.

We’re going to do some souvenir shopping at the Casino across the road tomorrow and maybe bring a take-out dinner back to the RV afterwards. We are going to meander southward on the next lags of the trip and will likely be back home in a week.

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RV Dump and Updated Status

rv-dump.jpgI may have mentioned before that we have only partial hookups here in Stockton at Damsel’s sister’s place. We have water and electricity, but no sewer hookup. I also may have mentioned that we are house guests during the days, but sleep in the RV and, of course, use the on-board bathroom at night. That necessitates a trip (or two) to an RV dump facility during our extended stay here.

Today, we broke down the camp and went down the highway to a truck stop with a dump station. We paid the fee and flushed out the black and gray tanks for the second time since we have been camped here. The place where we dumped last week was unavailable due to maintenance today, so we found another facility nearby where we took care of the dump and flush.

We have been camped here just short of three weeks and will probably be moving along the rest of our “vacation from retirement” route next week. As for the family status, the sister is healing well, still a bit sore and can perform most normal activities. Her husband is still recovering from another ailment and is receiving outside therapist and nursing help in the home. We like to think we helped them through this tough time.

Last weekend, we traveled to wine country where the grandchildren and great-grandchildren live. We had a nice visit at a restaurant local to them and got to see the little ones as well as all three of the granddaughters. Other family and friends joined us for the hour or so eat and visit.

A preview of next week might find us crossing the Sierra Nevada Range into Nevada and thence southeastward towards home with a couple of nights at each stop along the way. More on that as it unfolds.

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Interim Destination Stockton

Rain and Traffic

The forecast for weather on the next leg of our journey was quite accurate; there were gusty winds in the desert from Barstow up into the mountain pass near Tehachapi. Also, as expected, there was rain along our route starting at about Modesto and continuing until we finally got to our destination. In spite of the weather, we made good time and were only slowed by traffic for the last few miles in moderate rain. Our arrival was near rush hour on a Friday, so the traffic was expected.

The family members are doing well. We are here for an open ended visit while one of the family recovers from her surgery on Wednesday. We may post more from here if time and events permit.

Click on the image to enlarge. The black diagonal item at the left is a windshield wiper which activated when Damsel took the photo.

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Camping in Barstow

Barstow on Route 66We’re camping in Barstow this evening after a six-hour drive here from Arizona. Today’s excursion was uneventful as we crossed from Arizona desert, across the Colorado River and into the California desert. We went through the Arizona Outback to Parker, up through Needles and across I-40 to Barstow.

We are facing some adverse weather tomorrow, starting with high winds in the desert. It is already gusting here this evening and is forecast to continue into tomorrow. Some gusts may reach 40Mph, according to the forecast. When we get into the South San Joaquin Valley, there is a 100 percent chance of rain in the forecast. We’re hoping and praying that we will make good time and be safe as we head for our family commitment in Stockton.

After Stockton, the plan is to take our time getting back home on a route through Nevada and Arizona. Our previous format for travel days has been to stay only one night in a place. The plan this time is to stay two or more nights in a place, being sure to relax and enjoy the time like a real vacation.

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Checking off the Chores

check.pngWe use a calendar application on the home computer to remind us of things we need to do. Even in retirement, there are a myriad of chores (as many retirees already know) that present themselves to be accomplished on a routine basis. The application also reminds us of birthdays, appointments, holidays and anything deemed necessary as a one-time or recurring event.

Wednesdays are filled with things to do:

  • Look at the grocery ads
  • Do the weekend food planning
  • Start and run the engines in the RV and in Damsel’s Convertible

And today, being the fourth Wednesday of the month:

  • Record the SSA deposit in the banking application
  • Pay off the Credit Card

There was an additional chore to do today; fill the RV with diesel (it has been on half tank since our return from the fall excursion). Our grocery chain has a “GAS REWARDS” program where we can get up to a dollar discount per gallon up to 25gal. It so happened that we had enough rewards for fifty gallons of fuel, so I drove the RV to the station that accepts the rewards here in town and pumped in 44 gallons of diesel at a dollar off the advertised price. Paying $1.999/gal is a whole lot better than the last time we fueled up in rip-off Kalifornistan at the $3.559/gal price tag over there.

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Desolation

CA Hwy 62

This is a view of the scenery we saw yesterday along CA Hwy 62 in San Bernadino County as we crossed the great desolate Mojave Desert on the last leg of our trip. Damsel took this photo after our departure from Twentynine Palms. We were just north of Joshua Tree National Park, which, in itself, is a very large chunk of real estate.

Other than a few lightly populated areas and the larger town of Parker, AZ, the trip yesterday had us looking at bare desert. The difference between the California deserts and Arizona deserts would be that there are saguaro cacti east of the Colorado River and not so much west of there.

Still, both deserts are amazing examples of geological variety and wonder, with scrub brush and jagged mountains. We enjoyed the crossing very much on a clear, calm and beautiful day.

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