Sunday: (04/18) We headed West on highway 190 toward Lone Pine. It's a pretty good climb out of Death Valley and a pretty steep downgrade on the other side. We pulled over about half way and let the brakes cool some. We stopped at the Inter-agency Information Center and got some information including where to camp.
We usually stay at the Tuttle Creek BLM campground but decided to try boondocking off Movie Road on some BLM land used by the film studios. In fact we had to wait to get on the road while they were shooting. Also, our campsite is above a second shooting location. Maybe we'll get to watch them tomorrow.
Dinner was leftovers from our failing refrigerator. Hopefully it gets better here with cooler weather otherwise, we may have to start eating out?
Monday: (04/19) After showers it was breakfast time. More from the refrigerator. Leftover ham sandwiches then yogurt and jam.
We took a walk around the boulders nearby. Lots of flowers to be seen. We also walked by the two bigger arches. One nicely frames Mt Whitney while the other is in the shape of a heart. Nice cool sunny weather!
The Motosat dish is still not working so this will be a delayed post.
Brunch was a chicken pot pie. Hiking brings on a good hunger.
We drove up the mountain a couple of miles on Whitney Portal Road to a trail to another arch. Very nice arch but difficult to use it to frame the mountains.
On the way we saw another horned lizard. This one was a different breed than the one we saw at Joshua Tree NP. We also drove over to Tuttle Creek BLM and Diaz Lake to look at campsites but our current camp is good enough. We also saw a leopard lizard though he was a bit camera shy.
Lou fixed chicken with garlic, onions and Parmesan cheese with fresh asparagus for dinner. The wind has gotten stronger and clouds showed up this afternoon so maybe we are in for a storm.
The wind picked up and blew through the night so we enjoyed some time inside tinkering. Lou fixed a green salad for supper.
Tuesday: (04/20) I fixed Don McMuffins for breakfast. The wind is still blowing strongly so, since I like my hat, we're not hiking this morning. Looks like the wind may be here a couple of more days? I processed the pictures from the past couple of days while Lou worked on a new doll. Since the satellite dish is acting up they will all be posted as possible.
We had tomato soup for lunch before driving downtown to look around. The clouds were dropping down the East side of the mountains and the wind was blowing. As were were walking around town, it started to rain some. The mountains look nice shrouded in the clouds.
We stopped at McDonald's for tea and to use their WiFi to catch up on email and blog posts.
Lou was exploring all the shops. We enjoyed dinner at the Mt Whitney Restaurant. Nice pork ribs with beans and fries.
Wednesday: (04/21) It's cold (30 degrees) this morning but the skies are mostly clear above us with no wind. Some clouds are hanging near the mountains on both the East and West. The mountains on the East that had little snow before yesterday are cover ed today. Some mountain tops to the West are solidly covered this morning. Looks like a good hiking day.
Lou fixed peppers, onions and potatoes with eggs and smoked pork shop for breakfast. She also baked some brownies since it was cold this morning and because they're so good.
We enjoyed listening to the local radio stations. They're in Bishop but cover the whole Eastern Sierra. It's neat to hear the sports casts which are about the high schools and to hear peoples anniversaries announced and other small town news. We only seem to get two stations one strong signal that plays country music and presents the usual right wing flavored news. I prefer the weak signaled middle of the road music station. It seems to be more intellectual than red neck. Yesterday we enjoyed it when it was playing a reading of a book about an Indian medicine man.
And then there is the fishing news. General fishing season starts this Saturday but fishing has been open South of Independence even now. We aren't fishermen yet but may come back sometime and try it here. The streams sure are nice.
About 10am I took a hike from our camp East toward town and into the rocks. The rocks do seem endless but they do thin out toward town so I scrambled down toward a stream I heard and scrambled over boulders and rocks following it back toward camp. It definitely wasn't a trail but eventually I did come upone a trail that led to a road that returned to our camp. On the way I found the usual excellent wild flower viewing including some new ones and some excellent examples of previously seen flowers. I guess I must have been a terror on clothes when I was young because I managed to put a hole in my pants on the hike. It's a good thing I was wearing long pants thought or I'd have a hole in me. When I'm around big rocks I'm ten years old again except that I feel the hike more afterwords.
Lou worked on her dolls while I took the hike. The 40 degree weather discouraged her from hiking.
When I returned to camp Lou fixed grilled cheese sandwiches and portobello mushroom soup for lunch. Then it was nap time for me but for some reason Lou had enough energy to take a hike, now that it warmed into the high 50's.
Lou fixed dinner of leftover ribs and fries for Lou and a sausage and leftover breakfast potatoes for me all with steamed vegetables. About 6pm after dinner we took a walk. Basically we took my morning hike in reverse except we avoided the rock clinging part that I did and found an easy slope back to the trail and home. Lou got a good look at the stream.
The skies were clear above us for our hike, just some clouds by the mountains on either side of us like they had been much of the day. About 8pm we had a lightening storm with some strikes really close and some hail for about 15 minutes. The hail was more like snow.
Thursday: (04/22) We woke to overcast skies but only an occasional sprinkle and no wind. We took the RV down to dump. The dump is at the Boulder Creek RV park south of town, no dumps in the county parks or BLM here. We stopped for breakfast in Lone Pine at McDonald's. The dollar menu is pretty good. The Internet is free so we spent some time there relaxing in the RV parked in the Park behind McDonald's while it rained. When it clears and all the Internet needs are satisfied we go to the dump.
One advantage of the colder weather is the refrigerator is back to normal. Hope that continues. Not sure if it's repaired itself or just likes the cold weather more.
Lou fixed lunch here by the park as the sun came out and the rain had stopped. Sausage and potato salad.
After Lunch, Lou was out exploring the downtown area while I continued to take advantage of the Internet to make some program updates and downloads. About 2pm we finally took care of the main task for the day, going to dump our tanks and get water at the Boulder Creek RV Park south of town. Only $7 but they don't have a real dump just empty spaces and they are part of the club that thinks water flows uphill so I had to nurse the hose to discharge up over the curb of the inlet. There are no dumps in the county parks or BLM here.
With our work done, we returned to the park and Lou continued her explorations while I continued working on the computer. We went to a free concert at the high school auditorium at 7pm. The group Incendio is a group of talented guitarists playing a variety of guitar styles. The percussionist was outstanding. He played the box he sat on, bongo drums, symbols and a huge variety of other bells and rattles. The two lead guitarists really pick out the tunes and one uses a guitar syntisizer which sounded like a piano and other voices used to great advantage. The bass player actually played the bass not just the usual three note repeat. In addition, she plays a mean 12 string guitar. Very nice evening concert and it was free.
Since we were planning to go to the concert, we just remained in the RV in town and then drove up the hill back to our campsite about 10pm.
Friday: (04/23) Lou fixed biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast. It's quite windy this morning but nice and clear with snow covered mountains.
About noon we went downtown again. A visit to the Post Office, and a little Internet at McDonald's. Lou stopped by the Chamber Of Commerce to get some directions to a couple of points of Interest.
In 1872 there was a big earthquake here the leveled 56 of 59 buildings in town. Adobe doesn't hold up well to earthquakes. We drove out to a place North of town where the slip is visible and stopped by the victims grave site. Earthquakes aren't rare here. Diaz Lake to the South is an earthquake depression. We also drove out northeast of town to see the old Lone Pine railroad depot. It's part of the old narrow gauge line that the Laws Railroad Museum is part of. Before returning home we stopped for dinner at the Mr Whitney Cafe again for their prime rib special.
When we got home we enjoyed the excellent view of the mountains. There are no clouds at all on or behind them today. The first no cloud day since we arrived. Hopefully the wind is through now. It's pretty nice out this evening.
Saturday: (04/24) After breakfast of Don McMuffins we took a hike through the rocks. We walked up the wash below our camp into the rocks then over a hill when the wash came to just sand hills.
We then followed another wash back down through the rocks to where we started and then home. As usual, we came upon some flowers never seen before. And another horded lizard sighting.
Again, the same view looks different a few feet away or at a different time.
Lou fixed chili sizes for lunch then we drove downtown for Lou to check a couple of garage sales while I checked email and posted the blog. McDonald's WiFi wasn't working so I used the Espresso Cafe down the street.
On the way home, Lou dropped me off and I walked home. The pink and yellow ribbon trail that leaves from our campsite toward town ends at the picnic area just outside of town. I hiked up the hill to the water tank then found the trail which is a gravel road at that point and hiked up the Alabama hills to home. It's a nice hike of about 2-3 miles but it's all up. Our campsite is 4.5 miles from town but the trail angles directly toward camp.
When I got back it was definitely time to relax.
I fixed spaghetti for dinner. After dinner we tried one more hike. The mountains just to our East are typical Alabama Hills rocks and some of the highest but there appeared to be a nice slope up to a saddle between the two. We hadn't hiked up it yet and Lou hoped she could get a better cell phone signal from there. Well, these hills fool you. It wasn't a gentle slope. It was very steep and there was a hidden wash crossing it so Lou didn't make it to the top. She did get a good enough signal as far as she went so while she talked I checked the top, or near the top. Some very nice rock caves are there. The top will have to wait for another time if ever. They are like a castle at the top and would involve some rock climbing.
Sunday: (04/25) Another nice clear day but the wind is blowing a bit. Hopefully it dies down enough for a pleasant drive South to Red Rock Canyon SP. Today was laundry day so before we depart we'll do it. For breakfast we got a couple of togo breakfasts ham and eggs for Lou and corned beef hash and eggs for me. They don't skimp so it came in too huge bags. Lou's ham required it's own container. It is the Alabama Hills Cafe and Bakery. maybe next time we'll start with a slice of pie. It is off the highway and seems to be where the locals go.
Lou had a couple of things to get at the hardware store, the pharmacy and the market while I updated this blog.
It's been nice here in the hills and we'll definitely be back, maybe even in a week or so after our visit to Bakersfield. Current plan is to come back North via 395. We departed at noon and fortunately the wind had died down. Next stop will be Red Rock Canyon State Park just South on Highway 395 then 30 or so miles down Highway 14.
Interesting Alabama Hills Rocks:
Lots of stone faced critters in the Alabama Hills. Some of the rocks look like animate objects like the fish above. You have to always be looking around because the view critters change depending on the sun and your position.
This elephant rock was seen on this mornings hike. The St Bernard dog is just below our campsite.
Some flowers we've seen here in the Alabama Hills:
And then there are more flowers
The flowers put on a good show everywhere. Here are some we've seen here in the Alabama Hills.
These small yellow flowers were like a carpet in some areas. And the red paintbrushes are an interesting touch here and there.
I've spotted this interesting flower.
Some flowers can do a lot with just five petals. Sometimes a bush is more than a bush.
These flowers are real showmwn.
These were only seen as the single plant photographed.