We are continuing our southern migration down highway 395 south of Reno and Carson City, Nv. I think we are roughly following the same route that RV Sue followed a month or so ago. We moved back across the line into California – with a full fuel tank again. We came to a nice lookout with a view of Mono Lake, which reminded me that Sue had mentioned all the stickers on the guardrail there.
It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day up there, and all the flashing ‘wind-warning’ signs must have been referring to another planet, as it was quite calm. I spent a bit of time there looking at my California back roads maps and searching with my binoculars for a likely camp spot down below. Part way up the road towards Bodie state park looked inviting, but a drive up that way was soon heading into the higher elevations and rough roads, neither of which was good. Continuing on, after a short stop at the Forest Service Info center overlooking Mono lake to ask questions and pick up more maps, we kept cruising southward. RV Sue’s description of the Hartley campground sounded interesting, but when we got in that area, it was well over 7000’ in elevation, and there was patches of ssss-now in the bush, and too many trees for the warming rays of the sun to get through. Past the June Lake Loop we went and the turnoff to Mammoth Mtn, all pretty high elevation.
Finally down on the treeless flats, the map showed the likelihood of some hotsprings, so we took the first few random turnoffs and soon found ourselves in a tiny parking lot – next to a free, outdoor, scenic, hot, – hotsprings!
Being the US Thanksgiving weekend, the popularity of the place was evident, so I never did have the chance to have a dip the first evening – without being overly friendly with groups of strangers.
Daytime temperatures here have been just wonderfully warm and sunny, but the high elevation and clear skies results in night time temps well below freezing. I was a little bit concerned about my plumbing, but put a remote thermometer in a critical plumbing compartment, so that I could roll over in bed and be reassured that all was well – and it was.
First thing in the morning, as the sun was just coming over the distant mountains, rest assured that I was soaking in that hot water. Hailey thought I was crazy getting up at that hour, and stayed in her warm bed.
I had the place all to myself, unless you count the curious ravens flying past, or the red-tailed hawk out on his morning hunt, or the lbb’s (little brown birds) coming out of their night time perches to soak up the warm morning sun.
Since it was a nice warm day and I had nowhere special to go, it was time to clean up and organize a bit in the rig, pull out the solar panel to take advantage of those rays. I replaced two badly decayed and cracking roof vent covers that I had been carrying around waiting for such an opportunity.
And, although my Bell TV worked fine at a stopover in Oregon, I must hereby admit that Wandering Willy was right when he warned that my system would not work down here as it has in years past. Don’t worry, we’ll think of something else to ‘discuss’ when out paths cross again down here somewhere.
With all the days hard work out of the way, there was nothing left to do but enjoy another relaxing soak while enjoying the sunset.
(All sunset photos taken from the outdoor tub!)
From here, should we decide to leave (!), it will likely be to head further south and check out some of the camping opportunities described by RV Sue, and Howard & Linda from RV Dreams in the Lone Pine area.