This post will summarize a week’s worth of our journey that began as we left Astoria Oregon as mentioned in the prior two posts.
As mentioned in the last post the plan was to spend a few nights at Cari’s folks house in Reno which we did. The next leg would take us from Reno south on US395 with an overnight stop at Mono Lake CA.
Thanks to freecampsites.net we found some BLM land and a few designated campsites just down the road from the Mono Lake Visitor’s Center, which we totally enjoyed visiting which had informative displays of area history and wildlife, and a nice view out the rear patio…
Our camp was just a dirt pull off a dirt forestry road which dead ended in what looked like housing for USF Ranger(s).
Thanks again to freecampsites.net site and looking at anything in the Lone Pine CA area, our next planned overnight, we found a place called; “Alabama Hills – Movie Town Road” ..that sounded cool so we continued south on US395 and easily found the BLM area. There were several dozen rigs scattered about and we found a nice secluded spot up a road marked high clearance vehicles and 4×4 suggested! At this point in our adventure with the Promaster it had proven its ability to get into areas we would not have expected from such a “street van”.
The next morning we decided to head out and see if we could locate another camp with a clear view of Mt. Whitney range…
I took the lead in the Chevy, our preferred mode of travel since for whatever reason I’ve been blessed with a bit more talent at figuring out the GPS gadgetry!
Yes it really was a road most vans would not have gone up! Cari was behind in the Promaster…
So i’m rolling down the road looking for our next camp passing up several trails that I really didn’t feel the P.M. could handle when I hear Cari over the CB saying she is going up a trail I just passed because she thinks she sees a nice camp! So I stop, back up and follow her up to an amazing campsite! At this point in our travels she has nearly 10 times the wheel-time in the Promaster and its FWD than I do, so I trust her judgement, that and she did grow up in a 4×4 on a cattle ranch and is great on trails…
What a view!
We loved it at this site so much we kept making excuses NOT to leave! I kind of lost count, but I think we stayed there 4 days (there is a 28 day max from what I read).
We saw some beautiful sunrises and sunsets!
To think that the only expense for camping here was the fuel to get to camp, and it was on the way to our destination so we would have been this way regardless… It made the views even more enjoyable!
One crazy, and I mean bazar crazy! thing we witnessed was the forming, and disappearing of clouds above the range. We were mesmerized at the sight of little puffs forming out of blue sky, minutes later, like in 15 to 20, they were the size of several football fields…they would roll south along the range and many would simply disappear is as many minutes!
We also saw one glowing white orb that was maybe at the 20,000 foot level that was quite large, go north east to south west and fade out over probably an area to the north east of we assumed was Los Angeles (without looking at a map i’m assuming here). Very strange. Had I video recorded the event I would have sent it into SecureTeam on YT!
The only interruption to our campsite Zen-ness was the occasional hiker asking if we knew where the “Mobius” was. We had no idea there was such a thing, but after some hiking we found it!
The Mobius Rock…
So when we decided to break camp and take the final ~3 hour leg to our place in Pahrump Nevada we would head southwest through Death Valley.
About an hour in Cari stated she needed a potty break so I kept an eye out for an easy stop (yes we can do all that and more in either van, but stretching the legs is a good thing now and again too). Within 5 or so minutes I saw a vista outlook that appeared to have a restroom building so we pulled off just east of the highway.
For those curious minds I would find out we had stumbled upon a famous little spot called “Rainbow Canyon – renamed Star Wars Canyon _video link_” by military pilots who use it as a close quarters test site for fly byes…Guess what? We saw three while we were there that morning!
What an surprise! We will come back again, as it is an easy ~2hr drive from our slice of desert 30 miles east of Death Valley.
After driving up in elevation to the ~8,000 ft. level in the Mt. Whitney range area we were down in the lowlands…
-190 feet below sea level !
Other than the Borax fields this would be our last stop before reaching our new “home” in Pahrump Nevada.
As I type we have been at Nevada Treasure RV Park for about three weeks while our property is being developed with our planned phase 1 of well, septic, power, pad. It will be a welcome cozy spot to return to between exploring the area and Southwestern states and our kids in Arizona and Texas.
That’s all for now, thanks for reading along, I think this is by far my longest post to date!