Sunday, October 18, 2015

Life is Good, Even When Plans Change

Catching up after a few days with no Internet access.

Wednesday morning we load up the Jeep for a day trip to Yosemite. Although I have lived in California my whole life, I've never been there! I know that sounds impossible, but something always caused a change in plans. It's a beautiful day, Tioga Pass is open, we have plenty of time, and...

......we have a flat tire.


The dash light came on Tuesday while we were out, we added some air in Lee Vining (no air in Bridgeport), and the light never came on again. Apparently a VERY slow leak.  One of our neighbors stops to chat while Bill uses the compressor to fill the tire and says Gardnerville is the closest place to get it fixed.  It's only 65 miles north, we were there the other day.

So the Yosemite curse continues, and we instead return north for the tire repair. Oh well, we need some things from a big grocery store, it's still a beautiful day......we enjoy the vibrant fall colors, stop along the West Walker River on the way back. Yosemite isn't going anywhere.  I will see it!

Thunder storms are forecast for Friday, and with a couple 8000 ft passes to cross I prefer to travel on Thursday instead.
Rains the whole 65 miles to Crowley Lake. The wind blows. Every mile from north of Lee Vining. Still, it's such a short trip, and the blowing clouds and muted landscape give us a whole new, and still spectacular, view of this amazing area. 30 minutes after we arrive, the sun comes out :-)

Crowley Lake RV Park is 60% park models and long-terms units. It, and the combination gas station, market, pizza eatery a block away, are the only commercial places in a "town" of dozens of large, beautiful homes. The Aspens and Cottonwoods are really showing off here - the whole place is bright yellow and chartreuse.

Crowley Lake RV Park, all about the location
Although it is another park where the sewer hose runs uphill (we don't hookup), this is a great site - because our dining slide works! Doesn't even skip. Yay!

While in Bridgeport we kept hearing weird noises under the rig. We both checked a couple times - thunk, chink, thunk - we both agreed it sounded like the chassis, but no idea "what".  No sounds on our drive, and none since we set up. We're convinced both the slide and the noises were because we somehow got "tweaked" when we backed in, even though we were level. 

And I have to admit it is nice to have the extra couple feet of space :-/

It rains a little overnight, but the thunderstorms never materialize. It's much cooler, but the remaining clouds are clinging to the tops of the highest peaks, not blocking the sunny skies overhead. We're headed to Devils Post Pile near Mammoth Lake. Bill has never seen it and it's been decades for me.  We're both looking forward to the unique columnar wonder.

The entrance road is steep and narrow, but going down first seems to minimize the height "issue", and it's a lovely drive.  Even though the "pile" is smaller than we both expected, it is still an amazing sight.

The road to Devils Post Pile
There's a trail to the top which we don't do, but to see what it looks like, and learn more about the site, check out John and Pam's post here.

Geological wonder near Mammoth Lakes
Amazing natural columns 
Perfect weather to enjoy the trail 
Just as we're turning back to the parking lot I see a familiar hat on the trail. The pretty face turns toward me and smiles in recognition. I smile back and say "Hi Laurel!" 

Laurel writes Raven and Chickadee and we have been "reading each other" for awhile now.  Although I knew they were in June Lake, it is such a wonderful surprise to meet her on the trail - it's a very small world.  Eric is waiting for her up top, and we don't want to keep her so we say our good-byes for now. We're both heading south in a couple days and hopefully our paths will cross again.  Gotta love this wonderful world of bloggers!

After lunch in the Village we take the scenic loop back to the highway. Bill has been looking at the map and suggests a side road near the air strip. There's a hatchery and maybe a place to fish.  The hatchery is closed, but we see signs for a Hot Creek Geological Site and decide that sounds worth a look.

I'll let you decide from the photos if it was worth it :-)

Hot Creek Geothermal Pools
Geysers erupt here during seismic activity
Steam follows water as it leaves the pools
Surrounding canyon walls
Rather than turning back, we follow the dirt road around the corner and over the ridge and then take a track to the creek. 

Another beautiful place, completely quiet, with no one else around, we drive right to the water. It would be perfect for swimming, still heated here by the hot springs, but for the same reason, it's not a fishing spot. 

Life is definitely Good.


  1. So very happy to see that your slide works again!!!

    Fun places for sure:) We had so much fun at Devil's Postpile and the Hot Springs. Such interesting physical features.

    Looking forward to seeing you in couple days:)

    1. Glad you saw the hot springs - we loved that spot! The quick slide fix was a huge relief!!

  2. You sure got to see some beautiful sites and were able to capture them too. That's two good things.

    Rain is expected around here this next weekend. We're not too happy about that. A beach is more fun without it pouring rain than when it is.

    We end up changing our plans often. Sometimes it's our fault and other times we have no choice. You just have to be flexible in this life but you've already figured that one out.

    1. So far, every plan B has been good for us :-) Hope you get some clear skies for the beach!

  3. Always interesting how many things are named “Devil’s” this or that. Post pile. Well they do look like posts I guess. I was amazed when I saw them in John & Pam’s blog. Amazed again. How unique. Also amazed that you passed Laurel and Eric. I am obviously on the wrong side of the country. Why don’t you come on down to Florida with Laurel and Eric so we can meet up? Life is definitely good when you stumble on something as neat as Hot Creek. It’s definitely going on my list. I was just waiting for you to say you also were going to just get right in that water. What a gorgeous picture of it. Sure hope you little this's and that's on your rig disappear.

    1. I thought the same thing when we passed "Devil's Gate" summit on our way....must be a misinterpretation of native Devil's Tower instead of Bear Lodge. So wish you and David were "over here' and hope that's the case sooner rather than later. Except when we get "over there" of course!!

  4. Maybe by the time you get to Yosemite El Nino will have done it's magic and filled things up again!

  5. Yosemite is spectacular. This is a great time of year to visit. I too was born in CA and never visited until I was 28.

    1. Oh good, everybody always tells me they saw it before they were in high school! Bill has been hiking there in his youth, and says it's wonderful, but warns me about the crowds :-( Some day!!

  6. It was such a delight to see you three on the trail at Devil's Post Pile! We're looking forward to seeing you tomorrow and spending some time together. :-) Your images of the autumn beauty along 395 are wonderful -- how lucky we are to be here at the height of the fall colors. Wish we had made a visit to the Hot Creek pools -- the color of the water is amazing. Next time! (I've never been to Yosemite either, and the last time Eric was there was when he was 10 years old. I think we're all due for a visit!)

    1. I agree this is the perfect timing for the colors here! Can't believe you've not seen Yosemite either!! I guess we'll appreciate it even more :-) See you this evening!

  7. Yosemite is amazing! You won't be disappointed :-) That was actually the first place Ron and I camped at when we started dating. I was still in high school and fibbed to my mom about where (and with whom) I was spending the weekend...
    You Plan B turned out to be a special day anyway! Great photos!!

    1. Great story :-) Maybe your first stop when you hit the road?! This whole area has been full of surprises!

  8. I'd be very happy to soak in hot springs about now. Feeling chilly in southern UT.

    1. It was fairly warm that day, but we've been in 36 degrees at the higher elevations a couple days and that hot water would have been sweet up there!