November 3, 2015
The days leading up to my departure from my home in Oregon had not only me excited, but my travel partner, as well. Storm is my 6 year old dog. As any dog owner knows, they can sense many changes. She increasingly hung around the front door as to say, “Are we going yet, are we going yet? Don’t forget me!” As she watched me cooking soups and smoking various meats and then vacuum seal them for the freezer, she knew I was stocking up for something. I have found vacuum sealing and freezing individual portions works great for anyone traveling in an RV. This works especially well when you are like me and will get up at 4:30 or 5:00 AM just to go chase the light for that one photo and return back to the RV after sundown. Who wants to prepare a supper? Enter “homemade” precooked and pre-portioned meals (better than any frozen store food). Packing your RV freezer and fridge with individually sealed items allows for a lot more food that you can stuff in them.
As I write this entry it is 1:25 AM and I just pulled over in northern California on Hwy 139 for a short nap before continuing my journey. My plan is to make it to Mono Lake area by Tuesday night, however I will see how many photo ops come my way and how Mother Nature cooperates. It has been snowing the past couple of days in the elevations that I will be driving through. Until next time…
November 4, 2015
I was not going to write about yesterday and today’s exploring until tonight however, a short time into my day’s travel I was greeted by a friendly California patrolman that was advising cautioned travel through the mountain pass just south of Bridgeport. I was so close to the day’s destination and then denied. Although, I do have chains for my truck I didn’t bring for the fifth wheel. He was also there to make sure all trucks and trailers had chains on the tires. So, my options were to go back into town and look for some at the NAPA store or wait it out like a few of the semis. I decided to head back to town and find a place to sit and wait. I though since the pass may be that bad, what was my hurry. I do have 2 months, right? Maybe it’s I am getting older and realize life is getting shorter, as well. In my younger day I would try to pack a lot into one day (especially on road trips, just ask my wife and adult children).
Yesterday, I enjoyed a leisurely drive to and around Lake Tahoe for the first time. I have decided, in the future, I will have bring my wife on a vacation here. I say vacation for her since I am always on vacation, according to her. She may be correct to a point. Although, any professional or semi-pro photographer knows, it is “hard work”. Photos don’t just make themselves. You have to be there and know what you are doing to capture it just right.
Those sporadic stops along the highway for a photo capture are definitely fewer when traveling with a fifth wheel. I am constantly eyeing the countryside for that next sellable image, but also find myself looking for areas big enough to pull the big rig off the road safely. I guess that just makes me be more selective in my shots. Not a bad thing, I suppose.
After the bad weather lifted and the chains no longer needed I ventured to my next stop, Bodie. Now like most of this exploration trip, I did not know much (if anything) about the road conditions to some of these places. As I turned off Highway 395 to the Bodie State Historical site, I did not expect a long and winding uphill drive. Now this isn’t so bad if you are not towing 8200 pounds behind you. When I finally reached the top of the snow covered drive at an elevation of 8,370 feet I came to the end of pavement. The sign warned of rough unmaintained road and trailers not advised. I wish I had known that before starting the incline. Not knowing the conditions ahead and how far more, I turned around and head back down to Mono Lake. Bodie will now be put in the back pocket for another trip in the future.