Archive for Destinations

SNU Rally at Crocker October 2013

A bit chilly in the fall but the leaves were turning, the winds were calm, and the comeraderie something else (along with the scenery).


Crocker Rally 2013
see the photo gallery!

A no-fee camp area on between Frenchman’s and Davis Lakes. See Red Clover Valley Tour – first a in series of summer tours at Plumas County News for a bit of history on the area and the roads.

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On being a pawn: shutting down your touring destinations to influence your political views.

You may have heard the news about the political budget fracas. Did you know you are a pawn in the game? Warren Meyer runs a business you may have encountered at campgrounds. He has posted his Plea to Stop the White House From Closing Privately-Funded, Privately-Operated Parks. It is a letter to his Congressional representatives. In past shutdowns, he was left alone as his company hired people and fed money to the treasury. There is a difference this time.

“today, we have been told by senior member of the US Forest Service and Department of Agriculture that people “above the department”, which I presume means the White House, plan to order the Forest Service to needlessly and illegally close all private operations. I can only assume their intention is to artificially increase the cost of the shutdown as some sort of political ploy.”

If you plan to visit Washington D.C. to view the memorials and other sites, you might want to look into the saga of the WW II vets as well. Besides erecting barriers and increasing enforcement staff to block off a site never intended to close, people are being hired to protest the government ‘shutdown’ to try to counterbalance the veterans removing the barriers and visiting ‘their’ memorial. Apparently, spending government funds to close down tourist destinations is a critical government security issue, even if it is of the sort that generates funds for the government and jobs for part time RVers. Be aware of what actually is as it may not be what you are told.

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Manzanar National Historic Site

The U.S. is one of the very few countries to make a monument out of an embarrassment without outside provocation. The park service says it is One Camp, Ten Thousand Lives; One Camp, Ten Thousand Stories. Manzanar National Historic Site is 9 miles north of Lone Pine, CA.


See the photo gallery!

Get a glimpse of the psyche of the American people just after the Pearl Harbor attack. Keep in mind that modern ideas of ethnicity, nationality, and race were a luxury back then. Think about things that don’t change about people and how it could happen again in a different form.

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Mammoth Consolidated Mine August 2013

Just south of Lake Mary in the Mammoth Lakes area is the Mammoth Consolidated Mine, circa 1927-1933. If you are into touring abandoned facilities, this should be on your list.


See the photo gallery!

“The Mahan family was responsible for the Mammoth Consolidated, and donated the buildings and equipment that you see on the interpretive trail where remnants of buildings and machinery still stand.”

Samples indicated less than an ounce of silver and gold in a ton of ore or about $12.70 yield per ton in 1927.

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Mammoth Lakes, Devil’s Postpile, heading down US 395

After the Obsidian Dome rally, what to tour on the way home?


See the photo gallery!

Mammoth Lakes is a resort area and a good home base to tour the Devil’s Postpile, Lake Mary, Bishop, and other spots on the southern end of US 395 eastern Sierra Nevada.

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SNU Rally Weed Heights July 2013

When it gets hot, where do you go? Someplace with shade, breezes, and a good connection to the power grid! That puts the Weed Heights RV park high on the list for a July Rally.

weed heights SNU rally July 2013
See the photo gallery of the SNU Rally at Weed Heights.

This place is just outside Yerington in Lyon County about 30 miles southeast of Carson City as the crow flies (32 miles bearing 111). It is near the company housing for the retired Anaconda Mine. With the price of copper these days, there are some interested in going through the 360 million tons of tailings again. The EPA has spend the last ten years trying to find cause to label it a supersite for waste. They’ve spent a lot of money haven’t been able to make the case (yet).

Next year, the plan is to be there when the A Night in the Country will liven up Yerington. The event is a benefit to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mason Valley. There is dry camping at the Fairgrounds and it looks like that will be one big 24×7 party time there for the weekend.

The Weed Heights RV park is about 3 miles west and will serve as an overflow area or a camping spot for folks who want to spend the night sleeping or whatnot. You can tell the event managers have some experience as they ban booze, guns, and even pocket knives on premises along with video recorders and laser pointers. If you don’t like the rules, then look for Burning Man a bit later in the year … or maybe Hot August Nights, the Balloon Races, the Air Races, or some other event — lots going on in Northern Nevada.

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Virginia Creek, Conway Summit

Heading south out of Bridgeport on U.S. 395 you climb to Conway Summit, the highest on U.S. 395. The Virginia Creek road heads west from the summit towards resorts and camping opportinities

See the photo gallery! Most of the pictures here are of the lower informal campground on NFS land. The similar upper camping area is more suited to smaller vehicles and tent camping along the creek. Beyond that is the Trumbull Lake campground where you can make reservations online.

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Green Creek

It runs down that canyon!

Green Creek
There are two photo galleries, one for the SNU June 2013 rally and the other with scenery in the area. See the links on the Green Creek page.

This is at a conjuntion of BLM, NFS, and California State Wildlife areas with dispersed camping at spots alongside the creek. The road up the canyon is very rough and rises about 1500′ over 7 miles with moderate grades. The turnoff is from U.S. 395 halfway between Bridgeport and Conway Summit and just a bit north of the turnoff to Bodie.

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Obsidian Camp at US 395 north of Bridgeport

Here’s a possible place to stop if travelling on US 395. It’s just a bit north of Bridgeport 38.2973N 119.4470W off Little Walker Road on Molybdenite Creek.

Obsidian NFS Campground

See the photo gallery of the Toiyabe National Forest Obsidian Campground

Google Maps provides directions from US 395 that seem to go around the long way. It appears that Little Walker Road also intersects US 395 only about 4 miles from the campground. Google Earth elevation profile of the ‘direct route’ indicates a climb on this route of 844 ft with an average slope of 5% or so. Here’s what Wheels says about access:

“I took the Little Walker Rd from US 395. As I recall it was a typical dirt road that was not too narrow. The route from 108 on the Forest Service map looks very bad “Unimproved or 4 wheel drive Road Suitable for High Clearance Vehicles.” Also several creek crossings.”

Note that CA 108 is Sonora Pass, the second highest in the Sierra Nevada. CA 108 over the pass has some extremely steep grades and is not a recommended route for RV’s. Use Tioga to the south over to Yosemite, a bit higher but a better road with more manageable grades, or highway 88 to the north to get over the mountains.

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Green Creek

The SNU is looking to add a new place to the rally destinations collection. Green Creek is being evaluated. What do you think?

 

Green Creek

See the photo gallery!

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Rally in the woods, Crocker June 2012

It was a windy weekend in the pines between Davis and Frenchman Lakes north of Beckwourth on the Beckwourth Genesee Road.

Check out the SNU Rally photo galleries!

Randy came up with a new ‘thing’ and there are also links to other information about the area

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Find your antipode

Ever wonder about that idea of ‘digging to China’ ? Free Map Tools has a map tunneling tool that will show you your antipodes on a map. For the SierraNevadaAirstreams.org territory, the antipode is in the Indian Ocean off Madagascar.

The site has a few other tools that might be fun to play with …

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Death Valley National Park for the paeontologist

Into fossils? Death Valley? Maybe guitar recordings? Check out the Fossils in Death Valley National Park website. It is another one of those ‘busy’ pages with a lot of pictures and a lot of information. Check it out.

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Thanksgiving 2011 on the Carson River

Down by Fort Churchill State Park is the Carson River Ranches. Scout Camp is set for horses with corrals and trails going up and down the Carson River. It is also a nice spot to spend Thanksgiving with a few friends.

See the photo gallery!

Too much good food; leftovers for the weekend; somewhat cool mornings – the campfire felt nice! – but pleasant afternoons; coyote choirs in the distance; low rumble of traffic on ALT US 95 on occasion; gophers trying to clean out their holes without bothering the dogs; rabbits working the grass around the edges;

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Trip report: Reno to Flagstaff to Zion and back on the extraterrestrial highway

The Baxter’s report on roads and conditions on their southwest tour in six segments:

1 – Reno to Beatty NV – Used Highway 95, good whole way, with some construction and short delays. Stayed at Beatty RV Park, small (30 +/-) spots, exceptional restroom / showers.

2 – Beatty to Boulder City – Used Highways 95 & 93, roadways good except in/near Las Vegas, lots of construction and detour. Stayed at CanyonTrails RV park. Nice facility, large, nice level sites and clean restroom/showers. No trees, lots of sun…

3 – Boulder City to Flagstaff AZ – Used Highway 93, then Highway 40, good road conditions, #40 four lane and thus easy driving. Slow gradual climbs about 35 miles outside of Boulder City all the way to Flagstaff. Stayed at J&H RV Park. Small (35 +/-) sites. Well maintained and quiet. Billed as a “senior & adult ” park.

4 – Flagstaff to Zion National Park – Used Highway 89, then Alt 89 thru Hurricane and Virgin to enter Park from West
had been informed that the East entrance via 89 was lots of turns at end and also trucks, RVs, trailers needed special permit and traffic control to pass thru tunnel. Highway 89 and Alt 89 is two lane, good road surface and a few climbs,
nothing difficult at all. Stayed in WATCHMAN campground within Park. Had electricity at each site, no water. Campground full, wanted to extend stay could not due to no sites available. Recommend reservations pretty far in advance. This campground most convenient, can walk to Park shuttle, and thus all hiking trails were available to us.

5 – Zion National Park to Caliente NV Used I 15 to Cedar City, then Utah Highway51, then NV highway 6, then NV highway 93 south to Caliente. Road surface good, a few climbs, but nothing steep. Few fuel stops available, long stretches without town or many cars. Stayed in Youngs RV park. relatively small, mostly long term people here. We we put in a site with lawn/trees. Some other “itinerant” RV’ers showed up and were put in a large graveled area, no trees, no lawn, pretty barren. All sites had full hookups with WIFI. An ok place for a one night stand,

6 – Caliente NV to Hawthorne NV Used highway 93, then extraterrestrial highway, then highway 6, then highway 95. All road surfaces in excellent condition, Long slow gradual climb (4%,5% grade for 7 miles) out of Caliente NV. Not an extreme climb just long. 190 miles from Caliente to Tonopah…No fuel available!! No ATT cell phone service available for most of the run. Must have seen 8 or 9 cars on the extraterrestrial highway.

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Boca Reservoir

Right near the Nevada Border between Reno and Truckee is Boca Reservoir on the Little Truckee river. There are a number of campgrounds there just off I80 exit 194.

The SierraNevadaAirstreams Destinations page for Boca Reservoir has links to photo galleries of the townsite, the Boca Rest campground at the upper end of the lake, and the Boca Springs campground up in the trees above the lake. There are also links to photo galleries for SNU Rallies from 2003 to 2011.

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California state parks in memory

A couple of photographers with a pessimistic (modern) outlook on things has started 70in70. They plan to visit each of the 70 California state parks scheduled for closure to create memories of what they think will be lost to future generations.

There are other options available to California but closing public recreation and historical facilities may better suit political whims. At least there’s a new blog with lots of pictures if all you can do for now is a virtual visit.

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When is spring?

One of the traditional indicators of spring is when Tioga pass finally clears for traffic. It looks as if it will be a bit late this year. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that not only is the pass opening going to be a bit late, the Half Dome climbers will also have to wait.

Heavy snow on Half Dome has also prevented crews from placing cables on
the mountain. The cables are used by hikers to help them climb to the
summit. Park officials say it’s unlikely the cables will be in place by
Memorial Day.

Another issue is the spring run-off. The Arizona Daily Star says the Colorado River runoff picture stays good. It’s about 120% of average this year. In the Sierras it is more than 150%, which is why Tioga pass will take a while to clear. Meanwhile, in Reno the pear and crabapple bloom is in full swing but the Peavine snowcap says tomato growers need to wait a while, yet.

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Middle of Nevada stopover: Bob Scott NFS near Austin pictures

On U.S. 50 just east of Austin and at the top of the twisting grade, is the Bob Scott Summit NFS campground. It is an old park which means small both in size (although it claims a 50 camper group site and max RV length of 35′) and in the size of its campsites but the price is right and it is convenient for trans Nevada tours. The elevation is 7267′ so winter is probably not a good time to visit. Coordinates for the GPS are 39.45789, -116.99453

Not too far east of this is the Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area, a BLM campground and everywhere in between has a lot of opportunity for dispersed camping if you know what you are doing.


See the photo gallery!

See also the public lands information center. The reviews at FreeCampgrounds.com have some useful information, too. They indicate a voluntary $10 fee as of May 2010. Forest Camping also has an up to date description.

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Cathedral Gorge – Nevada State Park – 2010 Pictures

When you’ve got harder rocks on top of softer ones tied in with exploding calderas and long forgotten lake beds, you get some interesting geological features. Cathedral Gorge is another spot set aside along US 93 in Nevada to see such features. It is a rather broad and flat bottom valley with some interesting colors, along with some of Nevada’s own hoodoos.



See the photo gallery!

There is a visitor center and a nice campground. At the north end is Miller’s overlook with access to some trails and views from the top end of the valley.

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