Friday, October 18
The crew and I drive north to Bishop to pick up the Amazon order at the United Parcel Service “hub.” When I placed my order, I first call The UPS store in Bishop to see about them receiving packages for me. The young lady brusquely informs me it would cost $5 per package.
Then I call the other UPS (the “hub”) number and I hear, “Sure. You can send them here. No charge.”
I’m excited and a bit apprehensive.
I really hate returning stuff and the KEEN trail shoes I ordered are notoriously tricky to fit. Many of the reviews on Amazon say to order a size up. I’ve always been a “perfect” size 7. Even so, I took the advice of previous customers (I love that Amazon feature!), and ordered a size 7.5.
All my purchases arrived.
In the parking lot, I open the boxes to see if anything needs to be exchanged. I pull the KEENs out of the box and tear off my tennis shoes. Oh, I hope they aren’t too big! I half-sit on the bumper of the PTV and slip them on. “Yes!” I walk around with a grin on my face. Gee, I couldn’t ask for a better fit.
More about my new stuff in another post.
“Hello!” I call out. “Did you catch anything?’
“No, not this time,” the man replies as they walk over.
“What are you fishing for?” I ask.
I ask this question because the stream that runs by the campground is barely five feet wide in places and not very deep. I’ve seen a lot of fishermen walking its banks and casting, if you can call it that, around their feet.
Sensing my skepticism, the man continues.
“The other day I caught a 20-inch trout, and my wife here caught a 13-incher.” She nods her head, smiling. I can tell she’s the kind of wife who lets her husband do most of the talking.
“What? Out of that itty-bitty stream?”
“Yeah,” he grins. “There were four of us and we each caught our limit. Mine was tagged.”
Tagged?” I’m not sure I heard what he said.
“Well, I was cleaning it for supper and found a tiny tag on it’s gill. Almost missed it because it was the same color. They tag ’em to keep track of them.”
Saturday, October 19
Several campers with ATVs and loud music arrived last night. I have my Amazon order, so there’s no reason to stay any longer.
Off we go further south on Route 395.
It’s a beautiful drive through Owens Valley. Great swatches of yellow, gold, tan, russet, burnt sienna, and burgundy lie like plush fabric spread across the valley floor. The morning light sets the landscape aglow in the foreground of the massive Sierra Nevada on the west and the Inyo Mountains on the east.
It’s only forty miles to Lone Pine.
We left this morning with the gas gauge reading below a quarter-tank. Shortly before Lone Pine I fill up the tank at the pumps outside a casino run by Native Americans (Paiute? Shoshone?). The $3.69 a gallon price makes me glad I didn’t get a fill-up earlier in Big Pine at $3.99 a gallon.
We go by the turn to Fort Independence. We also pass the Manzanar internment facility of World War II. I see the depressing wooden dormitories in the field behind a newer building, as well as the watch tower.
I have a plan.
I’ll drive us up into the Alabama Hills to that great spot I wanted last year but was occupied. I don’t want to camp again over where the tourists wander around. If the primo spot is filled, we’ll drive further south.
In the middle of downtown Lone Pine (Downtown is all there is!), I turn right onto Whitney Portal Road. Memories of our two-week camp here last year come to mind in quick succession… Chuy’s tidy little house, the horses grazing in the meadow, the first pile of boulders that signal the uniqueness of the Hills, the crew wandering around our campsite . . .
How could I even think about skipping this camp!
Oh, I hope no one’s in that great spot! I drive us past a hill of boulders and my eyes scan the desert for the boondock I want. It’s open! No one’s there! I want to set up camp next to those golden trees.
“C’mon, guys. We’d better walk this. Let’s go see if we can find our new home.”
The crew is excited.
Bridget starts yipping with happiness when she recognizes the word, home. Together we walk up the lane. The sun is hot but feels good. I notice the familiar crunch of the coarse sand under my feet. I check the lane as we go. If I’m careful the PTV won’t get stuck in this.
We come to three established campsites, all of them appealing but terribly sloped. I choose the one I want and we walk back to the PTV.
It took a little effort, but I did it. We’re in!
THANK YOU, RVSUE SHOPPERS!
I appreciate you doing your Amazon shopping from my links.
“REAR VIEW MIRROR”
In late February, 2013, the crew and I are camped in the Darby Well Road, Ajo, Arizona area. I’ve become frustrated with a new hummingbird feeder that leaks, that is until I find a solution to the problem. I create a tutorial to share with readers.