Monday, October 7
Let’s get caught up on the travels of RVSue and her canine crew! Get out your maps! (Turn to page 48 if you have a California Benchmark atlas). Okay. Ready?
Here we go!
We leave Camp Duncan and drive seven miles on 139 to Canby, California (4318 ft.). Route 299 takes us east to Alturas (4372 ft.). From Alturas we pick up famed Route 395 and make a straight shot south, passing through Likely (4447 ft.) and Madeline (5314 ft.) .
At Termo (5300 ft.) a decision must be made.
Do we take Grasshopper Road west to 139 and go south to Susanville? Or do we stay on 395? I choose the latter even though it adds about 30 miles. Why? Because the other route gets all wiggly over by Eagle Lake, I’ve driven around the lake, and I”m not in the mood for mountain driving. There’s a 1,000 foot descent near Antelope Mountain and Susanville that I’d rather skip today.
Route 395 is monotonous all the way to Litchfield (4068 ft.).
Sometimes that’s a good thing. We roll along across the sagebrush plain, the sameness broken by views of Shinn Peaks (7559 ft.), Snowstorm Mountain (6561 ft.) and Shaffer Mountain (6735 ft.).
I’m in a zone, there’s little traffic, and we make good time.
We take a shortcut, bypassing Susanville.
Route 395 to Reno is miserable. I’ll tell you why. The speed limit for truck trailers and towed trailers is 55 mph. However, the speed limit for everyone else is 65 mph. It’s two-lanes, meaning we’ve got one lane going south.
You can imagine what happens.
I’m putt-putting along at 55 mph. All the car folks hell-bent for Reno are driving 65 mph or more. They don’t understand that I’m trying to stay legal. They think I’m an ol’ fart blocking traffic. In order to alleviate the tension between us, I pull off the road like EVERY FIVE MINUTES the entire 80-mile stretch.
And then I have to cross effing Reno.
Enough of that! Everything turns out okay. The well-behaved BLT follows the PTV for the 200 miles and we make it safely to Carson City, Nevada.
Let’s look at some pics of Washoe Lake State Park. You deserve it after wading through all those directions. Time for recess!
Campsites are neat and clean.
The ground is covered with fine gravel and the parking pad is paved. There are lots of convenient trash cans and water spigots (although shared, not at every site.). I assume the restrooms have flush toilets. Don’t be fooled like I was — There are showers in the rest room building. I should’ve looked! The fee is $17.
Oh, yeah. I almost forgot to show you the lake!
That’s Slide Mountain (9798 ft.) on the west side of the lake. Hmm . . . I wonder what it was called before part of it slided . . . er . . . before part of it slid.
I have several tasks to complete before we can get back on the road. Yesterday, somewhere between Reno’s third exit and Hades, the idiot light for oil flashed briefly. So at our campsite I put up the PTV’s hood and pull out the dipstick.
The dang dipstick on a Chevy Express van is about 15 feet long!
Well, maybe not THAT long. I always have a terrible time reading it. I pull it out, hand over hand, until I can bring the crucial last section up to my eyes to read. By then the oil is smeared along the stick. I’ve never had a problem reading the dipstick with any other vehicle I’ve owned. Sorry to belabor that point, but it is a pain.
With trepidation, I add one quart of oil.
I still can’t be sure. One thing I do know for sure is it’s bad to put too much oil in. I don’t know if God gets involved in motor oil decisions, but, just to be on the safe side, I send up a prayer anyway that I’m not pouring in too much.
Next I get out my handy-dandy allen’s wrench tool that has many sizes. I swing out the size that fits the bolts that came loose on the solar panel. I always glance at these bolts before getting into the PTV. Over the miles they loosen.
I call them bolts.
I’m not sure that’s the right word because I don’t have a PhD. in machine shop. If you think I’m kidding, click this link and scroll down to the chart with all the names of bolts and screws. It boggles the mind.
I climb up in the open side door and tighten the bolts.
The crew waits in the PTV. I secure the inside of the BLT and we’re off to the park’s dump station (free if you camp here.) I dump both waste tanks and fill up the water tank. I clean my hands. Lastly I get out the windex and paper towels and clean yesterday’s bugs off the windshield. Finally we can pull out!
On the short sprint to return to Route 395, I meet a motorhome with a familiar driver at the wheel. Later I learn it’s Nina and Paul from Wheeling It blog on their way to the state park!
Next post: Carson City, Nevada to Mono Lake, California!
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“REAR VIEW MIRROR”
Bridget and Spike had some difficulty with their resolutions for the year 2012. It did not go well.