March 16-21, 2017
If you want to visit the Alabama Hills without camping there with no signal try out the nearby Tuttle Creek Campground about 5 miles from Lone Pine, California. Managed by BLM (Bureau of Land Management) at $5/night it’s a steal (half off with Senior Pass). Eighty-three large gravel sites along Tuttle Creek, some more level than others, accommodate big rigs with a table and BBQ/fire pit. Dump station an additional $5. Potable water available. Plus big views up and down Owens Valley surrounded by the Eastern Sierras and the Inyo Mountains.
However, don’t take the Tuttle Creek Road on the low end of Whitney Portal Road with a big rig. Although it’s gorgeous and paved it’s mostly one lane with turn-outs and twisty. Instead just a few miles further, and past Movie Road, take the 1.6 miles south on Horseshoe Meadows Road to the campground sign. Then slow down for the horrific speed bumps requiring an almost full stop at each one.
The lovely song of Tuttle Creek helped me relax and sleep after an emotionally draining visit to Manzanar National Historic Site. In the morning blue skies with patches of streaming clouds distracted me. And with temperatures predicted up to 80°F I didn’t feel like leaving or going any place at all.
I could almost watch the snow line climb higher every warm and windy day. A light afternoon breeze kept it from feeling hot. On the walk back from the pay station, spending two more nights, I saw a jackrabbit. They are huge, like a mid-sized dog.
Unfortunately the weekend brought revelry and the silence was broken by a rather large group of young people camped not far away. Guess that’s what to be expected over spring break. Then the wind picked up which didn’t inspire me to leave the camper most of the day. Instead I took advantage of the blazing fast internet signal and worked on blog posts and photos. Fortunately the noisy group left Sunday morning along with many other campers but they didn’t take the wind with them.
With more windy days I continued to stay inside. Sometimes, it’s just nice to stay home. Even if your home is on wheels. The two above shots, and below, were taken from the camper door. What’s not to like about that?
Had thought to leave Tuesday for Mojave Trails National Monument yet woke up to clouds hanging low over the Sierras and wind whipping up the Owens Valley from the south. Don’t like to be on the road under those conditions. Where I was had no protection from the wind unfortunately. But the price was right. Not cold and so beautiful to look at, from inside. Sprinkled on and off all afternoon. Rather interesting to experience other than perfectly clear blue skies. Gives the landscape a totally different perspective.
After almost a week of self-imposed confinement I began my journey southward with a stop at the Museum of Western Film History and an early birthday surprise.
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