Saturday, June 18, 2016

Shakedown Cruise: Part 2

It was a slow drive out and I sighed with relief when we touched the blacktop road. 

We headed east and climbed up higher into the Sierras.

The Man stopped at the USFS Hotshot station and one of the firemen confirmed the road to Rhymes campground was easily accessible. He was surprised that we spent the night at Alder Creek campground since the campground had been abandoned by the US Forest Service and the road was no longer being maintained.

Rhymes campground was marked with a sign but technically it was just a pull-off spot on the side of the road with a nice fire pit. The Man offloaded his motorcycle and headed down a forest road. I discovered the day before that bumpy dirt roads were not enjoyable to my physical well-being; I found it too jarring to my back (and other body parts) so instead I built a nice fire and resumed knitting on my Sockhead hat.

Except for a few off-road motorcyclists and a fifth wheel RV there wasn't much traffic. I imagine the area sees much more activity during the summer months as the Central Valley heats up. The cool mountain air and the many dirt roads snaking through the forests would certainly be enticing and worth exploring. The road The Man took was another route back to Alder Creek Campground. Amazingly our cell phones worked, he called to check in. He could see our previous camping spot but a fallen pine tree across the roadway made it impassable and he said he'd be heading back soon.

We spent a chilly night camping at 6000+ feet and the next morning drove through a light dusting of snow as we climbed back up the summit on our way out. The travel trailer's furnace worked well. The Man said the hot shower worked great too. I wouldn't know, my shower was very cold and very quick.
Heading down from the summit we passed Lake Isabella and traveled along the Kern River Canyon Road.

We pulled off the highway and turned around because I noticed an area where people were fishing from the shore. The Man had brought his fishing gear and had bought a license for this trip.

He grabbed his pole and I grabbed my knitting.

The California fish were not biting his shiny sparkly (Colorado) metal lures. The Man declined my offer to use bread balls for bait though I'm pretty sure that would've worked.

On the way back we passed Lost Hills,

hills of Cholame,

 and then we were home.

On this two-night trip we learned:

1) Don't forget to bring a jacket, even if it is 80° when you leave home. You never know when it'll snow.

2) Always remember to fold and store the metal step of the travel trailer.

3) A Mountain Dew and a Snickers candy bar makes us very happy.

4) The general consensus of Dodge truck owners say a 2001 Dodge Ram diesel truck's transmission will only last about 100,000 miles (but the engine will run forever).

5) A 20 oz. Mountain Dew and a full-size Snickers candy bar makes us very very happy.
  • Shakedown Cruise: check.