Published: June 12th 2012
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Saturday, June 2nd

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTOPHER!! Von’s parking lot in Bishop, CA. 9:00 and already 82 degrees.

Since we had to wait until 10:00 to get into the newspapers at Laws, we went to Micky D’s for breakfast and a quick check of the internet/e-mail. We left Laws, having worked all day, but in no way scanning and reading all of the 20 years or more of newspapers that the museum has that covers the period our family was in the area. Drove about 6 miles from town to the Paiute Indian Casino to have a late lunch/early dinner. Both of us had prime rib and had enough left to have it for the next night. Valerie played the penny slots and lost her dollar in less than a half-hour of playing.

Headed up the road, still on 395 and immediately started to climb up out of the Owen’s River Valley. This time a sign warned you to turn off your air conditioner and they had placed barrels of water for your overheated radiator every mile along this climb. Rosie took the 3000 foot climb ok with all sensors reading ok .

We had heard about a “good” campground at Crowley Lake with a $5.00 fee from the 3 Roadtrek women acquaintances that was located about 20-25 miles out of town. Since we had such a late start, we headed there. Yes, there was a lake, but the campground wasn’t even nearby the lake and was in the desert sagebrush with not a tree in sight. We did spot a California quail posing calmly on the top of a post in the community of Crowley and took a picture.

We drove on another 30 or so miles to Mammoth Lakes and settled into the cool pine forest of the New Shady grove Campground. It was so great to be cool and to have TREES around us we decided to stay another night also, and took Sunday, June 3rd as a “down day’ to just read and veg.

Monday June 4th

New Shady Grove Campground at Mammoth Lakes. 8:52 and 55 degrees. Blue skies and clear. Starting mileage is 26,978.

Toured the pretty town of Mammoth Lakes that has done a really good job of keeping the “resort” area look very clean and neat with no big buildings nor high signage. Streets are landscaped with native plants and huge rocks are used effectively. Went by the library to drop off a donation, but it didn’t open for another hour and we didn’t wish to wait. There is a large open ice skating rink behind the library that was directly across the street from a new looking high school.

Drove back to highway 395 and on to Mono Lake where we pulled off at the newish, modern visitor’s center. We toured the very interesting exhibits about the uniqueness of this lake. Like the Great Salt Lake, it has no outlet to the ocean and so the salt has built up over millions of years. The lake also has springs under ground that bubble up through the salt water, causing tufa that look like underwater stalagmites. Since LA has in the past, cut off/diverted the fresh water streams flowing into the lake, the lake has dropped 45+ feet exposing some of these tufa, leaving them high and dry. Some have become islands out in the lake that many shorebirds, especially the California gulls nest on. Some one estimated that 90% of all of these gulls are hatched here. The water of this lake is crawling with both brine shrimp and a fly worm that migratory birds stop and feast on before heading either north or south. Google “Mono Lake” to read more about it and the drive to correct the problems LA caused.

After our reading of all the exhibits, we drove down to the county park on the shores of the lake to walk out and see what birds might be about. One million and 5 gulls were about, but we didn’t see the unusual birds we wanted to see that hang out by the thousands either spring or fall when they migrate. We did spot some warblers, red winged blackbirds, some more American avocets, and an orchard oriole. The park was also home to 100’s of really cute ground squirrels.

We stopped in the old and interesting historic town of Bridgeport. While Valerie took some pictures, I checked out the library. Unfortunately, it was closed on Mondays—our sack of books to donate is now full. As we were leaving the town of Bridgeport, heading west, we saw storm clouds come over the mountains looking really ominous. The wind was blowing so strongly with gusts that Valerie had to fight to keep Rosie straight. So, we decided it would be a good idea to hunker down into the first Nat'l forest campground we could find which happened to be Bootleg NFS Campground at 6,600 feet in the Walker River Canyon. It snowed on the mountains right above us at about 1000 feet higher and got down to 36 degrees that night. We just got some rain.

Tuesday, June 5th

Bootleg Campground 37 degrees at 8:49 with blue skies. Starting mileage is 27,061.

We continued to follow the Walker River as it wound through this narrow canyon. Still on highway 395, we crossed back into Nevada and into the outskirts of Carson City. It is still really cool here with many more clouds that look like more rain in store this afternoon. We pulled into the Comstock RV park at $37 a night, but all hook-ups and near a Wal-mart and other shopping. We needed to stock up since we have been gone 8 weeks now. On the way back to the RV Park we stopped at the Casino across the street and had a very nice dinner for a moderate price.

Wednesday, June 6th

Comstock RV Park, Carson City, Nevada

We spent some of the day cooking and packing the refrig and freezer with new groceries from our shopping. Read, sent out a blog entry, and checked e-mail. We had planned on cleaning up Rosie as we usually do when we stop at an RV park, but it really was too cold to be outside for long.

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