Sunday, August 9, 2015

Day 32 - End of Trip: June Lake, CA

~ Just the Facts ~
Camping:  Driveway surfing at Liza's parent's place in Mountains
Activities:   Mono Lake Bird Walk, Gage's running camp, White Mountain Wild Horses

June Lake is a beautiful little mountain town in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains.  It's at 7600 feet so the elevation takes some getting used to.  Gage was going to running camp in Mammoth for the week and we were staying at Liza's parents' home in June Lake.  What a spot.  

Acclimating is always difficult.  You have to make sure to drink lots of water and take pain reliever as needed and eat, even if you don't feel like it.  After a couple-three days, you will feel more like yourself.  Luckily, we'd been at 5,000 or so feet for a while so we didn't have that much acclimating to do.  

Gage spent the week doing two runs a week in preparation for a 10 mile run later in the week.  Mammoth is a bit higher at 8,000+ feet so he was working hard!  The kids got to have a lot of fun, too.  They visited local hot springs, swam in June Lake, and ate pies while very high in the Sierras.  

Liza took this panorama too far, making a straight beach look like a peninsula.  

While he was running, the rest of us were playing.  Liza went on a bird walk at Mono Lake, a nearby salt water lake that is a hot bed of birding activity.  

View from boardwalk at Mono Lake Cty Park
Mono Lake is an ancient inland sea.  It is the nesting place of millions of birds, including California Gulls.  

Liza and her stepdad, Igor, saw lots of amazing birds but I only included a couple here.  The magpie because they are such awesome birds.  And, the kestrel on the tufa tower because they were the most memorable bird of the day.  There was a family of kestrels near the parking lot and they flew around us all morning putting on quite a show!  

When we weren't watching birds, we drove out and explored the high desert of the eastern Sierras.  The best day was a drive out to see the wild horses at Adobe Valley.  They aren't exactly mustangs but they are wild.  The herd is managed to be around 75 horses.  We had just enough time to drive to the place they are usually seen and voila, there they were.  

Road shots by Greg

You see the horses in the shot, don't you? 

Greg enjoys taking pictures of the road ahead.  Liza enjoys capturing this view! 

We also went to see Ant-Man and ate out a few times.  We hung out with the parents and generally recovered from a long, but very fun, trip.  On Thursday, Greg and Ruth drove home early in the morning.  Liza picked Gage up from camp on Thursday night and we headed home on Friday morning, waving a sad goodbye to the parents.  

It was good to be home but there are many places on this trip.  The trip was awesome.  The journey really is the thing.  

Day 30 - 31: Carson City, NV

~ Just the Facts ~
Camping:  Driveway surfing at Liza's parent's place in Nevada's capitol
Restaurants:   San Marcos Grill, Pho Country

Leaving Likely, CA, we headed south to Carson City, NV.  Liza's parents have a house there and we were meeting her mom, Lee, to spend a couple of days before heading further south to June Lake.

It was fun to be in a city again after the quiet trip since Bend.  We ran errands, got haircuts, ate out, took showers and did laundry.  All the fun civilized things one does in a city.    Carson City is a great spot.   Both restaurants we went to were awesome.  Delish food.  Best part, hanging out with Mom.

Our last morning there, Greg and the kids headed off for June Lake and Liza and Lee followed shortly in the 4Runner.  We caught up to the FMC in the driveway at June Lake.  

Day 31 - Likely, CA

~ Just the Facts ~

In our quest to find unlikely (I couldn't resist!) RV parks, we stopped for the night at a most unlikely one:  Likely Place RV and Golf Resort.  In the middle of nowhere . . . really!, someone had the idea to build a lovely golf course and RV park.  

When I say the middle of nowhere, I'm exaggerating.  To get there, you head south out of Susanville until you get to the dot on the map called Likely (Don't blink!).  Turn left and drive for awhile until you see signs for the Likely Place RV and Golf Resort.  You drive through some ranch land.  

The cows are so used to seeing big motorhomes that they just don't care.  Yawn.  

Eventually, you get to the Resort.  Golf course, nice campground . . . beautiful.  There were a few other people there but we were very private and thoroughly enjoyed the views.  

One of the biggest attractions at the park is the very dark skies.  They have a section of the RV park dedicated to setting up telescopes and viewing the night sky.  

We didn't really participate in any activities offered at the Likely RV and Golf Resort.  We had dinner and drinks and chilled.  

Kind of like the cows.  

Day 27 - 28: Lakeview, OR

~ Just the Facts ~
Camping:  Base Camp RV Park, Junipers Reservoir RV Park

Driving between Summer Lake, OR and Lakeview, OR, we had a little trouble on the road.  The FMC lost power and we ended up having to do a repair in a gas station on the side of the road.  Luckily, the gas station owner was very nice and admired the FMC and offered some tips and tricks.  We eventually got it going again and then headed on to Lakeview.  We had planned to camp 10 miles outside of Lakeview at a very cool RV park in the middle of a huge cattle ranch.  With the FMC having electrical issues, we decided that wasn't a good idea.  We found a park right in Lakeview.  Greg and I drove out to the cattle ranch and decided that if we could get the FMC fixed, we would definitely stay there for the next night.  

It happened to be Ruth's 17th birthday, too.   Wow.  We had homemade Pho for dinner which is Ruth's latest favorite food.  Then we went into town and had dessert there.  No cake for my girl, she had french fries dipped in chocolate shake -- her personal favorite treat!

In the morning, we took the FMC to a repair shop in town called Max's.  He quickly diagnosed the issue and helped us come up with a temporary fix that would safely get us home without worry or hassle.  What a great experience (for comparison, see the nightmare that was Wells, NV).

We drove out to Junipers RV Park and settled in for the night.  The park is absolutely beautiful.  We drove through the ranch to get to our site.  We could often see cattle in the distance.   There were birds everywhere.  After we settled in, Greg, Ruth, and I took a drive around the ranch on roads open to guests.  There is a huge reservoir there with tons of geese and shorebirds.  We saw rabbits and hawks.  It was really beautiful.  

In the evening, we had dinner before kicking back to watch this sunset with cold drinks in our hands.  

We will be back.  What an amazing place.  We couldn't help but wonder how many other unlikely RV parks there must be in the US.  

Day 26: Summer Lake, OR

~ Just the Facts ~

I'm not going to lie, leaving Bend was difficult.  We'd had such a great time there.  We planned a leisurely trip to Carson City, NV, cruising down 395, a section we'd never traveled before.  Our first night, we stopped at Summer Lake, OR and stayed at the Ana Reservoir RV Park.  It was totally delightful.  Great view, almost empty, and very nice people running the place.  We did some laundry, relaxed, and had a lovely afternoon and evening.  We particularly enjoyed the antics of the sheep in the neighboring farmland.  Noisy but amusing critters. This country is vast, beautiful, and empty of crowds.  We saw more sheep than people by a long measure.