Posts

, ,

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY

On Thursday July 14th Lindsey,Marley and I set out for the Eastern Sierra Mountain range where we had planned to go camping, fish and hunt for close to a week. Our first stop for a rest was Red Rock Canyon,one of the most desolate places in the desert. The temperature in my truck read a scorching 114 degrees,much to hot for us to camp in with no real adequate shade.

 

 

 

 

 

Mojave Desert

Red Rock Canyon

We had a nice snack and some cold drinks and set back out on the road where we headed further into the desert, couldn’t help but to look for Jackrabbit ears in the shade of the Joshua trees. The next major town we came to was Lone Pine where we made a stop for some lunch at a nearby fish hatchery,very beautiful place with nice views of the mountains. The scenery was starting to get less desert and more lush green countryside with even a few streams flowing through the fields on both sides of the highway. We continued for what seemed to be another hour until we came to a town called Big Pine where we pulled into a rest stop before heading up the steep narrow road into the Ancient Bristlecone forest. This area is quite a far drive up the mountain but is home to the “Methuselah” that is known to be the oldest living tree with the germination date being placed at 2832 BC. The area where these ancient trees grow is close to 9,800 ft and has quite the view with several nice foot paths,some being several miles long.

 

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

The views from the top of this mountain were unlike anything I have seen before,simply breathtaking in every way. We had thought about camping here but had decided to travel back down the mountain and find a location that was closer to some water and shade. It was so nice to not be in a hurry and to be able to drive slow and look at all the interesting things along the way. I did notice that the area did not have many animals as I’m guessing it was just to dry. Lindsey and I reached the bottom of the mountain taking a little time looking at Google Earth where we hoped to find a good out of the way place to camp for the night. By this time it was 4:00 and I was getting a bit tired of driving, anxious to settle in and possibly find a spot to fish. The area we drove to was very near the town of Bishop and nestled 16 miles into a nearby canyon.

Bishop CA

I had found a little dirt road turnoff that went for quite a ways paralleling the river,too had plenty of shade and room for a tent. Lindsey and I pulled into the perfect spot to camp and Marley couldn’t wait to get out to explore. We set up our tent and unloaded a few of our things to make the night a bit more like home. Marley couldn’t wait to explore and I couldn’t wait to set up my fishing reel and see if I could get us some dinner.We headed down to the river that was flowing pretty good for this time of year, runoff from the nearby glacier. After a few minutes finding a good pool to fish in I was able to pull out a small Trout,first one in a good many years for me. Being in places like this is the most relaxing thing I can do and always brings good memories of my father and I.

fishing

By this time it was well into the evening so Lindsey and I set up our chairs and enjoyed the spectacular sunset that almost set the sky on fire.

Sunset in Bishop

We all slept very well with the peaceful roar of the river in the background and the cool night breeze that swept through the canyon. The next morning we awoke and decided we would go for a little hike before it got to hot. The spot we were camping had a few trails that looked very inviting that climbed steep up into a rocky gorge. Lindsey loves geology and as a hobby enjoys looking for rocks and excavating them,this place was full of all sorts.

Found what looked to me to be an old well that someone turned into a plinking target,neat bunch of parts hanging from it.The sun was starting to come down on us pretty hard so we decided to head back to camp and hang by the river before we packed up and left.

Dana Webb Airgunner

Lindsey and I loaded up the truck and headed back down the long mountain road where we met the main highway continuing North up to Lake Crowley. This area gives a very wild west feel to it as far as the trees and rock outcroppings that are scattered throughout this magnificent land. We both were rubbernecking some spots that looked promising but we still ventured further to the lake that my friend had claimed to be a spectacular place to fish.As we got closer to the lakes entrance I could see that the water level had gone down a bit but still looked plentiful for some fishing. The man we encountered at the guard house greeted us and was most helpful with finding us  a good location to camp. I had stated that I was in need of a place as far away from people as possible as I have a phobia of camping next to strangers. He sent us to a really nice spot that overlooked the rivers inlet into the lake.

 

Crowley Lake

Crowley Lake

Lindsey and I set up our camp and soon headed down to the lake where I did a bit more fishing accompanied by Marley. Well Marley loves the water so I soon realized that fishing may be out of the question as she was having a good old time swimming around. We cooked a few steaks and potatoes that filled our stomachs as we enjoyed the crystal clear night sky. I knew that we were going to have to pack up early the next morning because the place we were camping had no shade and was going to be into the 100s again. The next morning we woke up at 8:00am  and slowly started packing the truck up with all our supplies to move on to our next spot. The lake was beautiful but honestly just to hot for us to really enjoy with no shade to shelter us. I had decided to backtrack and head back down near Big Pine area near a glacier where I had been told was beautiful and much cooler camping weather. As we drove another 45min back I noticed my truck was starting to have some vibration,was hoping to get into Bishop to check out the problem. Well not to long after that my transmission was gone,like it had gone into neutral. I ended up coasting onto the shoulder right next to a highway patrolman who was kind enough to call me a tow into Bishop. Today was Sunday and like most small towns everything was closed,we were stuck until Monday morning and most likely longer. :-  The towtruck driver gave us a recommendation to a motel we could stay at that would have no problem with us having a dog and too was very reasonable. We walked a few blocks carrying a few of our bags and some important things I didn’t want to leave in a strange place. I was a bit worried and somewhat embarrassed as this was the first big vacation I had taken my girlfriend on and now this happened. Lindsey was most supportive and handling the whole thing way better than I had anticipated. The next morning I talked to the automotive mechanic and he said indeed I needed a new transmission that would take 4 or 5 days to get to as he was busy. I decided to rent a car and get Lindsey and Marley home as we had already enjoyed a few good days of camping. We drove 300miles home and immediately put my truck on Craigslist and started looking for something new and more accommodating to camping and off-road driving. I spent a few days at home before returning the rental car to Bishop where SteveO was kind enough to pick me up with all the rest of my camping stuff. SteveO arrived and we loaded all my things into his new AWD Subaru where we had planned to finish off the trip with some hunting over the following day. The area we had chosen to camp was about 20 minutes out of town several miles down a rugged dirt road.