Another week of free camping for us. Except this time we’re camped lakeside- and we’re in California! That’s right, the cold, rainy/snowy weather convinced us to get a move on and head south in search of some warmer temperatures and hopefully a bit of blue sky. Looks like we found it!
While we might have found the blue skies, I think we still need to move a bit farther south for the warm temperatures. It has been a little chilly here this week. Day time temps started out in the 60s at the beginning of the week and then yesterday it didn’t get any warmer than maybe 55. It’s also been dipping down around the freezing mark every night this week. We are very grateful for our new increased battery capacity because the furnace has been working over time at night and sucking up the juice. With the old batteries after a night of furnace use we might wake up to find our capacity around 70%, but with these new ones we are still above 90% in the morning. Of course, it helps that the sun has been out all week and there’s not a single tree around to shade the panels. The real test for the new batteries will be a cloudy day with a cold night when we are getting very little solar and then use the furnace at night. Not that we’re hoping this happens anytime soon.
Despite the cool temps Phineas is loving his off-leash beach front home. He did go swimming once earlier this week, for the most part has just been enjoying wading and running around on the shore. It’s amazing how much happier is when he can run around on his own and not have to be restrained by that stupid leash.
The spot we are at is a BLM dispersed camping area called Rocky Point East. There is no fee to stay here, no services (other than a vault toilet that we have not gone anywhere near) and no designated sites. Just a few spots with old fire rings where it is evident that others have stayed before. We learned about this spot from Leigh & Brian who stayed here this summer, and Nina & Paul who stayed here last fall. All the gorgeous photos and reports of good cell service convinced us that this would be a great place to spend a week. So far it has lived up to the expectations. For those who care about these things, the cell service here is very good. We get full bars of Verizon 3G and 3 bars of AT&T 4G. Considering that we’re fairly isolated here and 35 miles from the nearest town, that is more than we could have hoped for.
This is a really accessible camping area, although by our own fault we picked the most difficult spot to park. You see, the problem was the we followed our GPS and didn’t take the time to explore the area before unhitching. Here’s what we did (so you can learn from our mistakes). We turned off Lakeside Dr. onto the narrow dirt road that heads out onto the point and passed several large pull-offs. Since we wanted to be closer to the water we continued down the road. It was very bumpy and narrow but had no trees or other obstacles, so we just took it slow and made it no problem. As we neared the point there was a fork in the road. If we had continued right and followed the road up over a small hump we would have seen this very large open area. There has been two other RVs there this week, but still had tons of room for us to find a level (this will be important in a minute) spot away from the others.
Instead we went left at the fork and followed the road down to the shore. The GPS coordinates we had pointed us here and since we got those coords. from Leigh and Brian we assumed this was where they stayed. After looking at the photos on their blog I now believe that we assumed wrong and they actually went right and stayed in the large open area. That is the problem with following the GPS — it’s not always correct.
We ended up loving this spot because we are completely alone and very close to the water. But our first hour here was not our finest. The problem arose when we tried to level the trailer. This spot is very, very sloped. We spent about 45 minutes driving around in circles trying to find a spot where we could get a least somewhat level. A few times we managed to level side to side, but then were far too sloped front to back. Tim even tried driving one side of the Airstream up onto a large flat rock, but we were still crazy un-level. And before you ask, yes we do have leveling blocks, but this was one of those cases where even stacking them up 3 high did not cut it.
I am still not sure why we didn’t drive over to the other road to check it out. Since we now know that we would have discovered that huge open, flat area. In our defense, I will say that we had just driven 5 hours and it was around 6:00, and a very cold wind was whipping around us. All we wanted at this point was to find a level spot and get inside. In the end we did find a spot near the edge of the grass where we managed to level the trailer. You can see from this photo taken at the edge of the lake just how much the ground slopes up to where we parked.
The fiasco with leveling the trailer turned out to be the most exciting part of the week. After that we settled in and have spent a very pleasant week here on the lakeshore. It’s been a really low-key kind of week. We actually have not driven anywhere all week! Instead there have been days filled with work, afternoons filled with long walks on the beach, and evenings filled with warming foods and a little TV (we get one over the air channel here). It’s been a nice change from the last two weeks we spent in Bend so close to town. It felt like during that time we were always driving here there shopping, eating out, and finding new places to explore. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy all of those things, especially in a town as cool as Bend. But sometimes it can be nice to slow down and spend a week just chilling and enjoying where we are.
As much as we love it here, it is nearly time to re-stock supplies, so today after work we’ll pack up and head down the road. I would love to tell you where we are headed next, but thanks to the childish behavior currently being exhibited by our increasingly incompetent government, our plans are up in the air right now. We had planned to spend the week at a national forest campground at June Lake. Now that campground, along with all other national forest, BLM, and national park campgrounds are closed. For now we will spend the weekend at a state park near the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe with hopes of moving farther south and back in to CA on Sunday afternoon. If this mess is not resolved by then I am not sure where we will end up.