We weren’t planning to visit Yosemite from the east side, but upon looking at a map we realized it wasn’t far at all into Yosemite Valley where the views are magnificent of El Capitan, Half Dome and the Bridal Veil Falls. So, we went.
We were in awe of how beautiful this area really is. It’s not something that can be described in words and even really good pictures (let alone ours) cannot do it justice. So, I’ll just say visiting this fabulous place should be on EVERYONE’s bucket list! And, September is a great time to go, not too crowded, still warm, perfect!
Tuesday morning in Minden NV and we thought we had a day to relax and do nothing before heading south to Mono Lake on Wednesday.
Oops! About 11:30 we realized that it was the 25th and we had to move TODAY, not tomorrow! We got the trailer ready to pull out in about a half hour and headed south. Luckily we keep things fairly tidy in the trailer (have to when 2 people and a dog share a small space!) so it didn’t take long to stow everything.
So now we are at Lee Vining, CA. From the RV Park we can see part of Mono Lake. It’s very beautiful here!
Wednesday we went to Bodie, a state park that is a gold mining boom town that was deserted in the 1930s and is now kept in a state of “arrested decay” which means the buildings are maintained for safety and to ensure they don’t fall down but with original material, and several homes, the store, schoolhouse and two churches are available to stand at a window or door and look inside at how the people lived. Can’t go inside though! Jeff was hoping to go into the mine buildings but they were closed off. The cemetary was sad as so many of the headstones are for small children.
Then we went to see the unique “tufas” at Mono Lake. Mono Lake is fed by several streams coming down from the mountains but has no outlet, so it’s very salty (2.5 times saltier than the ocean). The minerals in the lake combine and form eruptions that very slowly build up underwater. Mono Lake had been almost drained providing water to L.A. and other places until the 80s and now the state is trying to get the water level back to the earlier level. There is an area on the south side where a huge assortment of tufas are now on dry land at the shoreline. It’s very haunting to walk among them.
Below are pictures of Bodie and of Mono Lake. Enjoy!
Minden is just south of Carson City and is located in Carson Valley. The afternoons get VERY windy and another resident of the RV Park stopped by the first day to let us know to close our awning in the afternoons because of the wind.
The day we got here there was a fire over the hill to the south of us, we could see the flames that first evening after dark. The fire was put out the next day but there was a lot of smoke in the air.
There were a lot of clouds along with the smoke and it make for some great pictures. This is at sunset but looking east!
Lake Tahoe is just a short drive from where we’re staying in Minden, NV so we took a day and drove over to the lake and then drove around it. It’s a beautiful lake surrounded by pine and fir trees. There are a few beaches but most of the coastline is steep and rocky and a lot of people who live near the lake where it’s rocky have built private piers.
We took a few pictures, but it was an overcast day so a lot of the colors of the lake, especially around Emerald Bay, didn’t come out real clear. But, it was a nice drive and great time for all of us!
From Hiway 50 which we took, there’s a tunnel right on the coast and when we stopped at a nearby vista point we saw the huge rock that the tunnel was carved through. In the picture I took I put arrows next to the tunnels.
We’ve been living in the trailer and “on the road” for 7 weeks now and have settled into a routine for days when we aren’t out exploring the area.
I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I’m preparing most meals rather than eating out, both to conserve our funds and also because I enjoy it and now have time to indulge in this hobby.
We went to a local farmers market yesterday and bought beautiful tomatoes, a huge head of lettuce, strawberries and a cantaloupe. I cut up the cantaloupe and strawberries this morning – they are SO wonderful! Sure beats store-bought!
I’m also baking my own bread now. So far I’ve made basic white bread, potato bread, rye bread and sourdough bread. Jeff really likes the rye bread (with caraway seeds) and I’m really glad there’s a local store here in Fort Bragg that sells bulk spices – I got 3/4 lb of caraway seeds for about $4.50!! If you purchase a regular spice bottle you’ll get 2 oz. for over $6. WOW!
I’m planning to make sourdough bread this afternoon so I got my sourdough starter out and fed it this morning and separated enough for today’s batch.
The first picture shows my kitchen. I LOVE the fact that the kitchen in our trailer is at the END of the trailer instead of in the middle hallway like so many trailers have it. Having a separate space that’s not along the hallway makes it so much nicer to work in that space. It’s small but has lots of counter space and cupboard space!
Jeff keeps up with friends using Facebook and email and he’s starting a project to copy all his CDs of music onto his computer. He’s also spending a lot of time with Laddy – every morning they go for a run and Laddy gets at least 4 walks every day plus training time. When he’s in the trailer, Laddy’s space is on the couch. I keep it covered with a sheet so I can shake out the dog hair and wash it to keep the couch from getting dirty.
I’ve included a picture showing the view as we open our trailer door and step out. We’re right on the Noyo river, close to the ocean so that we see the tides cause the river to rise and fall. We haven’t used the picnic bench too much as it’s COLD here! Luckily we have a nice table with two benches inside the trailer to eat at, and also where I have my laptop to keep up with my business.
Time to take Laddy for another walk, so that’s all for now 🙂
We took a day trip yesterday a bit further north to see a huge redwood that is unique in two ways – first it has several large branches coming out of the main trunk about 50 feet up in the air. Most redwoods are like other pine trees – one straight trunk with many very small branches out from the trunk. The second unique feature is that back in the 30s people who owned the land this redwood is on cut through the trunk so create a space a car or small SUV can drive through! It’s on private land where the owners have created a small park and picnic area and gift shop. The pictures below show the tree:
We drove 8 miles south to check out the town of Mendocino. The town itself is very small and old, but contains several art and jewelry galleries. We learned there that abalone, which was used in a lot of the jewelry we saw, is unique to the northern California/south Oregon coastline. It’s been fished and poached to the point where it’s in danger of extinction and there are many laws now to protect it and prosecute poachers.
The town is set in from the coast because of the rocky jagged nature of the coast. We took several pictures while we scrambled around over rocks and crags to get a look at the actual shore. In one picture below there are two red arrows pointing out that there are two people in the picture – that’s to give you some perspective of how high and steep it is. In one picture there is a small area of beach with sand, but no way to get down to it!
And, I included a picture of Jeff and Laddy – Laddy was real excited and sniffed around a lot and almost pulled Jeff over at one point…luckily Jeff had him and not me! Notice that Jeff is wearing cold-weather clothes! This shot was taken about 1pm on Sunday Sept 16th and it was still foggy and very cold!
With modern technology I am easily able to continue running my website design business even while we’re travelling. I’ve had no trouble getting internet connectivity and use a laptop. I have a printer/scanner stored under the dinette bench so that I can scan or print documents.
I keep all my records electronically so there’s no need for records storage, and I use Paypal whenever possible to pay for any needed business items and also to invoice several of my customers.
Even though we’d checked the weather prior to coming here to Ft. Bragg, we weren’t prepared for how cold it is here. We are very close to the ocean and there’s a marine layer that hides the sun for most of the day. Yesterday (Saturday) the sun came out for a couple of hours, but then the fog rolled in and it got cold again.
It’s been around 50 in the evenings and mornings, and warms up to the high 50s during the day. Even when the sun is out there’s a breeze that keeps it from feeling warm. So…we got our winter clothes out from beneath the bed storage where they’d been stored.
This brings up another problem – where to put our coats and sweaters when we’re not wearing them?!? Our summer clothes fit just fine in the small wardrobe and couple of cupboards. But more clothes and heavier clothes means more space is needed. We solved it by putting a hook on the door between the living area and the bathroom for Jeff’s coats and another hook on the sliding door between the bedroom and the bathroom (our bathroom is in the middle of the trailer between the living area and the bedroom) for my coats. It works pretty well.
We have a LOT of those “Command” hooks that stick well but come off easily so that we don’t have to put holes into the flimsy wall and door material in the trailer. My large kitchen utensils hang on the wall, Jeff’s hats hang on the wall, Laddy’s leash, brush and clean-up bags hang on the wall. There’s not a lot of wall space (more windows which I’m glad for) but the wall space we do have is filling up!
Yesterday we drove up Hiway 1 along the coast from Larkspur to Fort Bragg. Beautiful coastline – steep and sometimes sheer cliffs, rocks in the surf, forests and meadows. It took a lot longer than we expected as the going was slow in a lot of areas and we went through several very small towns of 200-400 people where the speed limit slows to 25mph.
But, we got here and got set up at our new site, at Dolphin Isle. Our trailer is against a riverbank that is forest on the other bank and there’s a marmarina on the other side of the RV park.
A full-time resident here at the RV park makes his living carving deer antlers and pieces of wood into walking sticks and decorative pieces, sometimes adding gems or interesting stones to them. He was very taken with Laddy and gave him a small piece of antler to chew on. Laddy carried it all the way back home in his mouth and has been gnawing on it all evening.