Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday - thinking about home

On another beautiful, clear, warm day we're thinking about our friends in the east.  We hope all the "Sandy" forecasts are wrong, just hype, and that everyone will make it through without trouble.   Let us know how you all are, OK?

We spent a bit of today working on our plans from here to San Diego at Christmas.  A stop at the visitor's center sent us up route 190 toward Death Valley National Park.  The Ranger said part of the road was a bit "down" and another section was a bit "up" but she thought we wouldn't have a problem taking the motorhome from here to Furnace Creek, deep in the center of the park.   Perhaps we'd have to unhook the car though, and drive it behind for most of the 100 miles or so.  Hmmmm.  We decided to  test drive the jeep for the first "down" section just to see if we thought it was something we would want to do in the motorhome next week.

the odd brown Alabama Hills in front of the majestic Sierras, view from the visitor's center

Well, the "down" section of 190 to Panamint Springs was way too "down" for me.  The road was paved, thats good, but it was extremely curvy, narrow and minus guard rails necessary to keep one from just slipping over the edge.   Yikes, here we go again!  Dave said he would drive Beluga on this road if I wanted him to, but he didn't think he could make the curves and stay on his side of the road with the jeep hooked on back.  So....I would have to drive it behind him all the way to Furnace Creek.

see that little white line in the middle of the picture?  it is the Panamint Valley and its about 20 miles away.....
The scale and scope of this place is not to be believed.

once down to the valley floor, we have to go back up over this marbled mountain range to reach Death Valley 

here is the road across Panamint Valley and up the next range.
see the two tiny dots on the black section of the road near the white stripe?  they are two motorhomes....
What do you think the chances of that happening are?   You guessed it, no chance.  I had all I could do to sit quietly next to Dave in the passenger seat of the jeep while he drove down.  We turned around and drove back up the "down" section and talked about whether we would attempt this drive and the rest of the "up" section next week with Beluga.  I can't do it, I can't drive it myself, even if Dave is driving Beluga in front of me.  It would be too hard for me to watch that big box negotiate those sharp, dangerous curves...Ooooh.

After I made that decision, Dave finally admitted to me that it would have been a very long, nerve wracking day for him if we chose to enter Death Valley from this side.    We both agreed we'd like to camp there at some point, but that it would be much better to enter from the Nevada side.  Phew!

It was getting late, so we went back to Beluga to feed our sweet doggies and let them out and make a cocktail.  We needed one today thats for sure!    Business done, we took our drinks and snacks outside to relax before dinner.  A neighbor stopped by for a talk, so we invited her to join us.  She trotted back to her 5th wheel to collect her husband and a couple beers and soon we all were chatting happily in our side yard.  They are from Carson City (near Reno), but she's originally from England.  We shared our life stories and soon it was dark and our dinners were waiting.  The bright moon lit the path  back to theirs and we moved inside to finish up our leftovers.

Tomorrow perhaps a little golf or a drive up to Mt. Whitney to find the falls.  Stay safe everyone.


  1. Uh oh ....yup, that road looks very challenging. Glad that you made that decision ...I wouldn't care how much time or money it was going to take to do another path. Only, is there another one from where you are?? Oh, yeah, it's that one that says: EAST. Forget about Sandy. She'll be long gone by the time you zip into town. Good thing we don't have mountains that size! Or roads without guardrails so that all you think about it is: yup, one unfortunate turn of the wheel.

    Okay report here. Gloomy, dark, very foggy, starting to get breezy outside already at 6am. Not looking forward to today. Hatches are down. Anything that can blow away is locked down, except all the straw in the front yard from that messy water leak (oh well.)Dachshunds, well, we might just have to weight them down to go outside.

  2. Everything is closed. Schools, government etc. Jessica and Lillian are in St. Louis for the week. Justin is in Agusta, Ga for 2 months in a special Army Training Program. They will miss the storm. The rest of the family is near, within 30 miles each way. This morning is the beginning, not bad yet. Not much to tell as of yet. With internet, you know as much as we do.

    I remember driving through the desert on our way to visit Richard and Sandy after my first year in college. We drove a three speed Falcon, windows only (you knew my Dad) from Getzville to Laguna NIguel. An interesting trip.

    Enjoy the beauty of our great country, It is really a spectacular sight.