Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Nevada Trip Day, 11.


The last leg of the journey home.

We left our camp at the 95/80 Intersection around 9:00 and headed west on I-80.
It was early enough so that when we went through Reno the traffic was fairly light (for Reno) and we breezed on through.

Over the Sierras.

We trudged over Donner Pass and turned onto Highway 20 at Immigrant Gap.
It’s all down hill from here to Williams.

A brake light problem.

We took a short break on a side road.
When we continued down the highway I noticed that the brake lights on Bob’s van weren’t working. I informed him over the CB and he found a good spot near a forest fire station to pull off and repair the lights.

As it turned out the problem was just a bad fuse and Bob had it sorted out in a short time. Fortunately I had the correct fuse and we were off again.

Crossing the Sacramento valley.

When we got to Marysville/Yuba City the traffic was typical for those two towns that straddle the Yuba River. In a word, “thick”. With patience and luck we made it through and out the other side to open highway.

The next obstacle was Colusa; a pretty farming town in the middle of the Sacramento Valley.
If you follow the highway through downtown Colusa, it can be a trial.  However, there is a short cut that if you take the correct left turn off the highway, “Fremont Street”, it will take you right through the residential section of town with only a couple of stop signals to impede your progress.

We missed Fremont Street but were able to catch the next one which worked just as well, with a few more stop signs.

About two miles west of Colusa is the Colusa Wildlife Refuge. We took the turnoff to the refuge as we were planning to stop here for a long lunch break. It turned out that the roads in the refuge were closed so we pulled into a shady spot near the entrance and took our break.


When we were driving on the entrance gravel road the CB’s were breaking up. We did a couple of tests and figured out that this time the problem was a bad external speaker in my van. We took care of that and got back on the road continuing our trip across the valley.

Crossing Lake County.

We stopped at Williams to fill the fuel tanks on the vans. Continuing west we crossed over into Lake county.
Along the highway you can see evidence of the recent wild fires.


We turned south on the west side of Clear Lake, toward Lucerne where we took the Hopland Grade over to Highway 101.
Hopland Grade is one of the windiest roads in the county. We were hoping this would be a short cut. As it turned out the road is so twisted that It takes about the same amount of time as following 20 all the way to Ukiah to catch 101.

Once we got to 101 we headed south on the last dash for home. Bob turned off for Guerneville at East Side Road  while I continued on to Santa Rosa. I got home around 5:00. Nine to five and eight hour drive.

The trip was great! We saw some old haunts and some new (to me) territory. The sunsets were amazing. The vans performed as they were designed. The perfect one person traveling machine; Go where you want, when you get there throw out the chairs and you are camped. When its time for bed you climb in, close the doors and you are safe. Relatively.

Here is a one more sunset picture just to cap it off.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Nevada Trip Day, 11.

The third leg of our journey home.

It was quite cool down along cottonwood creek this morning so I slept in as long as I could. When I finally crawled out of my cave the sun was shining and it felt good.

After breakfast; I started stew meat, onions, garlic seasonings, and a rue in the crock pot. I plugged it into the inverter, turned it on and we hit the trail.

We drove south west on the dirt road from Willow Creek Reservoir to Golconda. We stopped for a couple of brakes; once at where the dirt road meets the pavement. Here we dumped our garbage and I aired up the van tires.


A Stop in Winnemucca

We followed the paved road to I-80 where we went west toward Winnemucca Nevada.
When we got to Winnemucca we stopped for gas. Once the tanks were filled we went to Walmart and bought a couple of CB Radios.
I needed to replace the one I had that didn’t work right and Bob had to replace the one that he gave me that didn’t work right. That might not make much sense but nether do these radios.

From Walmart, we went to the Napa store to see if I could get a new air filter for Pigpen. The van has been has running a little rich in the high country. The filter was pretty bad when we started and the dusty roads  haven’t helped.
The Napa store didn’t have the right filter so I decided to just leave the filter off until I get home and have then time to hunt one up.

Camp 95

We left Winnemucca and continued west toward our camp spot near where 95 heads south from I-80.

When we got to camp around 3:30, I put the canned potatoes, mushrooms and green beans in the stew. around 5:00 the inverter shut off and dinner was ready.

Later on that evening we sat and watched the last sunset of this trip.


It was a nice one.


End of day 11

Nevada Trip Day10.

The second leg of the trip home.

We left our camp on Columbia creek around 10:00 heading for Willow Creek Reservoir.
It was an easy trip. It only took us about five hours and it is less than 50 miles. We do poke along and enjoy viewing the countryside.


Unfortunately we were a little too early in the fall to see the Aspens if full fall color. But we got to se some of them.

We took a break at the inlet creek to bull run reservoir.


Further down the road we stopped at this large turn off and had lunch.


We were here for over an hour and did not see one other vehicle.

Arrive at Willow Creek

Eventually we made it to Willow creek dam and pulled into the view area. We spent some time here posting our blog’s for the last several days and enjoying the view.


After posting we drove down to our camp spot by the creek.


Dinner and Sunset show.

I cooked us some fried pork loin with onions, garlic, potatoes and mushrooms.

By the time we finished eating the sun set show was just beginning.
It started off a little weak but improved greatly as it progressed.


The mesa to our right lit by the setting sun.


Willow leaves stand out in dark contrast silhouetted against the reddening sky.


The sunset sets the creek on fire.


Okay, I have to stop with the sunset pictures.

It was a beautiful end to a good day.

Tomorrow we head for our spot off highway 95.

End of day 10.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Nevada trip day,5.

Morning visitors:

Woke up to another crisp clear morning.

After breakfast, while I was sitting in the van working on the previous days blog (the son light makes it hard to see the screen on the laptop); we could hear some bells. The bells sounded like cow bells but we new that there were no cows here only sheep.
In a little while we could hear the sheep moving in the aspens around us Up the road was a clot of sheep milling around apparently trying to decide whether or not to pass our camp.


Eventually they decided to take the other road and go around us.

Their caretaker dogs on the other hand were very friendly and came to check us out.


The fuel leak:

It was getting close to time to leave so I decided that I had better check on the fuel leak. I oppened the engine compartment started the engine and fuel pissed in a thin stream out of the connection. 
Ok, what to do?
When I put the fitting on the last time it wouldn’t tighten up properly due to the fact that some of the threads were stripped. Also there is a thick washer on the fitting.
I decide that if I discard the washer, that will allow the fitting to catch more threads in the carburetor and if I use the rector seal again it should not leak. 
I cleaned the fitting and the carb up, removed the washer, spread rector seal on the threads and screwed the fitting into the carburetor. This time the fitting screwed up tight and rector seal squeezed out around the edges.
I sure hope it works this time. There are a couple more options that will keep us out here playing  but we are running low on ideas.

I buttoned everything up packed up the tools and we headed out for another day of cruising through the country side.


Heading for the Rez.

We drove north east on Maggie Smith road for several miles. It is a pretty good dirt road and goes over Maggie's Pass. The road goes through aspen groves


and through rolling hills.


I always enjoy stopping along this road and taking a couple pictures of the “Auto Parts Gang”.


They have painted the old gang up a nicely since the last time I came by here.

After taking a few pictures we continued our drive.

We eventually got onto state highway 226 and drove north to the Duck Valley and the town of Owyhee Nevada. We topped off the fuel tanks. and went to the store for more meat and other supplies. They had an Ace hardware there so we went there and I bought a couple of washers that might work on the carburetor leak if we need it. So far it looks good.

We left Owyhee and headed back into the mountains I couldn’t tell you what roads we took but eventually we came to a central place in these mountains called Point of Rocks it is a big intersection of mountainroads with cool rock formations.


About a mile from here we took a small road to the right and followed it for a couple of miles


Eventually we came to an old homestead with the original log buildings sitting atop a knoll,


overlooking a nice pond and meadow.


We spent our time checking out the old log buildings. This one looked like the main house.


Some one had, at one time, spent the money to bead board the entire in side of this house.


Whooping Cranes

In the evening we took a walk down by the pond and along the road by the meadow. We saw three Whooping Cranes in the meadow. They kept moving away as we walked along the road and stayed a long distance away. I was surprised that that I got a picture of them at all.


Inside Early

After we got back from our walk, we sat on the knoll and watched the sun set. As soon as the sun set the temperature dropped. There was a breeze blowing across the top of the knoll and lots of dry grass around so we didn’t have a fire.
Around 8:30 we retreated to our campers and I worked on the blog until around 11:00 it got cold enough in the van that I actually started my “Buddy heater”. Man! That thing on high. will run you out of a little van like this.

As you can probably tell we are having a good time just cruising the desert.

End of day 5.

Nevada trip, Day 6,7,8 and 9.

A Cold Restless Night.

I got up as soon as the sun warmed the in side of the van. It was a pretty cold night.
As cold as it was last night there were critters running all over Last night several were trying to get into the van and my food box which I left out side to use as a step. I am an experienced enough camper to make sure that nothing smaller than a bear could get into the box but I could here those critters trying trying.
Fortunately the van is tight enough to keep al but the smallest rodents out But they were running all around underneath and along the exhaust pipe and linkages I could here one in the engine box. I know that there is a small access from the engine box into the van so I am hoping that the creature under the hood won’t find the hole or is to big to fit through.
As it turned out, they were too big to fit through the hole. Bob says that they are Marmots. Cute fat little rodents, a little smaller than a cotton tail rabbit. Even so it was a restless night. 

Heading for a new camp.

We left this camp around 9:00 taking the back road out.


Eventually we came to the main road and headed north east toward our next camp at Scotts Ranch.

On the way we drove through a couple of neat canyons.

This is entering the first one.


This is going through the second one.


We stopped for water at a spring that Bob Improved a few years ago.


After tanking up with water we continued our journey to the next camp.


We stopped at an abandoned old mining town called Roland.


Scotts Ranch.

At Roland we took a small road that went through some tight brushy areas and across a rickety old bridge.


We entered into a large valley with the river running through it.


The place where we camped is an old cattle ranch. The ranch was sold about 10 years ago to a big hunting organization and none of it is being used at the present .

We are camped on what was once their main lawn under some really nice big shade trees.


After we got settled in Bob took a walk down the “river” I hung around camp and checked out some of the buildings.

The old ranch buildings are still standing but have been vandalized and are pretty torn up in side. It must have been a great place to live in its hay day.
Now, it is a little sad.

I first wandered over to check out the barn.


The barn started life as some thing else. If you look closely you can see where the boards were once nailed to something else.


Inside the lower floor there are some good looking timbers holding the barn up.


I walked up the creepy staircase to the upper floor/hay loft. Bob thinks this was used as a bunk house but I’m not so sure.


You can see by the modern roof trusses that this building was reassembled not too many years ago. The door way on the end accesses a small what could have been a living quarters; or if this was a bunk house it may have a rec-room or many other possibilities.

The Big Blue House.

There is a large two story house that looks like it might have been built in the 1980’s.


I went in side to look around but didn’t go very far. This room was in the best shape,


The place was a mess with animal droppings and trash every where and a very bad smell. I didn’t bother to go up stairs.

The Old white House.

The next building that I visited was the old white house on the hill.

From a distance it looked like a nice little cottage in the trees.


Inside It was even more disgusting than the blue house.


There are several other buildings on the sight that were in just as bad a shape but those were the main ones and after touring them I had had enough of looking at filth so I walked around the grounds for a while to clean some of it off my shoe soles.


A Pleasant Evening.

At dinner time Bob fixed up some stir fried pork tenderloin and fried rice. After dinner we took a walk along the road.


and checked out an old dam.


End of day six.



Nevada Trip Day 7.

This whole trip we have been pestered by fly’s and Scotts Ranch has been the worst.
We both have netting for our doors and windows but some times you have to wait until evening before you can chase out the flys and put up the screen.
In an attempt to get away from the fly’s; this morning we decided to move down the road to a meadow by the river and play around in the river a bit. I needed to get my new boots adjusted and since we were planning to walk the river, this was the perfect opportunity to do so.

We moved to the meadow.


We sat around for a while, had lunch and eventually went to check out the river.


We were looking for some fresh water clams that are supposed to be in the river.


We found a few but not enough to have a real clam feed.

Heading for Bear Paw Mountain.

Around 3:00 we packed up and left the Scotts Ranch and the Brunau River heading for Bear Paw mountain.


It is a steep climbed out of the Brunau Valley. After driving for around 7 miles we took a small track to our left and followed this trail around and up Bear Baw mountain.


We climbed to where there is a spring and a flay carved out on the mountainside with just enough room for the two vans to fit comfortably.
From here we have a commanding view to the north, east and west.


We set up our chairs, I got out my binoculars a camera and we spent most of the rest of the day scanning the distant rolling yellow prairie clear to the horizon.


The clouds were building all day and by evening we were treated to a spectacular sun set.
Bob and I must have taken at least a hundred pictures each during the time it took the sun to set. Here are a couple of my favorites.



It was hard to select only two to show you.

After dark we fixed a couple of steaks and some potatoes for dinner.
The moon has been waxing throughout this trip. It is now about 3/4 full and very bright.
We sat out watching the land in the moonlight until the chill ran us in side.

End of Day 7.

Nevada Trip Day 8

The wind blew most of the night. Not hard but enough to make some brush that the van was parked against scratch continually on the skin of the van. At first I thought it was a critter scratching to get in but after a while i realized that it was just a stick moving in the wind.

I got up a little bleary eyed this morning, got my breakfast done and started working on trying to catch with the blog.

“There, I just did it”.

Window Trouble.

On the way from Scott’s ranch to Bear Baw Mountain the window track broke and the driver side window. the window actually left the track and was hard to get back on.
This morning after breakfast I took a look at the window to see if it could be fixed out here. after a thorough check out we decided that there was nothing I could do for it now. I can ether have the window cranked all the way up and secured or all the way down and secured.
I’ll put this one on the long list of door things to fix next summer.

Windy Day on the Mountain.

The wind blue all night and all day. Even with  the wind it was pretty warm and the fly’s were sticking close. We didn’t do much today except sit around, watch the clouds accumulate and speculate on what kind of a sun set we will have and keep an eye out for wildlife.


The Wildlife came First

I saw a black cow below a couple hundred yards at a mud hole getting a drink and called it to bobs attention. Bob got up to have a better look and got very excited.

I got up to see what he was seeing and there was a bull elk walking across the field below us. He was heading for a stand of Aspens to our left.


around sun set I was fixing supper; fried cabbage with bacon and polish sausage.
I got a couple of pictures of the sunset, It wasn’t as spectacular as the one last night but the pictures are a good way to end this post for today.



End of day 8.

Nevada trip day 9.

The First leg of the Journey Home

It was another warm night on the mountain. There was a little breeze in the morning but not bad. There were still clouds in the sky but nothing threatening.
We left our camp on Bear Paw Mountain around 10:00 and instead of going back the way we came here we decided to do a little exploring.
We headed west on a little two track that we had noticed from the camp spot high above. It was a trail that Bob hadn’t been on before.


We bounced along through large tracts of grass lands and the occasional Aspen grove.


We came to a “T” in the road and decided to take the road on the right.


That way took us to a couple of places where we decided to turn around and a nice view into a lush canyon.


We came back to the turnoff and this time took the correct road which eventually took us to the main dirt road Where we headed west toward Maggie’s pass.


Sheep Camp.

Around 3:30 we got to our camp for tonight at Colombia creek In the aspens where we had camped a few nights ago.
We decided that this camp should be designated The Sheep Camp because of all the sheep we encountered here.
We sat around camp for a while, cooked and consumed a couple of steaks and watched the full moon rise. behind the Aspen trees.


I suppose this as good a spot as any to say good night.

End of day 9