A Travellerspoint blog

September 2015

Driving Down the 395

Ready to Backpack but alas

sunny 75 °F

Another long day of driving, we wanted to make it to Bishop in order to backpack on Tues. Alas, it was not to be. Best to just take the journey in stride.

On Monday, we had a tire blowout on the RV and put the spare on. Then later the spare blew before we could find another replacement tire. We’d stopped a couple of tire stores along the way, but no one had a used tire for a spare.

Fortunately, the closest town with a tire store was only 25 min away so we were able to buy 2 new tires. We were on our way with a delay of a couple of hours.

We had another driving day on Tues. We’d decided to stop at the Patagonia store in Reno since we were so late. Our friend John was in Reno for the day and stopped by to see us before we left the area. Fun!

It was Dale’s birthday and we thought that maybe we could get to a campsite where there was a nice view. Our son suggested that we camp at Convict Lake then just do some day hikes out of the campground.

As we were driving south, it became more and more smoky. My nose plugged up and it became hard to breath. It was getting dark so we stopped at the rest stop near Mammoth. We found a place to park on the outside space so we were able to extend the slide out. We still made a nice dinner of sausage simmered in gluten free beer.

As we drove past Convict Lake the following morning, the smoke was so thick, worse than ever. The smoke is from a huge fire in Kings Canyon and is being blown over the sierras into the valley where 395 runs north and south. The smoke is the worse from June Lake area down to the Mt. Whitney area. We stopped at the Inner agency, where the ranger told us that he wouldn’t hike in the smoke as it is in unhealthy stages. So much for backpacking. We consoled ourselves with macaroons and coffee at Schat's. IMG_201509..2532396_HDR.jpg

We decided to return home via Walker Pass that goes into the Lake Isabella area. We thought we’d stop at the Walker Pass Campground for lunch, this is where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses the area. This is the hiking trail that goes Mexico to Canada.

We stopped in the empty campground and set up for lunch in the RV. We’d finished lunch and were cleaning up when 2 young men walked up the hill with packs on. We came out of the RV and asked if they were hikers. Yes, they had been on the trail for the past 2 months, starting out in Oregon. They were going to hike to Mexico, the end of the trail. We discussed backpacking, people hiking the trail and shared water and our backpacking food with them.

The journey ended with a really great conversation.

Posted by Miss Chris 12:46 Archived in USA Tagged hiking california driving cooking rv pacific_crest_trail Comments (0)

Working Our Way Down Vancouver Island

overcast 65 °F

Our day started well, woke up early; we had to check out of the RV park, hop on a ferry and hopefully make it to Oregon by dinner. That all looked good until I Google mapped everything and looked up the ferry schedules. We’d already missed the early ferries and wouldn’t be making Oregon any time soon.

Campbell River is close to ½ way between Victoria, in the south, and Port Hardy in the north. There are 3 options for ferries from Campbell River: Nanaimo 1-1/2 hours away, Swartz Bay 2-1/2 hours away and Victoria 3 hours away and sails to Port Angeles.

Nanaimo has fewer ferries but by the time one drives to Swartz Bay there isn’t any real time savings. Unless one has missed the last one in Nanaimo, then there are later ones from Swartz and Victoria.

We wanted to walk to the viewpoint of Elk Falls and then because we’d miss the next ferry, then we’d have lunch at this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant. From lunch, we’d drive down to Nanaimo and catch the 5:30 ferry to Vancouver.

The falls are a little bit of a walk away, mostly downhill, which means uphill on the way back. The path is paved so accessible to everyone. There are several paths off of the one to view the falls but I’m not sure if they are paved. The falls are small next to some we’ve seen but a nice walk. We took the dog, but she did not like the grated stairs down to the metal suspension bridge leading to a lookout. Other dogs were not having a good time either. IMG_201508..3031879_HDR.jpg

Lunch- Dave’s is right on the dock where the fishing boats come in, with about 4 little tables inside and a small counter and outside a deck. There was a line the entire time we were there, not a long one but nevertheless, someone always arriving. Everything on the menu can be made gluten-free which means I could order fish and chips. Oh, they were such a treat. Next time, I want to order the oyster sandwich!

From lunch, we stopped and bought some Canadian Whiskey for Dale and a couple of small items. Then we drove down to Nanaimo. The leaves are turning on the island and in the storm light looked so beautiful. IMG_201508..5321852_HDR.jpg

By the time we got to Nanaimo, an hour before sailing, we saw that it was 100% sold out. After calculating times to drive to the next ferry, we decided to get in line for the 8:45 sailing. We filled our time, me with doing old word games and Dale walking Twinks and napping.
All part of the journey.

Posted by Miss Chris 15:45 Archived in Canada Tagged travel driving canada ferry elk_falls Comments (0)

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