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A Road Trip With No Point

At least we could eat

rain 37 °F

We had Zaya and needed to get her back to her parents. We thought we’d get her to Reno where we could meet our kids, saving them time. As they live north of Reno, they could drive down to meet. Then realized that, if we were going to Reno anyway, we should ski at Tahoe. I looked at the weather and it was supposed to be great skiing on Monday and Tues.

By Sunday, we remembered that Dale had an appointment on Wed a.m. and then we saw that the storm wasn’t going to hit until Tues/Wed. We decided to leave on Wed after his appointment, ski Thurs with Zaya then meet our kids on Friday. We’d stay at our favorite place, the Peppermill, in Reno.

We packed all set to ski and drove off, unfortunately, mid-Wed afternoon. This meant that the Buffet was not going to be open for dinner. Then as we were driving I checked the weather for Boreal and saw that it was actually raining at the base and forecast to rain on Thurs. By this time we were already committed to meeting Nate and Bekki and our room had a non-cancelation clause.

We had no problems going over I-80 as it was mostly raining, nothing heavy, but rain nevertheless. The forecast that night was rain at the base of Boreal for most of Thurs.

The buffet closed as we arrived so we opted to eat at the café, a place where we often eat a late dinner. I like to play Keno with dinner, so I filled out my 3 numbers. I only had $12 so marked 2-$5.00 games. The Keno lady came by and suggested that I play 5-$2 games instead and I thought why not. Wouldn’t you know, the first game I had all 3 numbers winning $86, however, if I’d played the 2 games as I’d planned the prize was $250! Alas….
Thurs morning, we slept in and weather still was forecast to rain then turn to snow. Instead of skiing, we headed down to the buffet to console ourselves with food. We were in touch with Nate and Bekki and we agreed that we’d call as we were leaving.

As we were finishing breakfast we were talking about how we’d promised our middle son, Justin, that we’d bring his kids up maybe over the weekend so that they could visit Nate and Bekki. Let’s see now- it’s Friday and we are going to come back over the weekend? What kind of stupid plan was that? And Zaya wouldn’t care if boys skied but she couldn’t? Not one of our better ideas.
We called Nate and Bekki and suggested that we simply go back home with Zaya in tow, pick up boys then start the trip all over again.
Oh well, we had a nice road trip!

Posted by Miss Chris 13:36 Archived in USA Tagged snow road_trip travel snowstorm grandkids sierras gmc_sierra Comments (0)

Road Trip Delays

You just can't make this stuff up

storm 30 °F

We had planned to stay home for a change and start remodeling the house, but then our son asked if we’d help with their move back to Northern Calif, Surprise Valley. That sounded easy enough: pick up a cargo trailer (none near him) and go to Hollister on Tues, load up the trailer then drive up to Surprise Valley. Turn around on Wed, spend the night in Reno and get home on Thurs. All well and great plans.

We were so confident of our plans that we did not bring many snacks as we’d be on the road. Didn’t bring food for meals because we’d be eating out. Well…..

By the time we got to Hollister, it was mid-afternoon. Nate needed tires and off we went to see about getting tires switched out. We all realized that we’d be spending the night in Hollister so had to buy groceries for dinner.
Wed morning, we got up and finished loading the trailer and stuffed the pickup as full as possible, leaving 1 seat up for our 2-year-old grandson, Jasper. We had our 9-year-old granddaughter sit in the middle front with all kinds of stuff on the floor at my feet.

I’d checked the roads and there didn’t seem to be anything amiss over I-80, the shorter route. This route goes thru Lake Tahoe and the Sierras. The weather didn’t show that storms would hit right away so off we went.

We were driving along I-80 when it started snowing. Traffic started slowing down, then way down, then it stopped. Snow was falling harder by then. Soon we came to a chain control stop. We assumed that we’d be fine as we have nearly new snow tires, but alas, that was not to be.

The CHP stopped us and said that because we were towing a trailer that we had to have chains on both the truck and the trailer. We had chains for our truck but not the trailer so were told to get off at the next exit and buy chains for the trailer at the station, after which we could continue down the highway.

Dale was driving, it was snowing hard and we did not see the station until we were passing by. Oops! We got off on the next exit, one where nothing was and Dale put the chains on the truck. We figured that those were better than nothing. Dale was just getting them tightened when someone came by and said that the chain requirement had been lifted. Off came the chains. Now that Dale was wet and hands frozen we started back where we’d left off.

About 5 miles down the road, there was another slowdown. Another chain checkpoint. Here we were stopped again, This time the CHP told us that the truck must have chains on but the trailer tires did not need them. This time we got off at the next exit, stopped at the gas station, put on the truck chains and drove to the on-ramp.
At the on-ramp, Cal Trans was inspecting vehicles getting onto the I-80. The inspector took one look at us and stopped us. He said we had to have chains on the trailer in addition to the truck and that we could make a u-turn then go back and buy chains or cables for the trailer tires. Back we went to the station, bought cables and put them on the tires.

As Dale was putting the cables on I noticed something on the back tire of the trailer. With a closer look, it appeared that a link of a chain had been picked up by the tire and appeared to be embedded.

We were approved finally continue our journey and while Dale drove I called U-Haul, where we’d picked up the trailer. After a 2nd call to them, I was told to call their roadside service. Roadside asked if we felt air leaking out. I said no, we didn’t notice so we were told to keep driving and just check the tire. If there were problems then we were to call back.

We stopped outside of Reno to check the tire, no problems. Then we decided to also get fuel. Dale got out and was getting the fuel going, I got out with Zaya to make a pitstop. I left Jasper in his seat as Dale was by the truck. When I closed the door I head the sound of the doors locking. My first thought was NO!!!! This can’t be. We tried all of the doors and they were locked. Dale’s key in the ignition, mine in my purse. Fortunately, we got Jasper to push the lock button and he unlocked the doors. We didn’t have to call AAA. We finally got back on the road and off to Nate and Bekki’s arriving 5 hours late, starving and tired.

We wanted to get an early start on Thurs for home as we now had a very long day of driving. We thought that we’d start unloading what we could. Dale and I unloaded the bikes off the bed of the truck then Dale went to reposition the trailer so we could have it closer to their ranch house.
As Dale was backing up I was pointing for him to move it more to the left. Then it caught my eye, the tire was white. At first, I thought that it was white mud but I knew that it couldn’t be mud. I walked over to the trailer and the tire was completely gone from the rim. I thought we were done with all of this!
I called U-Haul and explained that the tire was now completely gone. Now we had another delay, waiting for someone to come and replace the tire in the middle of nowhere. Finally, by 3pm we were able to start for home.

Now if all of there were not enough, Nate had packed and was carrying most of the food. I’d packed up a few yogurts, rice rollers, cookies, granola bars for each Bekki and our vehicles. We assumed that we would arrive in time to make dinner. I’d also put some gluten free pasta and sauce in Bekki’s car because we knew she’d arrive before the rest of us as we were towing the trailer and Nate would be behind us. Well, that was all the food we had with us. So when Nate did not arrive until noon we’d eaten about everything there was. We didn’t starve but there were slim pickings.
Then our granddaughter was eating a piece of beef jerky when she said, “my tooth broke”. Sure enough, a piece of her tooth came out along with blood. She thought she’d bitten into a piece of bone. Bekki took her to the closest dentist, an hour away, only to find that her permanent tooth was pushing the baby tooth out, weakening it so when she bit into the jerky the tooth fell apart. Fortunately, we met Bekki on the road traded Zaya and kept driving for home.
Enough adventures for 1 trip.

Posted by Miss Chris 10:19 Archived in USA Tagged snow road_trip travel snowstorm grandkids sierras gmc_sierra Comments (0)

A Little Fall Color

Spending some time in the Aspen trees

We love the Sierra’s, both the eastern side and the west side. We love all seasons but a favorite is fall, we love the fall colors. So when we planned our trip, we thought we’d come down the 395 and see about shooting some fall foliage.

We got a late start on Tues and after a stop at Schat’s we consulted with the Forest Service. We took their advice and started north.

We’ve never been to Convict Lake so made that our first stop. It was nice but there were no groves of Aspen trees to walk into. The trees were mostly lining the road with a drop-off. Next, we went to Rock Creek Canyon. After the lake, the Aspens had already peaked. At the lake, the Aspens were in color, but there were not so many.

We decided to go to North Lake, a place we have been before. I’d read that above 9,000’ the color has peaked already and this was largely the case. There were trees lining the road up to North Lake in full color, but groves were difficult to get to. At North Lake, some areas had color while many trees were bare. Meanwhile, the drive into the campground was stunning.
We did shoot some fun photos. We decided that it would be fun to take photos of us hugging each other within the grove. I got my running in using the camera timer.

This morning we went to South Lake, a place we have used as a launch for backpack trips. The drive was absolutely stunning. Trees in reds, yellows, and greens lined the road up. We did find an area to shoot what we are calling selfies, with my big camera. Lots of hug and kisses selfies. I had other ideas for photos but it was way too cold!
Now to go thru all of these photos, not to mention 100’s of others and see what to post on Flicker and maybe even for stock!
Of course, I got a call to see if we are ready to go to work the hurricane. Projects may have to wait for another few months while we are off making money.

So we are headed home. We want to have the house in order and an idea of what we need to pack up in order to leave, either to work or for moreplay.

Posted by Miss Chris 15:04 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip nature travel camping outdoors fall_colors sierras rv_travel fall_foliage Comments (0)

Happy Birthday In the Backcountry

IMG_8430.jpgDay 5: Happy Birthday Justin

Happy Birthday Justin! 36 years old!!

I started this page at 6:30 a.m. and the only one awake. I’d hung up a happy birthday on crepe paper banner between the trees then went to set in the sun.

I was sitting on a hill behind the camp with the sun coming up over the mountain so the camp wasn’t bathed in sun yet. The hill isn’t heavily forested with lots of rocks and some debris from the trees and small grass filling in. The sunlight was filtering thru the branches of the trees turning the bark to orange and red.

It was cold, really cold but the cup of hot coffee felt good in my hands and going down the throat. I thought that this would be our last full day so was determine to enjoy it.

Justin woke up before we’d decorated more but we blew up balloons and hung them on the banner. Charlotte made French toast out of left over bread and I made syrup from freeze dried blueberries, water and sugar. There was just enough bread to give everyone a piece or two.
Justin hadn’t slept well and neither had most of us; too cold. Justin thought that he’d really like to start down and go on home. We agreed that we’d love to have a better night sleep. So we started packing up to hike back. IMG_8438.jpg

The trip down the hill was uneventful, stopping for lunch by a stream. Kids played in one stream, throwing rocks into the water and pretending to catch fish. IMG_8443.jpg

We would have made it home that night after eating a birthday dinner for Justin but alas, there was a car issue so we were stuck in Lone Pine overnight. But we were very happy for the shower at the motel room.

Posted by Miss Chris 13:40 Archived in USA Tagged people food nature hiking family wine backpacking outdoors family_travel grandkids gluten_free sierras inyo_national_forest hidden_lake Comments (0)

It's About the Journey

The destination is important too but it is how you get there.


There are not many better places to write in this world. I’m sitting on a log with trees around me, a deep blue sky, a lake in the background, no noise except our voices. IMG_8408.jpg

One thing I haven’t written about is that hiking with a pack in a high altitude setting is hard work. I’m slow, slower than slow, slower than the slowest. It gets discouraging at times. It gets discouraging to be the slowest of the slow. The packs are heavier than heavy. The back hurts, feet and toes hurt. Lungs are gasping for air, sucking the pine needles off the trees like Cam said so perfectly. Throat is dry from sucking the air, so dry that to swallow makes you sick. Meanwhile after hiking for what seems so long one finds that they are only ½ way there. Covered in dust from the trail one comes across a rock large enough to sit on and rest the pack on at the same time. You look out to see the landscape, quiet, maybe a stream nearby surrounded by nature. This is what it is about. Justin put it so succinctly: “it isn’t about the destination, it is about the journey”.

Arriving at the destination though is a feat of accomplishment for someone like me. I’ve made it! I can do it! Living up to the expectations of the grandkids is what I must do. And yes we didn’t make it to all of the lakes we wanted to but we made it.

Then to eat good tasting food and to have the grandkids say they love the food, we know that we succeeded in our goals. To have others decide, after much laughing, that yes the wine was a great idea and that they will bring wine next time so that instead of a couple of sips of mine on one evening there will be a glass every evening.
Everyone except the little kids and me went on a hike to a ridge that overlooks the valley. I was impressed that Cam made it to the top. It took all his will to do this but he made it to stand on top of this bit of the world. Kids fell asleep, tired from the past 3 days of hiking and hiking. I enjoyed my time alone.IMG_8339.jpg

Posted by Miss Chris 10:02 Archived in USA Tagged people food nature hiking family wine backpacking outdoors latte family_travel grandkids gluten_free sierras inyo_national_forest hidden_lake Comments (0)

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