Archive for the 'national forests' Category

Goodbye, Yesterday

October 8th, 2012

I am so glad yesterday is over. After waking up to 40F degree temps in the van, I started packing so that we could make our journey south. We were minutes away from leaving when we were approached by a ranger. He immediately made me feel like a criminal. He asked who owned our vehicles(van and the camper). Then, he told us that we were in an inappropriate location a mostly enclosed area on the edge of a meadow. We told him that we had just packed up and were heading out.

He asked if we had warrants and wanted to run our IDs. What?!? We are just camping, dude. Our campsite was spotlessly clean. The area wasn’t posted as prohibited or blocked off. In fact there was an obvious path leading to the area. We were just camping. We were within sight of the main forest road. We might have been in a location that he felt was off-limits, but we saw no indication, and we are NOT criminals and do not deserve to be treated as such. He was so short and cold to us. It was very demeaning. It made me feel ill.

We gave him our IDs as requested. After he called them in, he kept saying the phrase “ax murders”. I think he was trying to be funny, but he had already set the tone and there was no way I could laugh and be personable now, just defensive. We came back clear… duh! We are not criminals! So after delaying us for what seemed to be an hour, he said we could continue packing. Since we had already packed up and just needed to raise the jacks on the camper, we were gone in 10 minutes.

Note to self: Do not plan on brushing your hair in the truck. Do it first thing no matter how much of a hurry you are in. I am sure that my messy hair is why he thought so little of us.

Most of the day was OK. It really wasn’t that bad. There were little things throughout it, but nothing too noteworthy.

We drove and drove and drove. We try not to move more than 10s of miles. Yesterday, we went nearly 200.

The day wasn’t over yet. I will bitch post about my interaction in Smart and Final in another installment.

We Live Here, There and There

October 6th, 2012

Our housing situation is getting a bit excessive. We started with the camper. Then, we got the tent. Now, we have the van too! We haven’t been slept in either of the first two in a quite a bit. It’s time to clean house…. err cleanse ourselves of excess housing.

Our Three Homes

Mammoth… Lakes not Cave

July 22nd, 2012

We haven’t really moved in over a month. Well, we have moved campsites about 5 times but all of them have been within 15 miles of the town of Mammoth Lakes. We are really enjoying this area. The weather is just right. While the rest of the country has been dealing with 100F+ temps, ours have been between 70 and 80. However the nights are a bit chilly at 40ish. We are in an alpine, pine, aspen, volcanic wonderland. In the winter, the town is a major ski resort hot spot. In the summer, it is a cool reprieve from southern California.

The camping is free. There are four established free campgrounds nearby. They are Glass Creek, Hartley Springs, Deadman Campground, and Big Springs. There are seven (that I know of) defunct campgrounds that are still available for free camping. Not to mention the unlimited dispersed camping in the the area. When it comes to dispersed camping, the rules are pretty much this: No camping on the west or south side of Mammoth Lakes. No camping to the east between Mammoth lakes and HWY 395 with only a couple of exceptions. Dispersed camping is allowed 1.5 miles or more miles north or Hwy 203.

Hot springs are everywhere. Hot creek is off limits right now, but there are plenty of other places to soak.

Under the San Francisco Peaks

June 18th, 2011

Rain enjoying her new big dog disc

Loving the B-day Disc

I really liked Flagstaff. It is a quaint little town, as little as a town of 60,000 can be, nestled in the Coconino National Forest. Amazingly enough, this desert forest actually has trees! Route 66 and the old Santa Fe Railway run through the middle of the city. Everyone there seemed super laid back and friendly. Granted, most of the people we talked to were seasonal.
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Schnebly Hill Trail

May 19th, 2011

Schnebly Hill Trail - Sedona, AZ

The Cow Pie Vortex

This is a great trail with spectacular views of Red Rock Country and downtown Sedona, Arizona. Horses, mountain bikes, and dogs are allowed on this trail.

Schnebly Hill Trail - Sedona, AZ

The trail up on the mesa

If you start at the trail head, you will need a Red Rock Pass to park there. I also suggest starting early in the morning. That way, the Mogollon rim will shield you from the sun as you walk the first 1.25 miles from the trail head. The rim provided shade until 10am or 11am on the day we were there.

If you take the trail head near the overlook on Schnebly Hill Road, it is 3.1 miles one-way. We didn’t. We traveled cross country from our campsite on top of the plateau. So instead of climbing up to the top of the plateau via the trail, we walked along the rim above the trail and got on the trail at the 1.25 mile mark. This is where the trail enters shade. There is also a rock retaining wall there. It was built to keep the old wagon trail, that the trail is based on, intact and level.

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