Tag Archives: northern

Elko, NV to Lakeview, OR

Well, that was a pretty stressful and expensive trip to Utah.  We were ready to get out of there after getting a new fuel system in the Dodge.  We DID get to hug all 6 of our grandkids although it was WAY too short of a visit.  We were there for a week without our truck but only got to see the kids and grandkids one day.  Our camper was a 2-hour drive from them and no way to move it without the Dodge.  We stopped, briefly, near Elko to get more supplies out of the 5th wheel and a brief visit with family.  Then it was on to Rye Patch Reservoir (our favorite campground in northern Nevada).  Storms are coming in from the west and bringing cold and wet weather.  High wind warnings are in effect, around Reno, so we figured we’d hunker down below the dam.

Rye Patch Campground Fall Colors
Rye Patch Campground Fall Colors

The fall colors were gorgeous at Rye Patch.  The morning was nice; not too cold.  We ate breakfast outside by the slow-moving creek.  Nothing but the sound of fish jumping, flickers, crows, seagulls and some little chirping birds.  I saw a couple bunnies and 4 deer, all does, this morning.  We were the only campers in the loop by the creek.  We didn’t even bother to look up by the lake because of the wind.

Strange patterns on lava beds near Gerlach, NV
Strange patterns on lava beds near Gerlach, NV

We wanted to try a new road so we turned north at Fernley, NV, on Hwy 447.  This heads out to Gerlach.  Then we’ll head northwest to enter California and onto Oregon.  Northeast of Gerlach, NV, in the Black Rock area is where the Burning Man gathering is held each year.  The grasses and sage brush make interesting patterns on the ancient lava beds.

First Snow
First Snow

Here’s what those weekend storms left on the northern Nevada and California mountains.  We’re gonna have to cross those, I just know it!  I just noticed the timestamp on the camera is wrong.  It is really 2 hours earlier than the time displayed.   Hwy 447, north of Fernley, is a good 2-way, 2-lane paved road.  Some rough spots are marked.  Big rigs use it.  We fueled up in Fernley so I wasn’t really paying attention to gas stations.  If there were any, it would have been in Gerlach.  There was a little bit of a steep climb and switch-backs going through the Granite Range towards CA.  I don’t think it was on purpose that Don picked the roughest part of the road to let me drive so he could nap.  He didn’t get much sleep.  By the time we got to Cedarville, CA, my eyes had had it so I pulled over and he got behind the wheel.  We were letting Nuvi navigate and it said to continue straight ahead.  I didn’t even look at the atlas….until we started wondering how we were going to cross those mountains.  Hhhmmm, only unpaved roads are shown on the atlas.  Why is Nuvi (our GPS) taking us on a gravel road?  Oh well, we’re up for the adventure.  It says we’ll be there in a half hour.  It can’t be too bad…can it?  Well, we took the left Y, just like Nuvi told us.  Not sure if it would have turned out better if we’d taken the right Y, which was FS 2.  Although we’re not towing the 5th wheel, we ARE pulling a utility trailer.  This is starting to look like trouble.

Uh Oh!
Uh Oh!

We went a little further than this.  The road just stopped.  Well, I take that back.  The road continued on the other side of the stream.  We really didn’t feel like fording the stream though.  So, we backed up a little ways, dropped the trailer, spun it around, turned the truck around then hitched the trailer back up and got the heck outta dodge.  Have I ever mentioned how much Don LOVES to back-track?  Well, anyway, 15 miles back to Cedarville…past a couple hundred deer in the hay fields…at dusk…did I mention back-tracking?   Nuvi – Menu – Settings – Navigation – Avoidances – Unpaved Roads – CHECK

Crossing the Warner Mts
Crossing the Warner Mts

At Cedarville, we took Hwy 299 west.  We crossed the Warner Mountains before we got to Hwy 395.  North on 395 will take us to our final destination for the night, Goose Lake State Park, and we should still make it before dark.  We stayed here a couple years ago.  It’s a nice little park and has electric hookups (which we desperately need because our laptop battery is dead and both cell phones ran out of battery BEFORE we even got to the gravel road).  We got there just before dark…only to find the gates CLOSED…hahahaha…Don wasn’t laughing….he was driving….I was laughing.  I’d had this gnawing feeling, for the past 10 miles or so, that the furnace in the camper might be on.  I kept looking back at the back window to see if there might be flames visible through the curtain.  I didn’t tell Don because, as I said, his job was to drive and I didn’t want to complicate his job.  Anyway, since we were stopped, I thought I’d just run back and check.  Sure enough, the furnace had been running.  We keep our garbage bag hooked over the utensil drawer, which is above the furnace.  Miraculously, it had NOT melted.  I don’t think it ran very long.  We have 2 problems that caused this little mishap.  One is, the vent doesn’t shut all the way (ever since someone broke it while breaking into our camper).  It had vibrated open even further while we travelled.  So it got colder than normal in the camper.  The other problem is that we replaced the thermostat with the only thing available at the RV parts store (that’s a little bit of an exageration).  It is a camper thermostat but it doesn’t have an OFF switch per say.  The lever that sets the temperature, clicks when it is below the 50 setting.  So we figured (and so did the store attendant) that was the OFF position.  Well, apparently we were SO wrong.  Oh well, no harm, no foul.  Just something else to watch.  In the meantime, Don found the next closest RV park on Nuvi.  Go to Lakeview (15 miles) and turn left on Hwy 140 and go another 10 miles.  Longer story short (sorta) – the Hwy sign for the park said it closes Oct 15.  But as we were starting to turn around, another sign said they were still OPEN.  So we drove a few more miles down the gravel road…and, viola, here we are!   Where’s that EASY button?!

We are at Juniper RV Resort.  There are other RV’s here.  I don’t know what this place looks like but we have electricity, broadband and leftovers for dinner.  It costs $27/night for a FHU site. We don’t need water and sewer but no one is around and we didn’t see a price for just electric.  Don put $30 in the envelope because he didn’t have change.  They take every kind of discount except for the one we have.  Maybe we’ll see the Host in the morning?  I sure hope so, we need that $3 to help pay for the new fuel system…hahahaha

Entry for September 9, 2007

The Moonlight Fire in Plumas County is awesome to watch (from a safe distance). This is last night’s sunset from Rocky Point Campground. The fire makes beautiful cloud formations. No threat to any of our campgrounds (Ponderosa, Cool Springs, Yellow Creek, Last Chance, Rocky Point or Camp Conery).

Entry for June 26, 2007

Soda Springs Historic Site about a half mile from the Yellow Creek Campground. Carbonated water bubbles up right out of the ground!  The historic marker tells the history of the Humbug Valley.  Another hundred yards toward the campground you will see another spring. On the other side of road are flat rocks with holes. These holes are where the Maidu Indians used the rocks to grind acorns into flour.

Entry 6 for May 2007

This whole area (Chester/Lake Almanor/Plumas County) is in bear country. We always warn campers to put coolers in their car trunks or in their car with a blanket over them. The bears will not try to get into the car or camper unless they see food or a cooler through the window. There are storage cabinets in the campsites. These are for non-food items. If bears smell food in these, they know how to open the doors and get to it. See the paw prints, on the cabinet, to the right of the Bear Alert sign!

Entry 5 for May 2007

Yellow Creek Campground is in the Humbug Valley. There are 12 campsites with a creek running through it; great fishing. It is about 4800’ altitude, providing great summer temps. There is definitely a certain type of dedicated clientele for this campground. Once you persevere the long, bumpy road to get there, you fall in love with it. The valley is full of history, which you can read about if you stop at the Soda Springs Historic Site, just a mile from the campground. Soda water (carbonated) actually bubbles out of the ground here! This campground is also heavily wooded with views of the grassland valley where Meadowlarks make their nests.

Entry 4 for May 2007

Last Chance Campground, 4 miles off Hwy 36 near Chester, and Yellow Creek Campground, 9 miles off Hwy 89, are our more remote campgrounds. Last Chance has 25 campsites, half of which may be reserved for group camping via PG&E. Although it is not far off the highway, it seems more remote because the access road is not paved. The campground is not on the lake, so you don’t have the noise of boaters and jet skis. There is a creek running through the campground that feeds into Lake Almanor. This is a beautiful little, heavily wooded campground with lots of wildlife.