Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Tuttle Creek Campground, Lone Pine, California

Hi Kids!

This place is so cool!

We came down a crazy-long 6% grade, miles and miles long... seemed to last forever. Still, truck did fine with the exhaust brake and minimal brake usage. We are so pleased.  That's no small thing with a 19K pound trailer.

So down from about 8,000 feet of elevation to about 4200. We are still up high, and the temperatures are more mild, mid 80s during the day, and not quite as cold at night, 50's.  MUCH better. Our furnace was running every night at Glass Creek... low 30's every night!  It's odd to experience such a wide swing in temperatures in such a short time. One of the new skills we will have to master, I guess!  Tomorrow we will move and they will swing wildly again... and not in a good way. 100's!! YIKES.

So this campground was one that Dad researched as to whether or not we would fit. His research paid off and we were able to find a site, though most of them are NOT suitable. Most are very unlevel and there the campground is primitive. No hookups (see a theme here?) but there is water and a dump station to access when you arrive and of course when you leave.

The attraction here is Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills. Lone Pine is a very small and picturesque town who's claim to fame is the nearly constant occupation by Hollywood making western movies. It all started way back in the 30's... and when you see the natural scenery here it is easy to understand why. They even made the movie "Tremors" here too... I am now anxious to see some of these movies (again) and be able to recognize the area. It's very distinctive!  They made IRONMAN here too.

The Alabama Hills is the natural recreation area that adjoins Lone Pine. It is owned by the BLM and they have miles of free boondocking on the scenic landscape. We chose the campground for simplicity; it's very close to the Alabama Hills recreation area and it is only $8/night. We were glad to have access to the water and dump station. Though, after exploring the Alabama Hills, we could see that there were lots of areas we could have camped out there, for sure.

While here, we visited the Film Museum, where you learn all about what went on out here. It's definitely a MUST DO. Again, I thought of Grammy. These were HER PEOPLE for sure. She so loved all of that stuff. I thought of her constantly as I browsed through the copious amount of memorabilia. Lots of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Gene Autry, The Lone Ranger, on and on.  So interesting.

The backdrop of this campground (and all of Lone Pine) is the STUNNING Mt. Whitney and the Sierra Nevada range. It is indescribable. The tallest peak in the continental US, thousands of climbers come here to take the ultimate challenge. It is beyond beautiful. I would love to see after a little snow falls, which should be soon beings this is nearly October. The jagged granite peaks are amazing in the early morning when the rising sun lights them up in electric relief. Wish you could see it.

Today we got up early to beat the heat and take advantage of great sunlight effects and took our bikes over to the Alabama Hills Recreation Area to ride among all of the dirt roads off of "Movie Flatts Road". The exact spot where all of the movies were made, exciting ambush scenes, and cowboys and indians fought endlessly. Really epic stuff.

The MONEY SHOT with Mt. Whitney through the arch!
We hiked up to a landmark called Mobius Arch and took the sought after photo of Mt. Whitney through the arch, glowing in the very early sun. It was magical.

I love hiking on granite and sandstone... the rocks are so "grippy" and you can scale up the side of them like a mountain goat! Super fun!

Next we scoured the dirt track roads, up and down granite faces and through slot canyons of giant boulders.

It felt like we were riding around in a Flintstones cartoon! The landscaping is truly other-worldly. It's just amazing to us that there are places like this that occur naturally. NOT man made.

Tomorrow, very early to beat the heat, we will head out and continue south toward Arizona. We are stopping at an Elks lodge for a couple of nights. They have hookups there which we will need with temps as high as they will be. I will get some laundry done and maybe a much-needed pedicure! I need to buy more milk, you know how Dad needs his glass of milk before bed every night. Things are going really well so far, and we hope it continues. It truly is like a dream come true. The only negative so far is being so far away from all of you.

I hope things are well there. I know the weather must be starting to turn. Seems odd that we won't experience that this time. Hmmmm. Don't know how I feel about that.

Love you all so much! MOM

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