Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 21 Tioga Pass CA and June 22 Provo UT

June 21 - Summer Solstice and Tioga Pass

We finally found one of the most scenic, fun to drive roads in the USA. If you are ever near Yosemite, you have to make the Tioga Pass run. We saw more TCs on this road
than any other yet. Many were pulling boats, many had kayaks and a lot had people
beside them putting on mountain climbing gear. All the small primitive campgrounds in
this area were full.

Left Yosemite early to avoid most of the incoming tourists (like we aren't?) and
headed up Route 41 to route 120 which is called Tioga Pass. What an incredible ride.
You climb from the water falls and domes of Yosemite and go up into Sequoia trees
along snow covered trails. As you ascend, the road gets steeper and twistier but
there are good pull out spots all along to let faster vehicles go by. We stopped for
many photos and walks up into the forests.

Tuolomne Meadows was a high open meadow nestled in the center of miles of molten rock that looked like waves on the sand. Tenaya Lake was so crystal clear you could see the bottom for a long way out. It was freezing cold water as there is still lots of snow up on the peaks and in shadowed valleys.

All good roads eventually end and Tioga did as we came out to Lee Vining CA and some
much needed diesel. $3.19 a gallon but we were sucking fumes so needed it. Stopped
for lunch at Mono Lake Tufa Reserve -Tufa not Tofu. Tufa are fresh water vents that
have petrified and left as rock formations when the level of Mono Lake was dropped.

At Benton we left Route 120 and started off on Route 6. This dead straight road goes
through totally uninhabited country. Most of the land is semi-desert, open cattle
range and home to herds of horses. We assumed the horses were wild since this is BLM
land. At one point, we went 25 miles before a car came the other way. We were headed
to Tonapah to a free campsite but Joe felt Tonapah was the model for an Apocolypse
movie so we wandered on. It was close to a wrecked ghost town and not very inviting

Humbolt National Forest, Ward Mountain just south of Ely, NV was our stopping place
for the night. There were only two other campers in this entire park, beautiful place
with small twisted cedars and many lizards. As we were setting up for the evening, we
noticed the check light on the refrigerator was on and ,yes, it was not working.
Since we read RV.NET and had seen others have this problem, we knew it was probably
associated with being over 10,000 feet. Do you think we could get it lit? No way.
Good friend Mike Tassinari was home, cell phone worked, and Mike talked us through
lightly sandpapering the thermocouple. Tiny piece of metal stuck way in the far
almost unreachable corner of the refrigerator mechinicism but finally got it cleaned
and the frig lit off well on propane. Thanks again Mikeeee. We owe you a case of
Klondike Bars. Since we are headed even higher in altitude in the Rocky Mountain
National Park, good trick to know.

Awesome trip so far, so much to see and walk through. We aren't really campers, we
are travellers and what a country to travel through. Tomorrow we head up near Provo
and then cut east to the Rockies.

June 22 - NV to Provo, UT

Today was a travel day and a day to catch up on laundry, groceries and cleaning up the exterior of the TC. A botanist would have been in love with the layers of bugs on the nosecone - but all gone now. We're now beside the Provo River in Provo Lake Park enjoying a beautiful sunset and a steak dinner. Time to get a new grill when we get home. This one is falling apart!

We did stop along Route 6 coming from Nevada into Utah to see several old mines and the equipment that was left behind. A lot of tiny towns on this route have dried up and just left carcasses behind of what was once a pretty busy town.

Also stopped at the Baker Archeological Dig which is an excavation of a Freemont Indian village. When you look around from where the wall outlines are, you realize how exposed to the elements and animals these people were.

Provo is a big city and we are anxious to get back into the back roads again tomorrow. We missed some of the dinosaur museum last year when we were in Utah, so are going to try to catch them this time.

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