Beautiful Walks & Shiloh Gets In Trouble!


Walking in places like this, I’m getting very, very spoiled.  I don’t want to leave, and I want time to stand still.


A bridge of gold to walk through….



I’m sorry if gold is getting boring. No doubt it will be over soon.  The above pictures are all near our camp.


It’s less than 10 miles to Convict Lake, an amazingly beautiful mountain lake, now surrounded with autumn splendor.


Turns out the lake has a blacktop trail around it, so we meander along, and Joy looks for a place with easy lake access.


Occasionally, off the trail we find little picnic areas.


Like this, and


Like this.

Though many leaves have already fallen, many still shimmer in the sunshine.


And the mountains shimmer with snow.


A stream feeds the lake.


But finally we come to a nice area for Joy and Shiloh to take a dip.  It’s deep enough that Joy even gets to swim.


Another day we head up to Mc Gee Creek, also very near to where we are staying.


There is a campground, and no one is camped there.  It’s beautiful, with shelters, tables, and bear proof containers at each site, but I will probably never pull WS up here because the road is one lane for awhile, and mainly when coming back down, if I were to meet someone coming up, the edge of the road is the edge….period…in some places.


The bottom of the above picture is the top of one of the shelters at Mc Gee Creek Campground.


One crisp, blue morning, we get set for our walk.  The dogs are perky, especially Shiloh, and I can see he would just love to run.  The grass is frosty, and they both roll in it and get even more invigorated.

We are walking around where we are camped.


Oh he wants to run SO bad!  Well….there are no roads to speak of where we are walking, and no people are outside….no dogs.  There is a large field of cattle next door but we are separated from it by a barbed wire fence….I’ll just let Shiloh off leash for a few minutes so he can run a bit….

(when will I learn????)

Oh he frolics!  Shiloh is a happy boy!  I’m considering letting Joy loose too, when Shiloh begins making his way over near the afore mentioned fence.  Just sniffing….until like a bullet he runs through it…into the field of cattle….and I say cattle because all of them that I have seen are NOT cows, they are boys.  If they are steer or bulls I have no idea, but there are between 20 & 30 of them in the field, and a few of them are within 50 feet of us.


I figure Shiloh will realize how big they are….and they are HUGE….and come running back, and I’m calling, and calling, but he is suddenly deaf, and no he doesn’t come running back, though he doesn’t run right up to them.  He keeps his distance, frolicking ….as they quit munching and all turn to stare at him….and I continue to call URGENTLY from the other side of the barbed wire.  They show no fear at all.  My mind races to what would happen if he ventures too close!

Then he stops to sniff the ground, and I instantly remember “Cow Pie Camp” back in late September or early October of 2014….my first boondock.  As I set up camp in a lovely meadow, having let the dogs run free, Shiloh took it upon himself to roll extensively in fresh cow pies.  Suddenly I had a brown dog, instead of a Golden.  OH NO!  Not again!  But oh yes, Shiloh drops and rolls….repeatedly….joyfully!  Having the time of his life!

Finally I call “Shiloh you get back over here to your mommy RIGHT NOW!” and suddenly he is running back to me full speed ahead.  His word for me is ‘mommy’, and it does seem to soften his heart when I use it.  “Mommy loves Shiloh”, etc.   So, I don’t know if the M word motived him or if he just felt the urge to return, but here he is coming through the fence to me, wearing his new perfume.

This time he’s not a brown dog though, just a brown spotted dog.  Perhaps the pies were somewhat dried, or slightly frozen.  He still needs a bath though, NOW.

We trot back home where I heat water for his bath and use Cedar Mountain Dog Shampoo. While I get the water warm for the rinse, he rolls in the dirt.  WHY NOT??

After the rinse and towel dry he is newly invigorated and looks longly back towards the fence.  OH NO YOU DON’T BUDDY!

Understandably, I forgot to take pictures during this event.  I do have a few though from before and after:


Here is the fence and a couple of the boys, but the boy parts are hidden by the BBQ grill.


Joy avoiding eye contact with the guy, at a different time.


Shiloh left some of his fur behind on the fence….can you see it on that wire, in the middle?

So now I know that a barbed wire fence has no effect on Shiloh, and I won’t make that mistake again.  I hope.


Ok, we are all safe and sound, and here is a picture of Crowley Lake.

On Tuesday we will head south again, but only to Bishop this time, for a couple days at least.  See you then!






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In Our Quest To Stay Cool

We retrace our steps…err….tire tracks….and head north, back into the mountains.  And cool is what we get!  Nights are in the 20’s (which we didn’t need to make us happy), with days in the 50’s and 60’s.  Joy and Shiloh are invigorated…it seems to take a few years off of both of them.


Joy relaxing in a mountain stream where there was snow on the ground.


And here is the snow!

We are at Crowley Lake RV Park, which is mostly a trailer park with a few RV spots.


We plan to stay for a week.  There is no internet here, I discover, and AT&T doesn’t work here either.  To get a cellular signal I need to drive a few miles.

Though many of the gold leaves are on the ground at this point, we still find stands of golden trees with leaves that seem to light up from within.


I plan to explore the area on these beautiful, crisp fall days.  The first place we check out is Rock Creek Canyon which is a few miles south of us and 10 or so miles west…into the mountains.  As the elevation increases (we start at about 7000 feet), there are less and less gold leaves because they have already fallen due to colder temperatures.  Instead we see more snow.  Since we were passing through here less than a week ago the Sierras have been dusted with snow and it’s beautiful!




In other news I want to let you know what’s happening with my voting situation.  When I became a resident of South Dakota, I promptly registered to vote, and not long after that I requested absentee ballots.  I recently had my mail sent to Lone Pine and when I picked it up I fully intended to find my ballot….but it wasn’t there.  I checked my mail still in my mail box in SD via internet, and the ballot wasn’t there either, so I found the number I needed and called to find out when I was going to receive it.  What I found out is that one needs to request absentee ballots every year in SD…not just once, as the rule is in California.


I find that I need to print the ‘request for an absentee ballot’ from the website (that’s for Pennington County, SD, where I am a resident), fill it out and send it with a copy of my SD drivers license, and then wait for a ballot to be sent to me.  If I have it sent to my SD address, I will then have to have it forwarded to where ever I am, and that will take even more time.  Now if I had done this awhile back, it wouldn’t be an issue, but right now, time is of the essence, if I want to vote in the November 8 election. Which I do.   I decide to have my ballot sent to directly where I will be, and cut out the extra step.  But where will I be when they manage to get that ballot to me?  I have to figure it out, quickly.

I send my request and drivers license by 2nd day mail to make sure they get it quickly.  I try to calculate and estimate where I’ll be in about 8-10 days, and decide to make that the Barstow, CA area.  I can’t stay in the Mammoth area too much longer because before long there will be more snow and colder temperatures.  Soo….when I leave here, I’ll head to near Barstow and stay there until I can pick up my ballot General Delivery at the Barstow post office.   Depending on when that is, I’ll mail it back promptly.  Whew.  I hope this works out.


Shiloh rolling after a dip in the cold water.


Golden days.


Lots of leaves of gold on the ground now.


Last night, the sunset over Lake Crowley, except in this picture you can’t see the lake.

Next post,  we explore Convict Lake!

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I almost decided not to post this.  Usually I try to keep things upbeat overall, but visiting Manzanar today made me sad.  Still….the voice of the past is speaking to my heart, and perhaps I need to put it out there.

We stayed in Lone Pine an extra day because of icky weather to the north where we will be heading.  Tomorrow will be better for traveling.  With the extra day, I decided to visit Manzanar, a few miles north of Lone Pine.

In 1942 Manzanar became a ‘War Relocation Center.’


It’s one of 10 ‘centers’ across the US where 120,000 people were sent just because they were Japanese.  70,000 of them were US citizens.

These people had days…a few weeks at most….to wrap up their affairs and prepare to leave their homes, jobs, farms, schools, and even their pets. No pets allowed.  Ten thousand people were moved to Manznar.  They were only allowed to bring what they could carry.  Everyone wore a numbered tag to camp.  They lived in these camps for over 3 years.

Manzanar was about a mile square and it contained 36 ‘blocks’ and in most blocks, about 300 people lived in 14 barracks.


There were mess halls where everyone waited in line 3 times a day for meals, laundries, and latrines.  The recreation hall had space for classes and churches.  As time went on people built furniture from scrap wood, started gardens, orchards and made ponds.

They were surrounded by guard towers and barbed wire fences.


Walking around the visitor center and driving around the self guided tour I felt sad.  I didn’t feel like taking many pictures.

When World War II ended, the people were released and went back to….what?  Their homes, farms and businesses had been sold by the government ‘to pay for their care’ over the 3 years.  The government also tore down most of the buildings at the camps (only 3 original buildings remain at Manzanar), buried the gardens…tried to bury the memories.  But the memories and the stories live on in the people.  The cemetery is still there.

“I have come to a conclusion after many, many years that we must learn from our history and we must learn that history can teach us how to care for one another.”Rose Hanawa Tanaka

Let It Not Happen Again


I don’t want to end with that….it makes my heart heavy….so I’ll show you the sky….


Last evening at sunset.


And I wanted to mention that the dog park here at Boulder Creek RV Resort in Lone Pine is the best I’ve ever seen at an RV park!


It’s about 60 x 160 feet I think, with double gates at each end, trees, and 2 picnic tables.


When I took the pictures Joy and Shiloh were the only ones here, but at other times they had the company of 4, 5, and 6 other dogs.  So nice to be unleashed in a large and safe enclosure.

Tomorrow we head north again, to escape the upcoming heatwave!




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Back Tracking

When we leave June Lake we make our way over 118 miles to Lone Pine, California, which is near Mt. Whitney and the Alabama Hills.


Mt Whitney.  That is not snow, it’s light color rock.

Mt. Whitney is in the Sierra Nevada Range and is the highest point in the contiguous United States at 14, 505 feet in elevation.  It towers about 2 miles above the little town of Lone Pine, and is only 15 miles down the road.

It really does ‘tower’ there, rising mostly straight up on its east side.  Pretty impressive.


Not as much color change here as in the June Lake area, but there is some.

Between town and the Sierra Nevada range are the Alabama Hills, an area of…well…rock formations and piles of rocks!  It looks something like some of the old cowboy movies you’ve seen…you know…the typical ‘out west’ or ‘Indian country’ scenes.



It looks like that because in many cases it IS that.  Many cowboy movies and TV shows were filmed here, at least in part.  But not just cowboy movies, but movies like “Tremors”, and parts of the various “Star Wars”, and even “Man Of Steel”.



One of the roads we explored in the Alabama Hills, with Mt. Whitney in the background.

Much of the Alabama Hills area is BLM land. (Bureau of Land Management), and boon docking…dry camping…is allowed there for up to 2 weeks.  There are also some ‘official’, very low cost campgrounds close by.

My thought has been to explore the area while I’m staying at the RV park here, in search of a good place to camp for a couple weeks for free or low cost….if the weather would cooperate.  By cooperating I mean, if it’s cool enough.  The way things stand now, there will be a few days in the 70’s, but then it’s going to get hotter again.  Also, I’m not feeling ok about camping at the BLM area, and the official campground I liked, Tuttle Creek, is having some serious ‘road repairs’ over the next couple of weeks (read major dust, since the roads are dirt), and also half of the campsites there will be closed.  If I continue south, it just gets hotter right now, so for a week, at least, I’m back tracking about 90 miles to Crowley Lake, about 15 miles south of Mammoth.  It’s predicted to be cooler…downright cold with nights in the 20’s, but the dogs, Joy particularly, will deal better with that than 90 during the days.  So will I!  I’ll need to figure out something to protect my outside pipes though.


Mt. Whitney with the Alabama Hills in the foreground.

In other news….

Joy is losing small patches of fur on her back and tail.  It started awhile back and I took her to a vet when we were in Salmon, ID.  Among other things, she prescribed a shampoo that seemed to help.  I’m using that again, but it’s HARD to bath a big dog frequently and in an RV Park, so I’m spot washing her and applying other medication between the washings.

Shiloh has never shown any sign of the problem so I don’t think it’s something contagious.  I believe it’s immune system and age related.  In a month or so we will be in the ‘home place’ for a visit and Joy will be seeing her own vet.

Recently my microwave has been acting weird.  After 30 seconds give or take, it continues to run but stops heating.  Using a microwave that doesn’t work properly seems risky to me so my plan is to remove it, put a new and smaller one in its place, and order a cupboard door for the space from Casita to match the other cupboard doors.


This is how it looks now, with the panel holding the microwave in place.

I thought the thingies that hold the panel in place were weird screws, but with the help of the Casita Owners Face Book page, I come to find out they are rivets and must be drilled out.


I don’t have a drill, but I should have one, so I will be buying one, and see what I can do about removing the rivets.

So Monday we move on…err….back….towards Mammoth and cool temperatures!  Looking forward to it!


Last nights sunset.



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I Hope You Like The Color Gold!


As in leaves of gold….

The main reason I decided to drive Hwy 395 down the east side of California, is because I’ve heard the fall color is quite beautiful on this route….if you time it right!

I timed it right!!


We arrive at the June Lake Loop (just 4 miles south of Tioga Road, aka Hwy 120), on Monday, October 10.  I find that I’ve hit the jackpot for gold!  Golden leaves, anyway.


We spend 3 days wandering in a golden world.

Home is Silver Lake Resort, and though it’s close quarters, it’s clean and friendly and across the road from Silver Lake, with lake access.


Close quarters indeed!  but I’ve been out leaf-peeping every day.


Sunset, our first night here.

This is the only RV park I’d want to stay in, around this area, and it was recommended to me by the people I bought Wandering Spirit from.  Peggy and Doug lived in June Lake for many years before they retired.  There are lots of National Forest Campgrounds in the area though, some closed for the season, others closing soon. Silver Lake Campground is the one I would pick as far as NF campgrounds go, and it’s right here by the RV Park.  (Silver Lake Resort is closing for the season on October 16).

Our gold seeking adventures take us from Tioga Pass at almost 10,000 feet in elevation, to the Mammoth Lakes area, but the best for gold is right here on June Lake Loop, in my opinion…at least at this moment in time.  In a week I suspect the color will be nearly finished here.


Up near Tioga Pass.


A little stream along the roadside.


The white bark just sets off the gold so nicely.


Some pink added into the mix!


I couldn’t stop taking pictures.


Joy and Shiloh swam in so many lakes, I can’t even remember which one this was.


And then there were the deer!  Shiloh didn’t try to chase them!


They are so pretty and so curious.


And more deer….


So many beautiful mountain lakes.


Joy asking, ‘can I go swimming now?’



It’s like the ‘grand finale’ of the fireworks, when the trees deck out like this at the end of the season.


More deer!  Can you see them in the upper right side of the photo?


Shiloh has enjoyed it all too!  :-)

We are moving on in the morning.  It’s been amazing here!


Sunset sky, in case you were tired of gold, here is some more pink-ish.  :-)

Lone Pine is our next stop, see you there!



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A Mixed Bag

(Before I start with my story today, I want to let you know that I have been in contact with RVSue and she and Reggie are fine, but apparently having some problem with the internet or the blog.  She expects to be back on line shortly.  Some people have asked in comments, and I know more may be wondering why she hasn’t posted in a week or so.  All is well!)

On Friday, October 7, we travel from Mt Shasta City to just south of Carson City, Nevada on Highway 395.

Silver City RV Resort takes Passport America (50% off regular price) and we will stay here for 3 nights.  I’m not particularly fond of the sites which are all rock (not even gravel), and hurt Joy and Shiloh’s feet.  But we make do.


Awhile after the sun sets….


A pretty one!

I text my friend Laura and ask her where she is (she and Joel have been traveling).  I already have a pretty good idea….

She answers that she and Joel are on a shuttle bus of 80 people being taken to the “Desert Trip” concert near Palm Springs, CA, to see the Stones.  I’m not there for various reasons, one of which is the dogs.  I won’t leave them for the amount of time it would take at this stage in the game.  Also, this is an up-end $$$$$ concert with Dylan, Paul McCartney and ….someone else I can’t remember….besides THE STONES.

Of course I’d love me some Mick tonight, but I feel no remorse or jealousy.  I’m ok not being there.

A little later my phone rings and I hear Mick….Laura has called me from the gig.  She leaves the line open, so I pour a glass of wine, cuddle with my punsters in my cozy little home, and totally enjoy myself.  Part of me is there….out in the desert with Mick.  :-)

SO perfect.  Thank you Laura.  TYTYTY!

Saturday morning after our walk we 3 climb into JR and head for Lake Tahoe via Hwy 50.(20 miles). The weather is beautiful, the sky is blue and it’s supposed to reach mid 70’s today.  I turn in at Nevada Beach, but immediately see signs that say dogs aren’t allowed on the beach.  When I get to the pay station I tell the attendant I’m just going to turn around since I have dogs.  He tells me dogs ARE allowed on the beach, if I turn left and go all the way to the end of the parking area.

I follow instructions but the ‘no dogs’ signs are everywhere.  I get to the end and park.  Still I see the signs.  We get out, and as we start walking I realize the signs do stop!


Shiloh later pee’d on the base of this sign.  Too bad I didn’t get a picture of that, it would go viral!


The water is so clear.  You can just about see the individual grains of sand!



It’s beautiful here!  What a treat to find this place.



Joy, and Shiloh’s tail.





Happy kids.


Shiloh, smiling.


Shakin’ n’ Rollin’.  In and out of the water they go!  The sand is great.  It doesn’t even stick to them, honest!


Relaxing.  Sort of.


Shiloh….a picture I’ll treasure.


A good time was had by all!

At last we load into JR again and off we go….to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino!


It’s only a few miles from the beach where we were.  I find one of the few trees in the lot and park in its shade, leave the windows open (probably risky here), and in I go.  Not to play the machines….I’m not much of a gambler.



Lots of security.  I like that.  :-)

No, I head to one of the restaurants and….


Have a Margarita and some onion rings.  :-)  I’m indulging.

Then I wander around awhile, to let the Margarita wear off, and I buy a Hard Rock shirt.

It’s been a good evening and day.


Mick and Keith in days gone by.


They were just boys when they wrote that.



Thought this was neat.



Shiloh says “see you  next time!’









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Majestic Mount Shasta!

Tuesday, October 4, we drive on south to Mt Shasta City….and I am in awe….


In one of my first views of the mountain, it’s hiding behind the clouds.



But the clouds slowly move by….it hardly looks real.


Snow capped Mt Shasta (two peaks) is one of the most beautiful mountains I’ve ever seen. But beyond creating awe, I feel something else here.  I’m not sure of what to call it, but words like magical….mystical….purity….holy….come to mind.  This is a special place.  It’s not just another mountain.

I know it helps that we are here in the ‘off’ season for tourists.  We stay at the KOA Park, which in this case is great, and highly recommended.


Our site at the Mt Shasta City KOA.


It never even half fills while we are here.  (On the right you can see another Casita.  There were two people, a Golden Retriever and a Chocolate Lab traveling in it.)  :-)

In town it’s easy to find a parking place and the parks nearby are peaceful.

At City Park we go to the headwaters of the Sacramento River, coming from an underground pure spring.


The sign nearby says that the water flowing here  coming from Mt Shasta, and was precipitated about 50 years ago as rain and snow.  It’s been filtered by the earth since that time.  While we are here, people come and fill their water jugs, as do I.


I take the kids just a bit farther down stream before letting them in the water.


And then of course….🙂

We take many enchanted walks in the area.


Joy and Shiloh seem to appreciate the beauty too.


A dip in Lake Siskiyou.  They have churned up the mud, as you can see.


There are loads of wild blackberries here.  I eat my fill as we walk.

Also loads  of squirrels, and they are being watched by two interested parties.


Walking near Castle Lake.  The water here had to be really cold because as soon as the kids put their feet in, they got out.  The air temp was 50 degrees and when I put my hands in the water, it was colder than the air.

This place is awesome on every level.  If I am blessed to continue my travels, I’ll be back.


View of Mt Shasta from near the campground.  It’s just as snow-covered as in the first pictures, but this was taken this morning, with the sun reflecting different. The Mt is over 14,000 feet high and I’m taking the picture from an elevation of just under 4,000 feet.

We are only here for two days, and it’s time to move on.  As I write this we are spending the night in Susanville, CA before we head down Hwy 395 to the east side of Lake Tahoe.


Our campsite in Susanville, CA. I don’t unhook tonight.



Bye Mt Shasta.  I hope to see you again.









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