Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tuttling along......

6:51 am - Tuesday - Tuttle Creek Campground (Lone Pine, CA) - 46 F degrees, 35% humidity, wind 7 mph out of south.  We are at 4,500' elevation  with a view of the Owens Valley, and Mt. Whitney.  We learned of this campground from Paul and Nina (Wheeling It) a couple of years ago, and have wanted to stop here on more than one occasion, but time would not permit.  Well, we are taking three days to return to SoCal so we decided to spend two nights here!

We were up by 7 am on departure day......we planned to drive as far as Lone Pine to stay at Tuttle Creek Campground......an ambitious 226 mile drive considering I have only driven about 40 miles in the Newell in the past 6 months, but we picked a beautiful driving day......crystal clear blue windless skies and a dry road thanks to the wind we had all night after the rain ceased early Monday morning.

We decided to top off the 180 gallon diesel tank....I figured it would take about 100 gallons to do so, and it actually only took 102.  We paid $2.44/gallon at Silver City.....we could have driven back 6 miles north on US 395 and gotten it for $2.35/gallon, but that would have taken close to 2 gallons of fuel round trip which would have wiped out the $5 savings, right?  At any rate we 'paid the rent' ($252 and change) for the first time in 9 months.....the last time we topped off the diesel tank was in Yuma, AZ in very late January!

We were on US 395 southbound about 10 am with an ETA in Lone Pine around 3:00 pm......we had four summits to cross over......Simee Dimeh, Devil's Gate, Conway, and Dead Man.......other than the climbs we spent most of our time in cruise control.  I did discover as we were descending from Conway Summit that our 'Jacobs Brake' has ceased working.....must be a short in the wiring, which I'll have to track down.   The descent from Conway is only a few miles at 6%, but coming up was Sherwin Grade which is 8 miles long at 6%.......I always have to scrub off some speed a few times when the Jake is working, so now I was worried.  I decided to descend in 1st gear, which I never do......I came to a complete stop in the 'Brake Check' turnout just as the downhill began and shifted into 1st and then let it run.....it never got above 15 mph, and I never had to use the brakes.  It did take about twice as long because I am usually 'Jaking' along in 2nd gear at about 30 to 35 mph, but we got to the bottom safely.

 Still some color left along the Walker River!

 A lot of snow along the Eastern Sierras

And, of course, the obligatory Mono Lake shot

 The view from our site

 Mt. Whitney

The Alabama Hills, and Owens Valley beyond

Other than the missing Jacobs Brake the 226 mile jaunt was without incident, and the climb out of Lone Pine to Tuttle Creek Campground was well worth it.  It is so quiet as I write my blog entry for today.....it was pitch dark last night, and all we could hear was the babbling of Tuttle Creek out TLE's window.....we are literally just 30 feet from the creek!

Of course, we are dry camping, which means we are utilizing our solar panels for the first time in 9 months.  We are facing approximately a few degrees to the left of EAST, and as I write the panels are soaking up the rays of the sun and replacing the electrons we used overnight.  We spent a few hours last night catching up on a number of recorded shows while TLE was gone, and were in bed by 9 pm.....I slept until 6 this morning.

Looking forward to a day of exploring before we continue our southbound ways Wednesday.....thanks for stopping by!


  1. I can't believe we just missed you at Tuttle Creek by 2 days! We also found it through Wheeling It, and just spent 5 great days there. Loved hiking the Alabama Hills and the views at the campgroundwere extraordinary. Now back home in the Bay Area but needed to take the long way back after they closed the pass at Tioga. Enjoy!

    1. Sorry we missed you! Wish we were here more than two nights....just beautiful!

  2. I wouldn't be happy making that descent without a Jake brake. I rely on ours in the mountains!I hope you get it sorted out.

    1. Will work on it when I get back to SoCal tomorrow.

  3. Nice to be back on the road again, enjoy your travels, good luck with the Jake Brake.