Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Californios.......

 It was inevitable that if we continued moving southward we would eventually breach the Northern California border once again.  Initially, when doing route planning before we departed Spokane, we had planned to get as far as Alturas, CA on Monday with the option of going further......

We eased out of our two day anchorage in Riley about 0830 with the temperature still hovering just above 33 degrees.....brrrr!  It was just a couple hundred yards to the left turn that separates US 20 from US 395 where we took the left turn to continue our slow jaunt southward.....normally one might think that moving south might take us toward warmer temperatures, but we are traversing the eastern edge of the Cascades and Sierra Nevadas where the elevations run from 3,000' feet to over 8,000' most of the time, so given the time of year it is, and the elevations we are living at it is not surprising to us that we are seeing overnight low temp in the high 20's right now with day time temps getting barely into the 40's some days.....nevertheless, we continued our trek ever southward.

First climb of the day just south of Riley, OR

We began the day at 4,400' feet elevation and quickly climbed to over 5,000' where we would stay until the very end of the day........but, as usual I get a little ahead of myself.  As we crested one summit after another, eventually getting as high as 5,500' at one time, the views were spectacular......and the road was dry....in fact it did not rain for the first 128 miles of our drive.........


 Abert Lake (not mispelled) above and below.....it looks like a 'dry lake' bed, but there was some water in it as we cruised its shores on an elevated byway...

Even though I was hugging the center line I was right on the white line showing the end of the road bed on the right.....very, very tight.....picture courtesy of TLE....I was busy white knuckling the steering wheel

.....the road along Lake Abert was quite narrow and very windy.....the 'perfect' time to have one semi truck after another coming at us......that went on for about 20 miles until we reached the southern end of the lake where the road widened, and the terrain was flatter.....at this point the semis mysteriously, but thankfully, disappeared.

And then the rain came.....at first gentle, but eventually a downpour.........


North of Lakeview....

....and then we began to see snow at about the 5,300' level........


.....and then the snow on the ground was quite heavy.....thankfully it was not sticking to the highway........

5,320' elevation - SNOW!

As we approached Alturas, CA we were glad we decided to push a little further to Standish, CA making our total driving distance Monday 256....a long day for us, but an easy choice since the elevation there is 4,000'......with snow levels much higher we wanted to be well below the snow line when we quit for the day.

Over all our drive south, with the lone exception of the drive along Abert Lake, was delightful, uneventful, with extremely light traffic, except for the drive along Albert Lake.  With about 20 miles to go we began to descend slowly from our high of 5,500' to 4,000' as we approached Standish, CA and our stop for the night.....Days End RV Park (Passport America - $16.50).  We had made no reservations as is our custom, so as we pulled in the entrance around 1250 hours and saw the park was pretty full I began to be concerned, however, we quickly spied at least 4 pull through sites (all pull throughs are about 70' long here) still vacant.  Within 30 minutes after we pulled into site #14 the other three remaining pull through sites filled up....whoa.....that was close.....glad we left Riley at 0830 instead of the 0900 we had originally planned!

Over the last 60 miles I had the chassis heater going full blast up front, the defrosters and defoggers going full blast, and all three Suburban gas heaters in the coach going....it was soooo cold!  We quickly pulled into our assigned site, plugged in and turned on the electric heaters.  

The rain continued until about 2200, and as I write this morning (Tuesday) the sun is out with a few clouds......looks like a good driving day down to Reno!

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. It was a nice, wet storm that passed through NorCal, 5-6" snow around Donner. I think another hundred days of this type of weather might put a damper on this drought...

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