Monday, October 28, 2013

The Bishop's Table

Just north of Bishop California, lay the Volcanic Tablelands. Formed 750,000 years ago and extending many miles north, the ledge rises steeply off the valley floor, but then flattens out into a wide-open expanse of high desert scrub. We had heard mention of this location on BLM land from a couple RV blogs we follow so decided to check it out.  Free campsites available!  Just right.  We had recently purchased our first solar panel and were anxious to try it out so figured a wide open space such as this would be perfect place.  The route heads north from Bishop, then turns west a bit, then wide dirt road winds up and through the table of sage, rock and amazing vistas. All these photos are shot with the iphone.  You can see my recent photos of the Aspens here

We departed Lee Vining following our wonderful photo workshop (tease here.  more later).

Just leaving Lee Vining

We stopped at the Paiute Reservation gas station to refuel (best prices in Bishop area) then headed out to the area

Entrance to BLM land 

As we rose up off the valley floor, we took a road which swung west to great us with this wonderful vista

view of high sierra from our new front yard

What a place.  quiet since we were off the main road a ways, except for occasional car passing by.  360 degree view.  What more could we want.  The temps had risen about 10-12 degrees over Lee Vining and it was again Tee Shirt weather.  Spaces in the area were uneven and seemed mainly suitable for vans and small rigs.  there was a couple with an airstream trailer and one other large RV (more like 40 ft or so) parked near by.  Turns out this RV is inhabited by some really cool folks who regularly blog and have written a post about this camping location.

As we were scouting the area, we stopped by to introduce ourselves, however shied away from letting them know we knew who they were.  they are like rock stars of the RV travel blog world.  Perhaps we will meet again down the road.

The evening sun graces the eastern White Mountains outside our back yard

What a vista.  We have been here several days now.  The days were warm and the nights cool.

Morning sun in the high sierra

Then, as predicted, the weather changed.  Severe winds came in forwarning of changes followed by dips in the temp.  We awoke this morning to this sunlight photo in our front yard

Morning again

Weather stayed in the high country although we did get a little short shower.  Yesterday we had begun a drive up Silver Creek canyon, a short cut to the Bristlecone pine forest in the White Mountains, only to find the "temp sensor" light coming on in Mr. Toad (our jeep).  After a few miles we elected to turn around and head back to Bishop.  It was Sunday later afternoon and we were not confident that heading into hte back country would be a wise choice.  Better to get this checked out and try again later.  Gee, we are living this life not on a forced march vacation.  We can do this another day.

Our campsite with weather over the White Mountains

Sure enough, we stopped by a local auto shop this morning and dscovered our radiator had lots of dirt and leaves stuck in it which was causing a reduced cooling of the transmission fluid and engine.  Lucky us.  A little water and air to clean it out and we were on our way!  We spent the rest of this ccccooolllddd day tending to some business things and will try again tomorrow to drive up to the Bristlecone forest.

This area is really beautiful  We have driven through but not stayed so it is fun getting to know the area a little better.

The cottonwoods are in full fall color all over Bishop

Update: we overslept so didn't get theist light shot. There is now snow in the high country.

Fun today as we attempt to drive up silver canyon. At what elevation will we encounter snow? Stay tuned

-blessings from the road

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