We took Hwy 395 down along the Eastern California/ Western Nevada . We passed by Mono Lake & Yosemite National Park. We always enjoy driving down Hwy 395. It is interesting traveling down the Owens Valley with the Sierra Nevada mountain range on one side.
We drove through Bishop, CA and stopped at Erick Schat’s Dutch Bakkery. It required parking on the other side of the City Park which turned out to be quite lovely. The honeysuckle was blooming and the trail along the steam was really nice. Unfortunately, they were closing up and had sold out of most of their bread.
So, off to Death Valley National Park. We headed to the Saline Valley Warm Springs by the North Pass. It had rained a little recently and so there were lots of flowers. It was already late in the day, so we opted to stay at an abandoned mining camp. We did have some really nice views on the way in and found a nice level spot before dark.
The Saline Valley Warm Springs has really nice warm springs and an ever changing community of interesting people.
We originally found our way there after an off-roading adventure in our SUV became a little more of an adventure than expected. We blew out two tires on one rock. There is no cell service anywhere nearby, so we headed down to a more significant road. We came across the warm springs on our way. We stayed there for almost a week over the Christmas holidays.
We started going to Saline Valley regularly when we lived in the East Bay (Pleasanton, CA).
I haven’t been back to Saline Valley in at least 8 years. It becomes harder to get to from NC. It was really great to be back. We stopped at the Bat Pole, a landmark on the drive in.
There had been quite a few changes, including a family of Burros.
But mostly things were essentially the same. We found a great camping spot near trees and across from a ridge. Quite well protected.
Since it was May, there weren’t very many people there. Temperatures reached the 90’s to 100’s during the day. Yes, it is a very dry heat, but at those temps, it is still very hot during the day.
We met some very interesting people. Soaked in the warm springs. We hung out and had a little down time.
It meant I was finally able to clean the RV. Jon was able to try our the raw water to potable water systems on the truck and just relax.
This great guy took us out for a tour with a black light to look for scorpions. It was amazing how many we saw. One kind was actually quite poisonous.
On Saturday, the morning before we left, there was a really strong wind making it necessary to hang out in a sheltered area. And then we saw a huge cloud of dust coming toward us from the valley.
We finally headed back to the Fuso. At the time, the winds were really calm there. We hung out and talked to people. Jon noticed that there was now a big dust storm coming from the north.
We started up the grill for dinner in hopes that we would be somewhat protected from the winds. But the storm kept getting picked up. The grill kept blowing out even with the use of wind block. Then it got worse.
Jon and I were really glad to be inside our camper and not tent camping. And then it got even worse.
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I think the visibility went down to about 8 feet. I’ve never seen anything like it without water involved somehow. The storm was still going on when we went to sleep.
There are several solar panels in the view out the window. They have been up for a long time and must have been through a number of storms. Well, one was torn off its base.
In the morning, there was only one vehicle near us. Everyone else had either left or moved. There was a lot of sand collected in low spots and bits of trees and such. Our prayer flags did ok other than needing to be untangled. This picture falls under the category of “Don’t Try This At Home”. Jon was successful.
We headed out on Sunday towards Death Valley.