spring road trip 2010

Posted on 16 Jun ’10

Our spring road trip 2010 successfully concluded, it is an appropriate time for organizing thoughts and reflecting on the adventure. Calling it a success is both a true and false statement. We had ambitious plans for this year but…

[pullquote author=”robert burns – to a mouse – 1785″]The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley[/pullquote]

The Plan by day…

  1. 21.may – Leave in evening, drive approximately half-way to Death Valley National Park.
  2. 22.may – Wake early, finish drive, arriving at Mahogany Flat Campground.
  3. 23.may – Wake early, hike Telescope Peak in morning and drive to Racetrack in afternoon. Visit Racetrack for sunset and camp at Homestead Campground (or cowboy.)
  4. 24.may – Wake early and visit Racetrack for sunrise breakfast then drive to Lee Vining, CA, camp at Big Bend Campground.
  5. 25.may – Visit Bodie State Historic Park in morning, stop at Mono Basin Ranger Station to get permit, rest for the afternoon in Lee Vining Canyon.
  6. 26.may – Drive into Lundy Canyon to trailhead, pack out to Oneida Lake for overnight.
  7. 27.may – Return to truck, drive to Saddlebag Lake, pack out to Twenty Lakes Basin for overnight.
  8. 28.may – Return to truck, drive to Kelty Meadow Campground, Sierra National Forest.
  9. 29.may – Hike out to Iron Lakes or Fresno Dome or rest or whatever…
  10. 30.may – Return home or got to Fresno for a night.

So, that was the plan, ambitious in my mind but, definitely looked like a lot of fun! On the other hand, the weather had a different itinerary in mind. Unable to reach an agreement amenable to both parties, we ended up canceling most of our plans as the weather refused to listen to reason and remained inflexible. However, on the bright side, we didn’t cancel so much as alter – and the alterations resulted in a wonderful trip that we will not soon forget. And so begins the saga of SRT10…

Day 1

Normally we would just wake up at some ridiculous hour and depart around 5AM, as we did on our previous trip to Death Valley National Park back in December 2009. For this trip, especially since it was a week long excursion, we elected to split the first drive in two parts. We’d leave Friday evening and try to put away half the drive before stopping at a random hotel along the route. This is supposed to be a vacation after all, burning out on the first day by pushing through on a long drive seemed counter intuitive. We roll out at approximately the time we had targeted, around 8PM. We are both excited and itching to get out of the bay area to unplug, savor the change of scenery, and enjoy warmer temperatures.

We settle into the drive heading south on 101 after passing San Jose. This is a route we know well, Fresno and the Sierras are frequent destinations throughout the year. Rather than continuing on 152E to 99S, as we normally do, the GPS takes us on 5S when going to Death Valley. A monotonous drive 5 is, traffic usually moves at a pretty good clip but, flat and straight get tedious quickly. We stop once for fuel, gas for the truck and coffee for me; Karen went to sleep shortly after we turned south on 5. The drive is easy and uneventful; at some point after midnight our stopping point is a hotel in “ihavenoideawhereweareville”. While we[I] could push on further, Karen really wants to stop and sleep in a bed, we agreed we would stop, and we are at a perfect stopping point as the route now leads east off 5. Karen goes to back to sleep quickly while I unwind watching a few minutes of television – such a novelty these days since we canceled comcast and no longer have TV at home.

Click here to continue to day 2.