Thursday, May 8, 2008


After a day spent hiking various trails around Mono Lake - and another dinner at the Mobil station's Whoa Nellie Deli (Jambalaya for me, Seafood Pasta for Odel) - we departed Lee Vining in strong winds and headed north. In two places, moveable electronic signs warned "Campers and Trailers" about high winds, but Odel drove with confidence... no problems.

From Lee Vining to Carson City, NV, Hwy 395 passes through a string of small towns with small service stations. No truck stops, no cheap fuel. Our "low fuel" warning light was on, so we kept our eyes open for a larger station with a decent price for diesel (which, to us, meant under $4.50 - isn't that pathetic??). We saw one station, in Walker, CA, charging $5.09!!

Fortunately, Hwy 395 crosses the CA/NV stateline. As soon as we crossed into Nevada, the stations posted a "more reasonable" price and we finally put 80 gallons in our tank at $4.339 per gallon. OUCH!

We have never spent time exploring camping possibilities in the area around Lake Tahoe. Since we pass this way somewhat regularly, we decided to spend a day on this trip checking out various USFS campgrounds and boondocking spots, avoiding the very costly Tahoe area RV parks.

For our two-night stay, we picked Granite Flat (read our review here), a USFS campground alongside Hwy 89, between the highway (very noisy) and the Truckee River (very calm and beautiful). One loop of this campground stays open all year (even in the deep winter snow); the other 3 loops open on May 15th. Because the campground hasn't opened for the season, we are camped here for free (worth about 4 gallons of diesel).

Four of the campsites are occupied by tent campers, one by the host, another by a trailer, and one by us. Last night, the temperature dropped to 28 degrees. As I write this (9 am), the sun has just begun to warm the tent campers, and they are crawling out of their tents with hats and gloves on, going back and forth to tents, tables, smoky fires, and pit toilets. Oh, my tenting days are so LONG GONE!

Though Granite Flat campground is very pretty, the noise level is annoying. Off we go to see what other/better options we can find for our next visit.

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