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Posts tagged ‘BLM’

The Alabama Hills

For many years, many people talked affectionately about the the Alabama Hills, a range of hills and rock formations near the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains that is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Last week we set-up shop and found a fantastic boondocking spot.  As is often the case, we didn’t get enough time to explore, but did get out when we could.

Visually, this area is amazing, huge boulders and and spires contrasting with the sharp ridges of the Sierra Nevada.  Nothing I can say will fully do justice – one simply needs to visit and take the beauty with their own eyes.DSCF4109DSCF4115DSCF4108DSCF4118DSCF4127

On the Road Again

Once again Kelly and I are on the road; our second trip in as many weekends.  Following a quick work week in Half Moon Bay, last night after dinner we hitched-up Mabel and began venturing northeast, driving about 90 miles, enough to be fully beyond the reaches San Francisco metro traffic.  We’re headed towards southern Oregon where we will be meeting-up with friends in a few days, but not before we partake in a bit of dry camping on BLM land.

We awoke this morning, not knowing were we would land for the weekend.  This being the case, Kelly commenced a bit of internet research while I was driving and fairly quickly decided that Pit River Campground would be our ideal location for two nights.

Pit River Campground entrance sign

Welcoming us to the campground

Like most BLM sites, this campground is low on amenities, but flush with nature and is very peaceful – just what we wanted.  There are only seven sites in the campground, each secured on a first-come, first-serve basis.  We chose a site with full sun then quickly got ourselves situated.

Our site

Our site

Interestingly, even on this long holiday weekend not all sites are taken.  A major State park offering 128 campsites is located about 20 miles away and I suspect most of the crowds chose to park themselves there, which is fine with Kelly and me.  Btw, the fee here is $8 per night.  Our friends 20 miles down the road are paying four times that, plus online booking fees.

Our site from above

Our site from above

Following a quick lunch, we took Lilly for a walk which also served as reconnoissance of the immediate area.  Unless you are keen to fly fish, there’s not too much to do or see within the campground.  That said, the water is quite nice and left me yearning for a canoe – although in this section of the river a kayak is probably a better option.  When the day comes that we hit the road as full-timers, I will be lobbying hard for a canoe.

Banks of the Pit River

Banks of the Pit River

Pit River from above

Pit River from above

WiFi connectivity is fabulous here.  Tethering my iPhone, I pull five bars (-69db) of AT&T at 3G speeds when using my Wilson Sleek (three bars without amplification).  Sadly, the Verizon signal is just ok, which is too bad because 4G LTE speeds would be a luxury.  Regardless, I’ve been streaming music all afternoon and evening with no problems and these blog pictures are uploading quickly enough.  I will definitely keep this location in mind the next time Kelly and I decide to work remotely for a few days.

Speaking of the quick internet connectivity, I spent a bit of time online after dinner and found a few places to explore tomorrow, ensuring we’ll have plenty to keep us busy.  Uninterested in my web browsing, Lilly was instead infatuated with all the critters outside.  I think she would have willingly jumped through the window if not for the screens.

Lilly, watching squirrels

Lilly, watching squirrels

At one point, Lilly moved to the bedroom windows, allowing me to make a play for the couch.  She was not pleased to lose her place and as evidenced within the image below, was determined to minimize my enjoyment of any relaxing.

Lilly, undeterred

Lilly, 100% in my way

I’ll probably cement my revenge by denying her dog treats tomorrow.

Pit River Campground

We’ve arrived to Pit River Campground, a BLM site in Northern California, this spot is our home for the next two nights.

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In Search Of Relaxation and Improved Showers

Home for the next two nights

Home for the next two nights

Following a hearty breakfast with Gene and Sandy, Kelly and I begun what will be a week-long crawl back towards home base in Half Moon Bay.  This past week with Kelly parents and their respective spouses was great and we both are definitely glad we made the long drive this way.

One upside of this lengthy journey is that our location now affords ample opportunity to visit places new to us and even better – not overrun with hustle and bustle one will find elsewhere.  In fact, based largely on the glowing reviews of our pals over at WeaselMouth, we’ve gone out of our way to be out of the way … stopping for two days at the BLM campground Painted Rock Petroglyph.

Our destination today is only about 100 miles southwest of the hustle and bustle metropolis wherein we awoke this morning, but the area lies squarely in the midst of nowhere – just about perfect for our wants at the moment.  If you ever decide to visit the area, you’ll know you’re getting close once you pass the Space Age Lodge in Gila Bend, AZ … about 11 miles away.

Hotels rooms are out of this world

Hotels rooms are out of this world

Our campground is nothing more than a huge chunk of land – probably a few hundred acres in size and offers no amenities, less a picnic table and fire pit.  For many with RV’s this types of dry camping is not appealing, but for Kelly and me (and a few others here), these primitive campsites are just what we need to recharge – both mentally and physically.  Of course it helps that our Airstream is pretty self-contained, equipped with just about all the necessities to make for a more than comfortable stay.

Site #6

Site #6

Once we were set-up, we took a little walk – nothing major, but enough for Lilly to stretch her legs a bit and poke her nose into endless holes in hopes that she might come across a critter or two along the way.  (she came away empty-handed)

Lilly, waiting for me

Lilly, waiting for me

Upon returning, I had a simple modification to complete  — replacing the shower head.  I continually hear high praise for the Oxygenics BodySpa shower head and its magical abilities to deliver a quality shower with stingy water usage, so I figured this week in the desert would make for a fitting field test.

Our new shower weapon of choice

Our new shower weapon of choice

Swapping out the previous unit with this new one is about as easy a task as one could expect.  As per my usual cheap frugal self, I opted to save $10 bucks and went with white, not polished, so the new head unit doesn’t match the non-replaced hosing and bracket, but I really don’t care about the fashion of it all.  Rather, I’m far more interested in the water flow – something I’ll test tomorrow.

Function over fashion

Function over fashion

Once the “work” was complete for today, I set my attention towards more interesting matters – like watching the sunset in this beautiful area … Mother Nature’s Fantastic theatre in the sky.

Another fabulous desert sunset

Another fabulous desert sunset