Saturday, August 29, 2015


Of the Sierras that is.  There have been lots of fires in California this year, but we were not going to let that stop us, so we headed out knowing that our usual spot near Lee Vining was closed because of a nearby fire.  In fact all the campgrounds in Lee Vining Canyon had been evacuated and closed.  As we drove up US 395 the smoke was so thick that we couldn't see the mountains just a few miles away.  We stopped in Bishop on the way north and inquired at the ranger station for the latest fire information.  As luck would have it, the campgrounds were to reopen on Monday, so we set up camp in Bishop to wait out the weekend.

We did manage one hike out of South Lake, but Cathie was huffing and puffing due to the 9,000 foot in elevation, so we made it a short one.  Water levels in lakes and streams are really low due to the lack of snow during the past winter.


Monday morning bright and early, we continued north arriving at our favorite campground just off the Tioga Road in Lee Vining Canyon.  We were the first campers to re-occupy the camp since it was evacuated so we got the best site creek-side.  The camp host had been evacuated with everyone else and never returned during our stay.  The camp never filled up which is unusual during this time of year.

We got in three hikes during our stay, two up in Yosmite and one down near camp. We kept all the hikes short, less than 6 miles due to Cathies' delicate condition. (read, out of shape).  She is game though, looking forward to more hikes on this trip in an effort to be ready for our walk across Northern Spain next year.

We have wanted to hike to Parker Lake, near Lee Vining for sometime now, but the road to the trail head was closed due to the fire.  On our last full day, we drove towards the turnoff to Parker Lake, and discovered that the county road crew was grading the road.  They had tossed aside the "Road Closed" sign and replaced it with a "Road Work Ahead" sign.  Taking advantage of the sign change, we decided, what the heck, no flames were to be seen so lets give it a try. Beautiful hike to a beautiful lake.

Upon our return to the trail head, we opted for a different route back to camp.  We came close to the fire which was in the mop up stage.  About 3000 acres had been burned, but the fire crews jumped right on this one and no homes were damaged.  As we had decided on the alternate way of returning to camp, we had to move the "Road Closed" sign out of our way to get back to the highway.

Next up, Lassen National Park, so stay tuned.

Monday, August 17, 2015


We arrived home from our trip to Spain in June, and it seems like we've been home long enough.  Time to hook up the RV and head north.  So by the end of the week you'll find us on US 395 heading up to the Eastern Sierras for the for some hiking in some of our favorite spots in the Tuoumne Meadows region of Yosemite.  As I write this, the news is reporting that the road over Tioga Pass is closed due to a forest fire, so we'll be flexible. From Yosemite we'll continue north to Lassen as this is one place we haven't really explored.  By Labor day we will be found in Southeastern Oregon, meeting up with some of the family out in the middle of nowhere.   Actually we'll be at Hart Mountain Antelope Preserve  because the camping is free.  Free camping is always good.

From there it's east into Idaho, Wyoming and the Dakotas where we will be exploring mostly new territory.  We hope to pop into Canada and pay a visit to a fellow pilgrim in Winnipeg, but as I write this our passports have not returned back from being renewed, so we shall see.  By this point in the trip it should be around the end of September or the beginning of October, so we'll turn south in order to stay ahead of the cold.  From the Dakotas, it's anybody's guess as to where we'll head next as that portion of the trip is up in the air. I'm sure we'll figure something out.


As is the norm on our trips we always leave open the possibility of changing our minds at any given moment to go somewhere else.  That's why it's called Gassaway's Adventures!