Monday, June 22, 2015

Donner Pass Area, We are Off to a Good Start

Rest Area at Gold Run, I-80 Eastbound

After a wonderful weekend and excellent Father’s Day, one in which I spent with Dad, Mom, Marcia (wife), Michael (oldest son) and his girlfriend Ana, sisters Sandy, Patti and Donna along with Arny (Sandy’s husband) and his mother Euleda.  Also talked to my daughter twice and my other son.  But today was the day we were awaiting….take off time for short trip number 1 to see if all the bugs are worked out or not.

Rest Area at Gold Run, I-80 Eastbound

Our destination was about 90 miles from Arny and Sandy’s house, and this rest area was just about half way.  Looked everything over….

Dash of E-450    Air Pressure Monitoring System
Generator Controls

All of the indicators on the dash show normal working temps and pressures.  The tire pressure gage showed that the tires were all inflated and no high temps.  Turned on the generator as soon as we pulled in and it purred like a kitten.  Checked the battery system for the motorhome, and the engine is charging the house batteries.  So far, so good!

Near Emigrant Gap - I-80 Eastbound

I have driven this portion of I-80 so many times over the years I could do it in my sleep…except that I respect the danger which is equated with this road, especially in inclement weather.  I have driven cars over it during snow storms, high winds, rain and sleet.  Today however, it is a wonderful blue sky, light wind, easy traffic, and a beautiful drive.

Skruffy

Don’t believe me?  Just ask Skruffy.  There was some construction along the way, which slowed us down enough for Skruffy to stick her head out the window.  She loves this…but we only do it at slower speeds.  Of course, how fast can one of these Class C’s go towing a car for a 7000+ foot climb?

Near Emigrant Gap - I-80 Eastbound

I have two favorite parts of this drive, Emigrant Gap and Donner Summit/Lake areas.  It is a wonder that people got their wagons over these mountains…and of course, Donner area taught us that not all made it, that’s for sure.

GPS over Donner Pass

Here we are at the scenic area of Donner Summit, and you can see it is pretty high up, especially considering that Sacramento is almost at sea level.

Granite Flat National Forest Camp Ground

Our destination today was Granite Flat National Forest Camp Ground, $11 per night with senior discount, no hookups at all.  We have never gone without hookup with this motorhome for more than an overnighter at a rest area.  We plan to be here for two nights, then over to South Lake Tahoe or North Shore for a couple of nights with hookups, and then back to Truckee area for a few more days of no hookups.

Revised Trip Map

My original idea of going south to the Calaveras Big Trees got nixed when I saw that Ebbetts Pass had restrictions of 25’ and under…which makes us 3 feet too long and would have included unhooking the car. 

Google Maps Image Ebbetts Pass Restrictions

Funny how things worked out…there ended up being a Forest Fire.

CalFire Map  Washington Fire Info

This forest fire sprung up a few days ago due to lightening, and would have been near highway 4 on our way from Tahoe to the Big Trees.

Granite Flat National Forest Camp Ground    Granite Flat National Forest Camp Ground
Granite Flat National Forest Camp Ground

Granite Flat National Forest Camp Ground is not empty, but darn near empty.  I am sure there are lots more campers here over the weekend…but early week like this is wonderful.  Found us a nice, level site far away from everyone else.  Yes, you do here highway 89 traffic noise, but at night the traffic is light, and during the day it is not that bad.  We are using our solar panel for the first time while we camp, and it is holding the battery steady while we use our two laptops and run the aircard and the booster.  We don’t have any TV stations, but we do have 4G with 2-3 bars, so we can stream in something to watch later, perhaps on one of our Kindles.  So everyone is happy so far…

Bubba says, "I can't find Arny anywhere around here!"    Skruffy says, "He has to be here....I can smell his barbeque right here!"
(hold you mouse over the doggie pictures to see what they think)

Tomorrow we are going to explore a bit around Donner Lake, including the new visitor's center at the State Park.  Should be very interesting, although a bit heart touching too...we will see.

8 comments:

  1. I'm happy for you both! Enjoy your time! Ohh... and Happy belated Father's Day! Blessings...

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    1. Thank you Lynn. We have enjoyed the family, and I know we have helped them, which is good...but we are glad to get away for a week if only to gain confidence in our motorhome again.

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  2. Yikes!!! I don't think I'd do Ebbetts pass in any type of RV ... it's really steep and narrow with lots of hairpin turns ... been there on a motorcycle many times!! Beautiful country ... glad to see you back on the road!!!

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    Replies
    1. It had been awhile since I had done the pass...last time in a mild snow storm in October. After looking into it, I now remember it much more clearly in my mind. Don't know what I was thinking....well, I guess I wasn't.

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  3. Oh, I didn't know you had solar. You're set for anything. Pretty soon you'll be boondocking on public land. ;-D

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    Replies
    1. Well, that is what we are looking at. So far, we ran the generator for 30 minutes this morning for microwave use and to get this rig warm (low was 35 degrees last night). However, the batteries were at 12.2 when we woke up, and 11.9 when I turned the generator on a 8 am. I think we will be back up to the 12.7-12.8 range when the sun beats down on us later.

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  4. Hooray! Glad to see that everything is working. Have a good time!

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    Replies
    1. So far so good. Keeping our fingers crossed, that's for sure.

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