Saturday, October 28, 2023

The California Side Trip: Day 1 & 2

 Friday, October 27

We left the campsite and found a dump station in the Mead National Recreation Area.  Our Veteran Park pass got us in for free and of course, once in you can use the dump facilities.

It's a nice area, we liked their dispersed camping area and might return to camp there upon returning from California.

We then drove over over to nearby Bullhead City and an RV Storage Yard for which we had a pretty good deal.  Took a bit of time but we got everything rearranged and repacked.  

We would be taking only the Honda CR-V.  No sense taking the VRRV as gas prices in California are so high and the CR-V gets 3.5 times better MPG than the RV!

Our first stop is Bakersfield, CA.  We got a room at the Hampton Inn, we covered 300 miles today from Bullhead City.

Saturday, October 28

Up bright and early, we left Bakersfield after a hotel breakfast.  It was a bit of a slog to get to the Sequoia National Park but in the end I believe it was worth the miles and miles of twisty roads and hairpin turns.

The majesty of the giant Redwoods, I couldn't capture with the camera in any kind of close approximation of reality.

Here's my attempts at it:

Martha the Tree Hugger

Tunnel Log

video by Martha of the CR-V going
through Tunnel Log

Next was a stop at the Auto Log.  Wide enough to park a vehicle on top of it.

Auto Log

Martha on the Auto Log's roots

The General Sherman Tree

The Tough Twins

Catching a Breather after climbing up from
base of General Sherman Tree

A little bit of Fall Color

A tree you can walk through lengthwise...above is 
the top...

and here's the root entrance

Soon, it finally dawned on me that perhaps video was a better way to capture the largeness of the trees:

Here's Martha's contributions to today's photographic efforts:

At the roots of the Auto Log

Roots of the Auto Log

After the Sequoia shenanigans, we made our way back down from 7000 feet and spent the afternoon after a hearty lunch driving to the east side of the Bay Area.

Only one close call while in heavy traffic, managed to avoid a collision.  California traffic is such fun.

We'll be in the Fremont area for the next few days, visiting my folks and doing some limited sight-seeing perhaps.

Friday, October 27, 2023

T-Dub'ing to the Cerbat Mine/Ghost Town

Thursday, October 26

Late afternoon, after a day of not doing much, I rode Yagi, my TW200 towards the location of the ghost town of Cerbat nearby.

Cerbat, a native-american word for Bighorn Sheep, was a mining town back in the day.  It was also the first county seat.  Not much remains of the town.  As far as I could determine, all it's remaining building materials have been bulldozed onto a fenced off area:

Not much to see, I continued on the trail upwards into the nearby mountain peaks ending up after some steep climbing turns at what I call Cerbat Pass:

The point of the V in the pic above is the pass.  The trail dropped down into this area:

Just down the hill from the pass, is the Cerbat Mine entrance, just a short steep climb from the trail.

Once you climb the steep trail, you can see it start near Yagi, it's just a few steps to the mine shaft entrance.  

this one was pretty deep...

The entrances have a barbed wire fence erected to keep the foolish out.  You'd have to be pretty careless to wander into such places.

The view from the highest point near the mine

Remnants of a structure near the mine entrance,
perhaps a small cabin?

I rode back down, slowly, back to the Cerbat town area and from there back to the campsite with no issues.  We leave tomorrow for California to see my folks.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Visiting the Route 66 Museum in Kingman, AZ

Today we drove the Honda CR-V over to nearby Kingman, AZ to check out the Route 66 Museum located at their visitor center.

Lots of historical information, some art work and displays of the early settler days to modern transportation days.  

I liked this comparison shot

During WWII, there was a US Army Airfield here in Kingman:

That's a lot of B-29s!

Several murals depicting the road culture evoked by Route 66:

And of course, the requisite shot of one's vehicle:

After a chore run at Walmart (it was full of shopping zombies), we escaped back to our campsite to relax the afternoon away.

I successfully rigged some wiring to allow for an LED bar mounted on the VRRV's center console to light up each time the brake pedal is activated on the CR-V.  I'm still working on fine-tuning the adjustment of the braking assist mechanism you see.

This way, I know when the towed vehicle's brakes are engaged, so I don't accidentally tighten the brake cable too much.  More to follow.

About a couple of hours before sunset, I went riding along BLM Rd 7000, just to check out the road conditions.  They were fine for my TW200, though some of the more rocky sections caused me slow way down.

Here's typical conditions, the really rocky spots would grab your attention, but most of the trail was like this:

It looks like we'll be the last people to camp at this particular spot.  I spoke to the rancher who was grading the road near our camp, at first to ensure the CR-V wasn' in the way of his grader.

Turns out, he owns the surface rights to this public land from the BLM.  The BLM provides him money to pay for equipment such as the grader to maintain the trails and such.

Seems the campsite we're in, isn't a "designated" campsite in the eyes of the BLM.  The abuse of this land, to which the rancher owns surface rights, has resulted in much hassle and work for said rancher.  He introduced himself as Tex and mentioned having to remove about semi-truckloads of trash from the area around us.  

So, because previous camping swine couldn't fricking do right by others and trashed no only this campsite but other surrounding areas, the rancher will be blocking access to this site after we leave.  (I believe this is in coordination with the BLM)

Can't say I blame him.  We had a good long conversation, and Tex agreed to wait till we leave on Friday morning to start the blocking work on the camp site.  He even invited us to camp at his nearby ranch if ever we're in the area again!

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Displaced to Boondocking near Golden Valley, AZ

Seeking to avoid the chilly temperatures experienced overnight (got down to 39°F (3.8°C)) and neither one of us really happy with the many RVs in the area, we left this morning.

We broke the last bit of the Rule of Three: Stop by 3PM, no more than 300 miles and stay at least 3 nights.

We tried three spots advertised on the iOverlander app near but found them either full or too small or not very level.  So we kept going to just north of Kingman, AZ on AZ Hwy 93 and found a nice level spot not too far from the highway on BLM land.

We gained almost 20 degrees in temperature differential from the last site which was about 3000 feet higher in elevation.  The low tonight for the last place is supposed to be 32°F (0°C), we'll be enjoying a low of 56°F (13°C)

We plan on exploring the Arizona Route 66 museum in Kingman, probably tomorrow.  Some trails around to be explored via Yagi, my TW200, as well.  I like this site, no one around except for a small ranch that is not near.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Now Boondocking near Williams, AZ

We left the vicinity of Big Water, UT this morning and dumped tanks at the Lone Rock US Park Service Campground.  

I retrieved an Amazon pkg from the UPS distribution office in Page, AZ and then we headed out of town, heading south towards Flagstaff, AZ.  

We stopped at the KOA in Flagstaff and after some effort by Martha, managed to get the VRRV's onboard propane tank filled up.  Water was next and no issue.  We both thought that perhaps there's better choices than this KOA in the future.

We left the Flagstaff area behind, heading west on I-40 and soon reached the turn to AZ Highway 64 near the town of Williams, AZ.  Shortly after turning north we took the turn onto a dispersed camping area along County Rd 116a aka Garland Prairie Road.

Lots of rigs strewn about but we managed to find ourselves a semi-isolated niche away from the majority of the other campers already present.  Popular spot!

You can just see our "neighbors"

Sunset was OK

We'll be here less than a week, as we plan on being in Meadview, AZ by Friday.