Bishop, California: A restful night in quiet Lone Pine, and we were most relieved to find no coolant leaks/drips under our motorcoach this morning. Checkout time is ten o’clock, but the manager (who kept phoning Dave, so worried about us broken down and stranded on the side of the road Thursday), suggested we should just sleep-in and rest up after our ordeal. How sweet.
This stretch of 395 is very scenic. Though mostly devoid of trees, the view of The Sierra shooting straight up - topped with saw-tooth crags - is inspiring. There is still a bit of snow up there as well. Below the mountains are many colorful lava flows, all described in scientific detail by My Geologist. Geologists make good travel companions.
We arrived early afternoon to our reserved campsite south of downtown Bishop. Brown’s Town is an old campground. It’s difficult to call it a RV park. No sites have sewer hookups and only 30 (not 35) amp electrical is offered. We blew our breaker with only one air conditioner employed… and we must go to a breaker box to reset the outlet to our site. Our site, #11, is on grass and someone planted a wooden post making it nearly impossible to make the turn into the campsite. The Jeep was unhitched, just in case My Driver would need to back up. Not necessary though. DT drives this thing like it’s a VW Bug.
We are most discouraged with our campsite, but decided to forge ahead. We have not been to Bishop in like forever, but our niece, Meghan, lived here for several years and raves about Bishop. The biggest tourist draw in Bishop (except for the scenery, hot springs, and hiking) is Schat’s Bakkery. This restaurant/bakery/deli is always packed with locals and tourists. The bakery was packed (I MEAN SARDINE PACKED) with people/tourists from all over the world, and DT and I were the only customers wearing masks. Schat's are famous for their Sheepherder Bread. We bought a loaf, plus ordered sandwiches to-go and went across the street to a city park to enjoy our sandwiches in the shade.
We were joined at our picnic table by an Indian man traveling for several weeks on his motorcycle and camping throughout California. He said he did this every year. We learned quite a bit about this talkative and very opinionated guy, and he was sharing his insightful opinions (all British people are rude) with us. He has a PhD in quantum mathematics, but remains with his parents on their peanut farm in India. His sister is a physician in Los Angeles, so he keeps his bike with her for his annual two-month vacay. He asked us where we were going, so we told him we were going to the World Athletics Championships in Oregon and talked about the Indian champion javelin thrower, Neeraj Chopra. Our new friend had never heard of Chopra. Olympic Gold Medalist! In his family you only need a PhD to please your parents. If he wanted to play sports, his father would have chopped off his legs. That is a bit harsh. While we were “dining” and
chatting with listening to our new best friend, a pickup truck drove by towing an 18-foot travel trailer. The man started ranting about “that guy taking his house with him on vacation” - OMG - what would this guy have thought about our bus.
Our niece told us about the chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons at Schat’s Bakery. We bought a box, and Dave snapped a photo of make-up-free me ready to dive in to the delectable delight. I rudely sent this pix to Meghan. Today is her birthday and she is two days over-due with a daughter. I’m so mean.
We had quite the afternoon in our campsite. Basically without power (Dave said he found several campers running their generators to fuel their needs - DON’T STAY HERE) we stayed outside in the shade, where a nice breeze was blowing. Dave decided to watch the Giants v Padres, which required using the outside TV for the first time in like forever. New batteries were required in the remotes and we had to remind ourselves how to actually operate the outside TV. Once settled, we enjoyed a nice shady afternoon. Then, we wanted to lower the window awnings to block the sun… which required more new batteries! Next, new batteries were required for our lantern needed for our outdoor dinner. The bulb in our nightlight burned out.
While we were sitting outside watching the Giants beat San Diego, a guy came by and asked if it was us he saw parked by the side of the road a few days ago on Highway 395 & 14. Honestly, with this paint job, we can’t even lie. Yup, ‘twas us. He heard of our tale and then headed off to catch a few (catch/release) fish before the sun fell.
Enchiladas were on the meal plan, but knew using the oven would blow the breaker. Dave grilled chicken thighs and I made a big tomato salad. Speaking of food:
There is a new spice rack situation! Version #3 in 22 years. Starting in 1999, I used a test-tube situation in a rack about the size of a loaf of bread. This worked well, took up little space, but the tubes didn't hold much and the thin glass tubes were easy to break... and the company went out of business and I eventually switched to round tins. Stick-on magnets kept the tins stacked on top of one another, but they fell forward every time we drove anywhere, and after several years of use, the spices would get gunked-up inside the lids and were impossible to open. Version #3 is wonderful! Dave adjusted the shelf height so the center spinner is tucked under the lip of the cabinet, so the towers cannot fall forward - and the glass jars have remained securely inside their holders so far. I had 38 spices in the bus, and three of these racks holds 36 spices. If I need fennel seeds or black sea salt, I'm out of luck. These labels were used to identify the spices and I tell you - every spice you can think of are included.
Until my next update, I remain, your powerless correspondent.