Friday, May 20, 2016

Lone Pine, CA to Sparks, NV

This was the forecast for Lone Pine yesterday.  I spent hours fretting about would we have to bring the slides in, would I be able to record the season finale of The Blacklist; important stuff like that.  You know what happened?  Nothing.  Nada.  Niente.

* timing... strong winds are expected to develop this afternoon 
  and peak this evening before subsiding late Thursday night. 

* Winds... 35 to 45 mph with gusts to 70 mph. Strongest winds 
  expected along and west of US 395. 

* Impacts... strong damaging winds are possible which will make 
  outdoor recreation difficult and dangerous. Trees may be 
  damaged or downed and power disruptions are possible. Blowing 
  dust may make for hazardous driving and zero visibility. 
  Crosswinds will pose significant danger to high profile 

After checking the weather forecast yesterday afternoon for our next planned stop, we cancelled our next two stops and rebooked for Sparks NV.  It's not great here, but it's not snowing. 
Today we got the wind.  Part of the time it was behind us but much of the time it came from the left.  It was a very noisy day in the bus.
This was right after leaving Lone Pine - a down slope gust of wind really pushed the bus, and then raised the dust.  I was questioning the wisdom of pushing on; we decided if it got too bad, we'd stop in Bishop or Mammoth Lakes.

I was driving the truck here, we were on our way to Bishop for diesel.  There is a Shell station next to the Von's that has very accessible fuel pumps.  He's also quite reasonable, $2.59 a gallon.

This is Mono Lake.  It's hard to see, but there are white caps and foam streaks on the water.  It was impressive.

Bridgeport, a cute little town in Northern California.

The second station with RV accessible diesel pumps is in Bridgeport.  Look on the left behind the telephone pole.  This guy is very expensive, $4.05 a gallon.

It's a beautiful drive along US395.

This gentleman is cycling up a 13 mile long grade, into the howling wind.  My hat is off to him for perseverance.

Snow melt fed river, it was moving along briskly.

We arrived in Sparks wearing tee shirts and shorts.  It was so cold after coming from the desert.  I had to put on jeans, a fleece vest and a rain jacket to stay warm.  Due to the wind, my job was to make sure the bay doors that open up did not come down on Jim's head and kill him.
Later, watching the news, we saw this.  It's snowing in the mountains.  Donner Pass on I80 is closed due to snow and multiple accidents.  It's May 20th!

Other notes on the route.  There is a new truck plaza on the southern end of Gardnerville.  It's the Wa She Shu Casino and fuel stop.  Both the gas and diesel pumps are really nice, and it's really big for easy access.  Thanks to Gayle for telling us about it.  Driving in Gardnerville is a little slice of hell; there are many stoplights and much traffic.
I don't know if we'll go this way as a transit again.  It's fairly tedious driving with up, down and twisty roads.  Today was particularly tedious due to wind, but the up down is always there.
We're in Sparks for four nights.  There will be dead bug removal from the front of the bus, laundry, vacuuming and trips to Trader Joe's and the grocery store.  We also need water filters and new short water hoses.  We know how to have fun in the second largest gambling city in Nevada.


  1. Our friend Paul is also in Sparks and told me about the snow. Not good. We've had some wind lately but nothing really bad.

  2. Why the $4+ gas prices? I'm confused?! That looks like a scene from a couple of years ago, not now.

    1. There are not many places to buy diesel for a Class A on 395. There is Bishop and there is Bridgeport. He has a captive audience, so he's charging what he wants to. I feel sorry for the people that live in the area. Surprisingly, there are only two truck plazas in Reno/Sparks, and one of them is only accessible from I80 east. This is a fuel free zone! That makes the new Garderville station such a hot ticket.

  3. The cloud action in that photo where you are driving the truck is just spectacular!