Our plans certainly haven’t. We have gone from the frying pan into the fire or I should say, from one fire to another fire.
We left one fire at home only to get stopped by another fire in the Eastern Sierra.
We left home at 6:10 AM on Thursday to get ahead of the morning rush hour traffic. We stopped in Fillmore for an Egg McMuffin and that put us going up I-5, the “Grapevine” when the temp was only 72 degrees and little traffic. Perfect! We stopped in Mojave for fuel and then carried on North on Hwy 395.
Our original destination was the Elks Club in Ridgecrest but the temperature was predicted to be 108 degrees so we abandoned that in favor of Boulder Creek RV Park South of Lone Pine. However, when we got that far we decided it was too early to stop so continued on to Brown’s Town at Bishop, CA.
The temperature here was 103 so we stayed inside with the AC on the remainder of the afternoon. It did cool off overnight so sleeping was ok.
Sierra Nevada Mountains from Bishop.
The next morning we fueled up in Bishop and Clyda said she saw a sign that Hwy 395 was closed at Lee Vining due to a fire. I immediately got on my phone and confirmed that yes, there was a fire and yes, the road was closed. Our plan was to go to Glass Creek at Mammoth anyway so that would be a good place to wait out the road closure if we could get in.
We arrived about 10:30 and the place looked pretty full. As we drove around a guy stopped us and said only one site was open if we wanted it. So, we took it. We were lucky as more rigs showed up and there were no open sites. The bad news is that the campground was full of off road vehicles of all kinds along with their big motor homes and long trailers. It is not a very nice place anymore and doubt if we will every stop there again.
As the highway continued to closed we decided to take a picnic lunch and go to June Lake for the day. When we arrived at June Lake Junction it appeared from the traffic that the road may be open so I stopped and asked a waitress if in fact the road was open and she replied “Yes.” So, we turned around and went back to the camp ground for the RV. After a quick lunch we hooked up and left.
When we got to the Hwy 120 turnoff to Benson a sign said “Hwy 395 closed.” Now what do we do. I kept on driving into Lee Vining and at the North end of town all traffic was stopped. We pulled off to the side and talked to a young couple walking back from where the road was closed by vehicles with flashing lights and they told us that “the road was closed by a rock slide from the fire until Cal-Trans could install a K-rail to contain the slide and who knew how long that would be.”
So we made a u-turn and stopped along the road while we decided “whats next?” I just so happens that Mono Vista RV park was right there so we pulled in and secured a site for the night. This park was on our original schedule when we first planned this trip but got dropped when our plans changed. I guess it was meant to be.
Fire visible from our campground.
We are right next to the fire and also within view of the road closure. And hour after we got here they opened the road one lane at a time with escort. So, we relaxed along with every one else in the same situation and will leave early in the morning for our next stop, by passing Carson City, NV and going on to Likely, CA which will put us back on schedule.