The beginnings of fall color

The beginnings of fall color

The dry beds here are pretty darn cool

The dry beds here are pretty darn cool

Not going to be a lot of words today since I’m kinda pooped out from the last post and the exhausting week. Thankfully we’re in a soul-soothing place. If there’s anything which can wipe away your worries and refresh your outlook on life it’s the gorgeous Sierra Nevada Mountains. 400 miles of stunning peaks and fall colors stretching from Nevada to California. How can you go wrong?

We always start our southern Hwy 395  journey in the little paradise that is Washoe Lake State Park. After the long drive to get here, you pull in, open your RV door and you just feel good. Humongous sites, gorgeous 360-degree views, a deep natural silence and the heavy odor of sage all around (you do know that sage is the plant of spiritual cleansing right?). I love this spot and we stop here whenever we can, plus it’s close to  easy shopping for stocking-up before crossing the border (just be aware of CA restrictions on bringing in fruits and vegetables).

Rays of sun peek through on a dark, cloudy evening

Rays of sun peek through on a dark, cloudy evening

Not a bad site to rest a wear soul

Not a bad spot to rest a weary soul

There are no end of picturesque trails here. Wide fields of sage-brush that turn orange in the evening light, sprinklings of dry creek beds that just add to the panoramic gorgeousness of it all and distant mountain views topped with white. Between scrambling to the shop for our transmission problem and our various shopping expeditions this is where we’ve decompressed. We’re always given a show here…some pretty sunsets…some fine clouds and they all serve to transition us from our moist, green summer on the coast to the dry yet fabulous Eastern Sierras (it takes the body a few days to adapt from 80% humidity to less than 30%, I tell ya!). The dog is captivated by bouncing rabbits and the cats are happy frolicking in the brush. Ah yes, I can relax here….

Inviting trails at Washoe Lake State Park

Inviting trails at Washoe Lake State Park

But wait, what about all those bloggers I hinted at in the last post? Turns out we’re not the only ones who are drawn to the mountains this time of year. Without realizing it we drove past the lovely RV Sue & Her Canine Crew on our way into Washoe (check out the snow she got caught in a few days later just south of us!). Life On The Open Road has been in the area for weeks catching some gorgeous fall color. Rick & JoAnne are following our footsteps and are somewhere out here. The Nealy’s are a few days ahead of us and we’ve missed them by a step all week. Watson’s Wander are here and got caught in the same snow-storm as RV Sue, but they managed to escape to lower altitudes and we joined them in their new boondocking spot few days later (more on that soon).

Phew!!! Almost seems busy out here doesn’t it? But don’t worry, there’s plenty of space for all. We’ve met and passed, but now we’re (once again) boondocking and alone. That’s where we’ll see ya in the next post…

P.S. Thanks to everyone who shared their own “service horror” stories in the last post. In some ways it’s nice to know we’re not alone, but it’s also shocking to hear some of the stuff others have been through. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Bright trees

Bright trees

Evening lake reflections

Evening lake reflections

More dry creek goodness

More dry creek goodness

A high rainbow

A high rainbow

Some sunset color

Some sunset color

And a bit of fall yellow

And a bit of fall yellow

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47 Responses to Decompressing By The Mountains….Ahhhhhhh!

  1. Robert says:

    Love reading your stories and adventures. I’m retiring in about 2 years and my wife and I will then become full time RVers. One question I have. How large is your motor? Never had one before and the size is a bit intimidating.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Our motorhome is 40-feet (actually she measures 41.6 feet end-to-end) so she’s a “beast” in size. She’s very easy (and an absolute pleasure) to drive, but her large size does make planning a little difficult at times. In retrospect I do wish we’d gotten something a little smaller. Still, I can’t deny how comfortable and luxurious she is.
      Nina

  2. Now you are going to make me feel homesick :( but your lovely photos will perk me up for I know how beautiful the Sierras at this time of the year is.

  3. Larry says:

    Hard to beat decompressing in a place you like to be.

  4. Sue says:

    Homesick, did someone say Homesick! Its hard to fathom being homesick for a place only visited twice, but that is exactly what we’re feeling. Next best thing is to see your pictures and read your posts. Sigh…..
    Sue

  5. rjrvtravels says:

    Great to hear you decompressing…well deserved. We are in Elko, NV on our way to picking up Hwy 395 near Mono Lake. Travel Safe.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sounds like you’re right behind us then. If I don’t see ya on 395 we’ll see you for sure at Sam’s. We plan on spending most of November there.
      Nina

  6. Ralph says:

    Must feel good after all the stress…to just sit back, relax and enjoy the tranquility of the gorgeous high desert!

  7. Sounds like you’re back in your element after your mechanical travails! You’re probably in the best place for fall color west of the Rockies.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I love the fall colors here, but sometimes it’s hard to catch them. The aspens turn so FAST! I think the real peak was probably a few weeks ago, but I’m still hoping for some good color.
      NIna

  8. Gunta says:

    Talk about paw friendly… that rainbow you caught might have been a sundog. Look it up: http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/opt/ice/sd.rxml or better yet google sundog images. :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, it was DEFINITELY a sun-dog, or at least a part of a sun-dog. We saw the other side of it (equidistant from the sun), but didn’t get the entire halo.
      Nina

  9. Sheila says:

    Nina, Paul and Paws, glad you guys are okay and can breath the clean, fresh, sage-tinged air of the mountains. It looks absolutely breathtaking there! Enjoy the solitude and the spirituality of the location. Your photos are beautiful!

    On another note, from your last post, a big thank you for informing everyone about the transmission, filters and oil. We are bringing our coach in tomorrow to have the oil and filters changed. In 2009 we had Transynd oil put in and decided today it was time to have it changed.

    Again, thank you so very much! Hopefully, our paths will one day cross again; it has been awhile since we saw you at McKenney Falls State Park. Take Care and Enjoy Everyday!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Glad my woes could turn into some tips for you. By the way an alternative to getting that oil changed out is to have it analyzed. Transynd can actually go for many, many, many miles and you can maintain warranty simply by having a yearly analysis done. If I get around to it, I’ll write more about oil analysis in a future post. On the other hand changing the oil is always prudent too, so you can’t go wrong with that approach!!
      Nina

  10. Good to read that you are going to have some kick back time alone. Enjoy!

  11. Laura Star says:

    Thank you so much for doing your blog. I have learned so much from you already and will now visit places I would never have known about!

  12. geogypsy2u says:

    Looks like an absolutely perfect place to decompress and adjust to the dry air.

    • libertatemamo says:

      It sure is. I think my skin is finally adjusting to the humidity change. It takes a while to get used to!
      Nina

  13. Diana says:

    I LOVE this trip down 395 – have done it 6 times now, always in the fall. So sorry I missed you guys.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, we’ve always followed your travels (on your blog) down this highway. Love your pics! You seem to capture the color at “just” the right time.
      Nina

  14. From reading numerous blogs, it seems US 395 in NV/CA is THE place to be this fall. I’m amazed at so many bloggers being in the same general vicinity.

    Do you have problems with your pets getting ticks? I always think of that area of high desert as being loaded with them. We used to get them when we were kids and hiked around out there. Just curious what you do to keep your paws crew flea and tick free.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Very, very few ticks in the dry high desert. You’re much more likely to find them in the forests at lower elevations and in moister climates. We’ve never seen a single tick on Polly in the Eastern Sierra’s.
      Nina

  15. Hey, you forgot about us;-) We’ll be in the Alabama Hills until Saturday. The Nealys arrived yesterday and stopped by but we were at the Lone Pine parade. Hope to catch up with them today. This was our first time along 395 and we absolutely love it. We will definitely be back!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Well there you go. I KNEW there were more bloggers out there who I’d missed. You must be enjoying the Film Festival down there. I’ve always heard it’s a blast, but we’ve not yet managed to catch it.
      Nina
      P.S. Just checked your blog and see you’re doing some of our favorite hikes!! Nice pics!

  16. LuAnn says:

    Washoe takes me back to our time there last year, but beyond that it reminds me of that spectacular sunset shot you captured shortly after your arrival. I believe I will never forget that dreamy image. :)

  17. Amanda says:

    Love your photos from Washoe. You’re right that it is pretty little gem of a spot. Glad we caught up with you for a night (or you caught up with us). Look forward to seeing you again here in Bishop.

  18. Yvonne says:

    Hi Paul and Nina … long time reader, first time commenting. Love your stories, tips and advice. I love the Eastern Sierras and happy you are relaxing. I hope to follow in your footsteps in a few years. Keep writing, it gives me hope :)

  19. Cheryl says:

    The Sierras are certainly a change from the coast! enjoy the cool dry air!

    • libertatemamo says:

      It’s been weird adapting to the low humidity after so many months on the coast. My skin is not happy w/ me!
      Nina

  20. jil mohr says:

    sorry we did not make it this year…but who knows maybe next year !

  21. Gayle says:

    Couldn’t find it on your blog, but while in Bishop we would recommend the Treasure Lakes hike, if you haven’t already done it. There is probably quite a bit of snow there now, but that lake would be gorgeous in the snow!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Excellent tip! Indeed we haven’t done this hike. I was looking for new recommendations around Bishop, so this one is perfect! Thanks so much. We will definitely be hitting this in the coming week.
      Nina

  22. Drue and Kena says:

    We live here in Reno and would love to meet you, how long are you going to be there? Is it ok to come see you? We’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and are planning on becoming full timers this next summer and would love to pick your minds.

    • libertatemamo says:

      We’ve already moved on. We’re now boondocking near Mammoth Lakes around 150 miles away. Sorry about that! We’re usually pretty open to folks visiting us, as long as we don’t have too much going on and we’re not in the boonies (we like to hide sometimes). This time through Reno was a busy and fast stop! Maybe next time. Nina

      • Drue and Kena says:

        Sorry we missed you. We just left Lee Vining yesterday. Have happy travels and we’ll see you on the road sometime.

  23. Looks like we’ll just miss you again, as we are leaving the Alabama Hills tomorrow. It is eerily quiet here today after the Film Festival and with campgrounds reopening. Yes, Jennifer Nealy emailed us to ask where we boondocked at Hot Creek, and that was indeed our site. I can see where it would have been tricky for a rig your size to get in and out of there. Even we got a few scratches! Enjoy the rest of your time along 395.
    Gayle

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sorry we missed you, but thanks for the boondocking spot. Full kudos goes to you for finding it!! I’ll be following along on your travels.
      Nina

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