We’re back in one of my favorite places…tucked into a private boondocking spot in the zany rocks of the Alabama Hills. I’ve blogged about this area many times before and it’s a go-to stop for us everytime we drive 395. I call it our “putzing” spot ‘coz that’s mostly what we do when we’re here. The Alabama Hills is a maze of 80-200 million year old rocks, dirt roads, hundreds of “hidden” arches and all kinds of fun nooks and cranny’s to explore. It’s famous as a Western film location,  plus it’s backed by majestic 14,505 feet (4,421 m) Mount Whitney. With so much stuff in one spot, why would you want to go anywhere else?

We actually came here a tad earlier than planned.  On Sunday we were hit with a sudden forecast of deep freezes and very high winds. So we escaped our exposed site in the Volcanic Tablelands and made the short 60-mile trek to Lone Pine. Early Monday afternoon was eerily still, as it often is before a storm, but that night the winds started….rocking, rolling, rumbling and tearing. We could hear the gusts coming down the mountains like a ghostly freight train building and roaring until they punched the RV with shuddering force. Whooo wheeeee! Needless to say we didn’t get much sleep that night and were crawling the walls paws and all by 4am, way (way) too many hours before sunrise. We spent the rest of the day ambling around like zombies, but oh my….fresh snow on the mountains and those early colors were pretty darn gorgeous (not often this late-riser catches a sunrise I tell ya)!

But of course we’re not the only ones hanging here. I’d been following RV Sue And Her Canine Crew on their travels down 395 and finally caught up to the lovely lady a few miles down the road yesterday afternoon. She’s got her own little private spot, as RV Sue likes to do and I was met in fine style by the supersonic little wiggling butts of Spike & Bridget running down to meet me as I got out of the car. Such cuties! We passed a lovely afternoon of chatting, exchanging blog stories and generous doggie-licks, plus I picked up some excellent tips for our potential trip to Washington next year. Always a treat to catch up with Sue and we wish her the best of travels south!

And the adventures are not over yet. We have a little mini-gathering of young Haloween RVers planned for tomorrow night with potential ghoulish consequences (yet to be seen). Plus of course, we’ve got buckets of additional putzing to do….putzing in our spacious campsite, putzing on our bikes, putzing amongst the rocks…putz, putz, putz…there is no end of laid-back and inconsequential activities to keep paw & pals occupied here and it’s what we plan to do with avid concentration for the rest of the week.

P.S. Interesting little side-note -> we got caught in a massive storm last year in the Alabama Hills just around this same time PLUS we also met RV Sue in the very same place. Talk about déjà vu!

P.P.S. I’m still computer-struggling w/ Paul’s stupid (sorry honey) machine and cannot for the life of me get the bleeding thing color calibrated. So, all my whites look blue, my reds looks pink, skin tones look ghostly and I have literally no idea how my pics are turning out. Hope they look ok, and if they don’t blame the machine…

56 Responses to Putzing, Putzing, Putzing…And RV Sue!

  1. It looks like you are having a wonderful time! What a beautiful and fascinating place! Definitely on our “to do” list! :-) Hopefully we will meet up with you all one day (soon)!!

    • libertatemamo says:

      This is definitely one of the absolutely fav spots on 395. I love everything about it…the hills, the mountains and the western movie history!

  2. Sue Malone says:

    It all looks just great, Nina. Amazing how much difference 60 miles can make for temperatures. Glad you weathered the wind storm and are back in the beloved Alabama Hills.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I have to admit the temps aren’t too different down here, but the protection of the hills was a definite bonus during the storm. I’ve no doubt our night was a little more relaxed than it would have been up in our wide-open space by Bishop.

  3. Smitty says:

    Paul looks disgustingly relaxed. Can’t you find him a project? If you get stuck finding one, my DW is a master at assigning ‘very important projects to keep you from sitting’ tasks…. Feel free to use her as your lifeline call.

    The pics look great to my eyes. Always enjoy the sunrise/sunset (some hard to tell the difference without knowing the geography, assume mountains to the West due to your location….).

    You two seem to keep having fun, keep it up!

    • libertatemamo says:

      LOL…I have to admit Paul’s been pretty busy with putzing himself, some of it underneath the rig checking out bits & pieces there.
      And yes, mountains to the West of us here. We are on the Eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

  4. I don’t think you’re capable of posting a ‘bad’ picture if you tried! :)

    Keep enjoying all the amazing, and cheers to the convergences – please pass our regards on to everyone. And see you guys soon!!

  5. rjrvtravels says:

    We left Lone Pine/Alabama Hills late last week and are now at Sam’s and also got the brunt of the front passing through. Whew…glad that is over.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I bet the winds rocked you down there. The San Gorgonio pass which is just west of you is one of the windiest points in the area (thus all those windmills)! We’ll be joining you at Sam’s next week so we’ll see ya soon.

  6. Welcome back to our backyard! It is darn cold right now but the winds have died down. Have fun putzing.

  7. Greg says:

    The colors of the pics look good to me! So good in fact I have put one of them as my desktop background picture! I’m so very jealous!!!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Good! I really can’t tell (at all) on Paul’s computer so I’m pretty much processing these pics in the “dark”. Just doing the most minor of touch-ups and no color adjustments & hoping it turns out OK. Looks like it’s working!

  8. Your pictures still look great! I certainly remembered those high winds that also rocked as last year. Alabama hills is Steve’s favorite boon docking spot and we will be back.

    • libertatemamo says:

      The winds can get pretty gnarly in these mountains. Best to buckle down and stay low whenever they rear their ugly heads. It’s back to lovely, calm, sunny weather again today. Perfect for more of that putzing we were planning on doing!

  9. Jennifer Jensen says:

    First time commenter here. Stumbled on your blog last year researching Convict Lake. We seem to frequent the same spots and we have a big rig too. I always know that if you can fit, we can fit. We aren’t full timers yet but get out every chance we can. Hwy 395 is a favorite of our, in fact we were just over there a month ago. Fished the Walker, went hot tubbing and stayed down by Toms Place. Not sure if you know but Indian Wells Brewing further south is awesome.

    • libertatemamo says:

      How fun! Where did you stay by Tom’s Place? We’ve never stayed in that area. And no, I did not know about Indian Wells Brewing…I will have to check it out.

      • Jennifer says:

        We stayed at Tuff campground on the east side of Hwy 395. Campground was walking distance to Toms Place and fit our 35 ft. fifth wheel toyhauler. We like to boondock also but had friends traveling with us so we checked out the campground. I love forest service campgrounds.

        • libertatemamo says:

          Thanks! I’m always looking for new stops around 395 so this is good info. We often stay at the forest service campgrounds too. Many of them are lovely.

  10. That area reminds me of a little bit of paradise. Actually, you shouldn’t even be blogging about it. People might start coming and invade your privacy…lol

  11. Kentster says:

    We are just now departing the tablelands. Pretty wild but beautiful. Snow in white mountains too. We wre going to drive up to bristlecones via silver canyon but snow a bit much on top. So next year. Rain shower dampened the sand and the grader came by this ironing to “smooth” out the washboard road. Much more dust. The winds weren’t too bad but we were camped 90 degrees to you guys. Heading down this afternoon to Tuttle creek and Alabama hills to put also. Any suggestions for sites that aren’t occupied?

  12. Marcia GB says:

    It’s fun to read about some of my favorite bloggers crossing paths.

  13. earthdancerimages says:

    I can feel for you and the gusty wicked winds! We haven’t had much in the way of wind since we left NM! Glad to know you were able to catch up with RVSue! Her 2 dogs really are butt wigglers for sure!

  14. Caryl says:

    Ok…. What’s up with Washington? I was just checking out the San Juan Islands (our brand new National Monument)!!! And thinking, I wonder if Nina & Paul have been there yet? ( haven’t made it through the complete blog but working on it to keep the dream alive). We were thinking we might head that way if the house sold in the spring, but today found out I need another surgery on my neck…. Bummer, but we set it for next Tuesday with hopes to be healed by the time the house sells.

    Pix look gr8, don’t sweat it… I love PS ( is that your choice of graphic software??)…. But you know life is to short and ‘putzing’ is so much more fun!! Rob and I are of the opinion there are way too many miles of beaches, mountains, forests, deserts and highlands to cover before the ‘next great adventure!’ So, don’t waste it on the little stuff. Do it when your young, and be not fearful of the next challenge!!! GO!!! NINA AND PAUL… and all of us who dared to do OUR lives the way we see it!!! Bravo us !!! Yes, the wine is lovely….. He he … ;)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks for the encouragement & enthusiasm…I love it!! I do use Photoshop…have for years and can’t seem to use anything else. Great software program once you get over the learning curve.

      And as for Washington. YES, it’s been completely neglected on our travels. We’ve been to Cape Disappointment, but that’s the extent of our travels there. So, LOTS to see and do. We may try to spend a few months there next year. We’ll see…jello plans you know.


  15. placestheygo says:

    You are doing such a wonderful job building our anticipation for the 395 trip. Every post just adds to this excitement.

    Love you new site. What a view!

    How cool to catch up with RV Sue and the crew!

    Enjoy your putzing time!!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks Pam! I know you’d go nuts for all the rocks here. Your kinda hiking! Plus there are lots of great jeeping routes in the area. Nina

  16. War and Wind, “what are they good for…absolutely nothin’, say it again.”

  17. rvsueandcrew says:

    Good heavens! What’s with the faces on my crew? Is that what all your lovin’ does to them? They look insane.

    I saw you, Paul, and Polly today riding bikes in the Hills. Well, Polly wasn’t. She was running along with you, being happy. Anyway . . . The crew and I were climbing boulders and I saw you from afar. I jumped up and down and hollered and then figured I’d better give up before I fell off a rock.

    I didn’t connect that it was here that we first met. Great post, as usual. Until we meet again … stay safe and keep wheeling it!


    • libertatemamo says:

      I’m blind as a bat! I admit I did not notice a thing, but I’m often in my own little world when we’re biking. Sorry I missed ya on the rocks! If you come this way again do stop by the rig. You are always welcome!

      And the pics of the crew were pretty funny. I thought Bridget looked rather regal, but Spike was definitely giving me the crazy eye LOL! So fun to see you all.


  18. You may not see the colors the right way on that computer, but they are great in the ones you post–as always.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Cool! I pretty much just left the colors alone (the way they came out directly from the camera) and that seems to have worked. It makes for some weird-looking shots on Paul’s laptop tho’!

  19. Allison says:

    Your photos are lovely as always. The cat looks very happy. I love that part of the world. We are absolutely coming back next year. Looking forward to seeing where you go next.

    • libertatemamo says:

      The cats are just having a total blast. Yesterday Taggart climbed about 20 feet up a rock and then just sat there like a queen surveying her domain.

  20. geogypsy2u says:

    Being I’ve never been there I love when you blogging folks do so I can see it through your lens. Which by the way look good to me.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thank you! Glad my pics are turning out ok. I know I have some photography aficionados as blog readers (including you) so I don’t want to disappoint.

  21. Larry says:

    Really like the red sky shots. We may have to give boondocking a try if we ever get all systems functioning reliably.

  22. diuggo says:

    Have you guys ever visited the Burro Schmidt Tunnel? Not far from you, hand-dug by some guy over 75 years ago.

    • libertatemamo says:

      No…actually never even heard of it. I will look it up!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Found it! I see it’s close(ish) to Red Rock Canyon State Park. That’s a bit too far off our route this time around, but it looks interesting. I’ll add it to the list for the future. If we ever take 14 down this would be a fun stop.

  23. Hi, new commenter here! Started following you before we left Maryland to fulltime last November. Almost a year for us. Your blog has been great! We’ve learned so much from you two. Currently we are in the Moab area, so your postings from here were really useful. Discovered we were in your same site at Big Bend Campground. We are currently at Dead Horse State Park, mostly for the electric, water, and dumping, but spent last night at Horsethief, almost alone! Nice after the crowded Colorado River sites. Tried to go where you are last winter after visiting Death Valley, (which we loved), but it looked like snow up there and headed for the Pacific Coast instead. Love reading about “younger” fulltimers like you two! We decided not to wait until retirement. Sold the house, quit jobs, and hit the road. Not as young as you two, but not doing this on a pension either! Life’s too short to put off the dream!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Lovely to hear your story and have you along for the ride on the blog. Always makes me happy to hear from others who use our tips & live their dream! Good travels to the coast and maybe see ya down the road.

  24. Kentster says:

    How is the Verizon signal in the Alabama hills? Can you get a signal with your antenna and amp?

    • libertatemamo says:

      We have a usable signal at our current site, but the Alabama Hills have notoriously iffy signal. Some sites have some signal, some sites have only 1X, some sites have none at all. So, it’s a bit of a lottery out here. If you need a solid signal you’re better off heading to Tuttle Creek BLM campground. Its only just up the way, but gets solid 4G LTE, plus it’s only $5/night.

      • kent says:

        Thanks NIna. Yes we elected the Tuttle Creek option ($2.5 per night for “Certified Old Farts” like us) after recon of the Alabama Hills. Love the place but needed the reliable internet. Did see your campsite and did visit with the Wynn’s a bit north of you.

  25. LuAnn says:

    I remember the big storm in the Hills last year, when we left early. After seeing the photos you posted, I wish we had stayed. Enjoy your remaining time there. :)

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