By: Bears Butt


Hello again!  It’s been several days since I have had a chance to get on here and visit!  I hope all is well with you.

My last story was while we were in Tonopah Nevada, home of the “next big deal” for speculators.  I talked with the owner of the RV place we were staying at and he/they are speculating on that area to become the next largest mining operation area in all of the U.S.  It seems that several companies have discovered gold in the surrounding mountains and are ripping and tearing things apart big time.  Hundreds of miners have come into town on temporary basis to do this work.  Office workers, heavy equipment operators, laborers of every kind and of course the money guys with the backing dollars.

What this means to the local economy is a boom.  This RV operator has expanded to what he has, which is 9, 2 family dwellings (mobile homes separated by a petition, each with their own 2 bedrooms, a small kitchen, living room and bathroom).  They are mounted on their own bases and a skirt put around them making them look permanent.  And several full hookup pull through units for larger RV’s.  Their plans are to expand to include another area and eventually will have up to 90 of the mobile home units and up to 200 RV pull throughs.

If you think about that, those units would accomodate a ton of people and at a pretty minimum investment.  He said they would rather cater to the full time residence than to us mobile campers.  But, as long as he had an opening he would gladly take our $24 for one night.  We were glad too as our next choice was another two plus hour drive to find a place for the night.

Additional economy boosts will come in the service industries surrounding the areas, including the gambling, drinking and of course “massage parlors”.

So, we left Tonopah the next morning and ventured toward South Lake Tahoe.  Our route took us toward the big burg of Bishop, California.  Our plan was then to travel north on that highway up to a town near South Lake Tahoe (Gardnerville, I think) and then try and find another over night spot.  Maybe even going as far West as Pollack Pines.  When we left Tonopaw I would have bet a six pack we would not make it to Pollack Pines.

During the route and as we were approaching our South Lake Tahoe destination, my navigator (Sherry) announced that coming up soon was a “short cut” road that would cut several miles off our trek should we employee the idea…of course I was open to most anything especially if it cut time off our ride to our next Point B.  We took the short cut.

A very narrow paved road with signs saying speed limit 25 and 15 and 10 and 5 on the beginning side and 5 and 10 and 15 and 25 and even one that said 35 on the other side.  We climbed up a very steep grade for about 6 miles and without a GPS to know exactly how many feet we climbed, I’d have to guess we climbed over 6,000 feet. The coach somehow made it without too much trouble.  Once on top we had to descend the other side down to our “common road” out of South Lake Tahoe and on to Pollock Pines.  I dropped the coach into “grundy” (automatic number 1) and tried to stay off the brakes coming off that steep grade…try that some of you truckers!  In grundy, the coach will max out at about 15 mph and the tach will be over 3,000…I had to apply brakes often to keep the rpm’s under 3,000 and once we were off the mountain I was pleased to still feel brakes when I pushed on the peddle.

For you up and coming vacationers, I suggest that unless you are driving a motorcycle, do not take Nevada State Scenic highway 89…if you see it on the map..ignore it. Yes it’s very pretty going up and down the road, IF you have a chance to take you eyes off the road, otherwise hold on tight!

Safely on highway 50 headed toward Sacramento, California, we soon found ourselves in Pollock Pines…it was about 6 p.m.  I went into a Safeway store for ice and to ask about overnight camping.  One place was all they could help us with and it was about 4 or so miles out of town…a place called “Sly Park”.

For you gamblers, doesn’t “sly park” sound like a slippery little place?  Our hands were tide, we had to go there and hope they had a slippery place for us to camp overnight.  As it turned out it is a State campground that surrounds a nice little lake.  The pines and oak trees are mixed together and both species grow REALLY tall. Every camp spot has a table, fire ring and BBQ stand.  Each camp spot is marked off with large rocks designating “your space” from the adjacent camp spot.  It was actually a very nice place and we settled into what they called Hill top, camp space 119.

Nestled in the pines/oaks with only three other campers in the whole area, it was quiet, dark and very peaceful.  I highly recommend that place to anyone traveling in this area.  It must get a lot of use as there is nothing that resembles grass on the ground anywhere.  Squirrels must be accustomed to being down near the waters edge camp spaces as there were none up where we were staying, but it was ok, we had “doodle bugs” up where we were and I made sure the kids in the camp next to us became aware of them and how to get them to come out of their holes before we left.

Leaving Pollack Pines and Sly Park, we headed for our final destination….San Rafael, California Via Sacramento.

Coming out of the higher country East of Sacramento you could feel the temperature change dramatically from cool to HOT to HOTTER and then Humid Hot…as that was taking place around us, so was the traffic.  We went from two lanes of “freeway”, into towns with signs that said “freeway ends” with no apparent reason for those signs, as the speed limit was the same and the lanes continued just like they were 10 miles before that sign and 10 miles after that sign, then to three lanes, all going the same direction and then four.  Suddenly a three lane freeway joined into ours from Reno, suddely it dawned on me that I was on a freeway with eight lanes going one direction.  65 mph, and the lanes were just as wide as the coach.  Every lane had a car, truck, big rig, camper, Uhaul, motorcycle…something in it, bumper to bumper for as far as you could see ahead.  I didn’t dare look into either mirror for fear of drifting into the lane next to me and crashing into another car or truck.  Straight ahead stare was my poise and I couldn’t help it.  What does the surrounding country side look like through that stretch of road? Don’t ask me, I was on top of California plate “givemeabreak”…..and hoping like heck that if I have to brake hard, the guy behind me has insurance, because all I could see of his rig in my back window was the luggage on top of his car.  I would hope he had a sign on the back of his rig that read “car in tow”.

I kept looking up at the signs over the freeway, San Franscisco, left 4 lanes, and I stayed in those left lanes…soon the sign read San Franscisco left 3 lanes, I knew we were starting to leave Sacramento behind.  Another sign read Right lanes exit only to some other “San city” and then I knew Sacramento was behind me…my gaze outside the window suddenly changed and I could feel freedom around me, I started to look at the country side again…fields, hay bales, space between vehicles, even though it was still crowded it wasn’t like “back there”.  The tension began to become less and less on my shoulders and neck.  My eyes began to wander again to the vitals of the coach and suddenly I realized we needed fuel!  $4.08 a gallon!  Try that in your 60 gallon tank!

I missed the freeway entrance from that stop and ended up on a frontage road that was taking us toward some farmers fields where they were loading large dump trucks with cherry tomatoes, I turned around in a dirt driveway and headed back toward the gas station and to the freeway entrance. Driving down the road I was thinking it would be about 4 more hours to our destination when suddenly Fairfield came on one of the signs!  Fairfield!  That’s where Marlin lives!  She only lives a few miles from Manard and Helen!  We are almost there!  But we haven’t had lunch!  I have to pull over so we can eat that great sandwichs Sherry made us two days ago and we split them, just for this occation.  I took a “go nowhere” exit and went to a wide spot in the road.  It had a sign saying $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people found guilty of animal abuse etc. A place that I thought nobody would use for the next three weeks.  The little paved road that we got there on was used quite a lot, but the dirt road we were facing couldn’t possibly have any traffic on it, especially today, Thursday at 1:30 in the afternoon.  Boy was I fooled.  Before we could get the sandwiches out of the fridge, a car drove down the dirt road and cautiously went past us as the driver looked to see what we were doing.  About half way through the sandwich another car went by with its driver looking and gawking at us and then as I was gulping down my last bite, “the old lady” went by and she nearly broke her neck making sure we saw her looking at us as she went past at 2 mph trying to memorize our license plate (I’m sure…WynSher)….

Back on the freeway headed toward San Rafael, Sherry’s GPS calling to us to turn here and turn there and when we were at the bottom of the hill below Manard and Helens it tells us to turn right…Turning right would have gotten us the distance of the length of the coach and up against a guard rail overlooking the stream that flows near their place.   I went forward and then turned around in the street and went back and then turned right…there we are…home away from home at Helen and Manards place.  A very beautiful home tucked away in a secluded sanctuary called “Upland Oak” and here I sit typing this and seeing a sign that says I am camped at the corner of “Oak Tree Circle and Upper Oak Drive”. 

The neighbor across the street right now has just taken his garbage cans out and is separating his stuff into the various containers, paper only, plastic only, cans and etc in the third.  I suppose it will come to that in Willard some day, but I think our backwards ways just might not have it come very soon.

What’s on tap for the next few days?  A dinner expected with additonal cousins Mike and Ilene and our loved Aunt LeOra tonight.  I’m not sure about tomorrow (Saturday, I think) and Sunday we move our operation over to second cousin Darrel and Kathy (she is the cousin) Anderson’s place north of here.  Darrel is a race car driver and doer of many things made of money and they bought a 3 acre place up on a hill in Pentaloma.  Our coach will be camped there on Sunday night.  A large family gathering is planned in our honor that afternoon and then our venture will begin to take us home on either Monday or Tuesday…I’ll try to write daily, but if something keeps me from doing it…be aware…we seem to be safe at the moment and the authorities have not even given us a warning ticket yet. 

My only concern at this point is that we are now being blanketed by all those warnings that are on so many of the things we enjoy back home…”has been known to cause cancer in people from Calfornia”…wish us luck!

Bears Butt

July 19, 2013

Written on July 19th, 2013 , Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt


Hey!  It’s me again!

This mornings findings that the hotel wanted to charge us for 10 days stay at their “?wonderful?” RV park was quite a shock.  I ended up going to the office and talking with the boss…she called the bank where our credit card is and they said they would immediately re-instate the extra charge so it was available to us, even though the on line banking still shows it pending.  I was not a happy guy, but happier than if that had not been done.  One more in a series of ugly things happening on the beginning of this trip.

Anyway, that’s behind us.

Today was a decision day…go home…go on?  We parked along the highway in the shade of a tree and talked about our options.  We finally decided to go as far as Tonapah (whereever that is).  If we don’t have any more issues we will continue toward California…if issues arise, we have a shortcut toward Ely and then up to Wendover and home.

It has been hotter than a well diggers butt down here.  I saw two lizards cross the road today and I understand why they are so fast…their little feet must be burning up as they cross the road.  On a sorrier note a little bird was among several playing “chicken” with the coach this afternoon and he caught a wrong up draft….splat! 

The road between Mesquite and Tonapah (option 1) is a long and very hot sucker.  The highlight of it were two things…one…Since part of the road is called the “Extraterrestrial road” because of its close proximity to Area 51 and all the Alien sightings…about half way down the road is a place called “A le Inn”…we stopped, took some pics and I had a beer.  Sorry about not having pictures to show you right now, but with things the way they are I figured you reading what is going on is better than a thousand pictures…NOT!

The next best thing was not having any problems!

But there was a third good thing…Big Horn Sheep!!!  I just happened to look over when we made a turn at Warm Springs and saw some deer laying next to a small creek…I thought they were deer at first and then I thought I saw a big horn sticking out from ones head…I pulled over and sure enough the binocs showed some HUGE horns on a couple of them…and more were coming off the rocky mountain behind those!  My first time seeing those critters!

So, here we are in Tonapah, at a newly established RV park that is growing as we type.  It will be a great place some day, but as for now it’s a park in the gravel off the side of the road sort of thing with cabins being erected behind where the rv’s park.  No trees, no grass, but it’s quiet and nobody is yelling and screeming or anything.  We will be fine with this spot tonight.

Since we didn’t have any issues today, we will probably cross over the Nevada/Calif. line tomorrow and continue toward San Fran. Maybe I should have Sherry go drop a few dollars in a slot to try and recover some of our losses so far on this trip.

Tonapah was established when a camper lost his mule and when he found it several hundred yards from his camp, he picked up a rock to chuck it at the mule…the rock was sort of heavy and when he looked at it it was solid silver!

Bears Butt

July 16, 2013 P.M.

Written on July 16th, 2013 , Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt

Not so fun a ride thus far on the vacaction. Yesterday while stopped for a roadside lunch we were informed by a guy who was riding a golf cart and looking like he was picking up garage, that the drivers front tire looked like it had a problem. Looking at it you could see it worn very badly on the inside of the tread. He immediately noticed a spot where the cord of the tire was showing. Not good!

Further investigation and an estimated $1000 we could be the proud owners of 2 new tires and new front shocks.

Feeling like we were being fished, we chose to drive the additional 50 miles to the next and larger town. That 50 miles was long and a sweaty palm trip, knowing that at any moment the tire could blow and send us into the world of the unknown.

We made it and were given the name of a store that could help us from our roadside insurance folks, $800 later we are the proud owners of two new front tires and two new shocks!

We got to St. George later than we wanted had a short but good visit with one of Sherrys sisters and then on to Mesquite to eat supper and visit another sis. It was a good but short visit, we were very tired after such a long day and it was almost 10 pm, we got checked in to the RV park had a drink and hit the rack.

This morning Sherry looks at our credit info and finds where the gal at the desk last night had signed me up for 10 nights at this site.

Folks this vacation is not shaping up so well!

July 16, 2013 Bears Butt

Written on July 16th, 2013 , Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt


Here we go!  It’s almost 9 a.m., everything is packed except the kitchen sink, but only because there is a kitchen sink in the coach.  We have looked in every closet, every cupboard and every room in the house for anything that we may have forgotten…I still need to grab a 12 pack of beer.

Leg 1….St. George and then Mesquite.

I tossed in 10 gallons of extra water just in case the desert doesn’t treat us or someone else right.  A couple of years ago there was a big rig driver that was sure thankful I came along with 5 gallons for his rig.

We’re off!

Bears Butt

July 15, 2013

Written on July 15th, 2013 , Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt


Packing for our trip is not an easy task.  First off the trip is like 4 in one.  The first leg will take us into the hottest part of the country right now for at least one night while visiting with a couple of Sherry’s sisters.  And a short “on the way, out the way” detour to look over a town that was established by one of my relatives, way back when.  We don’t know what to expect to see there, but since we are going to be right there we might as well go look around.

Then leg two of our trip is still sort of undecided.  Ultimately we want to end up in the San Francisco area (leg 3), but not necessarily before Thursday of the coming week.  I think because of not wanting to overstay our welcome, I’d rather arrive there on Friday.  I guess we will decide when the time comes.

So, our options for Leg 2 are to take some side roads going North out of the Los Vegas area, or to beat feet over to the middle (south middle) part of California and travel up the center of the state.  Looking at maps, one option is to stay in Nevada and go North by North West and cross over into California just South of Lake Tahoe.  Option 2 would have us go through Las Vegas, South and West a bit and then take a Northern road better traveled, along the East side of the Sierra Nevada range, and picking up the same road heading West just short of Lake Tahoe.

There are tons of things to see going on the option 2 road, especially if you are in a car (which we are not).  The coach is great, but when descending a steep and winding two lane road, it is not a very fun ride.  I have searched the web quite a bit and found that the road going West toward San Francisco, just South of Lake Tahoe is the least steep of all the others farther South of there.

Having been in the hot part of Nevada and California, it makes the most sense to me to head north into the mountains for a cool down.  I’m not really sure how Sherry is feeling about that at this time.  We will have decisions to make on the fly.

Speaking of “flies”, I’m taking my Bug-A-Salt with me.

Once in the San Francisco area we will be visiting relatives.  One of whom is my 99 year old (100 in December) Aunt LeOra.  We are looking forward to visiting with them for a couple of days.  A mini family reunion is in the plan.

When we leave their place, leg 4 will bring us home.  Again, an unknown route at this time.

So, keep tuned in to Bears Butt Dot Com for updates and watch our progress from points A to B to C to D etc.

Bears Butt

July 14, 2013

Written on July 14th, 2013 , Vacation Time | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.