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Showing posts from November, 2012

Death Valley ~ Days 4-7

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After our 7+ mile hike out to the Panamint Dunes we decided it was time to move the Mutiny to Stovepipe Wells, which is a little closer to the more well-known sites in  Death Valley. Made up of
3,367,626 acres, it is nearly impossible to see 'everything' in this National Park {although we were determined to see a lot of it}. Most of the tourist destinations are several miles away from any established campgrounds and often take half a day to see (but are very much worth it). Still, cutting out the 32 miles between Panamint Springs and Stovepipe Wells gave us that much more time to hike and explore the other side of the valley.


Because of the distance between everything, that was all we could fit in during our first day at Stovepipe. Since we are traveling with Cleo, the dog, and our cats, Avi and Miso, we generally have a small window of time to get back to the RV to prevent any accidents. So it wasn't until the following day that we ventured the other way to see Scotty'…

Death Valley National Park {Days 1-3}

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The beginning of November, and with yours truly at the wheel, brought us to one of the most magical places on Earth...you guessed it, Death Valley {certainly you didn't think Disneyland, did you?}. If you've ever read my other blog, Learning Curves, you'd know how Death Valley became such an important part of my life. I was excited to be coming back again, especially with Clark. Little did I know we would face some challenges that would test our love {well, not exactly, but it did test our navigation and survival skills}.

As I drove the Mutiny into the park, hands at 10 and 2, eyes intently on the road while checking my mirrors periodically, we heard a loud rumble and felt the Mutiny vibrate as if I had hit some kind of overhang. My mind couldn't comprehend this since we were literally in the middle of a desert with no tree branches overhead (or anywhere else for that matter) dragging across the top of the rig. But a split second later a fighter jet buzzed over us no m…

Hot Springs and Giant Trees

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As we continued our journey toward Death Valley our main objective became staying ahead of the weather. It just so happened that we enjoyed near perfect weather in Yosemite only to find out that it dumped snow the day after we left! We are not equipped to drive in the snow (no chains and no experience in this big 20,000 pound rig), something we need to deal with sooner than later.

After leaving Squaw Valley (outside of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park) we headed for California Hot Springswhich is near Giant Sequoia National Monument. We figured that if we had to have an abbreviated tour of the National Park at least we could get our fix of these giant trees at the southern edge of the Park. And, of course, soaking in the hot springs would be alright too.

Now California Hot Springs is pretty much out in the middle of nowhere. What you'll want to do is drive about halfway between Fresno and Bakersfield and head East from Earlimart for 38 or so miles. You'll know you'…

Rhapsody Ranch and Kings Canyon

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With one of our main destinations during this first leg of the Mutiny's Adventure being Death Valley, we scoped out the best way to drive there by RV. Naturally we wanted to take advantage of "places to see" along the way which led us to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.

One thing we've learned quickly is that driving in the mountains not only uses a lot of gas, it also wreaks havoc on your nerves (and can lead to my very unwelcome 'helpful driving tips' like "Holy shit, we're gonna DIE!!"). So, after reading about the roads in Sequoia and delays due to road work and limits on how long one's rig can be (22 feet was the maximum...we are about 40 feet long when towing the jeep) we opted to try to stay outside of  the park and just commute by Jeep.

After much research, I stumbled across a website for Rhapsody Ranch in Squaw Valley which was situated close to the Kings Canyon side of the park. It was at a much lower elevation and the road…