Another Day Poking Around Bishop
On one of our last days, we drove up to Rock Creek Canyon, which sits north of Bishop about 20 miles. Rock Creek Lake is another 10 miles through the canyon. The aspen trees sported their autumn coats, and a breeze ruffled their yellow leaves.
The Big Meadow Campground was open for day use only. Jon would have liked to stop and fish along the creek, except he had never purchased a fishing license for 2020. So we drove on.
We continued to the end of the road at the lake where we had planned to eat our lunch. Unfortunately, the road to the lake was closed, so picnic tables for eating and taking close-up photos of the lake were impossible. A few hardy anglers hiked down to try their luck. We didn’t think it was a good idea with the smoky skies.
We remembered a turnout near a western red cedar. No cars nearby, so we parked and ate our lunch while admiring the tree.
Always curious to see where roads lead, we took a detour on our way back to Bishop. We passed through farmland and ranches in Round Valley and drove by Rovana. The US Vanadium Corporation established the Rovana housing tract for its workers at the Pine Creek Mine. By 1951 there were 85 houses and another 50 added later. All the homes are still in use.
The smoke wasn’t too bad along U.S. 395, but it grew thicker as we approached the mountain. When we reached the end of the road, we could barely see the peaks.
With the sun close to setting, we returned to the fifth-wheel to prepare for our departure the next day.
On the Road Again
We left the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds in Bishop on October 28, 2020. Hwy 120 through Yosemite was our usual route when the road was open. A requirement to have a reservation just to drive through kept us from taking the scenic route. A few more days on the road wouldn’t hurt and the Sparks Marina RV Park sounded like a good idea. So north on U.S. 395 we drove.
As we passed by Mono Lake, we pulled off the road to take a photo of the blue waters. From this view the tufa towers (limestone formations) weren’t visible, only the smaller forms poking out of the water near the shore. To learn more about Mono Lake and the tufas go here to see our post titled “Summer 2018 Tour – Mono Lake.”
The Bridgeport Inn looked like a good place to stop and break up our drive. The 1877 Victorian inn began as the Leavitt family home and stagecoach stop. Today the Peters family owns the property which they operate from mid-March to mid-November, providing rooms and dining for travelers and visitors to the area.
It was past noon, so we enjoyed a relaxing lunch as the only patrons in the dining room. It’s the sign of the times when the one thing on the table is hand sanitizer when you enter a restaurant. No place settings or bottles of condiments in sight. The wait staff delivers those items after you order.
Kitty corner from the inn stands the 1881 Mono County Courthouse, another example of Victorian architecture in town, which is still in use today.
We weren’t in the mood to do any sightseeing while in Sparks. Instead, we hung around the trailer and walked to the marina to check the construction progress since our last visit. The first thing we noticed was the view out the fifth wheel’s back window. Here is what it looked like during our 2017 stay.
And here is the view in October 2020.
Another notable change was an abandoned building down and across the street from the RV park. The photo below shows the corner in 2016.
In the October 2020 photo, the abandoned project vanished and luxury apartments sprouted in its place.
New construction also appeared along the lake’s shoreline. In 2017, the blue and white building in the photo below was mixed use with retail and businesses on the bottom floor and condos or apartments on the upper floors. There were a few businesses that made a go of it, others were not so lucky.
And now the Waterfront Apartments dwarf the small blue building (on the right in the photo below). The once blue building was undergoing a facelift, a promise of better times ahead for the property.
It was sad to see that our view out the back window was a three-story apartment building. Yet I understand the need for housing in Sparks. For the past twenty years, manufacturing, distribution, and technology companies have poured into the Reno/Sparks area. This made jobs plentiful, housing not so much. Reno, known as the “Biggest Little City in the World,” is not so little anymore as housing mushroomed in all directions. I guess that’s the price of progress.
On October 30, 2020, we drove the rest of the way home. As we listened to the news, we heard that COVID-19 cases and deaths broke records daily while Trump and his campaign insisted he vanquished the virus, “It’s a beautiful thing.” One report stated once infected, you are immune for months while another report said that was not true. Nobody seemed to know what was going on.
And then we pulled into our driveway and look what was waiting for us.
Thanks, Chris and Laura, for the homegrown pumpkin. It was just what we needed to push the bad news from our brains and focus on Halloween. Will parents take their kids out trick or treating during a pandemic? Do we want people coming to our door? Should we buy candy?
We were tired and had a lot of work to do unpacking the trailer and washing clothes, so no candy for the brave parents that let their kids dress up and beg for treats. We turned out the porch light, turned the volume low on the television, and watched a movie. If we’re home next year, we’ll pass out candy.
And with that our 2020 October COVID-19 Adventure comes to a close.
We have nothing more to share. Homebound describes our life since the end of October, and until we receive the vaccine and places open up, we don’t see the situation changing much.
So, I’m taking a break from posting on the blog. We’ll be back as soon as we can venture out and explore again.
Until then, stay safe.
Personal Virus and Vaccine Update
On December 3, 2020, San Francisco Bay Area health departments put us under another stay-at-home order. They released the restriction on January 25, 2021. Hooray haircut time!
Today the virus is still among us. New variants pop up weekly. Vaccines are in short supply. Distribution has been sketchy. Eligibility to receive the poke in the arm has changed more than once. Ineligible individuals are jumping the line. Appointments aren’t easy to get. More vaccine is due this week. It’s Wednesday night already. Where is it?
Jon has an appointment on Tuesday, February 9, for his vaccine. I check every day without success to procure one for myself but will keep trying.
Like everyone else out there, I can’t wait until this ordeal is behind all of us.