East of the Sierras (Eden?)

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Is this the most fabulous picture. I was there. I took it!!

I’m currently tucked into bed in The Dog House which is parked at Bishop.  It is colder than a witches’ tit here.  Snowing off on on.  Who the heck idea’s was this anyway?  RVs are better suited for the warm climates, I can definitely report.

The good news is we have full hook ups and the Schott’s bakery is located a few steps from our door.  The bad news is the bakery is located a few steps from our door.  If we hang out here a diet will be needed.  Too many fabulous goodies.

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On the road to Cerro Gordo

Today was spectacular.  After helping my friend, Nancy, for the past week…her neighbor offered to drive me to Bishop from Ridgecrest to meet up with the Rayman who has been here skiing and golfing this week.  We struck the mother lode of beautiful today.  Cold, crisp, clear.  And we were practically the only car on the road.  The neighbor, Mary, carried me in her 4 wheel drive SUV and she was quite adept at going off the road with it.  Several times, i thought perhaps I was going to plunge to my death, but, no way.  She was an excellent driver and guide.  She has lived in Ridgecrest since the 70s and she knows the eastern Sierra like the back of her hand.  She loves to camp, do jeep rallies, look for petroglyphs and and she has been working very hard (with her husband) to save the old mining town of Cerro Gordo.  When I jumped in her car .., she asked what my schedule for arrival at Bishop looked like.  I told her there was no schedule.  She then inquired as to my interest in seeing Cerro Gordo after giving me the definitive history of the place.  “Sure.  Let’s go.  I’m game.”  And so we went.  Turning off 395 we headed up hill on a lonely stretch that bordered the south end of Owens Lake.  Then suddenly we turned left and then right and the pavement went away.  OMG.  8 1/2 miles straight up hill on a winding, rocky road to Cerro Gordo.

On the way Mary told me that Steve McQueen had been there filming long ago.  The first Ironman movie was filed at a sight on the way there.  I saw the spot.  Fun stuff.  When we arrived at the town, there was a man named Robert that greeted us.  He and his wife, Sandy, live in the god forsaken place as the caretakers of the town.,,,with their chihuahua, Harley that did not like me one bit.   He snarled and barked.  It is amazing the dog has survived.  There was an owl in the neighborhood with a reported 4 ft. wing span.  Of course, coyotes are around as well as mountain lions and an occasional college student.  A chihuahua would be a tempting target for those predators.

Mary gave me the grand tour.  I saw the hotel, the church, the museum, the inside of two of the houses and then Robert and Sandy;s house.  Spent some time chatting with them.  Mary and her husband and many of their friends are working hard to preserve this place.  Here’s a website for you, the dear reader. http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/ca/cerrogordo.html

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Beau posing in front of the hotel.

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The church.

To backtrack, the day was beautiful.  We went high enough to go into a bit of snow.  Mt. Whitney, directly across the valley was in sight with a new dusting of snow.  Since we are in the middle of a severe drought, we were lucky it snowed last night.  Stunning.  So stunning we kept stopping the car and jumping out to click away.  I was so sorry I didn’t have my good camera but the iPhone still took some great pics.

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Mary was kind to drive me to Bishop, however, she also had business.  She had just developed a brochure about Cerro Gordo.  They have established a 501 3(c) non-profit so that they can get people to donate to the cause.  And those brochures were delivered today to Chambers of Commerce, museums, visitors bureaus all along 395.  The trip that started at 8:30 ended about 3:30 this afternoon.  When we arrived, she dropped me off and drove off without the bacon.  What bacon, you ask?

Bishop has a famous smokehouse and our Ridgecrest friend, Greg, that we met on a cruise to Alaska, wanted us to buy him some bacon and give it to Mary who would drive it back to Ridgecrest.  As she drove away, Rayman opened the frig of TDH and saw the bacon.  OMG.  We forgot to “deliver” the bacon.  I didn’t have Mary’s cell number.  Frantically, I called Nancy.  Call went to voice mail.  I called Greg.  They didn’t have Mary’s number.  I called Nancy again.  As I was calling her, she was calling me.  And did I mention that Rayman was driving down the highway in hot pursuit to give Mary the bacon.  Finally reaching Nancy, I got the number, called Mary and explained the situation.  This was when she informed me that she had gone north, not south toward home.  One more visitors center to drop off pamphlets.  So, I called Rayman and told him to turn around.  Then Mary and I talked again and gave Rayman’s cell to Mary and they met in front of the bakery.  Bacon was passed like illegal drugs (actually, the bacon should be illegal.  It’s that good.) and Rayman came back to TDH just as snow started falling.

Oh, the miracle of the cell phone.  Because of the phone not only did we manage to get the bacon headed in the right direction, but I was also able to text Rayman, earlier, a grocery list for dinner tonight.

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Tonight’s dinner consisted of chicken Marsala, tossed green salad with onions, tomatoes dressed with EVOO and balsamic vinegar, and couscous.  A bakery brownie (see what I mean?) almost polished it off.  We actually had a square of dark chocolate and zin to wash it down to round out of the meal.  Then it took the Rayman about an hour to clean the kitchen which is about the size of a postage stamp.  Seems the oil that I sautéed the chicken and mushrooms in was evident on every surface of the kitchen.  Hum.  That’s a learning experience.  Need to refine my selections.  Avoid splattering recipes, is TDH “new rule”.

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This was the Rayman getting ready not to ski. Getting ready to walk the dog.

Time to read my book.  More to report, I’m sure, tomorrow as we head up to 8000 feet.  I will drive the car to lighten the load for TDH.  We are headed to Corvallis via Carson City.  Who’s idea was this, anyway?  Colder than heck, possible rain. BBBUUUUUUURRRRHHHHH.

 

2 comments

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Nancy Cleand (4 years ago)

Missing my helper!!!

Ridgecrest Greg (4 years ago)

The bacon “scramble” is a hilarious story – but the cured meat is definitely worth it. Best bacon in the universe!!! Thank you for getting it to us.

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