Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tranquility and pavement.

After enduring the 6 mile gravel road from hell to leave Butte Lake Campground, we have transitioned to a quiet, peaceful campground with paved roads and paved camping pads.  What a difference a day makes.  We are now comfortably set up in the woods of Tahoe National Forest at the Cottonwood Creek campground. 

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Another reason for the “tranquility” is we basically have had the place to ourselves.  When we arrived there was one other “camper” (more about him later).  We made a trip around one of the loops looking for site 40, which I had reserved.  Not finding it on our first circle, we were about to try another loop when I noticed a tag with our name on it on site 2, just inside the campground entrance.  The tag said we could camp here “or any open site”.  So we went for a walk and found a beautiful spot at site 17.  I thought it might be a little tight getting in there, but we should give it a try.  I am still underestimating the size our our camper.  We barely made it on the narrow, curving paved road to site 17.  After 10 minutes of trying to back into the site, I gave up and we returned to site 2 and set up camp.  This is a perfectly fine campsite, large and level, but we could still hear some traffic noise from the highway. 

After we set up, it became clear that the Verizon coverage map on the Verizon web site was wrong, because there was no cell phone service here.  So we drove back down the highway 6 miles to Sierraville, CA.   We stopped for fuel at the only gas station/grocery store in town.  While I was filling up the truck, Rosie went in the store and came back out saying they had very little to offer (definitely no bags of fresh salad) and what they had was very expensive.  So we backtracked another 13 miles to a much larger store that had, among other things, fresh salad.  On the return trip to the camp site, I found a strong enough Verizon signal to pick up e-mail and put a comment on Facebook.

On our arrival back at the site, we were greeted by the campground host, a really nice gentlemen who was camped a couple of miles away and managing 3 local forest service campgrounds.  After getting through the paper work, I inquired about the other camper.  This camper was a gentleman sitting in the passenger seat of a blue sedan.  No tent, no camper, to chairs, nothing outside of him sitting in the car.  I learned this guy comes up here every year for 2 weeks and sits in his car and uses the pit toilets.  Nobody knows why, but he appears to be harmless.  By now there was one other camper, a single lady in a minivan.

Monday morning we went for a walk and (wouldn’t ya know it) Rosie found a trailhead.  The trail started gently over a couple of bridges across the creek.  Then there was a fork in the trail with a sign indicating a loop back to the campground (level) and a hike to the “summit view” (not level).  Of course we took the summit view fork and proceeded uphill for a mile or so.  Took some pictures and returned to the site.  I went into town to make an e-mail connection and found the local cafe had a wi-fi connection.  So for the price of a cup of coffee I was able to get my internet fix.

Tuesday morning, after my trip to town for an internet fix, I returned to the site to observe our other lonely camper emptying the trash from his car to the dumpster.  The trash company had just emptied all the dumpsters, so when I went to make a deposit, I observed that his trash consisted of 2 empty box wine boxes and one large champagne bottle along with one pair of men’s underwear.  There are no showers in the camp, so I guess this guy doesn’t bathe for two weeks and just discards his underwear after it becomes uninhabitable.  No evidence in the dumpster of what he might be eating for food.  It is an interesting world.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, we move to Twin Lakes Campground near Bridgeport, CA.  On Friday, our daughters will be coming up with their families to join us.  I am looking forward to a little one on one fishing time with my grandsons.

Here are some pics from this site:

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Rosie found the trail.                                          Best pals.

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Can you feel the stress??                                      A babbling brook.

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