We are in the middle of nowhere, specifically N 34 deg 07.547 minutes, W 116 deg 45.532 minutes. Elevation 7904 feet. Mission Springs Yellow Post site. Surprisingly, there is one other person nearby, camping in a tent.* To get to our site we drove about 12 miles (aka, three hours) up and down a not-too-well-maintained dirt road, and spent about 15 minutes getting the RV to approach something close to level.
In hindsight, it would have been smarter to camp closer to Highway 38 in a different Yellow Post site, but there are huge benefits to our being here.
We are alone with each other. We haven’t seen or heard the guy camping near us, and he’s at least a few hundred feet away. It’s wonderful.
We saw a bear cub scampering up a rock formation, running away from our vehicle.**
We learned a lot about what the RV can and can’t do. We learned about its clearance (or lack thereof at times), and about how tight a turn it can take. We also learned that its engine can handle a lot.
We are under the most pristine night sky I have ever seen. This is about as dark as it gets. Literally. The sky is aglow and the Milky Way’s dust lanes are obvious. For all you astronomers out there, this is somewhere between Bortle 1 and Bortle 2. Unbelievable.
*A few updates: It’s three people, researchers who are here counting trees. They recommended some great hiking trails, including parts of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada and passes through our site. We enjoyed dinner and a campfire with the researchers last night, and separately they encouraged us to smell the ubiquitous Jeffrey Pine tree, whose bark smells like vanilla ice cream – or chocolate, if you’re Amy!
Separate update: In our climb to ~8,000 feet the air in all of our closed bottles expanded. We thought our bloated orange juice container meant that it had somehow spoiled until we figured it out!
**Don’t worry, parents. Our garbage is in our refrigerator and I’ve been singing “Heeey Bear” when I walk around.
posted by jayhorowitz and amybetho (composed on Thursday and Friday)