Author Topic: Trip report 8/30-9/4  (Read 2314 times)

Big Steve

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Trip report 8/30-9/4
« on: September 05, 2015, 10:50:56 PM »
I got home this afternoon from the annual trip to Rock Creek that my Sister and I have made into a family tradition. Her family doesn't care to camp and neither does mine, so for the last eight years we have gone just the two of us, always the week before Labor Day. The crowds are gone, there's nary a bug to be seen, and the weather isn't hot, just pleasant. I live in Riverside, and she just moved a couple of months ago to Spanish Fork, Utah. But she wasn't about to let a 570 mile drive prevent her from her annual visit to The Creek. So we met in Bishop and spent the night at the Best Western Bishop Lodge and had Mexican food at La Casita as usual. I was real worried as I drove up 395, the smoke from the fires was very heavy and Bishop was enveloped in an orange, ashy haze. We got up Sunday morning and it wasn't as bad, but still oppressive. But we'd come so far we had to press on and take our chances, so0 we left Bishop at about 8:30 and headed for the hills. We have found that the best chance to get a prime spot occurs when we get to the campground around 9:00 or 9:30 on Sunday morning. years of trial and error have led to this finding. We prefer to stay in Big Meadow because it has only 11 sites and is very peaceful and quiet, so that's where we stay every year. We prefer campsite #8 because it's at the end of the camp road so there's not much traffic, it's a real big site with room for our 13 X 9 tent, and you can step out of the tent, take 3 steps, and be in the creek. It gets morning sun and afternoon shade, so my sis prays for it every year. We had #8 last year and the year before and guess what? It was available when we arrived, so we snagged it three years in a row! About half the campsites were occupied, but by Tuesday morning we had the entire campground to ourselves. We were the only people in the whole place! The campground hosts, Robert and Cathy Spencer (super great people by the way) were pretty surprised that there was no one else there, but we all agreed that it would fill up during the week leading up to Labor Day. They recognized us from years past, which is kind of cool. We had the run of the place from Tuesday morning until Thursday afternoon. It was very surreal. On Tuesday night just as we were finishing up eating dinner we received a visit from Mrs Yogi and her little BooBoo. She was just about to climb into the bed of my truck when I gave her a blast from the air horn that I had brought specifically for that purpose. That got her off my truck and she and BooBoo disappeared into the bushes by campsite #7. About 20 seconds later she came crashing through the bushes with her mouth wide open looking somewhat displeased. Another blast from the air horn convinced her that she might be better served looking elsewhere and that was the last we saw of her. I got a picture of her, but it's hard to take a good picture when your heart rate is about 200 beats per minutes and you're trying not to drop the air horn.
  Stephanie and I were first brought to Rock Creek in probably 1957 or '58, I have pictures of myself in diapers at Iris Meadow. Our Dad, who passed in 1997 loved The Creek, and wanted to retire to Bishop so he could be close to his beloved Sierras. Sadly, he never made it, so we call this our Mom and Dad Memorial Camping Trip, because Mom (who we also lost in '97) Truly loved the outdoors and took us camping at least two weeks ever year growing up. We know they were both smiling down on us as we carry forward their love of nature. It's funny how surprised people are when  we tell them we are brother and sister and that we do this together every year. I consider my sis to be my best friend and I treasure the chance to spend a week with her every year. Today a new arrival and I were talking and she asked me how long we had been married. I said "well she's been married 41 years and I've been married for 30". She looked at me like I had two heads until I explained that we are brother and sister.
  The weather was perfect all week, but as the week went on it started to get rather brisk at night. When we woke up at 7:00 this morning it was 35 degrees, We saw highs early in the week in the mid to upper 70's but Friday the high was 63. By last night the campground was completely full. They are still stocking the creek, in talking to the guy with the scoop, he tells me they are stocking up to five pounders since the season is drawing to a close. I didn't see for myself, but a guy who had been there for a few days before we arrived said that someone caught a four and a half pounder on Saturday. I did watch a guy catch one that I would estimate at about two+ pounds right at our campsite (did I mention that #8 is also where they dump in the stockers?) They stock on Tuesday and we were watching them swim around the rest of the week (no campers = no fishermen)
  In my pictures You can see Mrs Yogi just after climbing down from my truck, and little BooBoo is at the far left.  I took Stephanie up to Mosquito Flat, because in all these years she had never been up there. She was overwhelmed with the beauty and the large number of people heading off to the back country. I would love to take her up to LLV, which I hiked to several years ago, but the bones don't appreciate hiking like they used to, so she has my pictures to look at.You had to wait for a pilot car whether going up or down, but in 4 different excursions, the longest we had to wait was 5 minutes, so I wouldn't even consider the road construction to be an issue. You're at Rock Creek, what's the hurry? They have built a very attractive natural stone retaining wall just above the first bridge, it looks real nice. And the new road is smoother than a baby's butt.
  I've been back for about 6 hours and am already pining for my trip next year. But I have to admit it's kind of nice not to be freezing cold and to have hot water come out of the faucet instead of a pail over the campfire! If anyone is going next year around this time, just remember to save us #8!

RockToad

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Re: Trip report 8/30-9/4
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2015, 03:39:09 AM »
That is an awesome report!  Thanks so much!!!
« Last Edit: September 06, 2015, 03:41:26 AM by RockToad »

playingmenace

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Re: Trip report 8/30-9/4
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2015, 06:55:56 AM »
A great report of an outstanding trip Steve, thanks for sharing.
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saudust

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Re: Trip report 8/30-9/4
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2015, 07:52:37 AM »
Thanks for the TR, Big Steve.  Fun times.  Like you said, what's the hurry if you're there, you've already made it where you want to be.
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Moose

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Re: Trip report 8/30-9/4
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2015, 07:55:50 PM »
Thanks for the great trip report, Steve! I'll be up at Iris Meadow with two buddies early Wednesday afternoon...
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Big Steve

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Re: Trip report 8/30-9/4
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2015, 11:34:30 PM »
I wrote the report Saturday after I got home so was kind of tired, and now realized I should have put it in the "Trip reports" section. And, can anyone tell me how to enlarge my pictures and stay under the maximum size? I'm not on the in formation superhighway, I'm on the information cul-de-sac.