I sure did not walk up here!
Don't go "4 wheeling" in a mini van!
WALKER RIVER TRIP 2012….
Oh my, where to begin.
First of all, I have to say once I start writing these little stories, I love it but right now I am just finishing a gripping novel, “Guilty Wives” by James Patterson, scary if you are a world traveler, especially France, a word to the wise don’t
break the laws, or get involved in any intrigue, because their prisons are horrific!! This book is a real page turner!! Added to that, the Olympics are on and I love them so much from the pre- Olympic stories through the opening and closing ceremonies.
My problem is my adorable Jim, he seems to think “my readers are waiting” and I need to do this now!! My problem is I am a “writer” and I have to be in the mood!! That really “tickles”
Anyway, we left for the Walker River….never heard of it???( Walker is located on the Eastern slopes of the Sierras on HWY 395) Most people haven’t, except
avid fishermen during the trout derby held the month of July and my “group” that meets there every year. Every year we stay at a place called The Andruss Motel, a small place owned by Mary & Rex, & now they too are our “family”
“My group” consists of June & Barry Rivers who went there with their families almost 40 years ago, and their entire family, large and small, and a special group of “non-family members”, including The Bettencourt family,
and Jim and I Originally we were invited by John & Shirley Scaglione, Shirley is the Rivers daughter and they are real estate friends of mine “forever”!! ( over 30 years). Essentially , it is a huge family reunion that
we are now a part of and we love it. It isn’t everyones “cup of tea”, a small motel a few miles north of "in the middle of nowhere", where we all congregate. We have gone for almost 15 years. Originally, we arrived
there with our fishing poles, licenses, and lots of great” booze” for the parties every evening. As with my Oregon road trip, we have replaced that all with lots of rest & sleep, coffee, medicine, and this year crutches……..man
getting old sucks, I can remember when we stayed up till 3:00AM drinking lots of goody liquors, now those young folks we partied with are parents themselves, and go to bed early because there is an entirely new generation of “little ones” running
around , crying & squealing & we “old folks are napping or sitting in the shade”!!! Sad!!
In actuality, it is a slice of “hometown nostalgia”, lovely
families, shared food & fish stories every night, baseball, horseshoes, swimming in the pool, etc. We started out going Fri & Sat., and now all go Wed thru Sat. I had always told my son Dan, “I wish you would
come just one time, I know you would love it”, he is a dedicated fisherman, but I could never get him or the rest of my family to come. (I never really pushed because I didn’t want to be a horrid mother-in-law)!!! It’s
tough when you have sons, believe me!! Anyway, I knew my other son Scott would not enjoy it, it really is not his” bag”, no room service or concierge!!!! Don’t get me wrong, if I really begged
him, he would come, he has a heart of gold!!! Also, for sure I ‘m not knocking room service etc, in fact I love it bunches & bunches, our wallets just don ‘t love it much these days!
On Thursday, I was sitting in my cute little knotty pined room reading, I had to get off my sore foot for awhile, and John knocked on the door asking if I was “decent”, I said sure, come on in.
He was excited and said, “I’ve really caught a BIG ONE, I said, “great” and lo and behold Russ walked in, I looked at him like he was an angel or something, (Russ is my son Dan’s best friend since their teen years), then around
the corner came my son Dan!! Wow, what a surprise, he had booked a room a few days before & no one knew except for the owners of the motel, because it was supposed to be my birthday present! You of you that are parents, know how much that meant
to me!! It was just as I thought, he proceeded to sit & talk fishing the whole night. Russ ended up finding out he and Shirley and her family all were neighbors, and she a good friend of his brother and they all went to the same schools, etc.
Boy, what a small world. Dan fished and caught a few and they took Jim and I to breakfast the next morning, and they were on their way!! What a great surprise and what fun for me, I look at my sons and still melt inside, I love them soooo
much!!! (Russ has always been like another son) Okay, all of the previous was the “warm & fuzzy” stuff, now on to the “stupid” & potentially deadly adventure!!
On Friday afternoon, after Dan & Russ left, Jim and I decided to take a drive up to our “secret, favorite place” seven miles up the mountain on a nice graded gravel road!! Along the way we pass an abandoned gold mine,
& some old structures that are falling down. This area is a release area for the “naughty bears” of Yosemite. (We haven’t seen one yet, & Jim will be paralized if we do)!! We like to explore whenever
we are “out in the wilds”! Well, on our way we saw a private looking “road”, (I use those words loosely). The road was two tracks leading to the side of the mountain. We decided to explore, I guess we thought
we were “Lewis & Clarke” but oops, that was Oregon that they took that expedition. So I guess we are on the Long/Little of California, expedition!! Anyway, keep in mind we were at the top of a mountain, & according to maps later we
were at about 10,600 ft. We started driving, and driving, and driving and “the road got narrower & rougher, and rougher and rougher, so that we were actually hanging on a cliff with no way to turn around. We were looking for a spot to turn
around after about 20 minutes into this drive, and it was too rough to back down. What to do?? Well, we just kept driving looking for ????? We didn’t know, maybe a little further it would get better!!! That is a joke. After about an
hour or two, Jim was having to get out & move large rocks & boulders off the road, because you see…………..we were not exploring in a jeep or large SUV, we were in our cute little blue Chrysler mini-van!! (That was the stupid
part)!!! We finally reached a questionable place to turn around…..very carefully, and very gently at an inch at a time! I might add, the scenery was spectacular, many Kodak moments, unfortunately I don’t think either of us appreciated
it at the time since on one side of our car, it was a straight 3000 ft. drop-off and the other huge boulders, etc. I visualized the headlines, “Senior Citizens Lost on Mountain” and the rescue helicopter whirling above my head lowering “that
basket thingy”. Or worse yet, “Naughty Yosemite Bears Feast on Sr Citizens”!! The ride back on this “road” which we finally determined was NOT a road but a dirt bike trail!!! (We did have water, energy bars & a can of
oil, so we were prepared for everything) After very carefully turning the car around on very “rough” terrain we headed back to the “super highway”, our graded gravel road!! We stopped briefly at our favorite place,
I call it my church, (it is an unbelievably beautiful spot) and lo & behold, there was a huge oil stain…..now we’re in trouble again!! Jim poured in the extra oil he had, we got on to the “super HWY” gravel road, (it
was heaven compared to that other thing we were trying to drive on) put the car in neutral and we “flew” the seven miles down that mountain, trying not to burn our brakes out!! We just hit HWY 395 when the lights came on and the car stopped, we
coasted to safe place to pull over and were rescued by lots of folks. We called the motel and the owner’s car had just been brought back from the only car servicing place for miles & miles. He was in Mary’s office & our friends, the
two Johns joined him, and they all rescued us. Shirley S. came and picked me up, saying I heard you needed a taxi”. I was standing out on the Highway on crutches….quite a site!! They towed the car into the car repair place and, he
took the leaky oil pan off, welded it and put it back on. Talk about luck, it was 4:45 PM when we called and he closed at 5:00 and it was Friday!!! He stayed late for us. We had angels on both our shoulders, that’s for sure!!! That night we told everyone
about our adventure and I couldn’t believe it, no one was that shocked that we would do something dumb like that……………I guess, knowing me as well as they do, they “expect the unexpected “ with
me. Poor Jim, it truly was the first time he was really “up for an adventure of exploring”, and now I’m afraid it will be the last!!! Sat we had our big “family barbecue” & celebrated my
birthday, Jim had ordered a cake and I got lots of “goodies”, it was totally fun. Sunday morning we kissed everyone good by, one car full at a time, then packed up ourselves and headed for June Lake for four days.
Will write about that in a day or so, it is another special place for us!! Right now I am having a hard time, I can’t believe it…a year ago I had five separate pelvic fractures after my left hip was replaced
for the second time, and yesterday I noticed a lot of pain in my lower back, groin & “butt” and right now it feels like one of the fractures I had last year!! My pain pills aren’t “touching” it…glad I have my TV to
distract me. I see another Dr. appointment in my future if it doesn’t get better in a day or so! Bummer, oh well, onward and forward!
Moral of the mtn. story, think twice when
you try to explore in a “mini-van” on dirt roads…..but my motto, “you only live once”!
We left Walker and went to June Lake, CA. That adventure is under construction.
Have a great day!