Life on the Open Road

The continuing saga of a full-time RVer, who travels primarily in the West.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Land of the Free

Because I lived in a planned community, with all its rules and regulations, for so many years, I really love this area around Landers. This is freedom at its ultimate! If you want to fill your yard with folk art sculptures, you can.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Another Landers Surprise

And I thought there wouldn’t be anything to do in Landers!

Gubler Orchids,, one of the nation’s largest orchid nurseries, is located here. They have over 5,000 different orchid hybrids. It smells great, the moist air feels wonderful, and they give free personal tours to everyone, even RVers who have no room for plants!

One thing I found interesting–Since orchids don’t normally bloom for 4 years, they artificially accelerate the seasons here to make them bloom faster.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The World's Largest Boulder

It’s a whopper! Seven stories high. Not surprising the Indians considered it "sacred." Far out in the desert near Landers it sits, keeping its secrets. Most intriguing to me is the fact that a German immigrant lived under it for about 10 years. Yes, he dug, chipped and carved a 400 square foot home under its western side. He died under there in 1942 in a dramatic showdown with the Feds, who thought he was a spy.

(For the whole story on the rock, go to

Monday, October 16, 2006

Kicks on Route 66

Today we took a trip on Route 66 north of Victorville. This is a very desolate section of the old highway. Along the way, we saw many old, falling-down motels and gas stations, one with amazingly low gas prices. We also stopped at the Bottle Tree Farm, an oasis of color in this barren desert. Thousands of bottles and other bits and pieces sit on metal tree trunks. It is the creation of folk artist Elmer Long, who has been collecting since he was a kid.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Lone Pine

We've moved on to the Tuttle Creek Campground out side of Lone Pine, CA, a beautiful campground where every morning we are treated to a terrific sunrise.

This weekend was the annual Lone Pine film festival. Many Westerns were filmed in the Alabama Hills, just outside of town. Hundreds of pictures are set up among the rock showing scenes from the movies in the exact location where they were filmed. The theme of this year's festival is "Return of the Badmen." (Yummy...) I love seeing all the cowboys walking around town in their black hats.

On Sunday, Corrie and Brian stopped by on their way home. I gave them a quick tour.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

More Lake Pictures

Lake Sabrina

North Lake

These are two very pretty lakes that you can drive to, out of Bishop, CA and up over 9000 feet. The aspens were just perfect.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Corrie & Brian Visit

Daughter Corrie and son-in-law Brian are taking a vacation in the area, so I took them on a hike in Little Lakes Valley. I never get tired of this hike. Lake after lake with a backdrop of the Sierras, and spectacular foliage.

I'm staying at Horton Creek campground, were I was treated to a view of a new dusting of snow on the mountaintops.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Little Lakes Valley

Up the hill from Bishop, past Rock Creek Lake to the end of the road, is one of my favorite hikes, through the Little Lakes Valley. The trail goes past lake after lake with the beautiful Sierras as a backdrop. It starts at 10000 feet, and even though the trail doesn’t rise too much, it’s tough going. But according to my friend Lloyd, , all my huffing and puffing was due to some kind of geologic uplift since the last time I was here. Well, thank goodness, I thought I was getting older!

We’re staying at Crowley Lake campground, with a view of the lake and beautiful sunsets.