Wednesday, July 1, 2009

1st, 2nd, and 3rd States: California, Arizona and Nevada (July 2009)

Prior to kayaking Nevada, I had kayaked in CA (learned in the Monterey Bay, Monterey, CA) and Arizona.  They were my 1st and 2nd states.  Nevada was my third.  I'll try to fill in the older details.

In July 2009, I had dental surgery in Truckee, CA with a follow-up in two weeks. Having to wait around that long, I decided to circumnavigate Lake Tahoe and explore and hopefully paddle. So, I headed out, taking my time to stop around North Tahoe... where I could. Not too many places that have "Public" access. I think there is something really wrong when "rich" people possess most of the Lake Tahoe shoreline... and where the public is allowed, they have to pay to park, pay to launch a boat, pay to pee. Must be my 1/32nd Indian blood boiling up inside me. It was a stormy rainy day... and as I approached Carson City, rainbows.
North shore of Lake Tahoe.
Needed a new tire for the trailer, the new one I bought in Monterey, blew out three days later as I approached Sacramento... my first day after leaving Monterey. Really messed things up. I was riding on the rim... and never even felt anything... and also dragging the rear right corner of the trailer. Air temp was 92 F (who knows what the pavement temp was)... and no one NO ONE stopped to help an ol' silver-headed woman. Took me 2 hrs to change that danged tire... and came close to heat stroke... nausea, headache, etc. Made it to Donner Pass where I slept for the night.

My new tire???? Never felt a thing???

Was so rung out, all I could do was sit in the van for a hour before I could drive again. Made it to Donner Pass where I slept for the night.
Next, got to my friends' home in Tahoma and had a good long rest. Their place is a small slice of heaven... and the dog... what a dog he is... Hoss Dog.
After the dental work, I headed out to drive around Lake Tahoe... first to Carson City, NV to find a tire(s). Gas in Tahoe was $3.19 and it was 50 cents less in Carson City. Rainbow as I approached Carson City, NV.
Arriving in Carson City, it had a wonderful rainbow over it. Neat.
Carson City. Boy, do I like that town, in spite of the fact that the first 3 nights I was sick and sticking close to Wal-Mart. Then I decided to get to the Forest Service office and get maps. Then i went up Kings Canyon.... and after traversing 5 or 6 very deep ditches (trailer not in tow)... I made it to a lovely level area under large pine trees. No noise. No traffic. No one all night but me. Just me. Just me and SwankieWheels. I got out, walked around, returned to the van, found something to eat and slept.

Kings Canyon camping area.
The next morning I cleaned up maybe 100 lbs. or more of glass, metal cans, nails, bullet casings and other junk. A Ranger hauled out my first bag and gave me a new heavy duty bag. I spent about four hours filling the bag 1/2 up... and then couldn't lift it off the ground... so left it for the Rangers to collect. I was told this is a favorite party place for teens... and they leave all this junk. Someone should teach them better.
Back to Carson City the next day.... and after three days of eating very little, was having a protein fit... so hit KFC... and wolfed down 3 drumsticks. Then toured the town some more, found the Aquatic Center, found things I'd like to return to explore in depth (museums and such)... took care of errands. The next morning I headed to the Aquatic Center and swam 1/4 mile, first swim in about six months. Felt great. Wonderful locker rooms with privacy stalls and all.

After my swim, I shopped for tires... and got run around to 3 different Les Schabb stores before I got everything I wanted. Decided on Radials instead of the thin little tires the guy in Monterey sold me. Requested LTs instead of STs but they didn't have any. Was told I could use the old wheel (the one I drove on for... who knows how far, see pix above)... but for $44 I felt it worth the peace of mind to know the tire would be well-seated on the rim.


Leaving Carson Valley, horses, cattle, haying operations. My kind of stuff.
So, hauled my two new tires (wrapped tightly in plastic bags) and new wheel back to Tahoe... over the old Kingsbury Grade road (an historic marker notes the spot). While earlier called the Georgetown Trail and Dagget Pass Trail, it became known as Kingsbury Grade in honor of one of the builders of an 1860 wagon road that crossed the Sierra range here. A mile farther is modern-day Kingsbury Grade. Once I got to Lake Tahoe, I headed north looking for a place to camp, and things where full up or too expensive, so I went on to Cave Rock on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe for another paddle... in Nevada, my 3rd state. Had to pay $12 to park and launch my kayak.

Cave Rock, NV

Water was very choppy... and even speed boats were getting out. It's a lot of work to unload and load my kayak... so when I do, I want to have a long leisurely paddle... and this was anything but that. All I could think was.... "It's a good thing I learned to kayak in the Ocean!" I said that to a guy I watched dive off a speed boat, swim to shore to go get their boat trailer and back it down to the ramp. He replied, "You got that right."

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe
Drove on around the southern end of Lake Tahoe, past Emerald Bay and on to my friends' place in Tahoma. Next day had two different dentist appointments, one with my friend Elle's boss... to fill a back tooth, repair the edge of my bridge, and fix a cracked tooth. Right after that appointment, drove back to Truckee to see my surgeon and he said things looked really good. Both these dentist told me... I might still need to have root canals of two of those teeth. Will it ever end?
Spent the rest of the day getting my two new tires on... changed them myself, and now after three tire changes in as many weeks, I think I could do it in 15 minutes, blindfolded. Also had to repair the lights/wiring of the fixtures on the wheel cover and replace the right running light. And also had to pound the corner back in place... and pull the wheel cover straighter.
Had a last supper with my friends that night and headed out the next morning.
Elle's daughter and her Hoss-Dog seeing me off from Tahoma, CA.

Smoke from Fire, taken from AFB FAMCAMP.

The plan is to stay at Beale Air Force Base the FAMCAMP for a week or even two, just shaking it down some more, and settling in to my new home-on-wheels. I just haven't been able to do that with a "home base." I must say, the FAMCAMP is really nice. Last night as I was biking to the Lounge and the Laundry room, there was a large plume of smoke on the horizon to the north. Turned out it was... a fire north of Dobbins, CA.

Now, just relaxing and realizing... I'm home... here or anywhere. All I own is right here. Strange. Today, fixed my bed and am repacking my bed area. Tomorrow I'll do some sewing.. making nets for the doors and adjusting my bed bug net. It was 100 F inside the tent this afternoon and 90 F inside the van. The heat finally made me feel very tired and I took the computer and retreated to the air conditioned Lounge... ate lunch and am about to make my dinner in here. Watching t.v.
Looking forward to the next leg of my journey... heading north.

Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.