My Journey

Littlehouse

Adventurer
Nice to see you and the pups out of the parking lots again! How does the truck handle the camper? They always look very top heavy to me.
 

Sticky9

Member
Glad to have you back Jerry... happy you were able to get back to what you love. I could feel the angst in your postings with the RV.
 
Sam.....the dogs are without a doubt, very happy dogs.....

SoCal73.....hopefully no more problems and thanks for following along.....

Littlehouse.....the truck handles the camper really well. It's not at all top heavy and I think that that's just an illusion as there's so much weight at ground level. I had air bags installed which unfortunately are leaking but once they're repaired it'll be even better.....

Sticky9.....thanks and yea that Renegade was stressing me quite a bit. Now waiting on a buyer is stressing me quite a bit. Damn I can't wait for that chapter to be over. Thanks for following.....

shellbackcva59.....Thanks !

longhorn1.....I appreciate that JD.....

ROKTAXI.....I won't lie.....I liked that one too but I appreciate you pointing it out. Great place to hang out.....

Mccaf.....the Alabama Hills are amazing. On the way north I slept there my first night on the road. In the morning when I lifted my eyes above the truck rails I thought good God this place is incredible.....I've got to return and explore.....

And it was because I liked the Alabama Hills so much, that I decided to return south following in almost the exact same tracks as I took north. Driving north I was on a schedule but driving south I had time on my hands. We made a few stops in Oregon to walk in the forests and we had time for the dogs to get their swimming in.....

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The skies were perfect.....

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We no longer go from parking lot to parking lot.....

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We checked out Mono Lake from a viewing point high above the lake, just north of Bishop, California.....

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Then we parked along the lake's edge with plans to reorganize the truck and the camper. But I moved on when I realized it cost $3 to park there.....I see no value there.....

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We moved further south and spent the afternoon in a KMart (yes they still exist) parking lot. I needed a place to unload all my gear and rearrange everything. The Bishop, California parking lot turned out to be perfect.....

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My plan was to camp near Bishop one night but I just wasn't having any luck finding a spot. So we continued driving south, and really, all along, my mind was on returning to the Alabama Hills.....
 
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We arrived in the evening, darkness had not quite set in. So we had time to scout around and find ourselves a neat little spot near a large rock wall.....

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And soon the night sky was upon us.....

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As soon as the sun rose we were out in the rocks bouldering and hiking the day away. It's just a phenomenal place.....put this one on your bucket list and you'll thank me one day. There were two things, beyond the absolute beauty of the place, that stood out to me.....it was so still and quiet, and it was incredibly clean. I found one piece of trash. What a contrast it is.....Lake Mead and the trash that abounds there.....and here, where there seems to be none.....

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Lots of climbers hang out around here. Brings back memories of younger days.....

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This morning we were up early to watch the last sunrise.....

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On the way out I captured this last photo.....a happy good bye to the Alabama Hills.....

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jrod420

Observer
Congrats on the new truck and camper. Someone mentioned your emotion when discussing the Renegade, I could also tell you seemed unhappy with it. Glad you made the change, and bought a Ford to haul that camper, hope it treats you and the dogs well.
 
jrod420.....Thanks.....I think it's interesting that readers picked up on how disgruntled I was with that Renegade motor home since I did my best to mask it (I thought). One of my self imposed rules posting on Expedition Portal is to always keep my story and comments as positive as I can, whenever possible, as I don't think anyone is interested in reading negative stuff.....so.....

.....from the Alabama Hills we continued driving south towards the border of Mexico, with Joshua Tree National Park in our sights. We spent the night just outside the park boundary, and headed into the park the following morning. It would be my first trip into the park so it's fair to say I was a bit excited. But with the dogs, we were only allowed to walk along the dirt roads and the dogs were always kept on leash, so that limited us quite a bit.....

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The park seemed like a nice place, but with the crowds I prefer something like the Alabama Hills. The plan was to spend a full day in the park, but a half day sufficed for us.....

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On the way out I made a quick stop at the south visitor center and saw this guy.....

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I don't imagine that you'd know who that is, so here's a front view I found on the internet and copied.....

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Yep, that's John Boehner, Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2015. And what a nice guy he is. He hopped out of his SUV, grabbed a cigarette and came over and chatted for 5 or 10 minutes. Seems like such a normal guy.....

Anyhow, after leaving the park, the GPS had me take a short cut from the park gate to Mecca, California where we drove through a pretty cool canyon.....

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We passed along the eastern shoreline of the Salton Sea.....

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Continuing south we made it to the Holtville Hot Springs in Southern California for a late evening wash / soak. It'd been 9 days without a shower so the hot spring's shower was even better than I remembered from last year's visit....

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Then we headed into the desert for some free camping on the BLM Land.....

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Pacific Northwest yetti

Expedition Medic
x4, I'm also glad to see you back! I really enjoyed the Alabama Hills, and Manzanar pics as I was there a few years ago on my way to Baja. And need to still finish my writeup. Its great to know what you like, and what works for you. If the system works, makes sense. I understand what you mean about the Earthroamer, that price is a killer. I was comparing them with the GXv versions, with prices and the ability to customise i like better. ( http://globalxvehicles.com/welcome-to-global-expedition-vehicles/vehicles/ )
which dont have some of the extra fluff the earthroamers do. However it's a one piece unit. The truck and camper though, you can always separate and upgrade individually which has its advantages. Im looking at the possibility of a major job change that could keep me on the road 6 months at a time, so i really appreciate the insight you have shared with your experiences. Thank you

Happy Trails & Safe Travels
 
PNWY.....yep, it's truck campers. I absolutely love them and like you said, if you stop traveling, you've got a daily driver. Good luck with the job change. I'm usually one to endorse change in life, but damn, change has been tough on me. Thanks for always the positive feedback.....

Jsweezy.....the main reason I went to Oregon was because they had one. These things are hard to get right now. The RV market is fairly crazy these days. I did go with the same dealership and salesman that sold me the Arctic Fox last year. They gave me what I thought was a fair deal. Since I'm a resident of Montana now, most states don't charge me any sales tax (not all) so that kinda did play into my decision. And yea, I'm loving that Ford truck. Thanks.....

Would it surprise you if I said I'm hanging out in a parking lot this afternoon ? Yea, probably not. I really am trying to move on but the forces are against me (or so it seems). You can't see it in my pictures, but the truck / camper are leaning really bad (it's so bad that I was stopped this afternoon by an unmarked policeman). I already had made an appointment to replace the previously installed compressor with a two stage unit (fills each air bag with different pressures and allows me level the load). That was to be installed today but it wouldn't fit under the dash. Had to order a new unit and now I'm hanging out until Monday to get it installed.....

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Now I've been surprised that nobody said “Hey ! where's the Jeep ?”. The Jeep didn't go to Oregon with us cause the Jeep is still with that Baja mechanic. I swear every time I speak with him he finds something new.....clutch, clutch master cylinder, fly wheel, synchronizers, wiring, emergency brake cable, rear brakes, rear differential, transmission housing.....and I can't recall what else. It's almost funny and kind of not.....

I left the state of Montana about 130 +/- days ago. I'm glad I left with no real plan cause I'm sure I'd be so disappointed right about now if I had. But when you travel without plans, travel without true destinations in mind, and travel without expectations.....well, it's kind of difficult to be too disappointed or depressed about it......cause like I said.....it just doesn't matter.....so long as you're on the road with your two best buddies.....

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