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Old 10-12-2007, 05:42 PM   #1
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Trip Recommendation Please

We are heading to Fresno next Friday, October 19, to pick up our SMB. We will be heading back down to San Diego, spending two nights (Friday, Saturday) on the way back to enjoy the new van. I was looking for some recommendations on where to actually go on the way back. I know there are essentially two routes we can take. One is the coastal route and the other is through the Sierras. We are looking for a place about 2 to 3 hours away from Fresno the first night. Also, we will have two dogs with us and we are looking to avoid campgrounds if possible. It is a 4x4, but I want to avoid any serious off road trails for this trip.

Thanks for any suggestions and I can't wait to actually post some pictures of it .
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:39 AM   #2
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With Tioga pass (hwy 120) closed for the season it will be difficult to take the eastern sierra route home. You'll have to go way north, and then cross over. If you decide to make that trek, I've got some ideas for remote camping around Mammoth/Bishop/Lone pine.
And congrats on the new van!

Rob
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:28 AM   #3
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You could always just spend the night on Pismo Beach. That's where I spent my first night with my van after picking it up. Nothing like a little sea breeze, a Corona, some tunes and lots of time to look over the manuals.

Phil
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Old 10-13-2007, 04:31 PM   #4
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Thanks Rob & Phil - I think we are now planning on avoiding the coast. We already spend a lot of time on coastal trips, plus we live there . Probably an even bigger motivator is that we will not be able to bring our surf boards for the van pickup, so staring at good waves without anything to paddle out on would be frustrating. However, it is really tough to beat a beer on the beach at sunset!

With Tioga Pass closed, that basically rules out 395 North of Ridgecrest for us. We are not thinking Sequoia National Forest. I realize it is a huge area, but we haven't been there before and we've always wanted to. The National Forest allows dogs, primitive camping and off road travel...perfect. My only concerns now are finding out where to actually go and what the night time temperatures will be.

We were thinking of some place just east of Fresno for the first night, then somewhere down South in the Kearnville area for the second night. Does this sound like a good/bad plan?

Thanks again!
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:43 PM   #5
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SDWINDANSEA -

I may see you at SMB on Friday. I'll be picking my van up from a weeks worth of mods.

Phil
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwindansea
Thanks Rob & Phil - I think we are now planning on avoiding the coast. We already spend a lot of time on coastal trips, plus we live there . Probably an even bigger motivator is that we will not be able to bring our surf boards for the van pickup, so staring at good waves without anything to paddle out on would be frustrating. However, it is really tough to beat a beer on the beach at sunset!

With Tioga Pass closed, that basically rules out 395 North of Ridgecrest for us. We are not thinking Sequoia National Forest. I realize it is a huge area, but we haven't been there before and we've always wanted to. The National Forest allows dogs, primitive camping and off road travel...perfect. My only concerns now are finding out where to actually go and what the night time temperatures will be.

We were thinking of some place just east of Fresno for the first night, then somewhere down South in the Kearnville area for the second night. Does this sound like a good/bad plan?

Thanks again!
The Kernville/Lake Isabella area would be an excellent idea if you want the mountain camping experience. You can easily cross over on the 99 to the 178 at Bakersfield. Some of the stuff near Sherman pass road is secluded and nice. This place has gotten good reviews too, but I've never camped there.

http://www.mtnriver.com/campground.htm

The USFS website also has a lot of camping info.

If you really want to get into a remote area, try Landers campground in the Piutes. You can get there by taking Kelso valley road (off the 178) to Piute Mtn road up to Landers. The drive up Piute Mtn road is maybe 8-10 miles and not very difficult. Do not try getting up there via Jawbone Cyn road. The climb up Gerringer grade in an SMB would be very difficult in some places.

Good luck.
Rob
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:54 AM   #7
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Thanks again Rob - I think we will definitely spend the second night in the Kearnville area and possibly the first night as well.

Phil - if you see us at SMB on Friday, please stop over and say hi. We will be the couple with a look of happiness, confusion, and being completely overwhelmed all at the same time . Our walkthrough is scheduled at 9 am.
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:35 AM   #8
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We were just in Mammoth this last weekend for our first shakedown cruise, and Tioga Pass was still open. The Mammoth area was great, and the June Lake loop even better. There are plenty of areas around there to test out the van.

I would still check the road conditions before you go.
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:00 PM   #9
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Hope to hook up

Hey FYI, I surf windnsea pretty often. Look for my white 94 RB30 in a theatre near you. Live in Ramona but camp San Elijo, Carlsbad, Doheney etc... as often as I can. Congratulations on your new rig!!! Hope to see you out at line-up. Or give me a heads up and we'll talk shop in the pacific La Jolla blue. Take care bra! Curt
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:04 PM   #10
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Tioga Pass is open as of today. I would highly recommend that route, then a tour of June Lake loop, Bishop and numerous points along 395. Sure beats Kernville.
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