The Breakfast Club: Grandview Campground Campout: Day 1
4:30 AM. It’s hard getting up that early when, in spite of going to bed at a reasonable hour, you only got 4 hours sleep. The early start for this campout was an attempt to get a campsite at the Grandview Campground. The campground is empty 51 weeks a year, from what we were told. This was the 52nd week… the week of the Persieds meteor shower that brings scores of amateur astronomers to places away from the light polution of civilization.
Up, dressed, food packed, and gone. The first stop was at the local Safeway to dump some ice in the cooler. Next stop was the Orchard in Tracy where Tom, Carl, and I met for breakfast and the ride to the campground.
Smooth riding with little traffic over Sonora Pass (108) to 395 save the everpresent sun in our eyes. We stopped in Strawberry on the west side of the pass and then again near Lee Vining for gas. The final stop was in Bishop where we picked up some sandwiches to go and I filled up my canteen. The campground is east of Bishop, but you have to ride south to Big Pine and then take Westgard Pass (168) up the White Mountains, turning off on White Mountain Road toward the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. The campgound is about 7 miles up that road.
Our early start didn’t help; the campground was full. Tom found an area where someone had built a fire ring out of rocks. We decided that was good enough and set up home for two nights. The campground is primitive, with no water. The official sites have a steel fire ring and a picnic table. There are pit toilets. We had to make do without the picnic table and were asked not to use the makeshift fire ring. No problem.
With camp set up there was not much to do but sit and chat and enjoy the cold brews packed away in the cooler. It was a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon. As the sun started to set we walked up the hill by the site with camera and binoculars in hand to check out the sights.
We then went back to camp and had dinner… a smaller one than initially planned give the size of the monster sandwiches we had for lunch. After dinner and clean up we moved the camp chairs out from the tarp and gazed at the darkening skies.
I took a few shots of the night sky. Nothing special and certainly nothing that matches being there. The moon had set, leaving nothing but stars to light the night. You don’t get to see the milky way that bright in city skies.