Drove down to the Lone Pine zone to visit a couple of road buddies (we met and became friends in Horton Creek, summer of 2010) dry camping in the Alabama Hills behind The Face in the Rocks (see photo--note the lips behind the teeth). They had spotted trout in the creek nearby and felt we should hook up.
I arrived and found many mottled green fin-wavers holding steady in the stream, and tossed in my line. Since I had brought the bucket but forgot the net, when a thrashing rainbow had swallowed my worm, my friend dove for the bucket to scoop it up and in that fumbling catch the stringer, stashed in the bucket, splashed deep into the creek. I returned to my truck to get my net and a short bungee cord. We rigged a stick-and-bungee-hook recovery device and, after about fifty tries, she fished out the stringer. Then she informed me that the stringer was not the only item of mine lost in the creek -- my dimestore spectacles had also sunk out of sight, without which I can't see the tiny trout hooks to bait them.
So I switched to power bait, a smelly cookie dough stuff easy to smoosh onto a hook by feel alone, but my friend was despondent over the loss of the glasses, which no amount of bungee dredging could salvage. Meanwhile, I had kissed off the cheaters because the power bait was working real well and I was busy reeling 'em in. When I was just one trout short of my limit, a young man who had been lure fishing (as soon as they feel a nibble on the line, they whip the pole up and backwards so as to yank the fish out of the pools, no reeling-in) from the bridge nearby yanked something shiny out of the water onto the shady bank, and called out: "Hey, are these your glasses?" And indeed they were.
True story! I have witnesses!
I spent a few end-of-the-summer days in the newly refurbished BLM campground, Tuttle Creek, on the way to Mt. Whitney. Didn't catch any fish there but had good times with friends. Living in a tent in the sand, at the foot of the mountains and surrounded by space and sagebrush, made me remember what it was I came out here for and why the place has such a hold on me.
The amenities of town life are good, but I need to return to camping in the near future, as soon as I outfit for solar power (and some other drycamp needs), the cost of which explains why I have taken a new job: Part-time assistant to the manager of J Diamond RV Ranch, another trailer park in Bishop, of the same vintage as Shady Rest but larger, busier, and slightly more elevated in tone. I get free rent and a small stipend to answer the phone, collect fees and direct guests to their lots and hook-ups, three days of the week. Easy.
Winter has arrived with snow in the mountains, cold days and freezing nights. Fishing season closes soon. Cooped up inside my trailer, Mr. Heater keeps me toasty, and now I have electric light. It's time to paint again.