Sierras Road Trip Day 2

I am glad I waited till the daylight hours to continue my Sonora Pass venture. I was truly surrounded by so much beauty. There was also the heart break of seeing that this area had not been immune from the fires. The Donnell Fire left it’s marks on the area.

Donnell Fire scars

Not much further up the road from the fire evidence was the magnificent beauty found at the Donnell Vista

Donnell Vista Stopping point for a view

Donnell Vista Views –worth checking out the 360 view above

The beauty of doing a trip like this on your own -or with companions such as mine, Sky & Zulu … is that you can completely live on your own schedule. There is no rush to be anywhere. No one to try and meet, no appointments, no commitments other than enjoy the views and the experiences.

My Starflyte is not a young RV. She is a 1998 vehicle so has had some years behind her but is a very low mileage vehicle for her age with just over 65000 miles on her now and I’ve put the last 9000 miles on her in the short time she has been in my life.

The Sonora Pass is full of some very steep climbs and descents and it wasn’t much further after leaving the Donnell Vista that I started smelling my brakes a bit. My front brakes are still rather new; less than 6000 miles on them but that didn’t make the road any less hard on them.

Just as I thought I should investigate more closely, the road with few pullovers, had the most perfect pullover tight in front of me. It almost looked like a runaway truck brake area.

Open in Google Maps to explore the area
This was the apparent truck run off area that I found

Although I didn’t know it at the time I was in fact very close – -I mean very very close to a marine training area. As I was looking at the above map on google maps now that I am home I made an interesting discovery … (of course satellite maps aren’t live and who know just how recent) some disguised tents nearby my location …

Click on image above to go to Google maps and find those tents I’m talking about!! You’ll have to scroll up a small bit on google maps but they are there!!

Back to the brakes … when I pulled of the road and got out of my truck I discovered smoke pouring out from around the front left wheel. A terrible smell of brake pad/rotor burn and not a welcoming sight by any means. There was no fire, only smoke so I knew that my only option would be to wait for it to cool down. I have a portable jobsite Milwaukee fan that I fired up and aimed directly on the brake to aid in the cool down process.

I’m not familiar with the Sonora pass and I was sure that sign I had seen just before getting off the road was a warning for a 25% grade in front of me and I was concerned about getting back on the road and attempting such a steep grade with brakes that were less than ideal.

I did a quick search online and found a truck repair shop about 70 miles away (behind me) in the town of Sonora. I decided that I would take advantage of my AAA RV road insurance and get a tow back to that shop the next morning.

This same pull off that I was in had a side area that was quite set off from the road and which made a perfect campsite for the night. You could tell there had been some campfires there in the past so I wasn’t the first one with this idea -unless those campfires had been made by training marines … hmmm.

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