Couple publishes book on quiet camping
Eastern Sierra and Death Valley visitors and residents who like privacy when they’re camping now have an easy way to instantly know which campsites are the most private on recreation.gov or in first-come, first-served campgrounds. Whether campers simply enjoy being surrounded by quaking aspens, want to be far away from neighbors’ lights so they can view the stars at night, or prefer to camp as far away as possible from rowdy neighbors, a new book called “Eastern Sierra And Death Valley Camping With Privacy: Your Guide To The Most Private Campsites Near Mammoth Lakes, Tuolumne Meadows, Death Valley, And Beyond” allows campers to rest and rejuvenate in camp spaces that are the most private in the campground.
Gardnerville author Kimberly Wilkes and photographer Patrick Wilkes published the book after looking at 3,416 campsites in 91 campgrounds, including Hope Valley Resort, Tuolumne Meadows, the campgrounds in Lee Vining Canyon, Twin Lakes, Mammoth Lakes, Convict Lake, Rock Creek Canyon, Whitney Portal, Grandview Campground near the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Death Valley campgrounds, and everything in between.
“Eastern Sierra And Death Valley Camping With Privacy” includes a description of each campsite with the most privacy so readers will know exactly what the campsite is like. The authors also gave each campsite in the book a grade from A+ to C+, based on the site’s privacy. In addition, the book features a description of each campground, describing the overall feel of the campground as well as its privacy factor in addition to activities and restaurants that are located nearby. For most of the campgrounds, it also lists whether Verizon cell phone service is available.
“To our knowledge, no other travel guide has done what we have done,” Kimberly said. “There is another book that talks about the privacy of the campground as a whole, but no other book actually describes and rates individual campsites based on their privacy.”
The book is the ultimate guide for anyone camping in the Eastern Sierra or Death Valley because on recreation.gov, it’s not easy to know exactly which campsites have the most privacy. Although campers can visit websites, including recreation.gov, which show photos of camp spaces, it’s impossible to tell from the images how close the site is to its neighbor. With this new resource, campers will find out exactly which campsites have plenty of elbowroom or are hidden away behind trees, willows, and vegetation. Using the book to make reservations means there’s less of a chance campers will feel disappointed when they pull into a spot that wasn’t what they expected.
The travel guide also helps people who are seeking a first-come, first-served campsite discover which campgrounds have the best selection of private spots so they can beat the crowds to the choice campsites, which is especially important on a busy Friday or before holidays when visitors are pouring into the campgrounds. Knowing in advance which campground has the best selection of private spaces means there will be less time wasted driving around in search of a site. In Death Valley, knowing which campgrounds have the best selection of spaces with privacy is a big advantage since the park is so huge that it’s inconvenient to drive to different areas looking for a desirable campsite.
In addition, the book will help visitors and residents alike find new campgrounds to explore in areas of the Eastern Sierra and Death Valley they haven’t previously visited. Although the book places an emphasis on spaces suitable for tents, pickups with camper tops, camper vans, and smaller trailers, it also points out spaces that are especially suitable for RVs, such as sites with pull-through driveways.
“Even though we like meeting new people when we’re camping, we enjoy having a tranquil campsite where we can relax on our own,” said Kimberly. “The idea to write this book came to me after I reserved a campsite on recreation.gov that on the map looked like it was far away from its neighbors. But when I checked in I realized it was located in a meadow, with no vegetation to block the view of the neighboring campsite, and it wasn’t as far away from its neighbor as it looked on the map. I’ve also camped too close to people who have talked loudly into the night. We wrote this book so that other campers are less likely to have those same experiences and so that they can easily find a campsite that makes them happy.”
The paperback book features black and white photographs of select campsites and the soon-to-be-released Kindle version features color photos on Kindle devices that are color compatible.
The authors also have started a new blog at http://www.ilovetheeasternsierra.com, where they write about secret and scenic spots in the Eastern Sierra and Death Valley, hikes away from the crowds, as well as the fun and interesting people and attractions that make the area a special place, such as the giant cow statue on the road from Las Vegas to Death Valley.
Kimberly and Patrick are a husband and wife team. Kimberly is a freelance writer and the author of “The Indestructible Relationship,” which the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition named the best non-fiction ebook of 2012.
Patrick is a professional photographer whose year-long exhibit, “The Four Seasons of Pyramid Lake,” appeared at the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitor Center from 2013 to 2014.
The Eastern Sierra holds a special place in the couple’s hearts, since they were engaged at Convict Lake. The first trip they ever took together was to Death Valley.
“Eastern Sierra And Death Valley Camping With Privacy” is available at Shelby’s Book Shoppe in Minden, at Hope Valley Resort, and Sorensen’s Resort in Hope Valley as well as other bookstores throughout the Eastern Sierra. It’s also available on Amazon.com.