Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Road Trip!! Shannon's birthday. (long)

Road trip—Shannon’s birthday

So Shannon’s birthday is June 24th and we went on a road trip. This was great since we have not done this together and I have not done in a long time.

We drove down to Yosemite entering at Big Oak Flat and driving through the Tioga pass road and to the Tioga Pass entrance. The Tioga pass is the highest road or pass, or something like that in California. (I cant remember as I made the mistake of not keeping track of things and writing them down. )

We then stopped at the well known Whoa Nellie Deli, inside the Mobil gas station at the junction of 120 and 395 and Mono Lake. It was more than we expected for a deli in a gas station. Next we went to the little town of Lee Vining. There is an airport there that Shannon wanted to check out. He has been able to fly down as far as Mammoth area so he wanted to scope out some of the airports and landing areas should he have to land. That was the reason for going where we did for the road trip. We also went to the Mono Lake visitors’ center and checked that out since we were right there at Mono Lake. Neither of us had ever been to most of these places. I have been to a very different part of Yosemite in 1989 with Janene down by Wawona but never to this part of 395 or Mono Lake and it is all new to Shannon. (he has been to these areas by air not on the land)

Our next direction was to the ghost town of Bodie (historic old mining town). For a ghost town it’s in great shape. There are about 170 buildings that still exist. The have not restored the buildings but have prevented them from decaying further. That was 13 miles off the main highway on a dirt road.
Next we continued to drive up to Bridgeport, once again to check out the airport. This airport was more of an airport than in Lee Vining. In Lee Vining it was a runway and a metal building the size of the cottage I live in. Bridgeport appears to be the Mono County central area and had a bit more to the airport. Still just a helicopter landing and small runway but looked different.
From Bridgeport we drove back down to 395 and our destination being Mammoth Lakes where we would stay for the night. The weather has been fabulous all day. It was about 6:30 by the time we found our hotel in Mammoth. which was much larger than Shannon had expected. (I had been there in the winter in 1993) It’s a good thing I made reservations. We though maybe we could just do the road trip and find a place to say. There were small motels and B&B’s but the also said No Vacancy on most, as did a lot of places in Mammoth. Anyway, the story of once we got to the hotel to check in was sort of funny. We checked in and the guy at the desk gave us a parking pass for the car. Shannon went to put it on the car and the guy and I were out by the parking area when Shannon returned. Shannon was standing there wondering what was going on. So we went inside and up to our room. Shannon asked me why the guy showed me the refrigerator and all I could say was “there is orange juice and bagels in there”. He thought I was on drugs or something but accepted the answer. I then had to make a trip to the car to get a few things and then also to stop at the refrigerator the front desk guy had been showing me. I had gone through a lot of trouble to get a little cake for Shannon’s birthday and have someone from the hotel go to pick it up and have it at the hotel. So the guy did good job in not opening the door of the refrigerator when Shannon walked up. So I went back to the room and had things from the car and this cute little German chocolate cake. I have never seen one this size in the store, it’s so cute. (sorry I forgot to take a picture before digging in so this is only part of it.)
Our day is not finished yet!
Next we drove out to Devils postpile which was not far at all from where we were staying. http://www.nps.gov/depo/
This was cool to see the columns and a beautiful ½ mile hike up the see the hexagon tile like rocks on the top. We were also hoping to see a bear, as the ranger at the entrance to the park said bears had just been sighted. No such luck but we did see a deer, the only live one on the trip.
So from Devils post pile we went back to eat and then called it a night.

Shannon’s birthday, Sunday morning we had a small breakfast at the hotel and then went to see the Earthquake fault (fissure). This was really cool to see. Take a look at how the rocks on each side should fit together! Maybe you had to be there to see how cool it was. Next we stopped at the Mammoth airport. This was bigger than all we had seen. The runways seem small still but there are a bunch of hangars. It looks like people can fly in during the winter and put the airplane in a hanger out of the snow and go ski that is the philosophy we came up with. Right next to the airport is Hot Creek which has the hot springs. This is the first time I have seen something like this.
We continued south on 395 to Bishop. This was also larger then Shannon expected and larger than I remembered. It was getting hot. We were going to go check out the Laws Museum. An 11 acre railroad museum, somehow the darn gps lady told us we were going the wrong way so we ended up turning around and just getting lunch. (Darn gps lady)
After lunch we were heading south on 395 to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. This was a neat drive in desert like mountains. Lots of sagebrush to see. The views were amazing. Driving up we did see a glider flying around. The Bristlecone pines are 10,000 feet up in the Inyo National Forest. http://sonic.net/bristlecone/
We hiked up one of the trails a little to see some of the really old trees, but we both were having trouble with the high altitude and shortness of breath so did not go far. Really beautiful trees.

Next destination was out near Benton near Nevada line. Shannon said there was a road that he wanted to check out and see if it was landable. So we drove out highway 6, which apparently goes out the east coast. Well there was a lot of wind and dust and it was a straight and boring road. We went about 20 miles or so and turned on 120. Somewhere out there on 120 we found this dirt road he wanted to find. Then we continued on 120 which intersected back on 395 at Lee Vining. Our destination from there was back through 120 Tioga pass road through Yosemite and home.
We had a great and fun road trip and exploring. The weather was fabulous.

1 comment:

Tami said...

Looks like fun! You certainly covered a lot of ground. I haven't been out to Yosemite in years, but the family used to go every summer. I remember Bodie - it was cool, but my Mom did not enjoy the drive up on that little mountain side dirt road. (Maybe they've improved it?)

Happy Birthday Shannon!