Monday, April 16, 2007

Lone Pine, CA

Sierra Sun Rise, Lone Pine, CA

Set off for Lone Pine today (Sunday), anticipating a 7 hour drive to get there. Weather was sunny and a bit chilly when I left home but by the time I got to around Bakersfield I had caught up with the remnants of yesterdays storm in the Bay Area. Plenty of showers all the way from there to Lone Pine.

Before leaving, I printed out Google directions but decided instead to just follow my Garmin Nuvi, assuming it would take me the same route. Well, it didn't! However, turns out that the route it did take me was way more interesting. I ended up going through Kern Canyon, a route through the Southern Sierras I didn't know was there. Single lane round through a steep and rocky gorge with a river running by the side of the road. (And not much flow to the river at that, underscoring how dry this year has been.) After Kern Canyon, the road then goes through a California Desert Preserve featuring broad sweeps of Joshua trees either side of the highway. Relatively little traffic meant that, once past the slow bit in the canyon, progress was pretty good.

Made the predicted time even with a number of stops along the way.

Nevertheless, even with 7 hours on the road I'm still 100 miles from Death Valley.

Overnighting at the Dow Villa Hotel in Lone Pine before setting off again.

I need to be in 'Vegas by mid-afternoon and want to get some time in Death Valley to explore. Early start in the morning, therefore!

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