8th Aug 2012 - Summer 2012
Day 51-To Inyokern, CA (Heading home!)
Day 51-August 8, 2012
Drove 200 miles in 5-3/4 hours today but we stopped a lot.
Our first stop was in Mammoth Lakes where there was supposed to be a camera shop but it was closed so we continued on to Bishop, CA, down a 6% grade for 8 miles to 4000’ where there was a K-Mart, the biggest store we’ve seen for days. Bought a new camera, we’ll have to deal with Best Buy’s warranty either when we get home or see a Best Buy. Went to a grocery store (Von’s is the local one) and stocked up on produce. California does have nice fruit and veggies but they cost more here, too.
Diesel was $4.99 in Mammoth Lakes and we were trying to get to Arizona before buying it but we saw it for $3.76 in Bishop on a Paiute Indian Reservation so we filled up and are set for a while now. This is the first we’ve seen diesel less than regular in a long time, and it was that way the whole time we were on the reservation.
We’ve now crossed over the Sierra Nevada Range and we’re in the Eastern Sierras which are just as beautiful as the Western Sierras. On one side of the road we have rugged rocky mountains (sometimes lava all around, too) as high as Mt. Whitney, the highest in the Sierras at 14,494’ and on the other we have sandy looking rounded mountains, tan, dark brown and sometimes a garnet red. At one point we had a few miles of cacti that had bristles on the tops, but only for a few miles and then they disappeared. On both sides of the road we have miles of sage flats, sand and sage brush leading up to the mountains. Passed the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Center but couldn’t see much.
We’re camping in Inyokern, CA, a little off Route 395. Los Angeles is about 150 to our west and Death Valley is about 100 miles to our east. The campground is small but we have a tree that actually gives us some shade. Outside our rear window is more sage brush filled with jackrabbits (there was even one lying in the sand right outside our door) and other little scurrying things. It’s right in the middle of the desert and we’re in a heat wave now, it was 110 degees at 4PM when we stopped. After we set up I tried to take a cold shower but we had no cold water. Had a great dinner with Pacific cod I got in Reno, we rarely get cod in Florida and this was really tasty. The skyline is beautiful at sunset, we’re surrounded by sand and the black mountains against the pink sky is wonderful. Windy here too after sunset but it’s more like a blast furnace. Stayed in the AC all night, fiddled with the new camera, read and caught up on e-mails.