After a short jog south on I-15, we followed Sherm's white Accord west on California 58 to Kramer Junction where we turned north on US 395. Eventually, the Sierra Nevada Mountains grew gradually out of the desert to our left. We followed the edge of the range to Lone Pine, where we stopped at the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center of the Inyo National Forest. By now, the higher mountains were showing some snow on top.
The Visitor Center at Lone Pine was interesting. There was a big picture window featuring Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 United States. I have seen several reported heights above sea level varying from 14,494 feet to 14,505. They also had some exhibits related to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, including a topographical model, and a piece of the Los Angeles aqueduct pipe that delivered clear mountain waters to the big city.
They had a piece of huge pipe that had been part of the aqueduct transporting clean mountain water to Los Angeles. Around the turn of the 20th Century, this had been delivered to the site by mule team and positioned by hand.
We left Lone Pine at about 11:15 AM. The temperature was 92 F and the locals were commenting on how unusually cool it was.
In Bishop, we decided to stop for lunch. They had a nice looking bakery/cafe but it was very crowded. Not surprising, because it was lunch time. We settled for Denny's and probably shouldn't have. This Denny's was slow at the counter and the bathrooms were not anywhere near up to standard.
We stopped for some photos of a lake. The water from the mountains ran under the highway and was still feeding it. Down by the lake shore, there was a herd of black cows.
We arrived at the Travelodge in Mammoth Lakes about 2:00 PM. The vistas and the 7,900 foot elevation took our breath away. I had called ahead and asked about an early check in, so they allowed us to get our key right away. The hotel was older, but the room was clean and the staff was friendly. The fellow on the desk had no problem splitting our bill between two credit cards. They also had a cavernous underground parking garage.
We went for a drive looking for supper and found the Good Life Cafe. They had an interesting menu. Sherm stuck to his regimen with a large Cobb salad while Sandy coerced me into splitting a Monte Cristo sandwich. That was wrong in several ways. Bread and white icing sugar. But it was good.
Back at the room, I sorted the photos from the day and transcribed my notes, but went to bed without writing the story to go with it. That's what tomorrow is for.
Today's Route (255 Equinox miles):