Before Covid19 interrupted our lives, we had planned to take a couple of days and drive over to my favorite part of California – the Eastern side of the Sierras.
The eastern Sierra stretches from Lone Pine in the south to the Nevada line in the north and contains many of the Sierra\’s most awe-inspiring settings. From the highest mountain in the lower U.S., Mount Whitney to the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park, this side of the sierra is truly a treasure. And the big plus is, not many tourists take this route so mum\’s the word! I especially enjoy it in the Fall months.
Mono Lake on 395 – heading south to Yosemite.
Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in an endorheic basin. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. These salts also make the lake water alkaline. This high desert lake has an unusually productive ecosystem based on brine shrimp that thrive in its waters and provides critical habitat for two million annual migratory birds that feed on the shrimp and alkali flies. Historically, the native Kutzadika\’a people derived nutrition from the Ephydra hians pupae, which live in the shallow waters around the edge of the lake.
When the city of Los Angeles diverted water from the freshwater streams flowing into the lake, it lowered the lake level, which imperiled the migratory birds. The Mono Lake Committee formed in response and won a legal battle that forced Los Angeles to partially replenish the lake level.
Eastern side of Yosemite entrance.
These photos were taken back in 2015 –
I can\’t wait till to get back over this way. October is the best month.
It was COLD that October when we went.
I love ghost towns and Bodie does not disappoint. From 1859 to the 1940s. What remains of this town is preserved as it was when the last of the residents left. The interiors are maintained as they were left, still furnished, and stocked- a snapshot into the past.
A bedroom –
A classroom – school books covered with dust
Coffins for sale at the Mortuary.
The old church
According to the park service, many left in the 1930s.
This was the outside of the school. The teachers, mostly single women, lived upstairs.
It was after my sister had passed away suddenly. I needed to get away so we just spontaneously, took the seats out of our van, laid down a mattress, and drove east! We spent the night on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) property which is free. We had our dog with us. We grilled some steaks one night as we watched the sunset over the big mountains. Boy, it was cold. Snowed lightly one night.
We stayed one night in a retro car motel in Lee Vining. Ate at a \’50s/60\’s diner called Nicely\’s. The next day we drove on into Yosemite and camped the night in a campground. We were lucky to get a site or else we would have had to drive out of the park and get a room. It was fun – I\’d rather have my tent trailer but it was just what I needed. I\’m really needing an escape like that NOW!
When our backs started hurting, we came on home. I hope you enjoyed this partial trip through the Eastern Sierras. It was such a simple little trip – and I can\’t wait to go back.