Sunday, April 28, 2013

Whitney Portal and the Alabama Hills

Yesterday's drive from Needles to Lone Pine was only 280 or so miles, but it just took forever.  There's a lot of climbing on 395 and the drive seemed like it took a day and a half.  Note to self, get up earlier if we do this route again.  This is what you see on 395.  I was becoming very apprehensive about the RV Park because I knew it was right on 395, and there's nothing out there.  All was well, it's a nice park, it's not as grim nearer to Lone Pine and I think it will be an OK two weeks here.

We went to the visitor's center to ask about the famous Mobius Arch formation and the Bristlecone Pines.  While we were there the nice park ranger told us to go to the Whitney Portal.  Lone Pine is very close to Mt. Whitney, which is the tallest peak in the continental US.  One can drive up to the Whitney Trail trai lhead, and then walk 10.5 miles to the summit.  This is what we saw on the road up to the Portal.

A Jay we saw in the parking lot.

We walked a little bit up the Whitney Trail.  The base of the trail is at 8,400 feet, and we can absolutely tell that we're at that elevation.  There is a 2.5 mile trail to a lake we'd like to do, but I'm not sure if I'm going to be up to it. There's another 2,000 feet of elevation gain getting to the lake.  Look at the scenery - is it not spectacular?

More scenery.


This is going back down the big hill.  It's good to have tow haul on the truck, it saves the brakes.

After the trip up to the Whitney Portal, we drove out to the Alabama Hills.  Almost every western produced between 1920 and 1950 was filmed out there.  Recently, parts of Django Unchained were filmed there.

This is the famous arch.  We were somewhat underwhelmed.  Fortunately we didn't have to walk very far to see it.  I think after Utah, one is spoiled for all other arches.

It's hot here, they're having an unseasonably warm spring.  The people who fish are really happy because the high mountain lakes are no longer frozen.  I personally would not mind it if it were 15 degrees cooler, but what can you do?
I'm still tired, it seems like it should be over by now but it's not.  I'm beginning to suspect that "3 month recovery period" means a person is going to feel like crap for three months.  Hopefully not, we're trying to be patient but it is extremely tedious.


  1. Three months isn't really that long when you think about the rest of your life. Relax and enjoy the vehicle rides and the scenery. I am sure the higher elevations aren't help your feelings at all. Take care of yourself. Thinking of you!

  2. I love the Eastern Sierra's...can't wait to go there with the RV and stay awhile. Did I tell you I hiked Mt Whitney in one day, this was in 2005. One of my biggest life accomplishments!

    Hans and I prefer cooler temps as well. It's hard to do all the outdoor activities when it's hot!