Never have I ever seen the backside of California between Reno and Lone Pine. What a spectacular stretch of land this is. Our day tracked highway 395 south, right until the end. We passed through Mono Lake and wove our way through canyons and over passes, until we reached the valley floor just to the west of Death Valley. All the while, the mighty mountains of the Sierra Nevada loomed impressively on our right. The elevation change was significant, going from around 4,000′, up to 8,000′, and back down again to 3,000′. As we continued south, the land shifted steadily from a high Sierras look, to a more Joshua Tree look. There were blooming cacti and irises dotting the landscape, and I happily noted the abundance of water in all of the lakes and rivers.
Richard worked on and off all day, but was admittedly distracted by how very scenic the route was. We looked at a couple of possible stopping points and ended up deciding to shoot for Red Rocks Canyon State Park off of Highway 14. That timed out well with the weather because we got there around 5, just as the sun was going down behind the canyon walls to provide some shade.
The canyons themselves are simply unbelievable. It’s like having our own mini version of Bryce Canyon, minus the throngs of tourists. We got to pick any site we wanted and there was only one other person there when we arrived. Our spot was nestled right up against a wall of gorgeous hoodoos. The only downside was the literal down side of the site. Meaning, even with the BAL leveler, we were not able to get Dory completely level. Not a huge problem, but the shower does not drain properly when she’s tippy.
Another pin goes in the CA state parks map, but this one would be worth another visit to explore further. Maybe in the Spring though, when it’s not 100º outside.
Total miles: 281.9, 16.3 mpg, 6 hours 41 min. Site 19, beautiful but very unlevel. No hookups, but water spigots here and there. Vault toilets, some are closed. No reservations, first come, first served. Minimal service for both, but with the booster, we got 3-4 bars of LTE. ATT seems to be generally faster and stronger in this part of the state.