Steve and I left Los Angeles around 3:30 p.m. and made it into Bishop around 7:30 p.m. - our normal 4 hour drive time. We checked in to our teeny little motel and headed straight for Wilson's. I've said this in previous posts, but it really is a magical store. If you haven't been to Wilson's, make it a priority for your next visit. After our obligatory trip to Wilson's, which ended up being the first of four visits for the weekend, we stopped by Las Palmas for dinner. They have pretty decent Mexican food, considering that we were 366 miles away from the US/Mexico border. Steve swears by the burritos (any burrito) since they are the size of a pickup truck. I had the chimichanga, which I argue is the best thing on their menu. Um, helloooo, it's a FRIED BURRITO.
Saturday morning we made our second obligatory trip to Wilson's, but not before visiting Schat's Bakkery on Main Street. They were out of cheese pockets, which I was not thrilled about. Luckily, everything they make is delicious and Schat's was soon forgiven for their lack of cheese pocket.
Steve and I began our exploration by heading north on 395 toward Mammoth. Steve was eager to check out Mono Lake, which is located about 25 minutes past Mammoth Lakes. The town leading into Mono Lake, Lee Vining, was all but devoid of life. Everything closed down for winter, even though the roads were clear from snow and ice, as they have been all season. The lake itself was kind of interesting, but Steve and I found more interesting exploits in the two large rocks that were at the entrance of Mono Lake's tourist center. I'm certain that if the center was open, we would have been reprimanded immediately. In reality, these weren't two large rocks, these were practically boulders. And what do we do with boulders? Well we climb them of course.
That's how, on Sunday morning, we found ourselves bumpily driving along Buttermilks Road in my little RSX, a car that was most definitely not built for off-roading. We spent about a hour playing around with some of the familiar problems, mainly Ironman Traverse, before deciding to make our final stop at Schat's on our way out of town.
I want to mention that I had also purchased a pair of Sanuk's from a store in Mammoth the day before. I initially felt like a sell-out, until I spent 20 minutes in my new climbing shoes and then slipped on the Sanuk's for relief. My feet had died and gone to heaven! Totally worth every penny.
Our final stop of the vacation was in the town of Lone Pine for a quick pic of Mount Whitney in all of it's ominous glory:
Still Dreaming of Bishop