Trip Index

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Lone Pine, the Alabama Hills, and hike to Telescope Peak
Lone Pine lives along the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevadas, where the desert meets the foothills. It's a major point of entry into the mountains via both the road to Whitney Portal, and Horseshoe Valley Road. After many switchbacks to the campgrounds at the top, expeditions set out by foor or horseback into the High Country, often on trails that leads into Sequoia / Kings Canyon.

BMW Lone Pine Biker & 2 Hikers

a group of small businesses tucked in behind the main street, spotted through a narrow entranceway from the sidewalk

That night, we had a reservation at Whitney Portal Campground. After big burgers at the Whitney Portal Store we enjoyed a campfire.    
Half Dome on the move...
"Catching Air" while beating upwind on a scorching hot day
This trip, instead of poking around for a slightly cheaper motel (maybe 20$), we decided to get advance reservations at the Dow Villa.

Let me tell you, this is the place we'll be staying on all future trips.
Evening smoke from the huge fire over in Sequoia/Kings Canyon.
Very nice rooms, and hot pools and swimming as well...
This trip, we went out of Lone Pine towards the foothills and visited the Alabama Hills.
It's another different world from the granite of the distant peaks, and very interesting...
The next day we drove back down the switchbacks from Whitney Portal, and went back up on huge switchbacks to Horseshoe Meadow.
The view eastward over the Owens Valley from part-way up to Horseshoe Meadow, the same place we had a basecamp for the 2013 Mt. Langley trip.

2013 Mt. Langley trip report
Coming down from the mountains, we headed south and eastward toward the Panamint Mountains, and our upcoming camping at Mahogany Flat 8100 feet up.
The view from Father Crowley Point, part way there.
Mahogany Flat. 10 "out-there" campsites on the top of a large knoll. Look west and see the Sierras across the Panamint Valley, and Death Valley directly below you on the east side.

After a great hike, our next night was at Stovepipe Wells, in a motel, with a wonderful early-morning swim!

Off to the Coast and Monterey
Two Fascinating things on the road to Mahogany Flat Campground up past the Charcoal Kilns...
This is a Tarantula Hawk. A form of wasp that lays eggs in Tarantulas as its way of providing food for its offspring. They are easy to find at the time of year that Tarantulas are best for finding. They're a good size, and I wouldn't want to be stung by one.
This is a low slung car that was burning up its clutch as some dude was trying to get up to Mahogany Flat with two elderly people in the car with him. Look at the tires and the ground clearance. The front wheel drive tires were spinning to get traction on the steep grades, and by good graces, he was able to make it down backwards to where we met them.

It was a hot day and the radiator fan in the car was whirring....we talked about that...and he told me that he drives a lot on the street in L.A. and always keeps the radiator covered with cardboard 'cause " it's better for the engine power". And now in Death Valley the cardboard was still there, and he was sure everything would be fine.

We were able to talk to his passengers, and managed to convince him to turn around and go back down closer to civilization. Personally, I think a potential disaster was in the making up to that point.
Today's hike is the 14 mile round trip up to Telescope Peak. Around Roger's Peak, through Arcane Meadows, around the west side of Bennett Peak then eventually up the switchbacks to the top.

With Telescope Peak in the left background, we visit Badwater in Death Valley, the lowest point (282 feet below Sea Level). and it's hot and sunny.

The Furnace Creek Visitor Center is wonderful, and the night section with Creatures of the Desert is excellent.
The Harmony Borax works was a large business in the past, and Ronny Reagan was a big promoter of borax in his days as an actor.