In February of 2010 we made a trip up to the Owens Valley in CA. We visited the town of Lone Pine and the area around it, including Owens Lake and Whitney Portal. The weather was clear and warm, perfect considering the back drop of the Sierra Nevada mountains covered in snow. We visited the Lone Pine Film History Museum, where we learned all about all the different films that were filmed in and around the Alabama Hills right outside of Lone Pine. We also attempted to drive up to Whitney Portal to see the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mt. Whitney. The attempt was aborted due to road closure and excessive snow, although we did hike up as far as possible without snowshoes.
The next day we drove across the Inyo Mountains into Death Valley to scratch a national park off our list. We visited the sand dunes just outside of the Stovepipe Wells area, and then headed up to Scotty’s Castle at the northern end of the park. There was some road maintenance due to the american recovery act that allocated funds to put American’s to work, so it took a little longer than normal, but it was a nice drive. It was scenic seeing the snowy mountains in the background with sandy desert in the foreground. There was quite a bit of water in the valleys, much more than I expected to see. After seeing Scotty’s castle, we drove down through Furnace Creek, checking out the visitor center and museum before going to see the lowest point in North America, Badwater. It was pretty impressive with the salt flats and the lake that formed from all the recent rain in California during the winter. Then it was time to drive home, stopping in Baker, CA for some alien jerky. Trip successful.