Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Long Way To Lone Pine

From Amargosa Valley, Nevada to Lone Pine, California, there is a short way to go and then there is a long way to go.  At my insistence, we took the long way.

The short way to Lone Pine is through Death Valley.  We drove to the west exit of the park to try out that route.  It involves two mountain ranges and you start from a valley that is below sea level.  The first climb is one of 5,000 feet with several miles of 8% grade.  At the top, you have to drop back down 3,500 feet with a few miles of 9% grade.  Then you cross another valley and that is all the easy part.  That part I think I could have dealt with.  But after that second valley there is another climb of 3,500 feet but this one has a lot more curves and blind ones than the first climb with mainly 8%grade.  There are some drop offs but at least there are guard rails, but on many of the curves you would have to have your wheels over the center line going around them in a 40 foot motor home pulling a car.

At the end of the our test trip, Gary confidently proclaimed, “I can do this route”.  I was somewhat surprised to hear this so I had to think about it more myself.  And I thought about it that entire night.  I got very little sleep as I was thinking about it so much.  I told Gary that if we were going to take that route I would be a wreck and would have to do it lying on the floor of the motor home.

At that point he relented and agreed we would take the much easier longer route that is twice as many miles.  So a couple days later we rolled out of Amargosa Valley and made our way south to I-15.  We passed an expensive gas station, some interesting rock formations, sand dunes, and an exit with a cool name



We overnighted in Boron, California and the next day finished the trip up to Lone Pine at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  As we passed the point where we would have have come through on the shorter route, Gary was still saying we could have gone the shorter way, but not without acknowledging that he sure would not have wanted to have had vehicle trouble on the way.

20140503_131649_5_bestshotWe arrived at our campground in Lone Pine to this spectacular view across the front of our motor home to Lone Pine Peak with a bit of the Alabama Hills in the foreground.  I felt much better that we took the long way to Lone Pine.

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