I got out of Susanville at a reasonable hour. (For me 10am is good.) My hopes and expectations for the day were so high they nearly went through the roof of my truck.
My plan was to drive south on HWY 395, through Reno/Sparks and into California to find one of my favorite haunts from the early 80's. I had a girlfriend back then that was building a house for her parents in the area. When I visited her she would always take me in her old Chevy truck to miraculous places. One of those places was Buckeye Hot Springs. Buckeye is seven miles up an unmarked gravel road. Once you find the area you can park in it's a harrowing walk down slimy rocks. Meanwhile right next to the hotsprings the Stanislaus River is crashing down it's bed making melodramatic harmonies.
The local people who know the area often go down in the spring once the snow has cleared and build up a pool for the 120 degree water that comes out of those slimy rocks. If you get too hot in the 'pool' it's just a step over a pile of rocks into 40 degree water. You have to hold on though, especially in the spring because the snow melt makes for a furious current.
So I walked all the way back down the road, and took a few shots of the view.
And a long shot just so I could show you where I was. (which was about 6000ft up on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Range).
So I got in the truck, drove down to the cutoff for Bodie, went around two roadblocks and when I was a mile and a half away I found this sign with a was a big green locked gate that I couldn't drive around.
If I had gone ahead and broke the rules I would have had some backlit ghost town ruins to show you. But as they say 'When your dreams turn to dust maybe it's time to vacuum'.
So I drove down to Mono Lake. It too has changed in since I'd last been there. There was a lot more water in it than I remembered, obscuring the majority of the salt formations that make it amazing.
I then drove to Bishop and checked the pricing on a few hotels. The cheapest was way out of my price range. Besides in the 20 years since I had been there it has changed dramatically. They now cater to people who can afford to have cabins up there and go skiing during the winter. In the spring they cater to those who play golf. Cheapest hotel was over a hundred bucks.
Lone Pine, with a population of 1000 and an all night howling wind turned out to be where I ended day two. I am happy because I caught up on the blogging and the internet was pretty decent. Stay tuned for day three which will be a trip through Death Valley and some ghost towns in Nevada. Thanks for reading.... yona c. riel