After leaving Baja, we spent a few days at the Pio Pico and Wilderness Lakes Thousand Trails campgrounds in Southern California. Wilderness Lakes was anything but wilderness as it turned out to be surrounded by the ever-growing suburbs of LA. We did enjoy some wine tasting in nearby Temecula and Jaime cranked through some laundry.
We needed to be back in Oregon by May 25th so we decided to take the very scenic route of Highway 395 North. Our first stop was the Tuttle Creek BLM Campground outside of Lone Pine. We had stayed here in November 2016 and loved the campground and surrounding Sierra Mountains and Alabama Hills. The bargain price of $5 per night had jumped to $8 but was still a good deal.
The weather was initially a bit warm during the day but cooled off nicely at night.
The sunsets were pretty spectacular and we ended up staying for over a week.
I enjoyed some high altitude hiking that was a bit challenging after spending so much time at sea level in Baja. The hike to Lone Pine Lake started at 8,000 feet at Whitney Portal and went up to almost 11,000 feet.
This trail also goes to the top of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the continental US.
Another hike up from our campsite went to a Shangri-La like stone lodge that turned out to be an ashram started back in 1929.
I also got a couple of good mountain bike rides in in the Alabama Hills.
We packed up and headed North to a boondocking spot just below Mammoth Lakes called The Rock Tub Hot Springs. We ended up staying across the road from the tub.
The Rock Tub looked appealing in photos but wasn’t as nice in person. Fortunately, we found another concrete tub nearby that was heated by hot springs with much better views.
We spent one night and then drove up through Lake Tahoe to Lake of the Springs Thousand Trails for another night. After Lake of the Springs, we moochdocked with cousin Christine and her family in Chico.