After being stuck in Mammoth Lakes, California for a day thanks to a lot of snow, I’m about to head out back on the road towards home. I lucked out on Sunday night when I stopped to find a hotel; the wind was picking up – eventually raging with gusts of 60-75 mph, which I dubbed a snowicane – and I didn’t want to drive in the dark. The internet led me to Juniper Springs Lodge here in Mammoth Lakes, and it was perfect for watching the snow come down. My hotel room turned out to be a small apartment, complete with a full kitchen, a living room area with a fireplace, a wonderful and much needed hot shower, and a comfortable king size bed. The staff was so friendly, they even offered to take me down to the Vons grocery store in town to get groceries. (I had my “camping food” with me, but I was craving fresh veggies that I could roast!) The roads were covered in snow, and it was still coming down quite heavily, so I gladly accepted the ride!
Today I will see the highest point in the lower 48 states, Mount Whitney. 14,505 feet up to the top, not that I’m climbing it! I do plan to drive up to the Whitney Portal if the road is open. Then a short time later, I’ll be in Death Valley and at the lowest point, 282 feet BELOW sea level. So crazy that these two places are maybe 100 miles apart.
I’m most likely camping in Death Valley — no, I will not DIE, in spite of the name. Not sure how my body is going to react after a week at 6000-8000 feet of elevation to be back at or below sea level so suddenly. I have a long list of places to see there, and I’ve been told repeatedly how gorgeous it is, so I can’t wait!