Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Joshua Trees, Rusty Stuff, and a Ghost Town

Three of my favorite things! My next stop was Yucca Valley, CA, where I saw all three! First off was a hike in Joshua Tree National Park.

This is my favorite hike in the park. The first big attraction is this old pink house.

Lots of old pieces of the past are lying around.

Next up is a rusty old car, which I tried to drive.

And farther down the trail, another rusty car. My favorite, half buried in the sand...

We finally get to our destination, the Wall Street Mill.

We walked around the back -

And into the interior of the mill. Just fascinating!

The next day, I drove out to see Pioneer Town, just outside of Yucca Valley.

It's not really a ghost town. It was built in 1946 as a movie set.

Roy Rogers was one of the original investors. They have entertainment on the weekends -

But during the week, it's a pretty sleepy town. This was the only new friend I met...

The Bath House is definitely my favorite building.

A fun stop! Next up - Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Fossil Falls

Continuing our drive down Highway 395, we stopped briefly at a fairly new ghost town. There were lots of old magazines all over the floor, dating back 40 years or so.

Our next stop was Fossil Falls BLM campground.

It was a gorgeous spot in amongst all the old lava.

Fossil Falls is no longer a waterfall, but you can see how it used to be.

Looking "downstream." We tried to find a way to drive down there, but it was all closed off.

Looking across "the river."

The next day, Don took us on a 4-wheel drive trip up and around the big cinder cone there. There is a big quarry on one side.

It was a lot of fun, but the best thing was this group of birds flying overhead.

We went out to the overlook above Little Lake.

The colors down there are just gorgeous!

We're about done with Highway 395, but everyone agreed it was a great trip!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Looking for the Lone Pine in Lone Pine

And we never did find it! But Tuttle Creek campground just outside of Lone Pine is a beautiful spot with amazing views.

We went on a drive around the Alabama Hills nearby. Mount Whitney, shown here in the middle, is the highest peak in the lower 48, and visible from most of the area.

We were on a mission to find some of the many arches here. The first one we found was not very big...

But Mobius Arch is the the nicest one, and great for cheesy photos. Mount Whitney is just over Don's head.

We found another big one, but were too lazy to hike over to it.

So I just zoomed in...

The Alabama Hills are famous for being the site of many movies, primarily Westerns.

We went to the Lone Pine Museum of Western Film History, where we saw some of the vehicles used in the shoots.

I got to hug John Wayne!

And then I saw a picture of him when he was much younger, and was totally smitten...

I liked these chairs in town. If I ever get a house, I want one!

Friday, October 19, 2018


Our little group next moved down Hwy 395 to Independence, CA. Our first outing was to Manzanar, one of the camps that confined Japanese immigrants during World War II.

Over 10,000 men, women and children were confined here. Two-thirds of them were born in America! None were ever convicted of espionage or sabotage.

Only a few of the buildings remain, and they are recreations.

It was interesting, but sad, to see how these people were forced to live.

Nearby is a cemetery, where those who passed away during their time here are buried.

There were lots of origami flowers around the cemetery.

We also went to visit historic Mount Whitney Fish Hatchery.

They had a pond out in front with some very lucky fish in it. They are just here to amuse the tourists!

I feel like I'm in Switzerland!

We wanted to go inside, but unfortunately it was unexpectedly closed.

So I got a quick view through the window.

We also went to see the courthouse in Independence, but it was also closed. Hmmmm... We're not doing too well today...

And then, one of my favorite places - the Eastern California Museum, where there is LOTS of rusty stuff!

We were parked in a campground off the road to Onion Valley, so the next day we drove up the road to the top.

Here's the view looking WAY down to the town of Independence.

It was a short, but great, stop!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Down the Hill to Bishop

A 2000' drop down to Bishop, CA helped a lot with the temperature. We stayed at Horton Creek BLM campground, another gorgeous spot.

On our first day, we drove to see the local lakes. First up was Lake Sabrina. Sometimes it is totally empty at this time of year, but fortunately it has plenty of water this year.

We walked a little ways along the lake to get some color.

We then went up a dirt road -

To get to North Lake. I think we're about a week late for the best color, but it was still nice.

We then went down to South Lake, where the aspens were also a little past peak.

On our way home, we drove past a nice waterfall.

The next day, we drove a little north of town to see the 3 different ancient petroglyph sites. It was fun to imagine what the pictures depicted.

I see an alien here...

And there were petroglyphs of balloons from an ancient birthday party!

There were also some very unique lava rocks in the area.

We had a great time hunting for the petroglyphs in this beautiful country.

Sunset from our campground!