On October 29, 2003 we departed the Tahoe Valley Campground in South Lake Tahoe, California on the way back to Twentynine Palms. We were lucky to get out of town before the blizzard. The route we took south was on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and we went through a little town called Lone Pine where we decided to spend a few days. I have mentioned Lone Pine a few times before. You can reference my post on the Bristlecone Pine Forest posted on July 20, 2014 and the post on Manzanar posted on October 13, 2014.
Lone Pine is the gateway to Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in the continental USA. The lowest point in the United States is at Death Valley in the Death Valley National Park about 100 miles east of Lone Pine. We drove east planning to go to the Death Valley Park, but somewhere along the line I made a wrong turn and we never actually got to see the lowest spot in the US. It was a long drive back to Lone Pine and getting late, so we decided to visit the site at a later date.
The Alabama Hills are between Lone Pine and Mt. McKinley. Many movies have been shot in these hills, including “High Sierra”, “Maverick” with Mel Gibson, “Lives of a Bengal Lancer” and “Along the Great Divide with Kirk Douglas. There is a museum called the Lone Pine Movie Room that attempts to keep alive the old western traditions and movie memorabilia. Highly recommended if you find yourself in Lone Pine someday.
Additionally there is an Eastern California Museum that has artifacts and stories from Inyo County, Death Valley and all the eastern Sierra area. The museum has been open since 1928 and is filled with artifacts. They feature over 27,000 photos depicting history of the area.
We spent five days driving around the Lone Pine area, using the Boulder Creek RV Park as our home base. Things are so far apart, I think we probably drove 600 miles while we were there – some of the miles were pretty rough. The trip to the Bristlecone Pine went up to 15,000 feet and the roads were more like rocky ruts making for slow driving. The trip one way took about four hours.
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|Arlon in the Bristlecone Pine Forest wearing Texas winter clothes.|
|Bristlecone Pines live in very harsh conditions at 15,000 feet elevation,|
|A cabin in the Alabama Hills|
|A happy face in the Alabama Hills.|
|The View from our RV Park|
|Another view of the domed cabin.|
|A waterfall coming down from Mt. Whitney,|