Thursday, April 2, 2009

So Ridgecrest, Cali was somewhat of a bust. There were a few boulders there, but nothing I would say worth the drive. It wasn't all that bad....we did get to camp out in the desert one more night with our BC friends we met in Joshua Tree. And we found a desert tortoise!!! Now that was a score!
After a tearful goodbye to our friends, we headed north solo for the first time in 3 months!! First stop....Lone Pine, California. What an amazing place!!! The town lies at the base Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower US. We spent a week camped out by the river, fishing and watching for bears, which we never did see!
Just west of Lone Pine is an area known as The Alabama Hills. The hills are known as a backdrop to many film and commercials that are filmed here.
We know it as a place to play and boulder!
We heard a lot about Bishop, Cali while in Joshua Tree. It sounded a lot like what Bend, Oregon use to be. A small outdoorsy town with mountains on one side and desert on the other. Heaven to us. On the way we spend a few hours at Manzanar National Monument, a Japanese Relocation Center during the war. The history here is amazing and highly educational for the kids. The barracks are gone now but you can still see traces of them among the trees and weeds that have now grown. Remains of an old tea garden still remain as well as the cemetery. The kids completed the Junior Ranger Program here and received their 11th badge.
If you haven't driven Hwy 395 from Reno south through the Eastern Sierras's then your truley missing someting. It's a drive I highly recommend. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. The mountains tower above you at 14,000 feet. And even though it's April now we really haven't seen much snow. The spring weather is awesome!. (except for the wind that always seems to blow) Right before Bishop we pit stopped at some hot springs to relax and "freshen up".
We spent just over a week around the Bishop area. It is well known in the bouldering scene. I believe we've been on the rocks everyday since our arrival. We are now on our way through Death Valley and on to Red Rocks just outside of Las Vegas to meet and climb with some friends we met in Joshua Tree.

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