We left today and flew to Ontario CA. The plane flew along the eastern slope of the Cascades. We thought we had scored and would be able to see Whitney. Not so lucky! The plane crossed over the Sierras between Tahoe and Yosemite and ended up approaching Ontario from the Central Valley. We did get a great view of the Yosemite Valley.
We picked up our compact (slow climbing hills) Hyundai and headed north. Gosh, is it a power-less wonder. We traveled over Cajon Pass in the shadow of Mt. Baldy and quickly got a taste for the fast driving in CA. Now I know why SUVs sell so well. While we were in the truck lane, SUV after SUV passed us at 75 MPH. The Hyundai struggled along at 60mph.
After a quick stop at In-N-Out burger in Hesperia, we crossed the Mojave Desert. Nothing but heat for miles. How did people drive across without AC? I remember traveling once with my parents from Pasadena. We crossed the area at night to avoid the heat. You could feel it through the car roof and floor. But slowly in the distance we could see the Sierras!
After about 3 hours, we reached Lone Pine. We still had a couple of hours left to drive before reaching Mammoth Lakes for four days to acclimate. We decided to go ahead and drive up to the Portal so we would know where the trailhead and parking were located. It took us about 30 minutes to drive up even at the slow pace. What gorgeous views from the road.
We finally reached Mammoth after 5pm after about a 5 hour drive (300 miles). We checked into our condo and headed for the grocery store and then pizza and beer.