A new adventure awaits on the left coast.
May 1, 2015
Upon landing at LAX, I was able to tick something off of my life’s To Do list with a pit stop at the world-famous Randy’s Donuts. Had a chocolate frosted. Wish I had another one right now!
The day was set aside for bumming around. We didn’t really have anything planned, we were playing it by ear.
Neither of us had ever been to the city proper of Los Angeles before. On our past trips to California, we kind of skirted around the edges. It was surprising just how low the buildings are.
New York is so vertical and it colors my impression of how other major cities would be. Instead, as we looked out across the expanse from the Griffith Observatory, it seemed like we were looking at a gigantic smog covered suburb – low and tight, like a mega-Queens.
The highways are madness. Having 7 lanes of traffic going in one direction is culture shock. Since I am the worlds worst passenger (even in a car) it was like chaotic sensory overload.
Kenny and I did some touristy things. But the air went out of that balloon very quickly. Neither of us is a fan of crowds. We naturally gravitated to heading back towards the canyons for a little elbow room.
We checked out Mulholland Highway, stopped at the Rock Store and went to see what was going on over by the Snake. That’s the turn that seems to have a tractor beam that pulls riders in to the guardrail that you’ve seen on YouTube 8,000 times.
I felt like it was bad juju just hanging around to watch the action so thankfully no guardrail eaters were out. Instead it was a couple guys going back and forth and back and forth over the same corners. Considering how interesting the surrounding riding is, I don’t get the appeal of doing the same thing over and over but, whatever puts a smile on your face.
The Day’s Important Tally
- 8 Postcards
- 1 Donut
- 2 Muffler Men
- Several Tourist Locations
- 1 Munch Box
- 1 Not Corey Feldman
It’s 0’dark thirty on Sunday morning now. You never realize how noisy a granola bar and it’s wrapper are until you try to eat one while your spouse is sleeping.
Today we will be heading north to get the meat of our trip underway. Have a good day, Y’all!
Sunday – May 3, 2015
On the way up from LA we did stop and do a few things:
- Musical Road
- Red Rock State Park
- Uniroyal Gal and the Hubcap capital of the world
- Hiked in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
- Erick Schat’s Bakery in Bishop
One of the stops we made was to check out the musical road in Lancaster, Ca. It’s so ridiculous but I couldn’t resist. How it works is there are grooves in the road that “play” a tune through the tires of your car as you drive over them. You might have seen it on Top Gear with Jeremy driving an Lexus LFA, which is a ta bit more exciting than a rental Altima. But, here it is nonetheless:
I bought the very same Bristlecone Pines postcard that someone sent to me last year. (Thanks, Eric!)
Hiking through the Ancient Bristlecone Forest was a fascinating experience. The trees remind me of living driftwood. Many of them in this grove are over 4,000 years old. That blows my mind. They are twisted and gnarled, clinging to the Earth in inhospitable conditions and yet they find a way to carry on.
We are staying in a 2 bedroom condo in Mammoth for a few nights. It is really nice to be able to spend time with each other in a common space rather than retreating back to separate rooms.
What isn’t so nice? When you’re trying to be quiet while making coffee at 4:30 in the morning and flip the switch to turn on the light in the kitchen… only to find that it’s garbage disposal. So far my score is 0 for being quiet in the morning.
The town that I live in is 84 feet above sea level. We started today with a ride around Saddlebag Lake off of the Tioga Pass. It sits at over 10,000 ft of elevation. As you might imagine, I was sucking wind! My legs felt good, felt strong but holy crap it was like I couldn’t catch my breath.
After our ride around Saddlebag, we dropped down a few thousand feet to check out Mono Lake and the cool tufa.
All day the rain danced around us. While we were at Mono Lake, we could see the rain surrounding us on all sides with just a ring of sunshine hanging over the lake where we were.
After a great and challenging day of riding, we capped off the afternoon with pizza, beer and taking in the last of the sunshine on the deck.
On our morning ride for breakfast, I made a new friend. High five, buddy!
After breakfast we took the Starkweather Trail to visit the Devil’s Postpile.
(I nicked this pic from Ed)
One of the great things about traveling is the unexpected stops. We hadn’t planned on visiting the Devil’s Postpile but since we were in the neighborhood…
My daughter has one of those nifty National Park Passport books in which you get stamps from the national parks and monuments you visit. I think I need to get myself one. That and a squished penny album. Yes, I know they’re silly but I can’t resist those darned things!