Living in the Bay Area can be traffic hell. If you aren’t crawling along at a slow, slow pace, then chances are the major thoroughfares are still pretty crowded. So when you get a freeway like this (see below), it’s like a magical slice of highway heaven. Road manna.
Where is this manna business, you will surely ask. U.S. Route 395, which heads from Southern California up to Canada. As you can see, it makes me happy.
We hit 395 close to Lake Tahoe, then whizzed down towards Bridgeport and Bishop. Since we were guns blazing for Death Valley and Palm Springs, we didn’t stop as much as we would have liked. Also, many attractions were still closed for winter. I would recommend driving down (or up) in summer, when the Aspens and Poplars are bending softly in the wind, their shimmering leaves contrasting with the starkly rising mountains and dry desert brush. For miles you’ll be driving along the Sierra’s, even passing under the shadow of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous U.S. Sunset has some good recommendations, especially for a trip in fall. Definitely on my list of to-do’s next time:
Devil’s Postpile National Monument: crazy rocks apparently having to do with the devil. Just kidding! Geographically wonderful rock formation looking very vertical.
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest: home to the world’s “oldest known living non-clonal organism.” Ahem, what? Aka, fantastically gnarled, super old trees.
Hiking Mt. Whitney (or at least driving closer along the Mt. Whitney Portal road).
See ya in summer, 395.