Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July Drive Vacation - Day 1

Welcome to another Moore Family drive vacation... that's where we get in the car and drive with no plan other than a general direction. This vacation's direction is NORTH-EAST, toward Bodie. The BIG difference this time is that the kiddos are in summer school, so we left them at home. I was worried leaving them. Cheryl is 20yrs old, but she's still my baby girl. Well, enough of my mommy fears and on to the vacation...

Jim and I started out Wednesday afternoon after I got off work. We drove NORTH-EAST until it got dark and ended up in Bishop off hwy 395, where it was 102F at 6:30pm!

We studied the map that night and made plans for the next day. Our first stop was going to be Devil's Postpile in Mammoth. Well, it turns you can't drive to Devil's Postpile. We had to park at the Mammoth ski resort and take a shuttle bus to the trail head. It was only a .5 mile walk to Devil's Postpile.

Devil's Postpile was just as I've seen in photos.

We took the short walk to the top of the postpile, and I was amazed that the top of the posts were prefect hexagonals. They looked just like polished paving stones.

It was only 2 miles further on to Rainbow Falls. Other hikers on the trail told us it was a "DO NOT MISS" spot! Well, since we were there, we trekked 2 miles further to Rainbow Falls. It was WONDERFUL. If you look carefully, you can see the double rainbow at the bottom left of the photo.

We liked it so much that we climbed to the bottom of the falls. There was a lot of water coming over those falls. It was 25F cooler at the bottom than it was at the top. The water was freezing!

More scuttlebutt on the trail said that the Lower Rainbow Falls was even better than this (the upper falls), so we set off down the trail 0.75 miles further to the Lower Falls. I didn't think it was better... you really couldn't see it unless you leaned over the cliff, but I took this nice photo of Jim!

So... .5 miles to Devil's Postpile, PLUS 2 miles to Upper Rainbow Falls, PLUS .75 miles to Lower Rainbow Falls = 3.25 miles UPHILL back to the shuttle bus stop, WHEW!!! After getting out of there and stopping for lunch in Mammoth, we headed to our next destination, Mono Lake.

We've driven by the lake quite a few times, but this is the first time we've stopped. It's a very eerie place. These "tufas" are formed when the calcium rich underground springs seeped up into the carbonate rich lake.

It was unexpectedly beautiful! After walking around the Lake for a ways, it was back to the car and on to our planned destination, the ghost town of Bodie!

When we first came around the bend and saw Bodie, we both said, WOW! It was an entire town, with standing buildings... over 135 buildings!

As we were walking through the town peeking into the buildings, where people just "up and left," we were surprised to see old time radios, a chalk board at the school, an old newspaper with the headline, "Trojans defeat Bruins," and a pick-up truck???????!!! What's going on? This was supposed to be a gold town from the 1800's!

As we finally got around to the park museum, we found out that Bodie is an old GOLD town, but it's a GHOST town from the depression (1930s). I guess it was still interesting, but I was expecting an old "wild west" type ghost town.

It was a busy first day! For being the middle of summer, all the places we visited today were very quiet. There didn't seem to be many people vacationing in the Eastern Sierras this summer, lucky us! Stay tuned for Day 2!


Mara... said...

I love your idea of just driving someplace on vacation, very cool. I love Mammoth, too. We hiked up to those very spots last summer. Beautiful Beautiful place!! Can't wait to see Day 2...

Mary said...

WOW!!! Love your photos and thanks for sharing such detail with us! It is really fun reading about your trip and seeing the pictures! Like Mara, I am looking forward to seeing Day 2.

BethieJ said...

Joni I LOVED the photos.. what a FUN vacation! Cant wait to see more!!