We had intended to stay overnight in Lee Vining, but apparently everyone
else on earth had the same idea; every hotel in town was sold out.
Instead, we rode 25 miles further up 395 to Bridgeport (and saw an
amazingly hot pink and orange sunset over Mono Lake on the way), which
wound up being the best idea ever. If you stay overnight in Bridgeport,
have dinner at “1881”, which is across the street from the Best
Western. Excellent food and local Mammoth Brewing Company hefeweizen.
The unexpected highlights of the route today were Hwy 266 around Lida,
NV, and Hwy 168 through Inyo National Forest into Big Pine, CA. The
former was that wonderful western Nevada scenery with bright yellow
sagebrush (achoo!), vibrant brush flowers, and stark nearby moutains.
The latter, as it turns out, is the Ancient Bristlecone highway (well,
that’s what my AAA map says — the actual forest is off of a side road
13 miles along Hwy 168 from Big Pine). Gorgeous swooping narrow
twisties, which have sadly gone unphotographed because I was having too
much fun riding. We saw a desert fox near the valley floor, which I
think Peter did get a picture of (he ran away when I got my camera out
We met up with our new friend Lynn (see the Beatty entry) at the Chevron
in Big Pine, which also has a damn good taqueria. 40 miles into CA and
I can get a great homemade burrito. I love California. The three of us
sat and chatted for a while, which was nice. 🙂
Since we’re in Bridgeport instead of Lee Vining, we’re talking about
taking Hwy 108 (Sonora Pass) tomorrow instead of Hwy 120 (Tioga). The
aspens are starting to turn, which transforms 108 into a shimmery ribbon
of gold. I think Sonora is the most visually spectacular of the Sierra
passes, especially in autumn.