Saturday, July 16, 2011

EJCGC - Episode II - Lone Pine

We are in Lone Pine, California... a cute little town of about 2,000 people that sits in the shadow of Mt. Whitney, which at 14k feet is the highest mountain in the contiguous states. The landscape here is really stunning, a huge line of mountains that seem to drop straight down to a flat desert valley. Whitney and Lone Pine Peak are at the bottom end of the Sierra Nevada range, and part of the John Muir Wilderness. Here's a pic of Mt. Whitney from Wikipedia...

I'm realizing that this area is rich in history, and I was completely ignorant about it before the trip. Today we started south on highway 395 from Carson City, through Mono Lake (where gas costs 4.65 a gallon!). At a rest stop near Mammoth Lakes I learned about the "Lost Cement Mine", a legendary huge gold mine in the area that even Mark Twain searched for in the 1860's. The plaque pictured here is really funny, it basically states that if you find it to contact the authorities so that they can put this marker in the right spot. Uh, yea sure, I'm going to contact the government if I find the mother lode!

Lone Pine itself has some interesting history as well. In the late 1800's much of the town was destroyed by a massive earthquake that killed about 10% of its residents. During World War II the Manzanar War Relocation Center held Japanese Americans in internment camps. This facility has been turned into a National Monument and I'm hoping that the visitor center is educating Americans about our shameful practice during this time. Lastly, the town of Lone Pine has an annual film festival celebrating all of the westerns that were filmed in this scenic area, including 13 John Wayne films, Roy Rogers, and many other famous films. The nearby dry lake beds have also been the setting for several cool sci-fi films including Tremors, and Star Trek 5.

Tomorrow, we're continuing through the desert on to Barstow and then crossing over into Arizona for a stay at Williams - our Grand Canyon launching point!


Anonymous said...

Scott, thank you for these posts. I've been thinking about you, the kids, and the trip. I hope all are having a great time. Hugs to all.

Anonymous said...

Scott - As you head out from the Williams Depot aboard the train and before you pass by the Grand Canyon Railroad shops on the right you'll see an open field this side of the trailer park, that is where I started my forestry career in 1977 as the log yard manager scaling incoming truck loads of pulpwood and shipping it out by rail. Not much left of the site.

Scott Raedeke said...

Hi guys, good to hear from you. Blair, I saw the exact spot you were talking about... I'll bet Williams was quite the timber hub back in the day. Cool town!