Reno-ish, NV to Lone Pine, CA
Song of the day: How to Handle a Rope – QOTSA
Beautiful day riding along the Sierra Nevada mountains from Reno to Lone Pine. Got some pretty wild temperature changes; at one point going from 85 down to 65 in about 10 minutes. Talked with some riders when I stopped for lunch in Lee Vining and they got hit by hail storms up in some of the passes but I manged to stay dry the whole way :).
Most of us from Oregon have been to the Bend area (or thereabouts) and have seen the cascades from the eastern side. A long time ago I was also able to travel along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains as well. The eastern side of these mountain ranges are much more spectacular, in my opinion. Even Steens Mountain (yes, it’s one mountain, not a range) looks better from the east. I bet a lot of it has to do with climate, elevation and vegetation.
I think the Sierra’s are a little special, though. They seem to rise very steeply and, from Reno south, they just feel like you are traveling right at the base of them — they seem so close. In a lot of places today on the bike it would be about 80 degrees where I was at but I could see what was most likely snow storms up on peaks probably just a mere 20 miles from me. Strange.
Got to see Mono lake in Lee Vining…that was cool. From Mammoth Lakes south 395 becomes pretty much freeway and a trifle boring. But the mountains are still right there on both sides until they eventually dwindle south of Lone Pine. Near this area is Mt. Whitney which, at 14,505 ft, is the highest point in the contiguous United States. To anyone working at PSU: If you wander down into the basement of Cramer Hall, in the main hallway is a research project done a few years ago on display. It discusses the geological features of the Sierra Nevada’s and points out some of the ways this mountain range is unique. Good stuff :).