Lone Pine, CA
Alabama Hills Rec Area
Other than Borrego Springs, boondocking in the Alabama Hills is something we've planned each of the past 6 years since Fulltiming but something has always come up and we've had to cancel.
That's our spot in the rocks.
This interesting rock is just inside the Rec area.
This is a fairly large area but you can't just pull over anywhere. To protect the fragile area you can only camp in dirt areas already there. While there are many and the dirt roads criss-cross all around, many roads are rocky, sloped or narrow and you just can't maneuver a rig like ours easily. It's also very popular. Even in late October it's pretty crowded. We drove around and tried a few spots but it just wasn't working. We decided since it was getting late and cold and we were getting frustrated it was best to just pick a level spot near the main road and we'd try again in the morning.
We found a real nice empty spot early in the morning so off we went. There were two ways to get into it and neither was that great. Lots of large rocks, sloped, etc. We chose the easier option and it took a bit of breath holding but it worked.
The coordinates to our spot are: 36.5990 118.1134
We are the blue dot. You can see another rig below ours.
Here's what we looked like viewed from Movie Rd (the dirt road, after the pavement ends).
So much fun climbing around all the boulders.
Relaxing in the "backyard" with a fire and margaritas.
Example of another camping area against the rocks.
The Alabama Hills are a range of hills and rock formations near the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in the Owens Valley, west of Lone Pine. The elevation is 4500+ feet. The Alabama Hills were named after the CSS Alabama, a Confederate warship deployed during the American Civil War. When news of the ship's exploits reached prospectors in California sympathetic to the Confederates, they named many mining claims after the ship, and the name came to be applied to the entire range.
I've known about the Manzanar Internment Camp and driven past it many times but never had a chance to visit it. I had childhood neighbors that had their father interred here when he was young.
In 1942, the United States government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps where Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were incarcerated during World War II. (from the website)
A beautiful place to be buried but certainly not where they wanted to be.
Slabs of the old weaving factories.
Some barracks being rebuilt.
One of the guard towers.
It's nice to see them upgrading and improving. I wish we could've seen the museum but I know we'll be by again.
Driving through town we spotted this off to the side of the road and stopped to check it out. Interesting to see this old oak tree started out as a tiny sprout from the Sherwood Forest and is now a beautiful tree.
And just down the street we found an old cemetery for victims of a devastating earthquake from 1872. I can't imagine what they thought of earthquakes knowing nothing about them back then.
I think the mode of transportation was different back then.
First off we came upon Heart Rock.
This is one of the most popular angles with the arch framing Mt. Whitney, California's highest peak at 14,505 feet.
So many layers of color.
A different angle to catch the sun.
This is Lathe Arch which you are asked not to walk on.
Steve walking beside some of the tall boulders.
One of many balanced rocks and us having some fun under the hot sun.
Steve checked up there, and I hiked around another spire but we couldn't find it.
Eye of the Alabama
One of the few trees in a wash lined with a few green bushes.
What a playground for kids. Ours would've had a blast here!
One of the rocks that Kevin Bacon climbed to get away from the Graboid in one of our favorite movies, Tremors. If you haven't seen it, it's corny but very funny.
"The Shark Fin"
Our last day we wanted to take a drive up to Whitney Portal which is where the trailhead up to the peak of Mt. Whitney starts. I have not hiked this peak but would like to one day. It would be an overnight backpack trip.
We had made plans to hike Lone Pine Lake from the Mt.Whitney Portal trailhead. It's a 6 1/2 mile hike that also has a waterfall and is rated as difficult. It's 8378 feet at the trailhead. We're ok up to 10,000 feet before we really feel the elevation.
I guess I can at least claim that I hiked 5 feet of the trail to the top! Since we couldn't do our hike to the lake we just walked around the area and enjoyed the views.
Mt. Whitney. This is as close as I'll get for now.
Wyatt Earp with Kevin Costner and Dennis Quaid.
Props from Django Unchained.
Some of the many movies filmed here.
The suit from Iron Man worn by Robert Downey Jr.
I've seen so many movies with this guy!