The more I do this road trips the more I want to explore and discover new hidden gems all over this world. Little by little I feel like I am finding my purpose and figuring out how to make this adventures more often.
I know this lifestyle is not for everybody, but that is something that makes me happy, makes me grounded, puts a huge smile in my face and gives me strength to conquer the world.
I am fortuned enough to live in a place that I have so many options in my finger tips. Well... kind of. Many of my family and friends calls me crazy that I don't see a problem to drive "5 hours" to go to a new place just for the weekend.
First I love to drive, I enjoy getting behind the wheel and drive somewhere new, put some good music, have yummy snacks and take off. Second, WHY NOT? Why not take it in a new adventure? Why not feel butterflies in your stomach not knowing what to expect in this new place? Sign me up, please!
Last day of June and first day of July was no different. I decided to do a solo trip and go to a new spot. If you are looking for a nice experience by yourself or with someone else... I highly recommend. This trip took place in Lone Pine, CA. Lone Pine is around 200 miles north from Los Angeles and without traffic should take you around 3 hrs 30 min (give and take... it all depends how much gas you need to fill or how many pee breaks in between). I stayed at the Lone Pine Campground that is 7 miles west as soon as you turn into Whitney Portal Road.
Lone Pine Campground is up 6,000 ft and not much shade, fyi. But super well taken care off with fire pits, bathrooms, creek right there to get fresh water or bathe in it and just a 5 min drive to Mt. Whitney Trailhead.
Friday night I was planning on leaving by 5:30 am on Saturday morning and I was out of the door right at 5:30 am... right on! I know it sounds early, but I wake up at 4 ish am everyday so it is kind of easy for me to manage the early mornings and I wanted to get there in a reasonable time to go on a hike and enjoy the day.
The drive was amazing and no traffic all the way. The check in at the campground is at 2 pm and I got there around 10 am, so I drove straight to the trail to go explore.
Before I took off I only did my bulletproof coffee, so by the time I got to the parking lot and head out to the hike I was starving... Had some overnight oats with frozen berries and peanut butter:
Well... the berries were frozen when I left the house, lol! Perfect little meal to pack and full of nutrients for a hard hike. The weather was spot on... Crispy blue skies and the temperature around 75 F. The hike starts at around 8,300 ft and my mission was to hike to Lone Pine Lake that is 3 miles in the Mt Whitney Trailhead and up 10,000 ft. The hike it is amazing! A little steep, with a few switchbacks and not much shade, so please please please make sure to take a hat and PLENTY of water. I still don't have a filter (I know... need to get one ASAP!), so I took my 2.5L bladder and an extra 24 oz water bottle, some snacks and my lunch to have by the lake.
Even though that was the weekend right before 4th of July and I thought would be a busy weekend, I barely crossed with people. Soooooo good! Lots and lots of time to myself.
The Mt Whitney Trailhead is part of the John Muir Trail and it leads to Mt Whitney which is the tallest mountain in California at 14,500 ft. Note that to do the day hike to Lone Pine Lake you do not need a permit, but if you intent to go for a further hike or stay overnight at Lone Pine Lake permits are necessary.
After 3 miles up and a gain of 1,500 ft I made to Lone Pine Lake in 1 hr 50 min. I was taking my time as I was taking lots of pictures and enjoying the wilderness every step of the way.
As soon as you get to the lake, there is no other way to describe than a big: OH... this is just beautiful! The sun was hot and the water so inviting that I couldn't help myself to do I love to the most... and it is to jump right into the water and refresh myself.
By the lake I like to take a minute to meditate, enjoy the peace and quiet, work on my tan (lol!), make plans for the future and eat a good lunch.
Lunch was a combination of healthy and splurge. Well... this will probably sound terrible for many of you, but I do enjoy some Fireball up in the woods. I have some great memories with a completely different set of crowds while having a few zips of this fiery cinnamon whiskey. The wrap was sauteed chicken thighs in butter with onions, celery, carrots & purple cabbage and sliced avocados wrapped in cabbage leaf.
While I was there enjoying how beautiful and peaceful that place was and looking at the sun route, I thought to myself: The sunrise up here must be magnificent. So that's when I planned to wake up super early and be there for the sunrise.
Hiked back down... Made it to the campground, put my tent up, found two trees close by in the shade to put my hammock and took a nice little nap.
The creek close by was a perfect little way to cool off after my nap and by that the sun started to hide behind the mountains was around 7:30 pm and I was starving for some good food. And when I mean good... I mean real good food.
Got the fire going and started to prepare dinner. Dinner was a knock out. I brought a nice Bison steak, mixed fingerlings potatoes, asparagus and corn on the cob.
As you all know... I love my cast iron skillet and if I have the opportunity to bring one with me... You bet I will and when you car camping, you have the benefits to bring some extra lucky charm pieces like a casty with you for an amazing meal.
Dinner filled my tummy and I was ready for night time. Crashed hard.
Sunday, July 1st 2018.
I set my alarm the night before to 4:45 am just in case I would not wake up on my own and wanted to make sure to be at the trailhead by 5:30 am the latest to catch the sunrise at Lone Pine Lake. The excitement was so big that I didn't need no alarm, that's for sure. My eyes naturally opened around 4:30 am and I checked outside to have an idea on what time the sun would start picking out of the mountains in the east side.
Part of me was telling me to go back to sleep and enjoy a little bit more of extra sleep and my other bigger part was telling to get my ass up and start the trail, enjoy the bright moon that was still shinning and the peaks were starting to get pink...
The first sun lights hitting the trees...
To see how golden everything looks when the sun first hits...
The day starting right underneath me as I could feel the energy of the Earth waking up with every step I would take...
When I arrived to the lake around 6:45 am... the water was so flat and calm that you could compare to a mirror reflection...
I love when the universe gives me back something magical like this view when I push myself to do something out of the ordinary.
Walked around to the other side of the lake to see the moon from another angle and boy that was a beautiful view...
And of course I could not let go of the first lake dip of the day goes by, so I found this perfect little spot where the sun was peeking behind the mountains and "kissing" the lake for the first time in the day... And went right in! The water was a little chilly, I'm not gonna lie... but it felt absolutely fantastic to start the day with such an amazing energy like that... AMAZING!
Stayed there for a bit to dry and got myself back to camp.
Back at the campground I made my massive scrambled eggs for breakfast to feed my starve self as I haven't eaten anything yet. Camp scrambled eggs this time was a combo of: butter, onions, yellow bell peppers, grass fed hot dog, mushrooms, eggs, cheddar cheese, hot sauce, avocados and black coffee. Yes!!!!
After a delicious breakfast and full of energy to burn off, I decided to explore a little more and go search for new lakes.
My destination was Blue Lake in Bishop, but the trailhead starts at Lake Sabrina, 57 miles up north at US-395 and 19 miles west on CA-168; and the hike is 3 miles into the mountains. The hike was out of this world.
Lake Sabrina is a huge turquoise beautiful lake already up 9,000ft high:
The trail to Blue Lake is part of the John Muir Wilderness and the first 2 miles there is not much shade, I was lucky and had some puffy clouds dancing in the sky giving me a bit of sun and a bit of shade...
There was a lot of wildflowers on the way up:
Not only full of wildflower, but tons of aspen trees. What does that means? That means that in the fall they will all turn golden and paint all the woods around the lake yellow. Now you know what I will do this fall at some point... come back to this "awful" place and check how it looks! Looking up already when usually is the high season for leaf changing. Just saying.
The views were getting better as further up I was getting and the clouds were giving some great shades...
The hike is a full 3 mile one way and gain of 1,500 ft, with switch backs and rocky stairs on the way... kind of look like something out of a fairy tail:
Don't you think so? Can't you "see" some fairies dancing and some dwarfs leading the way? I can...
Blue Lake is right in the middle of some high peaks and amazing landscape:
Sorry to disappoint, but I did not jump into this lake this time... I know I should have, but I flaked... lol!
Climbed some rock to take this view in and snack something before heading back down.
The way back was nice and smooth as there was a light breeze all the way down and the different views I was having kept me entertained enough.
Had my mind in the end prize as I was salivating for a burger and a beer at the Mountain Rambler Brewery at downtown Bishop.
Last pit stop before heading back to LA and back to normal life...
Indulged myself while going through the pictures and back on the road I went.
Can't wait for the next one...