I was up early, but the chill of the morning made me reconsider an early start. Instead, I sat on my bed and sorted photos deciding what was worthy posting and those that were less so, as I awaited the rising temperature. Before long it was in the 60s and I was ready to head south to go north.
As I packed up the bike, I discovered some leftover Street Vibration attendees who were on there way home to SoCal. He had ridden several miles prior to the event and had his wife fly into Reno and meet him and his mates. He earnestly admitted that when she arrived the party was over. Hmmmm, I guess at least his party was over and no more wet t-shirt contests, for him! I was amazed how clean his bike was for riding over 1000 miles.
I decided upon riding to Lone Pine and then searching for the entrance to Sherman Pass. I had received convoluted directions as to where it began. I was told to turn at Kennedy Meadows and follow the road up, but that there were a few miles of dirt in a couple of areas. Now, as memory serves me, several of us had ridden down Sherman Pass on a Pashnit girly ride and we encountered NO dirt at all, so somehow this just didn’t sound right. I knew it was south, and so it was south I headed.
It’s always amazing to me when a major highway is just free sailing…
A few miles down from Big Pine on Hwy 395 was the little town of Independence. After the discovery of a very lovely Greek Revival style court house, I though it worth some time to do a camera exploration. Independence is a lovely little town seriously out in the middle of nowhere, but oh those Sierra Mountains!!
I love the old neon signs!
Beautiful old church
The Red, White and Blue PO
The old brass boxes…
No telling how long the Pines Cafe had been closed, but its old neon was well worth a pic.
Heading south from Independence on Hwy 395 you will discover Manzanar WWll Japanese Internment Camp. It’s a pretty dark piece of history and gave me a slight chill as I passed it.
In Lone Pine I had another surprise in the form of a film museum. The Lone Pine Film Festival is a local event looked forward to by many as they celebrate the numerous films made in the area. There is quite the history and you can read all about it on the festival’s site.
In this day of CGI, I guess I never realized how many films were created right out in the Lone Pine desert. I know that when I have time to peruse this place I’ll be spending the day. I love film and the escape it provides and when time allows, check out their website and see just how many were filmed locally!
I had put Kennedy Meadows into my GPS but could only find one way and that way involved dirt. It made no sense to me since I had ridden this road west to east and never encountered dirt, so I gave up and simply headed to Hwy 178 which maneuvered to Lake Isabella where I then cut off to the north via the Kern River.
Saw this humorous motel before taking 178.
I gassed up in Lake Isabella and then set my sights on the Kern River and the Great Western Divide. The air was warm, the wind lightly prodding, and the road calling my name. I wanted a quick bite first and found a lovely deli/BBQ along the river. I indulged in a Tri-Tip salad and some iced tea at the Riverkern General Store and afterewards was ready to take on the wonderful sweepers and twisties.
At the top of the river you meet the Great Western Divide.
Weaving in and out of Sequoia trees is part of the charm.
The view from the summit was exquisite.
The GWD connects to Hwy 190 for a very twisty descent. At the end of a day’s ride it was almost too much, almost…
I decided to make Yokohl Valley Rd my final road for the day and got into Visalia right as it got dark. I debated just jumping on the freeway and heading home for it was only three hours, but thought better of that decision knowing how tired I was and the tale of Gilligan. :whistle I called Gary who upon a quick web search had me settled into a chain motel.
I closed out my evening with a whisky, deciding it had been a good ride and the path of least resistance would easily get me home in the morning. Hugo proved form does follow function in a very elegant manor.