It’s been almost a month since our trek down Highway 395. Looking through these photos, however, still takes me right back to our road trip. If you missed part one of the Highway 395 photo diary, I strongly encourage you to take a look – the changing geography from Reno to Southern California is amazing, but somehow it all flows together so well on the drive itself…
Mammoth Lakes, CA + (Shea) Schat’s Bakery
About 20 miles south of Mono Lake is Mammoth Lakes. If you take the Tufa Tour at Mono Lake, your legs will be stretched, but I’d recommend pulling off to check out Mammoth. It’s very well known for winter sports, but it’s a great little town in the summer. A must visit is Schat’s Bakery – they offer breakfast sandwiches, freshly baked bread, deli sandwiches, and more cakes, cookies, and morsels you can imagine.
From Schat’s walk over to Black Velvet Coffee + Wine Bar – the best coffee you’ll find for many many miles in this part of California! Great coffee and a quirky space – grab some wifi if needed and enjoy the fresh mountain air.
If you’re looking for more to do in Mammoth, I’d recommend driving back to the Mammoth Lakes – they’re beautiful and you can drive right up to the water! Or you can take a hike to reach them.
After Mammoth, the terrain leaves the mountains and large hills for the most part. These wide open scenes are such a welcome retreat, especially since you’re going to hit desert very soon…
These abandoned homes and buildings are such a highlight for me on these long, rural drives!
Bishop, CA + (Erick) Schat’s Bakkery
Bishop is the next major town on the route. They have a wide range of offerings, including another Schat’s bakery, though they are not connected (professionally anyway). I’ve heard stories that it’s two feuding brothers who own the bakeries, but I really have no idea!
You can see by the population sign that Independence is small, but it’s a welcome break on the drive!
If you’re ready for another stop on the route, I highly recommend Manzanar. The historic site has a great museum on the Japanese Internment Camp from World War II. These photos look beautiful, but it’s so hard to imagine living in the sweltering summer heat and the brutally cold winters. The living experience would have been so isolating; I can’t even begin to imagine.
Lone Pine, CA
Mt. Whitney is a bit hard to see. Though it’s the tallest peak, the distances of the various peaks make it tricky to pick out. I don’t know how many stops we made to get a photo of Mt. Whitney before we were sure we got it. The peak is west of Lone Pine and the best views are on the south end of town.
Olancha, CA | Cut Off to Death Valley
After the Mt. Whitney sighting, the scenery changes to desert very quickly. Get ready for rolling tumbleweed and lots of quirky cacti!
Rustic Oasis Motel
The only problem with creating a photo diary is trying to capture fun sights, driving 70+ miles per hour, but I had pretty good luck. This motel, which I’m kind of in love with, looks like something out of the movies, doesn’t it?
The reality of road trips…
At this point, we cut southwest from Highway 395 to head back to LA. The rest of 395 will have to be a future road trip for sure!