The end of the journey. When you plan a trip, the anticipation can sometimes be overwhelming. Maybe you can’t sleep for a night or two. Maybe you get anxious and worry that you will forget something. You get that feeling that you just want to hit the road and get it underway. But all too soon, it ends. All of that excitement and the high expectations are either satisfied or disappointment sets because the trip did not meet your expectations. That didn’t happen with this trip. The only minor disappointment was that some of the roads were closed so I couldn’t reach certain mountain peaks or lakes.
This is a gorgeous area of the country. So many people sing the praises of the Pacific Coast Highway with the ocean waves crashing onto hundreds of miles of beaches or cliffs. I challenge them to take this drive on Route 395 through the heart of California. I know that even though this area has been neglected of fanfare and tourist attention, it is no less satisfying than any other road trip through California.
When I arrived at Convict Lake, I sent a text with a picture to my sister and said that I thought this might be the most beautiful place I had ever visited. About an hour later, I sent her another text from June Lake saying that this might be the most beautiful place I had ever visited. It’s impossible to select just one location in this journey and say that THIS is clearly the most beautiful location. This is the conundrum of the Midlife Crisis Traveler. The more you travel, the more impossible it is to nail down a place or even a top 10 list of places that are your favorite. Oh, what a problem to have!
June Lake has its own beach. I know that I will have to return during the summer months when residents and visitors sit in the sand and watch the sun set behind the mountains. They call Montana Big Sky Country. I can’t imagine the sky being any more impressive than in the 395 Valley. It provides the icing on the landscape cake.
I ended my excursion at Mono Lake. The Tufa’s are explained in the picture below. Many of them are visible above the water line. It gives the area a sort of prehistoric look.
A short drive from Mono Lake is the Tioga Road which runs through Yosemite National Park. Unfortunately, the road closes during the winter months and was still closed when I visited in early April. I will return at some point to drive the rest of the Route 395 trail through Nevada and California.