We enjoyed time playing in the Bay area with family and friends, but the tug of the road is a bug not easily shaken. Our path again crossed the Sierras, this time west to east. The craggy side of the mountains loomed to the right as we made our way down California’s Owens Valley, and into its caldera of boiling waters.
After a consult with the local BLM office, we headed up a road that he had implied was snow-free. We found, instead, a sleigh path up and around a mountain with feet of fresh snow and nasty 12 degree slopes. With nippy mitts, we strapped on the chains and pulled Creaky Betty the remaining 3 miles, across rickety bridges and off camber icy spots to our goal.
Day 4 we uprooted and trudged our way back around the snowbound mountain. Along the way we helped dig out a 4×4 that had slid off the trail. A little later, after clearing the road of a very out-of-place Honda Fit, we hit the pavement and made our way south on 395. Past Mono Lake and skirting Mammoth Ski Mountain, we came into the Owens Caldera. We jolted our way down a rough road past the incredible eastern slope of the Sierras.