On day 2 we left picturesque Bishop and headed northwards on scenic highway 395.
We passed Tom's Place, a tiny community along Rock Creek and Lake Crowley.
Lake Crowley is a reservoir on the upper Owens River. It was created by the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power to store water collected from the many streams in the area, before it makes it way into the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
The June Lake Loop is a scenic road that passes by 4 lakes - nestled in the heart of the Sierras there are spectacular vistas, peaks, waterfalls, streams and stands of aspens. The lakes and streams offer fishing, boating, sailboarding and swimming. In the winter there is skiing, boarding and snowmobiling.
The white showing in the photo above is a huge waterfall.
I about got eaten alive by mosquitos to take this shot!
Mono Lake is one of the oldest lakes in North America - it's situated in a high desert valley (6383 ft) with views of the Sierras. It was almost drained dry by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power when they diverted the streams that fed into it for their water supply. Recently, the level of the lake has been rising after a lawsuit to prevent L.A. from using so much of the fresh water that flows into the lake.
The interesting formations in the lakes are called tufas, and are fromed by calcium carbonate.
There's a wonderful visitors' center overlooking the lake.
I found this wildflower growing through the pavement in the parking lot.
Our next stop was Bridgeport, a beautiful little town built in the middle of large meadows, where thousands of cows were peacefully grazing on the lush grass. I'm sure they appreciated the beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains in every direction!
There was a rodeo going on and we spotted lots of real cowboys!
Bridgeport goes all out for their 4th of July Celebration! The town was decorated in red, white and blue, and bustling with people! This is the charming courthouse in the middle of town.
After lunch, we headed out of Bridgeport until we came to State Highway 108 which climbs over Sonora Pass. At 9,624 feet, it is the 2nd highest pass in the Sierras. It is a narrow 2-lane road, which climbs steeply over the pass.
As we climbed we finally hit the snow level
It was all downhill from here - about 70 miles into Sonora.
On the way down we passed a car which was stranded on the side of the road. We stopped and offered a ride down the mountain to the occupants (our cell phone had no signal up here). The driver stayed with the car, and we took his friend down to the first place that had a phone. Hopefully, he was able to get a tow-truck up to the car. We ended our 2nd day at the Best Western in Sonora, and had dinner that evening in the old mining town of Sonora!
Come back for Day 3 - 4th of July in Columbia, California!