A tour of the Eastern Sierras has been on our list of places to visit for quite some time now. We’ve heard so much about the scenic locations along the 395 Highway and have longed to make time for the journey north. Since our epic trip to the Pacific North West three years ago, we have been able to fine tune our methods of travelling by car. Over the years, we have grown to enjoy car camping in more remote areas and have become more aware of the tasks and items required to do so. It’s been a great pleasure to see how our teamwork has grown and evolved into a fine tool of efficiency, trust, and understanding of one another. Needless to say, travelling on the road has been an amazing passion that has strengthened our relationship.
Our trip through the Eastern Sierras tested several new experiences for me and Iris. The first would be a long camping trip with our Welsh Corgi, Dre. After seeing another Corgi at a watering hole in Big Sur several years ago, we promised each other that we would do our damnedest to include him on our next big adventure. The next big test would be our updated adventure vehicle featuring a custom built bedrack hosting a hard-shell roof top tent over the bed. We found that the tent would be a big help in finding campsites last minute after travelling on the road for most of the day.
On our first night of travelling, we met with our friends in the mountains of Wrightwood. This was a good time to double check all of our equipment and spend quality time with others in the outdoors.
After Wrightwood, Iris and I were on our own and made our way to the southern start of the 395. We had planned to make camp in Lone Pine that night, however, the temps were still in the 90′s and did not make for a comfortable place of rest. We made the decision to continue north into higher elevation where we found camp near Lake Crowley.
Amidst all the volcanic activity, we found Brown’s campground. We were surprised to find that there were so many sites available that had plenty of room for Dre to roam and swim. We toured the area to find hot springs to soak in. By mid day, we caught up on rest and made our way to Mammoth Mountain.
Upon arriving at Mammoth, we learned that a large forest fire had forced many of the campgrounds in the valley to close. We made our way towards Mammoth Lakes and found a nice campground higher in elevation and away from all the smoke.
The next morning, we made an early run for Yosemite and got lucky with a campsite near the east entrance. The ranger was kind enough to filter through the available sites and found camp for us across from the main stream. We stayed here for two nights and fell asleep to the sound of the water flowing nearby. We toured the valley with Dre to take in Yosemite’s finest attractions and also found a small creek for him to swim in.
The rest of our trip went smoothly as we shot across the state towards San Francisco and eventually back south towards Monterey. We were able to visit family and friends along the way and made it safely back home. During this trip, the Tacoma hit 220,000 miles and made it through all the on and offroad trails without a hitch. Dre was a champ through the entire journey and assured us that he was ready for another adventure.