Wingman from the Roadside: After walking Runningbird to the Kennedy Meadows Campground PCT Trailhead I returned to the campsite and packed up for the move. The trip down the curvy steep road went well. I didn’t see any other cars (7 AM) and just took it slow. At the bottom of the hill I hooked up with the 395 going north to Lone Pine, access to Mt. Whitney. After stopping at the Ranger station and getting a lot of great information I headed for the Tuttle Creek Campground (BLM) and scored a most excellent site where the creek was flowing right beside me and the spot was perfectly level. Score!
After a quick exploration of the town of Lone Pine (elev. 3,727′) and getting a couple cookies at the bakery (it’s a real town) I drove up the Horseshoe Meadow Road to where I would be meeting Runningbird the next morning. Horseshoe Meadow is up (another) very windy and steep road at 9,900′ in the John Muir Wilderness and the Southern Sierras. When I departed Lone Pine the temp was 95 degrees. I timed the drive to the top at about 35 minutes where it was more than 20 degrees cooler. Once there I did a short hike on the trail, conversed with a couple of PCT section hikers that were coming in about river conditions, and headed back down.
To the west of Lone Pine and before the peaks of the John Muir (JM) Wilderness are The Alabama Hills. They are both beautiful and interesting and have been used in the making of over 400 films including Django Unchained, Iron Man, Star Trek, Ganga Din, and How the West Was Won.