whitney portal road and rec area | lone pine, california
When we aren't on the road, we spend a lot of time on google maps looking for places to go and finding obscure roads, trails, cliffs, etc. It's good fun :) And I have to credit our most recent amazing place discovery (Alabama Hills, blogged here) to this exact practice! When we planned our California road trip, Callen spent some time browsing google maps for places to camp between Joshua Tree and Death Valley and he ended up finding some random road that looked like it went pretty far up in to the mountains. A little research later, we learned this road goes up to the trail head for Mt. Whitney, but it's often closed in the winter because of snow. We liked the idea of driving up the road until we couldn't drive any farther, then we'd stop and play in the snow! I'm always a big fan of variation, so the plan to play in the snow somewhere between the desert of Joshua Tree and the desert of Death Valley sounded amazing. As I mentioned in the Alabama Hills blog post, this detour ended up being our highlight of the trip! We fell in love with the eastern sierras and, as we hoped, we got to play in some deep snow!
Because the road was kind of closed, we pretty much had it all to ourselves. Callen got to skate the curves on the parts where the snow had melted, we got to drive through some snow (and a few sketchy spots where rock had fallen on the road), and the whole place was so beautiful! There is nothing in the world Charlie loves more than snow, so he was happy about the detour.