Blanco Mountain, September 13, 2018

After waking up early Friday morning, Jorge and I walked over to the Alabama Hills Café and Bakery, for a breakfast with eggs and pancakes. Back at the hotel, we gathered our gear, and drove to Big Pine, where we turned onto Highway 168 for the uphill drive to White Mountain road. We followed this road all the way up to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, all the while enjoying the spectacular views of the Sierras to the West. At the Pine Forest the road turns into a rough 4-wheel drive dirt road, which we followed to close to the Barcroft Field Station, where we took a right turn and followed a rough road to an Aspen Grove. The Aspens showed themselves in all their fall color glory, from brilliant yellow to magnificent gold. We walked through this wonderful area for a while, taking many pictures and enjoying the peaceful setting, having the place all to ourselves.

Back at the truck, we followed the road back for a few miles to a spot where we parked for our hike to Blanco Mountain. We followed an old jeep track for about two miles, while gradually gaining and loosing elevation, to just below the base of the Mountain. After a short break here, we started up the steep northwest slope of Blanco Mountain. Going up this slope was hard, but fortunately the footing was good, with the ground being quite solid. We passed many of the amazing Bristlecone Pines, this area is famous for. Once we reached the false summit, I started to get light headed due to the altitude. Luckely, the actual summit was only a short, but steep section away, and we quickly reached our goal.

The views all around us were amazing, especially towards the Sierras. We took our time taking pictures, and eating some snacks, before heading down the same way we came. Going downhill the steep slope was easier than we expected and after 45 minutes we were back at the bottom of the Mountain. Hiking the two miles back on the old jeep road was quick, and once we loaded our gear into the truck, we slowly drove down the dirt road back to the Bristle Cone Visitor Center and onto the paved road downhill to the 395.

Jorge called Diana, who was on her way to meet us in lone Pine. By the time we reached Lone Pine, we saw the ”Jalapeno” parked just outside the Dow Villa Hotel. It was great to see Diana gain after 6 months! Once we were all settled in, we had dinner at our favorite restaurant: Margie’s Merry Go-Round. For dessert, we got apple and blueberry pies from the Mt. Whitney Restaurant, a great way to finish a wonderful day in the mountains.