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Old 06-19-2013, 06:14 PM   #1
Skidmarkart OP
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Durty S**ts of Eastern California

Okay, that was a dirty trick. Downright s***ty of me, but now that you are here, I need help. Probably medical, mental, and fashion help... but that is not what I am here to talk about. Sorry there's no durty s**ts here...yet.

I need help between LA and Yosemite. No, that's not a euphemism.

And, no, this is not a motorcycle trip - which really sucks, because I know these are probably some of the finest motorcycle routes in the US of A. Consider it recon! Alas, I will be viewing the from a minivan.

I am bringing my wife and kids on their first trip (ages 2 and 4). My brother in law is getting married in Yosemite in mid July. We're headed to LA for three days to visit my older bro, and we have to be in Yosemite for three days the next weekend but we have four days in between.

Besides getting an El Camino, an AK-47, and an eight-ball of Meth and becoming a one man crime wave, what is there to do between LA and Yosemite? I would like to take the eastern route (done the PCH many times). Sequoia, Mono Lake, etc.

I need to know good spots to visit, places to eat, and good spots to hang your hat. No brothels, my wife and kids will be here for this one ;)

SO, 4 days, LA to Yosemite, help a brutha out! What should I do? Where should I go? Can I get space shakes?

Ready and waiting for your recs!

TIA for any info.

Skidmarkart screwed with this post 06-20-2013 at 07:44 AM
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:32 PM   #2
airborndad
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History ? http://www.nps.gov/manz/index.htm

go to the North end of Lee Vining about 1 mile past the 120 turn off for your Space Shakes? or almost any other flavor Shakes @ Mono Cone in Lee Vining http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g32617-d1537301-Reviews-Mono_Cone-Lee_Vining_California.html so awesome I stop there EVERY time I pass it (on my way to WA.)

just northeast of Mono cone is http://www.skianything.com/2010/07/visit-the-upside-down-house-near-the-mono-county-old-school-house-museum/ weird and lame but its only a few hundred feet from Mono Cone so the 4 year old will probably give you the first of many yet to come WTF's

hit the Whoa Nellie Deli at the intersection of 395 and 120 to pick up an awesome deli samich of your liking (eat it at Saddlebag Lake)http://www.thesierraweb.com/tiogagasmart/ its inside the Mobil gas station so top off your fuel tank while you are there

then take 120 west, just before park entrance and just after Lake Ellery? make right turn at the turnout up to Saddlebag lake http://www.saddlebaglakeresort.com
take the water taxi across the lake and check out a few of the 20 lakes on the North side of the lake Kids will love the boat ride and the views but at 2 & 4 years old DO NOT do the hike its a bit rough (steep & high altitude 11,000ft) for young'uns at some places the lake is 10,200 ft
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=773491

the rest of the way to Yosemite is all about just taking in the many opportunities of awesome scenery

that's all I got

airborndad screwed with this post 06-20-2013 at 04:51 AM
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:17 AM   #3
Skidmarkart OP
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Thanks! Those look totally awesome. Exactly the kind of stuff I am looking for.

Think I'll be booking some rooms at Saddlebag Lake Resort today.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:59 AM   #4
High Country Herb
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I have not tried the Whoa Nellie Deli, but have heard good things about it. They have much more than sandwiches, and its all gourmet.

For lodging, there is also a Youth Hostel on the other side of Yosemite near Mariposa. It is called the Yosemite Bug Hostel, named for its many iron insect sculptures. They have a restaurant, spa for Mom (sorry, somebody has to watch the kids), and a variety of room types from tent cabins to private rooms. Much cheaper (and easier to get reservations) than the hotels inside Yosemite. About 1/2 hour from Yosemite Valley, I think.

Do you guys like to fish? On the east side of the Sierra are lots of good spots. The Walker River, Bridgeport Reservoir (a big mud hole containing record trout), Virginia Lakes (the lodge has genuine malted shakes), and Twin Lakes. Near Twin Lakes, there is Doc and Al's resort with little cabins, and a hot spring (more like warm) situated on the shore of an ice cold river.

Near Bridgeport is the ghost town of Bodie, which is probably the best preserved from the gold rush era. If you go through Bridgeport, take a peek inside the cooler in front of the sporting goods store. They let all the fishermen store their fish in there, and it is fun for the kids to see the big lunkers people have caught.

I'm not sure, but I think Yosemite Park still rents bicycles, maybe even with child seats. That is a great way to see the park. The shuttle buses are free, though, and require less work.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:39 AM   #5
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Hells yeah - I love to fish. My son too. That sounds like an excellent Father/Son activity (and a chance for me to sneak off and drink some of that fine California micro brew). Somehow, I imagine the trout will be bigger than the ones in the east.

Keep 'em coming!
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:48 AM   #6
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Stop off in Mammoth Lakes and drive up to the ski resort, then take the bus into the Devils Postpile nat monument, nice little hike and see the waterfall also. After Mammoth while you are on HWY 395 take the June Lake scenic loop.

Also stop in Lone Pine and see the film museum where a lot of old westerns where filmed in "them thar hills"!
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:00 AM   #7
High Country Herb
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Originally Posted by Skidmarkart View Post
(and a chance for me to sneak off and drink some of that fine California micro brew). Somehow, I imagine the trout will be bigger than the ones in the east.
You may want to pick up some beer in SoCal before heading up. The selection will be much better at big city liquor stores, or you could stop by Stone Brewing in Escondido and pick up some Arrogant Bastard Oaked or something. They have a really cool restaurant, if you need an excuse. Stash it in the trunk, and ice it down later.

The fish in the lakes can be pretty big, but the German Browns and Rainbows found in rivers and creeks range from 10 to 18 inches max.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:15 AM   #8
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PANUM CRATER at the south side of MONO LAKE is a short fairly easy walk up that I think you and your four year old would enjoy. It is all kinds of lava rock from super light boulders to shiny black obsidian. This is right out of Lee Vining and the is just a short outing but it is soft gravel driving to the parking area. This is a relatively short outing and a side trip going to see Navy Beach at Mono Lake.

BODIE ghost town is fun with kids too. Get there early before the crowds and heat.

The Ancient Bristle Cone Forest near Bishop is a scenic drive and interesting but I don't know if the kids would be into looking at old scraggly trees and may get car sick on the road there.

I personally would avoid Death Valley in July.

You can also stop at some hot springs BUT recon first so your kids don't get scared for life by seeing naked hairy hotspringers. There is one near Lake Crowley that has a board walk to it but I don't know the name and also Travertine right near bridgeport that I would say are the most "family friendly" hot springs I know of.

Devils Postpile is a maybe. If you guys like to get out and walk. My kids remember feeding the chipmunks more than the postpile itself but they did enjoy it. You have to take shuttle buses in though.

Here is a free guide you can get of the area http://www.monocounty.org/us-highway-395/

TOM
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:38 AM   #9
High Country Herb
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Originally Posted by tomfoolery View Post
I personally would avoid Death Valley in July.

You can also stop at some hot springs BUT recon first so your kids don't get scared for life by seeing naked hairy hotspringers. There is one near Lake Crowley that has a board walk to it but I don't know the name and also Travertine right near bridgeport that I would say are the most "family friendly" hot springs I know of.
Agree about avoiding Death Valley with kids. If anything should happen to your car...

Funny story: When my wife was about 5 years old, her family went through Death Valley without air conditioning. When they stopped at a gas station, she got out, walked straight over to another kid, and stole his soda right out of his hand. She chugged the whole thing before her parents could stop her, so they had to buy the kid another.

I would also avoid Travertine Hot Spring, but not because of the nudity. It is the most accessable, and therefore has become the dirtiest. The hand shaped clay tubs have become sludge and hair clogged. I wouldn't let my kids in there.

The spring near Twin Lakes is called Buckeye Hot Springs. It is very clean because of it's proximity to the stream, which flushes it out. I have seen nudity there occasionally, but they have always been really modest about it and remained submerged most of the time. There are 3 pools, so you can choose the best group of people (or the empty one).
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:50 PM   #10
airborndad
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Originally Posted by Skidmarkart View Post
Thanks! Those look totally awesome. Exactly the kind of stuff I am looking for.

Think I'll be booking some rooms at Saddlebag Lake Resort today.
Oops My bad didn't realize you needed rooms
Saddlebag only has first come first served campgrounds
Nearest cabins are @ http://www.tiogapassresort.com/

Also just before mammoth check out http://www.visitmammoth.com/listings...chery/591/195/ super cool for the kids (and adults), bring some quarters so you can buy a handful of fish food to feed the fish
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