When normal people plan a trip, they have an itinerary, make reservations for places to stay, and book tours and sidetrips. It has been wonderful not having to do any of those things. We knew we wanted to go to Yosemite, but had no idea how spectacular the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains is. Ever since we left Reno we have worked our way south on 395 with our jaws dropping at the beauty of it all. Everywhere we stop, locals pile our arms full of brochures and rant and rave about the wonderful things to see and do. So we find ourselves in Bishop, the county seat of Inyo County, the largest county in California by area*, but with only 18,000 people according to the man at the visitor center. There are thirteen traffic lights in Inyo County; twelve of them are in Bishop. There are no Walmarts in this county. Imagine that!
We decided to stay in another county fairground, after verifying that it was not riddled with flies as the one in Twin Falls was. It's warm and dry here even at the higher elevations. Death Valley is nearby, but after a lengthy confab with the visitor center guru in Bishop, we have other goals in mind - thus far. We spent the afternoon investigating some of the canyons at the foot of the mountain range. Snow melt generates many streams and some have been dammed and the area is laced with tiny lakes. Fishing seems to be the thing to so, but we enjoyed moseying around looking at the fall colors. Many of the trees are bare now as the season comes to an end, but there is still a lot of gold in them thar hills that is not under the ground.
* Google indicates that the largest county in the US is San Bernadino. You can't believe everything they tell you at the visitor center!