ROADTRIP HIGHWAY 395N: THE DIRECTIONS
Our rental was in Long Beach, which is where our directions start for our roadtrip along Highway 395-N. But, you basically get on the highway 395-North to Reno, Nevada. We initially wanted to leave at 6am to beat LA rush hour traffic, but the rental car place didn’t open until 8am…we ended up leaving Long Beach around 9:30am and thankfully had a smooth ride out of the city, and ended up in Reno just in time for sunset.
ROADTRIP HIGHWAY 395 NORTH HIGHLIGHTS: WHERE YOU SHOULD STOP, TAKE IN THE VIEWS, AND EAT
Red Rock Canyon State Park
I’m not even sure if I can describe this place because it’s UNREAL. Driving down the dirt road that leads to Fossil Falls, the scenery is dramatically changes and you kinda feel like you’re on Mars. Or that’s what I assume being on Mars would be like…just a bunch of shrubs, and Red Hill which is a deep red dirt hill formed by a volcanic eruption that occurred 10,000-15,000 years ago. Fossil Falls is a little drive away and are basically a bunch of rocks. But the rocks are cool, okay. They were formed by the interaction of glacial activity and volcanic eruptions which caused the Owens River to divert course and reshape the rock into the unique structures we get to explore today.
Erick Schat’s Bakkery
I’ll admit Karla and I really didn’t do much research on what there was to see prior to driving up the 395. I was trying to google along the drive, but cell reception was spotty along the way, so for the most part, we were totally winging it. If we saw something that caught our eye along the drive, we generally stopped. We had NO IDEA that one of the sights we’d pass would be Mono Lake. It was a lovely surprise – we may have freaked out a little bit in the car.
For those that don’t know, Mono Lake is one of North America’s oldest lakes…about 1 million years old and is saltier than the ocean and unusually alkaline in nature. The interaction of freshwater springs from the surrounding are and the alkaline lake water cause the formation of limestone “tufa towers” that dot the entirety of the lake. We headed to the lake on a rainy day which meant that we had the area all to ourselves, except for all the alkali flies and shorebirds. If we had more time, we would have definitely gone for a swim or floated because you know…extremely salty waters!