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Highway 395: Different scenery
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Silver Lake on the June Lake Loop Road. - photo by Photo By Dave Campbell

Recently I was tasked with driving from southeast of Reno to San Diego. Had it just been Reno to San Diego, it would have made sense to backtrack on I-80 and then south on I-5. But, since a stop was necessary in the garden spot of Silver Springs, Nev., I decided to head over to Highway 395.

I have always wanted to see Bishop and figured that drive might be a welcome break. It turned out to be half a welcome break.

After a wonderful burger in Bridgeport, the fall colors painted an otherwise desolate landscape. We then came to the June Lake Loop where the alpine lakes of Grant, Silver and June looked like they were out of a travel brochure with the orange and red hues of the Aspens nestled between the granite peaks.

Back on 395, the drive continued to be pleasant until Bishop, and then without those painted fall colors the landscape was just plain desolate. I drove for hours without seeing a supermarket – just how do those people get their provisions?

Whenever I drive to Reno, I look at the territory and wonder just how the pioneers managed to cross the Sierra. While driving through the land God forgot, what appeared to be desert was more like one continuous rock garden. While the Sierra must have posed nearly insurmountable obstacles, I cannot see any way for wagon wheels to traverse those rocks.

After seeing a sign that said Death Valley was 105 miles away, I thought that things could get no more desolate. And then out of the desolation rose what appeared to be a huge factory. What could possibly be produced out there in the middle of absolutely nowhere? Would you believe alpine spring water?

That’s right. Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water has a bottling plant just outside of Olancha, CA. (There is not much difference inside and outside of Olancha). If there ever was deception in advertising, this is it.

By the time we got much further south, the sun had set so we could no longer see mobile homes nestled amongst the sagebrush and rocks. I will never badmouth the Central Valley again.