Wandering Daisy wrote:You need to just bite the bullet and do some trips from Mineral King, Lodgepole or Roads End. They are really worth the annoyance.
Well, never say never. I've only been to the GWD once - from the east (Shepherd). My wife swears she will never drive to Road's End again. Mammoth, Tuolumne (her favorite), sure.
I admire your tenacity - as I get older, I get lazier. I've done the Bay area - SoCal drive a thousand times. Almost 40 years ago (!), I could blow up the 5. It was 2 lanes, just like today, but with 1/2 the traffic volume. (Calif population has doubled in 4 decades.)
The great secret is the Owens valley will never
ever be developed. The entire entire region from Ridgecrest, all the way to Bridgeport, is protected watershed for the LA aqueduct. (For those interested, look up the history of Inyo FS - they locked property into place around Mammoth a decade before the LA aqueduct was built in 1913.)
We even looked into buying a cottage in Independence. The Owens valley might be the only place on earth that is actually losing population. That is, every time a piece of property (owned by the LA DWP) is vacated, they let it sit fallow, and eventually tear it down.
For those in the know, it's an incredible insight. We benefit from the increased development taking place down here at the beach, but knowing there is literally only ONE place in the world that is not being developed is something few really know about. Sh!t, every time I drive up Line street (Bishop up to S, Sabrina & N lakes), I check out the beautiful ranch homes strung along the road. It's a secret that doesn't matter if it's outed - ain't a single thing being built or will ever be built.