Darn, I wake up with a serious hangover. I can only hope that the physical exertion and the cool mountain air will help me get over it quickly. I order the greasiest breakfast on the menu at the restaurant. Yesterday’s Mexican boys are already hard at work in the kitchen; they are tough. Arturo sees me from the kitchen, intercepts my check, and pays for my breakfast, then comes over and warmly wishes me safe journey.
The long-awaited 3,699-mile point is just six miles away. I stop there to reflect and take a few photos, among them an unknown pretty mountain on the left; Crowley Lake and White Mountains on the right…
Today’s route hovers around 7-8 thousand feet above sea level and the air is cool, even cold, sometimes uncomfortably so, despite the bright sun. The pristine snows of the Sierra shine brightly. John Muir called Sierra Nevada “the range of light”. Range of light, indeed! (even though Muir was referring to the orange granite at sunrise, not the snow). Anyway, the Sierra continues to impress with great sights as I pass many notable landmarks — Mono Lake and peaks Mammoth, Matterhorn, Kuna, Dana, and Conness — and cross two mountain passes, Deadman (8,047 ft) and Conway (at 8,143 ft, the highest pass on Hwy. 395).
It’s all an easy downhill from Conway Pass to the town of Bridgeport, where I settle in at the Hotel Victorian, which is basically an old, squeaky house with a lot of antique furniture. The house is both cozy and scary. Whooooh!