A Hectic June: Trip 2 (The Drive Up)
After spending nine days in the Pacific Northwest, I arrived back home in sunny Southern California late on a Wednesday evening. I was exhausted from the travel, from the late nights gaming, and from having so much fun. Four full days later, I left on another trip. That Monday, my parents and I drove up to Mammoth and camped at Rock Creek Lake.
This trip was part nostalgia for us; when I was a child, for seven or eight years in a row, we camped at Rock Creek Lake or Horseshoe Lake with other families from our church at the time. Plus, this past May I was given a new fishing rod for my birthday, and it was time to break it in. So, we had no definite plans other than to go camping for a few days, enjoy the mountains and the altitude (~9600 ft.), and do some fishing.
The drive up, as well, was filled with nostalgia for us, especially for me, since I haven’t been on that stretch of the 395 since I was a kid. We stopped for breakfast in a fog covered Cajon pass at a little diner. Soon after, I saw the first landmark that I remembered from my youth: Astro Burger. I fondly remember stopping at Astro Burger on the way home from Mammoth every year in the blistering heat of the desert in late August. We would stop and get soft serve ice cream or soda floats. When I was a boy, the dining room also had a Galaga arcade machine, and I remember begging my mom for a quarter so that I could play a game while we waited. It was an oasis in the desert.
Yet, that wasn’t the only place that I remembered, and on the way home a few days later, the heat was what I remembered too. A large part of this drive was new to me, because I paid so little attention as a kid. Yet, I always remember stopping for lunch in Bishop before we ascended Sherman’s Pass into the mountains. There are three things that I always remember about Bishop: 1) eating lunch at Carl’s Jr., 2) the park next door that looked so cool and inviting after being stuck in a car all day, and 3) Erick Schat’s Bakkery. Traditionally, all the bread that we would eat at family camp was bought Schat’s German Bakkery. They have amazingly delicious sheepherder and squaw breads, and they have a full deli inside as well, where you can order lunch.
On this trip, we stopped and bought only one loaf of each, seeing as how we were only three people and it was only a few days. The bread was primarily for breakfast and for dinner that first night, which was Sloppy Joe’s, an easy recipe to make after setting up camp.
Speaking of which, we seemed to have made it to camp in the nick of time. It was already the late afternoon and was starting to get dark as we set up camp. In part, that was because of the foul weather the night we arrived. By the time we had pitched the tents and day/rain shade, we all needed to bundle up and start a fire, while my dad cooked dinner. I took this last picture while we were stopped in Bishop. Those clouds that are swirling around and obscuring the mountaintops? That was right where we were headed: Rock Creek Lake.
Thankfully, the weather started to clear up by mid-morning the second day, but boy was that first night cold.