Notes on the Scenic Route
The drive home from Reno takes about eight hours along the 395. This is probably the most familiar I’ll ever get with four hundred miles of pavement. I know where there’s no cell service, where the best bathrooms are, and where the cheapest gas is. I was born along this route and have lived all along it. For me, it’s home.
It takes me from Reno to Southern California along the base of the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range, a most stunning view for the majority of the trip. I always find such majesty in Mammoth Mountain and Mount Whitney, and always wish I had time to visit some of my favorite spots off the highway when I’m in the areas. I’ve recently decided that I want to climb Mount Whitney. It’s a well-traveled trail that takes a couple of days, but I’m totally game! I want to start getting my feet wet backpacking. I just need some sweet gear first.
I’ll admit the road is fairly remote (more than 300 miles in between Wal-Marts, now THAT is remote!), but if you plan your gas stops and bathroom break s correctly, you’ll be fine. If you just like to get from A to B the fastest way possible, maybe the freeway route is better for you. I’ve personally never taken the freeway home, because it’s almost 100 miles longer and it goes through California’s Central Valley, which is in my opinion the ugliest and more frustrating part of California. I will take Mammoth Mountain over Fresno any day.
My road trip style is scenic over freeway, stopping at every tourist trap, and visiting every park I encounter along the way. Some might find this abrasive and inefficient, but those people don’t get to ride shotgun in my road trip of life!