We spent the night in the campground at the Bristlecone Forest where they had signs posted that the chipmunks could be carrying the plague. So much for them being cute little furry creatures. Had to remind Lori of the signs in the morning when a chipmunk tried to join us for breakfast.
After we cleared camp we went for a hike through the Methuselah Grove which contains the oldest trees. The trail was labeled as moderately strenuous, which it is amazing how that definition changes as you get older. Of course being at 9000 ft elevation doesn’t help either. But it was a pleasant hike, I just wish we brought more water along, and some gorp would have been nice too. After the hike we took the back way out of the park on a road that goes directly to Bishop, dropping from 10,000 ft to 4,000 ft elevation in 15 miles, with the bulk of the drop coming in the first 3 miles, where the grade was often 30%. I had the transmission in first and the 4 wheel drive in low as well and just crawled down the mountain.
It takes as long as the main route even though it’s a third of the distance, but there was lots to see, including several pretty creek crossings, some long horn sheep, and one peculiar lizard. While stopped at one of the creek crossings we spotted a lizard with a very long tail. Lori and I simultaneously asked out loud what the purpose of such a long tail would be, when the lizard raised it straight up and waved it about, as if to answer our questions. Not understanding lizard body language, we’re still not sure of the answer though.