From Portagee Joe Camp in Lone Pine we can see Mt. Whitney, the highest peak of the Sierras. We drive north on Rt. 395 along Sierra wall which separates the west coast of California from the eastern arid area for nearly 400 miles between between state route 58 at the southern end of the mountains and I-80 over Donner Pass.
The roads visible from camp are, at the bottom, local farm roads, and switchbacking up the hills, possibly access for serious mountain climbers or communication towers, the kind of road “Dwight and I thought nothing of taking the Jeep up sixty years ago,” Skus says.
Above the Alabama Hills south of camp, Mt. Whitney, 14,500 feet, in the center.
From the highway, this mountain wall, first hiked and explored extensively by John Muir and still accessible mostly to serious hikers, rises above a ribbon of farm and range lands.