Day three started with the typical breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage and all the fixings. And of course that great tasting coffee that somehow had extra, special flavor out here. Once again the view from the little cabin porch was hard to tear away from and the sunshine felt great in this snowed in little place. We could have stayed forever with no rush to go anywhere, but there was more exploring that had to be done and a brand new day was waiting to determine where the wind would blow us. Briefly, we considered going back to the Alabama Hills as you can never get enough of that place, but we decided in the end not to leave that much time, a four hour round trip on the road again. Instead we settled, ha you can hardly call it settle as there was nothing compromising or settling about it and a better word might be that we decided on visiting the Buttermilks. The Buttermilks are located near Bishop, California and just like the Alabama Hills, they consist of unique rock formations, unique to the area, hidden waterfalls and are a popular location for climbers.
The dirt road turning into this bolder rich area quickly revealed it’s washed out, deep, uneven surface. Water from recent storms was streaming down the dirt path, carving out little streams that washed away everything within its way. Smaller rocks and twigs were swept away to unknown new locations as the gaps in the road were pretty wide and deep in various spots. The ground appeared unstable and it was hard to tell if it could or would hold the weight of the Jeep or simply collapse underneath it. I think I white knuckled the bar I had grabbed to hold on to a few times. Soft and compromised, if it gave away at the wrong moment it could easily tip the entire vehicle over, landing us on our side. A chance we weren’t willing to take and so we parked out of the way, on the side of the road, grabbed our packs, my staff, camera and headed further up on foot.
We came across and passed several groups of climbers scaling the boulders and later sitting on top to admire the view from the best seat in the house. Soon after, we hit the snow line and there was no way that we would make it to our secret waterfall this time. An oasis we discovered on a prior trip, hidden inside what almost was like a rock cave und invisible from atop. It was cool and cool in the sense of escaping the hot summer sun and cool in the way of having discovered such a neat site. You could tell that not many people had discovered this place as it appeared untouched in all it’s beautiful glory. We turned back and the only other way to go was to scale another ridge to get to the top. Here we go again I thought and if I was under the impression that yesterday had been tough, having to overcome the urge of wanting to quit, it suddenly looked like a cake walk compared to what was awaiting. Maybe I’m exaggerating a tiny bit but the trail climbed steeply up the hill. It seemed short at least with the end in sight, or so I thought but it was relentlessly ascending straight into the sky.