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Saturday, July 28, 2012

An Easy Start

The Odyssey mileage before heading off this morning
And we're off! One of the easiest exits from LA I can remember got us on our way this morning. Having a short first leg makes the start of the trip a bit less stressful compared to wanting/needing to cover about 600-700 miles on opening day. (Adding to the stress relief it remembering my wallet this year!).

By last year's standards our first leg was a breeze, destination Bishop, CA which most Californians know as the last town you go through before you head up to Mammoth Lakes.  It is just under 300 miles from the Lime Avenue front door and a mere six hours through mostly desert and desolate landscape.  Highway 395 is sandwiched between the Eastern slope of the Sierras to the West and Death Valley off to the East.  Even as we get further North and drive through Lone Pine, Independence and finally Bishop, the scrub brush and rock of the desert is only rarely broken by trees and greenery which is how you know there is a town coming up.

We made a stop for lunch in Mojave at a classic American diner, Mike's Roadhouse Cafe.  For those of you who travel back and forth regularly to Mammoth, June Lake or Lee Vining I suggest you take nourishment at Mike's.  It is right on highway 14 just south of the turn East towards 395 and Bishop.

We arrived in Bishop before 4:00, temperature in the low 90's and the hotel lots fairly full with fishermen and others enjoying the mountains.

When we checked into the luxurious Comfort Inn the desk guy asked us, "do you have dinner plans?"


"If you want fine dining try Whiskey Creek"

"We've been there before," I replied thinking to myself that the definition of "fine dining" certainly varies with what is available. (For those who have never been to Bishop or Whiskey Creek think Charleston's or Cask and Clever or Claim Jumper)

"Wellllll," he said with a sideways look. "If you want to go where the locals go then eat at the bowling alley."

"Um, okay."

After a few cocktails (when travelling long distances over multiple days in multiple hotel rooms bringing a bottle of your favorite spirit and several mixers is a strong suggestion) in the room, doing some work related emails, shooting off a message to the girls at camp and listening to Leslie get increasingly frustrated with her Tetris game on the iPad while watching the Olympics we headed to the bowling alley.

It wasn't hard to find.
11th Lane Bar & Grill's Road Sign 
"Behind La Quinta" is the primary direction.

Forget Whiskey Creek, or the barbecue place, when in Bishop eat at the bowling alley.  Seriously.

Leslie had a bacon wrapped sirloin and I had grilled pork chops, both came with a salad and baked potato.  The meat was cooked perfectly and delicious.  As a bonus they have regular Coors in the bottle and Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap...for $3.50 and $2.00 respectively.  Also on the menu were swordfish that was served at the table next to us that looked great, huge Prime Rib, burgers and...when have you ever heard this in a bowling alley grill?  "How do you like your ahi? Seared?"

Tomorrow we head north to Reno to visit our good friends the Caltagirone's and Wilkinson's, we are led to believe there may be some homemade barbecue in our future!

Remember, when in Bishop, the 11th Lane Bar and Grill at the Back Alley Bowl!

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