Alabama Hills

Hi there! Today we wanted to share with you our adventure to Alabama Hills. You know when you feel like you’re bored with your everyday life routine? Well a great way to get out of that funk is to plan a road trip with someone special. So that’s exactly what Scott and I did for this trip. As usual we brought all of our camera equipment and set out towards Lone Pine, California. We chose Lone Pine because of its proximity to a place called Alabama Hills, which we had seen featured many times on Instagram and were mesmerized by it’s beauty, little did we know how amazing it truly is there. Lone Pine is only 4 hours away from where we live in Los Angeles, and we had never been there. From what Scott had researched, it seemed like the perfect place to explore and get amazing pictures of sunrise as the light comes up over the mountains. Like most of our road trips, we set out for a weekend getaway. We left our homes around 7pm on Friday night, and we started off the adventure with a few set backs (i.e trying to fill up the gas tank when every station is packed with people, which lead to us going to another gas station, then realizing I forgot my contacts and Scott getting mad at me, and then the BEST thing..waiting forever in the wrong drive through lane which was actually quite funny when you pull up to an El Pollo Loco menu and you thought you were at McDonalds LOL)
So after all of those little hiccups, we were on the road and we were planning on getting to our motel around 11pm. The motel we stayed in was the cheapest one we could find, and it was located in Big Pine, which is about 40 minutes north of Lone Pine. On the scary/nasty level it was like a 4 (our bed cover had a dirty mark on it from what looked like the bottom of a shoe, so we slept on the 2nd sheet.) Other than that it was fairly clean a bit scary though- all motels are in my opinion. Anyways, we finally went to bed around midnight and woke up 5 hours later to drive to Alabama Hills for the sunrise 🙂 Our favorite tradition, especially for Scott’s photography purposes “it’s a must.”
Waking up was a struggle-it always is for me, but Scott always gets the job done and gets me out of bed. I remember us driving into the mountains and the road started to get bumpy. I saw some camping tents and then the excitement hit me, we had like 15 minutes to find a spot to set up for the sunrise. Once the sun started to peak onto the mountains I instantly fell in love with this place. Watching the sun slowly creep down the Eastern face of the Sierras left me in awe of all the colors and scenery around me. Moments like these are so special and seem to give me a sense of clarity and peace. It really is just the most peaceful and calming place I’ve ever been to. Scott took a time lapse of the sunrise and some pictures as well, and I snapped some film pics. We stayed out there for a few hours exploring and enjoying our morning together. As we were driving into Lone Pine the night before, we had passed a Film Museum and I was ecstatic because Scott and I love anything film related, so we decided to go there after we were done taking pictures. As we made our way back to the main road where the museum was, we noticed it was a WESTERN film museum. That aspect made is super cool and interesting because we both didn’t know much about western films. We had a great afternoon learning about the history of early filmmaking and the western films that were made in Lone Pine. I had no idea how many early television shows and films were shot in those mountains, and it was very insightful to think about how much history took place there.  I took some photos of the outside of the museum and a few inside, after that, we were feeling hungry so we decided to go to Bishop for some lunch (Bishop had a Taco Bell so we were sold) we also checked out a bakery that is pretty popular in Bishop called “Erick Schat’s Bakery”. We got our lunch and picked out some pastries then started to head back to the motel. We ate our lunch then took a nap and decided to go explore the upper mountains where the snow was at because it had started to get extremely windy and dusty down around Alabama Hills. It was such a beautiful drive up the mountains and a nice switch up from the rocky desert below. We took some photos and videos of the snowy mountain and goofed around for awhile until we reached a gate where the roads were closed for the Winter. We went back down the mountains to Denny’s for dinner because we aren’t picky and there are vegetarian options there so it works for us :). We headed back to the motel and talked about the things we wanted to do on our drive home the next day, had a beer then went to bed.
On our last morning, we were on the road by 10am, got some gas, went to Alabama Hills one last time for some more exploring/rock climbing (not legit, just walking on rocks). We had talked the night before about places we wanted to stop at on our way home and we had two spots in mind. One was Red Rock Canyon State Park, and the other was the Poppy Reserve in Antelope Valley. We started our decent back home and it took about 2 hours to get to Red Rock State Park. When we pulled up, I was so glad Scott picked this place because it was SO COOL! It was like the lost city of Atlantis, the rock structures were incredible. There were trails that lead you through fields of cactuses and slots in the canyon walls that allowed you to explore the bizarre rock formations. We explored for about an hour before making our way further south to the poppy reserve in Antelope Valley. From what we had read, it had been an extremely vibrant wildflower season, so we thought we would check it out. We were taken back by how many people were visiting as well, given it was a Sunday, it was totally congested. There were tons of cars parked along side the roads and so many people in the fields. We waited in line in the car for about half an hour before getting into the park. Once we got to the field we were careful on where we put our things and not to destroy any poppies. Thankfully, there were spaces where no poppies were growing or had already been destroyed by people before us :(. We found some spots were I could sit and lay and take some videos and pictures. We were there for about 45 minutes before we made our way back to the car and drove the remaining drive home (only about an hour away from this point.) All in all it was a fantastic trip, a much needed trip, and yet now I wish I could do it all over again. I love those carefree moments in life, they truly are pure bliss.
You can check out all the pics from our trip below and enjoy some of our favorite moments. You can also check out the full video we made right here!
Babe and Mountain
Courtney admiring the beauty of the sunlight creeping down the face of the Eastern Sierras


babe camera road
Courtney posing with her film camera in the middle of one of Alabama Hills’ dirt roads
Sunrise Close up
The orange sunlight illuminates these mountains unlike any other place that I have seen, providing a breathtaking scene for anyone who sees
Artsy Boiz
A closeup of the orange Poppy flowers that cover the hillsides at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve
babe in road
Another pic of Courtney standing in the dirt roads that make Alabama Hills accessible by car
Babe Red Rocks
The massive rock walls at Red Rock State Park tower over Courtney and offer and interesting composition for photos
Babe Snow Road
The fading orange light of the sunset offers a beautiful contrast to the cold blue shadows of these snowy mountain roads
Rainbow Eye
Courtney insisted on me capturing this rainbow reflection that appeared on her face while we were parked in the Alabama Hills area
Road Mountains
One of the seemingly endless roads that lead up into the Eastern Sierras taking you from near sea level to massive elevations within minutes
Babe Closeup
A closeup of Courtney in the snow
Sunrise Close up 2
A closeup of the Sierras as the sun first hits them in the early morning

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