Sparkling clean, everything worked, free wifi worked perfectly.
Charming wooden armchairs and table outside the door, but we didn't sit in them because it was too hot outside. In the morning it was cool, but we were driving away.
Bed firmness: 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Pillow firmness: 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Bright lights over beds and between armchairs--nice! Not to be taken for granted.
Fridge unusually large for a motel room, 3 feet tall, froze our blue ice--nice! Not to be taken for granted.
Noise: at bedtime, we turned off the power strip into which the air conditioner, microwave, and fridge were plugged in, to turn off the noise of the air conditioner and fridge, and the bright-light display ("0") of the microwave, and sleep better. On Friday night, we could hear trucks rumble by on 395, but not too late into the night. I slept fine, even though when I was occasionally awake, I could hear air conditioners rumble in neighboring rooms, as well as road traffic, like white noise. My hearing is more sensitive than average.
BOOKS! A shelf-ful of books about the area, i.e., the Eastern Sierra, is available in the office. You can borrow them while staying there. What a great idea and what a fantastic service!!! I borrowed and read half of The Land of Little Rain by Mary Austin, who published it in 1903 and whose house in Independence still stands. I had long dreamed of staying in Independence and reading this book (and other Sierra books, by John Muir, etc.), and now I have! Reading about areas visited, before, during or after visiting, so-o-o enriches travel experiences.
For dinner we looked at Dugan's (interior surprisingly sparse and more modest than the exterior), Still Life Cafe (white tablecloths, stem wine glasses), and ate at Jenny's Cafe and enjoyed the local all-American color and flavor.
On Saturday we drove 30 min to the Onion Valley Campground and trailhead, then hiked the ~5 miles in 2 h 55 min, past several gorgeous lakes, to Kearsarge Pass (~11.823 ft). From there the view into Kings Canyon Nat'l Park is heavenly: green valley, six lakes, and the promise of more valleys, canyons, streams, and lakes. They film western movies out there! In 11 h 20 min and 18.5 miles of hiking that day, we saw 3 rabbits, 1 hare, 9 deer, 1 marmot, 1 woodpecker, and many golden mantle squirrels.
The Eastern Sierra Museum and Manzanar are both rich in info about the history of the area.
I would stay here again before or after hikes or backpack trips into the Sierra.
- Also Known As:
- Ray`s Den Hotel Independence
- Rays Den Hotel