US Route 395 is a 557 mile highway that has been in use since the 1930’s (although the corridor itself has been in use since the Gold Rush). The 395 extends from Hesperia in Southern California all the way to the Oregon border.
For most people it is a means to an end. Hikers and climbers seeking the thrill of Mt Whitney or Death Valley traverse this route. While skiers and snow boarders must bear the stretches of slow speed limits to get to Mammoth.
For those of us with a Gypsy Soul, this corridor calls to us!
As you pass through the small towns along the 395 (Lone Pine, Bishop, Lee Vining and more) the speed limit drops to 25mph – an inconvenience if you are itching to get to your destination; however, an absolute pleasure for those of us that want to indulge in exploring the towns that time has passed by.
The abundance of antique and junque shops along this route are certainly a gypsy draw. By Far the best feature of this drive is the vintage signage still in use on the local store fronts. An amazing homage to an art of a bygone era. I love these vintage signs.
And certainly, no trip to this area is complete without a visit to Erick Schat’s Bakery. A local landmark dating back to 1903 – be prepared -the lines are long to purchase their delectable baked goods – but so worth it!
So when you find yourself in Southern California looking for an offbeat road trip, indulge your gypsy soul, take your time and meander along the 395!