Along the way, we were constantly tempted by the many roads leading off 395. Sign after sign indicated alluring side trips: the Alabama Hills and Movie Flat (where many an old western flick had been filmed), Big Pine Canyon and Glacier Lodge, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest with the oldest living trees in the world, and more. Alas, most of these would have to wait for another adventure, but we did succumb to a few. While pulled over for a short break at Conway Summit, we couldn’t help but notice an enticing, well-paved road headed up into vast stands of aspen turning color for the fall. Already at 8,100 feet of elevation, but encouraged by our luck at missing storms, we took off for a couple of hours on a road that pointed straight up into the Sierra Nevada range. We followed it as far as we could, till we ran into more snow than pavement. By that time we were at Virginia Lakes, elevation 9,600 feet. The aspen were golden, the mountains white, the air chilly, and the snow piled high around us.