Have you every wondered where the exact center of California is? We found out today. :-) We drove part of the Sierra Vista National Scenic Byway. We only went half way and it still took us over five hours. The road is a total of 100 miles going through some of the most majestic scenery found in California's Sierra Nevada range.
Our first stop was the Redinger Overlook where we viewed the rugged San Joaquin River Gorge, carved by the San Joaquin River. A complex series of dams, penstocks, tunnels, flumes and powerhouses provides electricity to customers of Southern California.
Our next stop was to view the Jesse Ross cabin. The Jesse Blakey Ross Cabin was built in the late 1860's and is one of the oldest standing log cabins in the area. It represents a significant period in the settlement of what is now Madera County. The cabin built by one of the county's first settlers, Jesse Blakey Ross, lies in an area which until the twentieth century, was considered very remote. Access during the nineteenth century was by primitive trail along steep mountainous canyons and ridges. The building's traditional log cabin design exemplifies the pioneer spirit and technology of the mid-nineteenth century.
Our favorite stop was the Mile High Vista. The panoramic view takes in the Sierra Nevada crest, geologic features as Fuller Butes, Balloon Dome, Mammoth Pool reservoir, Mammoth Mountain, the saw-toothed Minarets Range and Eagle Beaks peak. The Mammoth Pool Reservoir is a camping, hiking, and boating hotspot. The reservoir and adjoining San Joaquin River is renowned for fishing.
On our way back, we took a short 2.7 mile side trip to view the center of California. We viewed the permanent survey plate and monument that mark the exact center of California. We would have loved to go the other 50 miles, but we heard the roads were dirt and you could only go about 15 miles per hour. This drive is a wowser and we highly recommend it. More later from California.