Where Have You Been Lately?


John Shannon, mystery writer

I started going to the Owens Valley in about 1980. There’s little on Earth like it. The Sierras rise almost vertically out of the valley floor. Very few people go camping there. It’s far enough away. And I happen to know a campground alongside Oak Creek, near Independence. One of the greatest things is sitting around a campfire at night with friends and maybe having a little brandy. There are huge trees you can hang a lantern on, usually cottonwoods. And the stars are just magnificent once the sun goes down.

Discovery: For anyone interested in learning about the valley, there is a book called “Deepest Valley,” edited by Jeff Putman and Genny Smith. Not only does it cover the geography and geology of the valley, but also the trees and plants and animals.