Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bicycling at Mammoth Lakes, California

Mammoth Lakes area has a beautiful bike trail that threads through the pine forests, beside lakes, along a waterfall, and next to scenic lookouts.  With friends, Craig and Linda, we rented bikes in town, for $20 each, put them in back of the truck...then drove them to the shuttle stop.

We could of rented bikes directly at the shuttle stop, but it was a little more expensive. The shuttle is free. Our bikes are in a trailer hitched to the back of the bus.

The bus drove along the edge of a scenic pass. We could see the town of Mammoth in the low lands and several mountain ranges in the distance. Then we began approaching the lakes. There are 5 or 6 and about one mile apart.

The bus dropped us off at the top of the trail which is Horse Shoe Lake. It's beautiful but its shrinking slowly due to a fissure in the lake floor. We are in earthquake and volcano country. The ground is covered in tiny pumice stones.

Mozart, who is an off-road enthusiast, talked us into riding around the lake on a dirt trail. It was  great. I told Mozart we should sell our motorcycles and get into mountain biking. This didn't go over well.

After a loop around the lake (and I will mention we are at 8955 ft.) We head down the paved trail beginning our 8 mile decent. We take a detour over to a foot bridge for a picture. 

The bike trail goes right along the top of this waterfall. The water flows into the lake below.

 We stopped to visit the horses at the horse back riding post.

The bike tunnels were awesome.

Another bridge.
We had a great time!

Ninety-five percent of the ride was downhill. So the altitude is not a big problem.

This is a great ride for the whole family. We noticed a couple of 12 year old boys taking the shuttle up with their skateboards. The driver told me they had been going up and down all day.  Well that's better than video games!

 Mammoth is a mountain biking mecca. I've only barely touched what is available. The emphasis is on off-road. There are miles and miles of trails. You can even ride the gondola to the top and kamikaze down your favorite ski trail.  I'm not quite ready for that yet!
But you don't have to be a biker to enjoy a scenic gondola ride to the top.

That's it, for this post... I must go and make some mashed potatoes. My oldest son had his wisdom teeth out today. His new puppy is a great helper.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mammoth and our New Pup

We went to Mammoth Mountain for a few days. When we arrived home, we found a new family member. Our former dog passed away unexpectedly in March.  Sensi looks a bit like her. She is 9 weeks old.

 In Mammoth, we floated on the lakes, explored trails and rode bikes. Mammoth has a great bike trail that threads through the forests and along beautiful vistas.  I'll post more pictures of the trip later. Here is a sample.
One of the lakes on June Lake Loop.
 We visited the ghost town of Bodie.  Took a special tour of the old Stamp Mill. Did you know that Bodie had electricity before Washington D.C.?
 On the bike trail with our friends, Craig and Linda.
Home Sweet Home...back to our boys....and Sensi

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Memories in a Ghost Town

Mozart and I are returning to the ghost town of Bodie next week. Last time we were there we were on our dirt bikes and had a run in with the Sheriff. Our son (right) and his friend thought the whole thing was pretty funny. Here is the article I wrote about it.

Ghost Town Show Down

But for the most part we'll be at Mammoth doing a some fishing, hiking, and rafting.  Yes, relaxing rafting. I have an inflatable boat with oars. See you when I get back.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Up Down Up

Sometimes a rough week warrants doing something radical.

I spotted a dusty boogie board at my parents. "See you in an hour." I tossed it in the trunk, grabbed my purse and headed toward the beach. Ten minutes later the warm sand massaged my feet as I scouted for the perfect spot to lay my purse. I stepped out into the foamy tumblers and felt the icy water spray across my knees and slap at my board.  Another wave fell against the board and sprayed me down, so I stooped down and let the cold water flow over my shoulders, and I was in.

I caught a wave. It let me glide with it for a  moment and then pushed me onto the sand. I tried to look lady-like as I grabbed my board and straightened up. (Impossible).  All the more reason to strut back in the water and pretend like I know what I'm doing.  As you can see the size of the waves matched my "surfing" expertise and and the board had no wrist cord....oh it was perfect.

After that I went for a walk and ended up sitting on this wall. The side near the water is taller than it looks. I loved sitting with my feet dangling, the warm breeze whipping my hair, and my wet swim suit keeping me cool.  I watched the boats and the pelicans for quite some time, and felt as free as the seagulls flying overhead.
 Speaking of birds, these pelicans were hilarious. They were fishing right along with the fishermen.

Back at the shop (my dad's underground cave) he is working on a remote control sail boat that he and my brother plan to launch soon.  

He sure has a lot of drills.  

Speaking of "a lot",  here is a picture of a lot of boys.
 On another summer day my cousin, Bruce, his wife Marian and their 4 boys came by for a visit. They are getting ready to jump in for a swim at the community pool near my parents home.  (Bruce's grandmother is my dear great-aunt. She is 99. She married my grandfather's brother.) Bruce, who is a contractor,  is here to pick up a tile cutter that my dad borrowed in order to tile the bathroom. The whole neighborhood knew about my dad's tile project due to the searing sound an effective tile cutter makes. And they all breathed a sigh of relief when it was finished. 

Fields of green grass wrap around the homes in the area, and I took my cousins on a walk. Here is the duck pond, but all the ducks are taking a break.

We walked all the way to the bluffs overlooking the back bay. It was beautiful.

Back at home, in the hot lands it has been about 100 degrees. My tomato bushes are on their last legs, but here is a picture of my first crop. I'm on a health kick and determined my family is going to eat more fruits and vegetables.  In the fridge I have carrots, celery, broccoli, grapes, plums, strawberries. (no I didn't grow all those)  I tried to put them toward the front for easy access.  I hope it works.
I'm hoping this finds you well, and having a good summer. Life has its ups and downs, but you wouldn't feel the joy of UP unless you are familiar with the DOWN. But no matter up or down, God promises he will never leave us or forsake us, and he will use everything to build us stronger.

Have a good day!