Mammoth Lakes and aroundSeptember 2 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 72 °F
We met a pug in a pushchair this morning on our way to breakfast, together with his blanket and a sulky expression. It’s owner smiled apologetically and said “ sorry he’s a bit grumpy, he’s tired and wants to go home’. Words fail me. On enquiry, It now appears that a lot of California hotels have a pet friendly policy and if like me you are allergic to dog and cat dander, you need to request a “pet free room”.
Point to note for the future!! Peter has his hackles up, there’s nothing he likes more than a good wrangle. I sense future check ins could be interesting.
All that aside, the rest of the day went swimmingly. Mammoth Lakes is a small town heavily into winter sports and hiking and cycling during the summer. We took a ride up the Gondola to the top of Mammoth Mountain. The 360 degree view of the mountain peaks was stunning and we watched the bikers launch themselves down seemingly vertical drops. I was seriously impressed. Bikes are loaded on to a specially adapted trailer behind a shuttle bus in town to the base of the mountain and then they are transported up the mountain by gondola. There are of course less challenging trails all over the area. Mammoth mountain is situated on the edge of an enormous volcanic caldera and the area is very lively in volcanic terms. The National Geographic Survey has instruments all over the mountain and results are instantly fed to their headquarters for analysis. How do I know all this? There was a lot of information and a gentleman explaining it all at the summit. It was fascinating-well to me anyway-Peter glazed after a few minutes! We returned to ground level, well 8000ft above sea level that is and took the shuttle bus down the valley to hike (American for walk!) to the National Monument The Devil’s Postpile. It was a beautiful afternoon and the trail through the alpine woods was perfection. Chipmunks and squirrels flitted across the path and birds twittered all around, including a bright blue Stella’s Jay. A group of three young Indians came striding past us (they were young!) and one turned to Peter and said ‘You from South Africa?’ I should explain Peter was wearing a cricket sun hat he had bought In Capetown. There followed an animated cricket discussion for the next few minutes at the end of which Peter’s new friend requested a photo to put on his cricket friends Facebook page - a star is born!
We found the Devil’s Postpile some five minutes later. It is a carbon copy of the structure of the Giants Causeway, in that we are looking at
hexagonal shaped tubes of black basalt. I should add it is an extremely rare occurrence worldwide and a most unusual find on a walk in the woods! We walked back to the rangers station to catch the shuttle bus back to the Gondola station where we had parked our car and as a finishing point to a great day espied a young coyote in undergrowth on the side of the road. Dinner tonight was in a microbrewery with a tasting programme. Someone’s cup runneth over.Read more