Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Goodbye Winter, Hello Summer 2006

Well, sort of anyway.

For several years I’ve been joining folks for a Memorial Day weekend trip to the Mammoth Lakes area. We camp in the desert, go out to at least one good dinner, and ski (telemark, in my case) at Mammoth Mountain. I especially like ending the trip with a cross-country trek out to Minaret Vista.

Last Saturday I left reasonably early for Mammoth with a plan to meet my friends for dinner at Roberto’s in Mammoth Lakes. It was a very interesting trip. I took Hiway 108 over Sonora Pass, which had only just opened. There is still a ton of snow over the pass, and it was 22 degrees and snowing as I crossed – a bit unusual for late May.

Since I had plenty of time I took a detour out to the ghost town (and now state park) of Bodie. I had hoped to do some photography – and I did get a few interesting photos – but the weather there also deteriorated after I arrived. There were some spectacular clouds when I got there, but I was wrong in thinking that they were clearing. After leaving the car wearing minimal weather gear I was surprised by my snow! I wandered around (and froze in) Bodie for a couple hours before heading back to Hiway 395.

I arrived at Mono Lake in the late afternoon to find spectacular clouds, screaming winds… and flocks of seagulls at the lake. I stopped at a couple of spots along the west shore to take pictures. As I was going back to my car I looked up and realized that there were scores of gulls circling right overhead, so I quickly grabbed some hand-held shots before leaving. (If you are reading this on my home page, one is posted below.)

I continued on to Mammoth, meeting Owen and Donna for dinner as planned and then retiring to our (free) desert campsite.

On Sunday we headed up to Mammoth to join the throngs getting in one last ski day before summer. Conditions were actually quite good. The light snow the previous day along with cold temperatures kept the snow in condition longer than usual, and we skied until 3:00.

Yesterday we planned to ski out to Minaret View and then head up San Joaquin Ridge. That was not to be. Donna had rented skis at a local sporting good shop and discovered at the trailhead that they had provided her with two left skis! Not good. So she and Owen headed back to town to make the exchange while I headed on out to Minaret View. There I lazed around enjoying the view, waiting for their eventual arrival.

Stay tuned for more photographs later this week.
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May 30, 2006 - Posted by | Trips

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