Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Things to do in Mammoth, Part II: Camping in Red's Meadow

Catch up on the series! 
On our second full day in Mammoth, we loaded up our camping gear and headed out to the forest for some camping! 

We had all the gear for backpacking, but since some of it was borrowed and not that familiar, we decided that our first camping experience in mammoth (which turned out to be our only camping experience in Mammoth, but not because it was awful or anything) would be campsite-camping rather than "lets-hike-into-the-random-forest-and-carry-everything-on-our-backs-and-poop-in-the-woods" kind of camping. We wanted to ease ourselves into it, so to speak. Baby-steps camping. 
We decided to camp in the National Forest campgrounds, since there was a lot we wanted to see in that area. Campsites are first-come-first-served (they let you know at the entrance to the park if there is anything available), and you pay $10 bucks to get into the park. I think that 10 bucks is good for two weeks, but it may last longer if you're there longer. Campsites pretty much everywhere within the park are 20 bucks a night. 
We chose to set up camp in a place called Red's Meadow since it was pretty central to the places within the park we wanted to see. Our campsite was awesome in the fact that there was a creek running right behind the tent (so we could fill our water bottles right there with our handy-dandy filter pump we'd borrowed from a coworker of Tim's).  It was also really secluded from other campers, which is just the kind of camping we enjoy: creature comforts without the hassle of loud and drunk people.
Our awesome little stream
After setting up camp, we did some general exploring of the area around us. First, we walked to Sotcher Lake, the trailhead of which was less than a mile from our campsite. 


The majority of our day was spent at Sotcher, where we picnicked while resting our feet and keeping cool in the spring-fed lake.

It was at Sotcher Lake that our little avoid-water-unless-completely-unavoidable pup decided to get in on her own volition, and started playing fetch with sticks! This was a HUGE milestone for our little shelter dog, who didn't know what to do with toys when we adopted her. It's baby steps with her, and we love every inch of progress.

We discovered a little unnamed waterfall on our way back to camp, in which we cooled off again. I can not reiterate this enough: it was hot!

Next, we ht the space that gave Red's Meadow it's name. It we just about sunset at this point, and the light ws absolutely breathtaking!

That evening, we dined like kings. Okay, I'll be the first to admit that part of that impetus to eat everything we brought with us was brought on by fear of bears coming in and eating our food despite the bear locker we had, especially since there was a bear sighting in the camp that afternoon. Never mind that bears probably wouldnt have been interested in our salads and artichokes (with yummy homemade yogurt dill dressing!). Regardless, those artichokes went down smooth :)

We ended the evening playing rummy and drinking hot chocolate. The next day, we'd hike our little hearts out!

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