Sunday, August 25, 2013

Things to do in Mammoth, part VI: John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails

This is the final installment of the Mammoth Summer series; Catch up on the rest of the series here!
Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart V

Friday was our last full day in Mammoth, so it was a "lets do everything we haven't had a chance to do yet while we're here" day. We made further use of our National Parks Pass and hiked a few miles along the Pacific Crest and John Muir Trails. We were excited for this day and had been looking forward to it all week, since those trails lay outside the boundaries of the National Park, which meant that there wouldn't be many people doing the same thing.  I guess most people there preferred to "hike" along the groomed highway-wide paths inside the national monument borders.
Daisy learned from her last two hiking experiences {here and here} and took advantage of any shade she could. She would RUN between patches of shade and camp out in the next one until we had caught up, then she was on to find the next patch. This hike had the benefit of occasional water source, so she cooled off a lot easier.
We even passed by Devil's Postpile and got a much better panoramic view than we did the first time we saw it. Tim was a little peeved we didn't skip that altogether and just seen it from here.

The area is littered with lakes (hence the name "Mammoth Lakes") and they're connected by creeks and streams and rivers, so we spent most of the day hiking the trails that webbed the mountainside from one to the other. It was a gorgeous day at the end of the summer, and we loved having the trail to ourselves.

It wasn't a long hike, but we gained a lot of altitude, so we cut our hike short at Johnston Lake to explore the meadow and play in the river. {We had also dropped the really expensive compass Tim had insisted we purchase and he was pretty bummed about it. The Cracker-Jack compass I wanted to get would have been a lot less painful to have lost, just sayin'}

We popped open beers and the Subway sandwich we'd toted up the mountain for a little picnic, and after about an hour of swimming in the pool of the river we packed up and started exploring the back country surrounding Johnston Lake.  There were no trails, just paths made by animals back there, so we felt like explorers blazing our own trails! You know, just without a compass.
isn't it seriously breathtaking??!?
 After spending a good time jumping rocks and breaking sticks and altogether being children, we made the trek back.
A self-satisfied and content pup, wouldn't you say??!?
Tim, breaking the trusty map back out after we returned to the car to see where we had just hiked.
The next day, we packed up the condo and the car, loaded both animals and ourselves in, and made the drive back to Santa Barbara. It was a great trip, and one that was both exhausting and relaxing at the same time, somehow. This was NOT our typical relaxing vacation, but we still came back mentally recharged. Physically, we were spent though!
Spock had had a lovely time in the condo without us during the day.

We would definitely need a few days to recover, though!

1 comment:

  1. Great pics and CRACKING up at the dog! you killed her!


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