I can’t believe that our 2 week camping trip in Mammoth Lakes has already come and gone and we are on the road, heading across the country back to Atlanta.
It seemed like just yesterday that we were setting up camp, but in reality, yesterday we were in a mad panic to break down our camp by the noonish check-out time, have a final breakfast with one of the other Much Ado families, ship back the AC unit as well as do a final load of laundry.
It was a hectic and busy and stressful morning.
But by far, it was our best Much Ado Shakespeare Mammoth camping excursion and perhaps the most poignant.
Things change, they remain the same and then of course the change irreversibly.
Skye started attending the Much Ado About Shakespeare program when she was ten years old and we were still in LA. In a funny way, it’s been one of the most consistent things in her crazy wildly inconsistent life.
The Mammoth camp has become a pilgrimage that we looked forward to and this year would be her final year attending as a student and performer.
She very likely will return in a leadership role in the years to come, but of course that is very different.
We have been talking about possibly buying a property in Mammoth for years, and now for a variety of factors ranging from our being more and more on the Eastern side of the country as well as the many drought, water and snow issues Mammoth is facing along with the prohibitive California real-estate price tag and it is looking less and less like that’s going to happen.
This little town that has become a dear home away from home for me is looking like another broken dream, a path not taken on more than one occasion. I already miss the mountains and the air up there. But there are things that have changed about the town; things that don’t feel like they’re changing for the better.
And so I feel sad that we probably won’t be making Mammoth a part of our future; and I think that in the end it will have worked out for the best but I will hold my memories of it close to my heart.
This year’s camp, even more so than years past was very much more about the friendships and experiences outside of the Much Ado program than the play, rehearsals and performance.
We had our almost nightly routine of gathering around one of the campfires and playing a game of “Werewolf.” Skye and her pals were completely on their own, running around and hanging out for hours upon hours without any sort of adult supervision or assistance; something that was the norm for me when I was a teen but is so very different now.
I managed to do very little in regards to losing weight, (one of my primary goals for the trip) because of the Snow Creek Athletic Club’s wonderful happy hour which consisted of amazing well priced sushi, internet and of course beer. I joined the club primarily for the shower and hot-tub facility as well as the indoor pool, their Brazilian jiu-jitsu program, and yoga classes.
I made it to two yoga classes, sat and hung my legs in the pool for a moment (too cold), got dressed to go to a BJJ class (Happy Hour and Werewolf back at camp won out) and I did manage to squeeze in a couple of short work-outs in the gym. I did use the shower and the hot-tub religiously.
I never got on my bike, which was quite frustrating to me, but with as much running as I was doing, I had to make some priorities.
We also never managed to go out paddle-boarding, even though we hauled our inflatables SUPs, oars and life-vests across the country, taking up prime space. It was always a bit too cold and the kids were having too much fun hanging out without the adults to be wrangled into an organized group activity.
I did get in several trail runs, played around a lot with the solar panel system, organized the tent interior as well as reading, relaxing and hanging out.
Just got back from a 10 mile trail run; it was either up or down almost no flat areas and on sandy pumice. It kicked my butt good, legs feel like cement but so glad I did it
— at Shady Rest Town Park, Mammoth Lakes, California.
And then there was another visit from the bear because I managed to forget to take the garbage back full of trash from after the taco party to the dumpster...Ooops and again sorry Skye. Her tent was much closer to the trash bag and thus the bear than mine.
I ordered a pretty impressive portable AC unit that I plan to take to Burning Man this year but wanted to test out first. I took advantage of the free 2 day shipping through my Amazon Prime account and arranged for a pick-up at the local post office. However, due to a variety of things, I didn’t get the unit until late Thursday, which gave me very little time to experiment with it and then get it repacked and shipped back to Atlanta. I did manage to figure out a few key elements to factor into my master plan. We’ll see how that pans out….
The day of the performance of Macbeth came. The piece went off beautifully, Skye was so relaxed and managed to go from the role as one of the witches to Lady MacDuff seamlessly as well as taking on the role of “child wrangler”
The troupe and their tag-along families went for our traditional post-performance dinner at the local Italian restaurant where the kids with hyped-up from being up on stage and relieved at the same time giggled and joked and went on about the night’s show as thespians and teen-agers would do, creating a innocent and good-natured ruckus.
I didn’t make it to the final group camp fire. I was too tired from the ten-mile trail run I had done earlier in the day as well as busily repacking the AC unit and beginning to get organized for the road-trip that lie before us.
With that I must bid adieu for there are many more adventures that await us.
Tattoos and clowns and much, much more