It was only a few minutes after I remarked to Cindy that the traffic gods must be looking out for her, that the cargo box atop our little road warrior, the Rav 4, blew open while we were flying up the 405 fwy towards Mammoth. Stuff flying out, leaving a trail of our belongs
My bike helmet was quickly crushed by oncoming traffic. I managed to retrieve a yoga mat and one of Cindy's sandals. It was a scary experience to say the least and I still don't know what happened exactly.
I relocked the case and threw a ratchet strap over it as an extra precaution and we were back on the road.
Because we left late after a dreadful day in storage, we only managed to make it to Lone Pine. We stayed at the hotel that was our home for several weeks while we were shooting GI Jane oh so many years ago. So that was a hoot.
And then there was the stop at Manzanar. OK, so the journey was more than nothing.
But the beauty that is Mammoth and the Sierras, trumps our quick jaunt.
The Journey Is the Destination
Hiking is, at its essence, about the journey, even though one often has a goal in mind, as in a peak to summit, a hill to climb. It is one of the big draws to Mammoth. And yet it took us a couple of days of decompressing before we actually got out and onto the trails.
Even then it wasn't without a certain amount of drama.
We left the house not knowing where we were going. We arrived at Tamarack where we had skied cross-country the last time we were in Mammoth. It was winter then and Tamarack was quiet and peaceful.
It was anything but that in summer at the height of the tourist season on a weekend. After a enlivened discussion, Cindy agreed that we could find a better hike than walking around and through the Tamarack campground. As it turned out finding a trail-head when you haven't done any research prior to jumping in the car and just going, was not as easy as we thought.
I failed to mention that it was looking pretty stormy and was beginning to rain...
And even though I showed Cindy 3 rain jackets when we were going through storage a few days before, two of which we had just purchased in Vail because we didn't have our coats with us on that day, I had once again forgotten to bring them, so now I was lucky to have Cindy's because she thought to bring an extra one.
to Barret Lake to T.J. Lake
We did have the foresight to pick-up and actually remember to bring a map. So we did finally find and arrive at a trail that was appropriate in difficulty and in length.
Driving around we began to realize how much of the Mammoth Lakes area we hadn't yet seen and how much more was left to explore.
And explore we did.
Going with the Flow
Among a variety of other things that I am doing in preparation for Burning Man is getting more familiar with my Go-Pro camera and the many mounts and accessories.
Today I wore my Go-Pro on the wrist attachment with the LED screen back.
It was a bit unwieldy, but after I got used to the weight, it was nice to be able to see what I was shooting and the wrist mount was a good way to keep the Go-Pro literally close at hand.
I have a knack for getting lost.
Some of my greatest experiences have come as a result of being off-course.
So when I told Cindy and Skye to go on ahead of me, that I'd catch up and then I proceeded to take the wrong turn and end up going downhill when I should have been going uphill, I didn't worry, I just went the way I thought would ultimately reunite us.
I ended up at the base of the trail where Cindy and Skye would have been.....
Cool, except Cindy wasn't sure about the trail she was on. Skye was and had we not had cell phones, they would have carried on and met up with me.
But we do have cell phones.
When Cindy called me, I was pretty lost.
I saw a lake below me and was pretty sure it was Lake George but I still didn't know if the trail was going to lead me all the way there and then if I could find another trail to link me back to the trail we had originally taken.
I was pretty sure that all that would be the case but I wasn't certain.
I ended up running through some paths that were little more than game trails and then back up the hill to meet with them. Skye led the way back to prove to her mom that she really did know the way back.
To quote Tolkien, "Not all who wander are lost"
But sometimes they are, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.