Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Solo Road Trip Day 5: Mammoth and Beyond

(Be forewarned - this'll be a long one...)
(also, the radio is killing me. 1. No, I will not catch a grenade for you. 2. I just CAN get enough. 3. Let's NOT do it tonight. 4. That stupid Adelle song. Still.)
I got to Mammoth yesterday - didn't take long from Tahoe. I'm going to say right now -- a weekend trip is in order. Such a cute town, cool people, so much to see. On my way down, I stopped a ton along the way...Mono Lake was absolutely incredible. It was so much prettier than I expected! I can see why people have "Save Mono Lake" stickers. I want one... From there I stopped and took tons of photos of the mountains - they're so different than the Tahoe Sierras. (see photos here) I did many a scenic loop including June Lake which was so worth the detour. I went up to the Minaret Vista Point which is above 9000 feet. Stunning. I learned this morning that one part of the mountain range is in Wizard of Oz -what the what! Time to rewatch that! I finally decided to head into Mammoth Lakes and got a room. Happy America's Birthday -I had Mexican food for dinner, a Mexican beer and didn't drive out to Crowley Lake for fireworks. So un-American. I rested for a while because I had done a lot of walking in the heat then decided I had to try Mammoth brewing. I headed up to Whiskey Creek and had their IPA -yum. One of the brewmasters was bar tending - Bryce. He was awesome, had a great time chatting with him. We exchanged numbers so next time I'm in Mammoth I'll have to look him up! I'm sure there are tons of cool things there only locals know about...

This morning I went back to the mountain and hopped on the bus headed to Devil's Postpile. Totally worth the trip! I'll post photos later... I did talk to a super cool guy & his wife on the way there. Such nice people! I'm happy I met them - its nice to talk to people during the day! I didn't make the hike out to Rainbow Falls - it was too far for my poor knee and I wanted to hit the road for the Grand Canyon. My bus driver (I was the only one on the bus) was so awesome too - and cute but that's beside the point. He is from the same town outside of Chicago where my aunt lives! It's a small world after all.

Here are some notes from my 10 hour, 4 state drive today:
--I listened to country music for 3 hours. It's a lot dirtier than it sounds...it's like a rap song all countrified. I think they got something there...granted I did hear one country song about country music. Whaaaaaaa.... Oh, I also heard the country version of "I Swear." how rad is that!
--I was almost the one being pulled over three times this trip. I need to watch it.
--A beef jerky stand in Bishop was highly recommended so I stopped. Listen carefully to this one and pick your jaw up off the floor: I ate buffalo jerky. What?! Moi? Yes. I ate buffalo. And it was so much better than the beef jerky. Who am I? Really.
--My two favorite signs in Bishop: The Loco Frijole and Giggle Springs.
--I left Inyo National Forest today. Kinda sad, I've been Inyo for days. (ha! That was waaaaaay funnier in the car earlier today.)
--I took some pass from Bishop to highway 95 to Vegas. I was the ONLY person on 95 the whole way. Sure there were people going the opposite direction, but no one was going my way. (yes, that was a little Life Is a Highway, just for you.) The pass was loooooong but kinda cool.
--I went through the town of Beatty which is flanked by a brothel called Angel's Girls coming in to town and a strip club called Bikinis on the way out. Remember, this is in the middle of NOWHERE. those chicks must be so hot, huh?
--About 60 miles outside of Vegas there was a Smarte Car convoy. As I've said before, those. Are. Hilarious!!!
--there was a massive prison out there in the massive high desert. Hitchhiking was prohibited.
--When I got to Tahoe I was at 126.2 miles. When I left Tahoe yesterday, I was at 256.6. When I got to Bishop today, I was at 486.5. When I left Inyo, I was at 532.2. When I get up tomorrow, I'll check again and update this post...I drove a lot today.
--It' HOT.
--I saw lightning a ton - thank you, Utah.
--I'm currently in a relatively nice Travelodge in Hurricane, Utah. I think I'm only about 30 minutes from Zion National Park so though it wasn't on the itinerary, I'll definitely be stopping tomorrow on my way to the big hole in the ground, the Grand Canyon.
--it's been a long day of driving so my apologies if this doesn't make sense and has typos. I felt great until about an hour ago, so I'm glad I have this huge Travelodge room - with cable - and lots of pillows. Nighty night!

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