Mammoth...at least that was the plan

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NVSteve
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Mammoth...at least that was the plan

Postby NVSteve » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:53 pm

I had hoped that I could spend a lot of time down in the Mammoth area for 9 days, but that was not to be because I had to use up a few days helping out the parents with their upcoming move. On the way to Virginia City, we drove through a little town called Paradise Valley & then up one mountain, camped overnight, then down another mountain the next day. We hit smoke in Bendover (Wendover-border of Utah and NV) & had it the entire trip.

As we were nearing the town of Paradise Valley, we could see the mountain range on the side of town burning away:

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Umm, no shit:

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The town keeps getting smaller and smaller. Quite a few abandoned buildings.

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Camping up on top of a mountain 9 miles from the fire.

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Drove up to the top of another mountain on the way out the next morning. It's only 8700', but the old mining roads follow some pretty sheer dropoffs along the way.

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I have driven past this particular place hundreds of times my entire life, but this is the first time I decided to stop and see wtf it is. Take the Imlay exit off of I-80 between Winnemucca and Lovelock (NV). Place is called Thunder Mountain. Some call it art, but I just call it a bunch of crap cemented together.

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If you think I was too harsh calling this crap, have a look at this photo. Yes, a toilet is part of the wall.

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Once at the house, I found out I had to make a run into Virginia City to drop off a number of historical donations to the old school, which is a great museum worth visiting:

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The rest of the town is purely for tourists.

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Most of the buildings are pretty scary looking, like the odds of them collapsing at any moment seems pretty high.

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Yes, the door & doorway of this house are both crooked. It's a 3 story house and the whole thing is leaning to one side.

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We finally headed off to Mammoth. We hit the June Lakes Loop and parked at Silver Lake for some kayaking. No more than 10 minutes after we arrived, it started pouring down on us.

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It would not stop raining, so we slowly threw the kayaks on top of the Pathfinder & I would get out between lightning bursts to strap them down. We headed off to Devil's Postpile to camp, which is west & down the mountain from Mammoth. Of course it wasn't raining at all when we hit Mammoth.

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Devil's Postpile National Monument from the top:

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And the bottom:

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Drove back to Silver Lake & the weather was perfect.

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Stopped at a few places along Mono Lake.

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One of the 4,000 reasons why I would never live in California:

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Our next to last day before returning to Salt Lake, we picked up one of my aunts and drove out to Independence Lake for the day. The Nature Conservancy owns the lake & provides a number of different boats for people to freely use. The lake itself is as big as Donner, but it doesn't have the crowds like Tahoe. We saw 2 other people the entire day we were there.

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Oly 22
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Postby Oly 22 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:37 pm

Looks like a great trip and beautiful country. Do you drag a line behind your Kayak?

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deermjd
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Postby deermjd » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:12 am

Do you ever take a bad picture? :D Looks like a great trip to me. I've made a couple of trips to the Lake Tahoe/Yosemite/Mammoth Lakes area and would love to go back again. Did you stop at the Bonanza restaurant in Virginia City?

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volvite
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Postby volvite » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:06 am

Steve,

Always nice pictures.

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NVSteve
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Postby NVSteve » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:38 am

Looks like a great trip and beautiful country. Do you drag a line behind your Kayak?
No, sea kayaks are pretty tippy beasts if you don't pay attention to what you are doing- you can easily wind up in the water. If I had a flat bottomed sit-on-top kayak, then I'd probably do so. That would actually be pretty relaxing.
Do you ever take a bad picture?
All the time, but thanks. I was annoyed this trip with all of the smoke in the air, which made for some really bad skies everywhere except Mammoth.
Did you stop at the Bonanza restaurant in Virginia City?
The most I've ever done in VC is grab a burger. It changes things when one lives in the area.

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FLiPMaRC
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Postby FLiPMaRC » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:12 pm

8) Beautiful!

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rragpaoa
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Postby rragpaoa » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:22 pm

Hey Steve,

I just got back from Mammoth last weekend from our yearly mountain bike trip with the buddies. 4 Days of hiking and biking.

Great pics as usual. I love your stories because I always feel like I'm there.

Was this on your new camera?

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NVSteve
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Postby NVSteve » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:01 am

rragpaoa wrote:Hey Steve,

I just got back from Mammoth last weekend from our yearly mountain bike trip with the buddies. 4 Days of hiking and biking.
The ski area was an absolute zoo when we were there. I'd say 99% of the people were mountain biking. I should have brought mine, because I saw a ton of great looking trails.
Great pics as usual. I love your stories because I always feel like I'm there.
Thanks. It's much easier to understand a photo given a little background first, rather than having to guess at what one is looking at
Was this on your new camera?
Yes. It seems to do fairly well & is nice & compact. I'm still going to pick up a bigger DSLR in the near future to replace the one I sold.


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