Saturday 23rd July
We got up early to drive up to the Mammoth Ski resort where the $7 compulsory shuttle-bus left from to visit the Devils Postpile just a short one mile hike from the bus stop. The Basalt columns which greeted us were fantastic basically hexagonal pillars about a foot diameter please see the gallery for some of the pictures. We could also walk up to the top of` them where they had been polished by glacial movement. After the Postpile we hiked a further two and a half miles to Rainbow falls where the sun is just in the right position to form a rainbow in the spray and while we were there we could actually see two. Back to the shuttle-bus but there was a little backpackers shop so a couple of beers seemed in order after our seven mile hike which was quite steep in places and at one point we were so interested in a great looking wooden bridge over some rapids that we took a wrong turn onto the John Muir Wilderness Trail which comes all the way from Yosemite which added another two miles to our hike.
After a rest watching the kids on a climbing wall at the ski center we headed for Vons (Safeway) supermarket and then the library which we had read in a brochure had wi-fi and another night in our nice clearing in the forest.
Sunday 24th July
Off to Bishop today, it was quite a big town with a Vons petrol station where we could get cheap fuel and use our 10 cents off a gallon coupon which was on our ticket from yesterday. Every little helps at 10 mpg!
We drove a scenic route into a canyon with two lakes but they were a bit commercial as they were man made with dams and had boating facilities. So just a restful driving day today. On our way out we found a petrol station which had propane so we could fill up as we were getting rather low.
We headed for “Toms Place” which was at the head of Bishop Creek Canyon where the Visitor Center in Mammoth had told us was a beautiful hike. About 3 miles from “Toms Place” we found a good place for the night just off the highway.
Monday 25th July
We drove into Rock Creek Canyon and found the trail head parking which was already half full and set of on the hike into the canyon. The parking was at 10,100 feet elevation and both of us had great difficulty breathing so were not to sure how we would fare on the hike. And what a beautiful hikeinto Little Lakes Valley, it started at Mosquito Flats which was a bad omen especially as we saw people getting dressed up in “bug nets” over their heads so we decided that our long walking trousers and a good spray of deet was necessary. But after about twenty minutes the sun was hot enough to get rid of the mosquitoes. The canyon had 22 lakes and we visited 18 of them on our hike which was very pleasant with beautiful scenery and really nice people we kept meeting as we passed each other as each had a rest or photo stop. We finished at Chickenfoot lake and had our lunch just at the tree and snow line at 11,000 feet. There we encountered “Pink Snow” which was very strange presumably stained with resin from the pine needles. We had gradually got used to the altitude during the walk thankfully but it was a reasonably strenuous 6.9 miles and at that altitude we were quite happy with our effort.
We had seen a dump station at “Toms Place” so had a shower in the car park to get rid of all the deet and then to dump and fill with water which should take us through most of our last week.
So back to Mammoth Lakes tonight and our little clearing in the forest for another visit to the library to send this and upload our photos.
Steve & Judy