Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mud Season Has Its +'s and -'s

We tend to swing by the High Traffic tourista meccas... the more crowded National Parks and such in the "shoulder" seasons... between the big rushes.

That allows us to see the place in a more relaxed fashion... not getting pushed off the sidewalk by a bunch of "furriners" payin' no attention to where they're goin'... and they wanna talk about the Ugly American?

Ha! We got no corner on THAT market. People in crowds have the etiquette of hogs at the trough; and it don't matter, not one lil' bit if they come from China, France... or America.

So the benefit is a lot more serene opportunity to actually see a tourist spot without acquiring any fresh bruises and psychological infections.

Buuuut there's trade offs...

Like, yesterday we rolled back into Mammoth lakes to let her do a lil' window walkin', toursita shoppin' and to also find a place for a B-day meal for herself. Wanna know how many shops and eateries Aren't open in the mud season in Mammoth Lakes? ... Most of 'em! :)

*Wire and Steel Bear sculpture at Mammoth Lakes*
 It's pretty pleasant just the same. You can stroll through Mammoth Village in the sunshine without the hassle of crowds and such. Enjoy the art and feel of the place...

... and since the shops aren't open you have no worries about doin' something dumb that you can't afford! :)

The place she finally picked wasn't open for lunch so we had to let our bellies rub on our backbones till 4 O'clock... which gave us plenty of time to wander around and find all the other shops that weren't open. ;)

While we were doin' that we made the short lil' drive up to Mammoth Mountain ski area, and watched the skiers doin' their thing on the last of winters snow...


The first thing you see is a critter you don't expect to find high in the sierra snow...

How'd you like to be out for a Sunday stroll with your poodle and find that sucker comin' around the mountain?

We found another couple of likely restaurants up there... 'course, they weren't open either... 

Then we checked on the penalty to ride their gondola and discovered it costs a drifter $25 bucks! I guess we got spoiled by the "public transportation" for nada gondola in Telluride. ;)

Soooo we just watched the people payin' to slide down the mountain...


I guess to each his own. Today they had purt near the whole mountain to themselves. But when I've seen slopes before, it looks like the mall on skis... a couple of hundred folks, payin' a hundred bucks a day give or take, to get hauled up the mountain on a rope or a lounge chair suspended from a cable...

Just so they can come a bouncin' an' bumpin' down the hill tryin' to avoid each other and trees, so they can turn around and go up to do it again. ;)

The fun was watchin' the snow boarder guys tryin' to impress the gals with their daring do...

Whhhhhhheeeeeee.... SPLAT! ;)






I'd say 'bout half of 'em landed... well... All of 'em landed... Just, half of the Landings were a crumpled body with a multi colored board stickin' out! :)

They've got one of those 1/2 pipe setups too... I'd guess more than 1/2 of those jumpers were making KERSPLATT! sounds...

Though I was too far away to hear the "Landing"...

Anybody know what sound a body makes when it lands on the hard packed frozen snow from 12 or 18 feet in the sky?

Is it KERSPLATT! ??? or kerWHUMP! ??? I wonder if any of that is prefixed by a mumbled; "Aw Crap!" ;)

Truthfully though, I was impressed that any of 'em could even concentrate enough to do their flips and tumbles in amongst the confusion of other skiers, gondolas and lifts! The distractions would have me makin' sounds ain't nobody ever heard before if I was foolish enough to strap a 2X12 to my feet and jump off the side of a mountain!

A bit later we wandered over through the main lodge. I especially like some of the architecture/details of the interior of the Lodge up at Mammoth Mountain. The rock work, lamps and such give it a really comfortable feel...

... For what I expect you have to fork out to live there for a night... it better! ;)










We sat by the fireplace with a hot chocolate while herself built a postcard to the grandkids...


Back down in town, though the snow is hangin' on under the trees, spring is workin' hard to come along...




To use up some more of the afternoon waiting on her choice of eateries, the Smokeyard BBQ, to open up we made the short run out as far as another road would allow... to another Lodge out in the direction of Lake Mary.






Of course, the restaurant at this place wasn't open on on Tues/Wed for the next three weeks... which was a bummer 'cause it looked really good to us... :(

Aw well... maybe if we stay in camp a lil' more and don't burn a lot of fuel... we can treat ourselves to another meal out... even if it ain't somebody's birthday!

Workin' hard at not workin' hard...
Brian

3 comments:

Judy said...

Tell Miss Heidi Happy Birthday for me!

Cj Cozygirl said...

That's how I want to spend my birthday....such beauty to take in and again you show it so vividly! You can do it again...kind of a belated re-do! Always forget they still have postcards out there...another steal for my to-do on the road!

OneMansJunk said...

You've found my favorite place to be. Fun to see it from a well-traveled gypsy view. Mammoth has good things going on year round. The crowd changes from week to week. Whiskey Creek Restaurant has a popular happy hour 5-6.. don't be late. Angel's was the goto BBQ place, new owners so mixed reviews now. Tom's Place near Crowley is your kind of place. Bon Apetite and Happy BD ... Rand