West 2018: Mountain Lakes

View of Twin Lakes at Tamarack Lodge, Mammoth Lakes, CA

Day 6, Mon. May 14:  I’m glad we all are in agreement that today we will rest, no driving anywhere. We’re all going to chill in this beautiful resort nestled in a pine forest by a lake overseen by mountains on three sides. In the 30s when we got up this morning, but it had crept up to the 40s by 9 am when we were walking back from our “left much to be desired” breakfast in the lodge; cereal, pastries, bagels, juice and coffee. But I shouldn’t complain, since all I ever eat at home is cold cereal.

The sun came out by 11 and it seemed to be a little warmer. Rita and I took a nice walk halfway around the lake and discovered that there are actually two connected lakes, thus the name of the road, Twin Lakes. We walked across the wooden foot bridge close to the lodge and ventured back into the woods a bit.  Then back to the other side, along a paved path to the other foot bridge which crosses very close to a cascade of water gushing down the mountain side. The falls were well over 100 feet high. We ran into Joe walking around with his phone snapping photos. I asked, “Do you want company?” “Not really”, he replied and so we continued on our way. Coming back we saw that there were secluded picnic areas dispersed among the pine trees along the path. When I got back to our cabin, I realized I was locked out, so I turned back and found Joe, joining him on his quest for awesome shots of scenes he may want to paint.

Falls on Twin Lakes at Tamarack Lodge

We finished our left over pizza from last night for lunch, then took a nap in the cool bedroom. Joe and I spent some time at the table with the California map and Google Maps on the iPad, charting our route out of the mountains and back to Phoenix for tomorrow’s drive.  We do not want to be dependent on any GPS or cell phones sending us down uncharted roads just to save two miles. There are actually many ways we can drive, but the best seems to be south on US-395 to I-40 and then east on I-10 into Arizona.  Ten hours of driving, but this time on real roads, no more two-lane mountain byways.  We decided we’ll fly back out here in a few years, maybe to San Diego, and drive to Yosemite or possibly take a tour bus out of San Francisco and stay inside the park for a few days.  I really was looking forward to seeing El Capiton and Half Dome, but maybe next time.  And we’ll be sure to travel in the summer when all the roads are open. We all know that things change and you got to be able to roll with the flow and enjoy what life presents to you.

By dinnertime it was much cooler and raining, in the mid 40s. WiFi is very spotty. You can be on FB for 10 minutes, then it’s down again. You have to keep going into settings and log back in. I heated our frozen PF Chang’s dinner of noodles, veggies and chicken along with two frozen egg rolls and we walked in the rain to the Hoppers cabin carrying our food to join them for dinner. They had a pasta, veggie and chicken dish. Later Rita and I went to the lodge to check out and ask about the procedure with returning our keys.  We were unable to settle our balance, because he told us the WiFi was down, which we already knew.  He took our credit cards and swiped them in one of those old imprint machines with paper and carbon copy for backup. He said he wouldn’t put any charges through until tomorrow.

Our cabin at Tamarack Lodge, Mammoth Lakes, CA

Back in our cabin, no WiFi means no Netflix show on the iPad. Joe has been watching episodes of Justified on Netflix for the last few days. No WiFi means no Pandora music. It means no email or reading newspapers on Kindles. I’m glad I have this word program on the iPad that saves what I type even if the internet is down.  We settled for drinking wine and reading in front of the fireplace. To bed early so we can get on the road at the butt-crack of dawn. We have over ten hours of driving ahead of us.

Read Previous Post May 13th, California Driving
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