We've been on the road for nearly a week. Mammoth was our first stop and it was great. About 6 months ago when we were mapping our adventure, we had wanted to go up the CA coast to get to Oregon by July when we have a family reunion. This proved difficult, as everyone tends to swarm to California in the summer and the beach camping locations booked quick. For most of our trip, we will wing it as move along, but for the summer, I wanted to get locations booked so we didn't have scramble and fight for a spot in a town we wanted to be in. Since the beach locations booked up ASAP and were not completely ready to wing it, we opted to stay inland and head north to Oregon. So, Mammoth seemed like a great first stop. Little did we know there was an offroad MotoX race and the campground would be packed with the bros from So Cal. Don't get me wrong, we were once desert people. Dirtbikes and quads were our thing. Yet, we've found ourselves over the last few years liking the woods and beach a little more than the desert. With kids not too interested in dirt bikes, we sold them. So, here we were in Mammoth, surrounded by bikes reving up, country music blaring and golf carts swarming the campground. We headed out more often, in search of hikes and adventures and were pleased to find so much.
Our first stop was to Convict Lake. We hiked a good 45 minutes which was a great first hike for the boys. We take hikes easy for now, as our middle kiddo has KT syndrome and we are unsure of how far his endurance will take him before he is done. Once the kids saw others fishing, they were ready to cast their lines into the water, so we headed back to grab our fishing poles and attempt to catch some fish. We are amateurs at best. I killed it as a kid with a fishing pole, baiting the hook, grabbing the fish and using pliers to get the hook out, tossing it back into the lake. I had awesome adventurous Aunts who taught me everything. Yet it's been years since I grabbed a pole and fished. Something to do with screaming, high demand toddlers and kids yelling "Mom!" all of the time. So, we spent some time casting and breaking lines, losing bait and getting tangled in line and then watching Bryce almost take a hook to the face. It was a little too forced and chaotic. Plus, middle of the day heat kept the fish in the deeper parts of the lake, no where near the shore. So we enjoyed the scenery and headed back. On our drive, we took side roads and checked out the streams, hot springs and stunning views. We so badly want to force the boys to appreciate the views and stunning mountains, yet kids are kids and they look, act amazed, shrug and ask if they can go swim the second we get back to the campground. I hope one day they look back and realize the beauty they have seen with their little eyes. We found trailers boondocking, which was fantastic and sometime we plan to do sooner than later.
Around the 3rd day in, the kids began to explore more around the campground and enjoy the other kids who were there for the weekend. Every kid Jake met was his friend and Bryce found kids to play basketball and ride bikes with, until some older kids turned into little a-holes and teased Bryce, who then had his little heart broken. He will learn, some kids just suck and he better not be one of those kids. The boys did enjoy swimming, basketball, Bryce liked riding his bike around the campground and they even found a pretty sweet treehouse up the hill.
On Saturday we went to Bodie. This cool ghost town was awesome to explore with the boys. We took Kona, our two year old golden, along for the trip. Our older pup Hana is more apt to chill in the peace and quite of the trailer. She's our 11 year old old lady. The boys enjoyed Bodie and running around to each building. We'd check the number out front of each place, look it up on the self guided map and learn all about that spot. What was once there and who used it. Some were bars, or saloons, hotels and shops, homes and fire stations. Bodie was a mining town in the 1800's and was once 10x bigger than what we walked through. It was hard to believe men on horseback roamed through the town. It was a super neat experience and I recommend it to anyone, especially with kiddos. Bring water, as it is a good walk and warm in the summer. The Park Rangers were all very knowledgable and answered any and all questions. They all seem to really love their job.
On Father's Day, we left that day completely open to Travis and whatever he wanted to do. We gifted him Lonesome Dove, the novel. As a kid, he was obsessed with the tv series. Travis says, "Everything you need to know about life, you can learn from Lonesome Dove." He's enjoyed diving into the book. He woke up at 4:30am and headed out for some landscape pictures. We were going to get the boys up early and fish, but before Travis came back to the trailer, he casted out for a while and nothing was biting. There was a good breeze on the lake that morning so maybe that could have been why. We ventured out and explored. We took the scenic drive around June Lake and our minds were blown with the waterfall pouring down the mountain. It's great to see California out of the drought. Back at home in Southern California, there's not much evidence of that. Heading North, the amount of water everywhere is mind-blowing. It's almost as if the melting snow and water doesn't know where to do. Rivers are rushing and water is spilling down from rocks everywhere. It was beautiful. We stopped and took a quick walk up a hill, got back in and headed to Mono Lake. The clouds were insane and thunder was booming. You could see showers all around us. It was great. We explored Mono Lake, their museum and welcome center and took some fun pictures. On our drive home, we hit crazy weather, hail and steam coming off the road. It was eerie and exciting.
Mammoth overall was great, despite not having much luck fishing. I think we would have tried fishing more if we were on a quick trip and heading home, yet the fact that we have so much adventure ahead of us doesn't make us feel rushed. We were ready to leave Mammoth by Monday and move on to the next spot, so timing was perfect.
It's hard to believe we are not just on a vacation and heading home soon. I'm not sure when that feeling goes away. Our tiny home is proving comfortable and quaint. We are in love. There have been high and low emotions as we all adjust to this new lifestyle, yet we are still enjoying each others company. So far, so good!