Sunday, November 29, 2015

RoadTripEleven: Mammoth Lakes Area

Jon and Rachel Pacio (#thenewpacios) joined us in Bishop for a few days and we headed up to the Mammoth Lakes Area for the weekend. We rented a cabin in at Convict Lake.

This lake reminds me of escaped convicts and murder.

Apparently Convict Lake was named after some escaped convicts from Carson City prison in Nevada who killed a guy at the lake in 1871 and then ran away and got caught somewhere else. It hardly seems like the most notable experience that has ever occurred in that location. It certainly shouldn't be the namesake of the lake. How about “Volcanos and colliding continental land masses make beautiful high Sierra Mountain lake.” That was a pretty important event in the history of the lake. Rolls right off the tongue too.

I got a mustache at Convict Lake. I carved it out of my beard and left it between my nose and my upper lip. Jon had one for Movember (male cancer awareness mustaches) and I decided that I wanted one too. I only had it for it for Movember 22-23rd though. Not that I don't support male cancer awareness. It's just I started getting cravings for Coors Light and Nascar and it seemed like a dangerous road to go down. Next thing you know I'd be living in a white trash trailer home somewhere. Though I guess I live in a minivan currently, so that might be a step up. Mostly, though, Spring thought it was gross and wouldn't kiss me.

That is not a caterpillar.

Also, I really love the movie Joe Dirt. Don't you?

We had heard that the Mammoth Lakes area had some strong energy vortices. With all the recent changes in our life we needed to center our qi (chi) so we spent some time in the healing waters of the nearby hot springs. The area between Mammoth Lakes and Bridgeport, CA is teeming with geothermal activity and some volunteers have been kind enough to develop several hot springs sites. We visited six of them in two days to receive maximum spiritual healing. When it comes to healing waters, the more pruny you are the more you are benefitting.

Healing their calves first. There's an order to it all.

Sunset steam = maximum healing power.

We listened to the whispers of the steam rising off the waters. They told us that we needed to go see Methusalah, the oldest tree in the world, to be enlightened by his ancient wisdom. Or maybe the Forest Ranger at the Visitor Center recommended the hike. I don't recall. Either way, the next morning we set off towards the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountain Range of Inyo National Forest, where Methusalah has resided for over 4,800 years with his fellow elders. The road was long and windy and climbed up above 10,000 feet. We parked the car and headed into the grove of old, gnarled bristlecones pine trees.

We met one of the trees named Burt who said he had been an extra in The Lord of the Rings. I was like, “Nah uh.” And he was like, “Yeah huh. Check out my trunk.” And sure enough there was Peter Jackson's autograph carved into Burt's trunk. Can you imagine? I would have loved to stay and chat but we had to carry on. We had not undertaken this epic journey to meet celebri-trees. We were here to see Methusalah; to learn the meaning of life.

Washed up tree actor.

About two miles in we came upon Methusalah. I knelt down before him and asked that he impart the wisdom of the universe upon me. He cleared his throat of pine needles and responded, “Get a job and quit living in your van like a hobo! What's wrong with you? Also take better care of your teeth.”

The wise one. Or his neighbor, maybe. We didn't actually know which one was Methusalah.

It wasn't what I was expecting. I was hoping for something along the lines of follow your dreams or whatever. But he was a grumpy old tree. He kind of sounded like Clint Eastwood in Grand Torino. Anyhow, Methusalah had spoken. So we turned our car towards Los Angeles to go buy some floss and wrap up the final odds and ends before flying to Maui, where we plan to get employed and and find a stationary residence.

In case you were wondering how they line up.

But first, one more stop for a hot springs soak and some hammock time.

Hot springs soak by the (cold) river.
View from the hammock. Doesn't get any better.

1 comment:

  1. Must be hard not to get grumpy watching humans act like idiots for 5000 yrs.