Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Discovering Mammoth

Last week, myself and eleven others made our way to Mammoth. Between three car groups and after what felt like ages of detours and road blocks, we arrived safely to our two lovely cabins in Mammoth: one for the boys, one for the girls. It was an exciting group: a combination of great life-long friends, new friends, good friend's fiances, new friends' cousins and probably a couple other subtle categories in between. Oh, and a dash of Dutch and Aussie culture to spice it all up a bit. 

enjoying the open road in snow gear
(photo by Chace B.)

Probably one of the best aspects of living in California (especially Southern California) is the diversity - not only of the people - but of the landscape as well. Of course, living in Long Beach we don't get much diversity in the weather (which has caused for spoiled complaints when the weather is less than our perfect 75 degrees Fahrenheit). But it is only a matter of hours from Long Beach to your nearest mountain range (2 hours 35 minutes from Long Beach to Big Bear) where you can embrace all the charm of cabins in the snow, the excitement of snow sports and the coziness of a toasty, mountainside lodge. You even get the chance to break out that puffer, bubble jacket you bought years back. While Mammoth Lakes are quite a ways further (329 mi., around 4 hours 45 min. from Long Beach), it is well worth the relatively scenic drive. You will pass through city, plains, desert, stretches adorned with nothing but small, quiet 'ghost towns' and majestic snowy mountains until you reach Mammoth Lakes. 

abandoned home off the 395 freeway towards the June Loop, June Lake CA
beautifully captured by close friend and photographer: Chace. B. (IG: @lbsunshine)

I was having just as much fun as I appear to be, jumping on the springs of this 'bed'. And well, the risk of tetanus was an added thrill. This photo was shot (once again by the lovely Chace B.) outside of one of the many abandoned homes scattered just off the highway. The whole scene was rustic in appearance and just utterly freeing. You didn't have to worry about breaking anything (except your own bones), you didn't have to follow any rules, and you weren't burdened with thoughts of any costs or payments. It looked as if somebody had just gotten really angry and said "Forget it! I'm letting it all go, I'm letting loose!" It was like art. It makes you wonder what that house's story was though: why is guts are all gruesomely scattered outside of it, why its abandoned and not loved, and how the heck the previous inhabitants dealt with living practically on the freeway...

This photo was taken somewhere in Nevada ... because when you're that close to the state border, why not just cross it? Given, it wasn't necessarily our intention to drive out of the golden state without any real purpose, but what was on the other side was still just as golden and just as beautiful. I guess that's what happens when they hand over the aux cord and we all get caught in the music. The drive was an adventure in itself and taught us two things: always check for closed roads beforehand during snow season, and as long as it is safe, always take the dirt road versus the paved road ... didn't mean for that to sound so profound, just speaking the truth. 

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