Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Beautiful

Hello Blog, how was your August? Mine was swell, a little hot, but a lot going on. Pretty excited about the election, seeing Obama, Clinton— oh, that man pulls at my heart strings, such a brilliant politician and such a wasted second term. You might say the same for Obama's first, with the Republican obstacle course he's been made to travel.....but, don't want to talk about politics. How was your vacation?

I just got back from Mammoth Lakes. Ever been there? I hadn't. It's a pity we never took the kids; they would have loved it. The area is so pristine, we saw animals loping through the woods two by two.

 We stayed on Lake Mary, a chameleon body of water...


Late afternoon


We hiked a lot. We went mountain biking around Horseshoe Lake. I knew nothing about mountain biking, but I had a quick lesson: never, never, brake with your front brakes. I did and flew over the handle bars into a shallow creek, bike crashing down on top of me. Pretty funny. I survived with only scratches.

 bum knee

After the dirt trail we jumped onto the new bike path that took us around the lakes and into town. Watch out. Speeds down the hill rival cars. Scary.


But the most memorable thing, Blog, was going to Hilltop, off Benton Crossing Rd. south of Mammoth, in the Owens Valley, on land purchased by the City of Los Angeles, land that William Mulholland and Frederick Eaton stole in the early 1900s to gain water rights for L.A. The story of the California Water Wars is a lurid one (Chinatown), and much to my surprise, a suit between the City of L.A. and former Attorney General Bill Lockyer, environmentalists, and ranchers and farmers to rewater the lower Owens River wasn't settled until 2006. But what a valley, what a land, this is what we call America the Beautiful.

Hilltop is a mineral hot springs surrounded by grazing pastures and bordered by the White Mountains. From the road you can't see a thing, only cows on a distant hill.

Tom heading towards the unknown
But right over the berm, you see the tub...and the cows.

There's a certain etiquette honored here by the locals. If you're in the tub, others won't bother you. We soaked in the warm mineral deliciousness, with an eye on a VW van parked by the side of the road, people waiting. How nice of them. Meanwhile, the cows got closer...

 (good for the sole...)

and closer...

All around us were spectacular mountains and a wide sky. After we soaked and talked to the cows for awhile, we headed back the way we came.

 Blog, maybe you'll tell me about your vacation next time...?


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