Mile 880.6 to 906.6 miles (26 miles, 41.8km)
I set myself a challenge today to do a marathon and get to Red Meadows. There is a cafe and small store there, just opened for the season and the shuttle into Mammoth Lakes snow resort only started operating a few days ago. Before that everything was boarded up.
I wasn’t quite sure what time things might be open for so I set the goal of reaching there by 4pm. Why this challenge? Time for a change of scenery and some food. My clothes reek, I’m filthy and in need of some real food and a day off. I have enough food to walk through to Tuolumne Meadows but Mammoth Lakes is right there. I have a chance to duck into town and sleep in a real bed, get real coffee (I’ve heard good things about Mammoth – mountain bike riders and skiers are synonymous with good coffee, food and beer).
I woke to frost on the toe box of my quilt. This helped me get up early. By 5 am I was off and racing, flying along. There was Silver Pass to cross first thing this morning and I found this to be the second relatively snow free approach and descent. Snow patches of snow covered the trail on the backside but all easily negotiable without any traction devices and navigation was easy.
Once over and down the pass the trail was up and down all day. Following rivers and over small passes ( more like saddles) all day. Passing Lakes Virginia and Purple, snow capped mountains a constant companion on the horizon.
I flew past a couple of people early on and was basically in the zone all day in my own little bubble. I didn’t really even take any photos. It’s not that I’m not liking the scenery any longer it’s just having passed through the high Sierra there is now a new bench mark for photo worthyness.
I reached Red Meadows just after 4pm with no idea of what I was going to do next. I resolved that if I missed the bus into Mammoth I’d camp the night at Red Meadows, eat breakfast at the cafe and then skip into town. But I found that the cafe literally just opened yesterday and they have one thing on the menu at the moment – burgers. Of course I got one. But with no offer of a tasty breakfast fry up to look forward to and still enough time to jump on the bus to town I took off to Mammoth.
It’s a bit of a mission to get to town. One bus will take you from Red Meadows to the Mammoth Lakes Snow Resort and then it’s a matter of waiting for the last bus to finish business for the day and hitch it into the township of Mammoth Lakes.
I got me a motel room fairly central to everything and out of the craziness that is The Village. The Post Office is next door, there is a Pizza joint across the road and within a mile I have the laundromat, outfitters and supermarket. Tomorrow I’m taking a zero.