A Mammoth Weekend - September 2018

I have been trying to get back into the groove of camping, exploring, enjoying the outdoors that I have felt quite disconnected from as of late. When I got an invitation to join a friend to the Eastern Sierras for a weekend of mountain biking and camping, I took the opportunity to jumpstart my late camping season. The plan was to ride for 2-3 days at Mammoth Bike Park and camp in the surrounding area afterwards. The photos do more justice for this trip report than the words so I will keep the descriptions brief. I apologize for the lack of mountain bike photos. It's something I have yet to begin capturing but I hope to in the near future. 

 Getting out the door at 4:45am isn't always easy but it is always worth it. 

Getting out the door at 4:45am isn't always easy but it is always worth it. 

Driving over the Sonora Pass was different this year than when I drove through almost a year ago. This year, the Donnell fire changed most of the landscape through the Dardanelle / Kennedy Meadows area. Many of the homes through here were saved, however not all were spared. This is always a blunt reminder of how fire changes the landscape and lives when it comes through an area. When you are camping and campfires are legal, make sure you drown your fire with water. 

We arrived at the mountain in good time, and had a blast at the park. Only some parking lot shots for the day. 

Seeing that it was a holiday weekend, our plans of enjoying some post-ride hot spring action was smothered by people who got there first. That's ok, we were able to find a good campsite that I marked from a previous trip on my Gaia GPS "future campsites" map. I didn't have a tripod, so this was the best I could manage. Slight image movement, grass in the main view, lying on my stomach with the camera propped on some plants surrounded by cow shit. Excellent. 

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The next day was more of the same. Wake up. Bike. Beer. Only this time I went a bit farther to find us somewhere to soak near our campsite after a hard day of riding... It's amazing what you can find, even somewhere you wouldn't think would be "far enough away from the main crowds."

In the morning, Pete and Dave decided to head over to the park early for one more ride session. I didn't buy a lift ticket for the third day, so I decided to enjoy the morning at the springs before exploring my way back to Mammoth to meet them after they finished. 

We had a long drive home to reflect on a great weekend with good people, good beers, great biking, and epic scenery. There really isn't anywhere like the Eastern Sierras to remind you of how good it feels to be outside. And while we certainly weren't in the most remote location that weekend, it was everything I needed to get back into the groove. 

For more good 4Runner content, follow Pete @aperture20

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