SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, CA
Travel Date: June 2017
Location: Sequoia National Park, CA
Accommodations: Sunset Campground
Wow! We cannot begin to capture the brilliance of Mammoth Mountain in words. Neither of us had been lucky enough to snowboard in Mammoth before so when a friend suggested a group trip we jumped right on board!
In our usual attempt to get the most out of our few days off, we dropped Ruckus off at Bark City on Thursday (his favorite place for daycare where he gets to run round on the turf and in the shallow pool all day long and then sleep in a slumber party with other puppies and humans all night!) and we hit the road right after work. We made it half way and arrived at our pre-booked motel around 11 pm. After a quick five hours of sleep we were up and on the road again before 5 am on Friday. This brought us to our cabin door by 7:30am. Our friends who had driven up the day before were just finishing breakfast and getting ready for the day. We shoveled down some avocado toast with eggs, made our sandwiches to bring for lunch, changes into out snowboarding gear and we were ready to go for day 1!
And what a day it was!! Over 17 feet of snow had fallen in Mammoth the week before, locals were saying it was the most snow they’d seen in their lives. We lucked out because the weather was perfection! Sun shining though bright blue skies with clear views for miles in all directions. And since most people were driving up the mountain on Friday we had some runs practically to ourselves! And on a mountain that size, there is nothing better. We kept on going all day, exploring new chairlifts and challenging ourselves with bigger and steeper runs (we’re still both fairly new to the sport). We took one break just long enough to meet up with everyone and eat our homemade lunch. Then it was back on the mountain for the rest of the afternoon! The views from the top of the lifts are breathtaking, and we never even made it to the very top! Any chance you get to look out you’ll see tree covered mountains surrounding you in all directions, lakes, and valleys all coated in snow and this goes on for as far as you can see. Mammoth closes down strictly at 4 so we started the short walk back to our cabin around 3:30 to avoid the crowds. Our turn off was literally at the end of the resort’s parking lot but a steep hill greeted us as a nice final physical challenge to the day. Our reward was an awesome night in with some of our best friends in the world, eating home cooked food, playing board games, and enjoying life.
Day 2 was just as beautiful but we knew it was going to get crowded on a Saturday. We got up early and were in line twenty minutes before the chairlifts opened. We were about the eight chair up the mountain that morning and we have never had more fun riding down! Our favorite runs from the day before were perfectly groomed (only in Mammoth), completely empty, and wide open for us! As the crowds grew throughout the day it pushed us to explore new sections of the mountain (we still only got to a fraction of the runs available), but that was fine with us. There is nothing better than snowboarding with friends. It doesn’t matter if you’re the same skill levels or not; everyone has fun, you all laugh with each other when the inevitable wipeouts strike, and best of all you’re all doing something good for your bodies the entire time! You may not think of it as a workout, but any activity like this is challenging your body’s abilities and pumping endorphins through your system all day long! What more can you ask for?! There were a few more breaks to regroup with everyone the second day, but we were never down for long. Sooner rather than later someone would stand up ready to go again and we’d be off. Another phenomenal day on the slopes was in the books for our 2016-2017 season.
Another fun night in, this time with pizza delivery, rounded out this fantastic trip for us. After a quick clean up the next morning we packed up and headed home. Our JEEP registered the coldest temperature we’ve seen so far in one of the valleys coming down the mountain; -14 degrees!!! As we drove through Bishop we bypassed the famous Schatt’s Bakery and opted for Great Basin Bakery; a smaller, family-run place a few blocks down the road. Keep your eyes peeled because it’s hidden out of sight just off the main road, but you definitely don’t want to miss it! Between the two of us we had a sausage breakfast bagel sandwich, an everything bagel with cream cheese, lox, and capers, a blueberry muffin, a raspberry scone, a hot chocolate, and a bag of assorted cookies for the road. And oh my goodness! it was all unbelievably delicious. We can’t wait for our next trip to the Bishop area in the summer because we will definitely be visiting this bakery again.
As we enjoyed our cookies and made our way home we recapped the weekend’s highlights and talked about all the things we wanted to do on that side of the Sierras, including camping in Big Pine (on the calendar for this coming summer) and one-day, climbing Mt. Whitney. One of our favorite things about going new places and trying new things is the way it motivates us to search out more new places and experiences to keep the cycle going. And that is just what we did. After picking up Ruckus (who promptly fell asleep in the backseat, exhausted from playing for four days straight) we got home, unloaded, started laundry, did a little research, and booked a camping trip in Mammoth over fourth of July weekend! We wanted to be sure to get back to this amazing place as soon as possible. But next time it will be a whole new world in summer and best of all, this time Ruckus gets to come!