Until Saturday, that is, when we got the wild idea that maybe it would be worth it to go just for the one full day. One full day is better than not at all, right? So, we got the tent and food and things together and packed into the car so that the moment Matt got off work we could head for the hills. He worked until 7:00pm so we knew that the tail end of the trip would be in the dark. We'd also be setting up camp in the dark. Still we were convinced that it would be worth it.
|The sunset and snowy mountains would have almost been worth the drive in their own right.|
|Canyon Campground is cheap, pretty, and primitive. Works for me! I enjoy the jumble of rocks on the mountainside above camp. The camp sites are nestled in and around the boulders.|
|I have a fondness for photos of animals eating, food hanging out of their mouths or grasped in hand or claw.|
There was the sparring match between the two elk--one of which had only one antler. It seemed a decided disadvantage--and was, based on what we observed. The double was sure pushing that single around. I am not so sure it was all in seriousness though. We passed the same area hours and hours later and there they were, still grazing together.
|The elk on the right has only one antler.|
|This is the view from the hill we climbed to avoid that fellow there by the sign/trail.|
|Narrow Gauge Terrace|
It was very interesting to pass Narrow Gauge Terrace from the other end of it--the view from Upper Terrace Drive. It was considerably less remarkable from the automotive trail. On the hiking trail we were on the level with it. From Upper Terrace Drive we were below it. We couldn't see the crack. We couldn't see the springs bubbling. It was totally different and much less exciting.
With our legs warmed up we immediately set off for our second hike of the day--a swell six mile loop around Terrace Mountain. This mountain is a bit of an oddball in that its made up of dormant hot spring terraces. At point on the hike we could clearly see the old, dark grey terraces at the top. The trail starts from the Bunsen Peak trail head just five miles south of Mammoth.
We'd strapped our snowshoes to Matt's backpack, just in case, but the snow on the pass was crusted over well enough that we just walked across the 50 yards or so of snow in our plain boots.
|There was one grove of aspens along this trail. They sure stand out in the middle of a conifer forest.|
Easter dress--for the summer. I put the finishing stitches into it just a half hour before we left for the park. I made it with the express purpose of it being my camping dress. Its made of a thick, durable canvas or duck type material that I got heaven knows where. Its like a Carhartt dress, if sorts, that type of feel and durability. This first trial run makes me have very high hopes for it. As an unexpected bonus the light tan material makes spotting ticks a snap! The ticks are out. We ended up flicking off a dozen between the two of us--including one I found on the clothes fresh from the washer as I hung them on the line. Those puppies are resilient to say the least.