Today I’m beginning a new category, “Adventures of Casper and Larry” to give Mammoth Ski Club members ideas of great hikes in the eastern Sierra. Sometimes it will be a hike and lunch at a local resort. But for my first post in this category, it is a hike alone. Here is my Beagle I got from the shelter near Mammoth 2 months ago who has proven to be a great hiking buddy:
Last Saturday, Casper and I planned to go for a hike, but could not make up my mind of where to go. So I began driving up Line St. east out of Bishop into the Bishop drainage. I had planned to hike near South Lake, but I saw enough cars on the road that I changed my plan.
What I did was drive to the first parking lot on the right past the big “S” turn after Starlight. There is a 4WD road up the ridge right there that was built for constructing the aqueducts in the area. I’ve ridden my motorcycle a few miles up this road, and thought it would make a good hike with great views of the Sierra.
After a short while of hiking up the ridge and up a small canyon, I wanted to climb to the ridge for the view. So Casper and I went off-road, and climbed to the ridge. Once we crested the ridge, we had a beautiful view of the local mountains. I sat there enjoying the utter quiet, when suddenly I could hear a motor.
Before too long, 2 ATVs emerged from around the corner, and proceeded up the road without ever seeing us. These were the only 2 people we saw on our entire hike.
We climbed down from the ridge, got back on the road and hiked a few more mile up the kinda-steep, alternating rocky/sandy road. After about an hour of hiking and enjoying the views, we stopped for lunch at a good view point.
I looked over the edge of the ridge, and could see a Red-Tail Hawk making small circles coming up the ridge hunting for prey. When he got up to almost my level, he saw me and made larger circles to avoid me. But I got a really good view of his feathers which have a checked-board white and black pattern on the bottom, and red ends. Red-Tail Hawks are amazingly beautiful, but almost impossible to capture in a photo in flight.
Here’s what the view looked like from our picnic spot:
We enjoyed the view and solitude for about an hour, then headed back to the comforts of home. I also did a hike to Long Lake earlier in the week that I will review later this week.
I know everyone is getting excited about the coming ski season. I am too! I’m just doing a little ski conditioning by hiking while I still can, before it is all covered in snow for the winter. Serious skiers are doing ski conditioning now! Ski Conditioning exercises can be found at our Facebook page for Mammoth Ski Club.
If you haven’t entered the drawing for the FREE Mammoth Season Pass yet, go to www.MammothSkiClub.com Once you opt-in, you will be entered in the drawing, and will be notified of events and benefits Mammoth Ski Club members receive. And I’ll be sending an email to all who have opted in to the drawing with the schedule for Mammoth Ski Club for November – July with 3 ski days every month at Mammoth Mountain.
Mammoth Mountain opens November 10th, unless we get snow earlier. Pray for snow, and until then, I’ll be updating you on developments here.