June 16, 2017: Hiked Miles 896.1 to 903.3 + 6 miles on Mammoth Pass Trail (13.2 total)
Another warm night. Life is good. This cold front must be moving through. Which means warmer nights, but more slush throughout the day. The snow we started walking on at 6:00 in the morning today was already soft. It’s always a give and take out here.
The morning was beautiful.
We lucked out in the morning with having a little bit of a trail to follow so that we could enjoy the views.
And no, we’re not sponsored by Under Armour. I only just now realized after seeing this picture that we are totally repping their beanies out here.
After hiking along a mountain rim for awhile, we dove into the icier woods.
I love when we find actual bridges. It’s always such a relief.
So we headed off over Mammoth Pass. We started seeing a lot of tree placards designating the trail so we knew we were getting close to civilization. The pass wasn’t too steep, but we had a lot of ups and downs, so by the time we got over it and saw a lake we were more than relieved.
We wound our way along this little lake and finally ended up at Horseshoe Lake.
The road was still partially covered in snow so we had to walk a couple miles down to where all the cars were parked. But we passed a bunch of bikers and hikers along the way and saw about ten PCT hikers who were getting back on the trail.
We met a nice man on the way down who gave us a ride into Mammoth and dropped us off at our hotel. I can’t believe how beautiful of a town Mammoth is. It has a nice small-town mountain vibe, but because of all the tourism, it has enough money to be very clean and a little upscale in parts too.
We got to our hotel and were stoked to find out they would let us check in an hour early. We tore off our wet, stinky clothes, showered as fast as possible, and practically ran to the closest food we could find which just so happened to be this awesome little pizza place. Colton ate a huge pepperoni pizza all to himself and I had an amazing BBQ chicken pizza, excited to finally find some good pizza! We chugged a beer and devoured our pizzas, celebrating making it to Mammoth and enjoying the warm air.
Mammoth has free shuttles that will take you all over town so we hopped on one and took it downtown to do some laundry, buy some more fuel, and grocery shop. It’s easy to imagine why people would want to live here with this kind of view from your grocery store:
The grocery store was packed and it took us awhile to navigate through and figure out our food for the next 8 or 9 days on the trail. We almost freaked out when we could not find Top Ramen, but eventually we found it hidden in a back corner of the store.
After groceries and laundry were done we took the shuttle back to our hotel and then played a fun little game we call try and shove 20 pounds of food into a little bear canister. We always lose at this game. Colton has another entire bag of food just as big and heavy as his bear canister. I really have no clue how it’s all going to fit in his backpack.
I updated my blogs and Colton laughed at how ridiculous tv has become since we left (I think it’s always been that way) until I was starving again.
We walked up to The Village, the ritzy ski resort hangout, and found this cool little place called the Clocktower Cellar that our friend Nick from Bishop had told us about. It’s a funky little hole-in-the-wall pub/restaurant that’s below one of the lodges.
I love how entertaining normal people are now that I hardly ever get to see them. I feel like I’m such an outsider to normal life now that watching every day people go about their lives is like going to a zoo, watching animals in their normal habitats.
After dinner we came back to the hotel and relaxed, caught up on life, and tried to figure out how crazy our next section of the trail is going to be with all the predicted snow melt in the next week. Sounds like some interesting creek crossings await us and some long days.
Before we knew it, it was midnight. I can’t believe we stayed up so late. We turned our alarms off and prayed we could sleep in in the morning.