May 1-3, 2003: San Francisco to Mammoth Lakes
This part of the trip was the most difficult to plan. The itinerary we had been sent was a straightforward drive through Yosemite National Park. However, there was a very small disclaimer, which mentioned the route might be closed during adverse weather. At the beginning of May, snow in the region is usually coming to an end, but the year we went it was unseasonable. So I had to plan a longer route that bypassed the area, through Sacramento to Lake Tahoe and then skirting Nevada down to Mammoth Lakes. We didn't see any substantial snowfall, but I was glad we had the Jeep and not the weeny sportscar we'd originally talked about! The drive itself was awesome, through cities, up and over mountains, through forests (with bears!), and ending in the mountains again.
|Breakfast en route :)|
Now, this part of the holiday was not my most favourite. I'm not a fan of cold weather. I hate snow because it's wet (yes, I have issues). I don't ski or anything like that. I was a little excited though because there was a festival that had finished the day before we arrived and Andrew WK was performing (Party Hard!). Not that we saw him of course...
In fact, when we arrived there was very little snow, so we hoped we might be able to hire bikes. It was the end of the ski season so we couldn't book skiing lessons (we tried but the instructor was a bit cagey: "it's supposed to snow tomorrow" he said. Surely snow would be a requirement...) And we were too early for the summer season. Kind of a fail really.
We arrived at the end of lunch service and rushed to the only restaurant still serving food. They were seemingly trying to offload all their remaining food, and we got the giggles over the mountains of chilli, fries, and hot dogs we were given ("Oh My God you're from En-ger-land!").
The next day it did indeed snow, a lot (several feet). We had a stomp in the forest, made snow angels, and eventually drove to the town to look at the shops, eat fantastic food in a locals' cafe, and watch X-Men at the cinema. Most fun doing things wot the locals do yanno.
|The only photo we took, through the snowscreen on our hotel window|