Well that took a lot longer than I expected! Finally giving myself a day off from all the driving and hiking to recharge in Mammoth Lakes. It's been close to 2 weeks since my last update and it's been close to 2 weeks since I had some solid cell service and WiFi. I decided to book an AirBNB located a perfect 10 minute drive from Mammoth Mountain.
The past 2 weeks have totally blown by. I feel I have easily driven 2k miles in the Subaru, but somehow only 250 miles (as the crow flies) from where I last posted. Since then, I have been in Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks. I'm very fortunate to be visiting the National Parks so early in the season, before all the crowds are there in the peak summertime. That being said, all the National Parks are crazy busy, even for this time of year. It must be because it is really the first good few weeks where the temperatures aren't below freezing during the day. At night, that's another story.
I spent 5 days in Lake Tahoe with the family to celebrate my mom's birthday. We hiked, we ate, and we survived my dad driving a massive Chevy Suburban around the winding mountainous roads of Lake Tahoe. I went snowboarding for a day at Squaw Valley, which was pretty incredible, but super slushy and sticky. If you weren't on steep terrain, you weren't moving.
From Tahoe, I headed down to Yosemite National Park. The first night in the park, I camped out at Sweetwater Campground and got to watch an almost full moon illuminate the whole place. The following morning, I woke up early to head into the Yosemite Valley. My goal was to hike to the top of El Capitan, but I only made it about a 1/2 mile past the fork that takes you to the top of Yosemite Falls.
That night, I decided to splurge and stay in the valley at the Housekeeping Camp. It was a lean-to with a full sized bed and after close to 6 hours of hiking, ascending/descending 3000', I definitely did not want to drive the hour and half to the next campsite. The following night, I camped out in Wamona where I shared a campsite with 5 French students. They shared some French liquor that tasted like black licorice and I shared some advice on where to hike and stay in the valley.
The next day, I hiked up to the top of Chilnualna Falls. It was pretty damn cold, misty, and windy. The view was pretty hazy and I couldn't see too much. So I started driving down to Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park.
Sequoia was absolutely beautiful, but it reminded me how much I hate some people. Granted it was a weekend and I expected a lot of people, but I was disgusted by how people decide to carve their names into trees that are over 1,000 years old or a cabin that is almost 200 years old. The cabin walls are completely littered with assholes who decide to carve their names or initials. Though nothing enraged me more than scumbags who hop a fence to carve their name into the General Sherman tree.
A part of me wished I could've seen someone do it, so I could've gone full Hulk and beat them until they were just a puddle of mush. I could feel my inner rage brewing and I was so disgusted that I had to leave the park. It's just typical of our species to be pieces of shit with no regard for nature. It just reinforces my thinking of our species as a virus on this planet. And after coming back into cell service, seeing how the narcassistic orangutan-in-chief wants to destroy 27 National Parks/Monuments, I welcome nuclear annihilation. I think this planet can do so much better without us here destroying everything and raping all and every natural resource.
On top of that, you people in California need to learn how to drive. Do people just assume every lane on a highway or two lane road is a travel lane? I don't know how many people I passed on the right.
From Sequoia NP, it took about 7 hours to drive down and around the south of the Sierras. I got to see Mt. Whitney on my way up Rt 395 towards Mammoth. Someday I will hike that mountain. But maybe in the summertime, as the Sierras are still covered in snow. I camped out at the base of some mountains and yesterday morning I drove up to Mammoth Mountain. After a full day of snowboarding, I drove out of town to a natural hot spring. There was a group in one hot spring, so I jumped in another one a few yards away. It started to snow and luckily the other group decided to bail on their hot spring dip. I must've sat in the hot spring for an hour while the snow fell on me. It was easily the best part of the trip (so far).
After snowboarding and having a bunch of wet clothing/gear, I decided to splurge again and got an AirBNB in Mammoth Lakes for 3 nights. Today, I took a much needed day off to relax, catch up on some work, and do some laundry.
I plan to snowboard at Mammoth the next 2 days and then make my way down to Death Valley or Joshua Tree. Not sure what the cell service will be like down there, but I can imagine I won't update the blog for a few days.