|"Winter" by Tina C. Wells, Acrylic on canvas|
JOURNEY: Eastern Sierra, Mammoth
|Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort|
|The rugged Owens Valley; along hwy 395|
|Along Hwy 395 in the Eastern Sierra|
As I journey further into the Sierra, the scenery is rich, purple glacier formed mountains, deep, rich green trees, large rocks and caves, streams and meadows. When I finally reach Mammoth and step out of the car, the scent of the pines and the cold mountain air is overwhelming. Suddenly, I am 8 years old. This is all so deeply ingrained in me. I am awed.
Have I mentioned that I absolutely love Mammoth? It is some kind of weird California mix of rustic and glam with its old mountain town feel, juxtaposed to the new up scale Village with its boutiques and restaurants. We are old school, though, and we have a tradition- dinner at Tamarack. One word: FANTASTIC! The old lodge from the 20's sits on the glacier Twin Lakes. It is amazingly beautiful with ancient pines, caves, a waterfall. If that weren't enough, the lodge has a tiny dining room overlooking the lake with about 10 tables, and incredible cuisine. Last night I had white sea bass with saffron, coconut milk and cherries, wonderful wine, and finished with a trio sampling of homemade gelatos. A delicious meal shared with people I adore makes for a memorable evening.
|Skiing with "Wooly"|
|View from the Top at Mammoth Mountain|
Mammoth Mountain is such a large resort that you can ski all day without going down the same run twice, if you like. There is something there for every level of skier. My Dad has been skiing Mammoth since the 60's. He and his brother CLIMBED to the top of the cornice, before there was a chair lift, to sign a book encased in a metal box, and then ski down! While I am not a snow boarder, those guys seemed to be lovin' it too. My new favorite is the lodge and visitor center at the TOP. The gondola will take you all the way from the Village up to the top at over 12,000 feet in elevation. There you can experience an amazing view of those rugged, craggy, snow covered peaks, all nice and warm inside with your lunch. For those who are not willing to ski down the black diamond runs at the top, you can take the gondola back down. But I am with the hard-core viking skiers and we ski down! It's a rush!
|Top of Mammoth, over 12,000 feet in elevation|
After an amazing, sunny day of skiing, we are ready for apres ski! A little wine and cheese back at the condo, and then we have reservations at the restaurant at Convict Lake. Leave Mammoth and head south on 395 for 5 minutes follow the signs to Convict Lake, yet another glacier formed beauty. The restaurant serves an upscale intercontinental cuisine that is not to be missed. Love it.
Tamarack Lodge (description above)
The Restaurant at Convict Lake (description above)
Giovanni's Pizza: a locals favorite with great pizza and pasta
Nevado's: excellent food, upscale yet casual
Skadi: good, interesting food, upscale yet casual
Mammoth in the summer is a great "base camp" for exploring the whole area.
|An ancient beauty|