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January 9th, 2014
Depressed about the current lack of snow situation around here?
I have been able to stay motivated and upbeat because I am still skiing on great conditions up at Tamarack. It is going to take a good, old-fashioned three footer to open all the trails in the Lakes Basin, but never mind that for now; the 15 kilometers that are open have good coverage and are manicured every night as if by magic.
And, you can’t beat the warm, sunny days for being outdoors in winter.
December 30th, 2013
It was a bitter winter morning and his hands were freezing, but former Mammoth Lakes Police Department officer Paul Dostie was in his element.
One hand on a radio handset, another on a yellow legal pad, the sounds of a Vietnamese pop song came across his ham radio from thousands of miles away, tinny and scratchy in the background, he listened intently as orders from Mammoth Hospital came in over the wire.
“We are in lockdown,” came the message. “Only family members will be allowed in. All people must check in to the front desk.”
“Something is terribly wrong,” Fido said.
“I noticed you are in some kind of funk, Big Boy. What’s up?”
“Where is my supper?”
“Supper will be right on time, I know how you count on it, the way you pace around when it’s supper time. I also noticed you started pacing about an hour early.”
“You’re late with my supper. I’m starving.”
“Tell me about cats.”
“Gosh, Fido, there’s not a lot to say. And anyway, you live with Chief, and he’s a cat. Why don’t you ask him?”
“I don’t think Chief knows anything.”
“Sure he does. He has a brain.”
“It is the size of a walnut!”
“Fido, your own brain isn’t what I would call overwhelming.”
“But it’s bigger than a walnut.”
“I can’t go to the woods?” Fido said. “The mountains are closed? What the…?”
It was a hot, still morning and the smell of summer was adrift on the hazy golden air—pine sap; sage; the deep green scents of manzanita and ceanothus; the lavender aroma of lupine gone to seed.
Even the bees, spiraling through the waning fireweed along the trail, seemed lazy: somnolent, barely able to keep their heavy, furred bodies alight.
I am not a typical fan of Shakespeare.
“You’re doing what?!?” Fido wanted to know.
“Phtooey. Pfft, Pfft.”
“Gee whiz, Fido, if I’d have known you were going to react like this, I’d have never brought you to the tennis courts. Maybe you want to sit outside the fence, and I’ll just bank the ball against the wall for a while.”
“But I like tennis balls!”
“Maybe you like them a little bit to much, Mr. Beeg. The idea is to treat the ball with tenderness—like an egg.”
“I don’t do tenderness very well.”
“I never thought there was such a thing as a bad hike.”
“Me neither, Fido, but I have to say, this one sure is a slog.”
“It’s not the smoke so much, although my dog-lungs aren’t exactly functioning properly, and my eyes are stinging, and you look a lot like the Marlboro Man right about now.”
An Eastern Sierra weekend like no other
It was a weekend we will never forget.
If you hit the trails this past weekend, chances are you had an experience similar to ours. It began with collecting our permit at the Mammoth Forest Ranger Station.
Alchemist photographer Ian Ruhter brings his time machine to Mammoth
There is a saying: “Jump, and the net will appear.”
When one is compelled by a vision and takes a leap of faith toward that vision, great things happen.
Such is the story behind Ian Ruhter’s Silver and Light project.
Piute Pass is one of the fastest, easiest (well, easy is a relative term in the Eastern Sierra) ways into the high alpine country that dominates the Sierra backcountry.
Along the five-mile hike to the top of a 11,400-foot pass, hikers will pass two beautiful teal and indigo high-country lakes and numerous waterfalls and swimming holes, along with sweet, alpine meadows and wildflowers.
“I have thunder phobia,” Fido said. “Don’t like-don’t like-don’t like thunder.”
“I love a pic-a-nic,” Fido said. “We should have one every single day in the summer.”