Just in the St. Nick of time, the Mammoth-Yosemite Airport opened its passenger annex Thursday.
The tent-like structure, similar to the Eagle Lodge structure, is officially a â€śtemporaryâ€ť building, but then so was Eagle Lodge, and itâ€™s still there.
It was built by Sprung Structures, the Utah company that provided the buildings at Eagle Lodge. It is a tension membrane structure. The building itself has become known as, simply, â€śThe Sprung Structure.â€ť
Therein lies a problem.
Itâ€™s a Monday afternoon in early December and school just got out.
On the big, warm, green-curtained multi-purpose room stage at Mammoth Elementary School, about a dozen third through fifth graders, boys and girls, Caucasian and Hispanic, are gathered together, just like they have been for many Mondays previously.
The stage vibrates with the pranks and laughter of 14 high-energy students, but teacher Dee Di Gioia has done this before, and more than once.
The ubiquitous Woolly showed up at the Sprung Structure opening at the airport the other day. â€śHey, here comes Whatâ€™s-His-Nameâ€ť enthused Top Cop Dan Watson. â€¦
Speaking of the Chief, doesnâ€™t everybody know that his son-in-law is a mascot for the NHLâ€™s Los Angeles Kings? â€¦
Big day for Andy Selters fans this coming Wednesday. The photographer/author will be at the Booky Joint to sign books and calendars. The book is â€śWays to the Sky,â€ť the mountaineering history book that the Wall Street Journal said is one of the five best adventure books of all time. â€¦
Fido is shopping.
â€śThe trick,â€ť he said, â€śis to find gifts that dogs themselves dig, rather than humans. Get it? Digging dogs?â€ť
Fido paused to lick his, um, belly. He lay near the table, dictating to me as I worked the Web on his behalf. His legs are as nimble as fence posts, and his paws just canâ€™t work a keyboard.
â€śYou have an actual strategy?â€ť I asked.
â€śWhy, yes,â€ť he said.
â€śI get it. You are a very clever dog, my good man.â€ť I gave him a pat and a scratch.
Fido closed his eyes halfway. He was in thought.
At approximately 9:00 p.m. last night, the Inyo County Sheriffâ€™s Office received a call of a non-responsive (possibly deceased) male on Winuba Lane in Bishop. Sheriffâ€™s deputies and Symons ambulance were dispatched to the scene and the victim was transported to Northern Inyo Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
The victim has been identified as Daniel Barlow, 45, Bishop. An autopsy will be scheduled to determine the cause of death.
San Francisco has come to Mammoth.
Fresh crab right off the street corner, live or cooked to order, delivered fresh from the Bay Area.
They are here now at the corner of Main Street and Laurel Mountain Road, several hundred of them in big saltwater vats, swirled together claw to claw in the bubbling water.
And they will be there all winter for your eating pleasure.
At least thatâ€™s the plan.
Recreation Commission chair Bill Sauser, chomping at the bit, announced at the start of the Rec Commish meeting on Tuesday: â€śItâ€™s been a long day. Iâ€™m looking to make this a quick one.â€ť Three hours and 15 minutes later, the commish finally reached adjournment â€” one of its longest meetings in months. â€¦
The gurus at the National Weather Service in Reno let slip on Wednesday that thereâ€™s a â€śslight chanceâ€ť of snow on Sunday and Monday. Um, what is this thing they call snow? â€¦
Fido does not pass gas.
â€śItâ€™s an untoward behavior,â€ť he said the other night. We lay in bed, ready for a long winterâ€™s nap. â€śItâ€™s no more acceptable than it is in humans.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s a good thing you think like that,â€ť I said. â€śOtherwise youâ€™d be outside.â€ť
We had just finished reading the long, long, l-o-n-g New York Times article about purebred dogs, especially bulldogs.
â€śInveterate farters,â€ť said Fido. â€śItâ€™s why I didnâ€™t mind that the Georgia Bulldogs didnâ€™t win. Not even the Superdome would be able to mitigate their behavior.â€ť
The Tannenbaum Classic 10K this Sunday has been changed to a shorter classic race that will be a fundraiser for the Junior Nordic Teams.
The race will take place on the Minaret Mile, located on tracks set on Minaret Road between Mammoth Mountain Inn and Minaret Summit. The start/finish will be staged about 400 yards up the road from the end of the Mammoth Mountain Inn parking lot, just past the turn-off for the road to the bottom of Chair 12. The course runs out to and back from the Forest Service hut near Minaret Summit (approximately 1.5K each way).
Yosemite National Park has positively identified the body of Ramina Badal,
21 year old female, of Manteca, CA. Badal was found in the Merced River,
approximately 120 yards below the Vernal Fall footbridge, by a Yosemite
National Park Ranger at approximately 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 3,
2011. The footbridge is located approximately a half mile below the base
of Vernal Fall.
Badal has been missing since July 19, 2011, when she, Hormiz David, 22 year
old male, of Modesto, CA, and Ninos Yacoub, 27 year old male, of Turlock,
Every few years between the end of fall and the beginning of winter, something extraordinary happens up here.
No, not the kind you slip on when you get out of the car or scrape off your deck in the morning, not that kind of quotidian ice.
Ice that you can fly over on thin silver blades like a winged bird, keeping time with the fishes beneath you and the wind above you. Ice that you can sing on, beat your drum on, slide like a child on, run laps on.
That kind of ice.
Fido is teaching me deep breathing.
â€śHey, hey, hey hey!â€ť
He lay on his side and invited me over.
â€śI have noticed that lots of humans donâ€™t quite get this,â€ť he said, â€śbut once you get the hangdog of it, itâ€™s easy and it will make you feel better.â€ť
I had just passed through a weekend of football â€” college and pro. During the Iowa-Nebraska game a week ago, I was a total wreck. I can handle a boring game if my guys come out on top, but alas, it was that kind of game and that kind of season.
After a one year absence, Mammoth will once again have a groomed, free Nordic ski track system just on the outskirts of town.
As soon as it snows, that is.
â€śWe will be out there six days a week grooming as soon as we have about 18 inches,â€ť said Brian Knox, the head of the volunteer-driven Mammoth Nordic nonprofit. Mammoth Nordic intends to once again groom about nine miles of beginner to intermediate cross country tracks at its old location, behind the Shady Rest campground area at the entrance to town.
The Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve is off the stateâ€™s list of possible state parks to close as of late afternoon Thursday.
The park will remain open and, contrary to some rumors, it will continue to be managed by the state as a state park.
The only thing that will change on the ground is a new fee collection agreement between the state and a nonprofit organization that has long been an advocate for, and a source of financial support for the park, the Bodie Foundation.
The winds that blew throughout the state Wednesday night brought down approximately 300 to 400 trees in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.
Most of the trees were located in the vicinity of the Mammoth Lakes Pack Station. Many of the uprooted trees have not completely fallen to the ground, but rather are leaning on other trees or other blowdown.
Due to this hazardous situation, and the fact that the winds are still blowing, the Inyo National Forest has temporarily closed off portions of the area with yellow â€śRestricted Areaâ€ť tape and closure signs.