Itâs a tiny little place in a remote part of the country.
Yet Mammoth has all the ingredients for a rich stew of colliding agenciesâfederal, state, county and local, plus extreme weather.
We have colliding interest groups. We have people who are passionate.
We have top-notch scientists working our water, woods and mountains. They take their findings back to their universities. Their colleagues marvel at the work they do here.
We have sport, too. Lots of sport.
We run, we ski, we ride, we backpack. We compete in Motocross. We ride road bikes.
Resident Bob Sollima, who was former winter caretaker at Reds Meadow and has been in Mammoth for oh, 126 years, says donât sweat the snow scene up here. âWeâve seen it all before âŠ no problem,â he said. âIn the winter of 1990-91 we were backpacking in and out of Fish Creek Hot Springs near Iva Belle Camp into February. On March 1, it started to snow and we got 15 feet in the month of Marchânot a lot, but enough to call it âThe March Miracleâ by alla the locals. Then there was the winter of 1976-77 where we waited and waited and waited. The snow never came.
The âNight of Lightsâ last Saturday turned into a night of fights.
Unruly concert-goers drove members of the headline band off the stage by throwing objects at them, then drove them off again when the band, the Naked and Famous, tried to resume the show.
The concert was on the snow at Canyon Lodge. While attendance numbers were not immediately available, it was believed by veteran âLightsâ observers to be among the largest crowds ever for the annual event.
Long time local and manager of the St. Moritz condominiums, Tom Greenstein, died Thursday for an as yet unknown reason.
Although there is very little official information available about Greenstein's death as of this time, the Mono County Sheriffs Department did release the following report Monday morning:
"In the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 15, at approximately 4:15 p.m., Mono County Sheriffâs Department dispatch received a call regarding an unresponsive male in the Mammoth Lakes area.
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 âtemporaryâ building, but then so was Eagle Lodge, and itâs 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, âThe Sprung Structure.â
Therein lies a problem.
Itâs 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. âHey, here comes Whatâs-His-Nameâ enthused Top Cop Dan Watson. âŠ
Speaking of the Chief, doesnât everybody know that his son-in-law is a mascot for the NHLâs Los Angeles Kings? âŠ
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 âWays to the Sky,â the mountaineering history book that the Wall Street Journal said is one of the five best adventure books of all time. âŠ
Fido is shopping.
âThe trick,â he said, âis to find gifts that dogs themselves dig, rather than humans. Get it? Digging dogs?â
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 canât work a keyboard.
âYou have an actual strategy?â I asked.
âWhy, yes,â he said.
âI get it. You are a very clever dog, my good man.â 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 Sheriffâs Office received a call of a non-responsive (possibly deceased) male on Winuba Lane in Bishop. Sheriffâs 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 thatâs the plan.
Recreation Commission chair Bill Sauser, chomping at the bit, announced at the start of the Rec Commish meeting on Tuesday: âItâs been a long day. Iâm looking to make this a quick one.â Three hours and 15 minutes later, the commish finally reached adjournment â one of its longest meetings in months. âŠ
The gurus at the National Weather Service in Reno let slip on Wednesday that thereâs a âslight chanceâ of snow on Sunday and Monday. Um, what is this thing they call snow? âŠ
Fido does not pass gas.
âItâs an untoward behavior,â he said the other night. We lay in bed, ready for a long winterâs nap. âItâs no more acceptable than it is in humans.â
âItâs a good thing you think like that,â I said. âOtherwise youâd be outside.â
We had just finished reading the long, long, l-o-n-g New York Times article about purebred dogs, especially bulldogs.
âInveterate farters,â said Fido. âItâs why I didnât mind that the Georgia Bulldogs didnât win. Not even the Superdome would be able to mitigate their behavior.â
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.