We arrived in Mammoth Lakes late on the 7th day, well or early morning of the 8th day – at 3am!
Yes, a pretty bed! After driving for around 7 hours from San Francisco to Mammoth Lakes of which the last 4 hours were through the middle of nowhere, the bed was all we wanted!
Nevertheless the drive to Mammoth Lakes was amazing! At 12am we still had more than 100miles ahead of us, were in the middle of nowhere, 3000 feet high, driving along curvy roads and all you could see were huge trees. Due to the nature of the roads we could not go faster than 20 miles per hour. Doubting we would ever arrive we pictured this would be the perfect spot to film a horror movie. The Blair Witch couldn’t be too far away from us. Also everything looked the same, how could we be sure we were not captured in an ever repeating loop having been driving for a much longer time.. During the scary story telling fun, Bambi jumped in front of the car. Believe me, it takes a bit of time to convince it that running in front of the car in the light is not the best survival option for Bambi… it would just not hop away!
Two hours later we had survived the enchanted wood (Bambi also still alive ) and were back on a straight road again. Still not a single other car close by. When we stopped the car to take a quick break we realised how absolutely amazing the night sky looked like. Given we were so far away from any city lights you could see thousands of stars. We opened the window and you could hear so many different animals interrupting the absolute silence of the night. To add to this surreal picture, we also saw lots shooting stars – the moment couldn’t have been more epic!
At 3am we arrived at the hotel and went straight to bed!
T|he next morning started with some Starbucks coffee
We stayed in the Westin in the village of Mammoth Lakes which was really lovely. We had a nicely sized room with a couch area and a kitchen – which was perfect for cooking at night and watching TV. Although I love staying in nice hotels and eating out, cooking ourselves and ending up in front of the TV was a really nice change and had a ‘homey’ feeling.
Mammoth Lakes is a lovely little town in the mountains in California, circa 50km (1.5h) away from Yosemite National Park. There are countless scenic hikes and lots of great viewpoints that you can pass by while driving through. At those viewpoints you can see so many beautiful lakes with stunning surrounding scenery. If you pay attention, you might also see some cute animals. Don’t pet the squirrels, they may carry the plague. And also, just make sure you don’t run into a bear family.
We had lunch at the Eatery – a hip place in Mammoth Lakes that brews its own beer. I had a Banh Mi sandwich which was the best Banh Mi I have ever eaten outside of Vietnam! Also the beer was quite yummy.
Time for the first hike of the world trip. We started small and chose the McLead Lake hike. This one only takes one hour and is one of the most scenic hikes in the closer area. We have planned more serious hikes for Canada or South America – so this time we went for beautiful rather than challenging.
Parking in Horseshoe Lake you can easily walk up to McLead Lake – no chance to get lost as there is a clear way to hike, well or rather walk, up.
The hike takes you through huge trees and some pretty rocks. The difficulty level is very easy so we actually jogged back rather than walking – a more effective exercise.
After a 30 min relaxing walk up with lots of picture stops, we arrived at the McCloud Lake. The lake looks very stunning and at circa 5pm there was no one else there making the spot even more pretty
After chilling a bit on the lake and enjoying the nature and scenery, we jogged (yup, for exercise) down again to get back to the car.
After the McCloud Lake hike we made our way to the local supermarket to get some food for cooking. And on the way we passed so many beautiful spots to stop to take photos
Am fruehen Abend des 7. Tages der Weltreise fuhren wir los von San Francisco nach Mammoth Lakes. Nach 7 Stunden Fahrt, die meiste Zeit durchs Nirgendwo, kamen wir um 3 Uhr nachts im Hotel an. Die letzten Stunden der Fahrt gingen durch kurvige Strassen in den Bergen umgeben von hohen, dunklen Baeumen. Alles sah aus wie im Maerchen, naja, oder auch wie in den ersten Szenen eines Horrorfilms :) Um 24 Uhr hatten wir immer noch 100 Meilen vor uns und bewegten uns mit circa 34 kmh durch die Berge.. auch wurde wir kurze Zeit von einem Bambi begleitet, das vor unserem Auto im Scheinwerferlicht herumsprang.,
Als wir 2 Std spaeter die kurvigen Strassen des Berges hinter uns hatten und eine kleine Pause einlegten, merkten wir wie unglaublich schoen der Nachthimmel aussah. Ueberall Sterne und klare Sicht auf die Milchstrasse! Am liebsten haette ich die ganze Nacht den Himmel angestarrt und Sternschnuppen gezaehlt, aber wir wollten ja nun auch mal im Hotel ankommen..
Am naechsten Tag fuhren wir mit dem Auto herum und machten Stops an vielen Aussichtpunkten, die ueberall in Mammoth Lakes verteilt zu sein scheinen. Anschliessend fuhren wir zum Horseshoe Lake, von wo wir unseren Hike zum McLoad Lake starteten. Der Weg war einfach mit einer echt huebschen Aussicht. Auch der McLoad See war super schoen und idyllisch. Um 17 Uhr waren auch keine Wanderer mehr da und wir konnten die Aussicht ganz fuer uns alleine geniessen.
Am Abend haben wir im Hotelzimme gekocht – super Home-feeling – und einen Film geguckt:)