April 15-16, 2006
Mammoth Mountain conditions were miserable. Windy, no visibility, and only a few lifts were open. Got bored after a few hours, and decided to drive around Long Valley in the newly lifted Rubi.
First stop was the McGee Creek Avalanche from April 5th that slid almost to the frontage road. We spent an hour there.
Then we drove to Tom's Place and took the Owens Gorge Road looking for something challenging to drive up. We ended up in campsites or dead ends. We saw a sign that said Casa Diablo, that headed up hill, so we tried that. We ended up at a mining site, which was where the road ended. I knew there was a Casa Diablo Mountain ("house of the devil") from my "Desert Summits" book by Andy Zdon, so we hiked up the hill. After 70 minutes of climbing over/around car size boulders, we finally made it to the summit (7,912') and found the benchmark. Great views all around! Except Mammoth, which was covered in clouds. Coming back only took 40 minutes. We headed down the road, but stopped to check out another road that we saw from the summit. SnowDude waited while I hiked up 15 minutes to see what was up there. I got to an open area with views of the summit and the house size boulders that Zdon describes in his book.
So now we had to head back to meet some friends at the Restaurant at Convict Lake. It was Atomic Boy's birthday , so we had planned on dinner. The afternoon flew! So at the summit we decided we could make dinner on time, but wouldn't have time to shower Ok, at least we'll make dinner. We got back to the main road and had to "air up". With the 33" tires it took 20 minutes! We were almost 1/2 hr late. But it was a great dinner with great friends!
We went home after, took showers and went to bed.
Sunday we got a call that it was miserable out on the mountain again, so we slept in. We finally got out for a couple hours, then left. Stopped at the Whitney Cafe in Lone Pine for an early dinner. The place was empty and the service was really really really slow. We remembered why we quit going there. But the food was great! After standing at the register for awhile (I put my food in a box, went to the bathroom, SnowDude went to the jeep to get cash and still no one came to the register) we left the bill and cash on the table, which was 1/2 hr after we finished eating. There were two others in line behind us. Probably won't be going back there again.
Saw a semi on its side south of Lone Pine. The dust over Owens Lake was blowing all over. It was really windy. Made a quick stop at Red Rock Canyon since SnowDude had never been there.
This weekend was was a lot of fun, and we got to do a little of everything.
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Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison
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