A day in a beautiful place

Trip Start Apr 18, 2007
Trip End Oct 16, 2007

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, July 7, 2007

Had an excellent evening yesterday - went to the nearby Casino/Restuarant. It wasn't too large - the usual slots and a few tables...we went to the bar and ordered drinks. Munchie got to work on the embedded slot machines playing some kind of poker while MJ watched. After a while the barwoman asked if MJ was playing and if he wasn't then the beer was $2.75......MJ started playing. After 10 mins our table was called and we'd got these two drinks for net $2 on the poker machines.....bargain.

The restuarant looked out over the lake and was beautiful...one steak and one trout meal came to $26 and then we headed back to the bar this time finding the blackjack machines....more drinks...and MJ ended up turning $1 into $4 (which is kinda unusual in blackjack in our experience). Two more drinks cost us net $1 and we went back to the hotel.

I guess if you get the free drinks, play 25c slots and play something like blackjack then gambling is a cheap drinking option.....

Today we packed the HHR (no easy task...it's going to have to go back in Vegas) and headed south down 395 thru more high desert with barren mountains either side until we came to Lake Mono - amazing view from the highway looking down on the road by the lake with the Sierra Nevada in the distance.

Another 30 mins and we were in Mammoth Lakes which must be 7,000ft - it is primarily a ski resort but also gets plently of summer trade. The Quality Inn is nothing special although it is our most expensive nights at $112 and it doesn't have air-conditioning....because they never need it. Except today that is....actually we're very lucky that we're here so high up as it is only mid 80s. USA today has this weather map of the US and colour codes the weather - blue thru green to yellow to red.....today ALL the US is RED with occasional yellow (Yosemite is the only place near us). They are having a major heatwave.

We walked into town about 1/2 mile down the road and then came back to our room - they have a huge jacuzzi hot tub (for those returning skiers in the winter) which we tried out and found not to our liking as it was too hot!!!

We went back to our room and ended up taking a siesta (the altitude and the heat seemed to sap all our energy). About 4pm we headed off to see some of the lakes nearby. The scenery is alpine and very lovely- we soon came across Horseshoe Lake which has shrunk dramatically after a late start to the ski season this year (no real snow until January - normally it can start in October). The pictures hopefully show it better than words - but it is about half what we saw two years ago.

We had a long chat to a couple with their son and dog who live near Disneyland in LA but have inherited a place in Mammoth. they seem to be small time property developers so they can take far more vacation than most americans. The come up to  Mammoth quite regularly for skiing. It was nice to have something more than a 2 minute conversation with someone.

Apparantly the weather was very warm for Mammoth - they told us that normally by 5pm they'd be wearing fleeces...so once again we're glad that we're here not lower down.

There was one mix up when we were talking about the heat and the lake when the guy said "well at least it's better than being back in england anyway" - which MJ took to mean the floods in Hull etc..but they meant the terrorist stuff. The US news is full of it and the americans imagine that the Brits are suffering under some blitz-type environment at the moment.

We left them and went to another lake with a waterfall at one end that we'd visited last time we were here - there was a slight breeze and the whole place was delightful - we'd definately put Mammoth in our top 10 US places to visit.
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