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Mammoth Mountain

I rented an electric mountain bike today and rode straight up the mountain until I thought my chest would explode (it’s electric assist but you still have to pedal) and then continued until I dropped to the ground. I rested there, ¾ of the way up the mountain, taking in the beauty and sounds of the mountain with peace in my soul that I hadn't felt since my mom died 4 and a half years ago. I just sat there and breathed in that mountain air for probably an hour, with a feeling like I was exactly where I needed to be. Then, with the energy I gained from that experience, I rode the rest of the way up the mountain. Atop the highest peak was a view that took my breath away. There must have been 50 mountain peaks, each one with its own unique characteristic. I felt like I could see forever.

The way down was absolutely euphoric. I was hitting bank turns at full speed, going off ridiculous jumps and bombing down double black diamond runs. I felt invincible. I finished out my 4 hour rental smiling from ear to ear, hitting every trail that I could find. By the time I was done and back to the camper, I was spent. I passed out while muttering something about making a shake as I cuddled my bottle of GNC Pro Performance Gainer. I slept like a rock for a couple of hours and woke up to a delicious salmon dinner that Jaclyn had prepared.

Today I feel that I overcame the hurdle of moving on from my mother's death. I am finally at peace with it and capable of enjoying my life to the fullest.

I will always Love you Mom ♡

Day 2…

We experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake this morning during breakfast. All is well, no one was hurt. This reminded us that there is no time like the present so we packed a bag and set out for Devil’s PostPile National Monument on the backside of Mammoth Mountain. The sign on the gate said “closed to vehicles, hikers use alternate route”. We weren’t about to be deterred by the additional 13 miles of hiking we would have to do, so off we went. Half way down a steep switchback, Jaclyn started noticing that her feet had blisters and brought it to my attention, at which point I couldn’t help but ask “why did you wear water shoes and where are your socks???”

“I thought it was a short hike” she replied giggling with a halfhearted grin. I asked her if she wanted to turn back but she insisted that she could make it (this was in the first mile of the journey, she hiked all 13 miles and now has 6 blisters on her feet 2 of which are the size of silver dollars on both of her heels).

Blisters aside, it was an incredible hike with views of steep, majestic mountain cliffs around every corner. The Devils PostPile didn’t disappoint either and it looks just as the name describes; a sheer rock face is made up of giant corduroy rungs as if they were a bunch of fence posts, made of rock and leaning up against a wall.

Even with aching feet, Jaclyn was determined to continue on the additional 2 and a half miles to Rainbow Falls which were absolutely spectacular. The water fall must have been 100 feet tall and perfectly chiseled into the mountain with, wouldn’t you know it, a perfect double rainbow at the bottom of it. I was very impressed, not only with the incredible views, but also of the sheer grit that my wife showed while pressing forward towards adventure!

When we made it back to the truck we decided that this was a great opportunity to have a nice soak in one of the many hot springs around Mammoth Mountain, so we headed to Wild Willys. Sitting back with my feet up in the natural hot springs, a beer in my hand and an arm around my wife; her eyes glistening in the reflection of the milky way under the desert sky I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that this was the life I was meant to live.

(photo borrowed from google images)

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