I woke up today with town legs. Red’s Meadow was 15 miles away, over relatively flat terrain. I targeted 12:30 as an ambitious but achievable arrival time. We had a tiny climb out of Virginia Lakes, before descending into Purple Lakes after which we climbed straight back up again. Frustrating, as the day ended down a net several thousand feet.
We could tell we were passing through much higher use areas. Creeks and streams had bridges and cut logs as crossings instead of fords or the odd rock. We ran into people with clean clothes, large groups of hikers, noisy people and people taking pictures every few yards. We were asked by a group of 9 women to take their picture, when we were maybe a mile from Red’s Meadow and were asked in return if we would like them to take our picture. It took all our strength not to laugh and mutter something crazy-sounding about food and chairs.
Red’s Meadow itself is a small pack station with a store and cafe. The priority was to wash up, and get hot food before taking the shuttle bus into the town of Mammoth Lakes. On the bus we learned the name of he girl we had been leapfrogging earlier in the day; Firefox, who is also zeroing here. Once in town we were rejoined by Dolittle, and are three again.
The adventure centre where we were dropped by the shuttle is the main ski lift plaza, and I have never seen a place so alive when there is no snow. Mountain biking, zip lines, bungees, trampolines, and a climbing wall. It was a bit overwhelming with the music and the people and the noise, but incredible all the same.
Mammoth Lakes seems to be ideal for a zero day, except that we arrived on a Saturday and the Post Office isn’t open until Monday. So perhaps a zero and two nearoes.
Camping: Mile 907, Red’s Meadow/Mammoth Lakes (not camping)