Keep close to Nature’s heart.
Break clear away once in a while and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
Wash your spirit clean.
I’m home, friends.
I have wanted to post for many days, and I regret the delay in sharing my photos and experiences. As strong as I feel spiritually, I have had to spend the last few days at home waiting out the aftermath of unbearable pain and fatigue. Illness is my constant companion.
I do indeed feel grateful that I felt well enough to enjoy my four days away.
After lots of contemplation, in September my husband and I settled on a Mammoth Lakes getaway. For those who aren’t familiar, Mammoth is a resort community in the Eastern Sierra not far from Yosemite, mostly known as a premier skiing destination, but it is equally beautiful and desirable in the summer and fall for fishing, hiking and mountain biking. This delightful piece of heaven right here on earth is a four hour drive from our home.
There is a drama and grandeur of the Eastern Sierra that you just can’t experience on the west side of the range. Nearing Mammoth on Highway 395, the road is at an elevation of 8000 feet, with Nevada’s high plains desert on one side and the majesty of the Sierra’s peaks on the other. When we approach the mountains from our home from the west, it is an experience of winding roads and a gradual climb over the foothills. When I take in the view on the east side I can’t help but think of the early settlers and when they set eyes on this mountain range for the first time. It really does leave me breathless.
We spent our time enjoying the hiking trails and views of Mammoth’s many lakes. Horseshoe Lake is especially fascinating. Mammoth is in fact a volcano, so all kinds of interesting geologic goings on are happening at all times. In the late 80’s scientists noticed that miles of forest were dying off due to CO2 emissions on one side of the mountain, with a significant change occurring around Horseshoe. The emissions occur to this day, but scientists do block off less safe areas for visitors. The dead trees possess a haunting beauty that photos cannot do justice.
This is nearby Lake Mamie.
And Lake Mary.
And a very popular view, looking down on Twin Lakes.
We also spent an afternoon on the other side of the mountain, at the Devils Postpile National Monument. This is another special spot that is evidence of the earth’s power. Scientists estimate that over 100,000 years ago, a lava flow came through this area and turned a section of rock cliff into vertical, uniform columns.
The hike to this spot is an easy 1/2 mile, but my husband and I decided to climb to the top, which can be rather grueling, particularly at an elevation of about 10,000 feet. If you ever find yourself here, I suggest that you do take the climb. The trail is safe, and it really does put it in perspective. You get an appreciation of how large these columns really are, being right on top of them. And it’s especially fascinating when you see that so many of them are in the form of a perfectly shaped hexagon. It’s so reminiscent of a turtle’s shell.
On our way home we decided against driving through Yosemite. A few hours just isn’t enough there; Yosemite truly needs a dedicated trip of its own, and perhaps that is something we can do in the late spring when the famous waterfalls are at their grandest. Instead we took a short detour so I could get a few shots of Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe.
Friends, there are no words. Sometimes I can’t believe I live two hours from this place.
There is so much more to talk about. I have material for many posts to come. For now what I want to express is this~travel, and nature specifically, truly do remind me that I am meant for so much more in this life. For four precious days I was able to heal my spirit, mind and body with the serenity, peace and freedom that only Earth’s magic can give. I forgot that I am a sick person. I breathed in the healing air. I laid these eyes upon God’s handwriting. I did all of this in the presence of love, holding the hand of the co-author of my life.
I am grateful for the memories of every single day and moment.
Each is a gift that I could never put a price on.