Mammoth Lakes, California

Convict Lake
Convict Lake

It’s amazing to take a trip somewhere in California during the month of June where you can bundle up in a jacket, gloves, and scarf and enjoy the cold weather with snow coming down around you. I found it in Mammoth Lakes this year. We took a short trip for some hiking, snowboarding, warming up in natural hot springs, and of course enjoying local food and drinks. Our first stop was Convict Lake. There is easy parking here next to the lake where you can take a gorgeous walk around the amazing bright blue water. Convict Lake is great for fishing and hiking and has camping facilities. Close by is Twin Lakes, another beautiful set of lakes surrounded by snow crested mountains with Twin Falls empting into them.  

Mammoth Mountain is one of California’s best places for skiing and snowboarding. We took in a full day of boarding even though it was snowing the entire time on the slopes with visibility of only about ten feet. When we had enough of the slopes we went to Wild Willy’s Hot Spring to warm up. It can get crowded here at times but we were lucky enough to not have many people when we went. This was a perfect way to get the frost out of our bodies while viewing the beautiful snow topped mountains that surrounded us.  Make sure to bring a towel with you because it gets cold once out and walking back to the parking area. After warming up we went back to our lodge and made our traditional pasta and garlic bread dinner we reserve for “snowy” trips.

The next day we visited Hot Creek Geological Site. It is located off Hot Creek Hatchery Road and US-395. To reach this geological wonder of nature, take the short trail from the parking area. The bright blue sulfur smelling water bubbling up from the creek bed reminded me of places I have visited in Iceland. It is a beautiful view but entering the water is prohibited due to the varying temperature changes resulting in sometimes extreme hot water.  We ended the day at Mammoth Brewing Company. I loved their root beer and then progressed to a flight tasting of their craft beers and then on to having ramen noodles at Sushi Rei, one of Mammoth Lakes best sushi bars. This was a perfect way to end a June escape with friends to snow in California!

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Haiku, Maui
Haiku, Maui

Everyone have a lovely weekend! I will be exploring the things I have learned from week one on Nomadic Matt’s online photo course by taking some pictures. May this inspirational quote from Albert Einstein carry you through the weekend as it will me…

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

 

Selfoss and Dettifoss Waterfalls, Northeast Iceland

I am a waterfall junkie. When I see pictures of a beautiful waterfall I will do my best to search it out. This year I planned a trip to Iceland with four of my friends. We spent the week traveling throughout Iceland to see as many outdoor escapes as we could fit into each day. Although Iceland is really one beautiful waterfall after another, Selfoss and Dettifoss were two I had to see. Selfoss is on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river. The river’s source of water comes from the Vatnajökull glacier. Less than a mile further down the river is Dettifoss waterfall. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. We had been out all day exploring and were dead tired but we made a group decision to just trudge on. It took us about 45 minutes to find the falls but seeing them was one of the highlights of my trip.  We had to hike and climb over large slippery rocks to finally reach the edge of Sefloss. It reminded me of leaning over the edge of Victoria Falls in Zambia while swimming in Devil’s Pool. I kept thinking my mom would kill me for taking the risk of slipping and falling into the falls as I sat there soaking up the beauty.  We could not get as close access to Dettifoss because the trails were closed due to extreme misting and slippery conditions but it was an incredible view from were we were able to see it. The sight of these most impressive waterfalls is definitely worth the journey to get there. Just a note about the weather conditions we encountered in Northeast Iceland during May. Due to airline packing restrictions, I had to be clever in what I brought on the trip. I kept warm enough while hiking by wearing layers of shirts. My Columbia fleece jacket was fine and I wore thermal leggings under my lululemon yoga pants. Wearing thick hiking socks, my Ahnu waterproof boots were perfect. I adapted to the cold climate pretty well for a Southern California girl!

Dettifoss.Selfoss.
Sitting on the Edge of Dettifoss