Roughing it

Make sure and lock up your food at night because “my bears are very active” isn’t a phrase you want to hear from the camp ranger when you’re about to spend the weekend out in the woods. Especially for a girl like me who loves food and isn’t too keen on sharing with a bear.

Described by Ranger Ronnie as “Yogi bears” who just want our picnic basket, these bears have no problem breaking your car windows to get any food that they smell. Turns out these bears ended up not being a problem, we never saw any. We saw some droppings, but no Yogis.

From the water, the fish and ducks that live there, the squirrels and chipmunks chasing each other to the majestic trees, this place is worth every bit of awe and respect from those who visit.

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Mammoth Lakes is sure a sight to see. Because of the 5 hour drive, it is easy to forget that California has so many beautiful and natural wonders; every view is like a postcard… breathtaking.

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Although we are technically in Fall, here in the Central Valley, it feels as if Summer is overstaying its welcome. Up in the mountains, the weather averaged at a cool, crisp 56 degrees. Perfect weather for hiking and enjoying the surroundings comfortably. But as soon as the sun started to set, you knew it, you felt it in the air. When it was time to go to sleep, the temperature had dropped to 27 degrees.

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Now believe me when I say, I prefer winter over summer any day, that’s also with the presumption that if I’m cold, I can bundle myself with blankets and sweaters, drink some tea and binge watch something on Netflix.

But in Mammoth Lakes there was no escaping then skin numbing, make my eyes water, toes feelin’ like fish sticks kind of cold.  The first night, not knowing exactly what I was in for, I wore layers of course, but it wasn’t enough. I was miserable.

Also, it was the first weekend getaway with our new puppy, Zelda. She’s only 6 weeks old and if I was feeling this cold, I was certainly concerned for her well being. But you know what? She was a champ. Of course she was snuggled with us under the blankets but she was a better woman than I.

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So with the cold and not being able to find a comfortable position to sleep, all I did was toss and turn and long for a hot shower and warm bed.

The next night I packed on the layers–tank top, thermal, flannel shirt, poncho, big jacket, beanie with the jacket’s hood over that, leggings, jeans, and pajama bottoms with 2 pairs of socks; pretty much the contents of my duffel bag on my body. It was still very cold, but a little more tolerable.

Hiking and gathering wood for a fire isn’t usually my cup of tea, but I made a conscious effort not to complain and to be open to all of these new experiences.

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Aside from the nighttime weather, the days were good, the food was great (steaks, chili dogs and s’mores, oh my) and the company of Nicholas and Zelda were all that I needed. It was also nice to be away from social media for a few days, something that I always say I need a break from, but never take.

Before we left, we got the chance to do a little beer tasting and get something to eat from the Mammoth Brewing Company, a place we will definitely visit again.

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I learned something about myself. For all of the money spent on makeup, hair products and how much fun I have getting glammed up, I really don’t mind getting my hands dirty. And hitting the step goal on my fitbit felt pretty good too.

Sometimes we have to leave our comfort zones to really get the most out of life. I have a new appreciation for nature, admiring its beauty and realizing that we as humans can to do a better job of taking care of it.

I’m ready for many more adventures in my life. I may even wear a little lipgloss while doing it.

Thanks for reading!

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