I got a call from my friend Kathleen last week who has a close friendship with nature and she asked if I wanted to join her on a trip up to mammoth, get out of the offices and fluorescents into the great outdoors. I happily obliged as Trever was out of town anyways, and I convinced another friend Shannen to join.
As all southern californians know, fall is one of our greatest flaws. We're usually in some outrageous heat wave while the rest of the country is pulling out winter sweaters and boots. We grieve deeply over this great misfortune every year as if all the previous years of sunshine in October was no prediction of what was to come. So we find weekends in autumn to runaway to colder temps and changing colors and gobble up as much fall as we can before returning with only our memories of the chill in the air and an instagram account that has been thrown up on by a pumpkin spice latte.
Mammoth was all this and more. We arrived to a cold cabin and I quickly lit a fire. If I could make you re-read that sentence I would. I started a fire because I know how, and it had big orange flames billowing out of the log tower I made and I deserve a gold star for that. Kathleen made soup and roasted vegetables, healthy comfort food, and she cut the carrots long ways which was pretty so Shannen took a picture. Whenever I eat her food I eat a ton, get full and somehow lose weight. I asked her to move in to cook all my food, she said no, but she taught me how to do basic things like make salad dressings by knowing the elements needed so I wasn't glued to a recipe like a robot.
We hiked to rainbow falls. Kathleen the friend of nature had on real deal hiking boots and waterproof pants and a coat. Shannen and I were wearing cotton, fleece and nike frees like newbs. We hiked a few miles in and took deep clean breathes while marveling at the sites, huge trees, fields of sage cream and grey shrubs dotted by black pines, dramatic rocks, snow capped peaks and finally the waterfall that is supposed to have a rainbow but didn't due to the grey cloud sky.
Grey cloud sky is a point to be noted because it follows that there might be rain and thunder and buckets of more rain on our two mile hike back to the car. First my hooded cotton sweatshirt blocked the rain, until it just soaked it all up, just soaked up all the rain. I would have been better off naked because then the water droplets could just fall of my skin, but instead my sweatshirt grabbed hold of every bit of water it could and then laid on my skin gaining weight with water as it clutched tightly to my body like it was saran wrap. What's worse is Shannen, because she didn't even have a hood. She took a bag we were carrying and balanced it on her head because the rain water was pooling in her eyebrows and dripping into her eyes, when a purse hat is an upgrade you're not in a good place. I laughed inappropriately hard at her misfortune because I felt solidarity in our adventurous misery, we both said it was worth it.
We got back to the house and thawed out with a big beautiful fire and more soup. Round two was a hike around lake george, crystal clear and beautiful. Of course halfway around the lake the hail started, which was an upgrade from the rain because it took longer to soak into our clothes. At that point we were growing gills and virtually unaffected by our wet hair glued to our faces, we didn't even move it or wipe the mascara from our cheeks, we were one with nature.
We ended by a hike around Convict Lake on our way out of town and it wasn't even real, but it was real. The mountains were snow capped from the night before, the clouds were drifting above and settling halfway down the mountain and the trees at the back of the lake had turned bright yellow and painted the path with fall. Someone needs to get married there, they need to walk down the elevated wood path and have thirty people standing on either side, and not tell the resort or have any chairs or flowers, just stand there in the yellow and get married.
The point is, it was cold, clean, quiet and autumn. It was perfect and I give God an air fist-pump for making October and for making Mammoth.