Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mammoth Lakes

Well we're back. Mom has been wanting to plan this family vacation all year but with all of our schedules it has been somewhat difficult. Well this week seemed to fit into all of our schedules except for Dad who had to be in court so he was just there in spirit. Sunday evening we all packed up drove the 4 1/2 hours to Mammoth lakes where my uncle Tim has a condo. Patrick took the drive surprisingly well and we met Mom and Sara, Ben and Janae, Cory, Stephanie and Caleb at the condo. The condo was great and comfortable. It had 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Jesus and I were lucky to get the King size bed which was so nice since I have been needing a little more room lately. We werent aware that we needed to bring our own bedding and towels so it was fun to try and fit small sheets that Tim had in the cupboard to the big beds and for the first two days the 3 of us had to share a dirty beach towel we had the in the back of the car. It made for few smelly days. Monday morning we decided to drive up to the Mammoth resort and take the bus to Devils Post pile which is this amazing rock formation. So while we waited for the bus we got a few pictures of the giant Mammoth statue.

The boys had a great time climbing on the planters around the Mammoth.This is the view from the resort and we could watch the tram going up to the top of the mountain.Patrick really wanted us to take this picture, you can tell from his facial expression.
Sara was loving on the Mammoth and ended up swinging on the trunk.
Patrick wanted to push the stroller rather than be in it.
Some of my big fears are heights, cliffs and narrow roads. I am also not a big fan of buses so when you throw them all together, I am a paranoid wreck. It probably wasnt a very good idea to put me on the side of the bus that was along the cliff. Sara did a very good job at distracting but I was really happy to get off at the Ranger station. Patrick was also a little nervous on the bus and wanted to get out. Whenever it stopped to drop people off at other sights he would yell "Yea, get off!"
I had Sara take this picture for me because I got more nervous every time I looked out the window. Isn't the view amazing?
This was a great way to distract me from mental images of plummeting to the bottom of the mountain.
We got to the Ranger station and from there we had to hike .4 miles to see Devils Post pile (dont tell my doctor). It wasnt a very bad hike and it was very short but being 37 weeks pregnant it made it a little more difficult and I stayed behind the rest of the group. This is Devils Post pile. From the top it looks like a bunch of pentagon shaped stones in the ground but from the side this is what it looks like. There are a bunch of pieces of it that have broken off that are laying all over the bottom.

Here are Patrick and Sara taking a rest after we got to the end of the hike.I tried to get a picture of Ben which is very difficult and this as good as I can get. It is completely impossible to take a serious picture of him.Here are Patrick and Caleb enjoying a snack.Here is proof that I actually was there.And here is proof that the pregnant ladies could actually do this little hike.

Patrick loved playing on the rocks and in the dirt. He was so dirty by the end and I finally gave up trying to keep him clean. He's a boy, I guess he should get dirty.
Sara disappeared while we were trying to figure out what to do next and a few minutes later I heard her calling my name so I looked up to the top of the formation and saw her up there. You can barely see her head next to the trunk of the tree.From this point you can continue hiking and get to Rainbow falls and I really wanted to go but Jesus wouldnt let me and everyone else said it would be a very bad idea. So we decided to hike back to the Ranger station and get back on the bus to go get lunch and have naps at the condo. The hike back was a little more difficult for me and I was feeling some sharp pains but once I sat down I was fine. I guess its good we didnt go to the water fall. When the boys woke up from their naps we kept them entertained with movies and this is how they watched them. How cute are they??

The next day we packed a lunch and found this great park around the corner from the condo. The boys had a great time playing on the toys and in the sand. The big boys had a great time throwing a nerf football around.Here are Patrick and Daddy on the slide. Patrick was too scared to go alone.Here are the ladies making sandwiches for their husbands.

This is the only way we could Patrick to eat. We put Finding Nemo on my ipod and he sat and watched it.Mom had this "fun" idea to do a little race carrying a cotton ball on a spoon. Im not really sure why but some of us didnt want to because everyone at the park was watching, but we all participated. Even though our team lost (we had both pregnant ladies on the same team) we had a lot of fun. I will say this though, if you have a chance to do a race with Ben, dont have him on your team, it's because of him we lost, he's slow! Love ya Ben!!

When the race was over we let the boys take a turn and they had a great time.After the park we headed back to the condo for naps. That evening we decided to head to the campsite that Mom got for Ben and Janae for hot dogs and s'mores, mmmm....... Here are Jesus and Ben getting the fire started with Patrick telling them the correct way to build a fire.

Here are Jesus, Ben and Sara cooking the hot dogs on the fire.Here is Patrick eating his hot dog with a very curious face. Notice he is eating his hot dog from the middle.
After hot dogs we made s'mores and here is Patrick just enjoying a marshmallow.Here is Jesus with his Marshmallow on fire, and moments later he wanted a picture for himself on is iphone so he could post it for all of his online friends.Patrick and Caleb had a great time playing on the rocks and in the dirt (again) and by the end of the night Patrick looked like he had been rolling in nature.
Here is a picture of Jesus telling Patrick the story of a phoenix that turned into a raven and how fire came to be. It was very cute.
Even Mom decided to cook some s'mores.

Sara got the guitar out and we had music time, singing girls camp songs and primary songs and hymns. The people in the campsite next to us were sitting in their car watching a movie and when we started to sing they rolled their windows up. I didnt think we sounded that bad. Besides, who goes camping to sit in their car??

We left Ben and Janae to the bears and drove back to the condo to sleep in real beds. The next morning we got up and had pancakes made by Ben and Janae, yum, then we packed up a lunch again and drove to Twin lakes which was four miles up the mountain. It was a beautiful spot with camping and even a small restaurant. Jesus thought this was a perfect time to try out some fishing so he brought his fishing gear. The water had a lot of weeds in it so he had to wade out in the water to get a good cast.

I got this picture of the amazing view from our small picnic spot. You can see a water fall to the right of the picture. The weather was amazing, warm in the sun and cool in the shade.
Ben rented a boat for a few hours and paddled Sara, Jesus and Janae around the lake while we ate lunch with the boys. When he got back we decided it was probably smarter to separate the boys in two trips so we didnt have to worry about both of them falling in the water. Patrick didnt like that idea but it made me feel better. He was clumsy all day any way and was falling and tripping every chance he got. Once his feet flew completely out from under him backwards and he fell on his forehead.
While we were waiting for them to get back Jesus ate lunch and showed Patrick how to fish. Then when they came back Mom, Jesus, Patrick and I got into the boat for a little ride. I wasnt too excited about the boat ride because I am a big fan of solid ground (see told you, paranoid) but I went anyway and Jesus paddled us around. It was a quick trip but Patrick seemed to enjoy it.
That evening while Patrick was taking his nap, the girls decided to head to the outlets up the street for some shopping. We ended up only going to the Bass outlet but it turned out to be a fun quick trip and I ended up with 3 pairs of new earrings. We headed back to the condo so that I could help Jesus pack our bags since we needed to leave by six. We were the only ones cutting the trip short because Jesus needed to be back this morning for a few meetings. We packed up our things and had a quick dinner and said good bye to everyone. I was sad to go and leave the cool weather and outside adventures. I am always so jealous of everyones camping trips and mountain vacations so it was hard to leave.
On our way home we hit a bird with the windshield which was really gross because all that was left on the window was blood and feathers. We also saw tons of elk in the sprinklers on the farming land. We thought they would be on the other side of the road and were looking for them when we turned our heads and saw them all in the sprinklers. They must have needed showers. Then after a few hours of driving we saw some flashing lights coming towards us so we pulled over and a cop car pulled in front of us and said on the speaker that a wide load was coming through that was 26 ft wide and we needed to stay on the shoulder until it passed us. We saw more flashing lights ahead of us and something really big coming really slowly so as it got closer we realized that we needed to get off the shoulder and into the dirt so we didnt get hit. I couldnt resist and had to get a picture. It took up both lanes. The poor people behind it were moving at a snails pace.It was a great vacation and I hope we can go back again. I would like to hike to the falls and see a lot of other things we missed. I really loved being with family and always look forward to our little vacations. I think we are good for now and we are going to have some new adventures when the baby comes so we will be holding off on trips for a few weeks.


Johnsons Away said...

I love Mammoth and it is beautiful. I'm glad you guys had so much fun. I am so impressed with you and Stephanie going and hiking and everything :)